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We regularly write about different legal topics and welcome your comments on our posts. If you would like more information on our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Sleeping at work

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Focus Care Agency v Roberts The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has revisited the issue of whether workers sleeping at work on ‘on-call’ are entitled to the national minimum wage during that time in three cases that were joined together. The...

Some other substantial reason dismissal

Kate Fretten
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Ssekisonge v Barts Health NHS Trust The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has confirmed in this case there is not a particularly high threshold for an employer dismissing an employee because of a 'substantial reason'? The Claimant was a nurse who,...

Property fraud & the importance of registering your property

Tiffany Craig
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In September 2016 the Land Registry had reported that since 2009 they had “prevented frauds on over 200 applications representing properties valued in excess of £92 million.” Although Land Registry have reported that property fraud...

Tribunal awards £2 for breach of right to be accompanied

Paul Burton
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Gnahoua v Abellio London Ltd In an unusual case, an employment tribunal has awarded nominal compensation of £2 for a breach of an employee's right to be accompanied to a disciplinary hearing. The tribunal awarded such a small amount because it...

Leasehold property guide released

Andrew Guilfoyle
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A conveyancing trade body is stepping up efforts to highlight concerns over leasehold properties with fresh guidance for consumers. The Conveyancing Association, which has long called for leasehold legislation to be reformed, has designed a guide to...

Unprofessional Landlords Exiting the Buy-To-Let Market?

Carl Geary
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It is being reported in the property market that the number of people investing in the buy-to-let sector is falling at a rapid rate and many existing landlords are selling their properties. This is likely to be due to changes to tax relief that landlords...

Businesses face action over self-employment rights

Andrew Guilfoyle
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DX, a delivery company which is widely used in the legal sector, is the latest business to face threats of action over the treatment of workers as self-employed people. The company, which was formed in 1975, was one of the first businesses to challenge Royal...

News - Lush workers get pay rise as company becomes Living Wage employer

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Lush is to give 1,000 workers at its Poole factory a pay rise worth up to £2,184 after announcing it will become a Living Wage employer. The move which applies to 3,555 staff across the UK comes as the global cosmetics brand reveals a 76 per cent rise...

Planned increase to probate fees shelved due to general election

Malky Chaloner
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Controversial plans to raise the legal fees payable after death are now to be shelved ahead of the general election. Probate court fees are paid to the government when someone dies and the personal representative of the estate needs a grant of...

TUPE: Service Provision Change - 'Principal Purpose' Test

Paul Burton
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Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS v Harland When assessing the 'principal purpose' of an organised grouping of employees under TUPE, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that an employment tribunal is entitled to look at the actual...

Inheriting is not always straightforward

Michelle Hayter
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It is fairly common for people to write their will so that they leave their estate (the sum total of their assets) to be inherited by their children when they die. If that person has grandchildren, they might not name the grandchildren as beneficiaries in...

Disability Discrimination

Kate Fretten
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Peninsula Business Services v Baker The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that a Claimant cannot successfully claim harassment by simply asserting s/he has a disability without establishing s/he is disabled under the Equality Act 2010. The Claimant...

Lease Extension Q&A

Niki Adkins
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Niki Adkins is a Leasehold Specialist at Frettens who helps clients to extend their lease on their apartment or to buy the freehold. She has put together this Q&A as a starting point for any property owners who are considering this. Q. What Is A...

Are there any legal implications to getting engaged?

Andrew Stynes
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When a couple get engaged it is a time for celebration, congratulations and often a great party. However, what are the legal implications of getting engaged, if any? It used to be the case that a man’s promise to marry was considered in many countries...

News - IR35: HMRC publishes employment status checker

Paul Burton
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On 2 March 2017, HMRC published a new employment status checker for the purposes of determining whether the IR35 (intermediaries) legislation will apply to a particular set of facts. The legislation will apply only where the worker would (for tax or NICs...

Trade Union Act 2016

Paul Burton
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Six statutory instruments have been made under the Trade Union Act 2016, which now make it clear the Act will come into force on 1 March 2017. The Trade Union Act prohibits industrial action (more accurately, the industrial action will not be protected by...

How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced?

Andrew Stynes
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Often one of the first questions that clients ask our Family Team is how long does a divorce take? Andrew Stynes , Head of our Family Team , explains that if it is a straight forward divorce and proceedings are not delayed by finalising financial issues...

Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners Membership

Niki Adkins
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The Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners, or ALEP, is an association of organisations experienced in the residential leasehold sector. All member firms are rigorously vetted so that members of the public can be confident that they have...

Lasting Power of Attorney - How Do I Choose an Attorney?

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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you’re no longer able to or if you no longer want to make your own decisions or deal with your own affairs. Heather Varley...

Social media - Employee fairly dismissed for historic tweets

Kate Fretten
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Creighton v Together Housing Association Ltd A long serving employee who was dismissed for making derogatory comments about his colleagues and his employer on social media has had a claim for unfair dismissal rejected by an employment tribunal. The...

What a Landlord Needs to Know About the EPC Changes

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After lots of uncertainty, on 23 February 2017 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) finally published their guidance on how the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) will apply to commercial property. From the 1st April...

News - National Minimum Wage Increase

Andrew Guilfoyle
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The draft National Minimum Wage (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (‘the regulations’) have been published as follows and they will come into effect from 1st April 2017: The National Living Wage for 25 year olds and over will increase by 30p from...

Increase in Probate Court Fees

Lee Young
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If you have lost a loved one recently, you need to be aware of the increase in the probate court fees. The current fee is £215 for a personal application, or £155 if the application is made through a professional such as a solicitor. From May...

Employment Status

Paul Burton
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Pimlico Plumbers & Charlie Mullins v Gary Smith In this latest case involving the employment status of workers, the Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Pimlico Plumbers from an Employment Appeal Tribunal’s decision. The Court of Appeal...

Kylie v Kylie - Trademark Battle

Sarah Sillar
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A trademark battle between Kylie Minogue and Kylie Jenner has been raging for the last year. Kylie Jenner shot to fame in the US reality TV show ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’. She has been trying to trademark the name Kylie and register the...

Type 2 diabetes can be a disability

Paul Burton
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Taylor v Ladbrokes Betting & Gaming Ltd The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in this case that type 2 diabetes can be a disability under the Equality Act 2010. After the Claimant's dismissal, he asserted he had been disabled for almost a...

Civil Partnership Ruling - Only for Same-Sex Couples

Amy Langlois
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A case has been in the news this week where a heterosexual couple have lost their case made to the Court of Appeal to have a civil partnership. Since the legislation of same-sex marriage came into force in March 2014, same-sex couples have had the choice of...

With no will, there is no way of knowing what will happen...

Carl Geary
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When somebody dies unexpectedly, it is an awful and tragic shock for all those that care about them. Sadly, if that person did not make a will, dealing with the aftermath can be even more complicated, upsetting and expensive for their relatives and loved...

News - Gender Pay Reporting

Kate Fretten
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The government has published The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 , which extend the duty to publish annual gender pay gap reports to public sector employers with over 250 employees. These broadly reflect the ...

What effect does a divorce have on your will?

Julie Frampton
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If your marriage is ended by a court order (for example a decree absolute in a divorce) your will is not void or invalid. Generally, if your marriage or civil partnership comes to an end, your will remains valid but your ex-partner will be treated as though...

Gross negligence and gross misconduct

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Adesokan v Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd The Court of Appeal has confirmed in this case that gross negligence can constitute gross misconduct. The Claimant was a Regional Manager who became aware that a HR Manager had issued an email which attempted...

Sexist dress codes and discrimination

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A group of MPs has warned the government they need to crack down on sexist dress codes which are still widespread in UK workplaces. Two House of Commons committees have called for a review of current equality legislation after gathering evidence of sexist...

What if I DON'T make a power of attorney?

Heather Varley
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If there comes a time when you don’t have the mental capacity to make a particular decision, and you haven’t created a lasting power of attorney (LPA), it is likely that your relatives will need to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a...

Personal injury awards in tribunals

Paul Burton
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Hampshire County Council v Wyatt The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) held in this case that an employee does not have to provide an expert report when bringing a personal injury claim in the employment tribunal. An employment tribunal had held that a...

Long-term stress a disability?

Kate Fretten
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Herry v Dudley MBC The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held in this case that long-term stress does not amount to a disability unless there is something else on top of the stress. The Claimant asserted he had two disabilities, namely dyslexia and...

Annual leave and bank holidays for part time employees

Paul Burton
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Working out annual leave can be a complicated process for employers when they have a lot of part time staff. Annual leave will of course be calculated on a pro-rata basis, which sounds simple enough. But for staff that work on a Monday, Bank Holidays...

Re-engagement

Paul Burton
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United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Farren The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) has decided in this case that, when considering whether an employer’s lack of trust and confidence in an employee renders it impracticable for the...

Frettens Appoint Niki Adkins to their Property Team

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Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce the appointment of Niki Adkins to their Commercial Property Team. Niki joins from a Salisbury firm where she was head of the Leasehold Property Team. Niki joins Frettens at a time when they are expanding...

Should I change my name?

Andrew Stynes
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Separated women (who took their husband's surname upon marriage) often believe they have to wait until their divorce is finalised before they can revert to their maiden name. This is not correct. Any adult has the right to change their surname at any...

Christmas party assault

Kate Fretten
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Bellman v Northampton Recruitment In this controversial case the High Court has held a company is not vicariously liable for injuries caused by an employee after a work Christmas party had ended. A manager was assaulted by a director after a Christmas...

What is a Special Guardianship Order?

Amy Langlois
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Being appointed as a child’s ‘Special Guardian’ gives parental responsibility for the Special Guardian for the child until the child reaches the age of 18 and exclusive responsibility for the day to day care, long term care and upbringing...

Redundancy consultation

Kate Fretten
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Thomas v BNP Paribas Real Estate The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decided in this case that a 'perfunctory and insensitive' redundancy consultation is likely to make a redundancy dismissal unfair. The Claimant had over 40 years' service,...

An update on the future of the conveyancing process

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Following discussions at its ‘Modernising Conveyancing’ Conference, the Conveyancing Association, the leading trade body for the conveyancing industry, has announced it will set out a template for the future and produce a list of actions all...

Living Wills

Malky Chaloner
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A living will is where you express your wishes about how you want to be treated and cared for in certain situations, in case the time comes when you do not have the capacity to make or communicate your decisions. The document sets out your wishes about...

Article 50 and Brexit

Paul Burton
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The Divisional Court upheld an application earlier this month against the government, deciding that the government does not have prerogative power to invoke Article 50 without a vote by Parliament. Parliament will need to vote in favour of doing so before...

Rest Breaks

Kate Fretten
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Grange v Abellio London The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held in this case that an employee is not required to ask for a rest break before claiming to have been refused a rest break? The Claimant was contracted to work an eight and a half hour shift,...

Iceland v Iceland - what's in a name?

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The supermarket Iceland is in a high profile dispute over name rights with the Icelandic government, mounted a legal challenge against the retailer at the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The Icelandic government aims to ''ensure the...

Autumn Statement

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The Autumn Statement delivered last week by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, included a number of measures relating to employment. ‘Employee shareholder’ status (ESS) was introduced in September 2013 as a new category of worker status. Employee...

When copying becomes a costly business

Sarah Sillar
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Images are freely available and easily searched using online search engines such as Google images. Given their ease of accessibility many internet users are forgetting that photos are a type of intellectual property. This means that photos (at all stages of...

Beware of Rentcharges and the perils of ignoring them

Andrew Guilfoyle
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It is uncommon to come across rentcharges, but the recent case of Roberts v Lawton illustrates the harsh nature of the powers granted to rentcharge owners and the risks to a land owner of ignoring the rentcharge. What is a rentcharge? A rentcharge is a...