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Welcome to our Blog

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.

Buying a property at auction

Bernitta Shrapnell
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Buying property at an auction can be a fairly stress free way to buy a property - one of the main advantages is the straight forward approach to the sale. The traditional route to buying usually takes around twelve weeks from the day an offer is accepted...

Gender pay gaps

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Under a new legal requirement in force from April 2017, UK companies with 250 or more employees have to publish their gender pay gaps by April 2018. The pay gap is the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women. Across the UK...

Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill introduced

Paul Burton
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The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 19 July 2017. Under the bill, employed parents who have lost a child would be entitled to statutory paid leave to allow them time to grieve away from the workplace. During the...

Taking a child abroad if you are separated/divorced

Amy Langlois
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If parents are no longer living together due to separation or divorce , there are legal issues to consider if one parent wishes to take a child on holiday abroad – or even to relocate to another area. It is always preferable to obtain written...

The Taylor Review

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Last month, the ‘Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’ published its findings and recommendations with a series of proposals that aim to ensure all work is "fair and decent". The Review was launched at the end of 2016 after being...

What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

Natalie Neil
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When two or more people buy a property together, there are two forms of ownership for the property which co-owners should consider. Joint Tenants When the co-owners are both named on the title deeds, they can hold the property as joint tenants. This means...

Discrimination: Unfavourable Treatment

Kate Fretten
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Trustees of Swansea University Pension & Assurance Scheme & Anor v Williams. The Court of Appeal has held that ‘unfavourable treatment’ is not to be equated with detriment, for the purposes of a claim of discrimination in consequence of...

Supreme Court rules on Employment Tribunal fees

Paul Burton
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The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced fees in July 2013. This means the government will now have to repay as much as £32million to claimants. Fees ranged between...

Divorce - Telling the kids

Andrew Stynes
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When a couple decides to split, there is never an easy way or time to tell the children. It can sometimes be just as much of a blow when the children are grown up themselves. But are there any tactics that would make breaking the news to them less painful,...

Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees are unlawful

Paul Burton
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The Supreme Court has today unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced fees in July 2013. This means the government will now have to repay as much as £32million to claimants. Fees ranged...

Plans to ban leaseholds on new build houses

Jennifer Smith
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It is widely being reported in the news today that leaseholds on new build houses could be banned, and ground rents dramatically reduced, under government plans which are subject to consultation. In February this year, we reported that reported that about...

Unpaid holiday pay and wages

Paul Burton
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A study has found that employers are cheating British workers out of at least £1.5bn a year in holiday pay and a further £1.2bn of wages for hours worked each year to which they are legally entitled. It reported that 1 in 20 workers are not...

Do I need to attend court to get divorced?

Amy Langlois
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A short video article featuring Amy Langlois , Family Solicitor , explaining whether you need to attend court when getting divorced. For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Amy or a member of the Family Team will be...

Deposits from the "bank of mum and dad"

Sarah March-Paschal
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As the size of deposits required for property purchases increases, it’s not surprising that many first time buyers need help from their parents or family members to achieve the required amount. However, the combination of family members and large sums...

The Taylor Review

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Earlier this month, the ‘Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’ published its findings and recommendations with a series of proposals that aim to ensure all work is "fair and decent". The review was launched at the end of 2016...

TUPE and Garden Leave

Kate Fretten
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ICAP Management Services Ltd v Berry In this case, the High Court has held that, where a Senior Executive was placed on garden leave, the circumstances were such that a TUPE transfer did not enable him to object to it and terminate his garden leave. Mr...

What the latest general election could mean for HR

Andrew Guilfoyle
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The result of the recent general election could create increased uncertainty for HR professionals, as promises on employment law and workplace policies are left up in the air. Despite the Conservatives winning the biggest number of seats and making an...

Landlords experiencing rent arrears

Kerri Hunter
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Rent arrears are a real concern for UK landlords as it can have a significant impact on their ability to pay their mortgage. Fresh research by the Residential Landlords Association shows that 28% of landlords have experienced rent arrears in the past 12...

Protecting Yourself in Business

Karen Edwards
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Frettens’ Commercial Team guides businesses from a start-up right through to decisions about selling and assist with many things in between. All business owners realise that, on some level, it is vital to protect their business, and most...

Shared parental pay

Paul Burton
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Ali v Capita Customer Management Ltd A father, whose wife was advised to return to work to combat post-natal depression, has won a sex discrimination claim, after his employer told him that he would be paid full pay for only two weeks’ paternity...

Frettens Litigator Promoted to Partnership

Michelle Hayter
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Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce that Carl Geary has been promoted to become a Partner at the firm. Carl has been at Frettens since 2007, initially as a paralegal and then beginning a training contract, the final stage of qualification as a...

Help to Buy Options

Amanda Caisley
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The government has created a number of Help to Buy schemes aimed at helping people to take steps to buy their own homes. Some of the names are similar and ambiguous; clients calling for a conveyancing quote often get confused, so Amanda Caisley ,...

Government review to order zero-hours contracts overhaul

Paul Burton
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A government-commissioned inquiry into controversial working practices is set to call for employees on zero-hours contracts to be given the right to request a move onto fixed hours. The ‘right to request’ fixed hours will be similar to the...

Protecting Your Business

Karen Edwards
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Frettens’ Commercial Team guides businesses from a start-up right through to decisions about selling and assist with many things in between. All business owners realise that, on some level, that it is vital to protect their business, and most...

Whistleblowing

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Beatt v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust The Court of Appeal has held that where the making of a disclosure is the principal reason for a dismissal, the decision-taker's belief about whether the disclosure is protected is not relevant. The...

British employment reaches record high

Kate Fretten
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The level of people in employment in the UK reached a new record high in the first quarter of the year, as unemployment hit its lowest since 1975. Unemployment in the UK fell to 4.6% in the first quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics...

What are my options to extend my lease?

Niki Adkins
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A short video article featuring Lease Extension Specialist, Niki Adkins , outlining the options for someone wishing to extend the lease on their flat or apartment.   For more information read our lease extension page. If you would...

My mother left a will. Do I need probate?

Lee Young
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If your mother has written a will, would you have to seek probate to authenticate the will when the time comes that she passes away? Often people assume that, once a will is written and signed, they will not need probate. Lee Young , a solicitor and Head of...

Discrimination: Adjustments for Candidate with Asperger's Syndrome

Paul Burton
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The Government Legal Service v Brookes The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held in this case that a job applicant with Asperger's Syndrome was discriminated against by being required to sit a psychometric test. The Government Legal Service (GLS) was...

Challenges Facing Young Entrepreneurs

Andrew Guilfoyle
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With research showing that the average age of entrepreneurs is declining, there are many issues and challenges faced by entrepreneurs aged under 18 that minors should be aware of. Starting a business at any age can be challenging. Coming up with a good idea...

How do pension sharing orders work?

Amy Langlois
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In divorce (for a married couple) or dissolution (for a civil partnership), the pension can often be the second biggest asset – usually the family home is the biggest. You can split pensions several ways, so it’s worth understanding the options...

Property Solicitors join Team Frettens

Clare Hallett
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Frettens are delighted to welcome two new Solicitors to their Residential Conveyancing Team. Sarah March-Paschal is a Conveyancing Solicitor with Conveyancing experience largely in the Poole and Bournemouth area, as well as additional...

Indirect discrimination

Paul Burton
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Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice The Supreme Court has held in this case that it is not necessary to establish the reason for the particular disadvantage to which a group is put, compared to another to succeed with an indirect discrimination claim. ...

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...

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...