Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

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Feb
07
2014

The holiday pay time bomb? Help the CBI to lobby the Government
#Employment

In view of some recent cases involving UK employers and interpretation of the EC Working Time Directive, particularly in the European Court of Justice (ECJ), employers may be significantly underpaying holiday pay. The Directive regulates not just working hours and holiday entitlement. It also regulates, according to the ECJ, the calculation of holiday pay, even though the Directive does not spell that out....

Feb
07
2014

Challenges to the validity of erroneously signed Wills
#Dispute Resolution

A recent decision of the Supreme Court has confirmed that the courts will now take a more flexible approach to the rules which apply to the signing of wills...

Feb
07
2014

What does your agency agreement say about compensation?
#Dispute Resolution

Under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 (the "Regulations"), an agent is usually entitled to a payment when his agency agreement is terminated by the principal (unless the agreement is being terminated as a result of the agent`s own breach). The Regulations provide for two different payment regimes: compensation and indemnity. It is not possible for the parties to contract out of these provisions of the Regulations...

Feb
04
2014

Mortgagees Consent to the Grant of a Lease - Factors to Consider
#Real Estate

The purpose of a condition against letting a property without the consent of the mortgagee is to protect the mortgagee`s security, and to ensure that it is not burdened with an unsatisfactory lease....

Jan
31
2014

Settlement agreement was still without prejudice even though discussions were "amicable"
#Employment

Employers, particularly HR practitioners, need to be very careful before getting into discussions with employees over possible termination of employment. The risk is that the employee will rely on those discussions in a tribunal claim later on if agreement is not reached.  In an interesting case concerning settlement agreements, the EAT (overturning an Employment Tribunal`s decision) has held tha...

Jan
31
2014

Sweetheart union deals breach European law
#Employment

An independent trade union seeking to be recognised by an employer may apply for statutory recognition from the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC).   However, a trade union is prevented from seeking recognition  where there is already a recognition agreement in place which entitles another trade union to ‘collectively bargain` on behalf of any workers in the bargaining unit.  With this in mind...

Jan
24
2014

New right for all employees to request flexible working delayed
#Employment

We recently reported that as of 6 April 2014 new rules governing the right to request flexible working under the Children and Families Bill would be introduced.   Currently only employees with at least 26 weeks` continuous employment who have children under the age of 17 (18 if the child is disabled) or who are carers have the right to request flexible working.  Furthermore, specific statutory p...

Jan
23
2014

Woolworth`s case referred to the European Court of Justice
#Employment

At the hearing this week, the Court of Appeal has referred the Woolworth`s and Ethel Austin cases to the European Court of Justice. Confirmation is now awaited as to exactly what questions to be considered by the ECJ. John Hannett - Usdaw General Secretary said: ‘We are pleased that this case is going to be heard at the highest level and that we will get a definitive decision. Exactly how defin...

Jan
22
2014

Are you being fairly served? Your options if you are unhappy with your property service charges
#Dispute Resolution

It is common for tenants of multiple occupancy buildings to complain about the level of their service charges. Some are lucky enough to have been able to negotiate a fixed or capped service charge, but in many cases tenants feel they are at the mercy of their landlord or managing agent when it comes to service charges. In modern buildings these can often constitute a significant proportion of the costs of occupation...

Jan
17
2014

Tougher penalties for failure to pay the national minimum wage from February 2014
#Employment

The government has published the draft National Minimum Wage (Variation of Financial Penalty) Regulations 2014 under which employers who fail to pay workers the national minimum wage (NMW) will face tougher penalties from next month. The maximum fine for anyone failing to pay the statutory level will increase from £5,000 to £20,000. The NMW for the period 1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014 for...

Jan
17
2014

Some key employment law cases to look out for in 2014
#Employment

Holiday pay Neal v Freightliner Ltd (EAT) An employment tribunal has held that a worker`s overtime should be included in the calculation of holiday pay. This decision has been appealed to the EAT but at present the case at the sift stage, awaiting to hear if the judge will allow the appeal to proceed to a full hearing. Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd (ECJ) Closely related to the Neal case, an...

Jan
16
2014

Buddy Quiz - how did you do?
#Employment

Thank you to everyone who completed the last Buddy Quiz, posted throughout December. We have posted the answers to the questions below so you can check how you did! QUESTION 1 As reported in the Buddy Weekly Bulletin on 8 November 2013, how many non-EU seasonal workers does the EU Commission estimate come to the EU every year? a)      Over 25,000b)      Over 50,000c)       Over 75,000d)      O...

Jan
14
2014

Shareholders` Agreements
#Corporate

A shareholders` agreement is a private contract entered into by some or all of the shareholders of a company to regulate the affairs between them. It gives rise to contractual obligations between the parties therefore the usual contractual remedies will be available in the event of breach. There are certain matters which are usually always covered by the shareholders` agreement and which are often the subject of negotiation between parties...

Jan
10
2014

Auto enrolment - don`t get a fine of up to £10,000 a day!
#Employment

As has been well publicised, since 1 October 2012 every employer in the UK has been supplied with a staging date to automatically enroll eligible workers in a pension scheme and pay mandatory contributions. This is the biggest change to workplace pension provision in a generation. There is a need to relieve the pressure on the Government`s finances caused by a workforce who are living longer but...

Jan
10
2014

Holding and Manifesting a Religious Belief, what`s the difference?
#Employment

An employee`s beliefs may or may not be known to an employer but issues can arise if these beliefs are manifested in the workplace. Does the law clearly distinguish between the protection it gives for holding a belief and the level of protection for how this belief is manifested? No, according to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in the recent case of Grace v Places for Children. In Grace the Clai...

Jan
10
2014

When is an agency worker not a `temp` under the Agency Workers Regulations 2010?
#Employment

Agency workers are often referred to colloquially as being temporary workers or ‘temps`, as a distinction from directly recruited, usually permanent staff. The recent case of Moran v Ideal Cleaning Services and Celanese Acetate Ltd in the EAT, however, has highlighted just how important that phrase is to the scope of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 (AWR) and indeed the European Directive upon...

Jan
10
2014

Project Insurance: If you`re going to do it, do it right!
#Construction

When undertaking a modern development, where all the parties (employer, contractor, sub-contractors) are committed to collaborate in good faith (or, at least, the contracts say they are), it seems sensible to protect that team ethos through the procurement of a project insurance policy...

Jan
09
2014

Is it reasonable to dismiss taking into account a previous final written warning for which the appeal hearing has not yet held?
#Employment

In the case of Susan Rooney -v- Dundee City Council, the Employment Tribunal held that it was within the reasonable band of responses for the employer to do this.  The Employment Appeal Tribunal (UKEATS/0020/13), in considering the Tribunal`s decision, has upheld this decision.   Background Ms Rooney was a cashier supervisor for the Council.  She received a final written warning in September 2...

Jan
09
2014

Charity calls for statutory bereavement leave
#Employment

A report by the charity, National Council for Palliative Care, has called for the government to introduce statutory bereavement leave for when a close relative dies.   The report found that a third of workers bereaved in the last five years did not feel their employer treated them with compassion.  It suggests that as well as statutory bereavement leave, a few kind words of condolence by a m...

Jan
06
2014

Rights of the Landlord where a Tenant has remained in occupation following expiry of a Lease
#Real Estate

The situation that arises where a tenant remain in occupation after the term of the lease has expired can be complicated, particularly where the lease is not a protected lease and is excluded from the renewal provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Where leases are protected, the statutory framework makes the position very clear....

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