Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

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May
09
2014

4,000 people have contacted ACAS about Early Conciliation
#Employment

ACAS say that around 1000 people have contacted ACAS about Early Conciliation every week since its launch on 6 April and that 100 employers have also got in contacts to try ACAS Early Conciliation. ACAS Chairperson, Sir Brendan Barber, said, "Early Conciliation has got off to a very good start and has given us the chance to help more people resolve their disputes early as well as save taxpayers...

May
08
2014

Probate fees and capacity issues
#Real Estate

The government recently went ahead with its proposal to significantly increase the fee charged by probate registries for issuing grants and sealed copies of grants....

May
08
2014

Energy Performance: The Importance of Acting on F & G Ratings - A Reminder
#Real Estate

The Energy Act 2011 contains prospective legislation relating to energy efficiency in commercial buildings (and residential buildings) which threatens to have a significant impact on the property market...

May
07
2014

"SMEs are the lifeblood of economies and the Commonwealth can make a real difference" - UK lawyer tells international conference in Bangladesh
#Clarkslegal

"All around the world SMEs are the lifeblood of economies and the best hope of employment for the largest number of people" Michael Sippitt, Chairman of the Commonwealth Environmental Investment Platform and Clarkslegal LLP, told an international audience in Dhaka, Bangladesh, at the inaugural Sustainable SME Development in Bangladesh conference....

May
02
2014

Labour to restrict zero hours contracts
#Employment

Zero hours contracts have always been a hot topic and not necessarily for the right reasons.   Whilst they offer a flexible approach for employers as there is no obligation to provide work; individuals who are engaged under these contracts have little protection and fewer employment rights than employees.  Those who oppose these contracts believe that they provide little stability and security to...

May
02
2014

Would you agree to ACAS early conciliation? Your questions answered.
#Employment

You have probably heard already that from 6 May 2014, conciliation via ACAS becomes mandatory for claimants wishing to bring employment tribunal claims. If so, you may have heard of the new rules being referred to as "mandatory conciliation" or "early mandatory conciliation". As an employer, you may be wondering how a conciliation process can be mandatory. Mandatory for whom you may ask and also, what happens if you do not like what is being proposed in the conciliation process?...

May
01
2014

Men win equal pay case
#Employment

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) recently announced that it had conceded claims for sex discrimination and equal pay for a group of its male caretakers and maintenance staff. UWTSD merged with Swansea Metropolitan University in August 2013 to become the men`s employer and in so doing also became liable for the consequences of contractual changes implemented by Swansea in 2007...

Apr
30
2014

What happens when a business tenant remains in occupation after the expiry of its lease?
#Real Estate

Difficulties can arise when a business tenant remains in occupation of a property when its right to do so has come to an end. This may be because the tenant has a lease that does not carry protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 ("the Act") and the lease has expired. Alternatively the lease may be protected by the Act, and, following service by the landlord of a Section 25 notice terminating the tenancy, the tenant has not taken any steps to issue a claim for a new lease or extend time for doing so. Often when a tenant remains in occupation it is because negotiations for a new lease are ongoing, but there is a risk that, if the situation is not resolved promptly, the parties can find themselves with an implied periodic tenancy. The legal status of the tenant will always depend on the specific circumstances of each case, but the key factors the courts will look at are whether rent is being paid and accepted, and whether the parties are actively engaged in negotiations for a new lease...

Apr
25
2014

New Visa Fees Come into Force
#Immigration #Inward Investment

A number of changes were introduced to the immigration rules on 6 April 2014 (see our previous Buddy blog). Alongside these changes came the yearly increase in fees for visa, immigration and nationality applications and premium services, which also apply from 6 April. As before, the fees vary depending on the type of visa application and whether the application is being made outside or inside the...

Apr
24
2014

War Horse: interfering with the Royal National Theatre`s "artistic freedom"
#Employment

In the case of Ashworth & Ors v The Royal National Theatre, the High Court dismissed an application which would force the Theatre to re-engage musicians who were replaced with pre-recorded music for the production War Horse.  The court concluded that to do so would interfere with the Theatre`s "artistic freedom".   Originally the Theatre used live music during its productions of War Horse. Howe...

Apr
23
2014

The persistent whistleblower - can an employer dismiss?
#Employment

If an employee "blows the whistle", any subsequent disciplinary action taken can result in a detriment claim or an automatically unfair dismissal claim (if the employee is dismissed).  There is no upper limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded in these cases.  This can present difficulties for employers when managing an employee who raises multiple grievances and/or raises a grieva...

Apr
23
2014

Liability for claims for failure to inform and consult.
#Employment

The EAT in Allen v Morrisons Facilities Services Ltd has confirmed that the obligations to inform and consult employee representatives under Reg 13(2) of Tupe are vertical obligations between an employer (whether Transferee or Transferor) and its own employees. As such, any claims for failure to provide the required information must also be brought vertically by employees against their respective...

Apr
17
2014

Procurement Changes on the Horizon - The New Public Contracts Directive
#Public Sector

On Friday, 28th March 2014, Directive 2014/24/EU on public procurement ("the New Directive") was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The New Directive will repeal Directive 2004/18/EC (public works, supplies and service contracts) when it comes into force today (17th April 2014). Member States will then have two years to implement the New Directive into national legislation....

Apr
17
2014

Zero hours contracts are "abusive and exploitative and should be abolished"
#Employment

Zero hours contracts allow employers to hire staff with no guarantee of work.  Under such contracts, workers only work as and when they are needed by employers, often at short notice, and are only paid for the hours that they work. On 19 December 2013, BIS launched its consultation on zero hours contracts, which sought evidence on the use of such contracts and views on possible options.  The co...

Apr
17
2014

When ignoring company principles can put you in breach of contract
#Employment

The case of IBM UK Holdings Ltd v Dalgleish shows that when it comes to making fundamental changes to employees` benefits and terms and conditions, the employer`s ethical standards and principles in dealing with its workforce can be relevant  when considering whether the changes were lawfully made.   IBM altered its pension arrangements to address a large deficit in the scheme.  The changes...

Apr
16
2014

Update on Illegal Worker Penalties
#Immigration

We recently reported that the government intends to increase the maximum penalty payable by an employer who employs an illegal worker from £10,000 to £20,000 per illegal worker.  By way of update, the government has recently announced that it expects this change to come into force at the start of May 2014....

Apr
11
2014

Long term sick HR drafting error not discrimination but made dismissal unfair
#Employment

In the recent case of Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI) v Lawrence, the EAT held that a procedural error did not undermine an employer`s justification defence to a disability discrimination claim. However, it did make the dismissal unfair. Mrs Lawrence worked for CRI and, whilst on long-term sick leave, was assessed by Occupational Health as suffering from post-natal depression.  This was consid...

Apr
11
2014

Just when you thought you had heard them all! Top 10 excuses given for not paying the minimum wage…
#Employment

The national minimum wage (NMW) is a set minimum hourly rate of pay to which most workers are entitled.  All employers are obliged to pay NMW, irrespective of their size.   Despite being in place since 1999, it is hard to believe that some employers still do not pay NMW.  Interestingly, HMRC has revealed the 10 worst excuses given by employers, which include: "I don`t think my workers know an...

Apr
11
2014

UK law on industrial action does not violate human rights, Court says
#Employment

In a landmark case brought by the RMT union against the UK in the European Court of Human Rights, the Court has ruled that the UK`s laws banning secondary industrial action do not violate the right to freedom of association under the European Convention on Human Rights. RMT v UK. The judgment is not final as the decision could be referred to the Court`s Grand Chamber....

Apr
10
2014

UK law on industrial action does not violate human rights, Court says
#Employment

In a landmark case brought by the RMT union against the UK in the European Court of Human Rights, the Court has ruled that the UK`s  laws banning secondary industrial action do not violate the right to freedom of association under the European Convention on Human Rights. RMT v UK. The judgment is not final as the decision could be referred to the Court`s Grand Chamber. The case arose after the R...

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