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Archives / 2011 / December
  • Goodbye 2011

    For many of us (lawyers included) 2011 has been a challenge with prospects of the recession returning, cuts in the public sector, a squeeze on lending and a rise in inflation (not to mention VAT going up to 20%!). The government has promised the private sector and in particular small businesses/entrepreneurs government secured loans and changes in employment law (though the finer details are yet to be announced) in 2012 in a bid to get the economy back on track but only time will tell how that will come to fruition.

    Reflecting on 2011, I have mixed emotions about the riots which started in London and travelled all the way up to Manchester (luckily Leeds was not on the hot list!). The local police forces did everything in their power to put a stop to the riots and punish the offenders, … more

  • When TUPE applies what does the business agreement need to cover?

    Tags: TUPE, Employment Law

    Most small business owners don’t understand the importance of taking legal advice before they agree to sell or purchase a business due to perceived costs associated with approaching a solicitor and this is perhaps due to the fact that they do not understand the importance of warranties and indemnities particularly when it comes to transferring employees under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).

    What are warranties?

    These are assurances by a party in a transaction that something is true or something will happen. If the warranty is breached then the party relying on it will be able to make a claim. To illustrate this, when a buyer is purchasing a business and the seller warrants that all electrical items work; if this proves untrue then … more

  • Alternative Business Structure (ABS) Friend or Foe?

    Tags: Alternative Business Structure (ABS), Employment Law

    ABS's are soon going to hit our streets; they are advertised as being "simpler, cheaper and more accessible legal services for consumers". Is that going to prove to be a reality?

    Are local governments and private companies going to look at whether they can turn their in-house team into a commercial entity? High street firms and sole practitioners have shown increasing concern that this de-regulation of the legal sector can only end in disaster but will it also bring with it opportunity for some. How is it going to affect you?

    I think employment lawyers would all agree that they have been competing against non-lawyers for a long time and we are still here :). Though I think there may be some mileage in the argument that the advantage that firms have previously had (and which may soon be … more

  • The Agency Workers Regulations 2010: What your business needs to know!

    Tags: The Agency Workers Regulation 2010, Employment Law

    The Agency Workers Regulations 2010 came into force on 1 October 2011.

    Who is an agency worker?

    - Any individual who works through any “Temporary Work Agency” (TWA) under the supervision and direction of a hirer.

    Who will the Regulations cover?

    - Traditional PAYE temporary workers paid by staffing companies;

    - Individuals “employed” under overarching employment contract by intermediary organisations (sometimes called ‘umbrella companies’) and then supplied to hirers via staffing companies.

    The following class of workers may also be considered as agency workers:

    - Sole traders and interims operating intermediaries (unless genuinely self-employed);

    - Personal service company workers (unless genuinely self-employed);

    - Those supplied through … more

  • Employment reforms–how will they affect you?

    Tags: Unfair Dismissal, Employment Tribunals, ACAS, Vincent Cable, Employment Law, Employment Law Reforms, TUPE, BIS

    On 23 November 2011 Vince Cable announced a number of reforms, some of which came as no surprise for employment experts however the real question is - will the changes kick start recruitment in small and medium sized businesses? In my opinion the key proposals for employees, businesses and employment law specialists are as follows:

    Employees:

    1. Unfair dismissal qualifying period doubled from 1 year to 2 to be implemented from 6 April 2012.

    2. A fee to be changed for lodging employment tribunal claims and a further fee for taking the claim to a full hearing. There will be a consultation in respect to this policy however there is a hint that due to the level of detail provided by Mr Cable that this policy will be implemented.

    3. All employment claims will go to ACAS for pre-claim … more

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  • How To Manage Workplace Relationships

    Tags: Sex Discrimination, Victimisation, Sexual Harassment, Employment Law, Human Resources, Valentine's Day, Workplace Relationships, Romantic Relationships

    With Valentine’s Day making February the month for romance, this month we take a look at some of the potential risks to employers when romance blossoms amongst employees and the steps that can be taken to address these.

    Why Should An Employer Be Concerned About Its Employees Forming Romantic Relationships In The Workplace?

    Romantic relationships between employees in the same organisation can expose the employer to a number of legal risks. These are most likely to arise when one employee is pursuing another to start a relationship or, even more so, when the relationship breaks down. The most obvious legal risks are as follows:

    Sexual Harassment

    This occurs where one employee engages in unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect either of violating … more

    

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