Why it is important to get proper legal advice?

Why it is important to get proper legal advice and why you should exercise caution when using the internet for legal advice. In a world where so much information is available freely online, do you still need the advice of a lawyer? A simple Google search of your legal problems can provide thousands of relevant articles, and perhaps a friend has shared information on social media that seems like the answer you are looking for. However, we would always recommend seeking proper legal advice - it could even save you thousands…

Summary of Budget 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivering his first budget yesterday, changes announced include measures put in place to support the economy in the face of the coronavirus such as additional support for the NHS and public services and loans available for small businesses to support ‘business interruptions’. Furthermore minor Stamp Duty changes have been introduced in respect of non-UK residents. Business rates for small businesses have been scrapped. Below is a summary of the main points: Coronavirus and public services £5bn emergency response fund to support the NHS and other public services…

Avoiding a cracker of a hangover from the company Christmas party

As the clock ticks down to Christmas party time, companies need to avoid the event becoming the wrong sort of cracker.  Any company-organised office party, whether in or out of working hours and on or off site, is an extension of the workplace which can test a business across the board on its policies and attitudes. “It’s a real stress-test for the culture of the business and its employment policies,” explained Huseyin “Each year we see another significant case reaching the courts arising from an incident at a work party. …

Chancellor’s Brexit brinkmanship puts the hold on

The continuing uncertainty over Brexit saw the Chancellor deliver a Spring Statement that was more holding plan than action plan. Following just one day after the latest rejection by Parliament of the government’s latest Brexit deal, there were few surprises but many cautions as Philip Hammond highlighted a range of alternative scenarios, depending on what happens with the country’s exit from the EU over coming weeks. That included a possible reversal to the ‘end of austerity’ he predicted in the Autumn 2018 Budget, with the Chancellor saying that he will…

New employment rights raise another red flag for employers

Who’s who on the payroll is an ongoing challenge for employers in the run up to new payslip requirements.   New payslip requirements are set to come into force, requiring itemised calculations for variable rates of pay and hours worked. Alongside, the requirement for payslips will be extended to include workers, not just employees.   The two amendments to the 1996 Employment Rights Act will come into force on April 6 2019.  From that date, employees and workers, including those under casual or zero hours contracts, must receive correctly detailed written, printed…

When ‘Banter’ crosses over into abuse

“It’s just banter, mate! Just banter!” If you work in any kind of environment, from an office to a building site, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘banter’. It’s that humorous back and forth we all use to make the day a little brighter, to have a joke and a laugh with our colleagues, and to generally brighten up what can be a mundane working environment. But is it ‘just banter’, or could it be something more sinister, and more harmful? Workplace banter has its place. However, the term ‘banter’…

Brexit: An update

It’s the end of May, we’ve got less than a year before the UK officially starts the transition to leave the EU, and the waters are as muddy as ever. Although a great deal of progress was made over the last couple of months, there are still some sticking points that need to be sorted out before the Brexit Bus can get back on the road. First off is the key point that UK (and European) businesses will be concerned about – trade agreements. There were rumblings that Parliament would…

Firefighter ruling sparks new heat for employers

The standby arrangements for Belgium’s volunteer firefighters are set to cause new headaches for employers with workers who are paid flat rates for time on-call or when sleeping in the workplace, with a judgement that will affect companies across the European Union. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled that volunteer firefighter Rudy Matzak is a ‘worker’ and that within the meaning of the Working Time Directive his time on standby is ‘working’ time. Under that Directive, ‘working time’ refers to “any period during which the…

Voluntary Workers – Their rights and your responsibilities as an employer

A volunteer is anyone who carries out unpaid work for a charity, fundraising body or voluntary organisation. If you hire volunteers to work for your organisation, there are certain things you need to be aware of. If you happen to be a volunteer, it pays to know your rights, too. We’ve outlined some of the legalities to help you both stay on the right side of the law. Do voluntary workers have a contract? Although voluntary workers don’t have a contract of employment, most voluntary organisations provide volunteers with a…

Spotlight on equal pay

Equal pay is a legal obligation. In recent months it has hit the headlines, with the BBC notably coming under fire for inequality in pay between the sexes. And you can expect more front pages, as by 4 April 2018 (or 30 March for the public sector) all employers with 250 or more employees are required to report their gender pay gap and bonus data. Why has there been such an emphasis on equal pay recently? Well, because despite the fact that equal pay is a legal obligation, it’s still…

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