Making sure the work environment is safe

Winter has slammed into the UK with a vengeance this year, with record snowfalls and Arctic winds blasting the length of Britain. It can be difficult enough trying to get through hazardous weather conditions to reach work on time, but what if when you get there the office is only marginally warmer than the outside temperature? Here’s a quick guide to your employer’s obligations when it comes to creating and maintaining a safe working environment during cold weather. The legal requirements Despite what a lot of people think, there is…

Lasting power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone that you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity or if you no longer wish to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of LPA, for financial decisions and for health and welfare decisions. The criteria for someone wishing to make an LPA for both types of LPAs are quite straightforward, they must be any person aged 18 or over and the person wishing to make an LPA must…

Health and safety rulings reflect new penalties coming soon

Courts move towards higher tariffs on health and safety breaches. Two high profile health and safety court rulings have caught the headlines this month, but the penalties imposed reflect the expected shift towards higher tariffs and businesses need to sit up and take notice say experts. First, fashion retailer Hugo Boss UK Limited was fined £1.2 million with costs of nearly £47,000 following a prosecution relating to a fatal incident at one of the brand’s outlets in June 2013, when a small child died after a free-standing mirror fell on…

Keeping workers updated on new health and safety standards

A worker who was dismissed after failing to follow new health and safety guidelines has won his claim for unfair dismissal in the Court of Appeal. The decision is a warning to companies that it is not enough to issue new procedures and risk assessment requirements, without making sure that employees are fully aware of the changes and are properly trained. The case of Newbound v Thames Water Utilities involved a long-serving and experienced sewer worker, who was summarily dismissed after an incident in which he entered a sewer to…

Taking the children on holiday

A common question we get asked as family lawyers is whether a parent or a child's carer is allowed to take a child on holiday without permission. The purpose of this article is to provide some guidance on this issue. The first issue that you need to consider is whether you have Parental Responsibility for the child in your care. Parental Responsibility (PR) is defined in the Children Act 1989 as "all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation…

Lasting Powers of Attorney and why you need one

With an ageing population in England and Wales, mental capacity is increasingly becoming an issue for a wide range of families. Mental capacity is a legal concept which defines a person's ability to make a specific decision or to do a particular act. If a person loses capacity, safeguards need to be put in place to cater for the eventuality. What are the safeguards? Preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney The answer is: preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney, whilst one still has capacity, in anticipation of the possibility that at some…

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