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Legal updates

20 February 2019 News

Agriculture, forestry and fishing is the UK’s most hazardous industry to work in according to Health & Safety Executive figures, with 13,000 workers injured in the sector each year and 17,000 suffering from work-related ill health. Apart from the inherent risks involved, running a farm is hard work, with a particularly heavy burden falling on those at the helm. With so much at stake, it is therefore essential to draw up contingency plans to ensure your business continues to thrive should you be unable to work due to injury or illness. One way of doing this is to have a financial lasting power of attorney which allows you to nominate someone to run your affairs while you are incapacitated. Lynne Smith, Private Client Lawyer and part of the agricultural law team at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors…
19 February 2019 News

Powers of attorney are useful if you need someone to make decisions on your behalf.  This may just be temporary (for example, to ensure that bills are paid if you were in hospital) or more long-term (for example, if you have been diagnosed with dementia). What is a Lasting Power of Attorney? A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions for you.  There are two types of LPA, ‘Property and Financial Affairs’ and ‘Health and Welfare’, and you can create one or both.  The Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows your chosen attorneys to operate your finances, for example to mange your bank accounts and pay bills.  The attorney can act while they have mental capacity (if you consent) but also if you lose mental capacity.  A LPA…
12 February 2019 News

Empty property is bad news for landlords. It costs money in maintenance and rates, as well as being a possible target for vandals and squatters. To maximise income from property, landlords may wish to seize opportunities for short-term lettings to fill gaps between long-term arrangements. But as Simon Ellis, commercial property expert with Ware & Kay Solicitors in York & Wetherby explains, it is vital to get the paperwork right. ‘If a potential tenant wants to get into your property and start trading and paying rent immediately, you may be tempted to skip the formal paperwork, but this can lead to real problems as business tenants can quickly acquire the right to stay on, which could get in the way of your long-term plans for the property’ explains Simon . ‘The good news is that as…
08 February 2019 News

Where the whole or part of a business is sold, or a contract for the provision of services is transferred, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) may apply. If this is the case there will be an obligation to inform, and in some circumstances consult, affected employees. Failure to do this will usually mean employees are entitled to compensation. Transferring employees’ employment contracts will transfer across to the new business on substantially the same terms and conditions, and any dismissals made because of the transfer which do not have a genuine economic, technical or organisational reason entailing a change in the workforce will be viewed as automatically unfair by an employment tribunal. Given the risks, specialist legal advice should always be taken as Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay…
08 February 2019 News

Recruitment processes can only tell you so much about a job applicant. If an individual is active on social media, surely it is prudent for recruiting employers to examine their online profile to find out more? The practice of on-line screening is becoming widespread but, as Gill Wilkinson, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby and Malton explains, employers need to be careful about when they screen and what they do with the information they obtain. ‘You cannot assume that just because an individual’s social media profile is publicly accessible that you can use it in the recruitment process’, says Gill. ‘Whenever and however you obtain information about an individual for recruitment purposes, data protection law requires you to balance the individual’s right to respect for private life against your need to obtain…
19 December 2018 Financial advice

Christmas is a time for giving, but for many farming families with the prospect of reduced subsidies and much uncertainty ahead, the idea of an expensive festive period can cause concern. However, the end of the year can also be a good time to review your overall finances, re-evaluate your estate and, and if they have not already been used, a useful way to use your annual allowances to reduce your estate for inheritance tax purposes. Gifts of money are usually very well received, but it is important to understand the inheritance tax implications in the long run, especially if a large retrospective tax bill could upset the apple cart and put the future continuation of the farm into jeopardy. But if you are in a fortunate position, lifetime giving can be a tax efficient way…
18 December 2018 Wills and estates

Every year thousands of people die without making a Will, perhaps thinking that their home and their money will simply pass to their partner or children.  However, the legal position is not that straightforward – if someone dies without a Will, there are rules setting out how their money, property and possessions should be divided.  In many cases this won’t be what the person who has died would have chosen. Here are some examples of how the rules apply: Example 1 – married or in a civil partnership Although you might think that everything will pass to your spouse or civil partner, this may not be the case depending on the value of your estate.  Example 2 – separated If you have informally separated but not divorced or legally ended your civil partnership, your…
21 October 2018 Employment advice

With only months to go until the UK leaves the EU, businesses and individuals are trying to plan for Brexit amidst uncertainty. Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton , looks at what we know about the likely affect of Brexit on UK employment law and the rights of EU workers, both in the event of a deal and a no deal exit. Gill also highlights a couple of changes in employment rights for October. How will Brexit affect employment law? The UK's membership of the EU has significantly shaped employment law in the UK, much of which is based on EU law. In the time immediately after Brexit, it is unlikely there will be any changes to employment law. Unless the EU and the UK agree…
15 October 2018 Employment advice

With reports about differences in pay between high profile men and women seemingly in the news on a daily basis at the moment, there cannot be many people in the UK who have not wondered how their pay compares to colleagues of the opposite sex. In this article, Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton , explains the rules on equal pay and what you, as an employer, can do to ensure you comply with them. The law in a nutshell Under the Equal Pay Act 2010, it is illegal to pay men and women in the same organisation different amounts for doing equal work, unless there is a justification for doing so. To be classed as equal work, the work being compared must be: the same…
22 September 2018 Wills and estates

September is Alzheimer's month. To mark the occasion, and help raise awareness of the issues faced by dementia suffers and their families, Ian Fisher Head of Wills & Probate with Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton , provides an overview of the practical legal steps you can take to help protect yourself and your loved ones. 'Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia and affects millions of people around the world. Receiving a diagnosis can be devastating and immediate thoughts will inevitably turn to treatment and healthcare support. However, it is also important to think about the legal and financial implications of a disease that will erode your ability to make decisions for yourself. Dealing with these issues at an early stage, while you still have the mental capacity to do so…
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