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Legal updates

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…
20 September 2018 Wills and estates

Making a Will is one of those things that people often put off, particularly when busy with family and work commitments.  However, it is important to take the time to think about how you would like your family and assets to be looked after on your death. Why should I make a Will? There are many reasons to make a Will: To avoid the intestacy rules (which provide for certain relatives to benefit when someone dies without a Will) - for example, to benefit an unmarried partner To make sure your personal belongings go to the people you choose To appoint guardians for minor children To leave a gift to a charity Inheritance tax planning   I already have a Will - should I review it? A Will is an important document that…
25 August 2018 Commercial property

A sensible landlord will take great care when picking an initial tenant and should exercise the same caution when deciding whether that tenant should be allowed to assign their lease to someone else. The difficulty with an assignment is that the circumstances in which consent can be refused are restricted by law, making it crucial to seek early legal advice, as Simon Ellis, commercial property lawyer with Ware & Kay in Wetherby & York explains. 'Most commercial leases will include a provision which prohibits assignment without the landlord's consent, and will prescribe the process the tenant needs to go through to secure this', says Simon, 'but what some landlords do not realise is that they can only refuse consent if they have very good reasons.' Refusal must be reasonable You can only refuse consent to…
17 July 2018 Employment advice

If you use self-employed contractors to deliver services for your business, then you need to familiarise yourself with the Supreme Court's decision in the Pimlico Plumbers case. In a stark warning to employers to get their contracts in order, and to ensure they reflect the reality of agreed working arrangements, the court ruled that a plumber who had been labelled as a self-employment contractor with no employment law rights was in fact a 'worker' with entitlement to a range of benefits, including paid annual leave and the right not to be discriminated against. Gill Wilkinson, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton explains the reasoning behind the decision and its implications for employers. Worker status - what the court decided To be a worker under employment legislation, the plumber needed…
11 July 2018 Employment advice

The financial pressures on the care sector are never out of the news for long. However, employers providing round-the-clock supervision or care to the elderly and infirm, vulnerable adults and young people are breathing a sigh of relief following a recent judgment on entitlement to the national minimum wage. Gill Wilkinson, employment law expert with Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton , explains that most workers who sleep during a 'sleep-in' shift are not entitled to the national minimum wage while asleep. Why is this significant? Employers in the care sector may need staff such as nurses and care assistants at night to be awake and active on the job as if it were a day shift.  This is known as working a 'waking night'.  Depending on the staffing requirements, employers may…
22 June 2018 Employment advice

References are a delicate area for employers; you want to be helpful to staff by providing references for them but you do not want to be held liable if you get it wrong.  Gill Wilkinson, employment law solicitor at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton clarifies whether you have to give a reference, your liability as an employer, what you can and cannot say and what to do when requesting a reference. Do you have to provide a reference? There is no legal obligation to provide a reference unless an employee's contract of employment states that they are entitled to one or the employee is employed in a regulated industry, such as the financial services sector.  You can refuse, but a refusal could be seen as discrimination if you normally give references and…
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