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Legal updates

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…
27 May 2018 Employment advice

Settlement agreements are legally binding contracts in which one person, usually an employee, agrees to waive their rights to bring a claim in the employment tribunal or a court in return for another person, typically their employer, agreeing to do something, such as paying them a sum of money and agreeing to give them a reference. As Gill Wilkinson, employment lawyer at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton explains, used properly settlement agreements can be an effective tool for dealing with workplace problems in a discrete and controlled way: 'If you have an issue with an employee or someone else who works for you, negotiating a mutually acceptable resolution is often the best way to deal with things.  Recording the terms of that resolution in a settlement agreement ensures there can be no…
27 March 2018 Wills and estates

Planning ahead is the key to making life for you and your loved ones as easy as possible; this should include thinking about making a Will and Lasting Powers of Attorney. Making a Will There are many reasons to make a Will, including: 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.   Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) LPAs let you appoint people you know and trust to make decisions on your behalf and enables you to give guidance to those people on how decisions affecting you should…
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