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Legal updates

20 March 2018 Wills and estates

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…
03 March 2018 Employment advice

There have been some significant cases in employment law recently, with further developments expected this year as several ongoing cases work their way through the appeals system.  There are also increases to pay rates and new rules on tax and national insurance contributions due to come into effect in April. Gill Wilkinson, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton summarises some of the recent cases of note concerning the gig economy and entitlement to paid holiday and provides an overview of the expected April changes. Gig economy Cases affecting the rights of individuals working in the gig economy hit the headlines in 2017, as individuals described as self-employed sought to argue the right to be recognised as workers with entitlement to certain employment rights, including paid holiday. These cases…
10 February 2018 Employment advice

The average British worker takes 4.4 days' sickness absence every year and minor illnesses such as coughs and colds are often cited as the reason.  However, more days are lost on average to more serious complaints such as back, neck and muscle pain. High levels of sickness absence can lead to reduced production, low staff morale, increased costs and poor customer service.  For small employers in particular this can be very disruptive.  Gill Wilkinson employment law solicitor at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton advises what steps you can take to reduce sickness absence within your organisation. Sickness absence policy You should have a sickness absence policy in place so that employees understand what is expected of them.  It should set out your arrangements for sick pay and for reporting and managing sickness…
02 January 2018 Employment advice

Many businesses rely on foreign nationals to fill skills shortages in the UK and to help get new ventures off the ground. However, recent measures aimed at reducing net migration may make this more complicated going forward.  For businesses reliant on foreign workers, the time has come to consider if the costs of recruiting outside of the UK outweigh the benefits. Gill Wilkinson, employment lawyer at Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton looks at the rules on employing foreign nationals, obtaining a business visa and setting up a business in the UK.  She also looks at how to challenge decisions refusing foreign nationals entry to the UK or permission to remain. Employing foreign nationals You can employ many categories of non-UK nationals without special permission. These include those with indefinite leave to…
25 December 2017 Wills and estates

For many of us, the start of a New Year is an opportunity to remember the events of the previous year and to consider plans for the future. Whilst it probably wouldn't be the first thing you think of, it may also be a good time to think about making a Will for the first time or reviewing an existing Will. Some of the reasons you may want to think about your Will are: 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   If you already have…
09 November 2017 Employment advice

Goodwill may be in short supply when you start to receive a flurry of holiday requests for the Christmas and New Year period or if winter travel disruption leaves you short staffed. The Christmas party could also end in more than just a hangover if clashes between co-workers result in claims of assault, if unwanted attention leads to allegations of sexual harassment or posts on social media damage your reputation. Gill Wilkinson, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton explains how planning ahead for the festive period can help to reduce any risks to your business. Holiday requests Some employers take a first come, first served approach to holiday requests for the festive period, but this may not be seen as the fairest approach, particularly if you also have…
04 November 2017 Employment advice

Employment tribunal claims for disability discrimination can lead to the imposition of huge financial penalties for employers.  It therefore pays to be aware of your responsibilities to disabled persons under the Equality Act 2010. From determining whether it is discriminatory to ask a job applicant about their health and abilities, through justifying a refusal to allow a disabled worker to opt out of shift working, to dismissing a disabled employee for high rates of disability related absence - consideration of the law relating to disability discrimination is needed at all stages of the employee life-cycle. Gill Wilkinson, Employment Law Specialist at Ware & Kay Solicitors in York, Wetherby & Malton , outlines the key principles and ways to reduce the risk of claims. What is a disability? For the purposes of the Equality Act, a…
27 October 2017 Employment advice

The issue of how to calculate holiday pay has rarely been out of the news in the last few years with a steady stream of case law on the topic.  This time we turn our attention to an issue on which there has been little guidance: voluntary overtime. Gill Wilkinson, employment law specialist at Ware & Kay in York, Wetherby & Malton , advises on whether you should include voluntary overtime in your holiday pay calculations. Compulsory overtime In Bear Scotland Ltd v Fulton 2014 the Employment Appeals Tribunal decided that employers have to take into account compulsory non-guaranteed overtime payments when calculating holiday pay in respect of the four weeks' annual leave given by the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR).  So, if you do not guarantee overtime but your employee must work it if…
20 October 2017 Financial advice

What do the last few months of the year have in store for investors? 2017 has so far been interesting, to say the least. We have all become much better at expecting the unexpected; experience has certainly taught us that. Many investors are getting used to a variety of political, financial and economic factors and hopefully learning to look through the 'noise' to focus on what really matters. What we do know is that market volatility will continue and areas of value exist, which makes asset allocation a key tool when planning your portfolio. A HEALTHY INVESTOR APPETITE Investors started the year confidently as the 'Trump reflation rally' continued from the tail end of 2016. Although fading a little more recently, global equity markets hit all-time highs in the summer with over $10 trillion added…
17 October 2017 Financial advice

The average household in Britain is currently enduring the lengthiest dip in disposable income for six years. Cash-strapped consumers are struggling with the combination of lacklustre growth in their wages, which is providing modest support to disposable incomes, and inflation, which is taking its toll on the pound in their pocket as the cost of everyday items increase. Recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed real household disposable income fell by 1.1% per head in the second quarter of 2017, meaning disposable incomes have declined for four consecutive quarters, marking the longest period of negative growth since the tail end of 2011. The data from the ONS coincides with a study1 disclosing that for the first time in two years, households said they thought their personal financial situation had deteriorated. This perception will…
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