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Legal updates

How to claim compensation if you’re involved in a hit and run accident

9th October 2018

Whether you’re involved in a road traffic accident (RTA) as a pedestrian, cyclist or driver of a vehicle, the situation can be both very distressing and potentially fatal.

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Aretha Franklin dies without a will: what happens next?

9th October 2018

Soul queen Aretha Franklin sadly passed away recently at the age of 76, leaving behind an estate worth approximately $80 million, however according to court documents the music legend did not have a will in place at the time of her death, meaning that she died intestate.

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Breast screening programme failure

21st September 2018

450,000 women failed to get their letters inviting them for routine breast cancer check ups in breast screening programme failure.

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Personal injuries at festivals: can you claim?

22nd August 2018

With festival season in full swing and concerts taking place across England and Wales our team discuss the dangers of festivals and whether you can make a personal injury claim if you’ve been injured at one.

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Summertime personal injuries: what you need to look out for

22nd August 2018

The UK is experiencing one of its hottest summers in living memory and parks and gardens are full of people looking to make the most of the summer sun. Whilst the sunny weather can be the perfect time to relax and unwind, for some, it can spell disaster.

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The importance of having an LPA in place when you have dementia

30th July 2018

Ensuring you have a power of attorney in place is possibly one of the most important documents you can possess when planning your estate.

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Common Law Marriage: Facts and Statistics

24th July 2018

Many people in the England and Wales believe that partners who have lived together for an extended period of time have the same rights as a married couple, however, this is not the case.

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The law on constructive dismissal

18th July 2018

The law on constructive dismissal has been under the spotlight recently. Sometimes, employees claim constructive dismissal because of a ‘last straw’ which pushes them over the edge. The courts have recently considered whether a fair disciplinary process – no matter what the outcome – can ever be that ‘last straw’.

Ms Kaur was a nurse at Leeds Teaching Hospitals. She received a final written warning for inappropriate behaviour, which included an altercation with another member of staff. She appealed. When her appeal failed, she resigned claiming constructive dismissal. Her claim was based on the whole process, including the altercation and the disciplinary proceedings. She claimed that the ‘last straw’ was her appeal being rejected.

The Court of Appeal reviewed and clarified the law on ‘last straw’ constructive dismissal cases. Where there is a course of conduct which creates a serious breach of contract, the most recent act can revive earlier affirmed breaches. If Mrs Kaur had accepted earlier breaches by not resigning at that point, a new breach of contract could revive them. Theoretically, she could bring her constructive dismissal claim.

This case overrules the recent MacKenzie v Pets at Home case. It will be comforting for employers to know that Mrs Kaur’s case was struck out for having no reasonable prospects of success. The Court of Appeal confirmed that a fair disciplinary process can never form part of a serious breach of contract. As a result, the appeal decision could not be a ‘last straw’.

 

If you believe you may have been a victim of constructive dismissal, contact our employment and HR team today by calling 01625 507 506 or submit your enquiry via our contact form by clicking here.

Payslips

18th July 2018

The catchily named Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No.2) Order 2018 requires businesses to provide all ‘workers’ with an itemised pay slip. Previously, only employees were entitled to receive itemised statements. Workers will now have the right to bring an employment tribunal claim if businesses do not comply, and this extension of the right will now mean many people in the gig economy will be entitled to an itemised pay slip.

The new law comes after a recommendation by the Low Pay Commission in 2016 and following the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices. The change is aimed at ensuring that low paid workers can work out whether they have been paid correctly. The good news for businesses is that the new requirement is not scheduled to come in until April 2019. There is plenty of time to get the necessary systems in place. The change will not apply to wages paid for work done before this date.

ACAS guidance on overtime

18th July 2018

Most employers use overtime at some point, to satisfy increased demands such as a large order or an unexpected increase in work.  The new ACAS guidance explains the difference between voluntary and compulsory overtime. It also describes the two types of compulsory overtime:

  • Guaranteed overtime is where an employer has to offer overtime and the employee must accept it;
  • Non-guaranteed overtime is a halfway house where the employer doesn’t have to offer overtime, but an employee must accept it if it’s offered.

The guidance explains the importance of setting out clear terms in contracts of employment to avoid confusion. It also includes a reminder that overtime hours still count towards working time and the limits set by the Working Time Regulations. There are also helpful sections on using time off in lieu instead of paid overtime, dealing with part time workers and the impact of overtime on holiday calculations.

Find the guidance at www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4249