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16 June 2020 COVID-19

Estimates suggest 375,000 property transactions have stalled because of the coronavirus crisis. Recent easing of restrictions means these sales can now progress. What if you were thinking of moving, but had not yet put your house on the market? Some agents are predicting a buoyant market as we come out of lockdown, on the basis that you could benefit from any pent-up demand. It is unlikely that the property market will return to normal straight away so there may be some challenges ahead. What the latest relaxation of restrictions means During lockdown, emergency regulations prevented people from leaving their homes except for a limited number of reasons. However, recent changes have extended these exceptions so people can move home. You may now visit an estate agent and would-be buyers can visit your property. Professionals can visit…
15 June 2020 COVID-19

The Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) has helped many employers keep their staff. But, the winding down of the CJRS and the grim economic forecast mean that employers may need a more flexible workforce and for many sectors, redundancies seem inevitable. Here, we outline alternatives to redundancy and sets out five key elements of a fair redundancy. You should check the Government website for the latest guidance in conjunction with this article, as the guidelines on the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are changing frequently.  Speak to your solicitor for specific advice for your business. Coronavirus job retention scheme extension The CJRS runs in its current form until the end of June. From July, ‘flexible furlough’ will allow employees to work part-time and be furloughed part-time. From August until the close of…
15 June 2020 COVID-19

If you are in the middle of getting divorced, or contemplating getting divorced, you may be worried about how the present COVID-19 pandemic will impact on your financial security after separation. If financial arrangements are disputed, how easy will it be to come to an arrangement and move on with your life? Naturally, people have concerns about whether it will be possible to reach an agreement with the various restrictions in place during the lockdown and of course, people are worried about declining asset values, reduced incomes and business uncertainty.’ Our family lawyers have embraced online communications We use all the latest technology to ensure our clients will not be left in financial limbo.  It is still possible to achieve a legally binding financial settlement, even during the pandemic.  We will consult with you over the…
15 June 2020 Firm updates

All our offices are now open for pre-arranged appointments where a telephone meeting is not possible. Contact us as normal by phone or email to arrange a meeting to discuss your matter but please bear in mind that many of our staff continue to work from home so we can only see you if you have pre-arranged an appointment. Our main priority at this time is to maintain a safe environment for our staff and visitors to our offices so we ask that you assist us with this by following the guidelines set out below. Covid-19 Workplace Risk Assessments We have carried out a Health and Safety Risk Assessment at each of our offices to ensure that we have appropriate arrangements in place. These include: Pre-arranged appointments with at least 30 minutes between each appointment…
07 April 2020 COVID-19

Unfortunately, alongside all the goodwill and community spirit which is coming to the fore during the current crisis, the coronavirus pandemic will also be seen as an opportunity for criminals and fraudsters. Action Fraud have advised that fraudsters will use any opportunity they can to take money from people. This includes exploiting tragedies and global emergencies and preying on the kind nature of people. Everyone needs to be extra vigilant at this time and watch out for scams such as these. 1. Tricking you into revealing personal information Watch out for suspicious and unexpected emails or text messages asking you to: update your details; click on a link to approve or validate something; or login to your account via a link. 2. Tricking you into handing over your bank card and pin number Take…
06 April 2020 COVID-19

Business owners should take advice from an expert commercial solicitor on specific contracts and how the issues set out could apply to their own business.  There are a number of sources of information on the internet that can be consulted for more general guidance some of which will be updated on a regular basis. General guidance can be found by navigating from the Government website. Sources of specific support are listed below in alphabetical order by topic and include: Accommodation providers Bank lending Business loan interruption scheme Business rates Business rates review Business rents Business support grant funding Businesses trading internationally Compulsory closure of businesses: www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close?utm_source=77e9a975-dcba-4146-b1f9-d36e8d01465f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-plans-to-enforce-closure-of-businesses-and-other-venues--2 www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance Corporate financing facility: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses#support-for-larger-firms-through-the-covid-19-corporate-financing-facility www.bankofengland.co.uk/markets/market-notices/2020/ccff-market-notice-march-2020 Data protection…
06 April 2020 COVID-19

The Government published ‘COVID-19 and renting: guidance for landlords, tenants and local authorities’ on 28 March 2020. This guidance gives details of measures to help renters during the current coronavirus crisis. It clarifies the proposals, which the Government announced previously, for a temporary ban on evictions. If you are a landlord, you may be worried about what will happen if your tenant fails to pay the rent and you cannot get your property back. Firstly, the guidance stresses that tenants should continue to pay their rent where they can and to discuss any problems with their landlord. Your tenant will still be liable for the rent during their occupancy and, if they are struggling financially because of the crisis, the possibility of missed payments and default increases; So, it therefore makes sense to address any issues…
03 April 2020 COVID-19

We are living in worrying times and while we are all anxious about the health risks arising from the coronavirus pandemic, there are additional concerns for parents of young children.  Alongside disruption to schooling and usual routines, there may be additional concerns arising from relationship breakdown, domestic violence or other family disputes. Juliet Walker family law expert at Pearsons & Ward in Malton takes a look at some of the frequently asked questions on the impact of the coronavirus on family law matters. You should check the Government website for the latest guidance in conjunction with this article, as the guidelines on the coronavirus (COVID-19) are changing daily. Q 1 - During the ‘lockdown’ should my children see their other parent? Michael Gove MP has confirmed that travel is permitted to allow children of separated…
03 April 2020 COVID-19

Since the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, the Government has responded with a raft of new measures to help employees and employers.  Although the circumstances are exceptional, employers need to take care that they comply with the usual employment law requirements. These changes have been pushed through quickly and it is uncertain how some of these will play out. Gillian Reid, employment law expert with Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby responds to some of the big questions arising out of these changes, with a focus on statutory sick pay and the new scheme to help employers avoid making their staff redundant.   You should check the Government website for the latest guidance in conjunction with this article, as the guidelines on the coronavirus (Covid-19) are changing daily and speak to your solicitor for specific…
03 April 2020 COVID-19

As the coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to wreak havoc across the world, the government is now advising everyone to work from home unless they absolutely cannot. For agricultural businesses, Covid-19 is particularly challenging given that if their workers fall ill or have to self-isolate, very few can carry out their duties from home.  When it comes to allocating sick pay for ill or self-isolating agricultural workers, the situation can be more complex than it is for other industries, as Gillian Reid employment law specialist at Pearsons & Ward in Malton explains. Most workers who are advised to self-isolate or have fallen ill with Covid-19 will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from day one if: they are classed as an employee and have done some work for their employer; have been ill for at least four days…
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