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Legal updates

12 May 2022 Employment advice

Did you know that the right to a statutory maternity payment is so enshrined within UK employment law that it is even payable where the employee is dismissed for gross misconduct? Once the eligibility criteria for statutory maternity pay is met the employee is entitled to receive it for up to 39 weeks. This is even if the employee is made redundant, leaves the job, is dismissed for gross misconduct or if a fixed term contract comes to an end at any time after the 15th week before the baby is due. Statutory sick pay is payable for up to 28 weeks. However, did you know that if an employee comes back to work for 8 full weeks having been off sick for 28 weeks then he/she would be entitled to a renewed…

Does your farm’s strategic planning include a lasting power of attorney? The agriculture sector is one of the riskiest to work in, with 23,000 people working in this industry suffering ill-health or a non-fatal injury each year according to Health & Safety Executive figures. As well as the hazards farmers face working with heavy machinery and vehicles, toxic chemicals and unpredictable livestock, they are also at risk when working at height, near pits or silos.  Farmers carry a heavy weight of responsibility on their shoulders, and if they become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for themselves, it could be catastrophic for the farming business. Risk management is part of every strategic plan, and Laura Carter, Solicitor & agricultural law specialist at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains why an increasing number of farmers…
05 May 2022 Family Matters

It is not uncommon for a divorcing couple to have some property in another country, whether this is a holiday home in the sun or the alps, a property in your country of birth, or an investment in commercial property or assets abroad.  ‘The term property in this context can cover houses, land or financial assets such as bank accounts or shareholdings in a business,’ explains Robert Bellhouse family law expert at Pearsons & Ward in Malton. ‘You or your spouse may hold this property jointly, or one or other of you may hold it in your sole name.  Either way during divorce the full detail of assets abroad must be disclosed.’ Valuation of foreign assets From a part share in a vineyard to your own Caribbean island, any assets abroad will be considered in a…
05 May 2022 Employment advice

Ralph had worked for his employers for 5 years He was part of the IT support at his employer, had a clean record and had even been employee of the year. However one day his world came crashing down when he was suspended and invited to an investigation meeting by his employer for: ‘’Inappropriate use of company property. In particular you have used the work laptop for none work purposes, namely watching pornography during work time. Breach of the company IT policy. In particular, accessing and downloading pornographic material onto the work laptop. The company alleges that the above allegations constitute gross misconduct.’’ So, what would be the correct approach by an employer in this scenario? Amongst the many weird and wonderful cases this is a scenario that I have found myself advising on. The employer…
05 May 2022 Employment advice

Family businesses have traditionally relied on what previous generations have always done in order to make a well-earned living. However, as the behaviour of the everyday consumer changes so have these once traditional enterprises. Many have already realised the benefit of technology, with the internet and mobile telecommunications at the heart of business growth.   However, have you ever thought about that next step? Scaling up? Taking on new employees so you can readily meet the new demands of your customers? What are the key employment law considerations when such growth happens?  In this article Kalpesh Nakeshree, Head of Employment Law at Pearsons & Ward in Malton touches on some of the more pertinent points to consider: Contracts of Employment Family who work for you could still be employees and in that regard there is…
28 April 2022 Employment advice

Sex Now that I have your attention…you find yourself curiously reading on and, for that, I thank you. Did you know that Sex is one of many protected characteristics contained within the Equality Act 2010? These characteristics are: Age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion of belief, sex and sexual orientation. Essentially this means that individuals who have these characteristics and feel discriminated because of these characteristics may have rights and claims against not only their discriminators but even those who are responsible for those perpetrators e.g. an employer. The topic of discrimination is expansive and each characteristic would merit an article in its own right. However, in this piece I want to touch on the characteristic of ‘sex’ and how this impacts the workplace. Q. What is the definition…
25 April 2022 Litigation

One of the most contentious aspects of rights of way is where there is a substantial increase or ‘intensification’ of use. This invariably happens when there is a change of use by the user of the right of way following redevelopment of land and buildings typically a conversion of a farm house and buildings to residential use or a farm diversification project such as a new camping and caravan site. If the right of way has been created by a legal document it will be an ‘express grant’ and how that right can be exercised will depend on the wording used in the document creating it. So for example if the grant says a roadway can be used ‘for all purposes’ a change of use of the land benefitting from the right of way is lawful…
14 April 2022 Employment advice

Farming families have traditionally relied on their land and livestock to make a well-earned living. However, as the behaviour of the everyday consumer changes so have these once traditional enterprises. Many in the primary sector have decided to supplement their income (and in turn their security) by diversifying their business to include farm shops, garden centres and, in some instances, magical lands filled with ice cream and fair ground rides. However, what are the key employment law considerations when such growth happens?  In this article Kalpesh Nakeshree, Head of Employment Law at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton, touches on some of the more pertinent points to consider: Contracts of Employment Family who work for you could still be employees and in that regard there is a legal requirement to provide a written particulars of…
07 April 2022 Family Matters

If your partner owned their home when you moved in together, then it is not uncommon to agree to pay all or most of the bills as a way of sharing living costs without the hassle of changing the mortgage paperwork or the legal title. When a relationship has broken down and you are contemplating separating, a key concern will be where you will be able to live, especially if you have children and have built a family home together over many years. ‘Your rights will depend upon your marital status and, if you are not married,  whether you have any formal agreement regarding the property’, explains Robert Bellhouse family law expert at Pearsons & Ward in Malton who outlines the various entitlements, and what steps can be taken to protect your interest. The immediate problem…
05 April 2022 Commercial property

As the national housing shortage continues, particularly in rural areas, development land is very much in demand.  You may even have been approached by a developer or promoter who is interested in your land. Property sales are never risk-free, with buyers able to pull out of a deal sometimes for the most incongruous of reasons. Many farmers negotiate a conditional contract to sell their development land which, as Andrew Little, agricultural law specialist at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains, provides some certainty for the seller that the land will be bought. A conditional contract is a contract between a landowner and a developer which will only be completed if the condition or conditions stated in the agreement happen. If the conditions are fulfilled, the developer is legally obliged to buy the land. A common…
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