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Legal updates

06 May 2021 Employment advice

While the predicted lockdown baby boom has not materialised and the birth rate is similar to 2020 (down just 0.5%), family caring responsibilities have been more evident in the last year as home-schooling affected many families and some children even made an appearance in professional video-calls. Employers need to be familiar with family-friendly rights and the impact of the pandemic on parents and pregnant workers. Gillian Reid, Head of Employment with Pearsons & Ward reminds employers that ‘not complying with family-friendly rights can lead to expensive and time-consuming tribunal claims.’ Gillian Reid runs through the main family-friendly rights and protections, including rights in a redundancy situation and the implications of furlough arrangements, as well as highlighting employer responsibilities to protect pregnant employees during the pandemic. What are the key rights to family-friendly leave? Regardless of length…
19 April 2021 Employment advice

The statutory definitions of the three categories of employment status have long been criticised as being unclear, and over the years a body of case law interpreting these definitions has grown up. Despite this, it remains difficult to set out a definitive list of criteria to allow employers or employees to determine whether an individual’s status is that of employee, worker or self-employed. The Supreme Court in Aslam v Uber [2021] recently gave useful guidance on the approach that should be taken, particularly with vulnerable workers, emphasising that it is the actual arrangements on the ground that matter and not what the contract says. ‘To add to the confusion, the definitions of employee and worker vary depending on the various rights,’ says Gillian Reid, a Solicitor in the employment law team with Ware & Kay. ‘The…
12 April 2021 Wills and estates

The horrendous death rates of the coronavirus pandemic have brought one’s own mortality into sharp relief, leading many of us to consider getting our affairs in order in case the worst should happen. The first step in this regard is to make a Will to ensure your property and belongings are distributed according to your wishes when you pass away. If you die without leaving a valid Will it means you have died ‘intestate’ and the law decides who gets what, regardless of need and your relationship. Leaving a Will is particularly important if you are from a farming family as you may also want to ensure the continued success of your business. For example, you may want to pass the farm to a specific child who has continued working on the farm while their siblings have moved…
12 April 2021 Family Matters

Following separation parents usually want to minimise any disruption to their children, ensuring that they soon settle into a new routine - whether that is in the existing family home, or following a move to a new home.  Where your children will live may be an obvious or straightforward decision, for example if one parent works abroad or has a job which makes it difficult to accommodate childcare.  For other families, the decision can be complex especially if parents feel strongly that the children should continue to reside with them. If you find yourself in this scenario and fear that an agreement will never be reached, then it is wise to obtain early expert legal advice on the best way forward.  Robert Bellhouse at Pearsons & Ward in Malton has a wealth of experience and can…
01 April 2021 Family Matters

Following the introduction of civil partnerships in 2005 and same sex marriages in 2014, there has been an increase in families and then relationship breakdown between same sex parents.  Finding agreement over issues relating to children can be tricky in any relationship breakdown. When a same sex couple separate it can raise several unique additional questions regarding arrangements for children and each person’s legal rights when children may be adopted, the parents may benefit from surrogacy or sperm donation, or one partner may have children from a previous relationship. Robert Bellhouse, a Solicitor in the family law team with Pearsons & Ward in Malton looks at some of the steps and considerations same sex couples need to bear in mind in relation to agreeing future arrangements for children. Reaching agreement together In any family breakup, if…
31 March 2021 Residential property

According to the Bank of England, the biggest issue for most first-time buyers is insufficient savings.  Last year saw a sharp jump in the average amount of a deposit required to get a mortgage, with some people having to provide a deposit equivalent to a full year’s salary. To help tackle this problem, the Government is introducing a new mortgage guarantee scheme until December 2022. Here Philip Taylor, a Licensed Conveyancer in the residential property team with Pearsons & Ward in Malton, looks at the latest proposal and other ways to help you buy your first home even if you only have a small deposit. The 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme During the pandemic, lenders have tended to ask for large deposits and 95 per cent mortgages have virtually disappeared. The new mortgage guarantee scheme…
19 March 2021 Family Matters

Families now come in all shapes and sizes, and children may live with parents who are cohabiting, married, separated or divorced. They may be part of a step-family, live with adoptive parents, grandparents, other relatives or a special guardian. If you have spent many years living with and developing a close bond with a child, you may be concerned that your ‘parental’ status is not formally recognised and you may worry that you could be excluded from key decisions in the future. Robert Bellhouse, family law expert at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains that parental responsibility is a legal concept defined by the Children Act.  ‘It determines all the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities and authority that a parent of a child has in relation to the child and their property.’ Whoever has parental…
10 March 2021 Family Matters

As part of any discussion regarding family finances following divorce, it is important to consider pensions.  As Robert Bellhouse, family law expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton explains, this is particularly so if compared to your former spouse you only have a very modest pension of your own or perhaps no pension at all. ‘In many cases it may be possible to obtain a share of your former spouse’s pension pot in order to address any inequality in entitlement’, explains Robert Bellhouse, ‘but it is important to seek legal advice early to determine whether an application to the court is appropriate and, if it is, to ensure that any order made is fair’. When can a pension be shared? The court can make a pension sharing order where legal proceedings are issued to resolve the…
10 March 2021 Litigation

The Government has recently published guidance on a breathing space for debtors that will come into effect on 4 May 2021: The Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020. As a creditor, if you are told that a debt owed to you is in a breathing space, you must stop all action related to that debt and apply the protections. These protections must stay in place until the breathing space ends. There are two types of breathing space: a standard breathing space and a mental health crisis breathing space. Both have the same effect to prevent creditors from taking action to recover qualifying debts while the Regulations are in force. A standard breathing space is available to anyone with a problem debt and will give them legal…
10 March 2021 Events

Free Employment Law Update Webinar Thursday, 29 April 2021 at 10.30am – 11.00am Register for your FREE place About this Event Join our 30 minute Employment Law Update webinar, when Gillian Reid our Head of Employment from Ware & Kay Solicitors will provide an essential update to all employers and HR professionals on the latest employment legislation. The seminar will include a discussion of key issues, such as: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage Statutory Benefits Tribunal Compensation Gender Pay Gap Reporting Guidelines for Injury to Feelings Awards IR35 Post Employment Notice Pay This is the first Employment Law Update of 2021 so don't miss out.  You may register for your FREE place today. (Be aware that this session will be hosted over Zoom). To join either use the link…
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