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Legal updates

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…
02 April 2020 COVID-19

Given the situation in the UK with regard to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Government is urging parties involved in home moving to adapt and be flexible, and to alter their usual processes. Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Property with Pearsons & Ward, outlines the key points from the latest advice released on 26 March 2020. Click here to read the Government announcement. Buying and selling homes during this stay-at-home period There is no need to pull out of a transaction, but we all need to ensure we are following guidance to stay at home and away from others at all times, including the specific measures for those who are presenting symptoms, self-isolating or shielding. Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be the priority. Moving into an empty property Where the property…
31 March 2020 COVID-19

Pearsons & Ward is based in Malton, and although the office is closed to the public we have robust plans in place to minimise any disruption and to protect our clients, our staff and the wider community.  Our staff are fully equipped for homeworking, and can be contacted by email and telephone, or through our online contact form. Solicitors from our office have already been advising existing and new clients on reviewing and making Wills during the pandemic.  We can send you a questionnaire to complete and return to us, followed by a conversation by telephone or video call.  We will then send you the draft Will by email or by post, respond to any queries you have, and then post you the original Will with instructions for you to sign this at home.  The law…
25 March 2020 COVID-19

Landlords and tenants of residential property are already likely aware that evictions of residential tenants are soon to be suspended for at least the next three months. What has been less well-publicised is that the Government is also bringing forward emergency legislation to prevent many, if not most, evictions of commercial tenants. The text of the new Coronavirus Bill can be found here. Section 82 will have a large impact on commercial landlords and their tenants. The Bill is currently making its way through Parliament and may be changed. It is likely to come into force very soon. The Bill as it stands will suspend landlords’ right to forfeit the lease and take back their property because of non-payment of rent until at least 30 June 2020, with power to extend this. It appears that…
19 March 2020 COVID-19

With more cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), being reported in the UK each day, employers will be wondering how to handle the issue especially as they may need to react fast if a situation develops in the workplace or if there are concerns about the health of a particular employee. Gillian Reid employment law expert at Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby, advises employers to get prepared with some sensible precautionary measures and highlights where to keep up to date on the latest guidance. The best way for employers to keep abreast of the current advice is by visiting the following websites regularly: Government guidance for employers and businesses This website, with information from Public Health England and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, provides guidance on: the novel coronavirus, COVID-19; how to help…
19 March 2020 Commercial property

It can come as something of a shock if someone is always strolling across your land without permission and you find that you have no right to stop them because they actually have a legal right to be there. Andrew Little, commercial property law expert at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton, explains how such legal rights of way or easements can be made by express grant, implied grant or by prescription. An express grant is where the right is spelt out in writing, usually in a deed at the time of sale of the property. An implied grant may not be specified in any deed but is implied by law; they usually arise if someone could not access their property if the easement was not granted. Easements by prescription are ones which can be particularly prevalent…
10 March 2020 Residential property

The Rented Homes Bill had its first reading on 22 January 2020. The first thing the Bill does is to abolish assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England. ASTs were created by the Housing Act 1988 to strengthen the rights of landlords and increase the supply of private rented accommodation. An AST is a type of assured tenancy; its advantage from the point of view of a landlord is that, in addition to the grounds for seeking possession that are available to all assured tenancies, possession may also be obtained using the procedure set out in Section 21. The advantage of an AST for a tenant is the possibility of referring excessive rents to a rent assessment committee. The demise of the AST is intended to ‘reset the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and…
06 March 2020 Employment advice

April brings with it the usual annual increases to the national minimum wage and statutory pay for family-friendly leave and sickness absence. But the effects of Good Work: the Taylor review of modern working practices, published in 2017, are still being felt and changes are being introduced to protect vulnerable workers in increasingly flexible business models. As Gillian Reid, employment law expert with Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby explains, changes to IR35 tax rules are also expected along with the introduction of the right to parental bereavement leave. A raft of measures designed to protect vulnerable workers also come into force. Gillian rounds off with a word on Brexit. Employers should prepare for changes on the following dates:  From 1 April 2020 Increase in the national living wage for workers aged 25…
05 March 2020 Wills and estates

What is a trust? A trust is a legal arrangement where individuals are chosen (known as Trustees) to look after assets for the chosen beneficiaries.  Trusts can take effect during a person’s lifetime or alternatively, they can be incorporated into Wills which take effect on death.  This article focuses on Will Trusts.   Circumstances where a Will Trust would be beneficial Most of us are unaware of the various ways in which setting up a Trust in a Will can help safeguard assets and protect beneficiaries including existing family members and also future generations.  Some key uses of Will Trusts are set out below: Vulnerable beneficiaries. This could be relevant if the beneficiaries of your estate are physically or mentally disabled, are insolvent or have issues with substance abuse, for example. Setting up a Will Trust…
05 March 2020 Wills and estates

What is a Will? A Will is a legal document setting out what should happen to your assets after you die.  To be valid, a Will must be executed in accordance with certain legal formalities.  If you make a Will with Ware & Kay, we ensure that these formalities are complied with. Do I need a Will? If you have assets at present or you at least expect to acquire assets in the future, the answer is yes.  In any event you should make a Will if you have minor children, to make provision for their future needs.  A carefully drafted Will prepared by one of our legal experts would establish your wishes clearly and minimise the risk of disputes and distress caused to your loved ones following your death. What happens if I die…
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