Latest News

Data Protection Latest

You'd have to be living on Mars not to know that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now in force. Its strict provisions must be complied with (the penalties for failing are swingeing) and it is practically impossible to run any organisation or...

When Does Notice of Termination Take Effect?

Exactly when notice of termination takes effect can impact on an employee's entitlement to certain benefits or employment rights. In the absence of an express term in the employee's contract, if they are dismissed in writing and the letter is posted to their...

Landlords - Children Count Too!

When a landlord appealed against his prosecution for breaking a planning enforcement notice with regard to a house in multiple occupation (HMO) he owns, he used a rather novel argument to justify exceeding the limitation on the number of residents of the...

Debt Management Company Investigation Brings Bans

There was a certain irony to a recent report that the directors of a debt management company – set up to offer advice and assistance to those with debt problems – have been banned from acting as directors for a total of 23 years after action was...

Disability Discrimination - An Expectation to Work Long Hours

In United First Partners Research v Carreras , an employee who had returned to work after he was injured in a cycling accident claimed that a 'requirement' that he work long hours constituted a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) for the purposes of...

The Taxation of Termination Payments

The rules governing the taxation of termination payments have been tightened with effect from 6 April 2018 by means of legislation to amend Chapter 3, Part 6 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 . Hitherto, where the employee's contract of...

Oral Contract Existed as a Matter of Fact

When a decision is made as to what the facts are in a particular case, the judgment regarding those facts is normally accepted as not being able to be revisited in subsequent proceedings unless it was manifestly unreasonable or unfair, or subsequent evidence...

Software Company Fails to Lock Out Customer

One aspect of intellectual property (IP) rights that is often not given much thought, but which can be extremely important indeed, is what happens when a licence to use comes to an end. Much computer technology is supplied by licence (it is quite rare for...

Director Address Disclosures - Changes

Recent changes have made it easier for company directors to withhold disclosure of their private addresses in publicly filed documents. Prior to 2009, the usual residential address of all company directors was on file at Companies House in publicly...

Workplace Whistleblowing Protection

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 – often referred to as the 'Whistleblowing' Act – gives workers legal protection when disclosing information relating to crimes, breaches of legal obligations, miscarriages of justice, dangers to health...

Supreme Court Rejects Pimlico Plumbers' Appeal in Employment Status Case

There have been a number of recent cases looking at the precise nature of the employment status of those working for employers who like their operatives to appear to clients as their representatives but who operate a model of self-employment. One such 'gig...

Faulty Electrics Necessitate Lease Interpretation

Many commercial leases provide that the formal document represents the entirety of the agreement, superseding any prior agreements that may have been reached. An important Court of Appeal ruling has, however, made clear that such clauses do not preclude...

Do You Understand Your Duties as a Director?

Directors have a wide range of legal duties that do not always coincide with their own interests, and seeking expert legal advice is the best way of ensuring that these are performed. In one case in which that did not happen, two directors of a phoenix...

Small Family Company Overturns Pregnancy Discrimination Finding

Quite apart from any breach of sex discrimination law which might occur, it is automatically unfair dismissal if an employer dismisses a female employee for reasons connected with her pregnancy or the birth of her child. In determining whether or not a...

Guesswork Not Enough to Create Tax Liability

When HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) suspect serious tax evasion, they will normally launch a full-scale tax investigation into the person they suspect. They use many tools in such investigations and one of the more common ones is to compare the cost of a...

Agency Law Gives No Recourse to Dumped Software Reseller

Under law which originated in the EU, agents of firms have considerable protection if their agency is terminated, and can normally be compensated. This reflects the commercial reality that agents frequently make a considerable investment in time and money in...

One Reasonable Condition is Sufficient for Landlord

When a tenant wishes to assign a lease, it is usual for the landlord's consent to be required, and that consent can be withheld if there are sufficiently good grounds for so doing. In a recent case, a landlord was asked by a tenant to agree to the...

Bullied Transgender Shop Assistant Wins Compensation

There can really be no excuse for a modern employer not to have in place comprehensive anti-discrimination policies that are fully understood by all workers. In one case that illustrates the consequences of failing to comply with the law in this respect, a...

Are You Ready for the World Cup?

The 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup starts on Thursday 14 June with a match between Russia and Saudi Arabia. England’s first match, against Tunisia, is on Monday 18 June at 7:00pm. Employers should...

Failure to Address Expert Report Proves Costly

When a tenant of industrial land failed to adhere to a notice to quit the premises, the landlord brought a legal action under the law of trespass for its lost rental income – £12,000 per annum. The tenant did nothing and the landlord then...

Mental Health Awareness Week - Acas Guidance for Employers

This year, Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May), which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is focusing on stress. Whilst not a mental health problem in itself, stress can lead to depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. A recent...

HMRC Reliance on Guidance Not Justified

The various VAT 'flat-rate' schemes were originally set up with the ostensible purpose of simplifying the VAT process for those using them, while being essentially revenue neutral for HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A recent case dealt with a situation in...

GDPR - ICO Launches Awareness Campaign for Micro-Businesses

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Act 1998 and comes into force on 25 May 2018. The new law gives individuals more control over how their data is used, shared and stored and requires organisations to be more...

Breach of Contract Claim Defeated Quickly

Some breach of contract claims are stronger than others, but even groundless cases come to court sometimes. However, with skilled legal representation, these can be identified and defeated at an early stage. In one case on point, the High Court struck out a...

Settlement Agreements and the Date of Termination

Where there is an existing employment dispute, the communications that take place in order to reach a settlement agreement are normally subject to 'without prejudice' privilege under common law – i.e. they are inadmissible as evidence before the court...