Blog Archives

Sickness absence

Two recent court decisions have highlighted issues surrounding sickness absence, which provide some very useful guidance for employers when dealing with this issue. The first of these concerned the contractual status of absence procedures and the second a situation in which an employee was exaggerating the severity of an injury.

Absence policy incorporated in contract

In Department of Transport v Sparks and Others, the Court of Appeal upheld a finding that procedures in a staff handbook regarding absence management had been incorporated into the employees’ contracts of employment.

Read full article

TV Star Involved in Planning Dispute

Property and planning disputes between neighbours are a frequent occurrence, but when one of the parties involved is a well-known television personality then the dispute becomes much more high profile.

Comedienne and television presenter Sue Perkins has apparently found herself embroiled in a disagreement with her neighbours over their plans to build a bungalow in the garden of their current home, reports the Daily Mail.

Read full article

Trade Union Reforms Become Law

The Trade Union Bill, introduced by the UK Government in 2015, has received Royal Assent and is now the Trade Union Act.

The Bill was introduced after the Government announced a series of reforms last year that it said aimed to ensure strikes would only be able to go ahead as a result of a clear and positive democratic mandate from union members. Under the Trade Union Act, industrial action will only be able to take place when there has been a ballot turnout of at least 50%.

Read full article

Dispute Over Kensington “Beach Hut”

A bizarre property and planning dispute in London that has been ongoing for around four years looks set to continue, reports the Daily Mail.

The dispute is over a property in the exclusive area of Kensington that had been used as office space. It was bought for £4.7 million in 2012 by property developer Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring. She intended to turn it into residential property with a double basement containing a swimming pool, but was refused planning permission amid strong objections from neighbours.

Read More

Read full article

Suppliers Concerned over Debt Repayment Following BHS Administration

The news that high street retailer BHS has entered administration has been widely reported in the media, with speculation over the future of the thousands of employees who work there and concern over the existence of a possible pension deficit.

The Government has tried to provide a measure of calm by issuing a statement confirming that BHS is currently still open for business as usual. It added that there are no plans for immediate redundancies or store closures, and that the administrators are looking to sell BHS as a going concern.

Read full article

“…this does not affect your statutory rights” – an explanation

The last time you were in a shop you may have seen a sign at the checkout that sets out the store’s returns policy.  You may have also noticed that the sign will have had a fairly mysterious phrase, to the effect that the returns policy “does not affect your statutory rights”.  Whilst this may be some comfort, people may be hard pressed to explain exactly what this means.  This article aims to briefly set out the main rights that ordinary shoppers have if something goes wrong. 

Read full article

Employers Urged to Invest In Wellbeing of Employees

Employers are losing up to 27 days of productive time per employee each year as a result of high stress and lack of physical activity, new research has revealed.

The study, which was conducted by VitalityHealth, Mercer, the University of Cambridge and RAND Europe, found that productivity varies enormously between industries, with some sectors losing almost 27 days of productive time per employee compared to a national average of 23.5 days.

Read full article

Dispute over Ownership of the ‘Killie Pie’

A legal dispute has erupted between Kilmarnock Football Club and a local firm of bakers over ownership rights to the name of a popular football snack – the ‘Killie Pie’, reports the BBC.

The steak and gravy pie is sold at the club’s grounds and was apparently named the best pie in the Scottish Premiere League in 2015. Since 2003 it has been made by Brownings Bakery, and the company has now applied to trademark the name. According to the firm’s managing director, the name of the pie belongs to the bakery and they will be asking the football club to not use it anymore.

Read full article

Lack of Tenancy Agreements can Cause Disputes

As many as one in ten private landlords have no formal tenancy agreement in place with their tenants, according to new research by Direct Line for Business.

Worryingly, the research also found that where contracts are in place, landlords may unwittingly be asking tenants to sign documents that are not legally compliant. Of the landlords who don’t use a letting agent, 58% used adapted tenancy agreements from either old agent contracts or other landlords (38%) or an updated template they found online (20%).

Read full article

Changes to Succession Law in Scotland

Succession (Scotland) Act 2016

The recent Succession (Scotland) Bill has now been given Royal Assent to become the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016. It contains a number of technical changes to current succession law in Scotland and brings about the first major amendments to this area of law since the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964. There are more reforms planned by the Scottish Government, most notably to ‘legal rights’ however here we describe the most interesting and perhaps relevant changes implemented by the most recent Act.

Read full article