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Five Week Religious Festival Holiday Request Rejection = Held not Discriminatory.

Posted by on February 22nd 2017 in Employment

Five Week Religious Festival Holiday Request Rejection = Held not Discriminatory.

As an employer,  when faced with the task of approving or refusing leave for an employee to attend religious events or festivals,  it can often be difficult to establish what is, and what is not discriminatory.

The recent case of Gareddu v London Underground may carry some level of guidance for employers faced with such decisions.

Gareddu v London Underground

The claimant, G, a practicing Roman Catholic from Sardinia requested extended annual leave of 5 weeks each year in August to attend several consecutive religious festivals with his family in Sardinia.

G’s request for extended annual leave had been approved every year since...

Residential Property Update

Posted by on February 20th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

Residential Property Update

A reminder for Landlords entering into tenancy agreements in 2017:

The Energy Act 2011;

Since April 2016, tenants have been able to ask their landlord to make their property more energy efficient, if it has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Grade below band E.

From April 2018, it will be unlawful for Landlords to let buildings with EPC Grades F and G.

Landlords will need to give early consideration to efficiency of a building and quickly take steps to make energy improvements.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notices and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 / Deregulation Act 2015:

This legislation only applies to Section 21 Notices...

Stamp Duty on Second Homes

Posted by on February 20th 2017 in Blog Posts, Conveyancing

Stamp Duty on Second Homes

What is Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Stamp Duty Land Tax (‘SDLT’) is payable to H M Revenue & Customs where chargeable consideration is given in return for property or land – this is not limited to purely monetary consideration. 

SDLT on main residence:

In general, for residential property purchases, SDLT is payable at the following rates on your MAIN home or residence:

  • Up to a price of £125,000.00: 0% of the purchase price
  • The next £125,000.00 (the portion from £125,001.00 to £250,000.00): 2% of the purchase price
  • The next £675,000.00 (the portion from £250,001.00 to £925,000.00): 5% of the purchase price
  • The next...

Review of Fees in the Employment Tribunal

Posted by on February 6th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Following the introduction of fees for Employment Tribunal claims, there has been a greater fall in the amount of claims being issued than was ever predicted. In an ongoing consultation, which will end on the 14th March 2017, the Ministry of Justice are proposing to raise the income threshold to £1250 per month, with anyone earning less being entitled to fee remission and potentially being exempt from fees. The proposal is to introduce types of proceedings which will be exempt from fees such as complaints relating to payment from an insolvent employer’s National Insurance Fund. A rise in the amount...

New Leasehold House-Solicitors Maybe Negligent for Failing to Advise on Ground Rent

Posted by on February 3rd 2017 in Blog Posts

New Leasehold Houses have become increasingly common although it is often difficult to see any real benefit for the purchaser.  There have been a number of instances recently where the ground rent has started at a low level but the freehold has been sold and the new freeholder has demanded large sums, in some cases thousands of pounds, for the purchase of the freehold.

Nicholas Johnson a Partner and Professional Negligence Specialist at Kitsons says.

“New Leasehold houses are increasingly common.  It is clearly part of a conveyancing solicitors duty to understand the ground rent mechanism...

New Leasehold Houses: The Trap

Posted by on February 2nd 2017 in Blog Posts, Conveyancing

New Leasehold Houses: The Trap

When a buyer purchases a freehold property, they own the property outright, including the land it lies on. The purchaser of the freehold property is responsible for maintaining the property and the land.

With a leasehold property, a purchaser enters into a lease of the property with the freeholder for a defined period of time. In respect of leasehold houses, the term is usually between 250 and 999 years. In theory, when the lease ends, ownership returns to the freeholder. However, in reality this rarely happens as leaseholders have legal rights to extend their lease term or to purchase their freehold.

As...

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Posted by on February 2nd 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Subject to Parliamentary approval, gender pay reporting legislation looks likely to come into force in April 2017. The legislation will require private and voluntary employers with 250 or more employees (as of 5 April 2017) to publish calculations outlining the pay gap between their male and female employees in an attempt to start to address the gender pay gap. It is expected that the obligation to report will include the public sector by April 2017. Current Office for National Statistics figures show that the current gender pay gap in the UK for full time workers is 9.4%.

It is important to...

Kitsons Announce Sponsorship Renewal

Posted by on January 27th 2017 in Blog Posts, Kitsons News

We're delighted to announce our sponsorship renewal with the fantastic Rowcroft Hospice Sleep Walk event, taking place on the 8th July.

The evening will see over 2000 ladies walk in aid of Rowcroft across Torbay, who are an incredible charity helping those with life limiting illnesses, to receive comfort and care. Not do they focus on the individual, but also the family and friends around them.

Many of us would have come into contact with Rowcroft in some way and I am sure you’d all agree of their excellent service, in making a loved one calm and cared...

Sexist Workplace Dress Codes under Criticism by MPs

Posted by on January 26th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Sexist Workplace Dress Codes under Criticism by MPs

London Receptionist, Nicola Thorp, brought a parliamentary petition which gained over 150,000 signatures when she was sent home without pay from her job at Price Waterhouse Coopers for refusing to wear high heels.  She was employed through Portico (an employment agency), which set out some stringent work wear guidelines, including those relating to thickness of hosiery and the shade of nail polish.

Following widespread public outcry, an inquiry was launched by the parliamentary committees for Petitions and for Women and Equalities. The inquiry produced a report entitled High Heels and Workplace Dress Codes (the ‘Report’).

The Report considers the work wear guidelines...

What happens when there is no space on the bus?

Posted by on January 24th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

What happens when there is no space on the bus?

FirstGroup Plc v Paulley [2017]

Almost five years since he was first prevented from boarding a bus, because the wheelchair space was occupied by a non wheelchair user, Mr Paulley has successfully, only to a limited extent, won his appeal at the UK Supreme Court. Mr Paulley’s original claim was based on his opinion that FirstGroup had failed to make reasonable adjustments to its policies and they were in fact contrary to the Equality Act 2010. The policy in place required the driver to request that a non-wheelchair user gives up the space for a wheelchair user but,...