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Archive for the: Blog Posts category

Advance Care Planning

Posted by on January 28th 2016 in Blog Posts, Private Client

Marjorie Creek

At Kitsons we understand that people with life limiting conditions such as advanced cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), heart failure and Motor Neurone Disease, are increasingly being advised by the NHS, Macmillan and hospices, to think ahead and make decisions about how and where, they would like to be cared for, when they are no longer able to communicate for themselves.

We see that the need for advance care planning is becoming ever more pressing and that people increasingly want us to make the connection, between what they are being told by their health care professionals and the impact of...

Private Messages in the Workplace

Posted by on January 21st 2016 in Blog Posts, Employment

European employers are now permitted to read private messages sent at work

Private messages sent via chat software and e-mail accounts during working hours can now be read by European employers, the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) has ruled.

In the judgment of Barbulescu v Romania (handed down on Tuesday 12 January 2016), the ECHR explained that an employer who read a worker’s Yahoo Messenger chats which were sent during his contracted working hours, acted within the scope of its rights as an employer, without violating Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights i.e. the right to respect...

ACAS Guidance - Legal Highs

Posted by on January 14th 2016 in Blog Posts, Employment

ACAS has released new guidance for employers on the increasing use of “legal highs” and the possible effect that they may have on employees and the workplace.

Background

Legal highs are substances which emulate the effect of illegal drugs when they are taken, but are not in fact categorised as illegal themselves. The drugs have a wide range of effects on users, and have now found themselves a very firm spot in the drug market. In fact in 2014 alone, in England, Scotland and Wales, a total of 129 individuals died in situations involving psychoactive substances.

Worryingly, the number of legal highs...

How To Reduce Your Inheritance Tax Bill

Posted by on January 5th 2016 in Blog Posts, Private Client

“We all want to see a system where it is only the very rich that pay inheritance tax, and not hard working people” – these were the words of David Cameron.
 

Despite these intentions, an increasingly large number of people will leave their loved ones with a hefty tax bill when they die.  The current “IHT” threshold is £325,000 and the additional nil rate band will not begin until the 6th April 2017 at £100,000 increasing in £25,000 increments annually, up to £500,000 in 2020/2021. Anything over these limits is subject to a 40% tax bill.   How then can you...

LASPO 2012 Exemption in Insolvency Proceedings to End

Posted by on December 17th 2015 in Blog Posts, Insolvency

With considerable disappointment across the insolvency community, the Government announced on 17 December 2015 that the current exemption from the provisions of LASPO 2012 for insolvency proceedings will come to an end in April 2016.

This exemption allows certain costs such as the uplift in a Conditional Fee Agreement and the adverse costs insurance premium to be recovered from the losing Defendant. In non-insolvency related proceedings the provisions of LASPO 2012 meant that such costs are no longer recoverable from the Defendant, leaving the successful claimant would have to fund those costs themselves.

From April 2016, the same rules will apply in...

Managing Affairs For Someone Else With Lasting Powers of Attorney

Posted by on December 16th 2015 in Blog Posts

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are approximately 850,000 men and women in the United Kingdom who suffer with dementia, 40,000 of whom are under 65. The likelihood of developing dementia increases significantly as we age; 1 in 14 people aged over 65 in the UK that now suffer from the condition. Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia - whether it's you or someone you're close to - is almost always a life-changing experience. As time goes by, an increasing amount of adjustment is required for the person suffering mental incapacity and those caring for them.

The management...

Equal Pay Day 2015 - Where Are We Now?

Posted by on November 9th 2015 in Blog Posts, Employment

Monday 9 November 2015 marks this year’s “Equal Pay Day” – a day wholly designed to highlight the difference in pay between men and women across the country.

Falling in or around the start of November each year, statistics released in accordance with 2014’s Equal Pay Day stated that on average, women were being paid £2.53 per hour less than men, and that in general, the UK had fallen out of the top 20 countries in the world for gender equality.

The key question therefore arises - one year on (and now 45 years on from the introduction of the Equal Pay...

The Importance Of Social Interaction In The Workplace

Posted by on October 28th 2015 in Blog Posts, Employment

The Importance Of Social Interaction In The Workplace

I recently tweeted an article from “Management Today” about business owners looking after themselves, and the fact that the health of the business owner is integral to the health of the business.

This article got me thinking, and as I spend every day looking at people management issues it is easy to spot people who have stopped looking after themselves, believing that the good of the business is more important than their own wellbeing, whether that is their own business or they are working for someone else. The article specifically referred to diet, rest and exercise, as you would...

Important Changes to Section 21 Notices

Posted by on September 21st 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation, Property

Residential Landlord and Tenant

The Deregulation Act 2015 (“DA”)  received its Royal Assent on 27th March and has changed the law regarding how landlords can use a section 21 notice.

The main changes come in on 1st October 2015.

One of the aims of the DA was to prevent landlords using Section 21 notices to evict tenants in retaliation for complaining about the condition of the property.

The new laws now state that from 1st October, if the landlord serves a section 21 notice on a tenant in response to complaining about the condition of the property, the tenant can report the matter...

Travel to First and Last Clients of the Day is Deemed Working Time

Posted by on September 15th 2015 in Blog Posts, Employment

In Federacion de Servicios Privados del sindicato Comisiones Obreras v Tyco Integrated Security SL and another, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered whether time spent travelling by workers without a fixed office should be regarded as working time.

Background

Tyco (comprised of Tyco Integrated Security SL and Tyco Integrated Fire & Security Corporation Services SA), a company which installs and maintains security systems at customers’ premises in Spain, shut down its regional offices in 2011, assigning all of its employees to one central office in Madrid.

Due to the nature of the company’s work, employees are required to travel to various locations...

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