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Legal Updates

Employment Tribunal’s approach to Vegetarianism

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

A recent case in the Employment Tribunal looked at whether vegetarianism was a belief for purposes of Equality Act 2010. Under the Equality Act (the Act) religion or belief is a protected characteristic and this means that employers must not discriminate against a job applicant or employee on the basis of that belief or religion. It is often difficult for the Tribunal to assess whether a “belief” is covered under the Equality Act, so what do they look for? Under…

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Selling your property at auction

By | Legal Updates, Residential Property | No Comments

Television programmes like Homes Under the Hammer have raised the profile of property auctions. Although auctions still only account for two per cent of all property sales, some experts believe this proportion will rise. In an increasingly stagnant market, selling at auction may appear an attractive choice for sellers. If you are thinking about selling your property this way, there are some things you should consider first. Melissa Hackett, a residential conveyancing expert with MacDonald Oates LLP in Petersfield, looks…

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Challenging a deathbed will

By | Legal Updates, Litigation | No Comments

When Aretha Franklin died in August 2018 her family initially believed she had not made a will.  Certainly nothing had been prepared by her lawyer. It was not until months later while clearing out her home that three handwritten wills were discovered, two made in 2010 stored in a locked cabinet and one made in 2014 hidden under a pile of cushions.  Chaos ensued as nobody knew whether any of the wills were valid and therefore how much each of…

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More duties for landlords introduced by the Tenant Fees Act 2019

By | Legal Updates, Litigation | No Comments

Hot on the heels of changes in relation to stamp duty land tax, from 1 June landlords face another set of new rules under the Tenant Fees Act 2019.  This includes obligations relating to deposits, charges and membership of client money protection schemes. There are some transitional provisions which mean that in some circumstances the Act will not apply until April 2020 for existing tenancies. According to Ben Greaves, a solicitor in the Litigation Department at MacDonald Oates, a landlord…

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Termination Arrangements: Top Ten Tips

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

Below we consider 10 points that should be considered prior to terminating someone’s employment. 1.      Reason. Although it appears obvious to consider at the outset what is the reason for the dismissal, it is important to give this proper thought to ensure it is not unlawful or unfair. Certain dismissals are automatically unfair (e.g. dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy or whistleblowing) and there are 5 fair reasons for dismissal: Conduct, Capability, Redundancy, Statutory Restriction, or Some Other Substantial Reason…

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‘Reap what you sow’ – proprietary estoppel in a farming context

By | Legal Updates, Litigation | No Comments

This month has seen judgment handed down in the High Court case of Andrew Guest v David Guest and Josephine Guest, which is the latest in a line of farming proprietary estoppel cases, following Gillet v Holt, Thorner v Major and Suggitt v Suggitt amongst others. The legal framework for proprietary estoppel can be conveniently summarised by Lord Walker’s formulation in Thorner v Major where he stated that “most scholars agree that the doctrine [of proprietary estoppel] is based on…

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Update on reasonable adjustments

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Under the Equality Act an employer must take such steps as are reasonable where a provision, criterion or practice (PCP) puts a disabled person at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with those who are not disabled. This reasonableness test is objective and is to be decided by the Tribunal – which is unusual in employment law as Tribunals are not normally allowed to substitute their own opinion. The recent EAT case of Mrs M Linsley v HMRC looked at how…

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How to avoid a dispute arising from bailment

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From the hire of company cars to the shipping of goods, the term ‘bailment’ encapsulates one of the most common forms of legal relationship for those operating a business. Patrick Jenkins, commercial dispute resolution expert in our litigation department, says that ‘bailment is also a term which is often unfamiliar even to those who are unwittingly subject to its rules, that is, until a dispute arises.’  He explains the rules around this unfamiliar term and what can be done to…

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April 2019 employment rates and limits

By | Employment, Legal Updates | No Comments

Quick reference: Rates and Limits A guide to the current rates and limits. Most of the rates set out below are updated yearly. Maternity, paternity and adoption From 7 April 2019 Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay £148.68 per week     Sickness From 6 April 2019 Statutory Sick Pay £94.25   National Minimum Wage From 1 April 2019 Age 21 and upwards £7.70 per hour Age 18 – 20 £6.15 per hour Age 16 – 17 £4.35 per hour…

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Top tips for first-time buyers

By | Legal Updates, Residential Property | No Comments

The number of first-time buyers is at its highest for ten years, accounting for 51 per cent of the market despite rising prices and record deposits according to the Halifax.  If you are thinking about taking that first step onto the property ladder, the legal aspects of ownership may be the last thing on your mind.  However, taking a little time to think about these issues will help make sure your hard-earned money goes as far as possible, Rosie Taylor…

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