Statutory changes to Employment Law - April 2019

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Congratulations to Andy and Murihah

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We are delighted to announce that Andy Kerese and Murihah Ahmed have both been offered training contracts with the firm. Both commenced on the 1st June 2021, and both will continue working in the Family department for then next few months. Congratulations Andy and Murihah!

School Placements and Admissions for SEN children

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What happens when the Local Authority does not name the school or college of your choosing? For those with EHC plans there are specific rules relating to phased transfers where children either start primary school, move to secondary school or move to post...

Plugging the Annual Review process pitfalls

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In late 2019,  Emma Grimbly  (Education Paralegal) was working on numerous cases whereby Devon County Council were neglecting their duties to issue an  Annual Review Decision Notice within the required 4-week period and neglecting to...

Watkins Solicitors succeed in judicial challenge to local authority procedures for children with EHCPs

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A judicial challenge against Devon County Council brought by Watkins Solicitors on behalf of three children with special education needs has succeeded in the Court of Appeal this week. All three appeal judges agreed that there are important issues that the...

Should I get a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Briony Kingston
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We have been receiving many enquiries for Pre-Nuptial Agreements this week following the government’s announcement permitting weddings this Summer.   The breakdown of a marriage is not something we like to consider when planning a wedding,...

It is time to refresh HR policies and practices for 2021

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2020 was a tumultuous year with employers having to respond rapidly to the challenges of the pandemic. Culturally the world has shifted too, with the Black Lives Matter movement bringing momentum to improving equality and diversity at work. The end of the...

The problem with informal financial arrangements...

Briony Kingston
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Many divorcing couples are able to agree financial arrangements between themselves. This, in principle, is great. Talking sensibly and reasonably about the future and coming to an agreement during times of high emotion is certainly an achievement and it is...

Post-termination restrictive covenants - could these be banned?

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This is unlikely but The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has issued a consultation paper on proposed measures to reform post-termination restrictive covenants, namely to ban them or pay remuneration during the restricted period...

What is the status for SEN children during the national lockdown?

Paige Matthews
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As everyone will be aware the UK entered a further national lockdown on 5th January 2021, which resulted in the closure of schools across England and Scotland (schools in Wales are scheduled to return on 18th January 2021, however a further Welsh Government...

Employees with health affected by Coronavirus can be furloughed

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Updated guidance has now been issued by the HMRC which confirms that employees whose health has been affected by coronavirus or any other conditions, including if they are unable to work from home or work reduced hours can be furloughed.  This is not...

Furlough Scheme extended

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It’s official, the Furlough Scheme has now been extended until the end of April 2021 and the Government will continue to pay 80% of wages until the end of the Scheme (so this will not be reduced at the end of January 2021). For more information on the...

Working from home: wellbeing and mental health of employees

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While some people are enjoying working from home, this is not the case for everyone and the negative impacts over several months are taking a toll on some employees.  ‘Employers are unsure of their responsibilities for mental health and how to...

Workers also get protection from suffering a detriment on health and safety grounds including the right to be provided with PPE!

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Workers (not just employees) should also get protection from suffering a detriment on health and safety grounds including the right to be provided with personal protective equipment (“PPE”) held the High Court in the case of The Independent...

New rules on ACAS Early Conciliation

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New rules on ACAS Early Conciliation come into force today. There is now a six-week window to undertake this process (rather than a one-month process, with a possible extension of a further two weeks).  This means you get a six-week window to try and...

7 pitfalls to avoid when making redundancies

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As the Chancellor’s coronavirus job retention scheme enters its final phase and the prospect of a return to normal business seems distant for many companies, employers are having to contemplate redundancies if they are to keep their business...

Latest Furlough Guidance for Employers

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The Government have now released guidance for the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which essentially highlights that employers: Can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month; ...

Beverley Watkins featured in Law Society Gazette

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Managing Partner Beverley Watkins features in the latest edition of the Law Society Gazette, where she discusses representing three families in a test case in the Court of Appeal that could significantly impact on local authority procedures for children with...

Watkins Solicitors granted permission to appeal on behalf of 3 children with SEND

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Watkins Solicitors have successfully been granted permission to appeal in the Court of Appeal on behalf of 3 children with SEND in a judicial review that could significantly impact on local authority procedures for children with EHCP’s. The claims...

How Covid-19 could affect your property transaction

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We are aware of the media attention surrounding Covid-19 and whether it will impact on your conveyancing transaction. We are doing all that we can to ensure that we keep things moving along as smoothly as possible. The Law Society has issued a press...

What to do if you are an Executor or Administrator

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Have you recently been appointed as an Executor in a Will for a person who has died? Or has a relative died without making a Will and you wish to be the Administrator? If that is the case, you may not be entirely sure of what an Executor or an ...

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