Statutory changes to Employment Law - April 2019

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Watkins Solicitors' Keith Lomax (far-left) pictured with the parents and counsel Grainne Mellon (centre)

Huge win today for young people with autism in Cornwall against cuts to education funding

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A Judicial Review against funding cuts by Cornwall Council to college education for autistic young people concluded today, 11 December 2019, with a huge success. Full course funding has been restored, not merely for the September 2019 cohort but for...

Can you discipline staff members or even dismiss them for having a workplace relationship?

Kirsty Hunt
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On Monday it was confirmed that McDonald’s Chief Executive (Steve Easterbrook) had been dismissed for violating company policy because he had “demonstrated poor judgement involving a recent consensual relationship with an employee”. So, is...

BBC News interviews Beverly Watkins following successful tribunal ruling for her client against Bristol City Council

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Beverley Watkins appeared in an article published by BBC News yesterday, following a Special Needs and Disability Tribunal ruling in favour of her client, Nura Aabe and her severely autistic son Zak, against Bristol City Council. Asked for her reaction,...

Parliament Committee Report details key concerns with Children and Families Bill

Emma Grimbly
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Wednesday marked a vital step forward in ensuring the needs of children with Special Educational Needs are met. The first report published by the Education Committee on 23 October 2019, details key concerns regarding the implementation and funding of...

Beverley Watkins speaks at Developmental Language Disorder Unpacked

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Beverley Watkins, our Education Law Specialist, will be speaking at Developmental Language Disorder Unpacked, a workshop for parents of children with Developmental Language Disorder. The event takes place in Bath on 16 th October and is being run by...

Do you have the right to time off work when a family member or a pet dies?

Kirsty Hunt
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In recent news, Emma McNulty (18) was sacked from her job for taking a day off work when her beloved family dog sadly died. This has caused much discussion in the media about the right to time off work, particularly when suffering a bereavement. So do you...

BBC News covers our client's legal action against City of Bristol College

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Our client Nura Aabe and her son Zak are the subjects of a BBC News article following Nura’s decision to take legal action against the City of Bristol College, who used Zak’s appearance in a BBC documentary earlier this year to assess him for a...

Is Brexit affecting the Property Market?

Angela Dunlop
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Our Head of Conveyancing Angela Dunlop has considered this very question. There are concerns as to whether the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit is impacting on the property market in the UK.  Simon David, Law Society of England and Wales President...

Give your child the best gift in your Will... the gift of certainty by appointing a guardian

Terrie Ross
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Take a step back and put yourself into the shoes of your child. What stage of life is your child at? What is their personality like? What do they like doing? What do they not like doing? What is their favourite colour? What foods do...

Parent fined for daughter not taking part in end-of-term activities

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Magna Academy in Poole has been in the news today over the fining of a parent who refused to send her daughter to school to take part in two activity days at the end of the term. The regular timetable was suspended and replaced with the activities, some of...

ACAS Report demonstrates effectiveness of Early Concilliation process

Kirsty Hunt
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ACAS has recently published their annual report which confirms that the number of Early Conciliation cases has risen by 20% since last year, with just over a quarter of those cases going to the Employment Tribunal.  This report clearly demonstrates that...

Watkins Solicitors challenge cutbacks to SEN in Cornwall

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The Administrative Court in Cardiff has permitted a final hearing of Judicial Review proceedings to challenge the cutback of education for young people with special educational needs in Cornwall. 

Covert Recordings

Kirsty Hunt
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Can you discipline an employee for making a covert recording? The simple answer is yes! In the recent case of Phoenix House Limited v Stockman heard by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, it was confirmed that it is best practice for both employers and...

Concerns over school provision leading to rise in home education

Liz Smith
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The government recently held a consultation on home education, due to a growing increase in the number (estimated 57,600) of children and young people being educated at home. However, in its conclusion of the consultation response, the government does not...

10 things you should know at an Employment Tribunal

Kirsty Hunt
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1. What are Employment Tribunals?  Employment Tribunals are independent judicial bodies who resolve disputes between employers and employees over employment rights. They will hear claims such as unfair dismissal, breach of contract, discrimination,...

Shared Parental Leave

Kirsty Hunt
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Does it amount to discrimination if an employer enhances maternity pay but does not enhance pay for those taking shared parental leave?   No, held the Court of Appeal in the case of Capita v Ali and Hextall v Chief Constable of Leicestershire...

Ever seen what a judgment from the High Court looks like?

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Dr Keith Lomax, our Judicial Review Specialist, successfully brought proceedings against a local council in Huddersfield on behalf of his client, whose allotments were being seized. The National Allotments Society tried to join the proceedings, which they...

The Autism Act 2009 and 10 years on

Emma Grimbly
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The Autism Act 2009 was designed to bring about changes in the way adults with autism were treated by local authorities and NHS organisations. It is the only condition-specific legislation of its type in England and although references adults, has been...

Dr Keith Lomax

Parents successful in bid to challenge Wiltshire Council's plans to close local special schools

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Families in Wiltshire have been successful in their bid to challenge the Council’s proposals to close down three schools for children with complex needs and disabilities. Dr Keith Lomax of Watkins Solicitors in Bristol & Bath , who...

SEND Tribunal Update

Emma Grimbly
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The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal This Tribunal hears appeals about EHC needs assessments and EHC Plans as well as claims of disability discrimination. The number of appeals is on the rise; between 2018 and 2019 the Tribunal has seen...

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