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Posts by: Ruth Rogers

Beth Holden joins Donald Race & Newton’s conveyancing team

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Donald Race and Newton are delighted to announce that local solicitor Beth Holden has joined its conveyancing team. Beth brings with her a wealth of experience in property and private client work.

Beth will be based at our Hargreaves Street office in Burnley’s town centre, and she can be contacted on 01282 433241 or at eah@drnlaw.co.uk.

Employment Tribunal Fees review

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The government’s review of tribunal fees is underway.

Broadly speaking,  it will look at the effect that the introduction of fees has had and will consider other factors that influenced trends in the number of tribunal  cases brought. The review will also make recommendations for any changes to the structure and level of tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal fees.

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DRN welcomes Nick Cassidy

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We are delighted to welcome senior solicitor Nick Cassidy to DRN. Nick joins our criminal law department and is based at our Hargreaves Street office in Burnley.  With a wide client base, Nick has represented clients from all over the country, and has a particular interest in preparing and defending large scale drug conspiracies and frauds.

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Be careful what you ask for!

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Under the Data Protection Act it is now a crime to ask someone to exercise their subject access rights to reveal data held about them by someone else and to reveal that data to a person. In other words, you could be prosecuted if you ask an employee, a job candidate or a contractor, for example, to request and disclose information about their convictions and cautions.

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Eggstra problems for Easter

This entry was posted in Employment Law on by .

By Matthew Finley, director and Head of Employment.

Being a movable feast, Easter keeps us on our toes. And that’s certainly going to be the case for some employers over the next few years as they’ll have to accommodate employee’s eggstra days off. Here’s why:

If you run an April to March holiday year and your contracts provide for 20 days’ annual leave plus bank holidays (of which there are eight) then the dates in which Easter falls mean you’ll have to do some adjusting. This year, Good Friday and Easter Monday fell on 3 April and 6 April. Next year, they’ll be on 25 March and 28 March. Two Easters fall within one holiday year. But in 2017, Easter returns to April.

So for the holiday year 2015/2016, there will be ten bank holidays. Conversely, in 2016/2017 there will only be six bank holidays. In that year, therefore, some employees will need to allow two extra day’s leave to ensure that employees get eight, rather than six, public holidays. If that doesn’t happen, five-day-week employees will not be getting their statutory minimum 28 days’ annual leave entitlement.

So what to do? Well, you could simply top up leave as we’ve described. Or you could think about changing your holiday year to January to December. Or you could even look to make some contractual changes to provide for 28 day’s leave inclusive of public holidays. Be mindful though that changing employee’s contracts is a delicate process. It will need to be planned out and navigated very carefully; something we can help you do.

If you would like to discuss this, or any other employment issue, then contact me on 01282 433241, or send us an on-line enquiry, and one of our team will get back to you.

Obesity can be a disability

This entry was posted in Employment Law, News on by .

After some speculation, the decision is in: the effects of obesity can sometimes amount to a disability.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) reached this conclusion following a referral from a Danish court in Kaltoft v Billund. The case concerned a childminder who claimed that his obesity was a factor in his redundancy.

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Holiday Pay Claims

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You won’t have missed the headlines in the newspapers announcing that workers can sue their employers for £millions in holiday backpay claims, going all the way back to the 1990s.

In the UK, we normally calculate holiday pay based on a worker’s basic salary – but we don’t normally include overtime, commission or similar payments. A series of recent judgements have made it clear that European laws (which normally trump UK laws) require employers to factor in overtime and commission payments – and anything else a worker would normally receive if they were working – so they are not dissuaded from taking holiday by being paid less when on holiday than when at work.

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Pensions auto-enrolment

This entry was posted in Employment Law, News on by .

January 2015 delivers another important date in the ongoing auto enrolment timetable. We’re in the middle of a staged introduction of this pensions initiative which requires employers with at least one employee (meeting certain criteria) to automatically enrol them into a pension scheme. The largest employers should already have done it. On January 15th, it’s the turn of employers who have 58 PAYE employees. More staging dates will follow.

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Christmas Opening Hours

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Our offices will close for the Christmas Holidays on 23rd December 2014 at 12.30pm and will reopen at 9am on Monday 5th January 2015. Appointments will be available on the 29th and 30th December by prior arrangement.

On behalf of all staff at Donald Race & Newton, we would like to wish all our clients a  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

DRN Supporting Young Carers this Christmas

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Donald Race and Newton are once again supporting the fantastic young carers of Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale this Christmas. Staff and Directors are digging deep to provide numerous Christmas presents to the young people in the local  area who care for a family member who has a mental health, alcohol or substance misuse problem.

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EAT Ruling – Overtime Should Count in Holiday Pay

This entry was posted in Employment Law on by .

Workers have won the right to be paid regular overtime as part of their holiday pay following a landmark ruling at the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)yesterday.  The European Working Time Directive, brought into UK law in 1998, says that workers should receive their ‘normal’ pay when they take annual leave. Whilst employers have previously interpreted ‘normal’ pay to mean basic contractual pay, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled that UK companies have misinterpreted the Directive and have calculated holiday pay incorrectly by ignoring any overtime regularly worked by an employee.

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DRN Commercial – first class advice for first class businesses

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DRN Commercial has celebrated the 18th month anniversary of the opening of its new office on the Network 65 Business Park. The office, which provides specialist commercial advice to businesses, was launched in Spring 2013 to meet the increased demand for its business related services. David Rogers, director at DRN and head of the commercial litigation department, said ‘We have been delighted by the success of the new office, our clients value the fact that we can provide the same expertise as they would receive from a city firm, but with the personal service and affordability of a high street firm – all on their doorstep’.

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Employment tribunal claims slump

This entry was posted in Employment Law, News on by .

The Law Society have announced plans to examine the reforms of the employment tribunals process following a dramatic reduction in the number of claims since fees were introduced in July 2013. Following the introduction of the fees, applicants now wishing to mount a claim for unfair dismissal have to pay an application fee of £250 to lodge their claim, followed by a hearing fee £950 fee to have the matter adjudicated (although exemptions are available in certain circumstances where payment would cause financial hardship).

Figures recently published by HM Courts & Tribunals Service showed that the number of tribunal claims received between April and June 2014 was down 71%on the same period in 2013. The dramatic reduction in claims has caused many to question whether the reforms are hampering many workers’ and employees’ access to justice  The chair of the Law Society’s Employment Law Committee, Laurie Anstis, said ‘Unless you take the extreme position that 70% of tribunal cases in 2013 were spurious, it is hard to deny that there is a big group of people today who cannot enforce their rights’.

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DRN secures membership to prestigious Law Society scheme

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We are delighted to announce that DRN has been awarded membership to the Law Society’s prestigious Wills and Inheritance Quality Scheme. Membership of the scheme is only awarded to practices which can demonstrate the highest standards of technical expertise and client service.

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High Court criticise legal aid residency test

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The High Court has criticised the government’s plans to exclude anyone from accessing civil legal aid where they have not acquired  twelve months’ lawful residence in the UK.

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