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What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of deciding how an individual’s assets will be managed and distributed when they either become incapacitated or pass away.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one can be a challenging time for those left behind, so ensuring that the right processes have been put in place, whilst you are alive, can help your loved ones manage your estate should you become incapacitated or once you have gone.

Just some of the things to consider when putting your estate plan together are:

How can Estate Planning benefit you?

Protection for beneficiaries

Having a clear plan of action in place allows you to outline who you would like your beneficiaries to be. It also allows you to state how you wish to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries, meaning that you can, if done correctly, pass assets over in a tax-efficient manner.

Without estate planning in place, it could be left to the court to decide what happens to your assets and who benefits from them, which may go against what you would have liked, as well as be a time consuming and expensive process.

Protection of young children

Knowing you have estate planning in place gives you peace of mind should you have young children as it allows you to name who you would like to become their legal guardians. It also allows you to outline how you wish your child be cared for, should you or your partner pass away before your children turn 18.

Importantly, estate planning can also prove particularly helpful in creating unique plans tailored to any specific needs your child may have relating to their health, education and general wellbeing.

Without estate planning in place these decisions could be left to the court to decide.

Reduce Inheritance Tax burden

The estate planning process can protect your wealth while you are still alive and after you pass away.

Estate planning can ensure that you protect your assets against the impact of Inheritance tax and can help you to minimise the amount of tax that would be payable by your estate when you die.

It allows you look at how to pass on certain aspects of your estate and assets whilst still alive and decide on the most tax efficient methods for distributing your estate when you die, to ensure your beneficiaries receive the greatest benefits.

There are many different ways to do this including; gifts, leaving a legacy to charity, establishing Trusts, adding to a pension or even spending your wealth now.

Help loved ones avoid disputes

Family life is often not straightforward and can sometimes involve disagreements. Estate planning can help you minimise potential disagreements between family members, as it clearly sets out how you would like your estate managed when you pass away or are incapacitated.

When estate planning you will designate Executors who will administer your estate and facilitate your wishes once you are gone. Just some of the things your executors are responsible for are:

Having appointed executors should alleviate family tensions and conflicts and hopefully avoid any legal action, as your executors will ensure everyone is aware of exactly what they are entitled to and who will benefit from your estate.

Talk to Tollers

These are just some of the benefits of estate planning, each plan is tailored to the individual and their estate and may encompass other elements. This is why it is important that when putting your plan in place you seek out the best possible professional and legal advice.

For further advice and guidance on Estate Planning and how to put this important set of documents in place…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and our experienced Trusts and Estates team will happily assist.

find out more here on Estate Planning.

In order to protect your business it is vital to understand restrictive covenants and how to use them in your employment contracts.  An ex-employee who possesses insights into your classified data, customers, and suppliers could become a substantial liability if they join a rival company or launch their own competitive venture. Therefore, when creating and negotiating employment contracts, consider what restrictions you would like to place on your employees or consultants if they resign, the contract ends, or are terminated. Including restrictive clauses that your employee or consultant has agreed to in writing could provide your business with legal protection and help you enforce these restrictions if the employee attempts to breach them.

In this blog, our specialists in Employment Law and Dispute Resolution have collaborated to answer frequently asked questions regarding the advantages of restrictive covenants in an employment contract and the process for enforcing them if issues arise.

  1. What are restrictive covenants?

Regarding an employment contract, restrictive covenants (also called post-termination restrictions) are a common feature of employment contracts and can help protect your business through periods of staff turnover. They are intended to survive the end of the employment relationship and prevent those employees from compromising your business interests by, for example, setting up a business in direct competition with you, going to work for a company that operates in direct competition with you, attempting to solicit your clients, customers or staff, or divulging trade secrets or confidential information.

  1. How do restrictive covenants work?

Drafting restrictive covenants requires careful consideration. These covenants should be specific, tailored to the role and go as far as is reasonable to protect your business interests. You should decide on a timeframe for the restrictions to apply, which may typically exclude any garden leave or notice period and geographical scope, such as a ten-mile radius of your premises. It is also essential to update the restrictions if an employee is promoted or starts a new position in your company to ensure that the covenants apply to their current job role. If an ex-employee breaches these covenants, they may be liable to a claim for breach of contract, and you may be able to recover losses incurred as a result of this.

  1. Why are restrictive covenants important for employers?

Restrictive covenants can provide businesses and employers with legal protection, covering matters such as:

  1. Are there different types of restrictive covenants?

Yes, there are various types, including non-compete clauses (which prevent ex-employees from working for competitors), non-solicitation clauses (which restrict solicitation of clients), and non-disclosure clauses (which prevent the sharing of company secrets).

  1. Are restrictive covenants enforceable?

Standard contract clauses restricting an employee’s activities after employment ends are typically invalidated due to their conflict with public policy and being viewed as a form of trade restraint.

Therefore, the enforceability of any restrictive covenants is fact-specific to each case.

  1. What should an employer do if they suspect a breach of a restrictive covenant clause in an employment contract?

If a former employee breaches legally binding restrictive covenants, the former employer can resort to specific measures to remedy the situation. One of the first steps includes sending a cease-and-desist letter to the former employee, detailing the alleged breach, and requesting compliance with the covenant in issue. Typically, the letter will specify a deadline for a response.

If a former employee does not respond or refuses to comply, the employer may need to consider legal action. Legal remedies could involve filing for an injunction to prevent ex-employees from committing further breaches and commencing a claim for damages for the losses the employer has suffered due to the breaches by the employee.

  1. Can the dispute be resolved without legal action?

In most cases, it is advisable to attempt to resolve the dispute through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like mediation. This can save time and costs compared to litigation. It is also important to note that the courts typically view those who do not attempt to resolve disputes through ADR unfavourably when it comes to deciding who should pay costs at the conclusion of any court proceedings.

Remember, pursuing a claim for breach of restrictive covenants can be legally complex and should be approached carefully. It is crucial to seek legal advice and representation from specialists in this area of law to protect your interests and rights as an employer.

Legal Advice for Employers in Stevenage, Corby and Northampton

At Tollers, our employment lawyers in Stevenage, Corby and Northampton are experienced in assisting former employers in pursuing ex-employees who breach their restrictive covenants. We can advise on whether the restrictions you seek to rely on are enforceable and, with our experience, can help you protect your business from further damage caused by an ex-employee’s breach of such restrictions.

Should you require further information or assistance, please get in touch or contact us on 01604 258558 or complete the form below.

Robust Employment Support with Tollers HR

At Tollers, we understand the invaluable role your employees hold, along with the potential challenges they present. Hence, we have designed Tollers HR – a tool tailored to facilitate confident, cost-efficient HR management. Let us shoulder your HR responsibilities while you concentrate on what you do best – running your business. Our dedicated solicitors are here to provide you with personal, hands-on support, helping you navigate any employment law challenges that may arise. Utilising our legal teams for your outsourced HR solution ensures you can have peace of mind knowing that the advice and support you receive is legally protected and backed by regulated professionals who understand the intricacies of employment law.

Some of the key benefits of this service include:

Tribunal and Damages Claims: Specialist Indemnity Scheme Protecting Your Business

In partnership with a leading specialist insurance provider, the Tollers’ HR indemnity scheme covers tribunal costs and awards of up to £100,000 per case. We do not self-insure, which means we can cover all areas of potential claims, including discrimination. Our indemnity scheme is an essential safeguard against the unexpected costs of a Tribunal claim and can take away the temptation to settle a case on a commercial basis. Furthermore, it can protect against the cost of pursuing damages claims and injunctions, such as breaches of restrictive covenants. With Tollers’ HR indemnity, employers can have peace of mind, knowing they have a robust defence against legal uncertainties.

Robust Representation: Expert Guidance When You Need It

When faced with a Tribunal Claim or the need to pursue damages, Tollers is here to support you. Our professional and ethical advice can be critical to achieving successful outcomes, allowing you to focus on your business operations.

Navigating Employment Tribunals or Breach of Restrictive Covenant claims can be daunting and involve a specialist legal process that can prove complex, time-consuming, and costly. Tollers HR insurance indemnity can protect your business against the uncertainty of these costs, covering the expenses associated with Tribunal proceedings or legal actions against former employees.

What sets us apart is the expertise of our solicitors, who bring a wealth of experience in handling Tribunal and damages claims and a deep understanding of your unique case, thanks to your affiliation with Tollers HR. This insight allows us to meticulously prepare your case, and should you choose, we can even represent your business throughout the entire process, providing steadfast support from the initial stages to the final hearing.

Anytime Advice Line: Direct to Solicitor Support at Your Fingertips

Enjoy peace of mind with our ‘direct to solicitor’ service, exclusively available to Tollers HR members. Our experienced employment law solicitors are just a call away, providing reliable support and advice whenever you need it on everyday employment matters and general inquiries.

Find out more ….

These are just a few of the benefits available and the protection covered by the Tollers HR insurance indemnity. Tollers HR package ensures you and your business get hands-on support and legal advice for all Human Resource issues from our specialist employment law solicitors. Click the link to find out more about Tollers HR.

Are you unsure on whether to buy a property in 2023/2024? The looming end of the temporary relief on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) may be the reason to think about this now and save yourself thousands of pounds!

The SDLT threshold increase to the rate announced in September 2022 has provided the opportunity for many first-time buyers to get on the property ladder. The savings made by first-time buyers has helped them to increase their deposit and to pay a reduced amount of tax on a home that costs more than £425,000.

However, be aware, that the SDLT threshold is coming to an end on 31st March 2025.

SDLT thresholds will return to the previous levels in just 18 months. This means that from the 1st April 2025 the cost of a property on which homebuyers start paying stamp duty land tax will return to the previous level of £125,000 from £250,000 and to £300,000 from £425,000 for first-time buyers. For example:

Current SDLT rate on a standard freehold property purchase, UK resident/main residence:

The SDLT homebuyers pay when buying a freehold property for £350,000 before 31st March 2025 deadline is calculated as follows:

SDLT rate from 31 March 2025 on a standard freehold property purchase, UK resident/main residence:

The SDLT homebuyers pay when buying a freehold property for £350,000 after 31st March 2025 deadline is calculated as follows:

Homebuyers who complete before the 31st March 2025 deadline could save as much as £2,500 in SDLT.

The deadline is fast approaching and homebuyers need to be aware that a residential property transaction takes an average of 12 to 16 weeks to complete.  Therefore, any property completion date that falls after this deadline could result in a significant tax burden.

If you are currently considering buying a residential property, planning ahead may be the right approach to reduce the risk of paying higher SDLT and missing the deadline.

Whether buying or Selling a property getting the advice and guidance you need is invaluable. For all your property needs…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258101, our experienced conveyancing teams are on hand to guide you through.

The Statutory Legacy has increased for a Spouse when a person passes away without a Will.

When a person passes away without a valid Will in place, their estate passes in accordance with what is called the “Intestacy Rules”.  Many people would assume that when they pass away if they have a surviving spouse or civil partner, then their estate would automatically pass to them, however, this is not the case.

The “Statutory Legacy” is the specific sum given to the surviving spouse or civil partner of a deceased person, who has died without a valid Will in place, and has children.  From the 26th of July 2023 after a review took place, the amount of Statutory Legacy received under the Intestacy Rules increased from £270,000 to £322,000.

This therefore means that if the deceased has a spouse or civil partner and has children, then the first £322,000 of the deceased’s estate passes to the surviving spouse or civil partner, along with the personal possessions, and then half of the residuary estate (the remainder of the estate minus deductions).  The remainder of the residuary estate is then shared equally between the children of the deceased.

This law doesn’t apply to those who are cohabiting together, or living as common law spouses, regardless of the time together.  For the rules to apply, you must be married or in a civil partnership on the date the first partner passes away.  There may also be inheritance tax implications if your entire estate doesn’t pass to your spouse or civil partner, as the spouse exemption cannot be claimed.  It is also important for those with blended family arrangements to ensure the beneficiaries of your choice inherit from your estate.  For example, if your estate is below the £322,000 Statutory Legacy, then without a valid Will in place, only your spouse would inherit from your estate and your children would not.  This may not be your wish if the spouse is not the parent of your children.

Therefore, to ensure that your estate passes where you wish and that your family and beneficiaries are protected, we strongly advise drawing up a Will.

For further advice and guidance on Statutory legacy and how to put this important document in place…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and our experienced Trusts and Estates team will happily assist.

find out more here on making a Will…

Tollers is proud to announce its support for Lakelands Hospice, Corby and Garden House Hospice, Letchworth as our chosen Charities of the Year for 2023/24. We will not only be fundraising for these hospices but will also be looking to make a difference in a more hands-on way of volunteering across the coming months.

Lakelands Hospice, Corby

Lakelands Hospice provides emotional and practical support for adults with life-limiting illnesses within a 20-mile radius of the hospice’s location in Corby, Northamptonshire. Their nurses facilitate Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and Heart Failure courses for patients referred by GP’s, District Nurses and Hospitals. They also have a team of nurses who provide Hospice at-home services supporting patients who want to pass away in their own homes within the last two weeks of life.

Lakelands is an independent daycare hospice and does not receive any Government or NHS funding. It relies entirely upon charitable donations.

Lakelands Hospice is particularly close to the hearts of the staff at Tollers after it supported one of our own, Amanda Marlow, during her battle with cancer; a battle she sadly lost in November 2022.

Garden House Hospice, Letchworth

Garden House Hospice Care provides specialist palliative care for patients, families and carers facing life-limiting illnesses, enabling them to have the best possible quality of life by providing care and support in the setting of their choice, without discrimination.

Their team offers physical, emotional and spiritual care. It is available for people living in North Hertfordshire, Stevenage and surrounding towns and villages in Central Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire and they support hundreds of people every year.

To find out more about our chosen charities of the year, the vital work both hospices provide, to make a referral or to make a donation:

Click here to visit Lakelands Hospice Corby.

Click here to visit Garden House Hospice Letchworth.

Tollers are proud and excited to support these fantastic organisations this year, and hope you will join us in showing them support.

The government introduced the Renters (Reform) Bill (‘the Bill’) to Parliament on 17 May 2023 proposing significant reforms to the residential letting sector in England. Some provisions also affect Wales.

The Bill is likely to be subject to change as it passes through parliament and the purpose of this update is to highlight some of the possible changes coming down the road and what these could mean for landlords.

The changes will affect new residential tenancies other than purpose-built student accommodation.

The key points in the Bill are:

Rent increases

Currently a landlord can provide mechanisms for reviewing or increasing the rent to avoid the statutory regulation of rent increases. The Bill will prohibit landlords from increasing rents other than by serving a statutory notice, and only where the market rate rises. Tenants will be able to challenge the rent increase. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) will continue to hear those challenges and will determine the correct market rent. The Bill also includes a requirement for landlords to give at least two months’ notice before increasing rent and rent increases will only be permitted once a year.

Abolishing fixed-term tenancies

Fixed-term tenancies will be abolished and tenancies can only be periodic. The period can be no longer than one month. Tenants will be able to end their tenancy by giving two months’ notice (unless the parties have agreed to a shorter period) or a landlord can provide evidence for a valid ground of possession. Note that a fixed-term tenancy of more than seven years cannot be an assured tenancy.

Abolishing assured shorthold tenancies (‘ASTs’)

ASTs have been the standard form of tenancy granted by private landlords in the residential property market since they were introduced in 1997. The Bill will abolish them. New residential tenancies are likely to be assured tenancies.

Abolishing ‘no fault’ possession notices

As a consequence of abolishing ASTs, the mechanism to end quickly and at no fault (by the landlord serving a section 21 notice), also falls away. Existing fault-based grounds can be used to end a tenancy. These will require service of a notice specifying a particular ground for possession and then, most likely, a court hearing.

New grounds for possession
Property Ombudsman

The Bill proposes a new “property ombudsman” who can deliver binding decisions in landlord-tenant disputes (including payment of compensation), and these decisions can be enforced just like court orders. This will be free to tenants and funded by landlords. Private landlords will be required to join this scheme.

Written statements

Landlords will have to provide tenants with a written statement, including terms of the tenancy before the tenancy starts.

Pets

Tenants will be given a right to request permission to keep a pet in their home, which cannot be unreasonably refused (although landlords can require the tenant to maintain pet insurance or cover the landlord’s reasonable costs for doing the same). A decision must be given within 42 days.

Penalties

Various financial and criminal penalties will be introduced for landlords who breach their obligations. For example, if a landlord uses the new possession ground to move a family member into the property and subsequently lets the property within the prohibited three-month window, the local authority may impose a financial penalty of up to £5,000 (which may be recurring if the contravention continues for more than 28 days) or prosecute for a criminal offence.

If the abolition of ASTs and ‘no fault’ notices become law, investment landlords are likely to want to see a commitment by the government to introduce court reforms to provide an effective mechanism to remove tenants who are withholding rent payments. In any event, Landlords will need to consider the increased legislative burdens and costs of these proposals.

Talk to Tollers

We will provide more updates on the Renters (Reform) Bill as it progresses through parliament.

If you are a landlord and would like more information on how the Renters (Reform) Bill could affect you and the properties you own and rent…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, our experienced Commercial Property experts are on hand to guide you and provide the latest updates on the progress of the bill.

Reducing conflict in family matters is vital.  For many years the family court has encouraged family law solicitors to adopt a more constructive and collaborative approach to how they deal with the resolution of family issues compared to other courts.  This is because it has been found that trying to resolve matters in a way that minimises conflict between the parties is likely to lead to better outcomes for the family in the long run.  Many family law solicitors agree to act in line with a code of conduct and are members of an organisation known as Resolution which supports this approach.  The courts are continuing to develop this approach in many ways.

We have now passed the one-year anniversary of the change to the divorce law in England and Wales which removed the need for separating couples to make any allegations against one another when they were seeking a divorce.  Since April 2023 anyone wishing to divorce has been able to simply file an application online through the divorce portal stating that their marriage has broken down irretrievably to start the divorce process.

Changing the process in this way has undoubtedly allowed some couples to avoid the difficult confrontation or negotiation that previously arose following the breakdown of their marriage in deciding who would petition whom and on what basis.  It has also stopped the rush to get in first with the divorce petition to gain control of the process.  Between April and December 2022,  22% of the divorce applications issued under the new law were issued on a joint basis, something that was not possible previously.

As part of the changes, the court also took the opportunity to review and change some of the legal terminology affecting the divorce process.  Petitioners became Applicants and the Divorce petition is now the divorce application.

Recently the Family Solutions Group published a paper called “Language Matters” which addresses the effect of legal terms used in the family court.  They have recommended that the terms used be looked at again to minimise their impact.  The language used can stoke a combative mindset and some terms such as “opponent”, “judgement” and “dispute” create the suggestion of an environment that is far from collaborative.  Instead, they suggest the use of the parties’ first names in documents and the discussion of resolution in more constructive terms.

Talk to Tollers

Tollers family solicitors will always aim to minimise conflict in dealing with your family matters as far as possible.  If you require assistance and would like to look at ways of reducing conflict…Talk to tollers on 01604 258558,  our experienced family team is on hand to guide you through and facilitate you.

We would all like to imagine that we will always be capable of managing our affairs, but what happens if through mental or physical impairment we cannot?  Planning ahead is essential and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs) are a vital part of the process.

The Trusts and Estates team at Tollers is experienced in assisting and guiding our clients through the process of making an LPA to ensure their wishes are respected.

Here they answer some common questions concerning Lasting Powers of Attorney:

Q: What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A: A Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’) is a document appointing a person (an ‘Attorney’) to manage the affairs of another person (the ‘Donor’) and can continue to have effect  even when the Donor has lost mental capacity.

Q: Are there different types of LPA?

A: Yes – there are two different types of LPA:

Lasting Power of Attorney for finance and property:

The Property and Financial Affairs LPA usually relates to dealings in respect of the Donor’s house, bank accounts shares etc.  It can remain in effect if the person it relates to loses mental capacity at a later date.

If someone owns a business or has an interest in a business they can also make an LPA to appoint a suitable person to make decisions concerning their business interests when they are unavailable or lack mental capacity.

Lasting Power of Attorney for health and care:

The Health and Welfare LPA relates to decisions such as where the Donor lives, life-sustaining treatment, medical decisions, medication and social care.

Q: When can an individual make an LPA?

A: If someone has mental capacity they can make an LPA at any time.  If they lack mental capacity then someone else cannot make an LPA on their behalf instead, an application would need to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.

Q: Can an LPA be used as soon as it has been signed?

A: No.  An LPA must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (the government body that administers LPAs) before it can be used.  An application would normally be made when all parties have signed.

Q: Are there safeguards?

A: The advantage of an LPA is that the Donor chooses the people to manage their affairs (the Attorneys).  The Donor can also include within the LPA binding instructions or non-binding advice for their Attorneys.  There is also provision for family members to be notified that the LPA is being registered.

Q: Can the Donor still manage their own affairs?

A: If an LPA is in place the Donor can still manage their own affairs provided the Donor has mental capacity.  If the Donor loses mental capacity the appointed Attorneys will then take over the management of the Donors affairs.

Q: What happens if the Donor dies?

A: If the Donor dies the LPA automatically comes to an end.  The Attorney should send the original LPA and the death certificate to the Office of the Public Guardian as soon as possible.

For further advice and guidance on how to put these important documents in place…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and our experienced Trusts and Estates team will happily assist.

More information can be found here.

As a Business Owner, Director or Partner it is important to ensure that you have a Business Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place that protects your interests should you become incapacitated in any way.

If you do become incapacitated either through illness or you lose the ability to make decisions, a Business LPA will allow you to appoint a legal representative who can assist with your business dealings and ensure business continuity even if you are unable to work or are absent from the business for any reason.

A Business LPA protects your business from being exposed to risk and it can cover all manner of situations.

Have you ever thought about who would pay salaries, deal with bills, sign cheques, approve and deal with many of the day-to-day activities that you, as a senior member of staff, deal with and take for granted should you be unavailable to do so?

Most Businesses have a Continuity Plan in place that covers essential requirements should something happen that would prevent the business from operating.  These might include provisions in terms of computer systems, telephony, networking, and off-site backup, as well as more general areas such as flood, fire and even epidemic.  Each business has its own unique continuity plan, but they all have the same goal to ensure the least amount of disruption and ensure the business can continue to operate with the minimum of disruption.

As part of a Business’s Continuity, they may also make provision for what would happen if one of the key decision makers was incapacitated, but this is not always the case.

How would your business continue to function should you be incapacitated in any way?  Is this covered in your continuity plan, articles of association or a partnership agreement?  Do you need a Business LPA?

Company Directors

Depending on the size of your business and its structure, provision may have been made that deals with incapacity in the Articles of Association.  The most common provision in large companies is for the termination of a director’s appointment if he or she loses capacity.  If your business does not have this or a similar provision or if you feel it may be discriminatory, a Business LPA could be an alternative to consider which allows you to appoint a proxy should you lose capacity.

As a Sole Director, it is not as straightforward.  The loss of capacity of the Sole Director would result in no one in a position to run the business – this is where a Business LPA can help make clear your wishes.

General Partnerships

If you are a Partner, your Partnership Agreement may cover what would happen if you were incapacitated – it is always good to check to ensure that the provision is adequate as you may feel that an LPA is needed.  If this is the case it is important to ensure that advice is sought to guarantee that any clause included is not discriminatory and that the LPA you wish to put in place does not conflict with the provisions already made in your current agreement.

Limited Liability Partnerships

If you are a Partner in a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), it may be that you operate under an Articles of Association model.  If this is the case it may be worth reviewing your Articles to ensure that any discriminatory clauses are removed and that you and the other partners take legal advice in regard to a Business LPA to ensure the minimum of disruption should any of you be incapacitated.

Sole Trader

As a Sole Trader, you run your business as an individual.  As such the business is not legally separate from the owner.  It is advisable if you are a Sole Trader to put a Business LPA in place to ensure that you do not expose your business to unnecessary risk.

The team at Tollers has experts that can assist with both Personal and Business LPAs and work with companies to ensure that their agreements and articles are robust and cover all that is required currently by law.  Having a Personal LPA in place will not necessarily cover your business interests and so it is important to take legal advice to ensure that your business interests are protected.

If you would like to know more about the practicalities and implications of making a Business Lasting Power of Attorney …Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, and our Wills/Tax and Estate Planning team will be happy to advise you.

Find out more about LPAs here.

April 2023 brings with it the usual updates to employment law, however, 2023 is set to be a year of exciting changes. What are the key updates and what do you need to know?

Increases to Pay Rates

National Minimum Wage

From 1 April 2023, the National Minimum Wage rates are going up. They will be increased as follows:

Statutory Pay

From 3 April 2023:

From 6 April 2023:

All employers should review their pay rates, to make sure that they are compliant with these changes.

The Kings Coronation

The Coronation of King Charles III on 6 May 2023 brings an additional bank holiday on 8 May 2023.

All employers should review their employment contracts and holiday policies in preparation for the additional bank holiday and what this means for your workers. Our Employment team can explain the impact of the wording within these documents, including whether workers are entitled to the additional bank holiday.

Proposed updates to look out for:

The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

This bill provides government ministers with the ability to remove or replace certain retained EU laws, possibly leading to speedy and significant changes to employment law. Importantly, the bill contains a provision for many EU laws to automatically disappear from 31 December 2023 unless otherwise addressed by parliament. Whilst it is likely that this deadline could be extended, this bill will likely result in a plethora of consultations, proposals and legal challenges in relation to TUPE, Working Time Regulations, Parental Leave Regulations and Annual Leave.

These potential updates are significant and may impact the day-to-day operations for many organisations. Look out for updates from our employment team throughout the year for updates.

Flexible working

Current legislation gives workers with at least 26 weeks of continuous service the right to request flexible working. However, the Government have proposed to make flexible working a day one right. Moreover, employees would be able to make two requests for flexible working per 12-month period, and employees would no longer be required to set out the impact of their request on the organisation. This means that amendments to this, removing the length of service and making

Redundancy protection

Current legislation gives workers redundancy protections during periods of parental leave, however, proposed updates would extend the period of protection following a return to work. The period of protection is expected to be 6 months, during which time protected employees will have priority for suitable alternative roles within the organisation, however, consultation to determine specific details is ongoing.

New laws

The Government has proposed the introduction of neonatal leave and pay for parents with babies in neonatal care, and carers leave for employees who have dependants with a need for long-term care. Additionally, new legislation on the distribution of tips is expected to significantly impact the hospitality industry. The details of these proposed laws are scarce, and although it is unlikely that they will be in force during 2023, it may be helpful to know that these changes are on the horizon.

How can we help?

If you have any questions relating to the April 2023 updates or would like further information regarding the changes and how they may impact your business… Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558, our Employment team is on hand to assist you with all you need to know.

We’re here for you.

Find out more about our Employment Law services here.

 

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