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Current data protection laws to be overhauled and replaced with new Data Protection Bill

David Farrugia
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Government proposals are looking to provide Britons with greater control over personal information that is currently held by companies and organisations. The bill, which the government is hoping to introduce, will make it easier to request the removal of...

If you are required to self-assess for 2016/17, be aware, you may need to file a paper return...

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All tax software is based on HMRC software standards that currently contain glitches that affect two specific groups of people, resulting in overpayments of tax up to £1,000. The groups affected are: 1. taxpayers with non-savings income between...

Hinkley Point serves as a lesson in the importance of construction contracts

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The construction of two new reactors at Hinkley Point nuclear plant is now estimated to cost up to £19.6 billion, an increase of 10% on what was originally estimated, according to a BBC article published today. Not only has the costs budget for the...

Nestle fails to trademark shape of KitKat bar

David Farrugia
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In a long lasting dispute between Nestle and Cadbury, Court of Appeal judges have ruled that Nestle fail in their attempt to trademark a four fingered bar. Nestle claimed that the shape of the bar was unique and thus should be protected by trademark laws. ...

Corporate Governance Code: Changes Imminent?

Alexandra Dean
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In February 2017, the Financial Reporting Council ('FRC') announced a fundamental review of the UK Corporate Governance Code.  It will then ask for consultation on the proposed changes later in the year. Following the disastrous corporate...

Small suppliers set to get intel on big company payment performance

Alexandra Dean
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New regulations designed to help small businesses get paid on time came into force this month, with a requirement for larger companies to publish information about how long they take to pay suppliers.  The requirement affects companies and LLPs who...

Resolving disputes for small businesses

Michael Callaghan
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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has reported that legal disputes cost small business enterprises in England and Wales at least £11.6 billion each year, with at least 70% of small businesses having faced at least one dispute in recent years. ...

Business Secretary to put forward proposals to ensure restaurant tips go to individual staff members

Spencer Davis
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Sajid Javid, the Business Secretary, has said that restaurant tips should go to the individual workers, and not be deducted by their employers to make up pay. Proposals have been announced that attempt to limit these employer deductions, with a consultation...

Cuts to staff benefits

Spencer Davis
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Risk of cuts to staff benefits on the back of the National Living Wage In April 2015 the new National Living Wage came into force, increasing the national minimum hourly wage to £7.20 for all over-25s.  In the wake of this employers have been...

Companies countdown to new transparency regulations

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Companies are on a countdown to comply with new regulations around transparency of ownership. As part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, unlisted UK companies and LLPs will have to identify those people with significant control over...

Penalty clauses in Commercial Contracts now valid and enforceable

Spencer Davis
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The Supreme Court recently considered a joint appealin the cases of Cavendish Square Holding BV v El Makdessi and ParkingEye Ltd v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67. Both cases involved commercial clauses which the claimants argued were penalty clauses....

Company Law Reform - SBEEA 2015 will affect all companies regardless of size

Spencer Davis
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The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 ('SBEEA') received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The name of the act is very misleading as most Directors and Shareholders may assume that they will not be affected as they are not part of a...

Data protection and direct marketing

Justin Emerson
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Businesses that use and rely on third party marketing lists should take note of a First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) decision relating to breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. The tribunal upheld the Information...

Sanctions for copyright infringement

Justin Emerson
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Two recent cases provide warnings to businesses on the sanctions that can be imposed for copyright infringement: In the first case, the High Court passed a 28-day custodial sentence suspended for 12 months on a nightclub owner for copyright infringement....

Is there a shortage of jobs or a shortage of people to do them?

Alexandra Dean
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A record number of people in the UK are in employment, and immigration from the EU is also at a record level. There would appear to be little evidence to suggest that there is currently a shortage of jobs. The latest  Labour Market Statistics...

Disciplinary procedure: business development briefing

Alexandra Dean
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Why is it important to follow the Acas Code? It can avoid a finding of unfair dismissal The Acas Code was introduced to help businesses and employees deal effectively with issues of alleged misconduct or poor performance. When deciding whether an employee...

Battle of forms highlights a hard truth for company contracts

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The ruling from the High Court has said that neither company made enough efforts to deliver up their terms and conditions to the other side, leaving both without a leg to stand on in a dispute over a supply of rubber gaskets. The dispute arose between...

Be careful if you're leaving employees lonely this Christmas

Alexandra Dean
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It comes after convenience store operator McColl was fined £150,000 for failing to protect its staff during a series of store robberies in Merseyside. The case was brought by Wirral Council, who argued that the company’s “failure to carry...

£300 per week less for ZERO HOUR workers

Alexandra Dean
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Average weekly earnings for zero-hour workers are £188, compared with £479 for permanent. The article based its report on unpublished data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS has estimated there are 1.4 million contracts with...

What Businesses need to know under the new Consumer Contracts (Information Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013

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Relevant Contracts With the exception of certain specific contracts, which are either exempt or only partly covered by the CCR; the CCR’s apply to the following contracts for goods and/or services formed between a business and a consumer on or after...

Employers need to tackle team approach before the ref blows the whistle

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But for UK business, many employers may be secretly hoping for an early knock-out for the home team, when faced with the potential of lost working hours due to employees staying home to watch the games.  It’s not too late to tackle the challenge,...

Changes to Employment Law

Alexandra Dean
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Acas conciliation The Acas early conciliation procedure will be introduced. Discrimination questionnaires Section 138 of the Equality Act 2010 (which deals with discrimination questionnaires) will be repealed. Employment tribunals Employment tribunals...

Compromise to settlement - Is the real power in the name?

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A contract/common-law claim, that is where there has been a breach of the employee’s contract i.e. a wrongful dismissal claim or for a personal injury claim can be resolved by means of a contractual waiver. A statutory claim, however, and that is one...

Race for Business

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In very sunny conditions eight Partners & Staff from Gepp & Sons successfully completed in the Race for Business in Chelmsford yesterday evening, run over the usual course of 5 kms through the town centre & surrounding parks. Well done to Steven...

Business must ready itself for new temp worker rights

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Business must ready itself for new temp worker rights Getting ready to balance up permanent and temporary worker rights and benefits with the October deadline for introduction of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010. Businesses need to get set to deal with...

Haven't signed that contract ? You might still be bound

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A Supreme Court decision has reiterated the legal concept that where parties have negotiated contract terms "subject to contract" but one party begins work prior to terms being finalised, on the evidence a binding contract can be established on the...

No cure for fundamental breach of contract !

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A recent Court of Appeal decision has held that a repudiatory breach of contract by an employer cannot be cured or amended prior to the wronged employee making a decision as to whether to treat the breach as a dismissal. Tuesday 10 August 2010 No cure for...

Avoiding the penalties of misleading advertising

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A local solicitor has highlighted the need for businesses to ensure that their advertising is accurate, or face some potentially expensive consequences. This warning follows a decision by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) that a poster by online...