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Acas Early Conciliation - Increase From Previous Year

Acas Early Conciliation - Increase From Previous Year

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has published statistics on its early conciliation (EC) service for the period April to June 2018. The statistics show that the total number of EC notifications had increased by 53% as compared to the equivalent quarter of 2017. The figures also show an increase in the proportion of EC cases which thereafter proceeded to a full employment tribunal claim: 23% of EC cases went forward compared to only 17% in the same quarter for 2017.

Acas early conciliation

ONS Reclassification of Registered Social Landlords as Private Bodies

ONS Reclassification of Registered Social Landlords as Private Bodies

Background

In September 2016 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) announced that it was reclassifying Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in Scotland as public non-financial bodies for the purposes of the national accounts. This was due to RSLs being subject to public sector control via the Scottish Housing Regulator's (SHR) powers over management, constitutional change and disposals of land. As a consequence of this reclassification, RSL debt would have to be counted as a public liability for the purposes of the nation's accounts. The ONS was

All Aboard! Last Call for Letting Agent Registration

All Aboard! Last Call for Letting Agent Registration

There is now an impending deadline fast approaching at breakneck speed on the 1st October 2018. Yes, that's correct. As the turn of the month falls before us and as we enter the autumnal season, if you are conducting letting agency work in Scotland and have not applied to join the Register of Letting Agents through Registers of Scotland then please be forewarned as all individuals involved in letting agency work must comply with the Letting Agent Code of Practice as well as having

How Important is the Appointment of an Executor?

How Important is the Appointment of an Executor?

When it comes to Wills, most people are focused purely on how the estate will be distributed. Questions such as 'have I given enough to my grandchildren?' and 'will my spouse be adequately provided for?' are, obviously, very important matters to consider. However, the appointment of an Executor is just as important.

Who should I appoint?

Your Executor is responsible for dealing with the administration of your estate and ensuring that the terms of your Will are carried out, often with the assistance of a

Acas Publishes New Advice on Job References

Acas Publishes New Advice on Job References

Acas, also known as The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, has produced new guidance on job references. Aimed at both employers and employees, it is based around the most frequently asked questions put to the Acas helpline. It explains what references are and provides information on what they should include, when they are required and how to deal with issues or problems. In particular, the guidance covers the following common questions:

  • Does a reference have to be provided?
  • What can a reference include?
  • Can an

Only 6% of UK working traditional 9am-5pm hours

Only 6% of UK working traditional 9am-5pm hours

Working nine-to-five is no longer the working norm according to a YouGov survey.

The survey reveals that a mere 6% work the traditional 9am-5pm workplace hours. Interestingly, only 14% of those polled would opt for these hours if given the choice.

A significant proportion (66%) said they would prefer to start earlier and finish earlier, with the most preferred options being 8 till 4 or 7 till 3.

Whilst this reflects a shift in labour requirements generally, it also shows a change in attitudes towards

Funeral Instructions - Do They Matter?

Funeral Instructions - Do They Matter?

One of the benefits of making a Will is that you can narrate your funeral instructions and let your family know your specific wishes for your funeral. However, as you will not be here to know if these wishes have been carried out, is it really worth stipulating what should happen to your body and at your funeral service?

The inclusion of funeral instructions in your Will is a guide to your Executors and family and can be as straightforward or as complicated as you

How long is a six month lease? The First-tier Tribunal's interpretation

How long is a six month lease? The First-tier Tribunal's interpretation

The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Housing and Property Chamber) (FTT) "recently considered the duration of a short assured tenancy in the case of Prestel & Dunbar v Norton (EV/18/1089)."

In this case parties entered into a tenancy agreement on 21st July 2017. An AT5 was served on the same date, before the tenancy agreement was signed. On 17th November 2017, the landlord served on the tenants a Notice to Quit and a Notice under Section 33(1)(d) of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988,

Top tips when completing a trainee application form

Top tips when completing a trainee application form

As TC Young starts looking for another trainee, I thought some candidates may welcome some tips for completing a trainee application form before pushing the send button ?

  1. Your application form and covering email will create a first impression. As a wise man once said you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.
  2. Read the application form carefully. Then read it again to ensure you understand the guidelines provided. An application form is not only an opportunity to provide your details, it

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

Returning to Work After Maternity Leave

It is quite a thought returning to work after a period of maternity leave and here we look at the things an employee will want to think about before going back to work.

    • You must take at least 2 weeks off after your baby is born (compulsory maternity leave), which is increased to 4 weeks if you work in a factory. Other than the compulsory maternity leave period, you can take up to 52 weeks maternity leave.
    • If you do not wish to take the

Sickness Absence at Lowest Rate on Record

Sickness Absence at Lowest Rate on Record

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics establish a significant fall in the number of sick days employees are taking off work. The figures reveal that employees took off an average of only 4.1 days in 2017, compared to 7.1 back in 1993 (the year records began).

The available data shows that the sickness absence rate started slowly decreasing in 1999, and continued to fall following the 2008 credit-crunch. There will be a multitude of factors contributing to this. It is suggested that the

More than £390,000 of Employment Tribunal Awards Unpaid Due to Insolvency

Figures obtained from a freedom of information request to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) reveal that over £390,000 of employment tribunal awards remained unpaid in 2017 due to insolvency of the employer.

The real amount may be significantly higher as BEIS is only aware of unpaid awards when it is notified by a claimant. Experts suggest that these figures could be indicative of there being an element of "phoenixing", where an employer intentionally becomes insolvent to avoid the debt, and then

Private Residential Tenancy - Establishing Intention in the First-tier Tribunal

Private Residential Tenancy - Establishing Intention in the First-tier Tribunal

One of the main facets of the new Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) is that it offers increased security of tenure to tenants. An order for eviction will only be granted where a landlord can satisfy the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber) that one of the 18 grounds for eviction is established. The Tribunal needs to be persuaded, with evidence, that the landlord is entitled to end the tenancy.

How do private landlords prove that they have a ground for eviction?

It essentially depends on

Philosophical Beliefs - what are these and how are employees protected?

Philosophical Beliefs - what are these and how are employees protected?

There have been a few employment tribunal decisions which have considered the position of philosophical beliefs, and what beliefs are protected. The Equality Act 2010 protects the rights of employees to practise their religion without fear of discrimination. However, certain employees hold philosophical rather than religious beliefs and these may be protected by law.

In 2009, an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision defined the criteria of a philosophical belief. It must:

  • be genuinely held
  • be a belief and not an opinion or viewpoint, based on

Eviction Proceedings Relying on Arrears - The Importance of Rent Statements

Eviction Proceedings Relying on Arrears - The Importance of Rent Statements

On 1st December 2017 jurisdiction for private sector tenancy related disputes transferred to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber. The Tribunal is allocating up to two cases to be heard each day. Tribunal members have sufficient time and expertise to scrutinise the content of rent statements. Accordingly, it is now more important than ever to ensure rent statements are accurate.

If you are relying on rent arrears as a basis for eviction, or you wish to lodge an application for payment

Changes to Land and Building Transaction Tax Come Into Effect

Changes to Land and Building Transaction Tax Come Into Effect
  1. The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (First-Time Buyer Relief) (Scotland) Order 2018

The above Order came into effect from Saturday 30 June 2018. Subject to certain conditions, First-Time Buyer Relief is now available to first-time buyers in Scotland. The relief applies to qualifying transactions where the contract is entered into on or after 9 February 2018 and the date of entry is on or after 30 June 2018. It is therefore not available for any transactions with an effective date prior to 30 June 2018.

Paying for Residential Care what you need to know!

Paying for Residential Care what you need to know!

Taking the decision to move, or helping a loved one move, into a care home can be a stressful time. It is important that the financial implications are fully understood.

The average rate for residential care in Scotland is £639 per week (£33,228 per annum) and for nursing care is £852 per week (£44,304 per annum). Understandably, when faced with these figures people worry about how they will fund a move to care or nursing accommodation should this be required in the future.

Where the

Fathers' Rights in the Workplace - Government Response

Fathers' Rights in the Workplace - Government Response

The government has recently published a response to the Women and Equalities Committee report on Fathers and the Workplace.

In March 2018, the Women and Equalities Committee published a report, Fathers and the Workplace, calling on the government to make improvements to fathers' rights at work. This included, for example, removing the qualifying period for paternity leave to make it a right "day one" from the first day of employment, and increasing the rate of statutory paternity pay to 90% of earnings.

The government has

Extending Freedom of Information to the RSL Sector

Extending Freedom of Information to the RSL Sector

In December 2017 Scottish Government produced their third Consultation Paper on extending Freedom of Information (FOI) to the sector with a draft Order which made both Registered Social Landlords (RSL) and RSL subsidiaries subject to FOI when carrying out 'housing activities' as defined in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Responses to that Consultation are set out here

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations commissioned our firm to provide a technical analysis as part of its response. Links to that response and analysis are set out

What is a Living Will?

What is a Living Will?

We are often asked - what is a Living Will?

It is:

  • a statement expressing your views about how you would like to be treated in the future
  • a Will of sorts but applies whilst you are alive not after your death
  • essentially an expression of your wishes set out in advance of illness at a time when you have the mental capacity to understand the issues involved and provide clear directions
  • used to outline circumstances in which you would like medical treatment withheld e.g.

It's getting hot in here: is it ever too hot to work?

It's getting hot in here: is it ever too hot to work?

Here's a sentence we don't often get to say: it's getting hot! The coming days are set to see record temperatures across the UK, giving us the feeling of an actual summer for the first time in a long time. While we've had to contend with previous weather issues (the Beast from the East to name but one), being too hot is not often one of them. Here we look at the things that employers should be thinking about while we're enjoying the current hot

Occupiers Liability - what level of care is required?

Occupiers Liability - what level of care is required?

The Occupiers Liability (Scotland) Act 1960 has given rise to a raft of case law recently. In essence, it sets out the level of care required to be demonstrated by the legal entity who occupies or controls land or premises to any third party who may access such land or premises. This requires the occupier to assess the dangers which exist given the location of such land or premises and to highlight or mitigate any wants and defects which are present.

The first thing to

Child Maintenance Payments Post-Separation

Child Maintenance Payments Post-Separation

Separation often results in one parent being responsible for the majority of the everyday care of the children. A common result of this is that they also end up being responsible for the everyday costs. Child maintenance payments are financial support paid by the parent who does not have day-to-day care of the children. It can be paid to the other parent, the child or a grandparent or other guardian.

Child support payments are usually agreed between the parents or through the Child Maintenance Service

The World Cup - Employers Ready For Kick-Off?

The World Cup - Employers Ready For Kick-Off?

With all the gorgeous weather we've been having, the start of the World Cup 2018 seems to have crept up on us (or is that just me?). The World Cup takes place in Russia between Thursday 14th June and Sunday 15th July. Football match times in the UK will vary between 11am and 8pm.

The World Cup is a big sporting event for many employees who may want to follow their favourite football team (sadly this does not include Scotland this time).

Trusts - The Basics

Trusts - The Basics

I think you should set up a trust; this will protect your assets. Sounds great! But what is a trust? What can you put in to a trust? And will there be any charges associated with the trust?

What is a Trust?

A trust is when one person is given property to hold for the benefit of another. Dependent upon the size and complexity of your estate, particularly if your assets are over the threshold for Inheritance Tax (currently £325,000), you may wish to consider

Introduction Dates For The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014

Introduction Dates For The Housing (Scotland) Act 2014

The various changes to housing management law and practice, which are contained in Housing (Scotland) Act 2014, now have dates set for their introduction.

Almost 4 years after the Act received its Royal Assent, the Commencement Order for these changes has finally been published.

The Act will make changes to a variety of areas.

The changes to the rules on Short Scottish secure tenancies (especially when used as method to deal with antisocial behaviour), the use of criminal convictions as grounds for eviction and the

Building Your Limited Company: Steps to Success

Building Your Limited Company: Steps to Success

A limited liability company is a popular choice when considering business models. It has relatively small costs to set up and get going. However, the essential requirements can appear daunting.

This guide outlines the key elements below and gives sources that are available for support.

Articles of Association

These are the building blocks of your company. They state how important functions will operate e.g. Directors powers. Model Articles are available on the Government's website that cover all of the basic functions. However, they may not

Can Collaborative Law Help Me?

Can Collaborative Law Help Me?

We are often asked, can collaborative law help me? The collaborative law process offers separating couples a non-confrontational way of agreeing the legal and practical arrangements for their separation and divorce. By reaching agreement in a collaborative way, couples are able to come to a respectable arrangement together through supported discussions.

At its simplest, the collaborative process is all about reaching solutions together. Sometimes talking things through can seem the hardest challenge of all. When relationships break down, hurt, bitterness and anger are often the

What is Mediation and Can it Help Me?

What is Mediation and Can it Help Me?

You might have heard somebody mention mediation before but what is mediation? Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that involves two (or more) parties and a mediator. Mediation provides parties with the opportunity to have an open and honest discussion about a range of family law issues in a neutral environment. Everything that is said during a mediation session is confidential and the parties have control over any decisions that are made during the meeting.

What sort of issues can be dealt with

Taxation of Termination Payments to Employees - New Rules in Force

Taxation of Termination Payments to Employees - New Rules in Force

Termination payments are often made to employees when the termination of their employment is governed by a settlement agreement. New rules affecting the taxation of termination payments came into effect on 6 April 2018.

What are the changes?

There has been a change to the taxation of 'payments in lieu of notice' (PILONs), which are commonly part of any overall settlement.

Where employment terminates on or after 6 April 2018, there will now be no distinction between contractual and non-contractual PILONs. Both will now be

Public Contracts and the GDPR

Public Contracts and the GDPR

With less than a month to go before the implementation of the GDPR it is crucial that existing and future public contracts comply with the new legislation. What will change in respect of public contracts and the GDPR?

The Scottish Government has published a Policy Note on the impact the GDPR will have on public procurement and contracts. This blog will highlight the key features of the note alongside steps organisations should take to get their public contracts and procurement processes GDPR ready.

What is

What happens when a Joint Tenant wants to leave a Private Residential Tenancy?

What happens when a Joint Tenant wants to leave a Private Residential Tenancy?

We previously blogged about what options are available to landlords where one joint tenant wants to leave a rented property and the other(s) wish to remain. That blog related to assured and short assured tenancies under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988. So what happens when a Joint Tenant wants to leave a Private Residential Tenancy?

Landlords will be aware that under the Private Housing (Tenancies)(Scotland) Act 2016, all new tenancies created after 1st December 2017 will be Private Residential Tenancies (PRTs). The position regarding

Employment Law Update - 2018

Employment Law Update - 2018

Each year, we see a number of proposals which have an impact for employees and employers alike, and this year proves to be no different. We thought that it would useful to give you an employment law update.

While some of the changes are those which we see every year, there are some which will have a greater impact on organisations.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

30 March 2018 was the date on which specified public authorities, including government departments, the armed forces, local authorities, the

To Report or not Report a GDPR Breach?

To Report or not Report a GDPR Breach?

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679), a Data Controller is under a strict obligation to report a GDPR breach to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the event that it meets certain requirements.

Time frame for reporting

You must report a personal data breach, under Article 33, without undue delay and not later than 72 hours after becoming aware of the breach. However, what does becoming aware mean? The Article 29 Working Party Guidance considers awareness being at the point where you have

The Role of the Data Protection Officer in RSLs

The Role of the Data Protection Officer in RSLs

A Data Protection Officer (DPO) is the individual who is responsible for an organisation's overall compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The GDPR makes it mandatory for a DPO to be appointed for any organisation which is a public body. The definition of public body is taken from Freedom of Information legislation and the new Data Protection Bill. This means that when Freedom of Information legislation is amended to include Registered Social Landlords, you will be required to appoint a DPO. It is

Paying for Care: Deliberate Deprivation of Capital... Or is it?

Paying for Care: Deliberate Deprivation of Capital... Or is it?

An English Local Authority has recently been criticised for refusing to pay an elderly woman's residential care fees when it learned that she made regular cash gifts to her family after moving into a care home. They believed this to be a deliberate deprivation of capital.

What is a deprivation of capital?

The Local Authority requires a financial assessment be completed for anyone moving to residential accommodation. It follows the Charging for Residential Accommodation Guidelines for Local Authorities. The guidelines state what can be considered

Anti-social Behaviour Case Study - court approach

Anti-social Behaviour Case Study - court approach

Eviction cases based on anti-social behaviour are always difficult and although they invariably turn on their own particular facts and circumstances, it is possible to draw guidance from the approach of the Courts in previous cases.

A recent example is the case of Midlothian Council v Lee Greens.

This was an action for recovery of possession raised on the basis of three grounds: a failure to pay rent or other breach of a tenancy obligation, relevant conviction and anti-social behaviour.

Drugs Conviction

The Defender

What should RSLs do when a Scottish secure tenant passes away

What should RSLs do when a Scottish secure tenant passes away

The only things in life which are certain are death and taxes. They both also cause a great deal of uncertainty in life. We are often asked, what happens to a Scottish secure tenancy when a tenant dies?

What happens to the tenancy?

If there is a joint tenant the tenancy will continue as a sole tenancy in the name of the surviving joint tenant. If there is no joint tenant you will need to consider whether the tenancy passes to a successor. Succession operates

Changes to Third Party Rights in Scotland: What?s the Impact?

Changes to Third Party Rights in Scotland: What?s the Impact?

Generally, a contract only gives rights and obligations to the people that are a party to it. However, there are circumstances where contracts can create third party rights. In Scotland, these third party rights were often criticised as the law around them was unclear and inflexible.

To change this the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Act 2017 (the Act) came into force on 26 February 2018.

The Act makes a number of changes to how third party rights in Scotland work. This blog gives a

Are Action Plans tackling our targets?

Are Action Plans tackling our targets?

What is an Action Plan?

The Assessment of the Energy Performance of Non-Domestic Buildings (Scotland) Regulations 2016 created a somewhat advanced form of an Energy Performance Certificate, known as both a section 63 Assessment but more commonly known as an Action Plan.

When do you need an Action Plan?

Action Plans apply to non-domestic buildings or buildings with a floor area over 1000 square metres, which do not comply with the 2002 Scottish Building Standards. The trigger for requiring an Action Plan is upon the

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax - Three Year Alert

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax - Three Year Alert

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax on 1st April 2015. As well as being the duty payable on the price or consideration for the purchase of residential and commercial land and properties in Scotland, its introduction affected taxation on the grant of non residential leases.

In circumstances where a return in relation to a lease was made to Revenue Scotland in terms of the LBTT regime, i.e. after 1st April 2015, tenants under those leases require to remember

Exemption for certain Heritable Securities from the '20 Year Rule'

Exemption for certain Heritable Securities from the '20 Year Rule'

The 20 Year Rule provides that a heritable security (e.g. a standard security) over a private home may be redeemed on repayment of all money advanced under the security together with interest and expenses after 20 years.

This can create issues in shared equity arrangements. In 2014 Scottish Government held a consultation on exempting certain shared equity schemes from the 20 Year Rule. The intention is for the exemptions to take effect in the first half of 2018.

We understand that the Scottish Government has

Your Will - The digital age and digital assets

Your Will - The digital age and digital assets

Is the digital era making our lives much simpler and easier? Well, not necessarily when it comes to completing your Will. When we think about making our Will, very few of us realise that digital assets can be included.

With the emergence of Bitcoin for instance, it may be that this type of cryptocurrency will become more popular over time. Also, with more and more online banking and share portfolios being held online, it is important to give adequate information to your Executors to enable

Public Procurement: What happens if a Supplier gets into financial difficulty?

Public Procurement: What happens if a Supplier gets into financial difficulty?

Carillion, a key supplier to the UK Government, has gone into liquidation. The impact has been felt throughout the public sector where there is uncertainty over what will happen to the works and services carried out by Carillion under public contracts. Many impacted public bodies will be wondering what they can do in terms of public procurement in order to continue provision of key services.

This blog will examine what options are open to public bodies when suppliers of their public contracts encounter financial

I want a quick divorce! Simplified Divorce may be the answer

I want a quick divorce! Simplified Divorce may be the answer

Often clients tell us that they want to get divorced quickly so that they can move on with their lives. For some divorcing couples, they will be able to use the simplified divorce procedure. But what is this? The simplified divorce procedure involves completing the necessary form and satisfying the sheriff court that you and your spouse meet the criteria for a simplified divorce.

The criteria for a simplified divorce is as follows: 

  • You are applying for divorce because of the irretrievable breakdown of your

Know your Inheritance Tax Gift Exemptions

Know your Inheritance Tax Gift Exemptions

Life can be taxing at times, no more so than on death. So it is important to consider the potential inheritance tax implications which can arise upon your death. Do you know your Inheritance Tax Gift Exemptions?

When you die, Inheritance Tax may be payable on your estate. Each person has a Nil Rate Band of £325,000, meaning that any assets up to this value are charged at 0% inheritance tax. Anything above this value has a charge to Inheritance Tax of 40% unless exempt.

Married

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for HR

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) for HR

Many organisations are currently preparing themselves for the General Data Protection Regulation. For many their initial focus for the forthcoming changes (May 2018) may be on their 'day to day business', but it is also important that their 'day to day business' includes their HR procedures. Consideration needs to be given to ensure their current procedures comply with the new Data Protection Regulations.

As before, organisations still have a right to obtain and hold personal data providing they adhere to the six data protection

Is my English Will valid in Scotland?

Is my English Will valid in Scotland?

Most people know that there are a number of differences between the Law of England (and Wales) in comparison to the Law of Scotland. We are often asked by people who have made a Will in England and now live in Scotland; "is my English Will still valid in Scotland?" The simple answer is generally "yes". There is no reason why a Will which is valid in England will not also be valid in Scotland. However, on your death, it may need validated by a

Are you ready to be a first time buyer?

Are you ready to be a first time buyer?

5 Tips for a First Time Buyer

Buying your first home is an emotional experience - it can be joyous, stressful and frustrating, amongst other things. Our goal is to limit, if not eliminate, the negative emotions and make the experience something you WANT to remember. Here are a few, sometimes overlooked, tips for first time home buyers.

  1. YOU are the buyer! Buying a home is a big decision and we often turn to people we trust to give us advice and input. During this

The Importance of Having a Will

The Importance of Having a Will

Do you know the importance of having a Will?

If not, why not? Do the reasons include:

  • not knowing what a Will does
  • the possible cost
  • that you don't have time
  • that you don't think you need one
  • that you think you're too young!

Let's address these possible concerns:

Don't know what a Will actually does

A Will is a document which takes effect on your death , identifies who is to have responsibility for administering your estate (the executor ) and ensures that what