Not Waving but Drowning

Blogging about emplaw is a bit like being a hamster on a wheel. Always some new case, stature, initiative, consultation, debate or controversy to write about and in trying to keep up you go quicker and quicker. Then you fall off when real life gets in the way or the sheer volume of new “stuff” crushes you.

Getting back on is harder. So much to write about, where to start? What to say? It reminds me a bit of the Stevie Smith poem “not waving but drowning”. ,http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/not-waving-but-drowning

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This is the End

Jim Morrison predicted his demise, REM thought it was the end of the world as they knew it and Mick Jagger was dissatisfied with his lot.  I don’t know whether they were singing about unemployment (wasn’t that UB40?)  but many employees might be thinking similar sentiments.  Pay awards remain below inflation and even though unemployment seems to be declining, most people seem to be feeling the pinch. Longer hours, less money and the nagging worry at the back of the mind that redundancy lurks around the corner.  That’s as true in the legal sector as anywhere else

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Personal Injury: Has Anything Changed?


There is a tendency to think that bizarre or trivial personal injury claims are a recent phenomenon, a product of our hedonistic, want-it-all now consumer culture.  Whether that is a true perception is another matter, but unusual personal injury claims have been around for years.  This article in The Guardian, reporting on Aviva’s own records of claims received makes for amusing reading.

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The Litigation Costs Reforms: Analysis of Positives and Negatives


It is no secret that the long-awaited reforms of UK legal costs have had everyone in the industry on tenterhooks. The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) finally became law on 1st April 2013, following Lord Justice Jackson’s review in 2009 and his published report in 2010; but still many parties are unaware of the impending changes.

The regulations have caused uncertainty and trepidation, no thanks to last minute alterations in the new law. Obviously all parties involved in the legal system including insurers, litigation funders and lawyers, have been trying to understand the latest requirements. However, for some this has been to no avail and much of the details remain hazy.

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Infographic: Changes to No Win No Fee Agreements


“2013 marks a major change in the way personal injury claims are funded, and National Accident Helpline, the UK’s most experienced claims company, is warning members of the public to beware of companies offering what seems too good to be true.

The Government introduced changes to the way personal injury claims are funded on April the 1st this year.

One of the biggest changes is that now, successful claimants may not be able to recover all of their solicitor’s fees from the losing side, and may have to cover any shortfall from the compensation they receive.

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Working in the UK – Negotiating the Minefield



Although immigration remains a hot topic, the current government has been at pains to stress (most recently in the Queen’s Speech) that it wishes to “attract people who will contribute and deter those who will not”. It is also noticeable that none of the forthcoming immigration legislation  that has been announced is aimed at legal workers – although penalties for those who employ illegal workers will be increased.

Nevertheless, the simplicity that was supposed to accompany the ‘points-based’ system (PBS) of immigration when it was progressively introduced from 2008 to replace the previous work permit and entry schemes has been elusive, since continuous tinkering with the system means that the rules remain complex and, at times, difficult to understand.

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April 2013 employment law changes explained

Guest Post by Linder Myers

The government has made a number of employment law changes in April 2013 that employers need to know about.

Through having a clear understanding of the alterations and amendments usually made in April and October every year, employers can make sure that their policies and procedures reflect any changes, which can serve to protect them from falling into pitfalls that could result in Employment Tribunal claims being brought against their business.

Redundancy procedure

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The Importance of Written Employment Contracts


The relationship between employee and employer is underpinned by a contract, however in many cases the contract is not always necessarily a written one.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 requires workers to provide written particulars of employment to the employee within two months from the start of employment. This is known as a Section 1 Statement.  It is not a contract of employment. It will state the core terms of employment and include job title, place of employment, frequency of pay, provisions relating to the number of hours, holiday entitlement, sickness, pension and length of notice.

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IR35 Legislation: Still a Headache?



IR35 has been a thorn in the side of many independent contractors since its inception in 1999. By attempting to stop people from impersonating independent contractors for tax benefits, IR35 had fair enough intentions but it has provided many people who work on a contract-to-contract basis genuine problems when it comes to paying their taxes.

Chancellor George Osborne mentioned IR35 in his recent autumn statement and confirmed that it was here to stay albeit with a few alterations that would make it easier to understand; though this may come as scant conciliation to a number of people involved in contracting that wished to see the legislation abolished. So what is it about IR35 that causes so much hassle?

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In The News: Cutting the NHS Bill

Guest Post


The new NHS bill is all over the news, with constant references to this major reorganisation of an iconic service and the need to cut costs. But what exactly does this mean? Surely no one is under the illusion that the NHS is anything other than expensive to run and that, as a huge institution, it has room for cost-cutting measures?

Reducing costs, however, is more than just cutting back on office costs and making an adjustment here and there in order to help the budget out. This is a hot topic that has resulted in an 18-month battle to pass a bill intended to overhaul the entire National Health Service.

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