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When can you suspend employees?

In any contract of employment, there is an ‘implied term of trust and confidence’ between employer and employee.  But does this mean that an employer can’t suspend someone pending investigation in case they breach that term?

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The tribunals say not.  In the recent case of London Borough of Lambeth v Agorevo, a primary school teacher was suspended after being accused of using excessive force against a child with special education needs.  Her claim failed as the question was not whether it was ‘necessary’ to suspend her but whether there was ‘reasonable and proper cause’ to suspend.

For employment information and advice contact our Employment law team.

Posted in Employment, Legal Briefs | Comments closed

End to the blame game in sight?

The Justice Secretary has today finally announced plans for a new law meaning divorcing couples will no longer have to blame each other for the breakdown of their marriage.blame game

The current law requires evidence of 1 of the following; adultery, behaviour, desertion, 2 years’ separation (if 1 spouse consents) or 5 years’ separation (otherwise).  As Accredited Members of Resolution we have supported the campaign for this change which will reduce conflict in the process and therefore the impact on any children.

New legislation will be introduced by Parliament in due course.

For more information or advice contact contract our specialist Family Solicitor Alison Winterbottom at our office.

Posted in Family, Legal Briefs | Comments closed

New payslip rights

Big changes to the Employment Rights Act 1996 in force from next Monday 6 April 2019, mean that ALL employees and workers (starting jobs after this date) will have a statutory right to a detailed written, printed or electronic wage slip including a breakdown of hours worked where pay varies by the time worked.56606352_2256108941328223_1516984931438297088_n

Employers currently only have to provide wage slips to employees and remarkably, don’t have to tell workers what they have deducted for tax, NI and pensions!

For employment information and advice contact our Employment law solicitors.

Posted in Employment, Legal Briefs | Comments closed

Employers take note: Personal Injury compensation paid in Employment claim

Hailing a new approach, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently awarded personal injury compensation for failure to provide rest breaks under the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR).Judgement

Rights: Under the WTR 1998 all workers are entitled to an unpaid rest break of 20 minutes when working for more than six hours per day (Reg 12).  For workers carrying out monotonous work (i.e. a production line) further ‘adequate’ rest breaks must be provided to avoid a health and safety risk.  These rights are enforceable by bringing an employment Tribunal claim.

If an Employment Tribunal finds that the WTR have been breached, Reg 30 provides that it may award such compensation ‘as is just and equitable in all the circumstances.  However, in a previous case (Gomes v Higher Level Care) the EAT had confirmed that this would not include compensation for pure injury to feelings; which was only available in discrimination cases.

The facts:  In Grange v Abellio, the Claimant was employed as a ‘Relief Roadside Controller’ regulating and monitoring bus services.  He brought a claim alleging that his employer had refused him rest breaks but the first Tribunal dismissed his claim as there was no evidence of a deliberate refusal by Abellio.  Mr Grange appealed and the EAT held that the refusal did not have to be an active response to a positive request; here it was the arrangement of Mr Grange’s working day that had prevented him from taking his rest breaks. His claim succeeded.

Personal Injury: Mr Grange gave evidence that due to a bowel condition, the lack of rest breaks had caused him discomfort that was ‘more than a minor inconvenience’ and so, the Tribunal awarded compensation for personal injury.  His employer appealed, relying on Gomes.

The decision: The EAT rejected the appeal and confirmed that Tribunals are permitted to award damages for personal injury under Reg 30 of the WTR.  Further, that medical evidence and reference to injury guidelines was not necessary as the Tribunals should be able to deal with cases on a common-sense basis.

What next?: This case suggests that now, Claimants who can prove they suffered ‘more than a minor inconvenience as a result’ of a breach of WTR can be awarded personal injury  compensation.  This makes sense given that the objective of the EU Working Time Directive (as implemented by the WTR) was to protect the health and safety of workers. It could also mean that where a breach of the WTR is alleged, it could be easier to bring a low value personal injury claim in the Employment Tribunal than in the Civil Courts.

For more information and advice contact our employment law solicitors.

Posted in Employment, Legal Briefs | Comments closed

Do not run out of time!

JudgementThe very recent case of Cowan v Foreman and others, highlights the importance of  bringing claims in a timely fashion.  In this case, a widow tried to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the Act”) against her husband’s estate.  The Act states that claims must be commenced within six months of the date probate has been granted.  The Court does have discretion to allow a claim to be brought out of time.  In this case the claim was brought 17 months after the date probate was granted.  The Judge refused the widow permission to bring the claim, commenting there was no justification for the delay.

The moral of the story is that if you think you may have a claim, act quickly and seek legal advice.

For further information and advice, please contact Johanna Nolan in our Dispute Resolution team.

Posted in Legal Briefs, Litigation Disputes, Probate & Estate Adminstration | Comments closed

Bill Holroyd CBE DL – motivation for the team

Once again there is a real buzz around the office today as Solicitors from our team attended a Business Breakfast meeting this morning at Mahdlo Oldham with guest speaker, Bill Holroyd CBE DL.

billBill started out in catering administration and first worked at Trust Houses Forte.  Early on he decided he wanted to run his own business and set up his own food distribution company, Holroyd Meek Ltd, based in Oldham.  The first couple of years were tough and took a lot of hard work until his big break where he was able to open their first distribution centre, attracting a major customer in some fortunate circumstances!  From that point on his company grew rapidly and after a successful 10 years he agreed a sale to Booker plc.

After leaving Holroyd Meek he began investing in small to medium sized businesses and has invested in over 20 businesses since.  After an amazing career Bill still needed something more and found his “fourth leg” in his appointment as Chairman of Bolton Lads and Girls Club, a modern state-of-the-art facility which provides a wide range of activities and services to young people each week.  In 2007 he formed OnSide, a charity with the sole purpose of replicating the proven Bolton model in other towns in the North West.  The development of OnSide stemmed from Bill’s time as Chairman of Bolton Lads and Girls Club, where he was overwhelmed by the positive impact it made on the lives of young people in the area, and felt that every town should have one of these amazing facilities.

Bill’s talk was engaging and inspiring and gave us a insight on how to think big!

 

Posted in North Ainley News | Comments closed

Mahdlo Will Week

We are once again pleased to be supporting Mahdlo – Oldham’s annual ‘Will Week’ this week.

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We are working with Mahdlo to provide members of the public with an opportunity to access our Will preparation services, whilst at the same time raising funds to support Mahdlo.  The scheme is running from the 4th to the 8th March inclusive.

In return for a set donation to Mahdlo we will prepare your simple Wills.  A Single Will (£100) or Mirror Wills (£150).

We still have a few appointments left so be quick and call us to book in on 0161 624 5614 quoting ‘Mahdlo Will Week’.

For more information on Mahdlo visit their website on https://www.mahdloyz.org/

Posted in North Ainley News, Private Client, Probate & Estate Adminstration | Comments closed

Mayor’s Ball

Members of the North Ainley team had a great time at the Mayor’s Civic & Charity Ball yesterday evening along with fellow local sponsors and honoured guests.

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This is an annual event where the primary purpose is to raise funds for the Mayor’s Appeal Fund.  All the proceeds from which will be donated to the Mayor’s Charity.  The evening’s programme provided a variety of entertainment after a formal 3 course meal including auction, raffle, comedian, live band SKA Britannia and a 80’s themed disco.

For more information and to make a donation visit the Virgin Money Giving page.

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North Ainley Walks All Over Cancer

This March members of the team are walking 10,000 steps a day throughout the month to help beat cancer sooner.  Help us Walk All Over Cancer and fund life-saving research by sponsoring our team on the following link: https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/northainley-walks-all-over-cancer

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The campaign is for anyone and everyone who has been affected by cancer in some way whether directly or indirectly and also anyone suffering with cancer at the moment.

Cancer survival rates have doubled over the past 40 years. Consistent progress is being made but improvements to technology and ground-breaking work offer new opportunities to find different ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer and improve survival rates even further.

Help Cancer Research UK improve results even faster and we at North Ainley would like to thank all those that took part and to all who donated for this great cause.

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Tenant Fees Act 2019

On 1 June 2019, the Tenant Fees Act (“the Act”) will come into force.  The aim of the Act is to reduce costs Landlords may currently impose on tenants both at the outset and during the tenancy.  The Act applies to new tenancies from 1st June and to existing tenancies from 1 June 2020.  It affects tenants renting privately, student accommodation and licences. Letting Agents are also governed by the Act.  The Act does not apply to social housing and long leases.

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Of course, rent can still be claimed.  Rent payments cannot be increased at the beginning of the tenancy and then reduced later on in an effort to recoup costs indirectly.

A Landlord is permitted to claim certain payments by the Act, but the amount that can be claimed is restricted.  Whilst a deposit can still be claimed, the Act provides that the amount of the deposit cannot be more than five weeks rent if the annual rent of a property is less than £50,000.  If the annual rent is more than £50,000, the deposit must not exceed six weeks rent.  If a holding deposit is paid for a property, this must not be more than one weeks’ rent and once a tenancy agreement is entered into the holding deposit should be repaid.

Other charges can be made by a Landlord e.g. cost of replacing lost keys, charge for late payment of rent, ending the tenancy agreement early, changing the tenancy agreement or a claim for utility or Council Tax payments if not paid by the Tenant.  However, the Landlord can only recover the reasonable cost incurred by the Landlord.

Tenants will be entitled to recover charges wrongly paid.

A landlord in breach of Section 1 or 2 of the Act can face a fine of up to £5,000 for a first offence.  If a Landlord commits a further breach within five years of the first breach, a criminal offence is committed or alternatively the Landlord may face civil proceedings and be fined up to £30,000.

Landlords should note that if a payment prohibited by the Act has been taken and not re-paid to the Tenant, the Landlord will be prevented from serving a Section 21 notice.

For further information and guidance, contact our Dispute Resolution Team.

Posted in Legal Briefs, Litigation Disputes, Residential Property | Comments closed

Annual STEP Dinner

A team from our Private Client Department, along with partners John Ainley and Geoff Lamb, attended the Annual Dinner of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester last night.  John Ainley is a former Chairman of the Manchester Branch.

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Our Jennifer Kitchener was selected to attend the Dinner and honoured as a high achiever having attained some of the highest marks in the recent STEP examinations.  Many congratulations to Jennifer who is a key member of our team dealing with Wills, Probate, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Trusts.

The STEP exams are a prestigious specialist qualification which carries international recognition across all sectors of the commercial world.  In addition to legal qualifications, North Ainley expects all our team to attain this high standard of academic and practical achievement.

Posted in North Ainley News, Private Client, Probate & Estate Adminstration | Comments closed

The Housing Market

Despite the cold start to the year or the Brexit jitters, it’s not all doom and gloom as some sources reveal a positive start to the year.  House prices in the United Kingdom overall continued to rise in 2018 and it is predicted that this trend will continue in 2019:-

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  • Hometrack Property Analysts predict 3% rise
  • Halifax predict 2-4% rise
  • Rightmove have predicted no change
  • Nationwide have predicted 1% rise.

The above predictions cover the whole of the United Kingdom, however, the North West appears to be faring far better than London, South East, South West and East Midlands according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Whilst the Bank of England believe the impact of the UK leaving the European Union could be significant on the housing market, that impact has not yet been felt in Oldham and the surrounding areas.  Whichever way Brexit is finally decided, the United Kingdom is still a stable country (contrary to current appearances) compared to many others and an end to the current uncertainty will make a positive difference.

Mortgage rates are very low, first time buyers are the most active group in the UK property market according to Hometrack Property Analysts and it may be that part of the reason the North West is currently doing so well is because of some companies relocating from London to Manchester and the surrounding areas and there are new high tech firms which are booming in the North West and creating more employment.  These initiatives attract buyers that are looking to live somewhere affordable and commutable.

Savilles Estate Agents have predicted that over the next 5 years property prices in the North West will rise by 21.6%  which is a very promising prediction and hopefully comes to fruition.

For further information or advice on buying a home, please contact a member of our conveyancing solicitors.

Posted in Residential Property | Comments closed

William Stott Business Private View

Our Partners, Val Stocker and Vinesh Mistry were honoured to attend a private viewing to celebrate the opening of ‘William Stott of Oldham: Great Painters are Rare’ at Gallery Oldham.

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The exhibition is taking place as part of a national partnership programme at Tate, inspired by the acquisition of Le Passeur (The Ferryman) 1881 by William Stott of Oldham, which is the best-known painting by the man who is Oldham’s best-known painter.  William Stott trained in Oldham, and then travelled to Paris, where he quickly achieved recognition from fellow painters, critics and institutions.  The painting has embarked on a UK-wide tour where it will feature in bespoke exhibitions at four galleries, made possible with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund and John Ellerman Foundation.  Great Painters are Rare is the third exhibition of the tour and the display will be open at Gallery Oldham from 26 January – 11 May 2019.

The evening included informal networking with other Businesses and key people in the town.

This was an exclusive invite only event thanks to Oldham Enterprise Trust.

This exhibition features highlights from Gallery Oldham’s collection alongside loans from other museums, including Tate, Manchester Art Gallery and Touchstones Rochdale.  Gallery Oldham has three large exhibition spaces plus a community gallery.

They take an innovative and unique approach to exhibition programming, bringing together what were once separate museum and gallery services.  They incorporate Oldham’s extensive art, social and natural history collections alongside touring work, newly commissioned and contemporary art, international art and work produced with local communities – well worth a visit.

 

 

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Choosing the right lawyer

It can be a big decision to instruct a solicitor and it could end up costing you a lot of money, so you need to get it right!

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Certainly, it can be tempting to go to the first firm you think of, drive past on the way to work or that has the fanciest offices but there are some things you should consider before parting with your hard earned cash:

Specialism – Often, high street practices try to be a jack of all trades, with the same Solicitor offering advice on all manner of problems. But, if you have an employment law issue why would you want advice from a Solicitor with a background in property law? Do your research and make sure the Solicitor you will see is a specialist in and has good experience in the area you need advice on.

Recommendations – from people you know and trust are always useful but if your friend recommends a firm because they did a good job of selling their business, it does not make them best placed to help you make a personal injury claim.

Attitude – Make sure you are on the same page. If you want to resolve your issue amicably, you do not want an aggressive lawyer who will rack up costs arguing over nothing. Likewise, if you want a robust approach, don’t instruct a wallflower. A good lawyer will explain the options and alter their approach based on your instructions and will be mindful of how their approach will affect your costs; even if that means telling you what you don’t want to hear.

Alternatives – Does the firm promote and actively engage in other ways of resolving legal problems; such as ACAS Conciliation for employment problems or Mediation or Collaborative Law for family matters? Again, a good lawyer who isn’t just interested in taking your money will encourage these approaches where appropriate.

Likeability – Believe it or not, not all solicitors are cut throat so it’s important that you feel comfortable speaking with your legal adviser and that you feel able to build a relationship of trust and confidence. That said, just because you might want to go for a pint with them does not mean they will give you quality legal advice.

Fees – Make sure you have a very good estimate of what it’s likely to cost and when you will be billed. From 6 December 2018, all Solicitors websites must display prices and service information for residential conveyancing, probate, unfair & wrongful dismissals, debt recovery and licensing applications.

Choice – Remember you don’t have to use any firm which may already have been ‘assigned’ to you – perhaps by your employer when handling a settlement agreement or your car hire company when dealing with an Road Traffic Accident.

At North Ainley, we have been advising the people of Oldham since 1901 but that doesn’t mean you will get out of date advice, just lots of experience! Our size allows us to combine a friendly, personal service with city professionalism from a team of specialist Solicitors and legal advisers.

For more information, please call Laura Campbell, a Solicitor in our Dispute Resolution team on 0161 624 5614.

Posted in Commercial & Corporate, Commercial Litigation, Employment, Family, Litigation Disputes, Private Client, Probate & Estate Adminstration, Residential Property | Comments closed

New ACAS Guidance: Age Discrimination

Whilst we are all aware of sex, race and disability discrimination, ‘ageism’ is not something that receives as much air time. But, pursuant to the Equality Act 2010, age is also a protected characteristic and as such, treating someone unfairly because of their age is against the law (with some exceptions).Acas

The Act aims to protect people from unfair treatment, harassment or different treatment because of their age, the age they are thought to be, or the age of someone they are associated with. It doesn’t matter if the discrimination is intentional, what matters is how the recipient perceives what is said or done. In practice, this should mean that employers should:

  • Strive for an age diverse workforce.
  • Encourage interaction between age groups (socially and in work based tasks or projects).
  • Judge people on performance or quality of their work/application.
  • Not be asking for age information and years’ of experience when hiring.
  • Not stereotype or make assumptions about different age groups when deciding who to hire, train or promote.
  • Manage under performance regardless of age.
  • Not assume a person will retire or force them to do so, due to their age.
  • Not tolerate the use of derogatory comments related to age.

Whilst most employers are vaguely aware of the issue, until now there has been little by way of guidance on how to navigate the law. As such, it’s no surprise that age discrimination is actually one of the most common forms of unfair treatment at work, particularly with workforces being increasingly age diverse.

The new Guidance from ACAS (The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) which can be found here seeks to educate employers, prevent unintentional discrimination and make a real start at stamping out ageism altogether. All in all a very important read!

For more information and advice contact our Employment law team.

Posted in Employment, Legal Briefs | Comments closed

Latics announce our Partnership

We were privileged to be mentioned on the Official Oldham Athletic FC website this week after Partners, Geoff Lamb and Vinesh Mistry attended the ground to view the existing and new LED perimeter boards.

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We at North Ainley feel it is more important than ever that local businesses get behind the Club.  North Ainley has always supported the club, who also work with local companies and organisations, forming a key part to the community.

For further information on Oldham Athletic FC visit www.oldhamathletic.co.uk

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Local business – Global Network

North Ainley are pleased to continue their involvement with Business Network International (BNI), being represented by Alison Winterbottom, a Senior Solicitor in our Family Department.  Alison became a member of our local group ‘Paramount’, which successfully launched this year.

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BNI is a professional referral platform that enables you to develop long-term relationships with local businesses.  Alison, who represents legal services within the group attended the first BNI Paramount meeting this morning at the White Hart Inn at Lydgate.  With motivational words from National BNI Director, Greg Davies she was reminded that BNI is about local businesses referring work to local businesses, to keep business local!

For more information, or if you are interested in attending, please contact Alison Winterbottom at our office on 0161 624 5614 for more information.

Posted in Family, North Ainley News | Comments closed

Sir Norman Stoller – motivation for the team

There is a real buzz around the office today as Solicitors from our team had the privilege to attend a Business Breakfast meeting this morning at Mahdlo Oldham with guest speaker, Sir Norman Stoller.

Norman Stoller

As one of the region’s most successful businessmen, Sir Norman shared his fascinating personal and business stories, including the invention of the famous tubular bandage – doing the right thing definitely paid off!

Local schools and businesses were honoured to hear about Sir Norman’s journey in a interview led by Board member Terry Flanagan, finishing with a question and answer session from children at local schools, a truly inspirational event.

“If you haven’t experienced the pleasure of helping others, you haven’t lived. Once you start, it becomes a habit!”

(Sir Norman Stoller CBE KStJ DL)

What a way to kickstart the year!

 

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Oldham Athletic Football Club

LaticsCongratulations to Oldham Athletic FC on the FA Cup 3rd Round win.

A round of applause to local man and Caretaker Manager Pete Wilde on stepping in and guiding the team to a 2-1 victory against Premier League side Fulham!

Pictured right, a shot of our LED perimeter board!  I wonder which avid fan took this?!

At North Ainley Solicitors we pride ourselves on combining a local, friendly, personal service, with city professionalism from all our high calibre lawyers and support staff.

Our ethos is to provide straight forward advice, using everyday terms that can be understood.  We provide comprehensive legal services to individuals with a range of business clients from start-ups to large corporate organisations.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact any member of our team.

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Seek advice from a Family lawyer

It’s tempting to try and cut costs by seeking help from a cheaper, lay adviser, for example ‘MacKenzie Friends’, however, they are untrained, the law is complex and if things go wrong you would have no right of redress against them like you would against a Solicitor regulated by The Law Society.

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With the launch of the online government divorce service in April 2018, sadly, it’s easier than ever to make a life changing decision with the simple click of button.

Between 24 December and 1 January, 455 divorce applications were filed in England & Wales with 13 submitted on Christmas Day itself…which begs the question whether these applications were made in the heat of the moment, without any advice or consideration of the long term costs and implications.

Even if you want to manage the process yourself, you should still seek professional advice from a qualified family lawyer BEFORE taking any hasty steps.

But, quite rightly, instructing a lawyer doesn’t have to mean going to Court.  We are Resolution Accredited which means we are wholly committed to a non-confrontational approach to family matters.

For more information please contact our family law solicitors at our office.

 

 

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  • In This Section

  • Jill provided an excellent service. She was professional, efficient and provided sound advice in respect of our purchase and sale.  We went through a potentially stressful property transaction but Jill’s support was invaluable and we felt reassured at each stage.  I am recommending Jill to all our friends and family.
    Mr & Mrs C Lloyd - Oldham
  • Lisa Wright
    Lisa Wright
    15:05 25 Feb 19
    Cassie was fantastic throughout our sale and would recommend North Ainley if selling or buying a house.read more
    Lynn Findlater
    Lynn Findlater
    18:55 01 Dec 18
    I have used North Ainley for a number of years. They have successfully dealt with my parent's wills and more recently the sale of 2 properties. The staff are exceptional and imparticular Cassie who took care of the whole process from start to finish whilst I was overseas. She diligently chased all third parties and kept me informed at all times. I would recommend North Ainley as they have proved themselves time and again over the last 10 years in all of my family's legal affairs.read more
    Idnan Ahmed
    Idnan Ahmed
    12:57 30 Nov 18
    Excellent service. handled my latest commercial purchase professionally. Would recommend to anyone who is looking for a solicitors who are proffesional and easy to work with. Top service.read more
    Lucy Hoy
    Lucy Hoy
    16:39 27 Nov 18
    Excellent! Very friendly and fantastic communication throughout. Nothing was to much trouble. Thankyou Vinesh and Cassie. Would definitely recommend.read more
    Anil M
    Anil M
    15:11 04 Nov 18
    Fantastic Solicitors firm. Very professional. Close to Oldham Town Centre. Answer all your questions and concerns. Keep you upto date at every stage. I have used this firm for many years in buying and selling property. You can not go wrong using North Ainley Solicitors.read more
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