You and the Law – 12th January 2010

Holding the baby

I was in a relationship with a girl for four months before we split up.  She has now contacted me to tell me that she’s pregnant.  What rights do I have?
I don’t feel she should have this child, which would be brought up by a single parent on benefits.  I’ve had to involve the police in the last three weeks because of harassment.  RM

Your involvement in the child’s immediate future is now over, I’m afraid.
All the decisions are your ex-girlfriend’s to make.  Once the child is born you can expect to hear from the Child Support Agency, but at that stage you will have the right to apply for parental responsibility and contact, or even for the child to live with you.  If you were concerned about the child’s welfare you could contact social services.

Food rationing

I am a pub landlord, and have recently bought the franchise for the kitchen from the brewery.

I have sent out a letter reassuring staff that their jobs are safe and that nothing will change, but I have decided not to open on bank holidays because it isn’t very busy.  It also means I don’t have to pay the staff double time, but they’re not happy about this.  Is there anything they can do about it?  JO

You don’t have to open on bank holidays, but you are not allowed to cut your staff’s wages.

Since there are eight bank holidays a year it will amount to the equivalent of 16 days’ paid annually at double time, so it could be worth their while taking their case to an employment tribunal.

It could also boil down to the precise wording of their employment contracts.  It is possible that they will have employment protection under the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations.

Discuss it urther with your solicitors.

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