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10 Jun 2014

Employment

The start of a new year is an exciting time for any business

In the midst of making plans for expansion and growth it is also worth ensuring that a business is as

prepared as possible for any legal issues that may arise.

Many would agree that the best way to start a New Year is to leave the old one behind but this can be tricky if you are still in the process of recovering age-old debts.In order to avoid wasting more valuable time on chasing money in 2014:Review your procedures and terms and conditions of business when it comes to debt recovery, ensuring that your terms and conditions are properly incorporated into your contracts. Ensure your terms and conditions are robust, protect your business and make the most of the compensation and interest afforded to you in late payment legislation.

  • Consider obtaining personal guarantees from directors of companies or third parties for any debts which may arise to increase the likelihood of recovering those debts.
  • If you do not do this already, start ensuring that you undertake credit checks on customers/clients before contracting with them. Remember: bad business is worse than no business.
  • Speak to us about our No Win No Fee Debt Recovery offering.
Contract
  • Check to see if you have been sold a SWAP/Interest Rate Hedging Product; you may only have six years from the date the product was sold to you to issue a claim for mis-selling.

Employment
It can be tricky for those in charge of a business to keep up with the ever-changing world of employment law. Here are a few recent developments in the field to keep in mind in the New Year…

Disability discrimination and the duty to make reasonable adjustments

It is vital that employers dealing with disability understand their obligations, to respect diversity but also to avoid a potentially costly law suit.The recent decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Croft Vets Ltd v Butcher has shown that employers may need to consider paying for psychiatric counselling where an employee is suffering from work related stress and depression.Where the condition has been recognised as caused largely by work and no such treatment is available on the NHS, it may be a reasonable adjustment to pay for such treatment to help the employee return to work.The EAT were clear however to show that the duty does not go as far as to oblige the employer to assist with a disabled persons general health and the therapy must be aimed at a return to work.

Judicial Review of new 12 month pay cap on Unfair Dismissals

It has been well publicised that a cap has been placed on the level of damages for future losses at 12 months’ salary. This decision has been challenged by way of a judicial review. The rationale for this application is that this change in policy discriminates against older employees who are more likely to be out of work for over 12 months than their younger counterparts.Whilst we await the outcome of the judicial review, it reminds us of the significance of potential tribunal awards in negotiations over settlement agreements. Employers looking to reach such an agreement with an employee should carefully consider both their contractual and statutory obligations when opening negotiations which will invariably run more smoothly if a rational calculation of the award can be provided to the employer.

Discrimination legislation

Discrimination legislation is something that all employers need to be aware of and a good understanding of the law should pervade through all policies.”Lockwood v DWP was a case recently decided in the Court of Appeal relating to payment of an enhanced redundancy scheme for employers over the age of 35 years.On the face of it, this may well have amounted to an age discrimination point however the DWP were able to show a justification through a “strong social policy objective” of providing a financial cushion to older employees who would likely experience extra problems from losing their job.

If you are still concerned about the employment issues that could affect your business in 2014 it may be worth investing in a risk management solution such as HardingEvans’s

HE PROTECT.

HE PROTECT is a risk management solution that enables you to effectively ring fence risk associated employment claims in a cost effective manner, leaving you to focus on growing your business and, at the same time, safeguarding your profits and protecting

your balance sheet.

 

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