The difference between being a worker and an employee

The difference between being a worker and an employee

Employment Law – Recent changes?

Employment law is regularly changing, especially since 2016, when the UK announced that that they would be leaving the European Union. Employment law is very European influenced and so it can be extremely difficult to know your rights – whether you’re an employer, employee or even a worker.

What is the difference between being a worker and an employee?

  • Employee Status:An employee is an individual who has entered into or works under the terms of a contract of employment. The contract can be expressly agreed (in writing or orally) or implied by the nature of the relationship. Employees must be obliged to do the work personally, rather than be able to send a substitute in.
  • Workers:A worker has been described as a half-way house between being an employee and self-employed. They have fewer statutory rights but can enjoy some key legal rights. However, a worker will have a similar status to being self-employed.

Why is it important to know the distinction?

If you are unsure whether you are a worker or employed, it is important that you do know. Mainly due to the rights attached to each role.

If you are employed you will enjoy more legal protection, such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed and statutory redundancy pay. If you are a worker, you would not be able to enjoy these rights. However, it is important to note that, unlike those who are self-employed, workers will be able to enjoy protection from discrimination, against unlawful deduction of wages and are entitled to the national minimum wage.

What are the recent changes?

With effect from the 6thApril 2019, all workers (not just employees) will have the right to receive an itemised pay statement. This will include workers who are on zero-hour contracts. Employers are currently required to keep a record of all information if they reasonably believe that they are being paid less than the minimum wage. This new right will allow workers to check their itemised pay statement and contact the HMRC if they believe they are being underpaid.

The aim of this right is to increase transparency between employers and workers, with the result that a higher number of workers will be paid correctly. If you are an employer, you should be instructing your payroll provider to ensure that the necessary changes are in place. If you are an employee or worker, you should check that you are being paid the right amount.

Here at GoodyBurrett, we can help you in employment matters, whether you are an employee, worker or an employer. If you have any employment problems do not hesitate to contact us.

For more information on Employment Law

Contact our Litigation Department on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

The consequence of not having a Prenuptial Agreement

The consequence of not having a Prenuptial Agreement

Dear Adele,

Oh dear…………the big romance is over and you are now saying Hello from the other side.

And an even bigger oh dear……..I read that you & Simon did not sign a Pre-Nuptial Agreement before you tied the knot. When the financial circumstances of two people are so vastly different, it makes sense to enter into a Pre-Nuptial agreement, however unromantic that sounds.  Money can be an extremely emotive topic in a relationship, especially if you have different earning abilities, different expectations and different attitudes towards spending and saving.  A prenuptial agreement could have provided a clear agreement and saved a lot of expensive divorce fees and arguments when you are both undoubtedly feeling vulnerable.  Next time (and statistically, there willbe a next time) tackle the wealth before the wedding.

So, the big question will be, without a pre-nuptial agreement, how will your £150 million fortune be divided upon divorce?

Without a pre-nup, the starting point for the division of property and assets will generally be equality of assets between each of you.  Therefore, could he be entitled to half of your fortune?  You’ll be relieved to hear that the court have to take into account certain factors, all set out helpfully in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. These are:

(a)       the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources which each of you have or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(b)       the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities each of you have or is likely to have in the foreseeable future;

(c)        the standard of living before the breakdown of the marriage;

(d)       the age of each of you and the duration of the marriage;

(e)       any physical or mental disabilities;

(f)        the contributions which each of you have made or is likely in the foreseeable future to make to the welfare of the family, including any contribution by looking after the home or caring for the family;

(g)       the conduct of each of you, if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be unfair to ignore it;

(h)       the value to each of you of any benefit which, by reason of the divorce, you’ll will lose the chance of acquiring.

Due to the short length of your marriage, a UK court would be unlikely to determine that there should be a 50/50 split and would probably depart from equality.   It is thought that in short marriages there is less mingling of finances, unlike in long marriages of 15 years plus.  Therefore, due to the large amount of assets in this case, a judge may decide that you & Simon walk away with your own finances and divide the assets you share equally, such as the many holiday homes…….

How your assets are divided couldalso depend on whereyou choose to divorce.  London has a reputation for being the ‘Divorce capital of the world’ owing to the courts willingness to consider an equal split of assets.  If you are also resident in California, you might want to check out how the courts do it there before deciding where to issue the divorce petition.  Timing could be crucial here too if youwant control of yourapplication in yourchosen jurisdiction

Getting divorced can be a frightening, unsettling time in your life but please use it well: turn it to profit by writing more of those wonderful songs……..

With best wishes,

Sue Devereaux

Adele, and all those others having a hard time at the moment – we can help you

If you are currently going through a divorce and you need some advice on what may happen to your assets, do not hesitate to contact us here at Goody Burrett.

For only £99 plus VAT, we offer an hour-long initial consultation to provide preliminary guidance on your next step forward.   We’re here to make life easier for you.

For more information on Prenuptial Agreements

Contact our Family Department on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

Landlords and Tenants

Landlords and Tenants

In today’s current housing climate there are more people renting property than ever before. The average house price in England is £244,567 as of March 2019, however the average wage in England is £29,588 as of May 2019. Banks generally require buyers to put down 5% of the value of the property as a deposit and they will grant the remaining 95% in the form of a mortgage. With some simple calculations, this requires the average buyer to place a deposit of £12,228. However, this 5% is only the minimum needed, and there are various reasons to deposit more than this 5% such as cheaper monthly repayments, lower interest rates and ultimately a better chance of being accepted. Some may therefore want to place a deposit of 10-15% which would cost between £24,456 and £36,685 – such deposits are unfortunately unattainable for many meaning they cannot get a foot onto the first rung of the property latter.

The logical alternative to buying your own property is renting. You may now be saying to yourself “but isn’t renting more expensive?” The answer is a surprising “no”. It has been estimated that in 60% of UK cities it is actually cheaper to rent, and indeed a change in attitude means many people are now content with renting and not being tied down to one location by a mortgage.

With this influx of tenants rather than buyers into the housing market, protection must be afforded to tenants against landlords now more than ever. If you have rented a house before I am sure you can relate to the back and forth calls and emails to your landlord whenever an issue arises in your home. Various pieces of legislation have been adopted throughout the years, with some very recent legislation, which aims to create a level playing field between tenants and landlords.

The Landlord and Tenants Act 1985 is the main piece of legislation governing the relationship between landlords and tenants and recently the Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018 has made amendments to this Act in the area of fitness for human habitation. The Tenant Fees Act 2019 has also been introduced which applies to student tenancies. The Act prohibits landlords from requesting payments from tenants except for those expressly permitted under the Act.

The Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018 is of significant importance since it introduces an implied covenant by the landlord that the dwelling is fit for human habitation at the time of the grant of the lease (or when the lease term begins) and will remain fit during the term. Tenants can bring a court action for a breach of the covenant, which may result in the landlord being ordered to pay compensation or carry out the works necessary to improve the property. 

Section 10 of the Landlord and Tenants Act 1985 holds that in determining whether a house or dwelling is unfit for human habitation, regard shall be had to its condition in respect of the following matters:

  • repair,
  • stability,
  • freedom from damp,
  • internal arrangement,
  • natural lighting,
  • ventilation,
  • water supply,
  • drainage and sanitary conveniences,
  • facilities for preparation and cooking of food and for the disposal of waste water;
  • in relation to a dwelling in England, any prescribed hazard;

However, the Act states that the house or dwelling shall be regarded as unfit for human habitation if, and only if, it is so far defective in one or more of those matters that it is not reasonably suitable for occupation in that condition.

If you are a landlord looking to lease or rent your property to prospective tenants and require some assistance, or if you are a tenant with a dispute with your landlord, here at GoodyBurrett we have a team of specialists who can assist you with your situation.

Are you a tenant or landlord? For more information

Contact our Litigation Department on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]

Civil Litigation costs

Civil Litigation costs

Civil Litigation costs

The costs of going to Court have always been high but some case have had such an impact that  litigants have had to sell their homes to settle outstanding Legal costs.  This is compounded   by the long-established principle in England and Wales that, generally, the losing party pays the winning party’s costs. The main justification for this rule is that a party seeking to enforce a right or demands legal proceedings should obtain a complete remedy. 

A recent case to hit the headlines regarded a cyclist, Robert Hazeldean who was ordered by The London Central County Court to pay yoga teacher, Gemma Brushett in the region of £100,000 in costs and compensation. This award was given despite the fact that Ms. Brushett stepped out in the road whilst looking at her phone. The Court found that Ms. Brushett  was contributary negligent in the matter but they ruled that Mr Hazeldean should have “been prepared at all times for people to behave in unexpected ways”. Mr Hazeldean is now facing bankruptcy as he is ordered to foot the cost of the two-day court case, which Ms. Brushett’s lawyers claim totals over £100,000.

Lord Justice Jackson was commissioned to undertake “a fundamental review” of costs of Civil Litigation in November 2008 and in April 2013 following a comprehensive review of the system, he proposed further extensive changes aimed at enhancing the court’s powers to control the costs of Litigation. Lord Jackson also proposed the introduction of new Fixed Costs in civil proceedings with a focus on controlling costs before they were spent as opposed to assessing them after the event.

Lord Chancellor David Gauke stated, “access to justice is enhanced if claimants are able to contemplate legal proceedings with an informed assessment of likely costs, rather than to avoid them altogether due to fear of high but uncertain liability.”

It remains to be seen how these Fixed Costs and their implementation operate and whether this does in fact streamline cases and procedures. If you are contemplating litigation contact GoodyBurrett and seek early advice as to the cost consequences.

For legal advice

Contact GoodyBurrett on 01206 577676 or email [email protected]