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Legal Updates

Employment Law - Is Statutory Sick Pay Sufficient to Live On?

In its autumn 2012 budget statement, the Government announced a 1% increase per annum in the rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the next three years. SSP is meant to “provide a measure of earnings replacement for employees who are off work through illness.” From 6 April 2013, the SSP is due to rise by 85p, from £85.75 to £86.80 per week.

The Rise of Factory Conveyancing Firms

factory-firmsBuying and selling a property has long been regarded as one of the most stressful things you will ever do in life. After all, you are dealing with the most important and costly financial asset you are ever likely to own, and you want any such conveyancing transaction to go as smoothly as possible.

Time to Put an End to Gazumping!

gazumping‘Gazumping’ may sound like something big, fluffy bunny rabbits in a fairy-tale land do – perhaps a term used in the place of ‘jumping for joy’. But in reality it is a deeply unscrupulous and alarmingly common malpractice in real estate. Gazumping is shockingly common in England and Wales, and the fact that it happens is not nearly as shocking as the fact that it is legally allowed to happen.

Family Law – Children’s Interests to Be Given First Priority

Family LawDuring the Queen’s Speech of May 2012, an announcement was made regarding a new bill of law that is aimed at improving the lives of children and families. The bill seeks to implement plans that will permit parents to share parental leave, enabling the father to also take time off during a maternity leave, for example. The bill also proposes to make the process of adoption easier for international families.

Should Prisoners Have the Right to Vote?

A topic that has been in the news a lot recently is the question of whether prisoners should be allowed to vote in the UK. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that preventing prisoners from voting essentially denies them their human rights and is therefore against the law. In our society, there is a variety of opinions on this matter, and while Prime Minister David Cameron is vehemently opposed to the idea, Parliament is set to debate this question and make a ruling. 

Changes Coming to the Will Writing and Probate Market

 “Making a will is something everyone should do. It is one of the most important actions that individuals take. We should be able to have confidence in those who advise and draft documents for us.” This advice came earlier this year from Mr David Edmonds, Chairman of the Legal Services Board (LSB).

The Long-Awaited Protection for Burgled Homeowners

At long last, the Government has recognised the fact that the vast majority of the population are looking for a much higher level of protection when it comes to confronting intruders during a burglary. Perhaps now we will be less likely to be identified as criminals simply for protecting our loved ones and belongings.

Solar Panel Installations

Last month we looked at the Green Deal. Another trend for renewable energy in homes is the installation of solar PV (photovoltaic) technology. 

The Feed-In Tariff was launched in April 2010 and aimed to encourage Britons to install renewable energy systems. The tariff rewards the owners of green energy systems by paying them for the power they create. From 1 April 2012, the Feed-In Tariff available from the installation of solar panel arrays has been linked to energy efficiency ratings, and therefore homeowners are no longer automatically entitled to the highest tariff rates available. Although this may have had a negative impact on the number of people signing up for the program, PV technology has been included in the Government's list of approved energy-efficient measures for Green Deal qualification, and therefore it is forecast to deliver a welcome boost to the solar industry.

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