Holiday Accrual During Sick Leave May Have a Devastating Financial Impact

A recent decision by the House of Lords to overturn an earlier Court of Appeal ruling on holiday accrual during sick leave has left the business world and employment law solicitors wincing. On appeal, Keith Ainsworth won his case for the entitlement to holiday pay while he was on sick leave from his employment with HM Revenue and Customs.

Since this ruling was made by the Law lords on 10 June 2009 many people have voiced very strong opinions over the possible consequences. The primary concern would appear to be that the potential financial implications involved here could be the final nail in the coffin for some already struggling employers.

Clear the Paper Clutter

Clear up paper clutterIf you don’t hot-desk or have a clear-desk policy that works, the chances are your desk can sometimes (maybe frequently!) look like a bomb has hit it. So, before you lose another piece of paper or spend far too long looking for something that’s probably not there, here are the top ten tips to help you clear the paper clutter:

1. Sort your paper into four piles: Action, Read/Pass On, Filing and Junk. The last one is easy to deal with: ask yourself whether it would matter if you lost it. If not, why are you keeping it? If there isn’t a very good business reason to do so, or if you can get another copy easily, then bin it.

Thank You to the London Evening Class of May 2009

London Evening ClassMany thanks for the fantastic surprise on my birthday. The huge chocolate cake was a wonderful treat on the night. I also enjoyed reading my hand made “signed, sealed and delivered” birthday card.

It was a pleasure to teach such an enthusiastic and motivated group. The extra bonus is that you were all blessed with such a good sense of humour and curiosity, which will stand you in very good stead with your future careers. 

Best wishes

Seamus Ryan, Tutor

 London Evening Class

Useful Technology for VAs

TechnologyWorking from home as a Virtual Legal Assistant is a great way to freelance and find freedom in the way you work. As recently as ten years ago this sort of remote working, although not unheard of, was not really as practical as it is today. The technology just wasn’t affordable, and the legal world has been noted to be quite cautious when it comes to new technologies.

In these changing times, however, it is becoming more common for all kinds of administration tasks to be outsourced to remote workers. Budget constraints, changing attitudes and cheaper technology are leading more organisations to seek out third-party secretarial services.

Use Your Legal Secretary/PA Experience and Become a Virtual Assistant

Legal Virtual AssistantIn today’s working environment of never-ending advances in technology and the slow-burning fire of crucial green issues, more and more people and companies are looking to the alternatives, from working from home and remote working from the office to using independent workers or contractors to outsource work.

Outsourcing is not a particularly new phenomenon, but it is one that has taken hold in the modern business world and one that is growing rapidly, egged on by continual technological developments.  One positive side effect is the emergence of the virtual assistant (VA) industry.

What is a VA?

The UK Constitution: Time for a Change?

It is fair to say that there is a lot of disillusionment with our Parliament and with certain aspects of the UK constitution at the moment. There are many who feel that our system is weak, and that this has been proven over recent months as so many elected representatives to our Parliament have used their position for their own financial gain and, in some circumstances, to help out members of their own families.

One thing is clear and that is the fact that UK citizens have clearly had enough! Nothing could have demonstrated this any more plainly than the shocking results that emerged from the European Parliamentary elections. Not only was Labour relegated to third place, in terms of the number of votes received, but also clear and, in some cases, extreme opinions were communicated by way of the parties who won seats to the new EU Parliament.

The Frustration of Living With Anti-Social Behaviour: What Can Be Done?

Anti Social BehaviourAnti-social behaviour appears to be a menace that is on the increase in today’s society. Of course, such problems have always existed to a certain extent, but there is a definite statistical rise in the number of incidents reported, and both police forces and local authorities are having to find additional resources to deal with such matters.

Anti-social behaviour may come in many guises, ranging from blatant criminal damage and harassment to noise problems coming from neighbours.

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 attempted to address this phenomenon by way of the introduction of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (or ASBOs). These may be obtained through Magistrates’ courts, even though in actual fact they are civil law remedies. Where a person breaches an ASBO, this will then become a criminal matter.

How to Mind Map

Mind Map for Legal SecretariesMind mapping is a very powerful technique for promoting creative thinking and improving memory.  Developed by Tony Buzan, it has become a very widely used tool, primarily because it is such a visual way of planning or remembering things.  So if you need to plan or remember something, here are the top ten tips for creating and using a mind map:

1. Use A3 paper – give yourself plenty of room to develop your ideas; you can always reduce its size later if necessary. If you don’t have A3 paper to hand, the back of an envelope is equally good as a starting point.  Just transfer your initial map to A3 paper later.

Who Rules the UK?

Courts Threaten Democracy legal Secretary

What role should the Courts have in maintaining our democracy?

The summer of 2009 may be remembered as the point in time when trust in Parliament reached an all-time low. The understandable anger at the endless revelations about MP’s expenses has seemed to threaten our entire system of government. What has made matters worse is the apparent lack of real accountability for MPs.

A Career as a Virtual Assistant Might Be Just for You!

I have worked as a legal secretary for many years now, and have never been out of work since leaving school in 1983, apart from going on maternity break for a couple of years when the children were very small.  So when I was made redundant whilst working for DLA Piper in their Birmingham office in March of this year, it came as a huge shock to find myself suddenly jobless.