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Well done to Andrew Piggin who last week learned that he had been awarded a Distinction in the Legal Practice Course. He will soon begin his training contract, and his first seat will be in the property team where he has worked part-time over the past year.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the Employment Tribunal fee regime, introduced by the coalition government in July 2013, is unlawful.

The fee regime required an initial issue fee of up to £250 and a hearing fee of up to £950.

In summing up, the Supreme Court Judges stated that the current regime was “inconsistent with access to justice”, which has been highlighted by many recent studies and reports. For example, a report found there had been a 70% drop in the number of claims since 2013 and that there have been huge reductions in discrimination cases on the grounds of sex (71%), race (58%) and disability (54%).
The Supreme Court Judges also held that the fee regime is discriminatory and contrary to the Equality Act 2010 as it disproportionately affects women.

The Judgment held that that the level and structure of the current regime is unlawful. Therefore, it is not clear if we will see an amended fee regime or the complete scrapping of Employment Tribunal fees. Either way, we may see a rise in Tribunal claims going forward.

Since the Judgment given yesterday, the government website has been updated and currently states that “you do not have to pay a fee to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal, even if it says so on the form”.

It is currently unclear how the government will deal with reimbursing those who paid Tribunal fees since July 2013. There are estimates that it will cost the government in the region of £27million.
This weekend two of the partners will be running the annual Wycombe Half Marathon & 10K. Jennifer Sole will be going for glory in the 10K, whereas Rob Green is intending to slog away at the Half Marathon.
We are pleased to confirm that our newly formed Wills and Probate team have been accredited by the Law Society with Wills & Inheritance Quality Scheme membership.

Next week one of the partners, Rob Green, is heading to Uganda to run a half marathon. Details of his efforts and the charity for which he is running are below. Any donation, however small, would be greatly appreciated.

A link to our facebook page and an article about the results of the LawCareers.Net awards:
Further to our article of 3 April, the Government has rejected the petition started by Nicola Thorp that called for new law regarding workplace dress codes. The Government stated that “scope for redress already exists” in the Equality Act 2010. However, the Government has said that it will publish enhanced guidance for employers on workplace dress codes later this year.If you have concerns about your workplace dress code, please get in touch with our employment team.
We are pleased to announce that Lauren McLaughlin has joined Curzon Green Solicitors as an Associate.

Lauren will be based at our London office working exclusively in the Employment department.

Lauren previously worked at a niche employment law firm in the City of London. She has experience of complex employment issues, acting for both employers and employees in matters ranging from Employment Tribunal litigation to internal HR advice and settlement agreements.

The Court of Appeal have ruled that a Judge had erred in failing to provide sufficient reasons or an explanation as to why a 50:50 shared care arrangement (alternate weeks) was in the children’s best interests, being a departure from the status quo. 

The Court of Appeal have ordered that the matter be remitted to the lower Court to a different Judge so that the issue of division of shared care during term time can be determined. Macfarlane LJ and Black LJ have urged the parties to try and reach an agreement in the children’s best interests instead of relying on the Court to make this decision.  The Court of Appeal ruled that the current arrangements should remain in place on a practical basis until the matter has been determined by the lower Court. 

Black LJ commented that the Judgment did not intend to change the law in respect of the duty to request further reasons if a Judgment was thought to be lacking however in the above circumstances, this was not possible.

Curzon Green acted for the father.

The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2017 SI 2017/175 has been laid before Parliament and will increase the compensation limits and minimum awards that are payable under employment legislation from 6 April 2017.
Notable changes include:
·         an increase to the limit on compensation for unfair dismissal from £78,962 to £80,541
·         the limit on a week’s pay for the purposes of calculating, among other things, statutory redundancy payments and the             basic award for unfair dismissal, will increase from £479 to £489
·         guarantee pay will increase from £26 to £27 per day
·         the minimum basic award in cases where a dismissal is unfair by virtue of health and safety, employee representative,             trade union, or occupational pension trustee reasons will increase from £5,853 to £5,970.
The new rates take effect where the ‘appropriate date’ for the cause of action (such as the date of termination in an unfair dismissal claim) falls on or after 6 April 2017. Where the appropriate date falls before 6 April, the old limits will still apply, irrespective of the date on which compensation is awarded.

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