2020 in upon us. Now is the time to refresh and remind yourself of what lies ahead this year and start to prepare for employment law changes which could affect you or your business (putting Brexit to one side!). Some of the key changes follow, effective 6 April 2020.
1. Written statement of terms to be provided on Day 1
Employees who have been continuously employed for more than one month must be provided with a written statement of terms and conditions of their employment within two months of commencing.
What is changing
All new employees and workers must be provided with a written statement on or before their first day of employment; a day one right. More detailed information will have to be included in the written statement, too. This includes: the hours and days of the week the worker/employee is required to work; whether they may be varied and how; entitlements to any paid leave; any other benefits such as healthcare, vouchers, lunch, etc; details of any probationary period; and details of training provided by the employer. If it has not been done already, employers should start preparing new contracts for new recruits from 6 April 2020.
Before looking into the proposals that have been introduced regarding no fault divorces, it is necessary to understand the current position of divorce law in England and Wales. It may come as a surprise to many that, as it stands, there is only one ground of divorce in England and Wales. This ground is known as irretrievable breakdown and it must be evidenced by one or more of five facts as listed in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973:
2. Unreasonable behaviour
4. Two years of separation and consent
5. Five years of separation
The first three of these facts are fault-based and the last two facts concern separation over two of five years, respectively.
Focusing more on the fault-based facts, these have been subject to wide-spread criticism and have even led to the Ministry of Justice publishing a consultation paper in September 2018 seeking views on replacing the current system of divorce.
In the recent case of WH Holding and another v E20 Stadium LLP  EWHC 2578 (Ch), the High Court has reminded parties in a civil claim to be careful when redacting their disclosed documents.
What is redaction?
In a civil litigation claim, both parties have a duty of disclosure. This duty requires the parties to state that the document exists or has existed. The other party then has the right to inspect the document in question, unless:
Thanks to medieval law, landowners of property within the parishes of Anglican churches built before 1536 can be held liable for their share of the costs of repairing or replacing the local parish “chancel”, namely the area around the altar in a church.
There is no limit on the sum that the Parochial Church Council (“PCC”) can claim from homeowners for chancel repair. In a landmark case in 2003, a homeowning couple were ordered to pay the PCC £95,000 towards chancel repair and the PCC’s legal costs of around £250,000 for the lengthy legal battle, which concluded in the House of Lords.
Prior to 12 October 2013, a landowner could be pursued by the PCC for chancel repair liability, even if they had no knowledge of its existence.Churches did not have to protect their right to claim for chancel repair; it was automatic. Consequently, conveyancers simply insured against chancel repair liability, while the government sought to repeal the ancient law to make it harder for the PCC to claim funds from landowners. The law was changed on 13 October 2013.
Since this date, churches have been required to protect their interest if they want to enforce liability against those purchasing land within their parish. This change in law was supposed to protect new buyers by making them aware that they could be held liable for chancel repair. Unfortunately, as highlighted further in this article by Jennifer Sole and Saskia Gates, with assistance from intern Arshid Mahmood, this objective has not been achieved conclusively and liability insurance may still be necessary.
|Employers’ duties||Employees’ duties|
|Duty to indemnify employees||Duty to give personal service|
|Duty to take reasonable care of the employee’s safety and working conditions||
Duty to obey reasonable orders
|Duty of mutual trust and confidence||Duty of reasonable care and indemnity|
|Duty to take reasonable care in giving references||Duty of fidelity and good faith|
|Duty to notify on termination without notice||Duty not to make a secret profit|
|Duty to give reasonable notice||Not to conflict any personal interest with their duty of fidelity|
|Duty to comply with the employee’s statutory rights||Duty of mutual trust and confidence|