Monday, 20 June 2016

Oswestry seminar is a great success

Experts from a Shropshire legal firm have hailed their first ever Oswestry event as a great success.

The team from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, regularly runs employment law seminars all over the Midlands and beyond.

And as a direct response to interest from companies in the Oswestry area, they took their Top 10 Employment Blunders event to the town.

Held at The Lion Quays, the event was open to employers from all kinds of businesses, and delegates said they were impressed with the presentations and the information they heard.

Martin-Kaye’s Employment Law specialist, John Mehtam, hosted the event and shared advice on how to tackle some of the most common workplace and HR issues, as well as how to avoid them.

“We were very pleased with the positive response we received from our delegates – and despite the event taking place on the day of the much-anticipated England v Wales match in the European Football Championships, there was a great turnout,” said John.

“As with our other seminars, we took the view that a short sharp lunchtime event would be the most popular format for busy employers, and we gave presentations that are designed to get right to the point to help employers learn from the mistakes others have made.”

The seminar covered a variety of tricky areas including sickness absence, dismissals and poor employee performance.

“This was the first time we’ve held an employment law seminar in the Oswestry area and we’d like to thank the local businesses who showed such an interest in the advice we had to offer.”

Martin-Kaye Solicitors has also previously held employment law seminars in Telford, Shrewsbury, West Bromwich and Wales.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Is your air conditioning sexist?

Employees in the workplace often find themselves in a battle of the sexes when it comes to the optimum temperature they prefer to work in – and it seems there’s a good reason why.

John Mehtam, employment law specialist at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford, said it was all down to the company’s air conditioning systems.

“Scientists have published research that shows air conditioning units are actually designed to suit the body temperature and metabolism of men. In fact, the 1960s model on which modern air conditioning still operates is based on a 40-year-old 11-stone male.

“But due to the different metabolic rates of men and women, there’s a real difference in preferred working temperatures of up to 4 degrees Celsius, which really is a noticeable amount.

“And given the workplace politics and arguments that often crop up over the settings of the air conditioning, it’s clear that employers should bear these statistics in mind.”

John said workplace temperatures were covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992.

“These rules don’t specify a legal requirement on minimum or maximum temperatures in the workplace, but they say that the temperature should provide ‘reasonable comfort’. Guidance suggests this means the office temperature should be at least 16 degrees Celsius, but no specific maximum temperature is mentioned.

“So even though there will inevitably be disagreements over the temperature of a workplace – which may be fuelled by potentially sexist air conditioning units – as an employer, you only have to ensure a “reasonable” temperature.

“But you should make sure you don’t ignore any complaints about temperature either, particularly if some employees may be affected more than others, such as anyone who is elderly or pregnant.

“Taking some sensible measures, such as supplying plenty of drinking water and increasing ventilation where possible, will be more than sufficient to ensure that you are meeting your obligations.”

Friday, 27 May 2016

Oswestry visit is a first for legal firm

Experts from a Shropshire legal firm are to hold their first ever employment law seminar in Oswestry.

The team from Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Telford, are once again taking their Top 10 Employment Blunders event on the road after successful presentations in Shrewsbury, West Bromwich and Wales.

It will take place on Thursday, June 16, at the Lion Quays in Oswestry, from 12noon to 2pm.

Hosted by the company’s Employment Law specialist, John Mehtam, the event is open to employers from all kinds of businesses, and with such a positive response in other areas, the law firm is expecting a capacity audience.

“The aim of the event is to share with employers the best ways to tackle some of the most common workplace and HR issues and, more importantly, how to avoid them and protect your business,” said John.

“Tripping up when it comes to employment law isn’t an option, but keeping up-to-date with ever-changing legislation is practically impossible for employers who are already battling with a packed schedule.

“So our short sharp lunchtime seminars are designed to get right to the point with our team setting the record straight and helping employers to learn from the mistakes others have made. Our advice sets out the right way to tackle any employment law issues and the ways employers can avoid falling into the most common traps.”

The seminar will cover a variety of tricky areas including sickness absence, dismissals and poor employee performance.

“This will be the first time we’ve held an employment law seminar in Oswestry, but we decided to organise the event as a direct result of client interest in that area,” said John.

“The seminar is the latest in our ongoing series of similar advice presentations, and we’re looking forward to meeting businesses from the Oswestry area and beyond.”

Numbers for the presentation are strictly limited so employers will need to reserve a place by contacting June Noto on 01952 525951, or email junenoto@martinkaye.co.uk

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Seminar success in West Bromwich

Our latest Top 10 Employment Blunders seminar has been hailed a great success after more than 30 employers attended.

The event took place at The Park Inn, in West Bromwich, and was hosted by our Employment Law specialist, John Mehtam.

John shared his advice for employers about how to tackle some of the most common workplace and HR issues - and, more importantly, how to avoid them and protect your business.

Employers from a wide range of businesses attended and they were full of praise for the advice they received:

"Very clear, concise and 'human', with common sense approach in clear language"
"Very informative and John best as always"
"John Mehtam makes the whole presentation smooth, seamless and easily understood"
"Good understanding of presentation, extremely useful"

Here's a glimpse of the event as it happened:
Paul Basil (Business Tank), Graham Davies (Martin-Kaye), Mak Ghattaura CBE (Polypack Polythene Ltd) David Norris (DW Associates)

Anneka Sohal (Martin-Kaye), Amrik Singh (Vibrant Networks), Jade Keval (Angel Commercial Brokers), Amarjit Dhadwal (Luckmans Accountants)
Question time at the seminar with employees taking an active part in the event
Amrik Singh (Vibrant Networks), Amarjit Dhadwal (Luckmans Accountants), John Mehtam (Martin-Kaye), Rakesh Saini (Martin-Kaye)
Enjoying the day are Dipak Shelat (DDM Asset Management Ltd) and John Mehtam (Martin-Kaye)


Friday, 29 April 2016

Two new partners join the Board

Two solicitors have been given a seat on the board at Martin-Kaye, in Telford.

Andrew Oranjuik and Janet Hawley have both been made partners and they will now play a key role in developing our future plans and business initiatives.

Senior Partner Graham Davies said: “We’re delighted to welcome Andrew and Janet to the management team, and we believe they will bring an exciting and fresh approach to our forward planning and business goals.

“At Martin-Kaye, we’re always keen to encourage bright and dynamic lawyers to continuously develop their skills and to take a pro-active interest in the workings of the firm as a whole. In Andrew and Janet we have two new partners who have demonstrated their commitment and dedication to the practice, and who will now help us to shape the firm for years to come.”

Andrew specialises in resolving commercial disputes and has over ten years’ experience in the sector. He joined Martin-Kaye in 2012, and is a member of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association and the Property Litigation Association.

Renowned for his dispute resolution skills, Andrew has regularly been recognised in the independent directory, Legal 500, and praised for having “a great eye for detail”, “giving sage advice”, and “never losing his cool”.

Janet is a manager in Martin-Kaye’s residential property department dealing with high volume transactions including freehold and leasehold sales and purchases, new build purchases and shared ownership transactions.

She joined the firm in 2007 as an assistant solicitor before progressing through the ranks to help lead the team in one of the busiest areas of the business.

Both Andrew and Janet will now work with other senior members of staff to ensure Martin-Kaye delivers the very highest levels of customer service at all times, and to make sure the company’s growing reputation continues to flourish.

Pic: Andrew Oranjuik and Janet Hawley are the new Partners at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Panama Papers warning for divorcing couples

Divorcing couples who try to hide their fortunes from a spouse could find themselves under tougher scrutiny following the leak of the “Panama Papers”, a Telford solicitor has warned.

Nadia Davis leads the Family Law team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, and she said the disclosures unveiled by the leak of confidential papers from a Panama law firm had shone a spotlight on assets and investments.

“It’s clear that there is now a real appetite for an open and uncomplicated approach when it comes to finances, and in divorce cases we have always called for such honesty.

“Now, with so much publicity on the subject, it’s far more likely that divorcing couples will call for greater scrutiny when it comes to their former partner’s finances.”

Nadia was speaking following comments from the new Chair of family law group, Resolution, Nigel Shepherd, who said publicity on the issue was good news as it made it more likely the matter would be investigated “properly”.

It’s claimed that the leaked files from Mossack Fonseca in Panama revealed how some wealthy spouses had stored assets in complicated trust funds held by offshore companies to make it difficult for their partners to find out how much they were worth.

And the ongoing publicity surrounding the files follows hot on the heels of two successful cases in the Supreme Court where two ex-wives said they were duped into ‘unfair’ divorce settlements.

“These decisions set a real precedent on how dishonesty will be treated in family courts, and lawyers believe there could be many other ex-wives or ex-husbands calling for divorce cases to be re-opened if they feel they have been misled during divorce proceedings,” said Nadia.

“It’s not a simple process to re-open a divorce case to dispute a settlement, but if a spouse believes their former partner really was dishonest, there now seems to be more likelihood that a case could be revisited.

“The Panama revelations are also likely to colour future divorce cases too, so the leaks should be taken as a warning to anyone who might be attempting to hide their true worth.”
 

Friday, 1 April 2016

Is your company name safe?

Figures show that up to 100 companies every month have their identities stolen and misused – but would you know how to stop it?

Eliot Hibbert leads the Corporate Commercial team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors in Telford, and said there were some surprisingly simple steps companies could take to protect themselves.

“Generally most people think that identity theft is a problem for people who have their computers hacked or their dustbins raided for personal information.

“But it’s actually just as common, if not more so, for fraudsters to target companies and use their name and credentials illegally. In order to protect your business – and your reputation – it’s vital that company owners take action as soon as possible.”

Eliot said the difficulty with corporate identity theft was that although it was fairly simple to commit, it was generally not uncovered very quickly.

“It’s easy for fraudsters to obtain your company’s details as the information is open to anyone through the Companies House website – and usually they will start by filling in forms to change your company’s registered office address and the name of at least one director. This means of course that you’re not likely to realise what’s happened until they’ve actually misused your company name.”

Eliot said business owners should sign up to the Companies’ House PROOF system to help make it difficult, if not impossible, for fraudsters to intervene.

“The only reason you may not be able to register to use PROOF is if there’s any kind of ongoing dispute between company directors – not a simple everyday dispute, but a serious one that could lead to a director or company secretary resigning.”

Under the PROOF scheme, companies need to submit certain Companies House forms online such as the annual tax return and notice of any changes in directors’ details – and once a company is registered, forms will only be accepted from specific people within a company.

“You can also appoint someone to regularly check your company’s details on the Companies House website – it will take only a couple of minutes and yet it could protect your business from a whole host of problems.”