Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Changes to CJRS “Furlough” effective from 1 July 2021

 In March of this year it was announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) had been extended until 30 September 2021.

 



From 1 July 2021, government contributions will reduce to 70%, (up to a maximum of £2,187.50), for hours not worked by furloughed employees.  To remain eligible to receive this grant, employers will be required to contribute the additional 10% to ensure furloughed employees continue to receive 80% of their wages up to the £2500 cap.   Employers must also continue to pay the employees’ national insurance and pension contributions for the hours the employees are on furlough.

 

Employers can continue to ‘top up’, at their own expense, employees’ wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked.

 

In order to be eligible for the CJRS grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee in a written furlough agreement that they have been furloughed, when their period of furlough shall begin and how much they are likely to be paid.

 

At Martin Kaye Solicitors, our Employment Team have been successfully supporting businesses throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.  If you would like further guidance on the scheme or require up to date “furlough agreements”, then please call the team on 01952 566920 or email us at employment@martinkaye.co.uk.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Whiplash reforms will be implemented on 31st May 2021 for low value claim Road Traffic Accidents

 


The long-awaited whiplash reforms are set to be implemented on 31st May 2021. The reforms have been in the pipeline for some time now and were due to come into force in April 2020.

What are whiplash reforms?

Insurance companies have been campaigning for reforms to the current process as they believe that this will reduce the number of low value claims. This in theory would make savings for the insurance companies leading to reductions in insurance premiums for motorists.

The whiplash reforms will be introduced by the Government to modify the way low-value personal injury claims arising from RTAs (road traffic accidents) are managed.

How will the Whiplash reforms impact me?

Currently if your personal injury claim is valued less that £1,000 this will fall into small claims and you are not able to recover legal costs from your opponent. The reform will see an increase to the small claims limit to £5,000 for RTA claims, all other personal injury claims will remain at £1,000.

Under the new reforms for any road traffic accident which occurs on or after 31st May 2021, your injuries must be valued in excess of £5,000 in order to make a claim with a specialist personal injury solicitor like Martin Kaye Solicitors.

There are some exceptions to the new £5,000 limit in RTA claims. These include:

  • Where the Claimant is a child or protected party;
  • Where the Claimant was a ’vulnerable road user’, e.g. motorcyclists and pillion/sidecar passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and those using mobility scooters;
  • Where, on the date proceedings started, the Claimant is an undischarged bankrupt, or the Claimant or Defendant acts as a personal representative of a deceased person; and
  • Where, on the date that the accident occurred, the Defendant’s vehicle was registered outside the United Kingdom.

If a case falls into one or more of these categories, the old £1,000 limit will continue to apply and the normal track for the claim will be fast track, which means that individuals will still be able to seek the assistance of a solicitor.

The reform will also see the introduction of tariffs for whiplash injuries lasting less than two years. This will decide how much compensation a person should receive for their whiplash injury and this new system will include all the injuries sustained if the total award is less than £5,000. These tariffs will limit the amount of compensation awarded to Claimants compared to the current system in place. Under the new tariffs, Claimant’s will receive between £235.00 for the shortest period allowed under the tariff and £3,910 for injuries lasting less than two years.

The reform new limit of £5,000, will leave many claimants representing themselves against the third party insurers directly without any legal support.

Any road traffic accidents which occurred on or before the 31st May 2021 will continue under the current process for low-value personal injury claims, and all other accident claims remain unaffected for now. All our initial consultations are free of charge and without obligation, call us directly on 0800 975 6066 to start your claim. We are also able to help with accidents at work or public places.

 

Monday, 22 February 2021

Uber Loses Landmark Case in the Supreme Court


After a long-running legal battle, the Supreme Court has now reached a decision on the status of Uber drivers in the case of Uber v Aslam.

The Court held that Uber drivers must now be classified as ‘workers’, rather than self-employed individuals, from the time they log on to the app, until they the time they log off, which includes time spent waiting to pick up passengers.

The judgment follows Uber’s appeal to the Supreme Court, after losing three earlier rounds in the Employment Tribunal and the High Court.

The decision means that tens of thousands of Uber drivers are now entitled to certain employment rights such as minimum wage for their entire working day (including 2 years’ back pay, possibly more), 5.6 weeks paid annual leave as well as whistleblowing and related rights. The judgment does not, however, give them ‘employee’ status, and so they do not, for example, have any entitlement to a redundancy payment or to claim unfair dismissal.

The ruling may have a wider effect in threatening Uber’s current business model, and it remains to be seen how this decision will affect gig economy individuals working for competing apps, and the impact in terms of potential claims.

This update has been provided by our Alpha Team. Alpha is our HR and Employment Support Service. To find out how we can help your business call us on 0845 450 1561.


Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Long service awards for law firm staff





2020 was a very interesting year with limited good news, however this still hasn’t stopped us officially recognising our long serving staff for their dedication and commitment to the practice.

Sarah Mears, Michelle Poulton, Julie Peate, Tina Martin, Sam Azzopardi-Tudor and Fiona Mainwaring have all received long service awards from the Partners.

Partner and Head of HR Alison Carter said their loyal support has been invaluable in the years they have worked for the firm, especially during this pandemic which has seen all staff working differently. We want to express the gratitude of the partners for all their efforts.  We’re a very close-knit team and we believe it’s crucial to recognise the dedication of our staff, and all the work they put in to help ensure the practice runs smoothly and efficiently. It’s an honour to see many of our employees have long and settled careers with us.

Julie Peate received her award for 30 years’ service. Julie is the first member of staff at Martin Kaye to receive this award for this length of service. Julie started with us back in December 1989 when we had offices at Hazledine House.

Celebrating 25 years’ service is Tina Martin our Senior Receptionist and celebrating 20 years services we have Sam Azzopardi-Tudor our Office Manager, Fiona Mainwaring our Wills & Probate Department Manager, Sarah Mears who is a Chartered Legal Executive in our Personal Injury team and Michelle Poulton who is an Associate in our Private Property Team.

Martin-Kaye Solicitors began in 1985 with just three members of staff and in the decades that have followed, the independent practice has become one of the largest legal firms with offices in Telford, Shrewsbury and Wolverhampton.

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Martin Kaye recognised for cyber security for the third year running.

We have been recognised for the third year running for our cyber security. Martin Kaye LLP have received certification for Cyber Essentials by Norm and IASME Consortium. 


Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed scheme supported by the National Cyber Security Centre. The initiative encourages companies and organisations to adopt good practice in the way they use technology, and it protects them against a whole range of the most common cyber-attacks.

As part of the criteria we are required to show –

·         We are committed to using a secure internet connection in our offices

·         Ensure that all our devices and software are secure

·         Control who has access to our data and services

·         Protect our systems from viruses and other malware

·         All our devices and software regularly updated



Mrs Azzopardi-Tudor our Office Manager said, “Our commitment to this scheme and the recognition we have received is a clear indication to our clients and employees that we are constantly working to prevent cyber-attacks and protecting their personal data. This has become more important during the pandemic with staff working from home, in addition the rising risk of cyber-attacks and the threat of increasingly sophisticated cyber-crime, many companies are now choosing to work only with advisors and professional service providers who have been accredited. This recognition assures our clients that we take cyber security seriously, and that we’re continually updating our systems to protect their data at all times.

The accreditation means that Martin-Kaye Solicitors is listed in the recognised Government directory of organisations who have been awarded Cyber Essentials status. So if you’re looking to appoint a law firm that meets the very highest standards of cyber security will find us on the list.


Monday, 25 January 2021

Key steps to manage holiday entitlements during this ongoing pandemic.



The Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (the 'Regulations') introduces a temporary change to the Working Time Regulations 1998 which extends the circumstances in which statutory leave can be carried over to subsequent holiday years to include situations where it is not ‘reasonably practicable’ to take leave due to coronavirus. Up to four weeks of holiday is allowed to be carried over for up to two years.

During this pandemic, it is important to proactively manage holiday entitlements so that you are not left short-staffed after the pandemic with lots of staff wanting to take holiday at the same time:


  • Monitor individual holiday allowances over the coming months.
  • If possible, encourage workers to take their holidays when they can during the current holiday year. Employers should be mindful of the benefits of maintaining good mental health and well being for employees and the importance of timely rest.
  • If necessary, consider requiring employees to take their holiday at certain times.
  • If you have employees on furlough consider how you will approach the issue of holidays.


Contact our Employment Team at employment@martinkaye.co.uk or on 01952 525984 for advice and assistance regarding holidays or any other HR matter during this pandemic.