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News

02 February 2021 COVID-19

The rollout of the vaccination programme has been welcomed as the beginning of the end for the Covid-19 pandemic. For many employers, ensuring their workforce is vaccinated is an important step in getting their business back to operating as usual. However, the effects of ‘vaccine hesitancy’ and the anti-vaccine movement may mean that some employees refuse to be vaccinated. ‘How employers respond to choices around vaccinations brings into play employment law, data protection law and human rights,’ says Gillian Reid, Head of Employment with Pearsons & Ward, and who answers some of the key questions for employers. Can we require employees to be vaccinated? In short, probably not, although there may be a stronger case for workers in health and care settings. In the UK, it is not compulsory to have the Covid-19 vaccine and the…
20 January 2021 COVID-19

In collaboration with HSE, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives (RCOM), the Government has updated the advice for pregnant employees. This advice is for you if you are pregnant and working as an employee. This includes pregnant healthcare professionals. It will help you discuss with your line manager and occupational health team how best to ensure health and safety in the workplace. If you are pregnant and have let your employer know in writing of your pregnancy, your employer should carry out a risk assessment to follow the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW) or the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000. This may involve obtaining advice from the occupational health department. See the workplace risk assessment guidance for healthcare…
09 December 2020 COVID-19

On the 2nd December the Government announced a series of measures across England in line with a new “three-tier” lockdown system, in an attempt to control the coronavirus infection rates.
01 December 2020 COVID-19

We have seen that the effects of the coronavirus are extreme and long-lasting.  When thinking of the coronavirus, the last thing that most of us will have on our minds is the impact on our Will.  The importance of reviewing your Will at this time should not be underestimated, however. Many business owners and employees have suffered financially this year.  If you have suffered financial loss you may need to rethink the terms of your Will where you have included fixed sum legacies to beneficiaries.  It may be the case that the fixed sums featured in the Will now exceed your net worth.  This could be due to the fall in the value of your share portfolio, losing your job or having a reduced income whilst on furlough.   We can guide you on the ways in…
04 November 2020 COVID-19

Following the latest Government announcement of a second national lockdown for England, we wish to reassure all of our clients and contacts that it is business as usual. We have robust plans in place to minimise any disruption and will continue to operate as normal whilst also protecting our clients, our staff and the wider community. We are committed to supporting our clients and contacts throughout this period whilst monitoring updates and following Government advice.  We have plans in place that enable us to continue serving our clients and contacts including equipping our staff for home-working. All our clients will be able to maintain contact with our staff via telephone and email however, we have decided for everyone’s protection that we are unable to make client appointments at any of our offices from Thursday 5th November. …
08 October 2020 COVID-19

This newsletter covers: Job Support Scheme Preventing the Second Wave Monitoring of Workers Working at Home Domestic Abuse and The Role of The Employer Redundancy Job Support Scheme The Flexible Furlough Scheme ends on 31 October and will be replaced by the Job Support Scheme on 1 November. This new scheme is available to all employers even if they have not previously furloughed workers. However, there’s a rule that large as opposed to SME businesses will have to show they have been adversely affected by Covid-19.    The new scheme will help where a worker is working at least one third of their usual hours but full hours aren’t available because of the current situation. The Government will help the employer pay the worker’s wages for the hours they aren’t required. But this top…
11 September 2020 COVID-19

During this period of uncertainty we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries from people who want to ensure that their affairs are in order should their health fail. One of the most important ways to do this is to put a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place. People can become unable to manage their affairs at any stage of life but our more vulnerable clients have naturally been prompted to think about this more than they usually would. A serious illness, accident or the onset of mental illness may make everyday tasks such as paying bills, managing a budget and making financial and welfare decisions difficult, stressful and, in some cases, impossible. An LPA gives a person control over who will help them manage their affairs and allows you to appoint someone you…
04 September 2020 COVID-19

The key priority for a landlord of commercial property is to secure a reliable and predictable rental income, which can be reviewed at regular intervals so that it keeps pace with other properties in the market.  Traditionally, commercial tenants have paid rent in advance in four quarterly instalments, with rent reviews every three to five years. Covid-19 has placed increasing financial pressure on business tenants, and many are asking landlords to help cash flow by considering alternative ways to structure the rent. ‘The way businesses occupy property is having to change, so the way landlords charge rent needs to change as well’ says Andrew Little, Commercial Property Solicitor with Pearsons & Ward in Malton,  ‘Landlords need tenants in their properties, paying rent, so it is in everyone’s interest to structure the rent in a way that…
02 September 2020 COVID-19

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme changed again from 1 September 2020 in line with previous government announcements.From 1 September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a maximum cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). The caps are proportional to the hours not worked.Further reductions to the government contribution will come into effect from 1 October 2020 with the Scheme coming to an end on 31 October 2020.If you are an Employer or Employee and you would like further guidance or advice on your rights and responsibilities under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, returning to work or reorganisation, please do not hesitate to our experienced Employment team on 01904 716000 or email  who will be happy to assist.
21 August 2020 COVID-19

Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, we have been contacted by many people wanting to ensure they have Wills in place or to update existing Wills. This has no doubt been prompted partly by the natural fear of serious illness in the current climate, but also many people have found they have had the time to think about what they would like to happen in the event of their death. For many people making a Will in normal circumstances is a task that is easily put off. In the past few weeks, we have seen a significant increase in people seeking our advice on Wills.  We would like to assure you that our offices are open for business and we can meet people in a COVID safe environment. However, for some older or vulnerable people…
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