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Inheritance Tax and Adult Social Care Funding

Inheritance Tax and Adult Social Care Funding

There have been two interesting announcements recently which a lot of our clients should have on their radar. The first was a request by the Chancellor to the Office of Tax Simplification to review Inheritance Tax.  In the request, it was acknowledged that the current Inheritance Tax regime is particularly complex and the Chancellor is interested to hear of any proposals for simplification of the system to ensure that it is fit for purpose and any such review should focus on the technical and administrative issues relating to Inheritance... Read full article

Significant increase in employment tribunal claims since abolition of fees in June 2017

Significant increase in employment tribunal claims since abolition of fees in June 2017

The Government introduced employment tribunal fees in June 2013.  This meant that an individual making an application to the employment tribunal could end up paying as much as £1200 to have their claim heard.  This resulted in a dramatic decline in the number of employment tribunal claims, by up to 70%.  The most significant decision in 2017 was the abolition of these fees resulting in individuals no longer having to pay a fee to bring an employment tribunal claim.  This decision was made by the Supreme Court on 26 July 2017 in the case R (on... Read full article

Does our Criminal Justice System work?

Does our Criminal Justice System work?

According to the BBC this week, “the number of prosecutions in England and Wales that collapsed because of a failure by police or prosecutors to disclose evidence increased by 70% in the last two years.” Add to this the collapse of two high profile rape trials in December because of a failure to share evidence with defence solicitors, and you might be right to ask if you find yourself accused of a criminal offence, have been arrested, charged or are on bail, whether you can expect to receive justice under our current legal system? How does the Criminal... Read full article

No Fault Divorce - the end of the blame game?

No Fault Divorce - the end of the blame game?

In the last few months, there has been increased coverage in the media about reforming divorce laws. At Alsters Kelley we are committed to easing the burden of stressful divorce and avoiding unnecessary conflict. Furthermore, as members of Resolution, http://www.resolution.org.uk/  we fully support their proposal to change the law and allow couples to divorce without having to apportion blame. Manage separation in a better way It is our belief that the no fault option should make it far easier for people to reach an amicable agreement, enabling us to help... Read full article

Private Landlords watch out......

Private Landlords watch out......

The Government has announced that after April 1st 2018, Private Landlords with rented properties will no longer be able to rent out a property with an Energy Performance Rating of F or G.   Landlords who own properties within these EPC brackets should begin preparing now in improving their properties to upgrade the energy efficiency to at least an E rating (unless the Landlord qualifies for an exemption).  The Government will require that all rented properties must be to an energy performance level E before the property is let -  a... Read full article

The Gender pay gap reporting deadline is fast approaching!

The Gender pay gap reporting deadline is fast approaching!

Employers with a headcount of 250 or more employees have to publish information relating to their gender pay gap by the deadline of 4 April 2018, or 30 March 2018 if they are a public sector employer. This gender pay gap report needs to be uploaded to the company’s own website and a government website, allowing full public access to the data. If an employer fails to publish this report or comply with the regulations then enforcement may be taken against the employer. Furthermore, this failure is also likely to lend itself to reputational risk and therefore have a... Read full article

Reminder re Stamp Duty Changes

Reminder re Stamp Duty Changes

On the 22nd November 2017, the Chancellor announced exciting new changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for First Time Buyers as part of the Autumn 2017 budget.  SDLT is a tax that anyone purchasing a property or land costing more than a set amount (currently £125,000 for Residential Properties) has to pay. This sum is calculated based upon the value of the property and whether you own multiple properties.  The changes, which came into effect immediately, mean that you are no longer liable to pay SDLT on the first £300,000 of any house purchase... Read full article

Christmas Crackdown on Drink and Drug Driving

Christmas Crackdown on Drink and Drug Driving

A reminder that police all over the country are getting into the festive spirit with a timely warning against drink and drug driving.  Many police forces have released hard hitting videos to demonstrate the deadly consequences of drink or drug driving. Warwickshire Police launched their Christmas drink drive campaign at the beginning of December and will be particularly targeting morning after drink drivers. Their figures revealed that over the past 3 years 8 people have been killed and 81 seriously injured following collisions in which drink or drugs were... Read full article

Appeal Rights - Extended family members of EEA nationals

Appeal Rights - Extended family members of EEA nationals

From 2006 – June 2016 extended family members of EU nationals, residing in the United Kingdom (UK), enjoyed a statutory right of appeal against a negative decision in the grant of a residence card; documentation which evidences a person’s lawful residence in the UK. This was under the 2006 Regulations. There was no issue with this school of thought from anyone including the Home Office and Judiciary. Along came Sala v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] UKUT 411 (IAC) where the Upper Tribunal noted that the courts had for some 10 years... Read full article

Using Hands-Free Mobile Phone Whilst Driving

Using Hands-Free Mobile Phone Whilst Driving

Using a hands free mobile phone device whilst driving could land you in prison. Just because it is legal to use a phone hands-free does not mean it is always safe to do so.  Drivers could now face jail for using a hands-free device whilst driving after a recent landmark Court case ruled them dangerous.  In the landmark case, the woman accused was driving whilst using a hands-free kit and was engaged in a telephone call with a friend.  She had been talking on the phone for over 20 minutes and whilst engaging in conversation she was on the wrong side of... Read full article

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Inheritance Tax and Adult Social Care Funding

There have been two interesting announcements recently which a lot of our clients should have on...

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