Forbes Blog

Domestic Abuse Reforms

Today Theresa May has launched a consultation on the Government’s new domestic abuse Bill. This much anticipated draft Bill will provide for the first time a statutory definition of domestic abuse that includes economic abuse, alongside other forms of non-physical abuse.

Family, Civil or Criminal Courts will be able to grant the new Orders on a “freestanding application” from a victim, a member of their family or a support service.

Other proposed reforms to protect vulnerable victims include domestic abuse suspects being banned from drinking alcohol or taking drugs. The reform would give the Court powers to electronically tag domestic abuse perpetrators to monitor their movements and also the powers to impose that perpetrators must notify the police if they enter into a new relationship. Read more

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Could you identify a ‘never event’?

In 2018 the Government published the Revised Never Events Policy and framework.   A never event, should as the words suggest, not happen. It is a serious and entirely preventable event because at National level there are safety recommendations and guidance providing a strong protective barrier which should have been adopted by all health care providers. Read more

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GDPR update: No longer a requirement to notify with the ICO…but a fee hike above the rate of inflation

As of 25 May 2018, the fees that data controllers pay to the ICO are changing.

A data controller is the legal person or body which determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data.

Essentially this means that they are the person responsible for making decisions about why personal data is processed and how it is done in an organisation.

The ICO published its guidance on the data protection fee on 21 February 2018.

How much will I be required to pay under the new regime?

There will now be three tiers of fee which will be determined principally on your number of employees and annual turnover.

Turnover Numbers of Staff Fee
Tier 1 – Micro Organisation £632,000 10 £40
Tier 2 – Small and Medium Organisations £36 million 250 £60
Tier 3 – Large Organisations Above Tier 2 Above Tier 2 £2,900

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Winner Winner (No) Chicken Dinner – KFC and Supply Contracts

KFC has recently hit the news for all the wrong reasons, due to a huge amount of stores running out of fresh chicken. Out of 900 restaurants only a reported 254 of these remained open, the majority of which could only offer a limited menu and reduced their opening hours. This major issue allegedly stemmed from KFC’s partnership with its new supplier DHL. Read more

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Government targets fathers to ‘Share the Joy’

The Government has launched an innovative new ‘Share the Joy’ campaign to encourage more parents to take up the offer of Shared Parental Leave in their baby’s first year.  The campaign launch follows discouraging research from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (‘BEIS’) suggesting the uptake for Shared Parental Leave has been as low as 2% of the estimated 285,000 eligible couples since the scheme was launched in 2015, and that up to half of the general public are unaware of the right to Shared Parental Leave.

Whilst BEIS said it was normal for the scheme to take some time to ‘bed in’, it is hoped that the new campaign will encourage employees to take advantage of the flexible rights available to them. Read more

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Time spent by employees “on call” to potentially attract pay

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled yesterday that periods on call must be considered to be working time and be paid accordingly.

Rudy Matzak, a Belgian volunteer firefighter, began serving in 1981.  Mr Matzak was permitted to stay at home when he was on call, but had to be ready for service with only eight minutes’ notice.

The case was heard before the Belgian labour courts in 2009, and was referred to the ECJ in 2015. The ECJ ruled that the period of notice when he was on call was so short it constrained Mr Matzak’s ability “to devote himself to his personal and social interests”.  Given he was not only required to be contactable, but had to get to the scene of the fire, he was needed to be “physically present” and his ability to do anything else was constrained.  This was held to differ from employees who were essentially on “stand by” and needed only to be contactable.  Read more

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#GDPR Week – 100 Days to Prepare

This week marks 100 days to go until the coming into force of the General Data Protection Regulation in the United Kingdom. The ICO has confirmed that there will be no “grace period” come 25 May; GDPR was published in 2016 and so we are in the transition period now. Hopefully by now you will have gained an understanding of what is changing, but a lot of organisations are wondering where to start in their preparations for compliance.

With 3 months left to prepare, you have time enough to get ready – provided that you do it right! Whilst it may seem a daunting process for your organisation to go through, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. The best place to start is to take a look at some of the information available on our website here and on the ICO’s website here. The ICO has helpfully published a useful template for you to use when carrying out your data mapping/data audit exercise – which is the first job on the list for your preparations. Read more

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Is EUr Trade Mark Ready? – Preparing your business for Brexit

Uncertainty surrounding the effects Brexit will have upon trademarks and intellectual property (IP) across the EU remains, with the next phase of talks focusing on the future of the trading relationship between the UK and EU. Already one UK based IP firm has announced they will open a new office in Dublin due to their concerns.

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Clause for Concern: Recent Updates to Exclusion Clauses and Indemnities

Contracting parties must always be considerate of circumstances that could lead to losses, even more so when these parties are of equal bargaining power. The recent decisions of the courts in relation to exclusion clauses and indemnities, affirms the position that drafting these types of clauses in a true literal sense is crucially important. Read more

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Tesco Equal Pay

It has been reported today that Tesco is facing Britain’s largest ever equal pay claim.

Pre-claim conciliation has been commenced in which women that work in stores claim their work to be of equal value with men that work in warehouses. Apparently, the most common rate hourly rate of pay for women is £8.00 but for men it is £11.00.

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