Articles

Here you will find all the latest news from the SCE team. In this section we will feature news about what we have been up to, recent mentions in the press, information about the work we do in the community and lots more.

Monthly Archive March 2017

The Spring Budget 2017: IR35 and Public Sector Contractors

Some, or most of you will recall that the government introduced IR35 in 2000 to stop ‘disguised employee’ i.e. self-employed individuals, who fundamentally share the characteristics of an employees, working under a limited company to benefit from the tax breaks. 

Whether IR35 achieved the aim that the government set remains debateable. However, in this spring’s budget the government took a step further and confirmed from 6 April 2017, in the public sector only, IR35 status will be determined by the client, not the contractor. 

If a client decides that IR35 applies, the contractor business will be taxed at source, through the Real Time Information (RTI) system, exactly as if it were an employee. While the tax position would be the same as that of an employee, unfortunately, the benefits won’t as the contractor will not be entitled to sick or holiday pay, nor will they have the right to claim unfair dismissal.

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Employment Tribunal Judgments Now Available Online

Back in July 2016, we brought you the news that it was the Government’s intention to publish Employment Tribunal judgments online.  It took a little while longer than anticipated, but it has now happened.

Judgments can be found at https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions.  The Tribunal began uploading some decisions from 2016 onto the site but it appears all new judgments are now being uploaded. Anyone can access the site and search for cases by name, either of the employee or employer, or by type of claim.  Here, we take a look at what this could mean for employees and employers.

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Celebrating the leading ladies of SCE Solicitors this International Women’s Day

It’s international women’s day today and we’re proud of our two leading ladies; Samira Cakali and Mandy Walton. Both passionate about what they do and full of enthusiasm, to mark the day, we thought we’d bring you a little insight into why they decided on a career in the legal profession.

Samira Cakali

Like many teenagers as I approached the deadline for submission of the UCAS form, I attended careers evenings, had 1-2-1 sessions with the career’s adviser and vigorously undertook work experience in a number of industries. While, a combination of those activities helped me decide which career path I did not wish to embark on, nothing really helped me decide which one I did!

As the dreaded UCAS deadline loomed, I became more and more disheartened, particularly as some of my close friends had clear ideas of where they were headed (in fact, many targeted their A ‘levels towards their chosen profession).

Then one day in November, my career advisers (who, I admit, was despairing at this stage) asked me whether I had considered a career in law. I had not, why not I did not know, after all I loved a good argument! As my eyes lit up, I saw the relief on her face, she quickly added “and having a law degree is good to have, even if you decide not to become a lawyer” (I had an inkling that she was eager to tick me off her list).

Thereafter to solidify my interest I undertook a number of placements to decide which area of law I wanted to practice, and after initially deciding on Commercial Property, I eventually decided on Employment Law. The rest, I guess, is history.

So, in summary, the reasons why I chose to become a lawyer are because, I still love a good argument (and as a solicitor-advocate I get plenty of that), I enjoy being creative and thinking out of the box (whether it be to bring or defend a claim), and I thrive on helping people reach commercial solutions.

Mandy Walton

I always wanted to be a lawyer, but I couldn’t tell you what single thing started me off down that path. It first appeared written on a primary school assignment, aged 7 or 8. As other children wrote about wanting to be pop stars, nurses, vets and astronauts when they grew up, I wanted to be a lawyer. I honestly have no idea where it came from. No one in my family is employed in the legal profession nor are family friends are linked to it. I can only imagine that 8-year-old me may have seen something on television, some film perhaps or a TV show, where the exciting courtroom storyline caught my eye.

And from that moment, it never changed. I never even so much as considered other professions, determined to achieve that goal once it had been set in my mind all those years ago. It’s funny to think that I was so young that I cannot recall specifically what attracted me to the profession in the first place, but I am glad my determination helped me succeed in doing a job I truly love.

So, there it is. A little insight into how our women began their journeys. We hope you join us in celebrating the women in your business this International Women’s Day.

Alcohol and Drug Testing in the Workplace

Alcohol and drug testing in the workplace can be incredibly intrusive.  However, it can be warranted in certain workplaces, particularly businesses within the manufacturing or industrial sectors where health and safety is paramount.  The invasive nature of such tests will generally be overridden where there is an overriding objective to protect the health and safety of workers or third parties where employees are operating machinery or driving vehicles.  

This week, we bring you our top tips on substance misuse testing within the workplace to ensure employers adopt a fair and reasonable approach when introducing such a practice.

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