Fox Whitfield Change of Address

From 30 December 2018 our new postal address will be:

 

Unit 10 Wealden Forest Park

Herne Common

Herne Bay

Kent

CT6 7QL

 

We will still operate in Manchester and will still have access to meeting rooms in our current Didsbury address but all post should be sent to our new address in Kent.

Sarah Russell discusses the Gender Pay Gap on the BBC

 

Sarah Russell (http://www.foxwhitfield.com/team/sarah-russell/) has today been on the BBC News and BBC World talking about the gender pay gap. 

Several large companies have recently released their gender pay information, ahead of the compulsory deadline for the public and private sector in April.  Easyjet, Ladbrokes and Phase 8 all showed significant gender pay disparities.  Many companies attributed the difference to the fact that they have more men at a senior level, and more women in less senior, customer service-type roles. 

In Sarah’s experience the situation is considerably more complex, with women at senior levels typically being paid less than male colleagues.   Women actually now out-earn men on average in their twenties, but unfortunately the gap develops in a woman’s late 30s.  It is often connected to maternity, part-time worker and/or age discrimination.

 If you have concerns about these issues, please contact Sarah by email or mobile for a free, no obligation discussion.

http://BBC News – Gender pay gap: More than 500 firms reveal their figures http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42580194

High Court Case leads to Confusion?

In June of 2016 the High Court gave a decision that has many employment lawyers and employers scratching their heads. Fox Whitfield was acting for two employees who were seeking a High Court declaration that restrictive covenants in their contract were not enforceable. One of their arguments was that the contracts were given to them after they had been working for some time and at that time no pay rise or other benefits were provided to them. I t was generally accepted law that “Post-termination restrictions introduced after an employee has started work were generally thought to be enforceable only where the employee is given a tangible benefit (e.g. a pay rise) in return”. However, in this case the High Court decided that was not necessary as simply continuing to employee the employees and introducing them to new clients was deemed to be enough. There has been much comment on this case: “The principles set out in Pro Cam are likely to be challenged (and the decision may yet be appealed).” I agree it will be challenged but this case is not going to be appealed. There are clear grounds to appeal but commercially it wasn’t deemed worthwhile.
No more nominal payments as consideration?
http://tinyurl.com/paagkzo http://tinyurl.com/pvwqp88 The full decision can be read here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2016/1304.html What, if anything, this case shows is that it is very hard to accurately predict what restrictive covenants may be deemed to be enforceable by the High Court and which may not. This uncertainty is unhelpful for both employers and employees. These cases are hugely fact and detail sensitive and anyone thinking about introducing them to employees, or enforcing them to trying to escape from them should take proper legal advice as early in that process as they possibly can. Paul Whitfield acted for James Pickwell and Molly Nichols in this case. Paul Whitfield is the Principal Solicitor at Fox Whitfield. Fox Whitfield can advise HR, employers and employees on disciplinary processes, procedures and unfair dismissal claims. We can also arrange meetings in the evenings or at weekends to work around your working hours. www.foxwhitfield.com 0161 283 1276 Employment Law Solicitors – Head Office in Manchester with offices located throughout the United Kingdom.

Taxation of Termination Payments

compromise agreement1 300x90 Taxation of Termination Payments

 

The Government has published a document on the “simplification of the tax and National Insurance treatment of termination payments”. That induces some draft legislation that will change the way that termination payments and settlement agreements are taxed and negotiated.

Currently employers may be able to pay notice payments tax free if there is no contractual right to pay in lieu of notice. Also employers can pay up to £30,000 tax free in some cases and higher payments are also exempt from employers National Insurance. 

The new legislation, due to come into force in April 2018 will change this. What is proposed is that:

  1. All pay in lieu of notice payments will be fully taxed and subjected to National Insurance.
  2. Employers will have to pay employer National Insurance on all termination payments of over £30,000.
  3. Payments for Injury to Feelings in discrimination claims will also be taxed.

Employers will still be able to pay up to £30,000 tax free and without National Insurance.

Employers should take this opportunity to look at their current employment contracts and ensure that they have the best contractual protection. It is likely that if these new laws are brought into force that there will be no reason why all employers should not have contractual pay in lieu of notice clauses in their contracts.  It is also essential that employers take fresh legal advice on any settlement agreements that they are using. Once the law changes in 2018 those will need important changes to ensure that they work properly. It is never a good idea to simply keep using an old settlement agreement as employment law does change so quickly. 

In summary the law may be a little clearer on tax once the new legislation is in force. What is also clear is that this will cost may employers and some employees additional tax when terminating employment or settling employment tribunal claims.

Paul Whitfield is the Principal Solicitor at Fox Whitfield.

Fox Whitfield can advise HR, employers and employees on Settlement Agreements , disciplinary processes, procedures and unfair dismissal claims. We can also arrange meetings in the evenings or at weekends to work around your working hours.

www.foxwhitfield.com

0161 283 1276

Employment Law Solicitors – Head Office based in Manchester with offices located throughout the United Kingdom.

 

 

Client Feedback

paul whitfield manchester office Client Feedback

Sometimes it’s easy to become jaded with the law and the demands of work. Then once in a while a client reminds you that what you do really matters to them, the hard work made a difference and that they really appreciated what you did.

I recently settled a case for a client. He was an employee with a strong case. He had legal expenses cover but the advice he was getting from the insurance company lawyer wasn’t great. They told him it wasn’t worth doing anything and that they wouldn’t cover his costs.

I thought it was worth him doing something and he was willing to pay some fees himself. We issued his claim and it then quickly settled for more than twice the sum the insurance company thought it was worth. The client was very happy and offered to write me a testimonial.

What he wrote was this: –

I was was referred to Paul Whitfield of Fox Whitfield by a friend. I wasn’t getting much support from the legal cover on my home insurance. Paul stepped in and won an out of court settlement on an unfair dismissal dispute. He handled the whole case and guided me through the process. Paul knows what he is doing, he is very professional and provides an outstanding service.”

The icing on the cake for my client was that I have now managed to get his insurance company to cover all of the costs they had initially refused. Money from employers is hard to get, but getting money from insurance companies is a whole new level of difficult!

My client is delighted and I am reminded why, sometimes, this is a great way to make a living.

Paul Whitfield is the Principal Solicitor at Fox Whitfield.

Fox Whitfield can advise HR, employers and employees on disciplinary processes, procedures and unfair dismissal claims. We can also arrange meetings in the evenings or at weekends to work around your working hours.

www.foxwhitfield.com

0161 283 1276

Employment Law Solicitors – Head Office based in Manchester with offices located throughout the United Kingdom.