Following the recent elections we will be  examining what the new government’s planning policies will entail for the housebuilding sector in our forthcoming seminar: ‘Residential development: New government - new direction?’

This newsletter brings you the latest news in areas as diverse as employment, rates and energy efficiency regulations. It also contains a timely warning to anyone who hasn’t made a new will since 2007 to consider doing so now. We deal with many busy people who focus their attention on their business, without perhaps stopping often enough to look after their personal and family needs. Our Head of Private Client Services, Julie Beales, would be pleased to talk to anyone thinking of making or updating a will.

Tim Halstead
Managing Partner, Shulmans LLP

Five in a row adds up to 100% growth

2014/15 was the fifth year in a row in which we have achieved double-digit growth. Figures from our year end to 31 March show that turnover in 2014/15 was up by over 20% on the previous year - and more than double our turnover of five years ago.

Trio of partner promotions at Shulmans

Three associates have been recently promoted to the position of partner at Shulmans.

Employers must get timing right on offer of ‘suitable alternative role’ to employees on maternity leave

Employers should offer women on maternity leave any available suitable alternative role as soon as they first notify her she is at risk of redundancy, even if the redundancy is because of a long-planned restructuring, according to a ruling of the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Tribunal clarifies when an employer is treated as knowing an employee is disabled

Employers whose employees are off sick will welcome guidance on what amounts to a reasonable investigation into whether they are disabled, particularly where the reason for absence is 'stress', following a recent Tribunal decision.

Acas publishes revised Discipline and Grievance Code of Practice

Businesses will welcome a new Acas Code of Practice clarifying the circumstances in which an employee can be accompanied to disciplinary or grievance meetings.

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Landlord prepare for new energy efficiency regulations

Landlords of domestic and non-domestic private rented premises are preparing for new regulations requiring many of them to make energy efficiency improvements to their properties before they can continue to be rented out.

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Ratepayers not normally entitled to rates reduction when refurbishing or improving

Property owners and managers carrying out ongoing works to refurbish and/or improve rateable premises will still have to pay rates as if the premises are in reasonable repair, unless there is evidence a reasonable landlord would consider repairs uneconomic, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Wills made before 2007 should be reviewed following Court of Appeal ruling

Anyone who made a Will before 2007 which includes legacies calculated by reference to the inheritance tax nil-rate band should consider changing it, following a Court of Appeal ruling.

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Zero-hours contracts: key considerations for employers

Tom Watkins, Employment Associate at Shulmans, has recently published in FM World an article relating to zero-hours contracts.

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