Time is running out to claim back wrongly paid care fees
Moving a loved one into a care home is a major upheaval for any family. It can also be very expensive, with fees for residential or nursing homes often running to tens of thousands of pounds each year.
What is new in Employment Law?
Increase in tribunal awards – 1st February 2012
For dismissals taking effect on or after 1st February 2012 the maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase from £68,400 to £72,300. The maximum limit of a ‘week’s pay’ for the purpose of calculating various other awards, including the basic award for unfair dismissal, will increase from £400 to £430.
A recent report has shown that in 2009 more than 11,500 over-60s obtained a divorce which is a rise of 4% in two years.
There is little recognition for the vital role grandparents’ play in the lives of their grandchildren. Research suggests they are increasingly relied upon by parents for help with childcare and family finances. However, they can often lose contact with their grandchildren in the event of the parents’ separation or divorce.
Employment Tribunal and Law Reform
The Government has recently announced its proposals to overhaul the employment tribunal system and to take further steps to help businesses by reducing levels of employment law bureaucracy. The announcement was made following the Government’s earlier consultation on ‘Resolving Workplace Disputes’ and the Red Tape Challenge review of employment law. It is hoped that these measures will help encourage growth and employment levels in the economy.
Fathers and Parental Rights
Mothers automatically have parental responsibility which is defined within the Children Act 1989 as “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.” In practice parental responsibility involves making decisions in relation to a child’s life from everyday decisions to the more major decision such as choosing a school, authorising medical treatment and deciding on religious faith. Most fathers would want to be involved in such decisions and as such it is important that fathers ensure that they have parental responsibility.
Despite much recent publicity about mediation, members of the public are often unsure as to what mediation is and whether it is necessary before making an application to the family courts.
Update in relation to carry-over of annual leave
Carry-over of annual leave
UK workers are currently entitled to 5.6 weeks’ annual leave that must be taken in the current leave year. However, recent cases referred by UK courts to the European Court of Justice have held that in certain circumstances workers should be permitted to carry-over annual leave into the next leave year.
Equal treatment of agency workers
The Agency Workers Regulations came into force on 1st October 2010 with the aim of ensuring that temporary agency workers receive equal treatment to direct recruits.
Care fees a fairer future?
The current system for funding care is widely considered to be unfair and unacceptable. It can result in people having to sell their homes to fund their care and in the inheritance left to their families reducing to as little as £14,250. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people aged over 65 will face care fees in excess of £100,000.