Summer Round-Up: Key Developments in UK Employment Law


As the summer months have come to an end, it’s time to take a closer look at the significant developments in UK employment law that have taken place during this period. At Aman Solicitors, we understand the importance of staying updated on the ever-evolving legal landscape, and we’re here to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the key changes and reforms that have transpired in the world of employment law.

Family-Friendly Rights:

One area of employment law that saw notable developments over the summer pertains to family-friendly rights. Employers and employees alike should be aware of these changes, which include adjustments to parental leave and flexible working arrangements. These changes are aimed at creating a more inclusive and supportive work environment, where employees can better balance their personal and professional lives.

Trade Unions and Sexual Harassment Reform:

In the realm of trade unions and sexual harassment reform, significant strides have been made to ensure that workers’ rights are protected and that workplaces are free from harassment. These reforms are part of a broader effort to promote fairness and equality in the workplace. Our solicitors are well-versed in these changes and can provide guidance on how they may affect your business or employment situation.

Worker Status and Industrial Action Rights:

Court and tribunal decisions during the summer have also clarified the test for worker status and industrial action rights. Understanding the legal framework surrounding worker status is crucial for both employers and employees, as it can impact employment rights and benefits. Likewise, staying informed about industrial action rights is essential for those involved in labor disputes or negotiations.

Treatment of Share Incentive Plan Rights after TUPE Transfers:

Another key area of development in UK employment law relates to the treatment of share incentive plan rights after TUPE transfers. Changes in ownership or business structures can have significant implications for employees’ benefits and entitlements. Our solicitors can provide expert advice on how these changes may affect you and your business.


While we typically expect employment law reform to progress slowly, this summer has proven to be an exception. The developments we’ve highlighted in family-friendly rights, trade unions, sexual harassment reform, worker status, industrial action rights, and share incentive plan rights after TUPE transfers underscore the need for ongoing vigilance and legal expertise in navigating the complexities of employment law.

At Aman Solicitors, our team of dedicated solicitors is here to assist you with all your employment law needs. Whether you’re an employer seeking to ensure compliance with new regulations or an employee looking to understand your rights better, we are committed to providing you with the guidance and support you require.

Stay informed, stay protected – trust Aman Solicitors for all your employment law matters.


Navigating Immigration and Employment Law Changes in the UK

If you’re an employer in the UK or an individual considering working in the country, it’s essential to stay informed about the latest updates in immigration and employment law. Recent announcements from the UK government have significant implications for both employers and visa applicants, and it’s crucial to understand these changes to make informed decisions.

Visa Application Fee Increases

The UK government has confirmed plans to implement substantial increases in visa application fees. While the exact effective date is yet to be confirmed, it is expected to take place in autumn 2023. These proposed changes are set to create additional financial burdens for employers recruiting individuals from overseas who require visas to work in the UK.

Here’s a breakdown of the key fee increases:

  1. Core government application fees for work and visitor visas are set to rise by 15%.
  2. Fees for Certificates of Sponsorship, indefinite leave to remain, all other leave to remain, entry clearance applications, and priority services will increase by 20%.
  3. The main rate of the Immigration Health Surcharge will see a substantial increase from £624 to £1035 per year. For students and those under 18, the discounted rate will increase from £470 to £776 per year.
  4. For instance, a Three-Year Skilled Worker visa application for a single applicant is estimated to exceed £7,000 under the new arrangements, reflecting a roughly 25% increase.

Impact on Employers

These changes undoubtedly present higher costs for employers seeking to recruit foreign talent. To mitigate the financial impact, employers should consider the following strategies:

  1. Review Recruitment Plans: Evaluate your recruitment plans and budget to ensure they align with the expected fee increases.
  2. Accelerate Applications: If feasible, consider bringing forward visa applications before the fee hikes come into effect to avoid paying higher rates.
  3. Maximise Visa Durations: For new hires applying before the increased fees take effect, consider maximising visa durations to minimise the potential for costly renewals in the future.

Penalty Increases for Illegal Working

In addition to the visa fee increases, the Home Office has announced significant raises in civil penalties for illegal working, anticipated to take effect in 2024. These increased penalties are designed to further discourage illegal working practices in the UK.

Here are the notable civil penalty increases:

  1. The penalty for a first breach will rise from a maximum of £15,000 per illegal worker to £45,000.
  2. The penalty for repeat breaches will increase from £20,000 per illegal worker to £60,000.

Ensuring Compliance

Employers must have robust processes in place to combat illegal working, in accordance with Home Office guidance. This includes conducting proper right-to-work checks for all employees, regardless of nationality. For those holding a Sponsorship Licence, there are enhanced compliance and reporting obligations that must be upheld to avoid penalties.

As solicitors based in Birmingham, we are well-equipped to assist with all immigration and employment law matters. If you require guidance or support navigating these changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced legal team. Stay informed, stay compliant, and make informed decisions in this evolving legal landscape.

For expert legal advice and assistance, contact Aman Solicitors today. We’re here to help you navigate the complexities of immigration and employment law in the UK.


What the UK’s Incoming Flexible Working Laws Mean for You?

Employment law is constantly evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest developments is crucial for both employers and employees. Last month, a significant milestone was achieved as The Flexible Working Bill successfully passed its third reading in the House of Lords without any additional amendments. With just Royal Assent pending, this bill is on the verge of becoming law.

At Aman Solicitors, we recognise the impact these legal changes will have on workplace practices and the rights of employees. As a team of experienced employment law solicitors, we are dedicated to ensuring fair and just treatment in the workplace, whether you are an employee seeking flexible work arrangements or an employer navigating these upcoming changes.

Understanding the Flexible Working Bill

The Flexible Working Bill aims to empower employees by granting them the right to request flexible work arrangements, such as remote work, flexible hours, or compressed working weeks. The bill recognises the changing nature of work and the desire for a better work-life balance.

Once the bill becomes law, eligible employees will be entitled to request flexible working, and employers will have a legal obligation to seriously consider these requests and provide a valid reason for rejection. This legislation signifies a significant shift in how work is structured and reinforces the importance of promoting work-life balance for employees.

Benefits for Employees

For employees, the Flexible Working Bill opens up a world of possibilities. It allows you to better balance your personal and professional life, resulting in improved overall well-being and increased job satisfaction. Flexible work arrangements can be especially beneficial for working parents, caregivers, and individuals with specific health or lifestyle needs.

The bill also fosters a more inclusive and diverse workforce, accommodating individuals with different circumstances and backgrounds. As an employee, you will have the opportunity to negotiate working conditions that suit your individual needs, ultimately leading to a more productive and engaged workforce.

Responsibilities for Employers

With this new legislation, employers will have a greater responsibility in considering and addressing flexible working requests. It is essential for businesses to develop clear and transparent policies that outline the process for requesting flexible work arrangements. Employers must also train managers and HR personnel to handle these requests fairly and without prejudice.

Embracing flexible working can offer benefits to employers as well. It can enhance employee retention, attract top talent, and boost productivity. A flexible work environment can lead to a happier and more motivated workforce, which, in turn, positively impacts a company’s bottom line.

Bottom Line

At Aman Solicitors, we are committed to helping both employers and employees navigate the changing legal landscape. Whether you need guidance on implementing flexible work arrangements or require support in asserting your rights as an employee, our dedicated team of employment law solicitors is here to assist you every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn how we can empower you to embrace the benefits of flexible working and ensure a fair and equitable workplace for all. Together, we can build a future of work that fosters growth, well-being, and success for both employees and employers alike.

business meeting

Government reform of UK employment law – what do employers need to know?

The Government has proposed significant reform of key aspects of UK employment law.

In the “Smarter regulation to grow the economy” policy paper (the “Paper”) published last week, the Government identified an opportunity to improve post-Brexit employment regulation whilst maintaining UK labour standards, which it states are some of the highest in the world.

The “Retained EU employment law reforms” consultation paper has now been published. It contains the reform proposals in relation to the Working Time Regulations 1998 (“WTR”) and the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE Regulations”) summarised below.

The Government has identified these areas as being too onerous on business to be used effectively, or too complex for workers to know, understand and use.

Working time reform proposals

  • A proposal to merge the current “basic” statutory annual leave entitlement of 4 weeks (derived from EU law) with the “additional” UK entitlement of 1.6 weeks, to create one annual leave entitlement of 5.6 weeks. This means there would be only one set of rules under the WTR including in relation to the calculation of holiday pay, carry-over of holiday, and calculating holiday during the first year of employment. The aim is to remove the administrative burden and complications for employers of distinguishing between two annual leave entitlements.
  • The introduction of rolled-up holiday pay (which is currently illegal following EU caselaw). This reflects the change in the labour market, with the number of workers with irregular hours increasing to more than 4.5 million. This would enable employers to enhance the basic pay of workers to provide an additional amount equivalent to 12.07% of a worker’s pay in each payslip, rather than at the time holiday is taken. The percentage would be adjusted to cover any contractual leave beyond the statutory entitlement.
  • A proposal to reform the record-keeping requirements in the WTR so that businesses do not have to keep a record of daily working hours of their workers.

TUPE reform proposals

A proposal to change the current consultation requirements to simplify the transfer process under the TUPE Regulations.

  • Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees would be permitted to consult directly with employees if there are no existing employee representatives in place.
  • Note that this is an extension of the current micro-business consultation exception, which currently applies to employers with fewer than ten employees.
  • Further, businesses of any size would be permitted to consult directly with employees (if there are no existing employee representatives) if fewer than ten employees will have their employment transferred under the TUPE Regulations.
  • If employee representatives are already in place in either case, then the employer would still be required to consult with them.

Non-compete restrictions

While the Consultation covers working time and TUPE reform, the Government’s Paper also detailed the intention, “when parliamentary time allows”, to limit non-compete clauses to three months after termination of employment.

The Government accepts that these types of restriction can play an important role in protecting businesses who invest in their staff, but considers that unnecessarily burdensome clauses have become a default part of too many employment contracts. It estimates that this change will affect up to 5 million UK workers.

Employers will still be able to restrict an employee’s activities during periods of paid garden leave or their notice periods, but any restriction beyond the termination of their employment would be limited to three months. The proposed limit would not apply to non-solicitation clauses (which will be subject to the existing caselaw requirements in relation to enforceability), nor will confidentiality clauses be affected.


The proposals reflect the Government’s intention to take advantage of post-Brexit regulatory freedoms and remove “unnecessary bureaucracy”.

This package of proposed reforms follows hot on the heels of the decision to change approach in relation to the revocation of EU-derived subordinate law (i.e. Regulations). Instead of “sunsetting” all such UK Regulations on 31 December this year, the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill has been amended so that only a specific list of affected Regulations will be revoked, with the rest remaining valid and binding.

That means it will be business as usual for UK employers until the outcome of the employment reform consultation becomes clear. The consultation closes to responses on 7 July 2023.

*Source: Lexology

colorful hands

How new UK immigration rules will separate more international students from their families

The UK government has changed its policy on international students, restricting them from bringing their families with them during their studies. This change to how student visas are allocated, the government argues, will help reduce net migration.

Scottish MP Carol Monaghan has been a vocal critic of the new immigration policy. She emphasises the substantial economic contributions made by international students, pointing to the impressive £40 billion they added to the UK economy in 2022.

Also in 2022, Russell Group universities reportedly warned that such restrictions could harm Britain’s economy, not to mention its reputation. In June 2023, Jo Johnson, former minister for universities and science, echoed this warning, saying:

As a strong advocate for international students in our system, I am conscious that there is much to lose from further crackdowns.

Public opinion is largely in favour of legal immigration. The UK public generally perceives legal migrants as having the potential to contribute positively to the UK. Our analysis shows, however, that the government’s new rules have the potential to significantly – and adversely – impact these very people’s mental health, particularly through what one of the authors (Olumba Ezenwa) has termed “cognitive immobility”.

Cognitive immobility

Cognitive immobility exists when your mind is stuck in the past, constantly replaying old memories or experiences about people, events, or cultures you encountered in places you lived or visited in the past, causing you to stress, which could be even worse. This can lead to emotional exhaustion and other mental health issues including anxiety, depression, social isolation and, in severe cases, post-traumatic stress disorder.

Informal stories or reports indicate that many international students may already be facing difficulties, even before the new policy has been put into place. The chemist, Chisom Chuba, who relocated from Nigeria to Ireland in 2020, has equated ending video calls with her family to the sensation of a plaster being torn from her skin. In an interview, published in November 2022, with the journalist Olayide Oluwafunmilayo Soaga, she said:

I don’t know if it is the sound of the call dropping or just watching the screen go blank with their image gone. But it is all I can get for now.

This description of feeling like a plaster is being torn from your skin suggests the onset of cognitive immobility. Without proper support, you might see your mental health deteriorate. This can lead to the second stage, which can be severe and even pose a risk of self-harm.

How the new rules might affect students

The new immigration rules are set to apply uniformly to almost all international students. By separating families, these could exacerbate feelings of isolation, affect academic performance and trigger cognitive immobility.

Separation affects children as much as adults. Individually, it causes stress, anxiety, depression, mood changes and frustration due to negative family dynamics. It also represents the loss of your primary support system, which can make adjusting to a new environment particularly challenging.

International postgraduate students in particular are already found to experience heightened levels of depression, anxiety, stress and even suicidal thoughts, compared to the general UK population. As psychologist Philip Dimka told the Guardian:

There is a tendency for you to adjust more to a new environment when you are with your family, but when you are separated, you are likely to develop stress and anxiety.

Cognitive immobility unfolds in three stages: awareness/separation, retrieval and stabilisation. The awareness/separation stage is characterised by individuals feeling disoriented and confused as they grapple with persistent thoughts or longings for (familial) experiences or the places left behind.

In the retrieval stage, individuals strive to revisit or relive the places or experiences they feel lost. This process can be physically returning to those places or mentally recreating those memories, leading to discomfort, especially when these memories, such as the absence of loved ones, surface unconsciously and cause stress.

The final stage, stabilisation, shifts focus from trying to reclaim the past to retaining values and setting goals to cope with the sense of loss; this helps alleviate the feeling of entrapment. This is often the desired stage for those experiencing cognitive immobility.

There are four essential things you need in order to mitigate the negative impacts of cognitive immobility: a profession; a community or family; time for reflection; and good health. It is through developing coping strategies that tie in with these four elements that enable you to settle somewhere new and make a new home.

In depriving international students of the primary support system provided by their families, therefore, the new immigration guidelines may exacerbate cognitive immobility. The impact will be worse for students from some developing countries, where talking about mental health is disregarded or stigmatised. This situation will worsen if students do not understand the nature and seriousness of the mental health problems they face. This could put themselves and others at risk.

This is an urgent call to action. Without the new policies being revisited, and crucially, without more effective support services within universities, international students will struggle to transition smoothly, excel academically and thrive personally.

Looking to migrate to the UK?
Let us make the process smooth and stress free for you!
Our team of experts is here to guide you through every step of the way.

Get in touch today on 0121 328 4455

*Source: The conversation


Costs budgeting works but can be tailored to cases, review finds

A major review of legal costs has concluded that budgeting should stay and that guideline hourly rates should be updated every year.

The Civil Justice Council today published the outcome of a working group’s year-long study into how costs are decided and apportioned by the courts.

A working group set up by the CJC concluded unanimously that costs budgeting, introduced 10 years ago following the Jackson report, has been a ‘significant and valuable shift’ and should be retained.

But the group also concluded that current rules do not account for the differences in civil justice and recommended that in future approaches should be varied depending on the type of case.

Only a handful of respondents to the consultation argued that costs budgeting should be abolished. The work group found evidence of ‘real and sustained progress’ in budgeting and improvements in case management, noting that this change in culture was a ‘major step forward’.

But the group did recommend tailoring the approach to suit different work types or the venue where litigation is conducted. Members ‘tentatively’ suggested that personal injury and clinical negligence, claims in the business and property courts and other specialist work could be treated differently.

A pilot scheme could test whether cases valued between £100,000 and £1m should be subject to ‘costs budget light’ and a lighter touch approach for cases above £1m in the business and property courts should also be trialled, the report said.

The majority of the working group also backed a staged approach to costs and case management where appropriate. Many lawyers felt that the listing of a joint costs and case management conference caused significant delays, and listing the two separately would allow directions to be given at a much earlier stage.

Guideline hourly rates, it was recommended, should stay in place but be adjusted annually for inflation and reviewed in detail every five years.

The working group found ‘no real appetite’ for abolishing GHR. The only changes necessary were addressing the fact that the highest band was too low for top flight commercial work, the anomaly of counsels’ fees being excluded, and bringing in a test for courts departing from guideline rates.

‘A number of respondents felt that the circumstances in which the court will be prepared to depart from GHRs were lacking in clarity, and we agree,’ said the working group.

The group said the Solicitors Act 1974 was ‘in parts clearly out of step with the reality of present-day litigation practice’.

On the issue of contentious and non-contentious costs incurred pre-action – brought into focus by the Court of Appeal ruling in Belsner – there was almost universal acceptance that the distinction was outmoded. But at the same time, there was acceptance that reform of the 1974 act, which set out the distinction, was not a government priority.

The working group said parties should be encouraged to engage in pre-action processes ‘in the fullest and most effective way possible’, with a process created to allow the courts to determine ‘pre-issue’ costs.

The master of the rolls has welcomed the report and will now consider ways to implement its recommendations.

Law Society Head of Justice Richard Miller said cost reforms must strike the right balance between encouraging settlement and fairness for all parties.

He added: ‘ The provisions of the Solicitors Act 1974 relating to costs are in many respects out of step with modern litigation practice as there is now often extensive pre-litigation work, which is not envisaged in the1974 Act. It is not clear whether the mechanisms in the act referred to by the Civil Justice Council (s56) can provide a solution in the absence of changes to primary legislation in the foreseeable future. As it seems unlikely there will be new legislation in the near future, this is worth exploring.’

c: LawGazette


Migration bill risks damage to UK’s reputation, says Archbishop of Canterbury

The Archbishop of Canterbury has attacked the government’s migration plans, saying they risked “great damage” to the UK’s reputation.

Justin Welby said the Illegal Migration Bill would not stop small boat crossings, and it failed in “our moral responsibility” towards refugees.

He was speaking as the bill began what is expected to be a rocky passage through the House of Lords.

But Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick urged peers to back the legislation.

Adding that the archbishop was “wrong” in his criticism, he said: “There is nothing moral about allowing the pernicious trade of people smugglers to continue.

“I want to see that stopped, and this bill is the only way to do that,” he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One.

He added that critics of the bill, including opposition parties, had not suggested “any viable alternatives” to stop journeys across the Channel.

The archbishop’s pointed intervention came during a lengthy, highly charged debate about the bill in the Lords on Wednesday.

The legislation cleared its first parliamentary hurdle in the Lords after a Liberal Democrat bid to block it was rejected by 179 votes to 76.

The bill, unveiled in March, is a key part of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to “stop” small boats crossing the English Channel – which he has made a priority ahead of the next general election.

It will place a legal duty on the home secretary to detain and remove those arriving in the UK illegally, to Rwanda or another “safe” third country.

This has prompted outrage from opposition parties and charities, which argue the bill is unworkable and could breach international law.

‘Short-term fix’

The archbishop, one of nearly 90 peers who have put their names down to speak in the debate, told the Lords the bill “fails utterly” to take long-term view of the migration challenges around the world.

Although he conceded existing international law was in need of updating, he said the bill represented a “dramatic departure” from existing conventions and would undermine international co-operation on the issue.

Describing the bill as a “short-term fix,” he said it “risks great damage to the UK’s interests and reputation, at home and abroad”.

He added it was “morally unacceptable and politically impractical” for the UK to let the poorest countries deal with asylum seekers when the UK is cutting its international aid spending.

Baroness Helic, a former adviser to William Hague when he was foreign secretary, described the government’s plans to stop small boats as “a race to the bottom”.

The baroness, who fled to the UK from war-torn Bosnia at the age of 23, argued the Illegal Migration Bill represented “an outright ban on asylum” and questioned its morality.

But other peers spoke for the bill, including Conservative Lord Forsyth, who said he was “yet to hear” a solution to stop boat crossings from critics of the bill.

He congratulated the archbishop for his “fantastic job” at the Coronation on Saturday, but added that while he agreed with him on spiritual matters, they disagreed on the bill.

He said he agreed it needed further scrutiny, but it was “not reasonable to criticise the government for trying to deal with this problem”.

Chart showing the number of people crossing the English Channel (9 March 2023)

The government made a series of concessions to different sections of the Conservative Party to ease its passage through the Commons last month.

However, senior peers have told the BBC they expect significant opposition in the Lords – where the government does not have a majority.

Although peers did not vote on amendments during the debate, it was their first chance to have a say on the bill.

Lib Dem peer Lord Paddick put forward a rare “motion to decline” that would have blocked the bill from continuing in the Lords, forcing the government to reintroduce it from scratch in the Commons.

But the motion was heavily defeated in the Lords, with peers rejecting it by 179 votes to 76, majority 103.

Lord Paddick said: “This Bill is all pain and no gain. This is a question of principle.”

Labour peer Lord Coaker said that although his party was against the bill, the Lib Dem motion was not the best way to oppose it.

He said Labour would do “all we can” to change the bill at a later stage, vowing that the party would not be “cowed” into accepting the verdict of the Commons.

Modern slavery concerns

Several peers have already spoken out against changes giving ministers more leeway to ignore attempts by European judges to halt deportations of migrants from the UK.

The government has also faced strong criticism from senior Tories, including former Prime Minister Theresa May and former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, over the potential impact of the bill on victims of modern slavery.

The bill would take away temporary protections against removal from the UK that are currently offered to suspected victims of modern slavery or human trafficking while their case is considered.

Critics say this could deter victims from going to the police.

There has also been concern, including among Conservative MPs, over new powers in the bill to detain children on the suspicion that they are liable for removal.

Ministers have agreed to work with Tory MPs on a time limit for how long unaccompanied children can be detained.

To get the bill through the Commons, ministers also promised to set out new safe and legal routes for asylum seekers, after pressure from backbenchers.

By Paul Seddon & Becky Morton

Two in five office workers cannot choose their working location, despite new flexible working rights

Despite new Government legislation1 giving workers the right to request flexible working from their first day of employment, a new study has revealed four in ten (40%) office workers do not have a choice on whether they work from home or the office.

Hammonds Fitted Furniture quizzed 1,000 UK office employees and found that currently, when workers get a say in their working location, over half (57%) opt to work from home the majority of the time.

In contrast, when companies decide their employees’ place of work, less ten per cent (7%) are permitted to work from home full time.

When down to the employer, the majority (60%) of workers are asked to go into the office every day, while a third of employees (33%) are given a hybrid mix with set home and office days that they have to follow.

Despite over two-fifths of workers (43%) sharing their preference is to work from home, they now find themselves having to head back to the office at their employer’s request.

A further third (32%) revealed that although they like working from home more they are returning to their offices in an effort to save money on bills. This follows research2 revealing remote workers use 75% more gas over the winter months and a 25% more electricity than those heading into the office full-time.

Respondents also revealed the top benefits to working from home, with the most common being the money saved on commuting (69%).

Others top reasons given for preferring home working included having a better work/life balance (67%), finding it calming (65%), and being able to get chores done alongside their work (59%). 

In comparison, when asking about the perks of office life, employees said that the social aspect of meeting and chatting to co-workers (52%) and the change of scenery (52%) were the biggest draws.

Half (51%) of office workers added that physically going to work allows them to put a boundary between work and home, promoting a better work-life balance.

Hammonds Furniture also quizzed workers on where they opt to spend most of their time when working from home.

They found that while most of those surveyed (63%) use a regular or standing desk as their main workstation, one in five (20%) don’t use a desk at all, instead working from their sofa (4%), kitchen sides (3%) or even their bed (3%).

Top working from home locations % Of UK workers working from this location
Home office or desk 52%
Standing desk 11%
Kitchen or dining table 6%
Sofa 4%
Kitchen sides or countertops 3%
Landing or hallway 3%
Bed 3%

Of those that work from a regular desk, just a third (34%) said that their workplace provided them with office furniture.

Nearly half (46%) of those that work from standing desks said their employer supplied their desk.

Whilst there is some obligation for employers to ensure staff have the appropriate equipment when working from home, this doesn’t necessarily cover office furniture – so for the majority of workers, it’s left up to them to set up a home office that supports their wellbeing.

Our employment law solicitors are here to help, guide and advise you on a variety of employment issues, including unfair dismissal, settlement agreements, contract reviews and workplace harassment. If you’re in need of simple, straightforward and confidential advice at a fixed fee, speak to us. 

A 25-point plan for better buying and selling

Conveyancers have outlined ways they believe the property transaction process could be improved including shutting down or improving “dabblers” and getting agents to provide more upfront information.

Industry guru Rob Hailstone asked the Bold Legal Group membership for a five-to-ten-point ‘wish list’ of how to improve the process, but it turned into a 25-points. You can find the list below… However, the question is, where do we go from here?

  • Reduce the backlog at HMLR.
  • Simplify SDLT.
  • Ban completely, or limit, the amount allowed to be paid by way of a referral fee.
  • Shut down, or improve, the conveyancing firms that are continuously slow and inefficient, and are either often connected to paying referral fees, or just considered to be conveyancing ‘dabblers’.
  • Agents and conveyancers to provide more information up front.
  • Get conveyancers involved earlier in the process.
  • Make owning a Property Logbook compulsory.
  • No longer let caveat emptor be the principle that sellers have to adhere to.
  • More policing and enforcement of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme.
  • A unification of instructions and requirements from all lenders.
  • Chain sheets to be provided by estate agents.
  • Make ID and anti-money laundering checks more practical.
  • Deeds of Variation are required more and more often now regarding section 121 of The Law of Property Act 1925 – government should legislate.
  • Tackle the issues with regard to leasehold, managing agents and the completion and return of LPE1s.
  • Target to improve their process on completion of redemption of H2B charges and removal of their charge at the Land Registry.
  • Improve the way completion money is transferred on completion.
  • Greater use of electronic signatures.
  • More use of standard protocol documents as not everyone uses the Law Society versions.
  • Reduce the number of additional searches being marketed as essential – especially environmental and planning searches. The more you ask, the more you must advise and act on the results.
  • Reduce the ridiculous demands from new-build developers for urgent action in every transaction.
  • Reduce the number of interruptions conveyancers receive throughout the working day.
  • Ensure estate agents have a basic understanding of the conveyancing process.
  • Lenders to advise when the mortgage advance has been released and is on its way.
  • Do not ask conveyancers to advise on climate change.
  • Provide clear guidance as soon as possible on how conveyancers should deal with the Building Safety Act 2022.

Add to the above the fact that some firms relying on conveyancing for a significant amount of their income can now pay as much as 20% of their turnover for PII cover and you have a sector of the legal profession that is being hit from all angles.

Recommendations include simplifying Stamp Duty and getting agents to understand the conveyancing process better.

It also proposes tackling conveyancing firms that are “continuously slow and inefficient, and are often connected to paying high referral fees, or just considered to be conveyancing dabblers.”

Firms added that they don’t want to be asked to advise on climate change.

For the latest conveyancing, civil litigation and property law news make sure to follow Aman Solicitors on social media today! 


Everything You Need To Know About Hiring Employees in the UK

Establishing your business in the UK may mean you need to think about recruiting a UK workforce. Before you start recruiting, you should know what rights your new staff will have; UK employment laws could differ markedly from what you’re used to at home.

In the UK, people that make up an employer’s workforce are categorised as either an employee, a worker or self-employed (often called a contractor or consultant). For this blog, we’ve gathered some information from Lexology and we’ll concentrate on employees and focus on their legal rights, which UK employers will need to be aware of and adhere to.

Who is an employee?

UK employment law defines an employee as a person who has entered into, or works under, a contract of employment. A contract of employment means a contract of service and can be express or implied and if express, can be oral or in writing. We would always recommend though that a contract is agreed between the parties in writing – to create certainty of terms (and in fact new legislation introduced over recent years has made written terms a day one requirement). The handbook we have prepared contains a list of factors that indicate that an individual is working as an employee.

Employees are entitled to a wide range of statutory rights and protections, whether they are employed full-time, part-time, permanently or for a fixed term. By comparison, a worker is entitled to a more limited range of statutory employment rights; and a self-employed person has few statutory rights.

If an employer employs someone using a series of fixed-term contracts for at least four consecutive years, they will usually be deemed a permanent employee.

Are all employees equal?

All UK employees have the same employment rights and protections. However, certain rights will only “kick-in” after a certain time period. For example, an employee can currently only make a formal request to work flexibly, after 26 weeks continuous service.

Part-time workers (which includes part-time employees) have the right to the same terms and conditions as comparable full-time workers and have the right not to suffer a detriment (or dismissal) because of their part-time status.

Likewise, fixed-term employees have the right to the same terms and conditions as comparable permanent employees and have the right not to suffer a detriment (or dismissal) because of their fixed-term status

Minimum wage

All UK employees over school leaving age (currently 16) must be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and those over 23 are entitled to the National Living Wage (NLW). Rates are updated annually and are available at: It is a criminal offence for an employer to refuse to pay the NMW.

Restrictions on working hours

Employees are not generally allowed to work more than 48 hours per week, normally averaged over a 17-week period. However, in the UK, most employees can, and do, opt out of this limit. They can opt back in at any time by giving written notice to their employer.

Employees are generally also entitled to rest breaks. For example, an employee that works more than six hours a day is entitled to a 20-minute rest break away from their workstation. Most employees are also entitled to a weekly rest break of 24 hours of continuous rest in every seven-day period (or 48 hours’ continuous rest in every fortnight).

There are some exceptions to restrictions on working hours and we’ll be happy to explain if they might apply to your UK employees.

Flexible working

Flexible working is increasingly common, with many businesses moving away from fixed 9-5 hours to improve the work-life balance and productivity of staff. All employees who have worked continuously for the same employer for at least 26 weeks have the right to formally request flexible working arrangements. In practice, many employers will have a policy that allows requests to be made from the start of employment.

Minimum holiday entitlement

All employees have the right to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday each year (the statutory minimum). For a full time employee, this equates to 28 days (including public holidays). Employees that start or end work part way through a holiday year are entitled to paid holiday on a pro rata basis.

Public holidays

There are currently eight permanent public and bank holidays in England and Wales. Although these can be (and often are) included in an employee’s minimum holiday entitlement, employers do not have to let their staff take a holiday on these specific days, provided they are not deprived of their statutory minimum holiday entitlement.

Paid sick leave

Employees who are unable to work due to illness or injury for four or more consecutive days are entitled to receive statutory sick pay (SSP), provided they meet the qualifying conditions. The maximum entitlement is 28 weeks’ SSP during any period of incapacity for work (or any series of linked periods). Many UK employers also offer contractual sick pay at a higher rate than SSP.

Maternity, paternity, and other parental rights

Eligible employees:

  • have the right to up to 52 weeks of statutory maternity leave and up to 39 weeks’ statutory maternity pay (or maternity allowance depending upon length of service).
  • have the right to up to two weeks’ paternity leave, which may be paid (again, depending upon length of service).
  • have the right to shared parental leave and parental leave pay between them, by reducing their maternity/paternity leave entitlements. The rules around shared parental leave are complex and we recommend seeking advice is a staff member requests this type of leave.
  • have a right to parental bereavement leave of one or two weeks, at any time within 56 weeks of the death of a child.
  • can also take up to 18 weeks’ unpaid parental leave up to each child’s 18th birthday.

Protection from discrimination

It is unlawful in the UK to discriminate against job applicants and employees on the basis of any of the following protected characteristics: sex, marital or civil partnership status; race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origin); gender reassignment; religion or belief; sexual orientation; pregnancy and maternity; age and disability.

If an employee’s discrimination claim is successful, the employment tribunal may order the relevant employer to pay compensation to the employee. Whilst potential compensation is technically uncapped, it’s usually based on any actual or potential future loss they would suffer.

Protection from harassment

Harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination if it relates to any of the above protected characteristics (except for marital or civil partnership status, or pregnancy and maternity).

An employer is liable for harassment if they engage in unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, that either violates a worker’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.

Health and safety

As a UK employer it’s your duty to do whatever is reasonably practical to protect the health, safety and welfare of your employees. Amongst other things, this means carrying out risk assessments and protecting employees or others in the workplace from anything that may cause them harm.


Under the Pensions Act 2008, every employer in the UK must automatically enrol certain staff (according to the regulator’s guidelines) in a workplace pension scheme and contribute towards it.

Data protection

As an employer in the UK, employers will obtain, process and store personal data (including certain forms of sensitive personal data) about their employees. For data protection purposes, this makes employers a data controller. Each employee will be a data subject, with corresponding rights and obligations.

All employers must process the personal data of their staff, securely and fairly, in a proportionate manner and for legitimate reasons, in compliance with the applicable data protection legislation:

  • the Data Protection Act 2018,
  • the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • the UK’s own version of the GDPR, called the UK GDPR
  • related guidance such as that published by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

An employee can make a data subject access request (DSAR) to obtain details of the personal data that employers hold about them (and copies of the same). This includes:

  • information about the type of the data being held
  • the purposes for which it is processed
  • the recipients to whom the data has been disclosed it.

Unless an exemption applies, employers must respond to a DSAR within one month of receipt or face possible enforcement action by the ICO, which can include significant fines.

Cross border transfers of data can become complex, and we would always suggest specialist advice is sought.


Whilst we refer to the UK in this article, the law in the UK can often vary between the four nations, especially for property, employment, or companies. When we say UK, we are generally setting out the position for England and Wales. If you are specifically concerned with employment matters make sure to contact Aman Solicitors.