Individuals should think carefully about their intentions if they make someone else a joint holder of their bank account, or other assets, and clearly record what those intentions are in writing. If they don't, they risk inadvertently gifting the funds in that account to the joint holder if they die, a recent ruling makes clear.
Employers should beware giving disabled employees the impression that they are expected to work late, as this could justify the employee bringing an indirect discrimination claim on grounds they failed to make reasonable adjustments.
Landlords wishing to refuse consent to an assignment of a lease will welcome a recent ruling that, if they give multiple reasons for their refusal, only one needs to be reasonable for the refusal to be valid.
Businesses signing agreements to settle disputes must understand the terms of the agreement they enter into, particularly the scope of the claim being settled and whether it effectively blocks future claims that are neither suspected nor in the parties' contemplation at the time.
Unmarried cohabiting couples should both make Wills putting their wishes into effect, and not assume one will outlive the other. Otherwise, the survivor may be entitled to claim the deceased's house as 'reasonable financial provision for their maintenance' in certain circumstances, though they may have to pay full value for it.
Employers should ensure they properly understand employees' illnesses and/or injuries, particularly in cases involving cancer, before deciding an employee is not disabled for the purposes of disability discrimination law.
A contractual party seeking to avoid obligations imposed on the other side on breach of contract being treated as penalties, and therefore unenforceable, should frame them as 'primary obligations', or ensure that if framed as 'secondary obligations', they are proportionate to the other party's interest in the performance of the relevant primary obligation.
Employers should ensure that if 'bumping' is within the band of reasonable responses when considering dismissing an employee, they should consider it as an alternative to dismissal, even if the employee has not raised it as a possibility.
Employers should consider whether any proposed changes, such as putting part-time, female employees on stand-by, are potentially discriminatory, and take steps to minimise the disadvantages they may create and/or ensure they can justify the changes as a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. If they don't, they risk a successful discrimination claims against them.
Employers who require workers on stand-by to stay in a particular place and be available for work at very short notice, should treat that time spent on stand-by as working time and pay them accordingly, following a recent ruling.