Parties to commercial contracts now have certainty that if an agreement requires a variation of its terms to be in writing, or to follow some other formality, they must comply with it, otherwise the purported variation will be invalid – a recent ruling makes clear.
Legal Alert - June 2018
A monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.
Case law: Spouse's future earning capacity is not a matrimonial asset in financial settlement on divorce
A wife has failed in her argument that her husband's future earning capacity was a matrimonial asset to be divided equally between them in the same way as other matrimonial assets. She also had the period for which she is to receive annual maintenance from him cut from their joint lives to three years.
Businesses which generate and pass work to third party individuals, taking a commission, and who treat those individuals as self-employed, should consider whether they may in fact be 'workers' under UK working time laws – and therefore entitled to holiday pay, following an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruling.
Contractual parties should ensure there is no ambiguity in the wording used in their commercial agreements, and should not assume uncertain terms will be unenforceable – or they risk the courts interpreting the agreement in a way they are not happy with.
UK businesses benefiting from EU copyright laws will want to review the effect of Brexit (at 11pm on 29 March 2019), following a recent Notice from the European Commission on the potential impact of Brexit.
Case law: Employers serving time-critical notices on employees need to check when they are deemed to be given
Employers sending time-critical notices to employees should ensure they know when the notice will be deemed to have been given, taking into account any express provisions in the employee's terms of employment or other applicable rules, following a Supreme Court ruling.
Case law: Courts consider whether it is discriminatory to pay fathers on shared parental leave less than mothers on maternity leave
Employers offering enhanced contractual maternity pay to mothers should consider also giving enhanced pay to fathers taking shared parental leave, or risk a direct or indirect discrimination claim, following two recent rulings.
Case law: Affirmation of contract by an employee following employer's breaches does not 'wipe the slate clean' if there is a future breach
Employers who seriously breach an employee's contract of employment, but the employee affirms the contract rather than terminates it, should avoid further breaches as the previous breach may still be relevant when considering whether there is a series of acts or omissions which cumulatively amount to a repudiatory breach.
New law: Directors and others can more easily make home addresses at Companies House unavailable for public inspection
Directors, members of companies, company secretaries and others may want to consider applying to make their home addresses unavailable on the public record at Companies House, with new regulations making it much easier.
New law: European Commission issues Notice on potential effect of Brexit on UK companies and individuals using .eu domain names
UK businesses with .eu Top-Level Domain (TLD) domain names will want to review whether they need to register alternatives following a recent Notice from the European Commission on the potential impact of Brexit on such domain names.
Disclaimer: These publications from Atom Content Marketing are for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.