August 2010 Archive

The Equality Act 2012

In 2009 the government stated that if no action was taken to deal with the widespread discrimination which exists in society, the pay gap between men and women will not close until 2085 and it will take a further 25 years for people from ethnic minorities to have the same job prospects their white counterparts. In response to this concern, the Equality Act, which came into force on 10 October 2010, outlines a number of 'protected characteristics' and new forms of discrimination.

Can I vary a financial agreement in light of the recession?

The recession has meant that many divorced individuals are having to revisit old maintenance orders since falls in income and particularly bonus payments, for some individuals, mean that the maintenance they were paying now exceeds their income. Where a maintenance recipient is happy to accept that circumstances have changed, it is possible to agree a variation without going to court. Things are a little more complicated in the case of so-called ‘clean break’ orders, which by definition are supposed to be a final settlement.

Highways Authorities have a statutory duty to unblock drains

A recent Court of Appeal judgment in the case of the Department for Transport, Environment and the Regions v Mott MacDonald Ltd, Amey Mouchel Ltd and Cornwall County Council [2006 27th July], has confirmed that the statutory duty imposed on highway authorities to maintain highways that are maintainable at the public expense, does extend to repairing and maintaining drains beneath the surface of the road.

Making provisions for your family’s future

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes". Ensuring your family’s financial security in the event of your death (often known as estate planning) means planning for these two certainties. Although it is a subject that has limited appeal for most of us, forward planning is the only way of guaranteeing tax-efficient arrangements for the benefit of your family.
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