Law

Our legal category looks at the business codes of practice, laws and regulations that affect small and medium businesses to help you ensure your company meets all the necessary legal requirements for running a small enterprise.

IP Rights in Technology: Why is it Important and How to Enforce Your Rights

IP Rights in Technology: Why is it Important and How to Enforce Your Rights

Technology is a hot topic at the moment. There are many buzz words and new developments to keep everyone on their toes. Keeping up with the lingo is hard enough let alone understanding the technology behind it. Once you figured out the workings of blockchain, VR, AI and IoT something new will probably have been developed! As technology evolves, intellectual property (IP) protection has to evolve with it and although the law can be slow to keep up with changes in technology there are currently mechanisms available to protect your IP both through registrations (trade marks, design rights and patents) and through automatic protection (copyright and unregistered design rights). Why is it important to protect your rights? ­Intellectual Property is a creation or invention which can be owned and ... »

A Guide to Shared Parental Leave

A Guide to Shared Parental Leave

Although overshadowed by other stories in the media when they were first introduced on 1 December 2014, the Shared Parental Leave and Statutory Shared Parental Pay regulations have brought about one of the biggest changes to employment law in years. Shared Parental Leave has the potential to affect every employer at some point, but research shows uptake amongst fathers has been low. The principals of SPL are simple, but for both employers and employees, the details can be rather more complicated. Our guide will help clarify the process for employees and employers: 1. What is Shared Parental Leave? 2. Who qualifies for Shared Parental Leave? 3. Statutory Shared Parental Pay 4. Applying for Statutory Parental Leave (employees) 5. Preparing for Shared Parental Leave (employers) 6. Processing ... »

General Data Protection Regulation: How to Prepare

General Data Protection Regulation: How to Prepare

For UK businesses of all sizes, protecting personal data, both physically and electronically, has never been more important. The data protection landscape has changed rapidly in recent years and is heading for its biggest shake up in some time with the incoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR outlines how the data of any EU citizen must be handled, wherever in the world the company in possession of this data operates, making it a truly global piece of legislation. It comes into force on 25 May 2018. The requirements stipulated in the new legislation range from stricter rules around securing consent for the use of personal information to, in some cases, the introduction of a designated data protection officer within the workplace. With just over a year to get ready, comp... »

Important Legal Dates For Small Businesses: 2017

Important Legal Dates For Small Businesses: 2017

Every year brings both new and exciting challenges for business owners, so it’s important to look to the future and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to keep your business competitive. Below are the key dates for upcoming employment law and more general legal changes that every small business owner should know about. Spring 2017 31 March – Article 50 This is the last day in the government’s self-imposed target that Article 50 is expected to be triggered, although it could happen before or after this date. The effect Brexit will have on employment law changes remains unclear. Theresa May reiterated her claim that workers’ rights will remain fully protected when revealing her 12 point Brexit plan, but further details are yet to be revealed. One positive – at least in the short term – ... »

Salary Sacrifice Schemes: What Next?

Salary Sacrifice Schemes: What Next?

Towards the end of 2016 The Finance Bill 2017 was published, containing provisions intended to eliminate tax advantages that many previously enjoyed through entering into salary sacrifice schemes. Salary sacrifice schemes are agreements undertaken between employers and employees to provide non-cash benefits. However, changes to such schemes, announced in November’s Autumn Statement, mean that employers who have these arrangements in place must prepare to adhere to the new legislation coming into effect from 6 April 2017. The change is due to the government’s concerns regarding an increase in the use of salary sacrifice arrangements, especially as employees effectively pay for the benefit themselves through the reduction in their gross pay. What changes are proposed? Consultation documents ... »

Small Business Data Protection Compliance: 3 Common Mistakes

Small Business Data Protection Compliance: 3 Common Mistakes

Data protection is a serious consideration for small businesses, but many businesses fail to seriously consider it as they’re busy selling to, and servicing clients. In my experience, I’ve come across situations where clients will keep thousands of documents in absolute disarray: no referencing system, no segmentation, no clear thought process beyond: “I need to store this piece of paper somewhere, and this box has room.” Often, they won’t have any idea what records they need to keep or destroy – or indeed, how to keep or destroy them. If it were merely disorganised, it might be understandable – but failing to properly store, organise, and secure documents can have severe consequences. A repeated failure to keep records in order can, for example, lead to penalties of up to £3,000 from HMRC... »

Want to Avoid Claims Against Your Small Business? This Simple Exercise Will Help

Want to Avoid Claims Against Your Small Business? This Simple Exercise Will Help

With legal disputes, as with most things, prevention is better than cure. So whilst I can’t offer a litigation antidote nor a cure-all for every dispute wound, there are some straight-forward measures that can help you to minimise the risk of claims against your business. As legal advisors, we are often brought into disputes part-way through the process. Often, with the benefit of hindsight, parties to litigation (and their advisers) can see where things went wrong and how they could have better protected themselves. Repeated exposure to such cases has left me with super-powerful fore-sight glasses. I now see litigation risks. Everywhere. They are so obvious to me that I’m sometimes shocked that other people can’t see them too. Yet my seeming affliction is a gift: a gift that can save you ... »

What You Need to Know: E-Commerce, Websites and The Law

What You Need to Know: E-Commerce, Websites and The Law

In the world we now live in, having a website or e-commerce site now goes hand in hand with running a successful business. Whether you use it as a platform to display your services, as an informational source or to sell from; a website is now absolutely key to business success. Without one, you’re certainly likely to be left lagging behind your competitors. The internet has allowed many businesses to start-up online rather than in traditional stores or office premises; enabling businesses to cut back on costs and reach audiences that were previously unreachable. However, along with revolutionising our lives, the internet has also revolutionised the laws required to safeguard this unknown territory. Running a website and in particular, selling goods online, comes with a set of regulations w... »

How to Combat Sexual Harassment in The Workplace

How to Combat Sexual Harassment in The Workplace

Harassment of a sexual nature is one of the most common forms of harassment and is specifically outlawed by the Equality Act 2010. Yet, despite increasing awareness of the problems it can cause in the workplace, sexual harassment still needs to be addressed as part of an ongoing dialogue between employers and staff. It is therefore essential for every business to consider ways they should plan to prevent and resolve any potential issues. Employees must know that there is a route they can take if they experience sexual harassment in the workplace, and that their complaint will be dealt with seriously and have no adverse effect on their future at the company. Suffering in silence Recent research from the Trades Union Congress and the Everyday Sexism Project has concluded that over half of wo... »

Page 1 of 41234