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Gender Pay Gap Reporting

April has been a busy month in the employment world with a few material changes emerging from it, one being, employers of larger work forces (250 or more) being obliged to provide the Government with information regarding gender pay gap.

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Scotland’s Move towards a Model Commercial Lease

Due to the success of the British Property Federation’s Model Commercial Lease (MCL) introduced in England in 2014, the Scottish Property Standardisation Group (SPSG) have recently produced a similar style lease as a drafting aid for practitioners north of the border. The SPSG’s version forms the basis of a lease for multiple occupancy buildings and includes helpful guidance notes to assist drafting.

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Update on Help to Buy (Scotland) Scheme

In a move that aims to help more families onto the housing ladder, the Scottish Government has announced that the price cap on properties eligible for the Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme will remain at £200,000 in 2018/19.

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Driver who Wins Unfair Dismissal Case Against Bus Firm, Faces Tax Bill

A Renton bus driver has won nearly £7000 in an unfair dismissal case brought against bus firm McColl’s travel, based in Dumbarton. As it has transpired, Steven Glover now faces a financial headache after the case has uncovered a tax black hole which has come around after years of incorrect salary deductions.

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First Time Buyers Look to Family for Financial Help

New research has highlighted the difficulties experienced by some first time buyers as they try to take that all-important first step on the housing ladder.

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Residential Nil Rate Band

For many years there has been much discussion around the Nil Rate Band for Inheritance Tax (IHT) purposes and the fact that it was not keeping up with the increase in wealth in the general population, which has to a great extent been fuelled by greater home ownership and increased house prices.

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Statistics Reveal Fall in Number of Personal Injury Cases

There was a fall in the number of personal injury cases initiated in the Scottish civil courts in 2015-16, according to the latest civil justice statistics from Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

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Trade Union Act 2016

The much anticipated and highly controversial Trade Union Act 2016 came fully into force on 1st March 2017. Some of the provisions of the Act were already in place. During passage through Parliament, the initial Trade Union Bill was revised following intense criticism by opposing MPs, Peers and especially the Trade Union movement. The Government made a number of concessions such as abandoning its initial plan to have a ban on check-off in the public sector. The role of the Certification Officer (a type of Regulator for Trade Unions) was also revised.

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Proximity to a Farmers Market Can Boost House Prices

New research by Zoopla has found that properties located close to a popular farmers market could be worth up to 26% more than the average home in the same county.

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Rise in New Build Home Completions

The latest Quarterly Housing Statistics from Scotland’s Chief Statistician have revealed that 16,309 new build homes were completed in the 12 months to September 2016. This is an increase of 1% on the 16,152 homes completed in the previous year.

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Delegation of Company Directors' Power

Company directors are often required to execute documents or undertake acts in connection with a transaction or other events at short notice or at times when they are unavailable. It is therefore common for the board to delegate powers to act and signing authorities. There are also circumstances in which directors may wish to appoint an attorney to execute documents on their behalf. Whether the board or a director can validly delegate a certain act will depend on the delegation provisions in the company’s articles of association, and on the type of role that the board or director is attempting to delegate. The type of acts to be considered can be divided into the following categories: • Delegation by the board of directors.• Delegation of a director’s responsibility as a director.• Delegation of a director’s authority to bind the company.• Delegation of acts to be undertaken in a director’s personal capacity. Delegation by the board - A company’s board of directors has collective responsibility for managing the company, and the starting point is that decisions concerning the running of the company should be taken by board resolution. However, a board may delegate aspects of its functions to a committee, or to an individual executive director, or to others if and to the extent that the company’s articles expressly authorise that delegation. The committee, director or other individual to whom the directors’ powers are delegated may also sub-delegate those powers to others if the articles permit them to do so. It is therefore important to review a company’s articles whenever a board, committee or director intends to delegate or sub-delegate any of the board’s powers, to ensure that any authority under the articles is broad enough to cover the delegation in question. Any board resolution delegating authority to a committee or individual when that delegation is not permitted by the company’s articles may be held to be invalid. Common delegation provisions - In practice, most companies adopt articles that provide the board with wide powers of delegation, including by power of attorney For example, Article 5 of the model articles set out in The Companies (Model Articles) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/3229) (Article 5) (model articles) for both private and public companies authorises the board of directors to delegate any of the powers conferred on it by the articles “to such person or committee; by such means (including by power of attorney); to such an extent; in relation to such matters or territories; and on such terms and conditions, as they think fit”. Any delegation under Article 5 may authorise further delegation of the directors’ powers by any person to whom they are delegated.Limits on power of delegation - Certain acts require a specific power to delegate to be included in a company’s articles of association and will not be covered by a general power to delegate such as that set out in Article 5 or regulation 72. For example, an express power should be included in a company’s articles if the board wishes to delegate its powers to determine directors’ fees and remuneration. In addition, certain acts, such as the authorisation of a director’s conflict of interest under section 175(4)(b) of the Companies Act 2006 (2006 Act), are required by statute to be taken by the full board, and may not be delegated to a committee of the board. To the extent that there is no express delegation of specific powers, the power may nevertheless be considered to be implicitly held by a director as a result of his executive office.

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Protecting EU Consumers from Dangerous Products

The European Commission has recently published its latest report on the Rapid Alert System for dangerous products.

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Succession in Scotland following the Succession (Scotland) Act 2016

The Succession (Scotland) Act 2016, which came into full effect in November 2016, has introduced a number of important changes to Succession law in Scotland. The Act marks the first major change to this area of law since the Succession (Scotland) Act 1964.

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Mobile phones are a Fatal Distraction

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has described using a hand-held mobile phone while in control of a vehicle as a fatal distraction.

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Employee, worker or self-employed? The Question is back in the courts

With the growth in the “gig economy”, more and more businesses are utilising innovative contractual arrangements to maintain their workforce. Big names like Uber and Deliveroo have been at the forefront of this development. In recent months though, persons working within the gig economy have been taking legal action with a view to enforcing employment rights for themselves and for their co-workers. Pimlico Plumbers v Smith represents the latest skirmish in this battle.

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Energy Performance - Action Plan Requirement for Non-Residential Building

From 1st September 2016 and using the powers set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, the Scottish Government has now started to enforce the improvement of energy efficiency in non-residential buildings.

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Compensation for Medical Negligence

The care received in hospitals in the UK is generally of a high standard, but sometimes mistakes are made, which can have tragic consequences for patients and their families.

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Shortage of Houses Continues to Pose Problems

A lack of properties coming onto the housing market is continuing to prove problematic, according to the latest Residential Market Survey by RICS.

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Decrease in number of Employment Tribunals

There has been a 70% reduction in the number of employment cases which are brought to Tribunal.  This percentage is the same for multiple claims as for individual claims.  This trend is as a result of the requirement for fees to be paid in order for an individual to have their claim heard before an Employment Tribunal. 

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Landlord Register Upgraded

Registration for landlords in the private rented sector is compulsory and, although the register of landlords has been online since 2006, the system has now been upgraded. This upgrade should make it more straightforward for landlords to apply and to renew their registration, for anyone to search the public register of landlords and for local authorities to maintain the register in their area.

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