Dallas McMillan's Glasgow Lawyers' Blog

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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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When is a resignation a resignation? Did Mark Warburton ‘resign’ from Rangers?

Once again, employment law is in the news  following the resignation of Mark Warburton from Rangers. There was initially some confusion regarding events, with Warburton and his team adamant they had not resigned from their position.

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Preparing for the loss of buy-to-let tax relief

Time is quickly running out for buy-to-let landlords currently claiming income tax relief on mortgage interest payments. From the 6th April 2017, residential landlords will face new restrictions for income tax relief for financing costs for residential properties. Until now, individuals buying property to let are able to claim relief on their mortgage interest payments at their marginal rate of tax. For example, individuals paying the basic rate of tax get 20% tax relief, whereas those within a higher tax bracket can claim up to 45%.

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Calls for Action Following Rise in Road Casualties

The most recent road casualty figures from the Department for Transport have revealed a rise in the number of people killed or seriously injured, which has prompted road safety charity Brake to call for more preventative action by Government.

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Survivorship Clauses

A survivorship clause is something which you can put in your title deeds which provides that on the death of the first proprietor, the surviving proprietor, often  a spouse or a civil partner, will automatically inherit the predeceasing proprietor’s interest in the property.

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Injury to Child in the Care of a Family Friend

Occupiers Liability - Anderson V Imrie, [2016] CSOH 171

As recent decision from the Court of Session deals with an issue at the forefront of working family life; suitable and appropriate childcare.  Many parents employ the help of nurseries or childminders but it is certainly common for friends and family step in to offer assistance. The case of Anderson v Imrie highlights the duty on a caregiver, even in an informal setting, where a foreseeable risk of injury is met with negligent supervision.   

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House Price Growth Steady at Start of Year

The start of 2017 has seen ‘broadly stable’ annual house price growth amounting to 4.3%, according to Nationwide’s House Price Index for January. This is only slightly below the annual growth rate of 4.5% recorded in December 2016. On a monthly basis, house prices rose by 0.2% in January, after seasonal factors were taken into account.

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Protecting Waste Industry Workers

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), in conjunction with the Environment Agency, has recently carried out a series of visits to waste sites, in an attempt to improve working practices on these sites and ensure that operators are complying with all relevant legislation.

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Road Safety Charity Welcomes Police Crackdown

Road safety charity Brake has welcomed a recent police campaign targeting illegal mobile phone use behind the wheel.

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Employment Status – when are you an employee or independent contractor?

Employment status is a subject that has been in the news recently following the much publicised decision in the case of Mr Yaseen Aslam and Mr James Farrar v UBER. In the UBER case, it was held that the individuals were workers and therefore were entitled to certain benefits. The Employment Judge was less than complimentary about the practices of UBER. That being said, UBER have announced that the decision is subject of appeal with a hearing likely to be fixed in the next few months.

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Employment Status – what the law says

Legal definition

Whether or not an individual is an “employee” is generally determined by reference to the contract under which he or she works.  The Employment Rights Act 1996 Section 230(1) defines an employee as:-

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Pre-payment condition for housing repairs grant “not unreasonable”

A homeowner who claimed that Glasgow City Council had acted beyond its authority by imposing a condition that a home owner was required to pay their share of the cost of repairs to a tenement by the time the final account for the works was issued or be liable for the full costs has had his legal challenge dismissed.

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Britain’s Most Expensive Streets

Scotland’s most expensive street is currently to be found in St Andrews, according to new research by Bank of Scotland. The Scores, which is in very close proximity to the town’s Old Course golf course, now has an average house price of £2,179,000.

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Major Revamp of planning system in Scotland unveiled

Plans for major changes to Scotland’s planning system, have been published by the Scottish Government. The revamp is aimed mainly at making is easier to build more high quality homes and at reducing bureaucracy and will give local people a greater say in planning issues in their area.

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