MW are very proud of Vijaya Sumputh who has written an insightful article on same sex marriages in the Expert Guide Divorce Law 2014.
The article sits alongside articles written by well known and esteemed colleagues in the profession and finance practitioners. The piece is reflective of Vijaya's analytic and practical approach to rapid changes in our legislation. Vijaya in her article scrutinises the question of potential challenges to the new legislation and her informative piece takes you through the recent Marriage Act 2013 and high lights important provisions as well as potential shortcomings in the legislation. This succinct commentary is an informative guide to the Marriage Act 2013 and will be invaluable to those practitioners who do not have the time to wade through the legislation. Vijaya states that she is delighted to be involved in an interesting area of practice which is continually evolving to reflect the needs of our modern society.
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Recent media reports have focused on the dismissal of Sharon Shoesmith, her Claim arising from her dismissal and the compensation paid to her as a consequence.
Head of Employment, Mark Jones, explains the facts of the recent case of Shoesmith and how the settlement figure was reached.
From 30 June 2014 the Flexible Working Regulations 2014 will introduce new eligibility requirements for flexible working requests.
Under the new provisions the main changes are as follows:
The grounds, including the revisions are now as follows:
The ACAS Code recommends that:
As always, Employers should be mindful that they do not commit acts of discrimination when dealing with flexible working requests. Employers’ policies, procedures and handbooks should be updated to reflect the new changes.
"MW welcome the ongoing changes to encourage, speed up and support adoption and more enduring family placements" - Neil Perot, MW Partner, Family Department
From September 2014, two-year-old children adopted from local authority care or who left care under a Special Guardianship (SG) Order or Child Arrangements (CA) Order (formally known as a Residence Order*), will be entitled to 570 hours a year of Government funded early education over no fewer than 38 weeks of the year (which equates to 15 hours per week). The Government is extending the entitlement to free early education to these children in recognition of the difficult start in life they have endured and the real benefit early exposure to high quality early education can have in improving their life chances. There is strong evidence to show that good quality early education at the age of two supports children’s development. If you are a parent of an eligible child and you would like to take up the offer of a free place, you should contact your local authority’s Family Information Service for information about eligibility and the process for securing a place. Information can also be found on the Government’s website GOV.UK at https://www.gov.uk/free-early-education
*From 22 April 2014, residence orders and contact orders are replaced by Child Arrangements Orders (s8 Children Act 1989). Child arrangements orders are orders making arrangements about the person with whom a child lives or has contact. Only Child Arrangement Orders relating to a child’s living arrangements immediately after they leave local authority care (looked after children) are relevant for the purpose of the 2 year old free entitlement.
In a decision this week Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division called on the Justice Secretary to intervene in relation to the lack of Legal Aid in a family case which the President felt was disadvantaging the child. The case concerned an application by a father, a convicted sexual offender who was seeking contact with his 7 year old son. The mother of the child opposed the application and expert evidence was involved. Clearly the case was a complex one. It is exactly the sort of case the Ministry of Justice had assured everyone would attract exceptional case funding Legal Aid as clearly it is almost impossible for there to be fair representation of the interests of the mother, the father and the child in circumstances where the parties do not have access to legal advice because their financial circumstances are such that they cannot afford it. There has always been a principle in this country that justice should be open to all and not limited to the affluent.