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Insurance firm Aviva produced a report this week finding that in the UK, 6.4 million over-50s workers were planning to retire later than they expected compared to 10 years ago. The report found that this was due to the rising cost of living and insufficient pension savings. Government research predicts that by the mid-2030s half of all adults in the UK will be over 50 years of age. By 2025 there will be 300,000 fewer UK-born under 30s. This development combined with the UK’s proposed departure from the EU resulting in fewer EU workers arriving means that there is likely to be a huge increase in necessary reliance on older workers within the UK economy. Aviva are accordingly urging businesses to “increase their commitment to older employees and help them adapt to a longer working life.”

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination and harassment on the grounds of nine “protected characteristics”, one of which is religion or belief. While it is relatively straightforward to identify religions and religious beliefs that are granted protection under the act, courts have grappled in recent years with what types of philosophical beliefs should be protected.

Recent publicity around the Supreme Court’s refusal to grant a divorce to a woman, who claimed to be ‘trapped in a loveless marriage’ to her husband of 40 years, has highlighted the differences in divorce law in England and Wales, compared with Scotland.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

STEP Journal July 2018

Jaclyn Russell and Magnus Mackay survey the landscape of succession law and cohabitants' rights in Scotland and discuss the potential for reform.

As published within the STEP Journal 

Magnus Mackay and Jaclyn Russell survey the landscape of succession law and cohabitant’s rights in Scotland and discuss the potential for reform

The succession rights of married and unmarried couples were brought into sharp focus last year when the Court of Appeal in England and Wales handed down its judgement in the case of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust & Others v Jacqueline Smith [2017] EWCA Civ 1916. With the Scottish Government considering significant reform of succession law, the present arrangements, proposals for change and the potential impact of the case are of significant interest to Scottish practitioners.

Employers have for many years used confidentiality clauses or non-disclosure agreements, commonly known as “NDAs”, in employment contracts and settlement agreements. The recent high-profile scandals of the President’s Club dinner, where female workers were presented with confidentiality agreements that they had to sign before they could start work, and the Harvey Weinstein affair has led to the exposure of the use (and abuse) of such arrangements and debate as to whether they involve the improper “gagging” of individuals and allow employers and perpetrators of sexual harassment to avoid scrutiny and indeed the proper consequence of their actions. This week the House of Commons Women and Equalities Commission published a report on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace, which included a section on the “advantages and disadvantages of using non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment cases, including how inappropriate use of such agreements might be tackled”.

In the case of DL Insurance Ltd v Mrs O’Connor, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) concluded that a disabled employee who was disciplined for over 60 days’ absence over a 12-month period had been subject to discrimination. The outcome has potentially major implications for employers and their ability to apply absence management procedures to disabled employees.

We tend to accept that sales people can occasionally use jargon to promote their product or service, and estate agents may do just that to make their properties attractive to prospective buyers. While there are rules in place to prevent misleading customers, and many descriptions are genuine, it’s important for buyers to exercise a degree of caution to ensure the description used isn’t open to interpretation..

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