The devastating Covid-19 has affected the individuals and families who were planning to make either spouse visa entry clearance or leave to remain application in the UK. This article will address key issues that applicants may face when they apply for spouses and partners to join or live with them in the UK.

Despite the lockdown, Home Office has been issuing guidance for applicants so they do not become overstayer in the UK and submit a valid application prior to visa expiry. Many people might have bigger worries at the moment, planning in advance and ensuring that they are in a position to make application in good time to avoid complication further down the line.

Depending on how you intend to meet the appendix FM financial requirements, applicants may want to bring forward or move back their intended date of application. The Home Office’s latest update to their Covid-19 policy (9 June 2020) now provides some flexibility for those who have had their sources of income affected by COVID-19.

If you have experienced a loss of income due to coronavirus, we will consider employment income for the period immediately before the loss of income due to coronavirus, provided the requirement was met for at least 6 months up to March 2020.

If your salary has reduced because you’re furloughed, we will take account of your income as though you’re earning 100% of your salary.

If you’re self-employed, a loss of annual income due to coronavirus between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications.

This will give more reassurance to individuals that their loss of income should not affect their ability to remain in the UK. Of course, this will not assist everyone – for example, individuals who have had work and pay reduced, but not through furlough, or individuals who did not commence their employment six months before March 2020.

English language and Life in the UK

The latest guidance confirms this, in stating:

In some cases, we will be able to decide your application without seeing certain specified documents if you cannot get them due to coronavirus. Otherwise, you may be asked to submit the specified documents after the date of application.

Changes to the English language requirement

If you’re asked to take an English language test as part of your application, you can apply for an exemption if the test centre was closed or you couldn’t travel to it due to coronavirus when you applied

There is no specific mention in the policy guidance on the Life in the UK test.

Marriage ceremonies

For those in the UK as a fiancé(e), it may be necessary to extend your leave for a further period in order for your marriage to take place. The Immigration Rules make a specific provision for this:

‘E-LTRP.1.11. If the applicant is in the UK with leave as a fiancé(e) or proposed civil partner and the marriage or civil partnership did not take place during that period of leave, there must be a good reason why and evidence that it will take place within the next 6 months.’

This would involve making a further, paid for application from within the UK. For those who do not want to pay for a further application, they could take advantage of the Home Office’s extension for those with leave expiring before 31 July 2020. However, there are potential risks with this approach.

For expert advice regarding an application for fiancé visa, spouse visa, civil partner visa or unmarried partner visa feel free to contact us.

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Testimonials

  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

    Hassan Bin Salman | CEO Huxley Properties London

Our Sponsored

The general rule is that an employee can claim unfair dismissal when he has been employed for a certain period. However, this requirement is waived and an employee is able to claim automatic unfair dismissal if he can be shown that proceedings have been issued against an employer to either enforce a statutory right or to seek a remedy resulting from a breach of his statutory rights.

Employers and businesses are facing a strain during Covid-19 however this does not provide a mitigating reason for failing to adhere to a statutory duty owed to an employee. Employees continue to benefit from the statutory right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act or any deliberate failure to act which raises valid health and safety concerns.

Examples of health and safety concerns would include:

  • Asking an employee to return to work when it is dangerous or unsafe to do so;
  • Failing to conduct a proper risk assessment;
  • Dismissing an employee who refuses to return to work or stays away from work due to valid health and safety concerns;
  • Dismissing an employee who raises valid health and safety concerns.

Employees are likely to be protected from dismissal if they refuse to return to work due to valid health and safety concerns and if they can show that their employer has been negligent. Employers need to be careful and follow the correct procedures, law and guidance when asking employees to return to work and equally when considering dismissal.

The government has issued sector-specific guidance to facilitate a safe return to work – accessible at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19. Adhering to the government’s guidance will assist an employer faced with an employment claim to show that reasonably practicable steps have been taken to facilitate a safe return to work.

In addition to or alongside following the government’s advice, employers should take the following steps to facilitate a safe return to work:

  • carry out risk assessments: all employers should conduct risk assessments to identify and minimise any health and safety concerns at work.
  • Identify groups: when conducting risk assessments, employers should identify groups within the workplace e.g. vulnerable and high-risk employees.
  • consider risks when working from home: an employer’s risk assessment should not be limited to the physical building in which employees work. The idea here is to ensure the safety of employees. Employers should go on step further and consider any potential risks an employee may face whilst working from home and consider how they can be minimised.
  • keep a record: an employer with more than five employees must write down any significant findings arising from a risk assessment. The government encourages employees to publish results of their risk assessments on their websites and this is expected of all employers with more than 50 employees.
  • review your findings: risk assessment should be conducted at regular intervals. Employers will need to adapt and widen their risk assessment and the way in which they mitigate risks in line with the changing and demanding pandemic.
  • Speak to your employees: it is important to consult with your employees to gather their thoughts on returning to work. This will help employers to identify relevant concerns and find ways to address them during a risk assessment. Employers should be mindful that where employees are not represented by union safety representatives, there is a statutory duty to consult employees or their appointed representative about health and safety concerns. It is a criminal offence not to comply with this requirement.
  • Consider the employees point of view: whether a suitable and effective health and safety system is in place will not depend on what the employer thinks but how the employee genuinely regards the situation to be. Any effective risk assessment will be incomplete without considering the state of mind and concerns of employees.
  • Consider others: employers should consider the health and safety of any visitors, contractors and clients attending the workplace to avoid potential claims beyond the scope of employment law.
  • Concerns outside of the workplace: employers should be mindful of external factors such as vulnerable and high-risk family members of employees. Arguably, it can still be automatic unfair dismissal if an employee is dismissed due to concerns raised regarding the risk, he poses to others by having to attend an unsafe workplace.

If you are an employer in need of advice on how to facilitate a safe return to work or an employer faced with a possible dismissal claim, we have specialists who are here to help.

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Testimonials

  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

    Hassan Bin Salman | CEO Huxley Properties London

Our Sponsored

With the global outbreak of COVID-19 impacting UK businesses, the UK Government has responded by passing the Coronavirus Act 2020 which came into effect on 26th March 2020.

The Act contains protective measures for tenants which has resulted in commercial landlords being caught between a rock and a hard place. Tenants may suddenly find that business has slowed down significantly and as a result are unable to pay their rent, whilst landlords still have financial obligations to their finance providers.

Commercial leases do not normally include force majeure clauses that would suspend the parties’ obligations to comply with certain provisions of the lease.  This means that the tenants are still obliged to pay rent and maintain their leased premises in repair, and in turn the landlords are also under an obligation to continue to comply with their contractual obligations.

The new protective measures within the Coronavirus Act 2020 Act provide that:

  1. A landlord is unable to exercise a right of re-entry or forfeiture (termination) of a tenancy for non-payment of rent from the day after the Coronavirus Act 2020 comes into force i.e. 26 March until 30 June 2020 (the ‘relevant period’). The relevant period may be extended by the Secretary of State. ‘Rent’ includes any sum a tenant is liable to pay under a business tenancy, including insurance rent and service charge.
  2. For existing litigation, based on forfeiture for rent arrears, a tenant cannot be evicted until after the end of the relevant period,currently 30 June 2020.
  3. Failure to pay the rent during the relevant period cannot be treated by the landlord as persistent delay in paying rent.

The new protective measures will apply to all leases under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 but not most leases for terms of less than six months on properties across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, irrespective of whether the reason for non-payment of rent is as a result of COVID-19 or not. However, they will not affect a landlord’s right to forfeit for any other reason.

Whilst the UK Government has announced that commercial tenants who are unable to pay their rent because of Coronavirus will be protected from eviction, Landlords should not be worried about having to write off missed payments. The rent will still lawfully be due and interest will be accrued on any late or missed payments under the terms of the lease.  If the arrears remain unpaid after the relevant period ends, which could be subject to change if the Government deems it necessary, the landlord can exercise its re-entry rights.

How a Landlord should respond will depend on the reasons why the tenant has stopped paying rent.

If a tenant is suffering from cash flow issues, then suing for non-payment of rent will not be in the best interests of either party.  The tenant’s business may be further adversely affected if their remaining cash reserves are used to pay rent, which may leave the Landlord without a tenant to occupy the leased premises.

  • It may be more prudent to agree a “rent holiday” whereby payment of rent by the tenant is deferred to an agreed date in the future.
  • Alternatively, a reduced rate of rent may be better for the tenant and ensures that you are able to maintain your own cash flow.  Such an agreement should be properly documented in writing.
  • The Landlord may also be able to draw on a rent deposit. The Landlord will however need to check the terms of the rent deposit deed carefully before withdrawing money from the rent deposit account.

There has yet to be a test case before the Court where it has been asked to rule on the impact of COVID-19 on leases. Until there is such a ruling, careful consideration will need to be given on a case by case basis.

We are closely monitoring announcements from the relevant authorities and are always available to help you navigate through this difficult time

For more information regarding the information contained in this article, please call our offices and ask to speak to Kiran Walia or any other member of our Real Estate Team.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

Read More About Us

Testimonials

  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

    Hassan Bin Salman | CEO Huxley Properties London

Our Sponsored

As the difficult times are ongoing, many of you may ask whether, during these unprecedented circumstances, the financial settlement cases which were approved by the Court can be amended.

As a result of the breakdown of marriages and civil partnerships, a number of financial claims arise. In the absence of a final Court order for these claims, they can take very long to be resolved.

Some parts of Final Orders may be changed. The Court, upon request, can alter the amount due or can also change the period of any payments. This would be an option to be considered if there has been a change in your financial stability as a result of Covid-19.

Can you, however, ask for a variation in “capital” settlements, i.e. fixed lump sum payments, or a division of property, shares, pension, etc.? Usually, these will not be a subject to variation once a divorce or dissolution has come to an end.

One instance where a final court order can possibly be varied is on the occurrence of a “Barder event”. A Barder event is where something happens soon after an order is made which challenges the basis of the order itself. This is named after a very tragic case which was decided in Courts in 1988.

In 1988, the Court set out 4 criteria which had to be met, in order to acquire permission to appeal out of time on the basis of a Barder event. These conditions are as follows:

  • That the new event invalidated the basis for the order which was originally made;
  • That the new event had taken place within a short period of time after the initial order was made;
  • That the application for permission to appeal out of time had been submitted promptly/immediately after the event took place;
  • That granting leave to appeal would not prejudice any third parties’ position (for instance, if the house in the proceedings had been sold to a third party who is not connected to any of the party, this would not be set aside).

Considering the above 4 factors, is Covid-19 an event which may be called a Barder event?

Whilst one may think that it possible that the circumstances and effects of Covid-19 may be considered as a Barder event, it should also be considered that as a whole nation we are going through economic uncertainty. It is already observed that share prices and pension valuations continue to fall, accordingly, it is not very clear whether this would amount to a Barder event.

It is worth stating that following Barder decision, some applications were made to the Court, however, it is very rare that the Court finds these arguments successful.

The recent case of Critchell v Critchell is one case which has successfully outlined a Barder argument.

This was a case where the only asset in the proceedings was a matrimonial home worth £190,000 with an outstanding mortgage of £10,000. In addition, the husband had bought a property for himself, with a loan of £85,000 from his father and a mortgage of £63,000. He, therefore, had a debt to his father of £85,000. By agreement, the husband and wife

entered into a court order which stated that the matrimonial home would be transferred to the wife (as she would be taking care of the two children of the family). They further agreed that there would be a charge against the matrimonial home, in favour of the husband, as to 45% of the equity. The husband would be able to redeem this charge on various events such as the youngest child reaching 18, the wife’s death, the wife’s remarriage or wife’s cohabitation of over 6 months with another person or upon the sale of the matrimonial home.

Within a month of the above order being made, the husband’s father died, leaving him a sum of £180,000 upon his death. The husband, therefore, became debt-free to his father and he was able to pay off his mortgage of £63,000. He became an owner of a mortgage-free property and lump sum amount of £117,000 in cash.

Subsequently, the wife appealed against the order and argued that the husband’s father’s death amounted to a “Barder event” which challenged the basis of the initial order. The Court of Appeal accepted the wife’s argument and made an order which terminated the husband’s charge against the matrimonial home in its entirety.

It remains unclear whether the current lockdown and its economic consequences can be valid arguments for a case to be successful under Barder event. The current situation is a sudden change, subsequent to Government intervention and required by a global pandemic. The Courts on previous occasions held that the reason for the economic variation is not a relevant factor to be considered in line with Barder. It is yet to be seen whether consequences resulting from Government legislation that merely could not have been foreseen a year ago would be adequate to explain a variation to present Orders.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

Read More About Us

Testimonials

  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

    Hassan Bin Salman | CEO Huxley Properties London

Our Sponsored

The sole representative visa is a popular visa category for business owners who wish to establish a commercial presence, in the UK. There was an increase in applications under this visa category in the last year as the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa was abolished by the government in March 2019. The Sole Representative visa allows a branch or subsidiary of an overseas parent company to be established in the UK. The main requirement is that the company is a genuine commercial enterprise with its main place of business/headquarters outside the UK.

On 14th May 2020, the government has introduced a new Statement of Changes before parliament under the Immigration Rules CP 232. The Sole Representative visa, also known as the Representatives of Overseas Businesses, under rule 144 of the Immigration Rules will be changed. The government has proposed to make this visa more difficult to obtain, especially since there has been an increase in these applications over the last year. The main change is the introduction of a subjective genuineness test. Although it was always known that an application must be genuine, this has now been specifically stated in the rules.

The genuineness aspect has been problematic for people applying before the Statement of Changes where the Home Office does not accept that the company was genuine for whatever reason they may have found in the application. As the genuineness of business is now the greatest factor and a significant change in the rules, we hereby summarize below the main changes introduced under the rules:

  • The business must be an overseas business, who will continue to have its headquarters overseas. Therefore, the business must still be established overseas, and should only intended to open a branch or subsidiary in the UK. If the Entry Clearance Officer suspects the applicant will establish the company headquarters in the UK, the application will be refused.
  • A senior employee must be the applicant coming to open the branch or subsidiary in the UK. The branch or subsidiary must not be established in the UK with the intention of it being established solely for the purposes of entry and stay in the UK. This means it is now harder to obtain the visa and the entry clearance officer must be satisfied that the applicant is setting up a branch or subsidiary in the UK to further his business, rather than to enter the UK freely.
  • The sole representative of the overseas business must be present in the UK. The rules have now made it harder to obtain the visa as the individual must hold the skills, experience and knowledge of the business which is necessary to undertake that role. Further to this, they must hold full authority to negotiate and undertake that role which includes being able to take operational decisions on behalf of the business. The representative must be employed full time in the business established in the UK and they must not intend to engage in any other business of their own, or any other business interest of someone else.
  • Under the old rules, the representative could not be the majority shareholder of the business, rather, they must be a senior employee. However, this has now been clarified. Under the new rules, any applicant must not have a majority stake in, or own/control the overseas business, whether that is by being:
  1. A shareholder
  2. In a partnership agreement
  3. Sole proprietor
  4. Or any other arrangement.

A further change to the rules also looks at the evidence that is provided at the time of application. Previously, the letter submitted by the employer did not have a great amount of details and that would be sufficient. However, the future changes state that the letter from the employer is now more complex. The letter will now require more detail about the employee. The employer must make it clear that the employee holds the full powers to negotiate and take operational decisions, which is a requirement of the rules.

There has also been a significant change to dependants who join the applicant. Under the previous rules, there was no provision where the dependant partner (such as the applicant’s wife) could not be the majority stakeholder. This meant the main applicant would be the sole representative, and the dependant partner would be the majority owner. However, from the Statement of Changes, it is now clear that the dependant partner cannot be the majority owner. This makes it much more difficult for a family to establish themselves together in the UK.

As evident from above, the Sole Representative visa will become much more difficult to obtain. Satisfying the new rules is much stricter and requires a lot more preparation. However, these new rules will not come into force until 04th June 2020. This, therefore, means that if an individual applies before 04th June 2020, their application will be decided under the old, more relaxed rules in comparison to the new rules introduced.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

Read More About Us

Testimonials

  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

    Hassan Bin Salman | CEO Huxley Properties London

Our Sponsored

When planning a safe return to work, employers may be faced with employees who have concerns about traveling to work. Equally, employees may be in a state of uncertainty and confusion. The question which then arises is, what should employers consider when asking their employees to travel to work?

Health and Safety legislation requires employers to provide a safe place of work, whether it be the office or home. However, it does not place a specific obligation on employers to consider an employee’s commute to work. Nevertheless, the legislation is supplemented by various other relevant considerations that both employers and employees should be aware of.

The government has issued clear guidance stating that public transport should only be used where essential and people are encouraged to cycle, drive, or walk to work. Employers ought to be mindful of an employee’s concerns about commuting to work as for the most part, the government continues to suggest that people should continue to work from home unless it is impossible to do so. On a practical basis, it should also be considered whether it is not possible or if it is particularly burdensome to expect an employee to drive, cycle, or walk to work.

ACAS has issued guidance in-line with the government, to suggest that where possible, employees should be allowed to work remotely. ACAS further suggests that employers should not assume work cannot be done from home and encourages employers and employees to be practical, flexible, and sensitive.

As per section 44 of the Employment Rights Act [1996], an employee has a right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act, or deliberate failure to act by his employer where he left work, refused to return to his place of work or any dangerous part of his place of work because he reasonably believed to be in circumstances of danger which are serious and imminent and which he cannot be expected to avoid.

Although section 44 does not make express reference to commuting to work, it is arguable that it would be applicable in circumstances where an employee refuses to travel/return to work due to the possible dangers of using public transport for non-essential reasons during the lockdown. The courts have also shown the inclination to consider commute to work as an important and relevant factor. In Edwards and other v The Secretary of State for Justice [2014] UKEAT/0123/14/DM, the Employment Appeal Tribunal allowed an appeal on the basis that the Employment Tribunal did not correctly consider the reasonableness of the prison officers’ belief that the manner in which they traveled to work placed them in serious and imminent danger. The facts of this case suggest that the travel in question was not of the usual nature. However, arguably, neither is non-essential travel during the pandemic.

It is therefore important for employers to be mindful of their employees’ concerns and mental state and conduct proper risk assessments when planning a safe return to work. Having said that, it remains open to employers to carefully consider disciplinary actions against employees who unreasonably refuse to return to work.

If you are an employer faced with questions from your employees regarding a safe return to work or an employee unsure about your employment rights during the pandemic, we are here to help.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

Read More About Us

Testimonials

  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

    Hassan Bin Salman | CEO Huxley Properties London

Our Sponsored

As you all know, the new tax year has commenced despite all the difficulties resulted from the on-going pandemic. There are considerable changes which came into effect with the new Tax Year as of 06 April 2020, which may affect the divorcing couples.

Amongst the changes is the Capital gains tax (CGT) which is now payable within 30 days of selling or transferring a property.

If you are getting divorce and if you are jointly selling a property or you are transferring your share of a property to your ex-partner, or vice versa, the CGT will be due within 30 days of the sale of that property.

Then what do you, as a divorcing couple, need to do?

You must remember that not only CGT will become payable within 30 days but you will also need to complete a land transaction report within 30 days.  It is therefore essential that you instruct a tax advisor in-time.

What other things you must be considerate of?

Since the purchase of your property, if you have lived in there for the whole time, then there is no CGT payable when you sell or transfer the property. This is called Principal Private Residence Relief (PPR).  

This relief is only available for the time you lived in the property.

If, however, you have moved out of the property for over 9 months before the sale or transfer, then there may be CGT due when you sell or transfer your share of the property.

It is therefore crucial to remember that if you been out of the family property for over 9 months and you are selling the property, then you may be liable for CGT on sale of this property and you should seek tax adviceimmediately

Is there any other reliefs available to you?

Prior to this new Tax year, i.e. 6 April 2020, if you had lived in a property as your main home at some point and then you let the property out you could be eligible for PPR relief as well as lettings relief for the period of time you rented the property

It is important to note that this relief is now only available if you also lived and were present in the property at the same time as the tenant.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

Read More About Us

Testimonials

  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

    Hassan Bin Salman | CEO Huxley Properties London

Our Sponsored

The Upper Tribunal has found that the Home Office’s policy for waiving the immigration application fee for destitute immigrants — the fees can add up to thousands of pounds for a family — is unlawful and needs to be widened. In the Judgement Liggison v Secretary of State for the Home Department JR/2249/2019 The Upper Tribunal today found that Home Office’s fee waiver policy for applications is unlawful. This is a great news for those migrants who cannot afford to pay the fee but can’t show that they are destitute.

Previously Home Office maintained that application fee will not be waived until they lost the case of Omar. Since Omar Home Office introduced the policy that applicants can apply for fee waiver if they can prove they will become destitute by paying the fee or there are any exceptional circumstances.

In this particular case family could prove they would not be able to afford the fee but could not prove they will be destitute because their friends and family were helping them to provide accommodation and support

The UT Judge Blundell in his judgement said that the test should be affordability and not destitution.

Upper Tribunal Judge Blundell:

I come to the clear conclusion that the overall effect of the guidance is to circumscribe unduly the circumstances in which an individual might qualify for a fee waiver. The underlying affordability test is not mentioned expressly.

Paragraph 89

Judge further, whilst declaring home office decision unlawful, said:

“The evidence which had been presented was sufficient, on any rational view, to establish that the applicants were unable to pay a combined application fee of nearly £8000 from their own resources”.

Paragraph 94

It seems common sense has prevailed once again. It was seemingly becoming very frustrating for practitioners like my self to comprehend the fact that how some with a family of four would be able to gather a some of nearly £8000 in application fees and health surcharge when they are not working.

Unfortunately, it seems home office hasn’t taken this decision well and applied for permission to appeal to the Court of appeal. And they were granted permission. This means the current policy is still active unless appeal is withdrawn, abandoned or court of appeal makes a decision. Since cour of appeal is not the fastest in processing hearings there could be months before the outcome is known. For know it is business as usual under the current policy.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

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  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

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The general rule is that an employee can claim unfair dismissal when he has been employed for a certain period. However, this requirement is waived and an employee is able to claim automatic unfair dismissal if he can be shown that proceedings have been issued against an employer to either enforce a statutory right or to seek a remedy resulting from a breach of his statutory rights.

Employers and businesses are facing a strain during Covid-19 however this does not provide a mitigating reason for failing to adhere to a statutory duty owed to an employee. Employees continue to benefit from the statutory right not to be subjected to any detriment by any act or any deliberate failure to act which raises valid health and safety concerns.

Examples of health and safety concerns would include:

  1. Asking an employee to return to work when it is dangerous or unsafe to do so;
  2. Failing to conduct a proper risk assessment;
  3. Dismissing an employee who refuses to return to work or stays away from work due to valid health and safety concerns;
  4. Dismissing an employee who raises valid health and safety concerns.

Employees are likely to be protected from dismissal if they refuse to return to work due to valid health and safety concerns and if they can show that their employer has been negligent. Employers need to be careful and follow the correct procedures, law and guidance when asking employees to return to work and equally when considering dismissal.

The government has issued sector-specific guidance to facilitate a safe return to work – accessible at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19. Adhering to the government’s guidance will assist an employer faced with an employment claim to show that reasonably practicable steps have been taken to facilitate a safe return to work.

In addition to or alongside following the government’s advice, employers should take the following steps to facilitate a safe return to work:

  1. carry out risk assessments: all employers should conduct risk assessments to identify and minimise any health and safety concerns at work.
  2. Identify groups: when conducting risk assessments, employers should identify groups within the workplace e.g. vulnerable and high-risk employees.
  3. consider risks when working from home: an employer’s risk assessment should not be limited to the physical building in which employees work. The idea here is to ensure the safety of employees. Employers should go on step further and consider any potential risks an employee may face whilst working from home and consider how they can be minimised.
  4. keep a record: an employer with more than five employees must write down any significant findings arising from a risk assessment. The government encourages employees to publish results of their risk assessments on their websites and this is expected of all employers with more than 50 employees.
  5. review your findings: risk assessment should be conducted at regular intervals. Employers will need to adapt and widen their risk assessment and the way in which they mitigate risks in line with the changing and demanding pandemic.
  6. Speak to your employees: it is important to consult with your employees to gather their thoughts on returning to work. This will help employers to identify relevant concerns and find ways to address them during a risk assessment. Employers should be mindful that where employees are not represented by union safety representatives, there is a statutory duty to consult employees or their appointed representative about health and safety concerns. It is a criminal offence not to comply with this requirement.
  7. Consider the employee’s point of view: whether a suitable and effective health and safety system are in place will not depend on what the employer thinks but how the employee genuinely regards the situation to be. Any effective risk assessment will be incomplete without considering the state of mind and concerns of employees.
  8. Consider others: employers should consider the health and safety of any visitors, contractors and clients attending the workplace to avoid potential claims beyond the scope of employment law.
  9. Concerns outside of the workplace: employers should be mindful of external factors such as vulnerable and high-risk family members of employees. Arguably, it can still be automatic unfair dismissal if an employee is dismissed due to concerns raised regarding the risk, he poses to others by having to attend an unsafe workplace.

If you are an employer in need of advice on how to facilitate a safe return to work or an employer faced with a possible dismissal claim, we have specialists who are here to help.

Disclaimer:

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

Read More About Us

Testimonials

  • Thank you very much to the Real Estate team at Connaughts for the outstanding work on my transactions. They are very efficient and their level of professionalism is second to none. I always feel secure with their advice and expertise and I would highly recommend them to anyone. I look forward to a long standing relationship with them.

    Akram Rabayah | CEO of Cayan Energy LLC
  • The Real Estate team at Connaughts is professional, personable and reliable. They have handled all of our transactions efficiently and pragmatically and I would highly recommend their services.

    Binayah | Real Estate Dubai
  • I am extremely pleased with the friendly and practical approach of the Real Estate team at Connaughts. They are responsive to my requirements and proactive in anticipating and addressing future requirements. They are very client focused and have a remarkable grasp of legal issues.

    Hassan Bin Salman | CEO Huxley Properties London

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