Friday, 14 October 2011


  So D Day has been and gone, the supposed ‘Big Bang’ for Law Firms happened a week ago , but in reality it has passed as a bit of a damp squib!

From 6 October, non-lawyers are now able to invest in and own legal businesses for the first time, allowing banks and supermarkets and other businesses to offer the services of a lawyer alongside groceries and other items.

The government said that the new Legal Services Act would provide more choice for the public, and Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said it was "a landmark day" for the UK legal industry. These changes will enable firms to set up multi-disciplinary practices and provide opportunities for growth.

This is all very exciting and the change in the law, dubbed  "Tesco Law" by some, although the supermarket giant has not committed to taking part, will no doubt have a significant impact on Law Firms and the way they present and market their services.  However to what extent is yet to be seen…. since the MoJ is still yet to decide who can regulate what, and althought the Act has come into force,  existing law firms can’t actually take advantage of the Legal Services Act until that is defined, probably early next year.

However the ball is definitely rolling and now is not the time for the legal industry to sit on their laurels.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Temp Worker Law Comes into Force

The Government  has bought in new agency worker rules as planned  on October 1, despite attempts by David Cameron to water down the controversial EU law.

The new agency workers legislation, which entitles temps to the same pay and benefits as permanent staff after just 12 weeks in a job,  has now come into force.

This is despite the Prime Minister’s office secretly commissioning its own legal advice to see whether the law could be moderated to reduce its impact on UK employers.

It has been reported that Downing Street was told by lawyers that the regulations were “gold-plated” with additional unnecessary rules, making the law burdensome and costly to implement.

A recent survey suggested almost 500,000 agency workers could lose their jobs just before Christmas as businesses moved to sack temps to avoid the new rules. The law could cost employers £1.8bn a year to abide by.

This will  have a massive impact on businesses wanting to keep on temps over the Christmas period and may enforce a mass change in business strategy before the seasonal recruitment period.

It seems things have got ever more confusing over whether the Government plans to dilute the regulations to make it easier for companies to employ people, and looks like they might have failed.

It seems temporary contracts might have a lifespan of only 12 weeks in the very near future – which isn’t great news for temps or businesses!

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