News
Find out more about what Bright Solicitors are up to and what's currently happening in the industry.

Dealing with Hospital and Medical Appointments

  • Posted: 19-10-2018
  • Commercial/Business

With the well-documented pressures on the National Health Service it is increasingly the case that an employee needing a doctor’s or medical appointment will have little choice regarding the timing of that appointment. It’s fine for an employer to express a preference that the employee will arrange these outside office hours but in practice this simply may not be possible.

So how is an employer to deal with a request for time off to attend a medical appointment?

The first thing to note is that a planned appointment is by definition not covered by sickness absence provisions. This may sound strange, but the purpose of sickness absence is to cover unexpected and unplanned absence caused by sickness or ill health. (Of course if an employee is sick and needs to go to the doctor/hospital unexpectedly then that would be covered by sickness provisions.)

Equally, however, holiday absence is designated time for an employee’s rest and relaxation, which doesn’t really fit with attending the GP surgery or hospital. In practice, employees use holiday absence for all sorts of things other than rest but it is important to be aware that this is its primary purpose.

The options for dealing with this type of absence are as follows:

An Invitation from Bright Solicitors...

  • Posted: 05-07-2018
  • Commercial/Business

As a valued client of Bright Solicitors, we are offering you and your business a free legal health check and review.

We want to spend time learning about the aspirations of your business, and how we can help you achieve your goals and resolve the challenges you may face.

One of our dedicated commercial business experts would love to meet you to establish what services we can offer your business. We can attend your premises to see how your business operates or we can arrange a meeting at our offices to suit you. Please give us a call on 01752 388883 or email to arrange your free business review.

SCAMS, SCAMS AND MORE SCAMS.

  • Posted: 16-03-2018
  • Commercial/Business

Whilst busy working away yesterday we had a phone call from a client who was very concerned as he had received a phone call from “High Court Enforcement” officers who were on their way to their registered office to collect payment for an outstanding County Court Judgment and were pushing for payment from him on the phone. This is not unexpected behaviour from high court enforcement companies as once they have complied with their obligations and sent a notice they will call to try to obtain payment prior to any visit being made and they can be very pushy and forceful.

Are you GDPR compliant?

  • Posted: 26-01-2018
  • Commercial/Business

http://ec.europa.eu

Stronger rules on data protection from 25 May 2018 mean citizens have more control over their data and business benefits from a level playing field. One set of rules for all companies operating in the EU, wherever they are based. Find out what this means for your SME.

GDPR Newsletter

  • Posted: 19-01-2018
  • Commercial/Business

GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulations. These regulations originate in the EU and will replace the existing Data Protection Act.

• They will come into force on 25th May 2018

• Brexit will have no effect on the GDPR – the Government has committed to ensuring they take effect in the UK.

• Main purpose – giving data subjects (individuals) greater control over their personal data.

• Affects all businesses holding personal data – not just client/prospective client data but also eg employee data.

Guarantees Explained...

  • Posted: 22-06-2017
  • Commercial/Business

Often the words “Guarantee” and “Guarantor” get thrown around without much, or enough thought at all but we must always consider how serious entering into a guarantee can be. So, what do we mean when we talk about guarantees? Well, a guarantee is essentially a contract promising to meet the liabilities of a third party in the event that that party fails to perform its obligations under an initial contract made between that third party and another. The classic example is a landlord and tenant situation – the landlord, Benny leases his property out to Tommy who wishes to run a coffee shop. Benny is nervous about how successful Tommy will be and concerned that he will be unable to make the monthly rental payment of £3,000 and therefore requests that Tommy has a guarantor. Tommy asks Sammy, his best friend to give a guarantee.

Five Common Trade Mark Myths

  • Posted: 12-06-2017
  • Commercial/Business

MYTH: I already have trade mark protection as I have registered my company name at Companies House and/or I have purchased a domain name for my business.
FALSE: Neither registering your name at Companies House nor purchasing a domain name provides trade mark protection. These are different systems with different laws. The only way to obtain trade mark protection is to register at the Intellectual Property Office.

MYTH: If I register my trade mark it gives me exclusive protection and no one else can use a trade mark with the same name or similar name.
FALSE: A trade mark is protected in relation to the goods and services it is registered in. Another trader may use a similar or identical trade mark provided the use of that trade mark is not for similar or identical goods or services and there is no confusion in the market place.

MYTH: Placing the letters TM after my trade mark provides protection and means my mark is registered.
FALSE: This provides no protection and legally has no meaning. Once your trade mark is registered you can use the mark ® next to your trade mark to let other traders know that your trade mark is protected.

MYTH: Once my trade mark is registered I have protection throughout the world.
FALSE: Trade mark protection is geographical, meaning that if you have a trade mark registered in the UK your protection is limited to the UK. If you intend to trade in the EU we would recommend obtaining an EU trade mark which will provide protection in all 28 EU countries, although once Brexit occurs it is likely that the UK will no longer be covered by a EUTM.

MYTH: I must already be using my trade mark before I can register it.
FALSE: You have 5 years in which to put your trade mark into genuine use from the date of registration. When you apply to register your trade mark you will be asked to sign a declaration stating that you intend to use your trade mark. You have 5 years to give effect to that intention. Failure to not genuinely use your trade mark can cause your mark to be removed from the register freeing up names for other traders to use.

Raewyn Tuffery

Solicitor (New Zealand Qualified)
Bright (South West) LLP

Bright help secure technology deal

  • Posted: 13-02-2017
  • Commercial/Business

ESSA Technology will become part of Surrey-based Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK, which is a subsidiary of the German business Jenoptik AG, bringing to the UK and international markets a wide range of end to end security, monitoring and enforcement applications.

"Who reads the small print anyway..." they say

  • Posted: 24-11-2016
  • Commercial/Business

Have you bought anything online recently? Had your vehicle serviced? Applied for a new credit card? We are constantly purchasing goods and services and entering into contracts left right and centre – but how many of us honestly spend the time to carefully read through (and understand) the terms and conditions?

Is your business really protected?

  • Posted: 26-10-2016
  • Commercial/Business

Many of our clients, when we start discussing Intellectual Property with them, ask……’do I really need it’? Or they say…’surely my business is protected enough already’.

Trade Mark Services

  • Posted: 11-07-2016
  • Commercial/Business

Colloquially known as a brand, logo, business name or trading name etc. They can include words, images or combination of both, sounds, smells and even shapes. It is important to note that registering your company name with Companies House does not provide you with trade mark protection. Unless you register your trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office you are not protected, other than through a process known as passing off. Passing off is difficult to prove and costly; therefore registering your trade mark with the IPO is preferable.

Customer Complaints

  • Posted: 02-03-2016
  • Commercial/Business

Following a raft of changes to consumer law over the last couple of years, 2016 has started with the next instalment for businesses to consider when engaging with customers.

With effect from the 15th February 2016 the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform was live and will be actively enforced. Businesses need to update their terms and conditions in order to comply with the terms.

April 2016 sees reform for UK Consumer Law

  • Posted: 02-02-2016
  • Commercial/Business

As the new year is the time for re-evaluating our lifestyles, ditching the endless gorging of the festive period in favour of dieting and exercise regimes, so too is it the perfect opportunity for businesses to reflect on the recent legal changes affecting the methods and practices they adopted and appraising what, if any, improvement plans need to be put in place.

Pension wise

  • Posted: 24-08-2015
  • Commercial/Business

The government has announced the launch of ‘Pension wise’ which will offer free and impartial guidance to people on the new pension freedoms which comes into effect in April.

Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom has unveiled the name and logo of the new pensions guidance service.

Government wants suggestions for Budget 2015

  • Posted: 24-07-2015
  • Commercial/Business

HM Treasury is encouraging groups, individuals and representative bodies to submit their ideas for consideration in advance of Budget 2015.

HM Treasury has also published guidance on the correct procedure for making a representation, which advises that ‘representations should contain policy suggestions for the upcoming fiscal event and explain the policy rationale, costs, benefits and deliverability of proposals’.

Government publishes guidance on new 'Fit for Work' service

  • Posted: 24-06-2015
  • Commercial/Business

The Government has published guidance on its new Fit for Work service, which aims to help tackle the problem of long-term sickness absence.

The service is being introduced to facilitate the return to work of employees who have been off sick for a period of four weeks or more. The new service will enable employers to refer their employees, with the employee’s consent, for an occupational health assessment. Following the assessment, a return to work plan will be created, including recommendations for employers on how to assist the employee with getting back to work.

Accelerated Payment Notices

  • Posted: 24-05-2015
  • Commercial/Business

HMRC have announced that they have secured almost all of the disputed tax due from the first group of tax avoidance scheme users to receive Accelerated Payment notices (APNs). An APN forces the taxpayer to make payment to HMRC of tax currently under dispute within 90 days of being issued with a notice. APNs are being introduced to counteract the perceived cash flow advantage for the taxpayer of holding onto the disputed tax during an avoidance dispute.

HMRC warn of phishing email scam

  • Posted: 24-04-2015
  • Commercial/Business

HMRC are warning taxpayers to be wary of the latest in a long line of email phishing scams that claims taxpayers have ‘made mistakes while completing their last tax form application’.

Strong demand for National Savings 'pensioner bonds'

  • Posted: 24-03-2015
  • Commercial/Business

The National Savings & Investments website and helpline are experiencing a high volume of enquiries following the launch of their 65+ Guaranteed Growth Bonds which are being referred to as ‘pensioner bonds’.

The bonds are available for a period of one or three years. The taxable bonds offer savers interest of 2.8% over one year and a fixed annual interest rate of 4% over three years with a minimum investment of £500. Investors are restricted to a maximum investment of £10,000 in each of the two products offered.