At Thompson’s we would like to reassure all our clients that as far as possible we are operating as normal. The health and safety of our staff and clients is our primary concern during this outbreak and as such we are reviewing the situation on a regular basis and will be adapting our working practices following government guidelines. However, we have had to make some minor changes to how we are doing things.

Following Government guidelines, we have temporarily closed all of our offices and our staff are now all working from home using secure technologies to ensure they are able to continue to progress with existing and new cases as normal. All face to face meetings have been cancelled, however we are continuing to hold these meetings via phone and video calls. All the team are contactable on their direct dial numbers and email should you need to speak with your solicitor, please do not hesitate to talk to us about anything during this time.

We know these are uncertain and unsettling times for many of our clients, and the wider population, and things might look a little different for the foreseeable future. But our focus remains on our dedication, knowledge and strength that we provide to all our clients. We will continue to provide updates over the coming days and weeks in accordance with official guidelines and to keep everyone informed of the situation.

As always, for any concerns, advice and updates on your case; Talk to Thompsons.

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Employment Law

The people of Hawick have had a rough time of it recently. A seemingly relentless recent succession of nicely named storms have caused major flooding in the town over several weeks now, stretching right back to before Christmas. A bigger blow for the town and people was the closure and redundancies at both the Hawick Knitwear and Hawico textile factories, resulting in job losses that the local area can ill-afford.

We were keen to attend the recent Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) event at Hawick Rugby Club on 15 January. PACE had organised a Redundancy and Skills Fair to provide support to Hawick Knitwear employees who had lost their jobs, by offering advice and essentially a place for everyone to get together and take stock. The event was a great success and we played a small part in ensuring that folk who lost their jobs were aware of their legal right to lodge an Employment Tribunal claim for a Protective Award of damages in lieu of consultation and notice of their redundancy.

Employment solicitors have helped secure compensation for a bank manager who suffered as a result of a change in bank selling culture following the Payment Protection Insurance scandal.

The woman's employment solicitors detailed how prior to the scandal the woman had been a high performing worker with an excellent sales record.

Employment law is an exciting, constantly evolving and ever changing area of law. There are always new rules and regulations coming into force. It is important that employees are aware of changes in their workplace rights.

This will be the first in a series of blogs relating to up and coming Employment Law changes in 2016.

The Gender Pay Gap

Early in January 2016, the Scottish Government laid regulations before the Scottish Parliament with the intention of extending the requirement on public authorities to publish information regarding to their gender pay gap and equal pay statements.

Positive employment law news emerged in Scotland last week with confirmation from rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead that the government will keep the Scottish Agricultural Wages Board.

Employment law solicitors in Scotland have welcomed the announcement, which comes in the wake of a Law Society committee recommendation that the Wages Board retain its role in safeguarding the pay and work and safety conditions of farming workers in Scotland.

As one Hawick family celebrates a sensational lottery win, sadly over 100 families in the area face the burden of sustaining their families and looking for new employment due to the long established local business Hawick Knitwear going in to administration.  

Without warning or consultation the company entered administration making over 100 employees redundant; which often results in employees’ receiving no wages or redundancy pay, forcing employees and their families in to financial hardship.

To say Police Scotland did not have a great 2015 is almost definitely an understatement. To add to their woes, prior to the Christmas break, the Scottish Women’s Development Forum presented research to the Scottish Police Authority concerning the experience of police officers and staff during pregnancy.

More and more employees across the UK are working for large, international, service providers. The move to privatise and/or outsource services is a trend which started under Thatcher in the late 1980s.

Now everything from cleaning to care provision, from road maintenance to ferry services are out sourced to huge global conglomerates. The recent spat over Calmac is only the latest in a long and ever increasing line of outsourcing.

There were recent  mass protests in London by Junior Doctors, over contract changes proposed by the UK Conservative Government.
 
Hard fought for rights are being cast aside as the drive for "efficiency" in the NHS continues. At present the changes only affect those working in England and Wales, the Scottish Government have indicated that similar changes will not be made in Scotland.

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