Balancing the competing interests and obligations of all of the stakeholders in any business is not easy. It is common for disputes to arise between the people or organisations who invest their time, money and effort in businesses – whether as directors, shareholders, partners, members or managers – and these disputes arise regardless of the size, success or nature of the business.
Good corporate governance protects and enhances shareholder value. Once perceived to be of concern only to public listed companies, both that perception and the reality of the situation have radically changed. It is true that public listed companies are expressly subject to regulation directly focused on them, including the Combined Code and the Listing Rules of the UK Listing Authority.
This week, the Chancellor delivered his summer Budget and announced some key items which have the potential to significantly affect pensions savings in the UK. With his announcement on the change to the tax relief afforded to high earners and the publication of a consultation which could result in far-reaching consequences for the way in which tax relief on pensions is applied generally, the Chancellor has again put pensions at the forefront of the Government’s plans to help reduce the UK’s deficit.
Counterpart signing and the electronic delivery of documents becomes legal in Scotland today (1 July 2015) with the coming into force of sections 1 to 4 of the Legal Writings (Counterparts and Delivery) (Scotland) Act 2015. The signing of documents in counterpart already exists in England and Wales and, as a result, many Scottish businesses were choosing English law to govern their transactions. Therefore, the new Act brings Scotland into line with the rest of the UK and will make it much easier to settle large corporate transactions north of the border.
Significant changes to corporate law, which are aimed at enhancing the transparency of UK companies (amongst other things), are scheduled to take place in the coming months. Whilst the provisions of The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 do appear to go some way to enhancing transparency, there are many who think that they will add to the administrative burden already placed upon companies. We focus on two changes which are likely to affect you.
Earlier this month, in the case of Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council, the question of whether employers should include voluntary overtime when calculating holiday pay was considered by the Court of Appeal Court in Northern Ireland.
HMRC requires that employers register their employee benefit schemes and, where relevant, that they submit annual returns in relation to them. From this year, as with other Government and non-governmental agencies, HMRC requires that the submissions be made electronically.
Readers will remember that Employment Tribunal fees were controversially introduced in July 2013. Since then, for the majority of cases, there has been an upfront fee of up to £250 to raise a claim followed by a further hearing fee of up to £950, both payable by the Claimant. Since the introduction of these fees there are has been a sharp decline in the number of claims being raised.
2012 was an exciting year in the UK. The country was abuzz with Olympic fever, the Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne, and our very own Andy Murray became the first British man to win a Grand Slam Tournament in the best part of 100 years.
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