Thursfields advises on cloudThing sale to Kerv

A team of business lawyers at Thursfields Solicitors has advised the shareholders of Birmingham-based cloudThing Group Ltd on its sale to cloud management services company Kerv.

Recently ranked as one of the Best Companies to Work for in the UK by Best Companies, cloudThing is one of the fastest growing tech companies in the UK according to the Sunday Times Tech Track 100.

Corporate director Gareth Burge led a team that included Joe Rollins (corporate), Reece De-Vaney (corporate), Megan Jewkes (corporate), Helena Morrissey (employment), Stewart Coles (commercial property) and Nicola Pearce (commercial property).

Corporate finance and accountancy advice to cloudThing was provided by Pippa Hawkes of BSN Associates. Kerv was advised by accountants BDO and law firm Pinsent Masons.

Gareth Burge said: “cloudThing was founded in 2012 and has become a major UK digital transformation success story by helping businesses take advantage of the powerful technology available in the cloud.

“The company is a Microsoft Gold Partner and has excellent credentials in the government, non-profit and membership organisation sectors.

“The team of 220 staff, including developers, solution architects, data analysts and DevSecOps specialists are based in the UK and in Bangalore, India.

“We have acted for cloudThing and its founding shareholders for a number of years and are delighted to have advised on this latest deal. cloudThing is an exciting business and has an exciting future in the Kerv group.”

The cloudThing acquisition represents Kerv’s fifth and largest deal in ten months. The combined group is now a £35 million revenue business with more than 330 employees, serving over 800 customers, with offices in London, Birmingham, and Bangalore, India.

Current chief operating officer Stuart Harper assumes the role of cloudThing chief executive officer and joins the Kerv management team along with Mike Wrout, chief customer officer.

Stuart Harper said: “Kerv offers something genuinely unique, a group of complementary cloud and digital organisations that are experts at what they do, given further scale and enhanced capabilities as part of the group.

“Kerv’s commitment to organic growth, underpinned by a focus on customer experience and employee engagement is central to our own culture and our belief in the mission of the group as a whole.

“It became clear early on in our discussions that both organisations were aligned behind similar values. The whole team at cloudThing is delighted to be joining Alastair, Mike and the crew at Kerv.”

Jay Neale, founder of cloudThing, said: “We are delighted to have found such a great partner for the next phase of cloudThing’s growth story – shared values of customer experience and employee engagement will be the foundations of continued organic growth and exciting times ahead.

“We are really grateful to Gareth and the rest of the team at Thursfields for advising us, can’t fault them – a tight team who are really focussed and talented.”

Ends (469 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk

Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Andy Skinner, ASAP PR – 07990 978257

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thursfields complete legal work for new Italian restaurant opening in Birmingham’s Mailbo

A new Italian restaurant is delighting diners with its terrace and outdoor seating in Birmingham’s Mailbox, with legal advice on the new venture provided by Thursfields Solicitors.

Robert Pettigrew, a director in the Commercial Property department at Thursfields, worked with the owners on the agreement and lease for the venue known as Lucarelli.

The authentic Italian restaurant is already open for outdoor dining, with a 24-cover terrace and a 16-cover outdoor dining area just outside the Mailbox, with parasols exclusively for Lucarelli customers.

Meanwhile, once lockdown restrictions are fully lifted, the restaurant and terrace area will seat up to 150 guests.

Mr Pettigrew said: “It’s great to see restaurants not only opening again but in Lucarelli’s case launching themselves in new and exciting locations, and I was delighted to work with the Lucarelli team on the necessary legal documents.

“The restaurant occupies a prime canalside position and includes a fantastic new glass terrace area overlooking Birmingham’s iconic canals, with additional and exclusive tables outside which makes it really attractive.

“It was important to understand the concept behind Lucarelli so that we could ensure its specific requirements were met.”

Lucarelli has moved in and refurbished the premises formerly occupied by the Red Peppers restaurant.

The eatery has filled the terrace with white flowers, crisp white tablecloths, plush seating and a side window that drops down 2ft to provide waterside views.

Potted olive trees also surround the terrace to add to the continental theme, and there is a retractable roof to deal with both sunny and rainy days.

A spokeswoman for Lucarelli said: “We’d like to send a big thank you to Thursfields Solicitors for making sure all that legal detail was correct so that we could open out terrace and outdoor areas without a hitch.”

Ends (294 words)

For further information, please contact:

 Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

ASAP PR – 07990 978257.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Former rugby star expands coffee shop brand into Bristol, helped by Thursfields

A former professional rugby player has expanded his Midlands-based speciality coffee shop into Bristol with the opening of his third outlet, with help from Thursfields Solicitors.

Sam Smith, the ex-Worcester Warriors and England under-20s winger, launched Wayland’s Yard in Worcester in 2016 after an injury forced his early retirement from rugby, and opened his second site in Bull Street, Birmingham in 2018.

Thursfields has now helped him with legal advice to secure the deal for the third Wayland’s Yard premises which are based on 45 Whiteladies Road in the trendy Clifton area of Bristol.

Katherine Hall, a solicitor in the commercial property team at Thursfields who handled the lease, said: “We completed on the lease and licence for alterations in December, allowing Wayland’s Yard to prepare the new location and open doors in January.

“It’s always a busy and challenging period when a growing business is about to sign a lease in a new city, so we were delighted to make this as easy as possible for Sam and his team.

“This brand has quickly become a popular and well-known coffee shop in both Worcester and Birmingham, and it’s been a pleasure to help Sam secure a great venue for his third branch in Bristol.”

Mr Smith said: “Despite the lockdown, the new Bristol property has been able to serve takeaways, and because it includes an outdoor space at the front we’ll also be able to take advantage of outdoor dining from 12 April.

“The commercial property team were fantastic in helping us to secure these new premises in the centre of Bristol’s most popular hospitality district, and I’d recommend their swift and reliable services without hesitation.”

Recalling his launch into business five years ago, Mr Smith added: “Having to stop playing rugby was devastating as I hoped to play for another nine or 10 years, but I’m really pleased with how Wayland’s has progressed since 2016.

“My dream was to create a venue that champions speciality coffee, supports local suppliers and serves up great food in a unique and exciting space, and I’m delighted I’ve been able to do that with my fantastic team.”

Ends (355 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

ASAP PR – 01608 651203

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Loss of flexibility could prove an own goal for Uber drivers

Uber’s decision to pay the national living wage, holiday entitlement and pension contributions could remove one of the fundamental attractions of working in the gig economy, according to employment experts at Thursfield Solicitors.

Helena Morrissey, director and head of employment at Thursfields, said: “Uber drivers are today celebrating the Supreme Court decision that they should be treated as ‘workers’  and are therefore entitled to paid holiday, pensions and the national living wage.

“This clearly has implications for the wider gig-economy too, as it is likely that these rights will be replicated elsewhere for thousands of others currently categorized as ‘self-employed’. This would seem to be a huge success story for such workers who, until now, have had no guaranteed minimum income.

“However, this ruling could erode one of the fundamental benefits of this type of business model, namely, the flexibility it offers individuals.”

Generally speaking, workers in the gig-economy can “log on” and ‘”log off” as they please, but the Supreme Court has determined that Uber drivers should be paid the national living wage not just for the time that drivers are actually carrying passengers in their taxi, but from the moment they log on to the moment they log out of the system.

In other words, waiting time is deemed to be working time, not just driving time.

Ms Morrissey added: “On the face of it, this is good news for the drivers, but it is quite likely that this will result in Uber placing restrictions on the number of hours drivers can work and will even limit the number of drivers who can be logged into the system at any one time, so as to control costs.

“This would, of course, restrict the drivers’ ability to log on and off at will – one of the fundamental benefits of the gig economy.

“Although there is clearly a benefit to having a guaranteed minimum income, is the curtailment of the freedom of drivers to choose their own working hours a price worth paying?”

Employers who have concerns over employment status can contact hmorrissey@thursfields.co.uk or call 0345 207 3728.

Ends (348 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Law offers no clear cut position on ‘no jab, no job’ controversy

Employers are already voting with their feet as far as the “no jab, no job” controversy is concerned, a leading Midlands employment expert is warning.

Helena Morrissey, director and head of employment and HR law at Thursfields Solicitors, said there was a risk that the legal position on whether employers could insist employees are vaccinated was likely to lag behind by as much as two years, given delays in the judicial system.

“On the face of it, insisting your staff have the jab, or refusing to employ applicants who won’t be vaccinated, is potentially discriminatory.

“But equally, employers have a duty of care to all their staff, their customers and their suppliers.  There may be certain situations in which insistence on having the jab can be fully justified.  The reason for refusal will also be a factor in considering whether refusal is reasonable or not.

“For this dilemma to be resolved, we may have to wait 18 months to two years until it has been tested in an employment tribunal – and we are seeing this length of delay in cases reaching tribunal exacerbated by the pandemic,” she said.

London-based Pimlico Plumbers has already set out its stall, insisting the company will not take on new employees who have declined to be vaccinated on non-medical grounds.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland has cautioned against employers insisting that existing staff must have the jab, but said that, if it were written into their contracts, it could be possible to make it a condition of employment for new staff that they are vaccinated before they can start work.

But he admitted the issue may have to be tested in law.

At the same time, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman has made No. 10’s position clear. “Taking a vaccine is not mandatory and it would be discriminatory to force someone to take one.”

Helena Morrissey said the dilemma placed some employers in an almost impossible situation and businesses are having to make decisions despite conflicting guidance and commentary on the issue.

“How are care home owners supposed to respond, with a duty of care to their elderly clients, if staff refuse to have the jab?

One company, Barchester Healthcare, has already stated on its website: “With regards to our staff, we are doing all we can to reassure and encourage those who are a little more reticent to have the vaccination, and we are also ensuring that all new staff must have the vaccination (if they medically can) before starting work looking after our vulnerable residents and patients who are in our care.”

She said the situation was also exacerbated by the fact that a “no jab, no job” policy would disproportionally affect young people, who are likely to be the last to be vaccinated.

“Employers will have to assess each job and analyse the health and safety risk before introducing such a clause into contracts, as failure to do so would make it possible to challenge the proposed contract as unfair or discriminatory.

“Given all of the above, it is very difficult for employment lawyers to give definitive advice, which is naturally what their clients are seeking.

“At Thursfields, our advice is that every decision  should be clearly documented and we would urge any employer contemplating issuing new contracts, amending existing ones, or making any declarations in relation to vaccination to seek professional advice on their particular situation.  It is likely that the lawfulness or otherwise of vaccination measures will be determined on a case by case basis and it is important to assess all the relevant factors before taking action.”

Helena Morrissey can be contacted on hmorrissey@thursfields.co.uk or 0345 2073728.

Ends (607 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

ASAP PR – 01608 651203, or 07990 978257.

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and most reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. The firm provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. Thursfields has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thursfields responds to court ruling that Uber drivers are workers, not self-employed

A top employment lawyer at Thursfields Solicitors has responded to today’s ruling by the UK Supreme Court that Uber drivers must be treated as workers rather than as self-employed.

The decision means thousands of Uber drivers are set to be entitled to the minimum wage and holiday pay, leaving the ride-hailing app facing a hefty compensation bill.

Jade Linton, a HR business partner and associate director in the Employment department at Thursfields, explained that the ruling came after a long-running legal battle, where Uber had appealed to the Supreme Court after losing three earlier rounds.

Mrs Linton said: “This final decision is worthy of discussion and debate but there are two important take-aways from this case for employers, especially those in the so-called gig economy.

“The first is that in the event of a dispute over the status of an individual, for example whether someone is a worker, self-employed or an employee; the tribunal will always assess the reality of the situation and not simply what the documentation says.

“Secondly, this decision highlights the distinction between being ‘available’ for work and ‘performing’ the contracted task.

“In this case, the drivers were found to have been ‘workers’ from the moment they had switched on the Uber app, as this demonstrated their ‘availability’ to work even if a fare had not yet been collected at this time.”

Uber is being challenged by its drivers in multiple countries over whether they should be classed as workers or self-employed.

The company itself has said that the UK ruling centred on a small number of drivers and it had since made changes to its business, but Mrs Linton said it could have wider consequences for the gig economy.

She added: “As always, tribunal findings are made on a case-by-case basis, but legal precedents do have an accumulative value, and this sort of ruling will have far reaching and hard felt consequences for the gig economy.”

Anyone in need of HR or employment law advice can contact Mrs Linton by emailing jlinton@thursfields.co.uk or calling 0121 796 4024.

Ends (341 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Consider carefully before punishing workers for refusing the COVID 19 jab, Thursfields warns

Employers should give careful consideration before taking disciplinary action or even sacking workers who refuse COVID-19 vaccinations, Thursfields Solicitors has warned.

The advice from an employment expert at the leading Midlands law firm came after a national debate over whether employers can or should be able to insist that their staff are inoculated.

James Monk, an associate director in the Employment department at Thursfields, explained that while vaccinating the country is seen as the only route back to normality, not everyone will be prepared to get the jab.

Mr Monk said: “There has been some interesting debate in the legal sector over staff who remain sceptical about having the vaccination, and how employers should respond if they refuse to do so.

“This is likely to be a highly sensitive issue, because there is no legislation to say that vaccinations are mandatory, and it may therefore be risky for employers to insist on it.

“There are potential discrimination issues, for example in relation to those who have a moral or religious objections, such as vegans who may object to the use of gelatine in a vaccine produced from pigs.

“Other employers may be cautious about the possibility of future personal injury claims from those who may suffer adverse reactions to the vaccination.”

Mr Monk said Acas guidance suggests there could be some situations where disciplinary action might be used if a vaccination was required for an employee to be able to carry out their job.

But he said: “While the possibility exists, in practice an employment tribunal  may, in some cases, be unwilling to accept that it was fair to discipline or dismiss an employee who is refusing a medical procedure.

“A tribunal is likely to consider the matter in its whole and look at other considerations such as the employee’s privacy, and how online technology enables many roles to be fulfilled from home.

“We are in unchartered waters and some employers with different attitudes to risk may decide on a stricter approach in relation to anti-vaccination employees.”

Mr Monk suggested that in the first instance employers will want to communicate their desire for employees to take the vaccine and the reasons for this.

He added: “Winning hearts and minds to get employees to co-operate with an employer is often as effective, if not more so, than taking action against them.”

Anyone wanting to discuss this or other employment law issues can contact James Monk by emailing jmonk@thursfields.co.uk or calling 0121 227 3366, extension 3366.

Ends (414 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Longstanding Midlands finance recruitment specialists complete management buy-out

CY Executive Resourcing Ltd, a specialist recruitment company for the finance and accounting sector, has welcomed new owners following a management buy-out.

Cynthia Parker, who was the founder and chief executive of the Worcester-based company, was helped by leading law firm Thursfields Solicitors, to sell the business for an undisclosed sum to fellow directors.

The new owners are a three-way partnership formed of Vural Aglamaz, who was deputy chief executive, and business directors Kurt Rimell-Lejeune and Andrew Vaughan.

Speaking on behalf of the new owners, Mr Aglamaz said: “We’re hugely grateful to Cynthia for the work she has done to build and maintain such a reputable and successful business.

“The company today still includes many of the same core people, and this will ensure its exceptional depth of knowledge and quality services are continued for all our customers.”

Ms Parker, who has more than 30 years of experience in the financial recruitment sector, began the business in 1999. The MBO sale of the company’s entire issued share capital was completed on Friday 9 October.

Ms Parker said: “This was a great opportunity for me to take a step back from the company after 20-plus years of focused efforts, and to let the existing skilled management team take the business forward to grow it.”

Tim Edwards, a director of the Corporate Law team at Thursfields, was the lead advisor to Ms Parker, and he was assisted by Lisa Kemp, an associate director in the Employment team.

Mr Edwards said: “This recognised recruitment specialist has built up an excellent reputation in the sector, and we were pleased to help Ms Parker smoothly pass the company on for its future development.”

Also acting on the MBO deal was accountant Aimee Davies from Richards Sandy Partnership, while the new owners’ legal advice came from Andrew Bradley at Bradley Haynes Law.

Ends (306 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Andy Skinner at ASAP PR – 07990 978257

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

 

Top lawyer champions diversity in the workplace during Black History Month

One of Thursfields Solicitors’ top lawyers will speak about the importance of diversity in the workplace at three separate events during Black History Month.

Jade Linton, an associate director and HR business partner at Thursfields, was recently recognised in the Reward 300 Index as a leading employment lawyer.

Ms Linton also regularly champions racial equality and is an ambassador for Project Embrace, a campaign designed to address the lack of representation and stereotypes associated with black people in professional spaces.

The events at which she is speaking this month include:

  • A staff event on 14 October at Platform Housing Group, one of the UK’s largest housing associations, exploring systematic bias in the workplace.
  • A panel discussion with senior leaders of top law firms hosted by the Birmingham Law Society on 16 October, focusing on race and inclusion in the legal sector, and the recruitment and retention of talent from non-white backgrounds.
  • A webinar organised by Metro Bank on 29 October that will aim to illustrate the importance of diversity in the workplace and how black professionals can navigate their careers.

Ms Linton, who is one of just three per cent of black lawyers working in England and Wales, said: “More needs to be done to address the barriers to progression faced by minority groups in the UK, as there should be no bar on ambition.

“How can talented individuals from under-represented groups get jobs on merit if the systems which underpin the sectors they wish to work in are not designed with them in mind?

“There is much work to be done, and whilst I’m happy to be asked to speak at these events I will be really pleased when our words become actions, with sustained and authentic change taking place.”

Ms Linton’s other recent external speaking appearances included a round table event held by the Law Society of England and Wales in August, when she discussed the barriers faced by black people in progressing in the legal sector.

She added: “There are many aspects to my identity, but being black and female are aspects which are immediately seen, and I want to share how this has impacted on my journey in the legal profession to improve awareness and invoke change.”

Ends (369 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Andy Skinner at ASAP PR – 07990 978257

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

 

Thursfields’ guidance on government’s complex new job support scheme

Expert interpretation of the government’s new job support scheme has been provided by Thursfields Solicitors.

The leading Midlands law firm is offering businesses detailed support if they want help on how to save jobs once the current furlough scheme ends on 31 October.

Helena Morrissey, director of Employment at Thursfields, explained that the new scheme was available to all small and medium-sized employers, but that larger businesses might face financial assessments to prove that COVID-19 had directly reduced their turnover.

Ms Morrissey said: “The pandemic is going to be with us for some time, and so we welcome the government’s new job support measures to help preserve some jobs when the current furlough scheme ends.

“The emphasis is, however, on some jobs. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has stated that he cannot save all jobs, only those that are viable, and exactly how this is to be interpreted remains to be seen.

“The initial government guidance is that the scheme is applicable to businesses who can keep going over the winter months, but who are facing reduced levels of trade.”

Ms Morrissey noted that this might make the new scheme of little value to employers in certain sectors such as conferences and events, sporting venues, nightclubs and parts of the travel industry, where there are little or no prospects of reopening this winter.

She said: “Individuals unlucky enough to be employed in such businesses could find themselves without any further job protection come November.”

But on the bright side, Ms Morrissey highlighted how the scheme could work for businesses whose staff can genuinely begin to return to work in November, albeit on a part-time basis.

Employees, she said, must work and be paid by their employer for a minimum of a third of “normal” hours, with the bill for the remaining two thirds of hours effectively split three ways between the employer, the employee (via reduced wages) and the government (capped at £697.92 per month).

Ms Morrissey said: “This does mean, however, that employers are paying a premium for hours actually worked.

“For example, employers will have to pay 55% of normal wages for an employee only working a third of their normal hours (i.e. 33% for hours actually worked and 22% for their share of paying for unworked hours).

“And two employees working half their normal hours will cost around a third more than one full time equivalent.  It remains to be seen, therefore, whether many employers will actually want to pay this uplift on wages.

“The scheme will run for six months, but the government may increase the minimum hours threshold from 33% to a higher percentage after three months. It is possible to rotate employees on and off the scheme, but each claim period must be a minimum of seven days.”

Ms Morrissey also explained that the new scheme cannot be used to support the wages of any employee served notice of redundancy, nor can employees be made redundant when they are being supported by the scheme.

She said: “It is well worth remembering that this scheme is only one of a number of options that businesses should be considering when trying to identify alternatives to redundancy.

“Employers could consider offering career breaks, sabbaticals or job shares, for example, or if they have the contractual right to do so they could re-consider ‘normal’ short-time working or lay-offs.

 

“Employees may also be willing to voluntarily agree to reduced pay, possibly in return for some other incentive, such as more flexibility.”

 

Ms Morrissey added: “What is clear is that flexibility will be at the heart of any successful job-saving strategy, both on the part of the employer and the employee.”

 

Employers who need advice on the latest government job support scheme, redundancies or  any other employment law issues can  contact Ms Morrissey for a free initial consultation at hmorrissey@thursfields.co.uk or call her on 0121 726 8781.

 

Ends (645 words)

 

For further information, please contact:

 

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Andy Skinner at ASAP PR – 07990 978257

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

 

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.