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Unpopular proposals to hike the fees paid by bereaved families have been put on hold until after the General Election.

The Government had planned to sharply increase probate costs next month to raise around £300 million a year towards running the courts and tribunal service. However, following Prime Minister Theresea May’s decision to call a snap election, the Ministry of Justice has announced there is not enough time to push the reforms through Parliament.

The issue will now be a matter for the next Government. The delay will come as a welcome reprieve to many, with the so-called changes dubbed a ‘stealth death tax’ by critics.

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Gotelee Solicitors are pleased to announce their new Chief Executive, Charles Rowett.

Charles will succeed Alistair Lang who is retiring at Easter after three years with Gotelee. Charles is no stranger to Suffolk having lived in the Woodbridge area for over twenty years and he held various executive roles locally in Gist-brocades UK and Hutchison Ports as well as in financial services and management consulting. Most recently he has been CEO at Yorkshire Cancer Research, the largest independent cancer charity in England. He commented, “I’m delighted to be coming back to Suffolk and to joining Gotelee at such an exciting time. The firm has an outstanding reputation in the region and there are enormous opportunities to build on the excellent work of Alistair and the Partners in a market that is changing rapidly.”

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Employers can ban workers from wearing Islamic headscarves or any other “political, philosophical or religious sign”, Europe’s top court has ruled.

But to ensure the decision doesn’t constitute discrimination, it must be based on internal company rules requiring all employees to “dress neutrally”, according to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The court ruled that limits on visible religious wear were permitted under EU law as long as they apply across the board — meaning any ban would have to include items such as turbans, Jewish kippahs or crucifixes as well as Islamic headscarves.

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Last year the UK Government confirm that it will be adopting the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Brexit won’t save you!). While complying with the existing data protection regime should give businesses a head start to complying with the GDPR the GDPR introduces new concepts.

It comes into force on 25 May 2018, introduces a risk based approach to compliance and requires various documents to be maintained. GDPR also means that businesses may need to make substantial changes to their existing compliance strategies. Businesses should create awareness among staff of data subjects’ rights and data protection principles and bee able to demonstrate compliance with the GDPR, e.g:

o Audit and document the data held, where it came from and with whom it is shared.

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When an employee is left feeling that they have no other choice than to leave their job due to their employer’s behaviour, you’re on course for a constructive dismissal claim. If the employee can prove that their employer’s behaviour was a fundamental breach of contract, in effect forcing them to resign, they may have a case and furthermore, if they’ve been there more than 2 years, could progress a claim for unfair dismissal.
So, here’s some key examples of what may prompt an employee to make a claim:
Unfounded allegations of poor performance
A reduction of pay or not being paid at all
Bullying or harassment
Failure to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a disability
Breach of health and safety laws
Claims for constructive dismissal can be costly, not only financially but also in management time, staff morale and reputation.
You can avoid these claims and manage them more effectively if they come your way by taking on board these 5 top tips.
As a bonus, they can also boost performance and motivation, which will positively affect your bottom line. Winner.
Get your house in order
Comprehensive, up to date policies and a handbook, accessible to all, will ensure that everyone knows exactly where they stand and what to expect. It is not enough to merely plonk a new recruit in front of your handbook on their first day, expecting them to absorb (let alone grasp the sentiment of) all that good stuff and retain it for the duration of their employment. For one thing, as the company evolves, so do its policies and procedures, in addition to this there will be oodles of changes to employment law and best practice. It is a valuable exercise to actively revisit policies and procedures periodically with managers and then roll them out again to the team(s). Moreover, take the opportunity for engagement, feedback and contributions.
Accepting there is no such thing as ‘no risk’, a well written, clear, up to date handbook is likely to be valued by staff, looked upon favourably by a tribunal chair, as well as solicitors or other advisors. It indicates that you have your house in order and know what you are doing. You’re now in ‘low risk’ territory. Demonstrating how this is communicated also key.
D & G
That’s disciplinary and grievance not Dolce and Gabbana. It is not advisable to merely ‘go through the motions’ of following your disciplinary and grievance procedures. Train managers to fully understand, not only the procedures but also, the reality of dealing with people. Ensuring your leaders have the confidence, sensitivity and diplomacy to deal with situations appropriately and professionally pays dividends. Don’t just ignore issues, take the time to discuss grievances and invoke the disciplinary procedure to maintain standards and expectations. Getting to the nub of the grievance by dealing with it appropriately using your policies and procedures is vital in order to avoid a constructive dismissal claim or strengthen the company’s position should a claim be made.
Performance Management
Effective performance management that drives the right behaviours in a business should be a continual process, not just once a year at appraisal time. By weaving an effective performance management process into a regular weekly or monthly routine, everyone will know the standards and expectations upon them and their colleagues and they will be far less likely to feel aggrieved and take formal action. Ad hoc, emotionally charged performance discussions can lead to employees (at any grade) feeling humiliated. Being overly critical, without reason and evidence, is unlikely to lead to increased productivity; it may well however lead to a constructive dismissal claim. Therefore, training managers on how to implement an effective performance management process, having difficult conversations and providing constructive feedback is essential.
‘It’s good to talk’
Clear, concise, honest two way communication goes a long way to building an engaged, motivated team. Engaged employees who understand their role in the organisation and who feel they are part of the solution rather than the problem, are much more likely to be happier and more productive at work. Therefore, less likely to become disgruntled and claim constructive dismissal. Developing effective communication channels so that employers and employees can regularly communicate, update and exchange ideas will not only lead to better relationships, increase creativity and innovation, it enables employers to nip potential issues in the bud, before they escalate into formal grievances.
“That is SO UNFAIR!”
Ask yourself, ‘would you like it if someone was treating you or your loved one in the manner you are treating a colleague right now?’ If the answer is no, the chances are you are not being fair and reasonable. Treating all employees fairly, consistently, ensuring their health and well-being is key to avoiding constructive dismissal claims. To be super clear on what’s is fair, you should take the time to ‘gen up’ on the Equality Act 2010 as there are further obligations on the employer for employees with some additional needs, such as making reasonable adjustments. Taking the time to read case law and outcomes also gives you an evidence based and better sense of what is required by a Tribunal. For example, when considering if an employer has acted reasonably, a tribunal is likely to take into account whether the company’s policies and procedures covered the situation, whether the employee was aware and whether the employer followed their own procedures. So perhaps it is time to dust off that trusty old handbook! We refer you to Top Tip 1.


You may have an HR Team, you may not, you may have one so busy that you need a hand sorting this all out and putting your reviews and ideas into action. If you would like to discuss this, or any of the situations we cover in our articles, feel free to contact us. We offer free consultations.

When you’re ready, call and see how MAD-HR can fit in and work with your teams to protect your business, saving you time, money and worry.

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On 01 October 2016, the Statutory Payment rates for 2016/17 were updated. Here, we share them with you in a handy table.

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Your client is about to expand their business and you’ve been helping them get to where they are today.
You’ve helped form the infrastructure of their company and have developed the financial side of things so that they’re ready to go and to grow.
How do you help them take the next step?

The step that will see them with employees, with premises, and all the vital processes and procedures in place that will help them accelerate growth.
Skills for growing a business

As your client’s business develops, their finance arrangements will become more complex and that’s well within your remit, of course, but they’re going to need more help with marketing, with HR, health and safety, new equipment and IT systems.
The learning curve is steep and they need strong pillars in place to help them succeed. Your role is one of trusted advisor and you want to ensure that they see you them in the direction of people and businesses that you and they can trust to help take them to the next level. This is never and easy thing to do!
Be sure of your recommendations

The people and businesses that you advocate reflect on you, so you need to know that the businesses you recommend to your client are ones that really will deliver. They MUST give them what they need. At MAD-HR we recognise that and we’re practised at helping growing businesses put the right structures in place. Our highly experienced HR professionals know that while every business is unique, the demands they face can be similar. We work with each business to maximise growth in a way that’s sustainable and stable, advising them along the way. We help them to become proactive rather than reactive.
Businesses grow through good reputation and we can help your business AND your client’s business thrive.
To become an Introducer for MAD-HR call Carole Burman today on 01473 360160 for more information.
When you clients sign-up to the Online HR Toolkit through your business, they benefit from 20% off their subscription for the first 12 months.

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We are pleased to welcome Charlotte Bate to our board of Directors. Charlotte joined this month to support the growth of the business, bringing a wealth of experience as an HR Professional, Trainer and Coach across most industries from marketing to manufacturing, construction and engineering.


Carole Burman, Managing Director of MAD-HR said: “Charlotte will be a real asset to our Company. We’ve worked together previously and so I know that she has a proven record of helping businesses to develop effective, motivated teams lead by capable and inspiring managers”.


“Her work focuses on helping clients’ businesses to thrive rather than survive. Being an employer is a serious undertaking but with Charlotte’s ability to provide clear, concise and commercial advice and support to clients blended with a friendly and positive approach made her a perfect choice to join our team.”


Charlotte added: “I am excited to hit the ground running. We have plans to grow our training and development offering as we continue to provide flexible and affordable HR support to businesses in the region. I am really pleased to be working with Carole again. We share the same ethos which is a client-focused approach and I know that we make a great team.”


MAD-HR offers commercial HR consultancy to a wide range of businesses of all shapes and sizes across East Anglia as well as offering an Online HR Toolkit for SMEs. Find out more at

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Whether you’re introducing a new initiative or about to launch a new product or perhaps you’ve identified that there are mistakes happening with the processing of orders or duplication of effort – dealing with the demands of change is the biggest challenge facing every business today. 

Walk any ten year old through your home and point out everything that didn’t exist when you were their age.  You will find lots of examples where we have updated / upgraded things in our home as we have felt that any such change will make our life better or make us more comfortable.

Change confronts and challenges our ability…

When change is at our behest, we always feel more comfortable and in control and yet in your business, you will almost certainly see more change in the next three years than in the last five.  Change confronts and challenges our ability to create value for customers, keep our employees engaged and remain relevant in our market sector.

In light of its importance, where do you start and how do you ensure that you manage this process effectively?

Of course, managing change in the workplace isn’t as simple as implementing some revolutionary change management model. If it was that easy then anyone could do successfully implement it so here are some simple key principles that you should also ensure that you consider: 

Quality Leadership

First, it is vital that managers understand how to engage their team, and lead the business and collaborating around change. Businesses must consistently identify and resolve critical change issues, innovate the way they work and find new and different ways to grow and often that involves utilising a key part of their business that gives them competitive advantage which is their team. 

Responsibility for managing change is with management and executives of the organisation – they must manage the change in a way that employees can cope with it. The manager has a responsibility to facilitate and enable change, and all that is implied within that statement, especially to understand the situation from an objective standpoint (to ‘step back’, and be non-judgemental), and then to help people understand reasons, aims, and ways of responding positively according to employees’ own situations and capabilities. Increasingly the manager’s role is to interpret, communicate and enable – not to instruct and impose, which nobody really responds to well. 

Process, skills and tools

You need a process, skills and tools.  An effective process, centred around driving change and growth, may also employ tools such as small working groups that are championed by line managers to drive a specific issue to a conclusion. Effective managers establish meaningful communication and engagement with their people (like many things in life, this is always easier to talk about than it is to do) as a key part of rolling out change initiatives with a team or across an organisation. 

In doing so, these managers understand the barriers that block change and the emotions that are experienced during any change process, such as how people react to change, why people resist change, what motivates people to change and what people need to know in order to embrace change. But why is all that stuff important? Because action (change) is always preceded by dissatisfaction; comfortable people have no motivation, urgency or tolerance for change. So if people, at any level, perceive that the results they are achieving today are ‘good or good enough’ (reality is irrelevant, it’s what people perceive that counts) then they will resist the change, no matter how compelling its benefits may be to some. 

For these reasons, managers who tell rather than sell, who force change on people can irreparably damage morale and productivity. The manager who knows how to influence positive change however will have much greater success in seamlessly introducing new initiatives and maintaining a workforce that’s connected and committed / engaged, to helping the business achieve its objectives. 

Understanding how change affects people

Before considering any change initiative, managers must appreciate how change affects employees – both how readily they will accept the change and the emotional ‘pain’ that always accompanies change.

By understanding the interplay of these psychological issues with the actual change, managers will ensure that they concentrate on the objectives of the change (not the problems) and increase their ability to effectively implement change. 

Managers need to be able to gauge how readily their people will embrace change.  There will be those who are prepared to take a leap of faith because they are risk-takers or they have higher levels of trust in the leadership of the organisation.  Conversely, there are some people who can exhibit more resistance to change, partly because they require more time to analyse and digest information.  

It is important to be able to understand where the team are on this spectrum so that you can ensure that you adapt your approach and style to each person. 

Do not ‘sell’ change to people as a way of accelerating ‘agreement’ and implementation. ‘Selling’ change to people is not a sustainable strategy for success. When people listen to a senior management person ‘selling’ them a change, decent diligent folk will generally smile and appear to accept what is being said, but quietly to themselves they are thinking, “I don’t like this. I’ve not been consulted or involved. I am being manipulated. This change will benefit the directors and owners, not me, so actually I won’t cooperate, and I might resist and obstruct this change, in every way that I can.” And that’s just the amenable types – more forceful employees will embark on a more serious transition from solid employee to organisational terrorist! 

There’s no ‘good’ or ‘right’ end of this spectrum, only differences. What’s important for managers to consider, however, is where each of their people lies on the spectrum so that they can address them accordingly.   That’s why all of your people need to understand and engaged with, any change initiative – managing resistance to change is an essential aspect of this framework – and it helps to understand who you will need to spend more time with to deal with their objections.

Managers must also understand the emotional ‘pain points’ associated with change. Any of these may cause people to hesitate in embracing a change initiative, or in resisting it altogether. These mind-sets can include: 

  • People experience discomfort

Change requires people to do something new, and that often forces them outside their comfort zone. So everyone experiences discomfort to some degree, but the anxious the person is, the more discomfort they feel. 

  • People feel they need to give something up

When change is initially introduced, people usually view it in the context of their current situation. This means they only consider what they must give up, not what they may gain. In order to balance this, managers must position the change as a vehicle that will help them grow and fulfil their own objectives. 

  • People feel alone

Often people will feel as though change requires them to go through it alone, that they must be a pioneer and take a risk. But as humans, we want to be part of a winning team or group. Therefore, managers must ensure that their people never feel as though they’re working in isolation. Instead, the change should be positioned as a team effort that will be supported 100% by management. 

What motivates employees to change?

By understanding these mind-sets, managers will appreciate how they come together to form the basic motivations of change. 

First, action (change) is always preceded by dissatisfaction. That’s because pain – such as any combination of the three mind-sets of change – is always involved in change. So without a source of dissatisfaction, people will have no motivation to bear the pain. And even then when people are dissatisfied, if it’s not significant enough, they’ll still bear the pain of the status quo rather than face the pain of change! 

Second, in order for people to embrace change, the benefits must outweigh the pain. Note that these are perceived benefits based on management’s communication to the team. So just because the manager believes in the change, or because senior management believes in the change, people won’t commit to the change until they believe that the benefits outweigh the pain.

What do people need to know to embrace change?

Change is rarely easy to implement because people almost always think that their current situation is good or at least good enough. Perhaps things at the moment aren’t great, but as long as people think they’re good or good enough, they won’t have sufficient tolerance for change. So how can managers implement change when their people think that things are good or good enough as they are? You have essentially two options: 

  • Attack what they’re doing now

In other words, managers can try to increase the perceived pain that their people currently feel. For example: “I know you think you’ve been doing well, but you’re mistaken.” We don’t recommend this approach. When you attack what people are doing now, you’re attacking their intelligence, their confidence, their professional skills and their abilities. You’re attacking them personally, and people resist this very quickly. 

  • Offer an alternative that provides greater benefits

In this case, managers increase the perception of benefits – the fulfilment of personal objectives – that will come from the change. If people truly believe that the change can help them achieve their goals, then they’ll embrace it. 

How to implement change in the workplace – the three questions to answer

To effectively lead change, managers must help people satisfactorily answer three questions that people will ask themselves when it’s introduced:

  • What is the change?
  • Why is the change being made?
  • How will the change affect me?

Too often, we find that when managers introduce change, they only share the ‘what’. When people press them for more information, such as when asked for the ‘why’, managers will sometimes answer with a ‘who’. For example, “because someone said so.” People will never fully embrace change when its dictated with little or no reasoning, let alone when a non-specific answer such as this makes it sound as though you have no idea of the ‘why’ yourself! If managers are to get people to embrace and commit to change, they must ensure that they answer the ‘what’, the ‘why’ and the ‘how’. 

An important note on answering the ‘how’: a manager’s first instinct is usually to provide an advantage that relates to their people’s work, such as “it will help you be more productive”. But just as people want their jobs to be made easier, they also need to win personally. So be sure to not only give them a work-related win but also a personal win, something that will make them feel good about themselves. 

Using face-to-face communications to handle sensitive aspects of organisational change management is critical.  Often there is a heavy reliance on email and / or written notices but these are extremely weak and helping to check for understanding of key messages.  It is also a poor way to develop a level of trust that needs to be in place when effecting change.  People will want to have faith and confidence that the future is going to be stronger and brighter after the change. 

Managing change effectively requires that you understand how people think

As we started out, leading change requires managers juggle a host of psychological factors: how people think, how they perceive their current situation, how they will perceive a new change, etc. In fact, one could argue that the actual process of communicating the change is the easiest part of all. 

Understanding how and why people think the way that they do, and make the decisions they make is why many organisations lean on their HR teams when it comes to implementing change.  They recognise that they need to have their expertise to deal with the psychological impact that change can have when you are trying to shift people’s thinking, decisions, and their behaviours. 

To ensure the success of any change initiative, the lion’s share of a manager’s effort should go first towards thoughtful planning and sensitive implementation, considering how your people will perceive the change, planning and structuring your communication strategy accordingly and practicing your plan. When you’re confident in your rationale and delivery then you’re in a position to present it to your team. 

How we can support your change process

At MAD-HR we know that things change. Your business changes. It’s identity and plans change. Defining your strategic vision is vital if you are going to grow and achieve, taking your team with you. MAD-HR provide strategic HR consultancy services to help you do just that. Contact us today for a free, no obligation (and we mean that), discussion to see how we can fit into your business. Whether it’s for now, for later or for the long haul, feel free to call us.  

Do your research…get to know our team and experience. MD Carole Burman has over 20 years of blue chip experience. She has transformed organisations.  “Only when you have the right team behind you with the right skills will you achieve your goals and succeed. We want to be part of that team.” 

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An employee has asked if they can bring their child into work for a few days during the school holidays – they’re struggling with childcare and promise that “the little one won’t be any trouble”. Should you say “yes” to help them out?

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Woodbridge-based strategic marketing agency, The Bridge, has welcomed Michaela Woodley to its small yet dynamic team.

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The successful Induction of a new employee is of vital importance. It is your opportunity to positively influence the new employee from day one, by making clear the required standards, expectations, and performance levels necessary to fulfil their roles.  A new employee isfull of enthusiasm towards their new job. This can be refreshing for other team members and can often eliminate any complacency that may exist within the team.

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Most managers, at some time in their career, have to deal with a poor performer. It can often be frustrating and a thankless task, unless you have the right tools to help you.

There is an old Chinese proverb which said that “For every hundred men hacking away at the branches of a diseased tree, only one will stoop to inspect the roots.”

Are individual members of your team performing less well than you’d hoped? If so, this proverb can take on great significance. To figure out what’s causing the performance issue, you have to get to the root of the problem.

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A Suffolk based entrepreneur is hoping to revolutionise the way small businesses order office essentials after launching a new platform designed to help companies make significant savings when it comes to purchasing printed materials.

Peter Brady founded Ipswich-based graphic design and print specialist Mutual Media in 2004. After securing a contract with DPG, a national Training Company, Peter and his team invested in developing a new e-procurement system which allowed print and training material orders to be placed online and distributed directly to each of the company’s training venues throughout the UK.

Mutual Media currently produces nearly half a million wage slips for Baker Tilly, a national accountancy practice, each year through this system. The new system allows purchasing managers to monitor and replenish stock at the click of a button and Peter recognised the system could also offer significant benefits to small and medium sized businesses.

The new system can be accessed from Mutual Media’s website: Once a company has registered, any printed materials including letterheads, business cards and even marketing brochures can be re-ordered at the click of the button. All prices are guaranteed for a minimum period of twelve months, helping businesses to manage budgets effectively, and avoid the need to find space to hold large quantities of printed materials – something Peter believes will benefit many small businesses.

Peter Brady, Founder of Mutual Media, said:

“When most businesses look to purchasing stationery, price is one of the most important considerations. It’s worth remembering that badly produced letterheads and business cards can seriously damage the credibility of your brand.

“We recognised our e-procurement system wasn’t just something which could benefit our existing clients, but one which could help many businesses throughout East Anglia and the UK. By signing up to the free system, business owners can monitor usage, track orders and replenish stock quickly and easily.

“Over the past decade Mutual Media has helped hundreds of businesses throughout the UK to make cost savings when it comes to managing print orders and after securing the contract with DPG, we decided to invest in a bespoke procurement system which could simplify the process of creating repeat orders. The service has proved to be extremely successful, helping businesses to make both cost and time savings.

“Anyone who has ordered printed materials understands that there can be significant savings by purchasing large quantities, but this can create storage problems and even wastage. The system means that businesses of all sizes can benefit from our purchasing power and order what’s likely to be used in any given period."

The system is aimed at small businesses in the Suffolk and East Anglia areas. New and existing customers can register to use the service free of charge by calling Mutual Media on 01473 659563

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If there’s one thing we know about us Brits, it’s that we love our property. With the issue nothing short of a national obsession, it’s no surprise that Estate Agents large and small have invested heavily in all things digital to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour. Digital has well and truly disrupted the way we buy, sell and rent homes.

We’re not just flocking to our laptop or PC to browse for homes, though – today’s house-hunter is more mobile than ever before. In fact, research by property company Rightmove earlier this year revealed that smartphones and tablets account for an impressive 40% of page views, and drive up site traffic by 27%.

With property-seekers going mobile (a trend that, no doubt, will continue to skyrocket), what’s next for Estate Agents? We think that Augmented Reality (AR) is set to have a real impact on the property market, enabling companies to gain a unique competitive advantage in an increasingly heated market – and all while providing a valuable experience for the end-user. In fact this shift is already well under way with the more enlightened and innovative businesses in the sector.

As anyone who has gone through the process of buying a property will know, access to information is everything. With the move to mobile, having the right information at your finger tips at the right time is a real value-add for the consumer. It’s perhaps why QR codes were so keenly adopted within the sector as a short cut to an agent’s website and property details in the past. Unfortunately the act of scanning QR codes and poorly optimised webpages for mobile meant that the user experience was far from perfect. (A case of right idea wrong execution).

With AR technology it's now a different story. With easy-to-scan codes and tailor-made experiences that deliver the content you need  instantly: be that floor plans, additional photos of the property, video tour, street map, the agent’s contact details saved direct to your device or open days as calendar reminder.

As an Agent it means that all your marketing becomes a multimedia portal transforming print materials into an interactive wonderland, helping your window displays, for sale boards and business cards all work harder for you delivering greater engagement and dwell time. And all at the most affordable price on the market.

Estate Agents like Spicerhaart and Felicity J Lord have brought Augmented Reality to their signage and magazines, giving readers access to details like floor plans, complete and up-to-date specifications and the opportunity to connect with agents directly.

Regional newspaper advertising remains a really important avenue for estate agents to secure instructions, but now with the ability to join together print with Augmented Reality embedded into the newspaper advertising , agents can open up a truly interactive experience for potential buyers.

The property market is one that has already seen extraordinary disruption with the likes of Zoopla and Right Move changing the dynamics of search and advertising forever. Augmented reality offers another digital utility mobilising the physical world of Estate Agents marketing mix to benefit end users. With the benefits the Augmented Reality solution brings to the market we’re delighted to be pioneering this exciting new opportunity for local independent Estate Agents.


BeeAppy Limited is an Ipswich based ‘Out of Home’ advertising business. We offer a content management service based on the Zappar Augmented Reality platform.

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Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Knight UKEAT/0073/13


The Employment Appeals Tribunal considered whether a majority shareholder who had not received pay for two years could be an employee.


In this case, the issue was whether the Managing Director and Sole Shareholder was entitled to Statutory Redundancy Pay from the Insolvency Service under section 166 of ERA 1996, even though she had not received pay for a period of two years.

It is established in the case of Ready-Mixed Concrete [1968] 2 QB 497 that “there must be a wage or other remuneration” for there to be a contract of any kind.


In the case of Knight the Secretary of State argued that whilst there was a written contract of employment in existence, the terms did not reflect the reality of the situation, and when Ms Knight forfeited her right to collect a salary she varied the terms of her contract, and in doing so ended her employment status.


In dismissing the Secretary of State’s appeal the EAT found that Ms Knight would probably have taken a salary if the company was suddenly in a position to pay her, and as such there could not have been an agreement whereby her salary was no longer payable. Therefore, the entitlement to pay had not been varied even though this entitlement was not exercised.

This case does not change the law but it does stretch the factual matrix in which a “contract of employment” can be found, particularly when looking at the economic reality of the relationship.


This case could encourage “workers” to claim “employee” rights, or for contracting parties to claim benefits that might otherwise have been waived many years earlier by virtue of the parties’ course of conduct with one another.

If you have any questions concerning this article or any other employment matter please call Tom Clements, Solicitor on 01473 244 333, email or visit our website at


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I'm off to Rachel Sloane's workshop on Writing for Business. I know I have loads to say most of the time, however, I feel I should say it better, so looking forward to learning something.

Even if you employ copy writers or a PR company, quite right to, I feel it's good to know a bit on the subject.

Book your place from the ISSBA web site for the event at Shelley's at Suffolk College on 17th September.

Tagged in: Ipswich Top tips
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I have fond memories as a child going shopping with my parents - before the days of supermarkets we used to get most of our food from our local shop but once a week we made the journey to visit the delights of the greengrocers, butchers, fishmongers, and more in the small market town of Blandford Forum.

I can remember the first time I went to a supermarket - it was called Normans and while it was amazing to have everything in one place (and huge great big boxes of quavers crisps, which I remembered being particularly excited about!) it was pretty much the last time we ever went to any of the local shops for our regular food shopping.  Quite quickly more supermarkets started to spring up closer to home - Safeway, Co-op, and the big bad Tesco - and this is in a pretty rural part of Dorset!

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