Category: Updates & Publications

What is the impact of coronavirus on immigration detention centres?

Throughout the last two months, we have seen that the coronavirus is very contagious; we have witnessed that it can spread very quickly, especially in crowded places. Immigration detention centres are some of the places where an outbreak of the coronavirus will put the lives of many immigration detainees at risk.

Furthermore, a recent article published in the Guardian highlights another issue with immigration detention centres; that there are immigrants who have been unlawfully detained. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the release of some detainees has been delayed. There are two reasons for this:

1) detainees who were particularly vulnerable to contracting coronavirus were placed in solitary confinement for a minimum of three months;

2) detainees cannot be removed to their home countries because of the pandemic. This means that the detention of such detainees may have become unlawful.

According to the leaked data from the Home Office released by the Guardian:

The Home Office is only supposed to detain people if there is a realistic prospect of removing them from the UK. Yet two people who have received letters telling them to stay in their cells for the next three months come from countries on a Home Office list of about 50 that officials cannot currently remove people to because of coronavirus.’

(‘Revealed: at-risk immigration detainees ‘to be put in solitary confinement’’ by Diane Taylor, published in the Guardian on 02 April 2020)

If an individual is still in detention that is unlawful, it may be possible to:

  • Challenge the unlawful detention in Court;
  • Challenge the detention procedure;
  • Ask the Court for compensation; and
  • Ask the Home Office or the detention centre for a formal apology.

Sterling Law is here to help those who have been victims of unlawful detain. In addition to the above, we can advise whether a human rights claim can be brought depending on how long the detention was and what treatment was received in detention.

If we are instructed on behalf of an individual to challenge their unlawful detention at Court, we will represent and guide them throughout the entire court process. Our immigration specialists have significant experience in dealing with the same or similar complex immigration cases.

If you or a member of your family are in a similar situation, or you know somebody who has been detained unlawfully, please contact us on contact@sterling-law.co.uk .

Why it is important to have a Will and ensure it is up to date

A Will is one of the most important documents of a person’s life because it gives you control over how you dispose of your assets after you die. Without it, your assets could go to people you do not know or like, leaving your beloved family members and relatives without a share of your estate. Even if you have made a Will, your loved ones may still get nothing from your estate if you do not have your Will updated to reflect your changing personal and financial circumstances.

If your personal and financial circumstances change significantly and you do not have a Will in place, you may wish to have one prepared for you to reflect these changes.

Major life events, which necessitate changes in your Will, include the following:

  • Marriage or civil partnership

If you have made a Will prior to your marriage or civil partnership, the marriage or civil partnership automatically invalidates the terms of your existing Will. This means that your Will is invalid and, unless a new Will is drawn up, your estate will be distributed according to the laws of intestacy after you die. The rules of intestacy mean that your property is shared out according to set rules, where your spouse or civil partner is the first to inherit what remains in your estate. This creates a problem if you wish to leave your estate to your children or other family members instead of leaving it to your new spouse or civil partner.  If that is the case, you need to make a new Will in order to ensure that your estate is distributed according to your wishes.

  • Divorce or dissolution of civil partnership

Getting a divorce or dissolving your civil partnership does not automatically invalidate your Will. If your marriage or civil partnership ends, your Will works as if your spouse or civil partner had died on the date when the divorce or the dissolution of the civil partnership was issued. This means that if your spouse or civil partner was named as an Executor or Trustee in your Will, they are no longer able to fulfil this role. Further, any portion of your estate that you had left to them no longer takes effect unless you expressly state this, and it returns back to the residue of your estate passing to your Residuary Beneficiaries. Also, you may wish to take into account your stepchildren when updating your Will.

  • Children and grandchildren

The birth or adoption of children or grandchildren may necessitate a change in your Will if you wish to provide for your new children or grandchildren in your Will.

  • If your spouse or civil partner dies

If you had appointed your spouse or civil partner to be the Executor or Trustee in your Will and they die, you need to update your existing Will to remove them as the Executor or Trustee and include a new Executor or Trustee.  Similarly, if your spouse or civil partner was the Beneficiary in your Will, you need to update your Will to remove them as the Beneficiary and include a new Beneficiary.

  • If an Executor or Beneficiary named in your Will dies

If your chosen Executor in your Will dies, you need to update your existing Will to remove them as the Executor and add a new Executor. Likewise, if a beneficiary in your Will dies, you need to update your Will to remove this Beneficiary and include a new Beneficiary.

  • Moving home

If you buy or sell your home or other property, you should review and update your existing Will if you already have one prepared. If you do not have a Will in place and you are purchasing a property, you should have a Will prepared for you to reflect this.

Similarly, if you acquire assets or property outside England and Wales, you need to update your Will to cover your assets and property located abroad. If you have already made a foreign Will in respect of your foreign assets and property, you need to ensure that your existing Will does not revoke any previous ones you have made.

  • Start or sell your business

If you start your own business or sell your business, you should review and update your existing Will if you already have one in place. If you do not have a Will in place and you are setting up a business, you should have a Will drawn up for you to reflect this.

  • Significant changes in estate value

Fluctuations in a person’s wealth are common and if the size of your estate has grown or shrunk significantly, you may wish to update your existing Will to reflect these changes in your financial circumstances.

  • Inheriting assets or money

If you have recently inherited a large legacy, you need to update your existing Will or have a new Will drawn up for you to add the new legacy. There might be tax consequences that you need to take into account.

Once you have updated your Will or had a new one drawn up for you, ensure to tell your Executor where your Will is stored so that they are able to locate your Will when it is necessary.

It is good practice to review your Will regularly, at least every three to five years, or after any major changes in your life to ensure that it reflects your wishes and changing personal and financial circumstances.

Ensuring that your Will reflects accurately any changes in your personal and financial circumstances could save your family members and relatives a lot of the complications and hassle that an outdated Will might entail. Further, a Will that reflects your wishes can ensure that your assets go to the people you want to benefit from your estate, that your children are looked after by people you trust and that people of your choosing administer your estate after you die.

Book a call with our family lawyer to discuss.

You can learn more about us here

Self-employment income support scheme (SEISS) – what you need to know

In response to COVID-19 pandemic, the government announced the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) for those self-employed and members of partnerships whose income has been lost due to the coronavirus outbreak.

This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, for 3 months (but may be extended).

The grant will be subject to Income Tax and National Insurance contributions but does not need to be repaid.

Unlike Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the SEISS allows recipients of the grant to continue to work or take on another employment.

Eligibility:

  • You have filed a tax return for 2018/19,
  • You have continued to trade into the tax year 2019/20,
  • You intend to continue to trade into the tax year 2020/21 and trading when the application is made (or would have been trading had the coronavirus outbreak not occurred).
  • You have lost trading profits due to coronavirus.

Trading profits need to be no more than £50,000 and more than half of the individual’s total income for either:

  • the tax year 2018/19, or
  • the average of the last three tax years (2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19)

 

You can make a claim for Universal Credit while you wait for the grant. You should record the grant as part of your self-employment income, and it may affect the amount of Universal Credit you get. This will not affect Universal Credit claims for earlier periods.

The SEISS is intended to make payments by early June and claims will be backdated to March and paid in one instalment. There is no application process at the moment. HMRC will use tax returns already submitted to contact those who are eligible by mid-May and invite them to apply online.

If you require any assistance with applying for the SEISS scheme we provide such assistance via our sister company Sterling & Beanland[1] for FREE provided you sign a 12-month contract  with them for accounting services. Please speak to Dina Taimunkenova +44(0)745 068 4215 or email at dina@sterling-beanland.co.uk for further assistance.

[1] CIMA accredited city-based firm of Chartered Management Accountants.

EEA Family member: permanent residence application after refusal

Our client, a non-EEA national, initially obtained a residence card as the spouse of an EEA national. Our client subsequently divorced from his EEA national spouse and obtained a residence card under the Retained Rights route. The client then applied for permanent residence, which was refused and a subsequent appeal was dismissed by First-Tier Tribunal as the Judge wrongly thought the client needed to be a qualified person, not his EEA national spouse during the time their marriage lasted. Permission to appeal on this basis was granted. 

Between the refusal and appeal, on behalf of our client, we applied for indefinite leave to remain under Appendix EU (also known as settled status). Our client successfully obtained ILR under Appendix EU. Despite this, the client still wanted to assert his rights under EU law and proceed with his permanent residence appeal.

In their Rule 24 response to the appeal to the Upper Tribunal, the Home Office asserted that the grant of IRL under Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules meant the appeal under EEA Regulations should be treated as abandoned. Sterling Law disagreed and made representations to the Home Office and Upper Tribunal on this basis. At the Upper Tribunal hearing, the Home Office conceded that an appeal under EEA Regulations cannot be abandoned by a grant of leave under domestic law. The Upper Tribunal agreed, and found as follows:

Our conclusions on the abandonment issue are as follows:

i. Under the 2006 Regulations, there was a provision under para 4(2) of Schedule 2 to those Regulations for appeals brought under section 82(1)

NIAA 2002 to be treated as abandoned where an appellant was issued with documentation confirming a right to reside in the United Kingdom under EU law. Following the changes brought about by the Immigration Act 2014, as of 6 April 2015, that abandonment provision was revoked and never replaced;

ii. There has never been provision under any of the EEA Regulations for an appeal against an EEA decision brought under those Regulations to be treated as abandoned following a grant of leave to remain or the issuance of specified documentation confirming a right to reside in the United

Kingdom under EU law;

iii. It follows that a grant of leave to remain following an application under the EU Settlement Scheme does not result in an appeal against an EEA

decision brought under the 2016 Regulations being treated as abandoned.

This means that, even if an individual has obtained leave under Appendix EU, they are still able to assert their rights under the EEA Regulation. Practically, this could have an impact on when an individual may be able to make an application for naturalisation as a British citizen, as a grant of permanent residence under EEA Regulation can be backdated, whereas a grant of indefinite leave to remain under Appendix EU cannot be. 

In this case, it meant that the client received a positive decision and had his right permanent residence in the UK acknowledged.  

 

Oksana Demyanchuk

Email: oksana@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

 

Michael Carter

Email: michael@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

 

 

Coronavirus, business, and employment law

One big issue is on everyone’s mind in the UK and the globe in the last month. It has affected everyone.

Every responsible person is trying to do their bit to make life easier for the public. We pay tribute to all public service key workers, without whom we could not manage at a time like this.

COVID-19 has affected everyone’s working life, and people are wondering what the implications are for their businesses and jobs.

Important questions that arise in the world of employment law:

Can employers just terminate the jobs of their employees because of the economic impact of COVID-19?

Can employers temporarily ‘lay-off’ employees? In what circumstances. And for how long? With or without pay?

Can employers make employees redundant? What payment are employees entitled to, if any?

What are the appropriate grounds for redundancy? What process has to be followed? What are the consequences of not following the process?

What are the other risks and possible claims that an employee or employer may have?

What is the best practical approach that you can take, whether you are an employer or employee?

Is offering or accepting a settlement agreement a viable option? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

And if you are not an employee, but a self-employed contractor, what rights do you have?

The answers to these questions are complex and depend upon several factors. Some advisors purport to give simplistic one-line answers in a bid to win new clients, but experienced professionals know that that is simply not possible, because each situation is different. Factors which come into play include:

  • the express and implied terms of the contract
  • the length of employment
  • the nature of the work and traditions within that industry.

Even the law itself is changing rapidly as the coronavirus crisis spirals. Specialist lawyers need to keep up with the developing law in this area.

If you want the best possible advice possible for your needs, whether you are an employer or employee, you can receive it from Sterling Law’s Consultant Solicitor and specialist in employment law, with 20 years’ expertise in this field, Kuldeep Clair.

Please look up Kuldeep’s impressive profile at https://sterling-law.co.uk/en/kuldeep-clair/

Kuldeep Clair is making himself available for booking for a remote consultation at this very difficult time, at short notice, both inside and outside office hours. As lawyers, we will do whatever possible to help those hit by this crisis.

For expert advice on any employment issue, Kuldeep can be contacted on 07484 614090 or kuldeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

COVID-19: Lay-off and redundacy

Businesses are looking to reduce their bills in response to more people self-isolating at home.
While some send their employees to work from home maintaining their wages, others take advantage of lay-offs and reduced working hours.

Although there is general guidance available to employers, we suggest you seek legal advice before taking any actions and changing employees’ terms. Otherwise, you may face fines and costly tribunal hearings.

What about 0-hours workers?

0-hour workers cannot be suspended from work without a mutual agreement. If you decide to do so, you are opening up your company to claims. Otherwise, the right to suspend should be clearly stated in the contract.

Can I make employees stay home for a period of time on a reduced pay?

As an employer, you require a contractual right to do so and will need to follow the contract change process. You must also seek agreement from employees. Be transparent about why you have to do so and what employees can expect in the future, including redundancies.

What is lay-off?

Lay-off is when you as an employer take an employee off work at least for one working day due to lack of work.
Lay-off can trigger redundancy if it lasts for 4 weeks in a row, is more than 6 weeks within a 13-week period. In this case, an employee may opt for redundancy, and therefore, will be eligible for a redundancy payment.
Statutory lay-off pay: up to £29 a day for five days in any three-month period – so a maximum of £145.

If you have to make your workers redundant, you have to follow the redundancy procedure.

Find out more about your rights by contacting us.

020 7822 8535

07 305 966 531 for messengers

CLAIMING SICK PAY – WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS?

According to the Acas advice, every employee or worker is eligible for any SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) in they need to self-isolate and thus stay home due to: having coronavirus or its symptoms, if someone in their household has coronavirus or its symptoms, or if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS 111.

However, as an employee you must tell your employer you are unable to work as soon as you can, provide with the reason why, and also let them know for how many days you are likely to be absent. Your employer should be flexible about you providing evidence from doctors, as you may not be able to get a sick note while you are self-isolating.

«By law, medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness. After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require, if any, from the employee. This does not need to be fit note (Med 3 form) issued by a GP or other doctor» –
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19#what-to-do-if-an-employee-or-a-member-of-the-public-becomes-unwell-and-believe-they-have-been-exposed-to-covid-19

Agency, casual and zero-hours workers can get SSP if they meet the eligibility conditions, namely:

  • they earn on average at least £118 per week before tax;
  • they’ve told their employer about their condition within any deadline the employer has set or within 7 days.

Recently the UK government has decided that everyone with taking sick leave/self-isolating due to coronavirus or its symptoms is eligible for a sick pay from day 1 If you are, however, self-employed, or earn less than £118/week, according to the Budget, you can “more easily make a claim for Universal Credit or Contributory Employment and Support Allowance”: “For the duration of the outbreak, the requirements of the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor will be temporarily relaxed for those who have COVID-19 or are self-isolating according to government advice, ensuring self-employed claimants will receive support”, you will be able to claim Universal Credit  “without the current requirement to attend a job centre if they are advised to self-isolate”.

Still have your questions or worried? Let us know by contacting us. Just send us a message here, or reach out to contact@sterling-law.co.uk. 07 305 966 531 is available to those who prefer messengers.

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Brexit implications on your business

Are you a VAT registered business trading between the UK and EU? You might find the below Brexit update from HMRC EU Exit and Borders useful.

What Brexit means for your business?

From 1 February 2020, the UK is no longer a member of the EU. The transition period will last until the 31 December 2020. During this time no changes to the terms for trading with the will take place (unless rules change for the whole of the EU). 

This means there will be no changes to customs, VAT, excise, free movement of goods or any other terms of trade (at least in relation to Brexit). 

What will happen after 31 December 2020?

From 1 January 2021, the terms of trading with the EU will change, e.g. new customs arrangements will take place. You will need to make customs declaration if you are importing or exporting goods to and from the UK. 

What you need to do now:

1. Check updates regularly. Follow our page or check on 

www.gov.uk/hmrc/business-support

2. Make sure you register for the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number. 

You will need it to submit a customs declaration. Make sure it starts with letters GB. 

You can find out more at

www.gov.uk/eori

3. Decide how to make a customs declaration. 

You can either make declarations yourself or work with a customs agent. 

Information and guidance will be provided by HMRC soon.

Transitional Simplified Procedures (TSP):

Registration and use of the TSP are currently being suspended. If you already applied for the service, keep your documentation safe. Postponed VAT accounting is currently not available during the implementation period. 

Source: HMRC, EU Exit and Borders

Need help? Book a free phone call with us here.

Or just email us on contact@sterling-law.co.uk

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ARE MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT? ARE THERE ANY LEGAL PROVISIONS THAT LEGALIZE AUTHOR’S RIGHT ON IT?

So, mathematical equations are not protected by copyright, because they were created for public use. It would be unfair towards everyone and it will create a monopoly! Moreover, it will restrict the free-flow of information and can be used by only the owner. Every person should have an opportunity to use mathematical equations for personal or business purposes. The law gives the creators of literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and typographical arrangement of published editions, rights to control the ways in which their material may be used. The key point is that you can be inspired by the form of expression, but not an idea of the expression. Unfortunately, it is often becoming difficult to see the difference between the idea and expression. When the expressions are inseparable from the ideas, those expressions are not protected.

Thus, if you would like to create a math book, you can use mathematical equations that are all available for you. However, be careful with personal diagrams and illustrations because they are protected under copyright law. By adding an original idea, it can be protected under copyright law.

In Eastern Book Company & Ors v. D.B. Modak & Anr, the court set up the two condition:

  1. Sweat of Brow; and
  2. Modicum of Creativity.

Meeting these criteria, the work will be considered to be ‘original‘ and will be protectable under the copyright.

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

By Katsiaryna Pazniak

contact@sterling-law.co.uk

You can book an appointment here.

 

Sterling Law is now a Legal 500 firm

We are proud to be included in the Legal 500 rating. Simply put, Legal 500 highlights the practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice.

According to Legal 500:

Sterling Law advises on all types of UK visa and sponsor licence issues for a range of corporate and individual clients. The team is adept at handling PBS applications, which includes advice on sponsored migrants, highly skilled migrants, entrepreneurs and investors.

The team also advises on human rights-related cases at initial application and appeal levels and has experience in a variety of other cases including asylum, protection and family reunion cases. Ruslan Kosarenko is praised for his abilities as a ‘dynamic problem-solver’.

TESTIMONIALS

This team is unusually responsive and extremely well organised.

The team is dedicated, hardworking and brings a positive attitude towards even the most difficult case.

Ruslan Kosarenko takes a ‘can-do’ approach to cases and gets excellent results.

WORK HIGHLIGHTS

Advised on the humanitarian protection of a Filipino national who divorced her former partner from Phillipines and faced persecution and death threats her home country due to the bigamy case filed by her former husband.

Represented a Brazilian client and protected the best interests of her child in separation case.

Advised on successful Investor visa applications after an initial refusals.

https://www.legal500.com/

Contact us to resolve your legal matter:

contact@sterling-law.co.uk

+44 020 7822 8535

+44 7 305 966 531

Or book an appointment with us here.

Read about our successful cases here.