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The Return of the 7 year Immigration Benchmark for Children

Prior to its withdrawal in December 2008, the Home Office had a seven-year policy concerning the settlement of children in the UK. The presumption was that if a child had spent seven years in this country, they should not be removed in the absence of any other countervailing factors, such as criminal conduct on the child’s parent’s part.

However, changes to the Immigration Rules on 9 July 2012 brought that benchmark back with regard to family cases where children were involved. This takes the form of a seven-year provision – called an ‘exception’ – that applies in a series of circumstances. These include the parent having a “genuine and subsisting parental relationship” with the child, the child being under 18, the child being in the UK, and the child being a British citizen or having resided in the UK for at least seven years immediately prior to the application. The seven-year ‘exception’ also applies if it would not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK.

If a parent makes a claim on this basis, the new rules also contain certain other ‘suitability criteria’ that they must meet – otherwise, there will be grounds for refusal. The parent must not be subject to a deportation order, for instance, in the event of them having committed a criminal offence. Nor must the claimant be considered as someone whose presence is “not conducive to the public good”, and they also must not have made false representations.

Provided that these requirements are fulfilled, leave to remain for 30 months without recourse to public funds will be granted to the applying parent. After subsequent applications are made for further leave to remain, potentially leading to further grants of leave for 30 months without recourse to public funds, once 10 years have passed, the parent will be able to apply for settlement – otherwise known as indefinite leave to remain.

The relevance of the seven-year benchmark also extends to circumstances where a parent is using their right to family life with a child in the UK as the basis for an appeal against a deportation order. The UK Border Agency may make such a direction to enforce the departure of a person from the UK in the event of their conviction of a criminal offence.

If the person has been convicted of an offence for which they have been sentenced for less than four years, there are certain conditions that may render deportation disproportionate. One of these conditions is if the child is a British citizen or has lived in the UK for a minimum of seven years immediately prior to the immigration decision.

Law Society Developing Conveyancing Portal

Clients of both residential and commercial conveyancing may be interested to read of plans by the Law Society, in conjunction with the global IT solutions specialist Mastek UK, to launch a dedicated conveyancing portal that is intended to make the management of the conveyancing process more efficient, secure and transparent.

The first phase of the portal, which is set to launch in spring 2015, will be designed to enable a higher quality of communication between professionals, clients and other parties. It will also allow those professionals to more quickly satisfy due diligence obligations and facilitate the conveyance of residential property through established protocols.

However, the benefits to the conveyancing customer of the new portal should also be noted. The Law Society has said that the portal – which is called Veyo – will help to make the conveyancing process more efficient, which will in turn shorten how long it takes clients to complete their purchase of a property.

Especially significant for the UK’s providers of residential and commercial conveyancing services will be the ability that Veyo gives clients to spot check where the transactions are. It all indicates that only conveyancing specialists with the strongest possible infrastructure – such as Farani Taylor – will be able to survive.

The portal promises to give small and large firms alike a simple means of assistance with the process of buying residential property. It is intended that smaller companies will be able to access the kind of technologically sophisticated platforms that would normally only be available to larger, more technologically enabled firms.

The Law Society has stated that this level playing field provided by Veyo will enable “solicitors as a profession to maintain the highest standards”, in addition to “strengthening risk management and compliance, and therefore reducing fraud.”

The range of features that Veyo will incorporate from launch day is set to encompass case management within the portal and workflows integrated with case management, in addition to secure, immediate and auditable communication with the conveyancer of the buyer or seller.

Clients will also be able to access a secure area for communicating with their conveyancer and submitting their own documents. Contract negotiation and exchange will also be able to take place through the portal, the contract bundle able to be created and securely shared, as well as jointly worked upon, with the other party – subject to client confidentiality.

Such other launch day features of the new portal as verification of ‘the other side’, AML checks and a chain view are set to make its introduction a momentous event throughout the residential and commercial conveyancing industry.

The Employment Law behind Shared Parental Leave

1 December 2014 saw shared parental leave become law, meaning that for babies due on or after 5 April 2015, eligible women will be able to curtail their right to maternity leave so that their partner can take shared parental leave. 50 weeks’ leave and 37 weeks’ pay will be able to be shared by eligible parents, with adoptive parents being subject to similar rules.

An employed mother’s entitlement to 52 weeks’ maternity leave and 39 weeks’ statutory maternity pay or maternity allowance will not change. However, an eligible mother will also have the option of bringing an early end to her maternity pay and – with her partner or the father of the child – opting for shared parental leave rather than maternity leave.

If the qualifying requirements are met by both members of the couple, it will need to be decided between them how to divide their shared parental leave and pay entitlement. It should be noted that while fathers and a mother’s or adopter’s partner will still be able to take advantage of two weeks’ paid paternity leave, there will no longer be the option of additional paternity leave, shared parental leave having replaced it.

Shared parental leave was devised with the aim of giving parents greater flexibility with regard to how the care of their child is shared in the first year after birth or adoption. There will be a pot of leave that parents can share. They may decide to be off work at the same time, for example, take it in turns to have leave periods caring for the child, or a combination of both.

A mother or adopter will qualify for shared parental leave if they are entitled to, and have also given notice to curtail their maternity leave or adoption requirements, while also sharing the main responsibility for looking after the child with the child’s partner or their father. Parents will not be eligible to take shared parental leave unless they are employed and pass the continuity of employment test. In turn, the family’s other parent will be required to meet the employment and earnings test.

Both parents will have the option of making use of the pot of shared parental leave if they satisfy the continuity of employment test requirement. However, shared parental leave can still be used by a family where the eligibility criteria is only met by one parent. For example, a self-employed parent, who would not be entitled to shared parental leave, could still allow the other parent in the family to qualify if they pass the employment and earnings test.

An introduction to Clinical Negligence

Clinical negligence used to be known as medical negligence, but the principles are much the same: it involves a patient taking their medical attendants to civil court for compensation. This is the first key detail that one should know about clinical negligence claims: the only award that can be made is one of financial damages. A health professional cannot be disciplined or made to apologise as a result of a successful claim.

Nonetheless, medical professionals do have a legal duty of care towards the patient with regard to the standard of their treatment. However, there are several things that must be proved by the claimant if they are to be successful in securing damages.

Not only must it be proved that a duty was owed by the doctor or other healthcare professional to take care of the claimant without causing injury, but it must also be proven that there was a breach of that duty to take care. Furthermore, the claimant must prove that harm was caused to them by that breach of duty, and that such harm has caused damage or other losses.

Considering these four categories one by one, proving that the doctor or medical team with responsibility for treating a patient owed a duty to take care of that patient is not generally difficult. Then, there is the matter of whether the duty of care owed to a patient was actually breached by the doctor, which is based on whether they have failed to meet the standard of a reasonable body of other practitioners also skilled in that field. This is referred to as the ‘Bolam test’.

Working with the right clinical negligence solicitors such as those of Farani Taylor, should also enable the claimant to establish that the medical professional’s failure was a direct cause of the alleged injuries, or at least a significant contributor. This is often an especially difficult element of the claim to demonstrate.

Finally, having proven breach of duty and causation, the claimant will need to show that they have suffered damage that justifies a financial award. Such damage doesn’t necessarily just amount to physical injury, or even psychiatric injury – such financial damage as loss of earnings and the cost of future healthcare needs can also be accounted for.

There are many stages to a successful clinical negligence claim, which only makes it all the more crucial for prospective claimants to work with the right solicitor. Farani Taylor takes the risk out of bringing such a claim, thanks to its ‘no win, no fee’ service. We will happily assess your case at any cost, with our medical expert looking into your case and establishing precisely what your doctor or other healthcare professional did wrong.

Claim for Negligence pursued against Former Solicitors

Our client pursued an employment tribunal claim with other solicitors and unfortunately lost her claim due to the negligence of those former solicitors. In particular, key evidence was not provided to the employment tribunal and an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal was not submitted within the relevant time limit, with the result that it became time-barred.

The employment team at Farani Taylor has entered into correspondence on behalf of our client with the former solicitors, with a view to pursuing court proceedings for negligence on behalf of our client.

Appeal to Employment Appeal Tribunal submitted

Our client pursued an employment tribunal claim for unfair and constructive dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages, breach of contract, discrimination and detriment for requesting flexible working against two clinical trial and private medical care organisations. The employment tribunal initially rejected the claims but the employment team at Farani Taylor has enabled our client to successfully submit an appeal against the judgment of the employment tribunal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Employment tribunal claim settles before final hearing

Our client was a senior employee of an international regulatory consultancy. Following an employment dispute, he resigned and pursued a claim in the employment tribunal for constructive dismissal, whistleblowing and age discrimination. The employment team at Farani Taylor was able to negotiate a settlement of the claim without it having to proceed to a final hearing.

Judicial Mediation Succeeds in the Employment Tribunal

Our client was an employee of an international software provider to the global financial services industry until the company made her redundant. The employment team at FaraniTaylor helped the client pursue an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and discrimination and successfully negotiated terms of a settlement as part of a judicial mediation in the employment tribunal, which included a substantial compensation payment to our client as well as an agreed reference.

Senior employee negotiates substantial compensation

Our client was a senior employee of an international cyber security consultancy. Following an employment dispute, his employment was terminated for alleged poor performance. The employment team at Farani Taylor was able to negotiate terms of a settlement agreement, including substantial compensation, a significant portion of which was paid to our client without deductions for tax.

Immigration solicitors London

How can European Nationals protect their right of residence in the UK?

With less than 4 months to go for the next general election whereby a potentially new government with a new Prime Minister may be elected, including a change of Members of Parliament representing their constituencies, one of the main topics discussed by the candidates is if the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave it.

While some candidates for Prime Ministerial seat offer a referendum for the population, others are proposing for the UK to withdraw from the European Union as their main policy and government programme. Therefore, it is realistic to say that there is a very real possibility that the UK may exit the European Union in the future.

With this prospect, many European nationals who reside in the UK wonder what it would entail for them if the UK withdraws from the European Union. Some believe that they will be allowed to remain, while others say that they will be forced to leave outright, seeing as the UK would no longer have the obligation to the Regulations of the European Union. According to many newspapers the UKIP candidate for the Rochester and Strood constituency, Mr Mark Reckless, stated last November that if elected he would propose that European migrants should leave the UK and follow standard immigration routes, should the country withdraw its membership with the European Union.

In light of an increasingly overwhelming support given by a large percentage of the population of the UK for parties such as UKIP, many European nationals fear for their future in the UK and worry about what they can do to guarantee their legal residence in Britain in the event that the UK exits the European Union.

Regardless of new policies that would be introduced if the UK withdraws from the European Union, it still remains that the best option for European nationals would be to apply for Permanent Residence in the UK, of which many are not aware. After completing 5 years of exercising European Community Treaty Rights, a European national can apply for Permanent Residence in the UK..

With Permanent Residence granted a European national would guarantee his residence in the UK, even in the event the UK withdraws from the European Union in the future. This is the best option to protect their rights of residence in the country.

If you believe that you have a right of Permanent Residence in the UK, you can seek expert legal advice from Farani Taylor Solicitors. You can book an appointment with us at Farani Taylor Solicitors on 02072421666. The initial consultation is free of charge.

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