… in brief

This month’s news in brief

Confusion over stakeholder pensions

Nearly nine out of 10 lawyers say that only 10 per cent or less of their
clients have approached them for advice on the new stakeholder pensions scheme.
The reason, according to research by the Prudential is that employers have
little or no understanding of stakeholder pensions, despite the fact that
legislation requires them to have a scheme in place by 8 October.

IR35 fight goes on

Campaigners against the controversial IR35 legislation have taken their
fight to the High Court. IR35 was introduced last year to close a legal
loophole regarding the payment of National Insurance Contributions by
professional consultants. Following orders from the High Court, a full judicial
review of the legislation has begun as a result of a case brought by The
Professional Contractors Group, (PCG) a lobby formed to fight IR35.

City firms to merge

The merger between Paisner & Co and Berwin Leighton will take effect
from 1 May 2001 with the new firm being known as Berwin Leighton Paisner. It
will comprise 430 lawyers, including 116 partners.

Minimum wage to rise

The national minimum wage will increase to £4.10 per hour in October 2001
with a further rise to £4.20 per hour in 2002. Both the CIPD and the CBI are in
favour of the increase seeing it as "broadly justified" but the FSB
warns it could cause problems for small businesses.

Part-time worker victory

A mother who had to resign from her post when she was forced to change from
working from home part-time to commuting to a full-time position has won her
case. A tribunal ruled that Karen Bushnell’s employer, Yellow Pages, had
breached her contract when it changed her job description from management
training consultant to training provider.

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