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Category Archives for Member’s Blog

Divorce – the case for co-operation and the role of collaborative law

A series of cases over the last few years has highlighted the need for co-operation in divorce proceedings before the courts. Failure to co-operate, particularly in the disclosure of financial information, can ultimately lead to a prison sentence: and as cases such as Parkinson v Daley [http://www.tmfamilylaw.co.uk/2017/04/co-operation-and-contempt-in-divorce/] have demonstrated, this is no idle threat.

The case for co-operation

With the real threat of a prison sentence underpinning the requirement to provide complete disclosure of financial assets, the case for co-operation is clear. While I would not wish to downplay the distress that divorce brings, there are several, obvious advantages to a ‘cards on the table’ approach, even without the threat of imprisonment. Reaching resolution to the divorce proceedings draws a line under the relationship and allows both parties to move on. Doing so quickly and as cooperatively as possible can have real long term benefits to all involved, especially when there are children to consider. Co-operation also reduces the need for additional court hearings and the escalation of legal costs which is in no one’s interest.

Collaborative law puts co-operation at the heart of the divorce

Divorcing couples may not feel like co-operating, particularly in the early stages, when the divorce may be most raw and painful. However, increasing numbers of couples are recognising the benefits in the longer term of putting differences to one side in the interests of achieving a swifter and more flexible settlement. Collaborative law puts co-operation at the heart of the divorce process, and allows couples to work through issues such as financial arrangements and childcare details leading to a more intuitive and realistic setting. While courts are bound by rules as to the content of the orders they can make in divorce proceedings, a key benefit of collaborative law is the opportunity for each couple to draw up a settlement that is uniquely tailored to their circumstances.

Dispute resolution over court proceedings

Even if collaborative law, which involves the parties and their lawyers discussing the issues face to face, feels like a step too far, other forms of dispute resolution such as mediation are available. As with collaborative law, these other forms of dispute resolution achieve the divorce in a less stressful, and more timely, cost-effective way. Given that the courts will ultimately require co-operation and disclosure of assets and liabilities during a divorce, it makes sense for couples to ‘put their cards on the table’ at an early stage. Collaborative law offers a great opportunity to do this.

I’ve explored the sanctions for non-cooperation with the court process, particularly in the context of financial arrangements, in more detail in my latest blog [http://www.tmfamilylaw.co.uk/2017/04/co-operation-and-contempt-in-divorce]. If you’d like to discuss how dispute resolution in general and collaborative law in particular works in the context of divorce, do get in touch!

Employment legislation 2012/2013

In May 2011, the government published plans to amend the Working Time Regulations 1998 in order to resolve uncertainty following a series of problematic European and UK judgements on the rights of workers who are unable to take holiday due to sickness. In essence, the government is proposing that annual leave can be carried over to the next leave year in circumstances where leave cannot be taken at the scheduled time due to sickness or where the employee is sick during scheduled annual leave.

However, since the Government made this announcement, there has been a European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision, KHS AG v Schulte, which said that the EU working time directive does not require unlimited accumulation of holiday when a worker has been on sickness absence for several years. The ECJ said that a 15-month ‘carry over period’ was lawful.
The Government’s firm proposals are expected during the first half of 2012.

The government has commissioned Mr Justice Underhill to conduct a thorough review of the rules of procedure governing employment tribunal proceedings. The review, to be completed by the end of April 2012, will consider whether the rules have become over complex.
Fundamental review of ERT rules – terms of reference

Pre-tribunal conciliation by Acas
The government has said it will be seeking views on a proposal to introduce compensated ‘no-fault’ dismissals for micro- firms with fewer than 10 employees and on ways to slim down existing dismissal procedures for all employers. No further details of these proposals have yet been published.

The government is intending to introduce a discretionary power for employment tribunals to impose financial penalties on employers who lose cases. The level of penalty that the government has suggested is half of the total award made by the tribunal, with a minimum threshold of £100 and a maximum of £5,000. The penalty would be reduced by 50% if paid within 21 days.

The government proposes to consult during 2012 about whether to have a quicker and cheaper ‘rapid resolution’ scheme as an alternative to employment tribunals for simple, low value claims. This would involve a determination by someone other than a judge, relying on paper evidence rather than full hearings.
Posted by on 26/03/2012 13:04:35

 

How to take stunning photos in the Snow

Keep equipment warm and dry
A friend of mine went on an organised tour up Mount Everest and was the only one to come back with any photos. Why? Because she kept her camera battery in her bra! In really cold conditions, your camera battery will ‘die’, thinking it’s run out. It will ‘come back to life’ again when it’s warm. My top tip is to take two sets of batteries, keeping one set close to your body heat and swapping them around as necessary. I also recommend you use well-insulated camera bags. Remember, you need to keep warm too, so wear many layers of clothing to avoid camera shake due to shivering.
Get the exposure right A lot of snow in the scene can lead to under-exposed images with murky grey instead of crisp white, and loss of detail in dark areas. If you have a manual camera, you need to over-expose by one or two stops. If you use an automatic camera, fi rst point it at a shadier scene, a nearby face or even your own hand. Press the shutter halfway down and hold it while you turn to recompose the original scene. Press the button fully down for a perfectly exposed snowy image.
Speed up for action shots If you take a standard snapshot of your beloved shushing down a black run, they will probably come out blurred. For manual cameras, you need to use a fast shutter speed such as 1,000th second. You don’t have to worry about F-stops as there will be plenty of light. On a digital camera, the ‘sport’ setting should give you a sharp result.

Would you like to learn to be more confident?

I’m really excited to present the Wisewolf “Learn to be Confident” Program to 1230 TWC. It is specially tailored to meet your needs. It consists of 5 one-to-one coaching sessions by Skype or telephone together with interesting exercises and worksheets. Below you will find additional information on what is included in each session.

Part 1 – Understanding Confidence
• Have you ever really thought about how confident you are?
• In which areas of your life are you lacking in confidence? What has made you this way? How do you come across to others?
• With Understanding Confidence, I will give you the tools to help you identify the answers to these questions.
• I will also show you how to understand body language (crucial to developing confident relationships) as well as how to talk to anyone, anywhere.
• This is an essential ‘first-step’ for anyone wishing to embark on a more confident journey.

Part 2 – The Skills of Confident Thinking
• Have you ever convinced yourself that you are bad at something? How did it affect your performance?
• The fact is, when you want to become more confident it is important to have a confident thinking style – to be optimistic.
• With The Skills of Confident Thinking, I will help you to identify and challenge some of the most common thinking errors that drain confidence. You will consider the way in which your thinking affects your feelings and, in turn, how your feelings dictate the way you behave.
• Life is as good as you make it and this begins with the way you think, so The Skills of Confident Thinking is an invaluable stage in the process of becoming confident.

Part 3 – The Skills of Confident Feeling
• Do you know how to get the most from your own and other peoples’ emotions?
• In The Skills of Confident Feelings I will show you a range of emotional skills that you can use in many different situations to increase your confidence.
• You will consider the importance of learning to praise yourself and others and you will also discover how to manage confidence-draining emotions such as depression, guilt, anger, shame, humiliation and anxiety.
• This information packed session will give you a fundamental head start in influencing not only how you feel, but also other people’s attitudes towards you.

Part 4 – The Skills of Confident Behaviour
• How do you cope with difficult situations? Do you have the ability to deal with challenges competently? Do you find it difficult to be assertive?
• The fact is, the more skills you have to sort out the challenges that life brings, the more quickly and effectively you can deal with the situations presented.
• With The Skills of Confident Behaviour, I will equip you with the necessary tools you need to handle difficult situations effectively and with confidence. I will guide you through the process of how to develop problem solving skills.
• You will also learn the skills you will need to become more assertive and, in turn, more confident.
• This content filled session will be an invaluable resource for any number of circumstances. It will provide you with the necessary skills to help you keep in control and handle situations more confidently.

Part 5 – The Skills of Confident Living
• How often do you catch yourself saying, “I would love to but I don’t have the time”? Do you find yourself wishing things were different but unable to find the time to make the changes you want?
• There are many conflicting demands on your time such as balancing work, day-to-day activities, home and social life. The Skills of Confident Living will help you to develop the time management skills you need to live your life effectively.
• You will be able to develop the skills required to identify and manage the kinds of stresses that you may be facing that could be undermining your confidence.
• I will also help you to consider whether your diet is supportive of your confidence or whether it hinders your abilities.
• These skills of confident living provide your core support to achieving the confidence you desire
• I hope you find this information useful.

This is a new program and for a short period it is available at the special price of £200 UK. This includes five personal coaching sessions and all materials. But for 1230TWC members I am offering a further 10% discount.

To join the program, to find out more or to take advantage of this special offer price please email wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com quoting Offer1230TWC
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS THE PROGRAM OR YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE RING ME (WENDY MASON) ON ++44 (0)2084610114 OR ++44 (0)7867681439
Posted by on 26/01/2012 13:25:42

RedShift Radio Interview 25th January

Just wanted to let you know that I will be on the radio next week talking about my book, BIRTH MADE EASY.

http://www.redshifthub.co.uk/programmes/health-and-healing

It will be a telephone interview of about 10 minutes. The radio is a web based radio station called RedShift Radio. You can listen in live by clicking the link on the web page.

I will be interviewed by Mumtaz Hussain.
Her show is on Wednesday 25th January from 12.00 – 2.00pm.

My interview will be at 12.20 or 1.20 if any of you are able to listen in.

 

An important question for 2012

How do you prevent your fingers, keyboard and mouse from being sticky as you snack on Twiglets as you work? Particularly when burning the midnight oil.

This was a topic touched on at a 1230 TWC meeting recently – amazing the number of suggestions which evolved – virtually a new business developed out of our thoughts! I think the champagne generously shared by a certain 1230 TWC Member could have added to the seriousness of the topic – not!

So what are your thoughts on this?

The wackiest, most innovative answer gets the prize of a FREE 1230 TWC meeting.

Answers please to meetings@1230 co.uk by Tuesday 10 January.

I’m back

Hi everyone it’s been a while , my last blog was about juggling life, well it got worse I have since had and am being treated for Breast Cancer, but this has not kept me down as over the last year

I have been studying Nutrition and weight management and have passed successfully. Nutrition has always been a keen interest of mine so now I have packed up the Jewellery and finished at Friction and am doing My nutrition full time. You can find me on facebook S.M.A.R.T nutrition and weight management. I am hoping to get to some more meetings now but Wednesdays are our as I work out of Haywards Heath at a gym.
Hope to see some of you on the circuit soon. x

7 Steps to Creating A Profitable and Performing Business Online

I’ve written a 37 page document packd with content on what to focus on, what to avoid, how to get focused results for your unique businss, and how to put you into your online marketing.

There is an accompanying video which is part of a series of 4 FREE Training videos…

A series of 4 Free video Trainings providing you with valuable time saving tips on creating a strategy for your social media and internet marketing, identifying your niche for marketing online, uncovering your unique strengths to create a personality brand and a secret weapon to take you ahead of the game!

If you’ve been to any of my taster session you’ll know that I’m passionate about helping you create a long term solution for your business online.

Use this link to register for FREE…

http://www.excelleratedsuccess.com

ANy questions then email me at Heather@Heatherbond.me

I am cross! – 1230 TWC North Wilts

I am so cross with myself for not taking some photos at yesterday’s 1230 TWC meeting!

Held in the lovely Orangery of The King’s Arms, it was a lively meeting with plenty of buzz and relationship building – also lovely Christmas goodies from Natalie, Sarah and Marian. Not to mention the “jokes” from crackers!

Lovely to meet everyone there in the capable hands of 1230 TWC Host Alex Morgan.

So good to have confirmed also the Social Media workshops to start January 2012 with Claire Turner and Michelle Field.

Note to self – next time, take photos of meeting and the lovely Malmesbury surroundings!

Posted by on 18/11/2011 11:01:35

The past is no guide to future performance

Mary is an established member of her team, with good social and professional relationships with her co-workers. Her boss has managed the unit with a fair degree of success (neither perfect nor imperfect), and everyone knows where the boundaries are and what is expected of them.
Boss moves on with fond farewells. New boss Sarah arrives, with her own way of doing things.

Mary feels put out by the changes, and wants to carry on working as before. She complains to colleagues about the changes, and starts to campaign with them that they should not implement them. She tells her colleagues that many of the changes are pointless and will not work, and she will not participate in them. When a colleague tells her “Sarah’s the boss, why not just do what she says?” Mary turns on her heel and laughs. Although Mary is a valued member of the team, her campaigning is making life very difficult for her new boss. The team is dividing into ‘pro Sarah’ and ‘pro Mary’ camps. Mary talks about “I was here first”, and “it worked well before”

Sarah was a very popular boss with her old team, and she is well liked by some of the new team. She is very approachable, regularly buys drinks for everyone in the pub, and is willing to bend the rules to help her team members, letting them go home early if needed. Standards are slipping a bit – the old boss was a stickler for detail, whereas Sarah is more of an overview person. No-one from outside would notice the difference, but old team members shrug their shoulders and pick up the slack. Sarah doesn’t seem to know.

Why is it we are so bad at change?

Planning for change, or accepting changes that are not planned, is something few us are willing or able to do.

Sarah went into a new team without a clear plan for how she would evaluate whether change was needed, communicate that change, implement it, and monitor it. She just did what worked well in her old team.

Mary did not expect any change except for the name of her boss. When faced with change she resisted it all.

If the team is lucky there will be a natural mediator on the team – one of those wonderful people who are the glue that really make the workplace work. We need someone to say to

Mary: “The boss is the boss. Unless it is dangerous, or illegal, it is her job to say what we do. If you think it is inefficient or there are better ways, have a quiet word with her and let her know, otherwise you need to do it.” And we need someone to feedback to Sarah that she is changing how things are done (she may not be aware of it), and that she needs a process for bringing people along with her and for dealing with Mary.

How many HR specialists does it take to change a light bulb?

That depends on whether you want to keep the light bulb.

Sarah could have a useful learning experience that will enhance her skills and make her next promotion easier, or she could struggle with Mary and slowly begin to fail – she could get stuck here. Mary may even accuse her of bullying, as Sarah repeats the same instructions over and over again and Mary gets progressively more isolated from her team.

Mary can learn how to handle change and difficult situations. Or she can campaign against her boss, and sooner or later she will find herself with no promotion prospects, and quite possibly no job. Mary can feel bitter that her lovely job was ‘stolen’ from her by this awful manager – an attitude that may affect her life at home as well as at work.

It’s not a big deal to help new managers put together a system of ‘raising the bar’ so that they can change the way a team works. It’s not such a big deal to help Mary (at an early stage) to work out the difference between changes she needs to give feedback on, and those that are not really something to worry about.

So where were HR when all this was happening? They were busy with other important things. They had not routinely touched base to see how this team functioned. Of course, when Mary claimed she was being bullied, and Sarah claimed she was totally unsupported by management, HR were all over the investigations like a rash. The hours of note taking and decision making meant they were then too busy to touch base with any of their other teams.

Is there a happy ending to this tale? Not really: Mary spent years resenting Sarah, and then transferred to another team. She is not regarded as a popular or successful team member, because she has kept up the habit of complaining about the boss and resisting all change. Sarah never got another promotion in the organisation. She stayed in post for a few years and then got a job outside. She started with her new team in the same way, and is now convinced that people are just awkward and you have to push them harder to get what you want. HR are still doing a lot of paperwork and taking a lot of notes at meetings with unhappy people. No change there then.

Employment law is where the rubber meets the road – where people problems become legal problems and the law intervenes. It can’t make Sarah a better manager, or Mary a more realistic employee. It can’t make an organisation introduce the small interventions that prevent this type of problem What employment law does do is penalise and sanction those organisations who get to tribunal after they haven’t done their part and a legal issue has arisen.

Of course if there are any ‘equality’ or ‘discrimination’ issues here, this turns into a nightmare scenario. Sarah picked on me because I am white, transsexual….. Even in unfair dismissal terms, the process of performance management can be a very long haul if it is started late and from an already-broken situation.

If there were no employment law and the organisation was free to act in any way, would that really solve this problem? To what extent is the very existence of employment law the problem?

To my thinking, employment law, if incorrectly applied, can be a complicating factor, but it’s never the problem itself. Giving long serving employees three warnings and an opportunity to change their behaviour doesn’t seem unreasonable. In this situation would you really want to walk in and just sack Sarah or Mary (or both)?

There is another complicating factor: in many organisations, both performance management programmes and warnings are often seen as the death knell for individuals – simply the start of an inevitable process of ‘managing someone out of the business’. We need to do something to change that – but that’s not an employment law issue, it’s a cultural one.

It’s not employment law that gives us difficult problems. The Sarah/Mary problem is one we get every day, and it has a relatively easy prevention plan, early on. But allow it to fester to the point when employment law becomes an issue, and then you are in for a more painful remedy.

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.
Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060 Website: www.irenicon.co.uk
You can follow Annabel on Twitter – http://twitter.com/AnnabelKaye
Posted by on 18/11/2011 10:43:13

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