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New family law firm launches in Southport

A local solicitor, from Aughton, near Ormskirk, has opened a new family law firm, in Southport, to offer City expertise to local couples and families. Spence Family Law, which is based on Anchor Street in Southport, has been established by Adele Spence, a family solicitor with over 18 years' experience, who left her role at Peterson Solicitors, in Southport, to set up the new firm.  Services provided by Spence Family Law include divorce and separation and related financial and property matters, issues relating to children arising from separation, pre-nuptial agreements and cohabitation disputes. Adele says the focus of the firm will be on finding legal resolutions for couples in a robust, but sympathetic and sensible way. "With all cases, I want to enable people to move on with their lives and look after their families as quickly as possible.  Going through a divorce can be a hugely distressing time, especially when children are involved. Whilst we are sympathetic and strive for an amicable resolution, our priority is to get the right outcome for our clients and this is what drives us."

Adele is a member of Resolution, an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters. She will be joined by another highly experienced family law solicitor, Laura Olson, who is also from Aughton, and support staff at the firm. In September 2018, the Government launched a consultation on introducing:- 'no fault divorces,' which would update legislation that has not been changed for almost 50 years. Adele commented:- "The current system which requires one of the parties to apportion blame if they want to speed up the process is outdated and often fuels animosity and increased stress for all concerned. This can be particularly damaging where children are involved.  Quite often, a marriage can break down naturally and a system that makes it easy for those people to move forward without unnecessary acrimony and delay is a progressive step."

Adele previously worked for Fletchers Solicitors and DWF Solicitors, 2 of the leading law firms in the UK. She added:- "As we're in the heart of Southport, our clients have easy access to City legal expertise which is more cost effective."

Employers 6 months away from new payslip deadline

SOUTHPORT businesses are being reminded that there are just 6 months to go until new legislation comes into force that requires all workers to be provided with itemised payslips. From 6 April 2019, all workers; including:- casual and zero hours workers rather than just employees, must be issued with written, printed, or electronic payslips, with details of how the payment was calculated in cases where the rate of pay and hours are variable. Alternatively, if more relevant, the different payments for varying types of work and/or pay should be itemised instead. Lindsey Knowles, head of employment law and partner at Kirwans law firm said the changes had been introduced to make it easier for workers to understand their pay, ensure they are being paid correctly, and challenge their employers if they feel they have been underpaid.

Lindsey Knowles said:- "Following the recommendations of both the Taylor Review and the Low Pay Commission's 2016 report, from April 6, 2019, employers must provide all workers with a payslip that clearly states the number of hours they are being paid for.  The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 will change the requirement of what information is given on an itemised payslip and is an attempt to improve transparency around pay, especially in cases where workers work varied hours or in various roles which involve differing rates of pay. Once it comes into force, payslips must include both the information mentioned above, and that set out in Section 8 of the ERA 1996, including earnings before and after any deductions, the amount of any deductions that may change each payment period such as tax and National Insurance, an explanation of any fixed amount deductions and the net wages to be paid. The second Order to be amended is The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2018, which will require employers to provide all workers; not just employees; with written itemised payslips."

According to Lindsey, businesses need to act now in order to ensure they're ready by the deadline. She said:- "To ensure a smooth transition, employers need to ensure that their HR team understand the changes and how to implement them. Payroll processes need to be revised as soon as possible so that the additional information can be collated and included in the payslip. Finally, the format of the payslip itself needs amending so that the new information can be included ahead of the implementation deadline."

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