Ipswich - 01473 213311
Colchester - 01206 584584
Felixstowe - 01394 834557


KNEWS March 2024 Newsletter

Kerseys Solicitors March 2024 Newsletter

Kerseys Solicitors March 2024 Newsletter

Just a click or call away for all your legal services needs

Expansion with a new office in Felixstowe

Managing Partner, Kimat Singh says “the addition of the Felixstowe office underscores Kerseys Solicitors’ commitment to providing accessible and personalised legal support to clients across the region, solidifying  our reputation as a trusted and community-oriented legal firm”.

Kerseys look forward to serving the legal needs of individuals and businesses in this vibrant community.

Our commitment to providing first class legal services continues to grow stronger with this expansion.

To contact us:- telephone Felixstowe on 01394 834557, email us at [email protected] or alternatively visit our website.

Spearheaded by experienced licensed conveyancer Jenny Dawson and conveyancing assistant Claire Ryan, the Felixstowe branch will offer a comprehensive range of legal services to the local community, including wills, probate, matrimonial and family law, dispute resolution, employment law, commercial property, and commercial law.

Established in 1881, Kerseys Solicitors has a long-standing commitment to providing both personal and commercial legal support. The opening of the Felixstowe office signifies their dedication to expanding their reach and continuing to offer a personalised approach to legal services, recognising that sometimes the human touch is paramount, even in today’s digital age.

Deeply rooted in the local community, Kerseys Solicitors has actively supported various cultural and recreational initiatives, including the Landscape Rebels exhibition hosted by Ipswich and Colchester Museums Services and the annual theatrical productions by The Pantaloons in Christchurch Park. Recently, Kerseys Solicitors has an executive box at Ipswich Town Football Club, offering guests an immersive experience at Portman Road.  Kerseys is also a sponsor of Felixstowe Rugby Club and has recently joined the Felixstowe Chamber of Commerce.

Legal Updates
Key Dates

13 February 2024 – Illegal working penalties

From the 13 February 2024, the maximum penalty per illegal employee for a first breach has increased from £15,000.00 to £45,000.00. The maximum penalty for repeat breaches has increased from £20,000.00 to £60,000.00 per illegal employee.

An updated Code of Practice regarding the prevention of illegal working came into force on the 13 February 2024, which can be found here.

31 March 2024 – Annual leave carry over

All annual leave that had been carried over on the basis that it was unreasonable to take during the COVID-19 Pandemic must be taken by the 31 March 2024. Failure to do so means that it will be lost.

1 April 2024 – National Living Wage

for age 21 and over          – £11.44
age 18-20                    – £ 8.60
age 16-17                    – £ 6.40
apprentice rate            – £ 6.40
accommodation offset – £ 9.99

1 April 2024 – Rolled-up holiday pay for irregular hours workers

Rolled-up holiday pay for irregular hours workers and part-year workers (leave years beginning on or after 1 April 2024).   This will have an accrual rate of 12.07% of hours worked in each preceding pay period (12.07% uplift to pay, as long as it is paid at the same time as normal pay and itemised pay statements specific the amount of holiday pay).

6 April 2024 – Flexible Working Requests

The right to request flexible working is just that; a right to ask, which employers can refuse based on a statutory business reason,’ explains Annalie King head of the Employment Law team with Kerseys Solicitors. ‘Having said that, employers do need to follow the statutory process in relation to flexible working requests, which is about to be tweaked in the employee’s favour. Read more here Flexible Working Requests.

6 April  2024 – The Employment Rights (Increase of Limits) Order 2024

Subject to parliamentary approval, the government have announced the annual increase in compensation limits for employment tribunal awards, as well as other statutory payments.

It is proposed from the 6 April 2024, the following shall apply:

  • Maximum unfair dismissal compensatory award: £115,115
  • Maximum weekly pay (used to calculate various awards such as statutory redundancy payments and unfair dismissal basic awards): £700.00

6 April 2024 – Statutory Carer’s Leave 

The Carer’s Leave Act 2023 creates a new statutory unpaid leave entitlement to employees to give or arrange care for a dependant who has:-

  • a physical or mental illness or injury that means they are expected to need care for more than 3 months.
  • a disability under the Equality Act 2010; and
  • care needs because of their old age.

6 April 2024 – Extended Legal protection from redundancy for pregnant staff 

Employees who are undertaking a redundancy process are required to offer employees who are on maternity leave, shared parental leave or adoption leave suitable employment, if this is possible, in priority over other employees who are at risk of redundancy.  From 6 April 2024, this right will extend to pregnant employees who have notified their employer of their pregnancy on or after 6 April 2024 and employees who have recently returned from adoption, maternity and shared parental leave.

6 April 2024 – National Insurance Contributions changes for Employees and Self Employed

Employees National Insurance rate reduced to 8% whilst someone who is self employed is reduced to 2%.

July 2024 – Employment Allocation of Tips Act 2023

Read the key points to note here

1 July 2024 – TUPE transfers on or after 1 July 2024 

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and businesses of any size undertaking a transfer of less than 10 employees, will be able to consult directly with their employees if there are no existing worker representatives in place.

26 October 2024 – The Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) Act 

The Worker Protection Act (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) will come into force. Places a proactive duty on employers to take reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

September 2024 – Predictable working pattern

The Workers (Predictable Terms and Conditions) Act will give certain workers, agency workers and employees a new statutory right to request a predictable working pattern. Employers should deal with any requests in a reasonable manner and notify the worker of the outcome within one month.

Spring Budget 2024 News

We highlight some of the proposed changes in the Spring Budget 2024 along with the government abolishing stamp duty for multiple dwellings.  Don’t be confused between additional property higher rates on stamp duty and the multiple dwelling relief.  Click to read What is Multiple Dwelling Relief?


Legal Updates
The perils of a DIY Will

‘Many people who opt to make a home-made Will do so because they think they will save money on legal fees. Unfortunately, this can lead to problems and unexpected costs later down the line for the family who may be left to unravel problems at a difficult time,’ says Leila Murray, head of the wills and probate team with Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Colchester. ‘DIY Wills are sometimes declared invalid, or they can result in problems that require court intervention far more commonly than Wills that have been professionally drafted.’

What can go wrong with a DIY Will

The worst-case scenario with a home-made Will is that the entire document is declared invalid. If this is the case, then your estate will not pass in accordance with your wishes and assets could end up in the hands of someone who you do not wish to inherit.

Alternatively, a home-made Will might cause problems in relation to certain aspects of the contents, typically due to not fully understanding the legal requirements for a Will. For example:

  • Executors – Some home-made Wills fail to appoint an executor because the person who has made it incorrectly thought it was only necessary to state who they wish their estate to pass to. An executor appointment is a vital part of the Will. Without naming an executor, the remainder of the Will may be valid, but pre-existing laws will determine who deals with the estate administration. This could, therefore, be someone who you would not wish to be involved. The same issue can occur if you appoint an executor without thinking about a replacement who could step in if your first choice is unavailable.
  • Trustees – If your Will requires trustees and you do not include the correct legal provision for this, it may result in an expensive and time-consuming court process for suitable trustees to be appointed after your death. The costs of such a process would be taken from the trust assets, leaving less for your beneficiaries.
  • Children – In the case of young children under the age of 18, it is advisable for you to appoint a suitable guardian in your Will.  It is just an expression of wish but it will assist the court in deciding who should have legal responsibility for them.  If you do not appoint a guardian in your Will, then the court could appoint someone who you do not necessarily trust to raise your children and it may involve lengthy court proceedings which may use up a large amount of your children’s inheritance.
  • Gifts – Aside from issues with the people who should be named in the Will but are not, a DIY Will might result in issues with the gifts listed. Beneficiaries of a Will should be carefully named or defined. The items to be gifted should also be clearly defined. If there is any doubt as to who the intended beneficiary is, or what the gift is, it can end up being a decision for the court to determine. Again, this is likely to prove costly and time-consuming, reducing the inheritance ultimately available and delaying the time by which this will be paid to your beneficiaries. The court could also rule that the intended beneficiary was someone different to the person you intended.
  • Beneficiaries – It may also be the case that a DIY Will does not contain a default provision, which will mean that if the first intended beneficiary has died the estate will end up passing by intestacy instead. Sometimes, a home-made Will may also seek to leave a gift to a beneficiary that is not a valid legal entity for the purpose of receiving gifts, which again could result in the intestacy rules applying instead. These may not be in accordance with your wishes.
  • Taxes and costs – Certain gifts might require some consideration in terms of specific requirements, such as who should pay any associated costs involved (for example costs of sale or taxes), or the age at which the gift should be inherited. If the Will does not specify these aspects, then the law will determine them, and this may end up causing costs to beneficiaries unfairly or against your wishes. It could also result in higher taxes having to be paid, which a solicitor could have advised on and drafted the Will to mitigate.

The benefit of using a solicitor to draft your Will

Solicitors undergo rigorous training and receive regular updates on case law to ensure that they are fully aware of the correct legal terminology to use in a Will so as to give effect to your wishes. They are also familiar with common issues and how to avoid these, as well as relevant tax laws and the appropriate ways in which to structure a Will to make the most of any tax allowances.

A solicitor will discuss all of your family and financial circumstances with you to help you make an informed decision about the exact terms of your Will so that you can ensure you and your loved ones are protected.

When choosing a firm of solicitors, it is advisable to seek a firm with appropriate accreditations. Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and may have belong to other professional bodies, such as STEP or SFE which demonstrate a greater level of knowledge or experience.

As well as the benefit of solicitors being regulated, individual solicitors and their firms are also required to obtain professional indemnity insurance, giving you a route to redress if anything were to go wrong.

How we can help

Preparing your own Will at home may seem like a good idea, but the cost-saving could backfire on your loved ones after your death. It is usually worth spending a small amount upfront to protect your assets and your family in the long term. Our solicitors can help you to ensure that your Will is fit for purpose and achieves your desires. For further information, please contact please contact a member of our Private Client team at Kerseys Solicitors in Ipswich on 01473 213311Kerseys Solicitors in Colchester on 01206 584584 or Kerseys Solicitors in Felixstowe on 01394 834557 or email us at [email protected]Alternatively visit our website and click “Call Me Back” or try our online calculator for a free no obligation quote.

In January we were delighted to welcome Assistant Solicitor Clare Sheeran in our Private Client Department, along with Licensed Conveyancer, Jenny Dawson and Conveyancing Assistant Claire Ryan in our Felixstowe office and Aimee Spaull, Legal Cashier based in our Ipswich office.

Legal Updates

 Staff at Kerseys were delighted to pass £950 to MIND in support following bake sales, raffles and dress down days.

Each year the staff select a charity to support, it was a difficult choice as the staff want to support as many charities as they can.  Not many of the staff was aware of ihAg – Ipswich Housing Action Group and with the cost of living crisis and being local to our head office, the staff felt that it wanted to support and learn more about ihAg and therefore selected ihAg as the charity of the year to support.

Ipswich Housing Action Group was established and opened its first house to residents in 1976, the same year as the heatwave, record inflation and Ipswich Town finished sixth in the First Division, signing Paul Mariner from Plymouth for a club record £220,000.

Originally based in Old Foundry Road, the charity aimed to help single men who found themselves homeless for whatever reason. Ten years later, a Community Resource Centre (CRC) opened on the site and remained there until moving to its current location in Black Horse Lane in 2011, later changing its name to The Chapman Centre.

ihAg welcomes anyone at risk of homelessness, or living with the experience of homelessness. The aim is still to secure a safe place to call home, as we believe this is a fundamental human right.

The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.

Please join us in wishing Karen Skene, Residential Conveyancing Assistant who is well into her training to run for team “Stewart” in the Leeds marathon in May 2024, to support The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.

On 8 September 2022, Marcus Stewart ex Ipswich Town Footballer was diagnosed with motor neurone disease If you would like to support Karen and team “Stewart” please visit their Just Giving page.


Protect your Computers

Microsoft will end Windows 10 support for security updates on 14 October 2025.  Your device may be able to  be updated to Windows 11 but if not please seriously consider adding a new computer to your Christmas list.  Running on Windows 10 after that date is a dangerous option and puts yourself at risk.


 Be Aware – Think before you CLICK or SPEAK

Protect yourself from scams – Kerseys Solicitors

You will have heard of phishing but have you heard of smishing?

Smishing is a phishing scam that uses text messages or phone number to device you into giving our sensitive information without downloading malicious software. The text message may appear to form a trust source such as your bank or business and may claim that you have won something and to take a survey or that you have an urgent issue with your bank account.  Royal Mail and Amazon texts are quite common also.

The text message contains a link, phone number or even an email address for you to contact where then you are prompted to share details.  These types of scams costs individuals financial and personal data loss.  If you are in any doubt do not click on any links in messages, close the message down and telephone your provider directly to double check.

Consider if public is Wi-Fi safe

It is common to connect to Wi-Fi when entering a coffee shop or hotel, we all do it don’t we to save using our own data.  However if you see two of the same named Wi-Fi channels displayed, do not connect but  let the staff know there is a concern.

It is more common now that fraudsters use what is called pineapple router called “a man in the middle attack” which looks like a router to hack into the Wi-Fi and display the same name. You connect to it thinking you are safe and secure, you are not, it is tracking everything you type into your phone for example login name and password and before you know it they have access to your money.

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