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Personal and Business Legal Services in Solihull

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Furlough Leave – How do we use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

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Nick Thomas, a Director and Solicitor at Pearcelegal discusses Furlough Leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

You will have heard an awful lot of references and talk about Furlough Leave, being one of the Government’s financial support packages available to help employers and employees through this unprecedented and exceptional period in our history.

Furlough Leave is not a new concept but has come to the fore as employers and businesses try to plot a way through these extremely challenging times when their businesses are forced to shut or significantly affected by the forced shutdown and other restrictions in an effort to halt the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

The concept of Furlough Leave is the key to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and offers support to businesses to help cover staff costs and importantly avoid making those employees redundant.

The employee remains employed while furloughed and the Government will pay a grant to the employer of up to 80% of the employee’s basic wage or £2,500 whichever is lower, plus employer’s NI contributions and employer’s automatic enrolment pension contributions for the reduced wage.  

The employee cannot carry out any work for the employer during the Furlough Leave and must be Furloughed for at least 3 weeks in order for the employer to receive the grant payment.

The scheme is initially due to run for three months from 1st March 2020 (claims can be backdated to 1st March if staff have been laid off or made redundant, but only if reinstated) to 31st May 2020, but may be extended by the Government if necessary.

We have assisted a number of businesses in ensuring the correct process is followed as well as providing commercial and practical advice to employers to ensure they use the scheme correctly.  We can also provide Employee Furlough Agreements so that Employers can retain a record of the employee being consulted and placed on Furlough Leave, something HMRC may request when auditing any claims for the grant.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please call 0121 270 2701 and speak to Nick Thomas, a Director here at Pearcelegal or fill in the contact form below and we will be in touch.

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Dispute Resolution

Straightforward Debt Collection Services for Small/Medium Businesses

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As with any business, cash flow is key. But for a small/medium size business, it’s never more important. If you have persistent, outstanding debtors, taking advantage of you and your goodwill, we can help.  Sometimes you just need to ‘shout a little louder’ than the others when chasing payment. 

Pearcelegal offers a fixed-fee, debt recovery service to assist you in achieving settlement of outstanding debts and invoices. 

Recovering commercial debts from unwilling debtors is often never an easy step for businesses to take. It can be confusing and time consuming. Our debt recovery service is broken down into 3 simple and clear stages and you are under no obligation to proceed to each stage. We act on your instruction. 

Stage 1 – Letter Before Action 

Before issuing any legal proceedings, a Court compliant Letter Before Action should be sent to a debtor. Essentially, this letter sets out exactly what is owed, how it is owed and when it needs to be paid. More often than not, a Letter Before Action will prompt payment from a debtor concerned about legal proceedings being issued against them and/or their business which, amongst other things, may affect their credit rating and ongoing ability to trade. At the very least, it may prompt negotiations as to a suitable repayment plan. The cost of us sending a standard Letter Before Action is fixed at £50 + VAT.

Stage 2 – Issuing a claim at Court

It happens. A debtor simply ignores a Letter Before Action or you don’t receive a satisfactory response and you have to decide whether to pursue the debt further or write it off. If you choose to issue County Court Proceedings to recover monies owed to you, we will prepare and send the Claim Form on your behalf, making sure all the Court requirements are met. Issuing Court Proceedings is a formal process where the debtor will be sent a Court document requiring them to either pay or dispute the debt. Interest, costs and compensation is added to the debt as appropriate. There will be a Court fee payable and our costs preparing the Claim Form on your behalf and the amount of both will be dependent upon the amount of debt owed to you. 

Stage 2.5 – Obtaining Judgement 

If the debtor fails to respond to the Court forms, after 14 days, you can apply to Court for a County Court Judgement (CCJ) in your favour. The CCJ is a legally binding Court Order confirming that the debtor owes the debt to you and gives you the power to take enforcement action to collect the debt.  This is called an application for Judgement in Default. The cost of making this application on your behalf is included in the Stage 2 costs. 

Stage 3 – Enforcement 

Once a CCJ has been obtained, it’s possible to take action to enforce the debt immediately. The most common method of enforcement is to instruct the County Court bailiffs to attend the address of the debtor to collect debts or seize the goods. For any debt under £600, we will instruct the County Court Bailiffs on your behalf at a cost of £100 + VAT and the Court fee of £110. For debts over £600 you can choose to ‘transfer’ to the High Court and instruct the High Court Enforcement Officers to enforce the debt on your behalf. This is a faster process than using County Court enforcement but there are increased costs involved should you choose to do so. For debts over £5,000 you must use the High Court for enforcement. 

For further details or a no obligation discussion please call 0121 270 2700 and ask to speak to a member of our litigation department.  Alternatively, complete our online form and one of our team will be in touch.

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Solicitors in Solihull

Pearcelegal toast a succesful 2014

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The Christmas break is a time of reflection, where we look back at the year gone by and look forward to the year ahead.

For businesses as well as individuals this is the case and at Pearcelegal we shall remember 2014 with great pride.

It has been a very successful year for us where we have expanded both in numbers of staff and in physical space – having acquired properties next to us in the Square, here in Solihull, to cope with our additional workload.

It has been a challenging time for all of us associated with Pearcelegal, as we moved into a phase of unprecedented growth, not seen in all the years since the practice was born at the start of the 1980s.

To add to this new profile we decided to join many of our clients in embracing cyberspace, by engaging in social media and blogging, whilst also investing in a new website.

As all businesses know we have to embrace change and we hope our regular interactions with you has helped to continue to cement the strong bond Pearcelegal has developed with the community since it was born in 1981.

We have been fortunate to acquire some excellent legal talent during this year of growth and that is why we are so optimistic about 2015.

In short, whilst welcoming the break that Christmas gives us we are looking forward to the New Year with anticipation of the challenges ahead and continuing to grow the firm.

A big part of the reason we’ve had this opportunity to develop so much is also down to an excellent and loyal client base.

We are here to serve our clients and the people of Solihull generally and without them we wouldn’t be where we are today.

We at Pearcelegal thank all our clients and friends and wish you all a happy and peaceful festive season.

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