In the latest in its series of Directors’ Briefings, Withy King brings businesses up to speed with legal developments and provides advice on a few of the most commonly overlooked areas.
Taking on an apprentice
Apprenticeship contracts have changed. Earlier this year, the Government introduced a new contract for apprentices called Apprentice Agreements, replacing the previous contracts of apprenticeship. Under the new Agreements, apprentices no longer benefit from enhanced rights on termination of their apprenticeships and are treated the same as ordinary employees. If you are thinking of taking on apprentices, it is vital that you use the new Agreement which is far more attractive to businesses than the previous one.
Don’t let Twitter damage your reputation
‘Tweets’ mayonly accommodate 140 characters, yet the damage they can do to your personal or business reputation, not to mention the time and effort it might take to deal with potentially malicious or defamatory comments, can be significant. Fortunately, social media sites are not exempt from the normal principles that apply to other forms of media. It’s wise to develop an action plan to address potentially reputation-damaging behavior at the earliest opportunity. You can find out what people are saying about you and your company by searching for tweets containing your brand name. If you are at the receiving end of a negative ‘tweet’, respond in a professional and positive manner. If the ‘tweet’ is not a genuine complaint, Twitter’s help page allows you to report abuse and policy violations such as offensive content or copyright infringement. If Twitter’s assistance proves ineffective, you may need legal advice on how best to manage and minimise any damage.
Are lease terms important?
A common misconception is that provided the rent is paid, other lease terms are largely unimportant. This is not true. As a tenant, failure to comply with the terms of a lease can lead to the landlord carrying out the tenant’s obligations and charging the tenant the cost of doing so, or in extreme cases, forfeiting the lease. Lease terms are important for landlords too!The Land Tribunal recently found that a landlord could not recover the insurance rent due because it had failed to comply fully with the insurance obligations in the lease. Whether you are a landlord or tenant, lease terms are important and must be complied with.
Providing personal guarantees
If you are about to sign a Personal Guarantee, you need to understand the legal impact this will have on you, any joint guarantor and your personal assets should the guarantee be called in. If you have already given a Personal Guarantee, ensure you know the limit and the notice period needed to end the arrangement so that you can exit at the earliest possible opportunity and minimise the risks.