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Welcome to our legal update page.

All aspects of the legal system are in a constant state of change as new legislation is introduced each year. On this page you will find information that will keep you up to date with these changes. Each of Specialist Solicitors' members contribute to this very useful page.

Employment Law: Contributed by Neil Coombes of Neil Coombes Solicitor Limited.

Introduction of early conciliation with ACAS.

From April 6 2014, before lodging a claim to the Tribunal, all claimants will need to notify Acas first where conciliation will be offered. If conciliation is unsuccessful within the set period the claimant can proceed to lodge a tribunal claim.

Power of employment tribunals to impose financial penalties on employers.

From April 6 2014, the Employment Tribunal will have the power to order an employer who has lost a case to pay a financial penalty to the Secretary of State of between £100 and £5,000. The penalty will be imposed where the employer has breached any of the workers rights and the breach has one or more aggravating features.

Flexible working rights for all employees.

From June 30 2014, the Government proposes to extend the right to request flexible working to all employees and remove the current statutory procedure for considering requests. Instead employers will have a duty to consider all requests in a reasonable manner; employers will have the right to refuse requests on business grounds.

Fathers' right to time off for antenatal appointments.

From Ocotber 1 2014, The Children and Families Act will allow fathers to be and partners of pregnant women, to take time off to attend two antenatal appointments with the expectant mother.