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Sector Focus


Legal


Sponsored by: Thursfields Solicitors


Relocating with children after a divorce or separation


Uber ruling could impact gig economy workers


Midlands businesses who operate as part of the so-called ‘gig economy’ could face damaging compensation claims following a court ruling. The ruling was made by the


Supreme Court, which ended a long-running saga involving drivers working for the American ‘hail and ride’ business Uber. The court said that Uber drivers


should be treated as members of the workforce, and not self- employed, which is how the ‘gig economy’ operates.


By Eilidh Rose, associate solicitor in the family team


The impact of Covid-19 over the past 12 months has changed life as we once knew it. A significant change for


many families has been the requirement for parents to work from home. Most businesses have adapted and it seems likely that a hybrid of working from home and in the office will become the ‘new normal’. This has caused families to reconsider what they need from their home, with some requiring space for a home office and living within commutable distance from the office no longer being a priority. For separated families, there


are matters that need to be taken into account if one parent is seeking to relocate with the children and the move will alter contact arrangements or mean a change of school. If this is the case, the permission of the other parent or the court is required. Communication is key when


considering such a move and discussions should take place with the other parent. Should court proceedings be required, the court will consider whether the proposed relocation is in the best interests of the children. Such cases are often not straightforward and it is important to seek specialist legal advice at an early stage.


For further information please contact Eilidh Rose, associate solicitor in the family team at Thursfields on 0121 227 3375 or erose@thursfields.co.uk.


60 CHAMBERLINK April 2021


‘It is becoming more difficult to prove that someone is genuinely self-employed’


The ‘gig economy’ workforce


doesn’t have permanent jobs, but are either freelancers or have short- term contracts. Employment law specialist Sally


Morris, from Mfg Solicitors, said the Supreme Court judgment against Uber would have far-reaching consequences for businesses who operated within the ‘gig economy’. Ms Morris, partner and head of


employment at Mfg Solicitors, said Uber was now facing huge potential compensation demands


Sally Morris: Midland ‘gig economy’ bosses must beware after Uber ruling


after it was decided their drivers were workers. Ms Morris said: “The Uber ruling


highlights once again the difficulties posed to businesses when taking on members of staff. It is becoming more difficult to prove that someone is genuinely self-employed due to rulings like this – not forgetting forthcoming changes to IR35 legislation that ensures contractors pay the same tax as employees. “As a result of the Uber ruling,


the floodgates may now open for workers across the gig economy to claim they are in fact workers and


Trademark helps get Boom Radio on air


A new radio station has secured the rights to its quirky name thanks to the efforts of a Birmingham trademark attorney. Boom Radio has taken to the


airwaves with the help of Forresters, who helped trademark the name. Boom was launched in February


by ex-Free Radio boss Phil Riley (pictured) and broadcasting pal David Lloyd, who reckoned they had spotted a gap in the market. The station is aimed at ‘baby boomers’, who are people born


between 1946 and 1964, and competes with Radio 2, which says its audience is anyone ‘over 35’. Phil said: “We had to get the name right, and Boom Radio was just


perfect, as it’s aimed at the baby boomers who have been neglected by other radio stations. First thing we needed to do was to check we could use the name and then register it as a trademark.” Anne Long, trademark attorney at Forresters, said: “Boom Radio is a


great name for this service and after a careful clearance search we were able to conclude that it does not conflict with any registered trade mark rights in the UK.” Boom Radio is already attracting tens of thousands of listeners through its digital-only transmission via DAB.


entitled to additional benefits. “The court did not however go as


far as to consider the drivers to be employees of Uber which brings with it a further set of rights and benefits compared to worker status.” Ms Morris said other businesses


should act immediately to ensure they are operating in line with the law and the ruling. She added: “Although the court’s decision was based on Uber’s specific business model, it increases the chances of other gig economy companies facing claims around worker status.”


Hiplok joins forces with helmet firm


Leamington-based bike lock business Hiplok has pedalled its way to a partnership with a German safety helmet firm. Aided by lawyers from Wilkes


Partnership’s corporate team, a majority shareholding in Hiplok has been bought by Uvex Group, which operates from Furth, in Bavaria. Uvex makes helmets and eyewear


for skiing and cycling, and has taken a 75 per cent stake in Hiplok. The latter was founded 25 years


ago by cycling fans Ben Smith and John Abrahams, and launched its Hiplok ‘Original’ bike security lock back in 2011. Uvex’s history is rather longer, with the firm being founded in 1926 by Philipp Winter in his home town of Furth, near Nurnberg. The Wilkes team who advised on


the deal was led by Elisabeth Conner. She said that the acquisition would allow Hiplok to accelerate its growth plans by making use of the Uvex Group’s distribution network and organisational structure.


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