What You Need to Know about the New EU General Data Protection Regulation?

The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a piece of legislation that will seriously affect every organisation in different ways, yet more than half of European companies are not aware of the new Regulation coming into force in May 2018.

What is the GDPR all about?

The GDPR is a Regulation aiming to strengthen, standardise and unify the rules concerning data protection and data processing. The Regulation will be directly applicable throughout the EU from 25 May 2018, without requiring implementation by the EU Member States through national law. The Regulation aims to:

• harmonise the current legal framework, which is fragmented across Member States;
• return control over personal data back to the users; and
• introduce new Data Protection Officers to supervise the storage and processing of personal data.

Does it affect me?

Most likely, yes. You may not be aware of that, but almost every modern app, website an online service involves personal data processing. This is why under current data protection laws everyone responsible for using data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’.

Come May 2018, this may not be good enough.

If you use personal data in any capacity — by storing it, transferring it, analysing it or even simply holding it to carry out an online transaction — you will be dealing with data processing.

What is the new Data Protection Officer (DPO) and do I need one?

The GDPR requires companies to nominate a data protection officer (“DPO”) under certain circumstances. Thus even a relatively small start-up may need to nominate a DPO if their core activities involve “regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale” or consist of “processing on a large scale of special categories of data” (as per article 37 of the GDPR).

There is no legal requirement for a DPO to hold any official qualifications but they are expected to have reasonable knowledge and experience to fulfil their duties.

The DPO will need to ensure that the data is stored properly and that the business complies with the data protection rules and regulations.

What do I have to tell my customers?

The GDPR requires that companies give certain information to individuals about the processing of their personal data. Examples of this type of information include the identity of the company processing their data, and the contact details of the relevant DPO, where applicable.

In addition, customers will need to be informed of the legal basis for such processing. Individuals will have much greater say in determining how their data may be lawfully used, with active rights to change consent based processing and rights to object to processing based on “implied” rights (i.e. legitimate interests). You’ll have to allow for the consent to be withdrawn at any point, and the security and privacy settings to be set to the high level by default. Your users will also be able to request that all their data be erased from your databases and services.

You will also have to tell your users about any data security breach, as well as inform the regulator about it.

The rules on transferring data to other organisations, or outside Europe are stringent and require the controller to take full responsibility for proper and secure handling supported by effective due diligence and contractual measures.

The changes introduced by the GDPR will ultimately require a substantial review of privacy policies and statements, which will include any contracts that you might have with sub-contractors who process personal data on your behalf (such as cloud service providers).

What do I need to know?

Start documenting your data processing practices. Start defining the categories of data, the purpose of the data and who has responsibility for the data.

Everything from a simple loyalty card app to a multi-layered customer profiling systems will have to closely trace what is happening with every piece of data.

Even if you are not obligated to nominate a DPO at present, it might still make sense to nominate a member of your staff internally as soon as possible, as doing so will help to focus implementation and drive accountability.

Start thinking about potential risk areas. The GDPR implements the so-called risk-based approach, which means that the greater the risks posed to the privacy rights of individuals, the more safeguards and transparency will be needed.

Now, many apps simply take the required user data and process it in a variety of different algorithms, putting chunks of data into a number of databases (e.g. for sales, user profiling, purchasing behaviour, statistics or usage history).

All organisations will be expected to promote privacy and data protection compliance from the start when creating new products and services. Privacy impact assessments must be carried out as a matter of routine, especially when considering new arrangements that may involve handling sensitive data fields, or large volumes of personal data.

What if I’ve got any questions?

We’re here to help! The new Regulation will require major changes and substantial data protection review. It will affect almost all businesses in the UK and across Europe, with some global ramifications for international companies based here.

We understand that this may be a daunting process and that is why you should start preparing for the GDPR early. Our team can assist you in preparing for the Regulation. We can carry out a privacy impact assessment for your organisation, help you develop effective organisational controls and governance structures and draft all the necessary data processing documentation required by the GDPR enabling you to achieve compliance with the GDPR.

 

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If you are looking for a particular template online check us out at www.thelegalstop.co.uk! We have a constantly growing portfolio of legal document templates and if you cannot find on our website the document you  are looking for you can always request it at no extra charge and 100% money back guarantee: www.thelegalstop.co.uk/request.html

 

 

Declaration of Trust

A Deed of Trust, also known as a Declaration of Trust, is a document used to specify how a property is held between joint owners; it confirms the actual proportions in which co-owners own their homes.

A Deed of Trust is commonly used to hold property in joint names but in different proportions especially where there have been differing contributions towards the purchase price, it helps determine the division of any proceeds of sale when the property is sold.  A Deed of Trust can prevent disputes as to who gave what ensuring that each joint owner gets a fair portion of what they put into the property when the property is sold.

There are several situations where a Declaration of Trust can prove useful, for example where two or more people purchased a property jointly but each has made differing contributions towards the purchase price. Another common situation is where money has been provided by a third party who is not on the title deeds but wants to protect their contribution.  A Declaration of Trust can also be used to set out restrictions or obligations on the use of the property or where one of the owners wishes to surrender or relinquish their interest in the property.

Our Declaration of Trust – Tenants in Common (Contributions Based) template shall be used where joint owners wish to determine each owner’s share of the property according to their financial contributions to the property. The document records each person’s contribution by way of purchase costs, mortgage payments and sums spent on improvements and sets out how each owner’s percentage share in the property is calculated.

 

The Legal Stop provides fixed fee legal services and legal and business document templates for all types and sizes of businesses. Our services include:

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Deed of Variation – Alter a Disposition Made by Will

To change an inheritance after a death a Deed of Variation is required. Technically you don’t need a formal deed to change an inheritance however it is common practice to use a deed to ensure enforceability.

A Deed of Variation allows a beneficiary of an estate to change or re-arrange a disposition made by will.

There are several reasons why beneficiaries may wish to vary or redirect an inheritance, such as:

  • To reduce the amount of Inheritance or Capital Gains Tax payable
  • To alter the interests under a will
  • To provide for someone who has been omitted from a will or who has not been given adequate financial provision in a will
  • To resolve any uncertainty or amend a defect in a will

The main effect of a Deed of Variation is that the alteration made by the deed is treated for inheritance tax and potentially also capital gains tax as having been made by the deceased and not by the beneficiary who has given up his entitlement under the will.

In order for a Deed of Variation to be valid it must be signed by everyone affected. A variation cannot be done without the consent of everyone likely to be affected by it; if the variation affects the rights of children or unborn children Court approval is required, a parent’s signature on behalf of a child is not sufficient.

A Deed of Variation can be done at any time but to have retrospective effect for Inheritance Tax or Capital Gains Tax purposes it must meet the conditions below:

  • The  variation must be made within two years of the deceased’s death
  • The right tax declarations must be included in the deed. For a variation to take effect for IHT and/or CGT purposes, it must contain a statement that those signing the variation intend it to take effect for tax purposes. The statement may apply to either IHT or CGT alone or for both taxes. The statement must include the appropriate statutory references
  • There must be no inducements (such as a cash payment) given to any beneficiary to enter into the deed
  • The variation must clearly identify the part(s) of the estate that are being varied, and say who is to benefit from the variation
  • The destination of an asset cannot be varied more than once, although more than one deed is permissible if they deal with different assets

For a Deed of Variation template allowing a beneficiary to redirect their inheritance to another person click here

 

The Legal Stop provides fixed fee legal services and legal and business document templates for all types and sizes of businesses. Our services include:

  • Legal and Business Document Templates
  • Request a Template Service
  • Fixed Fee Bespoke Document Drafting
  • Free Legal Documents and Information

We aim to make the law and provision of legal services accessible and transparent to people and businesses alike!

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Check out our new revolutionary service: FREE Legal Webinars with Q&A where you decide the topic by simply emailing your requests at info@thelegalstop.co.uk!

 

SALE OF GOODS AND SERVICES THROUGH A WEBSITE

This article provides a brief outline of the legal background when selling goods and services through a website.

When selling through a website it is important to have terms and conditions in place. The relevant terms must be set out in writing as an online contract will be as enforceable as any other type of contract.

If you sell goods to consumers through a website, it is important to be aware of the following regulations:

The Sale of Goods Act 1979   This Act states that goods that are sold must be as described and of satisfactory quality.

If consumers discover that products do not meet these requirements they can reject them and ask for their money back providing they do so quickly. Alternatively, they can request a repair or replacement or claim compensation.

The Sale of Goods Act has been amended by the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002.

The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 Distance Selling Regulations give protection to consumers who shop by phone, mail order, via the Internet or digital TV. The protection includes:

  • The right to receive clear information about goods and services (including information about the arrangements for delivery of the product and information about the seller) before deciding to buy;
  • Confirmation of this information in writing;
  • A cooling off period of seven working days in which the consumer can withdraw from the contract;
  • Protection from credit card fraud.

The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 prevents sellers from enforcing terms in a contract which are contrary to the requirement of good faith and which causes a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties to the detriment of the consumer. Sellers must also ensure that they use clear and plain language when drafting because transparency is an important part of fairness.

These regulations provide significant protection to consumers and so must be adhered to very carefully by sellers. If a term is unfair, it will not be binding on the consumer. If an unfair term excludes or limits liability for unsatisfactory goods or poor workmanship, the consumer can sue for compensation regardless of it. If an unfair term is unenforceable, the rest of the contract may still be valid (unless it is unworkable without the unfair term).

Assessment of fairness takes into account the nature of the goods or services, all the circumstances relating to the conclusion of the contract and the effect of other terms in the contract or another dependent contract. This means that a term considered fair in one agreement is not necessarily fair in another.

Consumers should have the opportunity to read all the terms and conditions before agreeing to the contract. Therefore, you should ensure that the terms and conditions are clearly accessible on the website.

The Data Protection Act 1998 The purpose of the Act is to protect the rights of the individual about whom data is obtained, stored, processed or supplied rather than those of the people or organisations who control and use personal data. The Act applies to both computerised and paper records depending on the type of filing system.

If you wish to pass on individuals’ details to other organisations or wish to contact them about promotions in the future, you must obtain their consent to this. Provisions of this kind may be acceptable where there is a free choice to agree to them or not, for instance, via an option separate from the rest of the contract. But note that fairness is much more likely if consumers have positively to “opt in”. A chance to “opt out” in small print may be missed or misunderstood. In any case the chances of fairness will be increased if the significance of the choice is indicated and drawn to the consumer’s attention.

The Act requires that appropriate security measures will be taken against unauthorised access to, or alteration, disclosure or destruction of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of personal data. It is important to ensure that your terms and conditions contain an appropriately worded privacy policy.

The Electronic Commerce Regulations 2002 states that when selling online, information must be given in a clear and ambiguous manner about the technical steps to complete a contract, prices must be clearly stated, details must be given about the supplier (in particular, the name and address and registered office address if this is different, e-mail address, the company’s registration number, any Trade or Professional Association memberships and the company’s VAT number) the fact that any orders must be acknowledged without undue delay and there must be available to the user of the site the ability to identify and correct any errors prior to the placing of their order.

Excluding liability

It is not advisable to exclude liability when dealing with consumers. You are never able to exclude liability for faulty goods or death and personal injury. If a consumer makes a mistake when entering details online, s/he should be given a reasonable opportunity to correct the error before they place their order. If you fail to do so, consumers will be entitled to rescind the contract.

The Difference between Templates and Bespoke Document Drafting

In today’s internet driven world many people find their legal document needs online. There are a range of options, including the fixed price fees we offer, that allow you to protect yourself and your business quickly.

One area that has risen in popularity over recent times is the templates for legal documents. These can be downloaded in seconds and paid for in an instant, leaving you with a legally binding piece of literature that should protect you as soon as it’s signed and witnessed.

Legal document templates are obviously cheaper and faster than bespoke document drafting as one template is constructed to fit all. They can be ideal for general insurances, small legal areas, such as tenancy agreements and partnerships yet as the requirement grows, they may not cover all.

The Benefits of Templates

  1. Tried and Tested Used by Many
  2. Easy to download
  3. Accessible within minutes
  4. Instant protection
  5. Customisable as long as the jargon stays in place
  6. The cheapest way to protect you and your business

It’s important to note though that templates are very general and if you are held under scrutiny, a law enforcer may find holes that you should have included to ensure the document was bespoke to your business.

Drafted Documents

Many people believe that bespoke drafted legal documents are very expensive. That they cost thousands of pounds and are only affordable by bigger businesses. In fact with our fixed priced fees drafted documents can save you a lot of expense in the future. Recently the news reported that the well-known celebrity Tommy Lee lost over £10 million pounds in a legal battle as the wording wasn’t quite right in the document.

Online Business

We recommend drafted documents for terms and conditions and privacy policies. By their nature these are lengthy as they must cover you for all eventualities. It’s sad but true that a disgruntled user will exploit the T and C’s, they will look for loopholes and they will have no hesitation in starting a lawsuit if they think you’ve missed something. Templates will cover the general use of your site yet they won’t be specific to your stock, services, delivery criteria and so on.

Also online people worry about their privacy being exploited. This is why a good privacy policy needs to be in place. A template will cover the generalisations such as the use of cookies but you may need it adapting to your own case. For example, you may send out newsletters via Mailchimp but the privacy policy via the template states you will not disclose email addresses to third parties. Although you’ve only given the addresses to your own Mailchimp account, a disgruntled customer could sue you for sharing information when they were led to believe you wouldn’t.

Quite simply they may take a little longer and they may be more expensive but you can’t get better protection than a drafted document.

Could Bespoke Document Drafting Pay for Itself?

Legal document templates are on the rise with people downloading these in an instant online. For as little as a few pounds you can have the protection you or your business needs within seconds. With these advantages is there still a place for bespoke document drafting? Shouldn’t everyone simply use templates and just hope for the best?

Unfortunately, although templates cover generalisations, they may be useful if you’ve less than five employees or they could be helpful for a short hold tenancy agreement, if you want to be bulletproof they’re unlikely to give you the full protection you crave.

You can of course adapt a template to suit your own needs but this is unadvisable without the help of a solicitor as if you make a mistake you risk making the whole document null and void. Hiring a solicitor to adapt a template is quite insulting. It’s embarrassing for you and in the end you will have paid the same amount as if you’d drafted a document from the start.

The Loopy Loopholes

In business drafted documents are essential. It’s a sad but true fact that the USA suing culture has hit Britain. Ten years ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of suing a box over a simple fall but today we all know that “where there’s blame there’s a claim”. This means businesses and individuals must be stringent with legally binding documents as the lawyers that promise the “no win no fee” service have an incredible knack for sniffing out loopholes you won’t even have noticed yourself.

Case Example: Let’s say you sell ice cream. You have a health and safety policy template that covers you for accidental spills. Now an employee slips on ice cream and you face a lawsuit. You may have detailed that any injury caused by accidental spills is the responsibility of the employee (as they should follow legislation of mopping, drying and placing a sign to warn others) but your no win no fee lawyer sees a loophole. Ice cream in its solid form can’t spill. Therefore your template doesn’t apply to trips and falls from the product you sell.

Many have lost thousands if not millions of pounds trying to save money with templates and in some cases they are enough but if you’re at risk of being sued, such as for health and safety, for privacy policies or terms and conditions, you need to ensure your documents are watertight.

The Lengthy T and C’s

Pop over to any well-known brand and have a flick through their terms and conditions. You’ll see how lengthy they are. They not only protect against big lawsuits they protect against the everyday almost absolving a company of all responsibility.

Claims such as “we will not be held responsible for…” “We reserve the right to…” “Our refund policy clearly states that…” These statements although innocent looking when you scan through the T and Cs and tick the box to say you agree stop the company been taken to court instantly.

With a drafted document you’ll be able to explore every angle to use the knowledge of a solicitor and tap into his expertise. Your solicitor will present you with worst case scenarios you hadn’t thought of but were thankful he or she brought them up.

In any area of law where you need to be protected it’s worth calculating how much you could lose should your legal document be challenged and then fail to stand up in court. Then see if the investment in bespoke document drafting is worth it.

Number Of Workers Earning Less Than Living Wage On The Rise

Due to figures from think tank only for the last year 20% of the workforce in the UK which is about 4.8m people have claimed they earned below the so-called living wage. This means their number has risen too fast. The Resolution Foundation conducted a research the results of which point out that 25% of women and 15% of men who are employed did not manage to cover their basic needs for living in April 2012. This is the last month the search covered.

Since 2009 the number of employees receiving under the living wage had gone up by 3.4 million.

However, there are many different groups of workers who earn much less than the living wage. The worst results have been accounted for those under the age of 20 who go to work. In 77% of the cases they have received salaries far away from what they had expected. The other risk group is of the people working in restaurants and hotels.

London’s living wage is now £8.55 in London and £7.45 elsewhere.

Matthew Whittaker, report author and senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “For most of the working population real wages have been flat or declining for many years and as a result more and more people have dipped below the level of the living wage.”

He added that all the parties need to think carefully about the proper way which would lead to boost in the rates of pay.In addition may be this should be written into the employment contract.

The answer that came from the government was that they were in fact encouraging all employers to give their workers much more money than the national minimum wage.

The spokesman added:

“Despite being in tough times, this Government is doing absolutely everything it can to help people on low pay with the cost of living.”

 

Maternity Discrimination Hampering Women Returning To Work

A recent research showed that with the years the number of women who take maternity leave and later find out they cannot return to the position they had left, rises.

Every year about 340,000 use the maternity leave and about 14% of them have problems at their working places when they go back, which often lead to their dismissal.

There are many cases in which such women were forced to move to a position with less responsibility.

Besides some of them feel their employers force them to resign.

The Equality Act 2010 prohibits the maternity discrimination at work. Unfortunately the law was changed and now women have to pay £1,200 in order to take their employees to an employment tribunal accusing them of maternity discrimination.

The legal firm Slater and Gordon conducted a survey among 1,000 mothers and their answers showed that almost a quarter were not well grounded with their maternity rights. A half of them shared their role at work was not the same after returning back from maternity leave.

Labour said maternity rights would be among their priorities at the next year’s elections. The shadow secretary Yvette Cooper spoke against the coalition because according to her they were betraying working mothers.

For the Independent she admitted her party would do everything possible in order to struggle with employers who did not manage to perform their legal responsibilities.

She wrote: “It is illegal to treat staff unfairly while on maternity leave. But most women don’t know the law and don’t feel able to challenge. So experienced and skilled women are pushed out of jobs or lose pay when they feel least able to disagree. That’s bad for the economy too”.

 

Furniture Stores Accused Of Misleading Customers

It was proved that High Street retailers of furniture and carpets were trying to deceive their clients offering them goods with false prices.

The results from the inspection of the stores of Carpetright, Dreams, DFS, SCS Upholstery, Furniture Village, Harveys and Benson Beds showed that these used different tricks in order to make people believe they saved money. You can buy a Contract for the Sale of Goods from  The Legal Stop.

The OFT criticized the deals claiming to sell goods at half price. It found out that often before the reduction of a certain article no items of the sort have been sold.

The opinion of OFT is that the previously high prices of the goods were not quite legitimate and this is in fact the main reason why such big sales were now possible.

Usually customers are easily duped to buy something when they see its price is reduced so much.

The final decision of OFT on this matter was that this was an “endemic” problem within the industry.

Gaucho Rasmussen of the OFT said: “Reference pricing can mislead consumers into thinking the item they have bought is of higher value and quality”.

This week Tesco was fined because it claimed it was selling strawberries at half-price.

The danger which threatens stores which continue to mislead their customers is a fine of up to 30% of their turnover.

After these news shares in Carpetright fell as much as 3%.

The executive director of Which?, Richard Lloyd commented that the special prices should really be special otherwise OFT would resort to serious penalties.

No comment came last night from both DFS or Dreams.