New Laws To Slash Cost Of Calling Company Complaint Lines

From next summer on new legislation will put limitations on the amount of money customers could be charged for calling telephone numbers regarding complaints and enquiries about products they have bought.

From the 13th of June 2014, companies will not be able to charge the calls of their customers in a way they want but will have to take into consideration the rate for a call to a mobile phone or a local landline number.

The changes come as part of the local implementation of the European Consumer Rights.

Ofcom figures point out that nowadays such a call may cost you from 12p to 41p on a mobile phone, or from 1p to to 13p on a landline.

The numbers covered by these statistics are 0843, 0844, 0845 and 0870.

Companies that currently earn money because of these prefixes are around 30,000.Together with the new requirements for the telephone lines, some corporate legal documents might be required.

The aim of the new legislation is to make sure people would not stop expressing their disappointment only because of the high phone charges.

In case customers call in order to make an initial purchase of products or services, companies would still have the right to charge them higher.

Consumer affairs minister Jo Swinson wrote that in her view these changes would make consumers feel more confident and at the same time would supports new businesses.

“Taken together with the Consumer Rights Bill I believe this legislative reform represents a great and important opportunity to benefit consumers, businesses and provide the right framework for a stronger economy,” she said.

 

Former Undercover Police Officer Reveals Attempts To Smear Stephen Lawrence Campaign

The Prime Minister David Cameron insisted on an investigation considering the rumors that police attempted to discredit the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, which is against many laws and HR policies.

A former undercover police officer called Peter Francis gave interviews for the Guardian and Channel 4 claiming he was told he had to infiltrate the campaign to get justice for Stephen Lawrence in order to gather “any intelligence that could have smeared the campaign”.

He added he was a part of the police plan aiming to turn public’s view against the campaign.

“I wasn’t successful, no SDS officer was successful, in finding anything really concrete. It was really just a bit of hearsay, tittle-tattle.”

What else Francis gave away was that police monitored the Lawrence family home so that it had concrete information about how the campaign would proceed.

In his words Met police had been “scared” of the campaign.

The mother of Stephen shared that all the members of her family had thought there was something wrong in the intentions of the police .

“Somebody sitting somewhere, calculating what, you know, what they’d be doing to look at and infiltrate our family. It’s like we’re treated as if to say we’re not human beings.”

A spokesman for No 10 announced that the Prime Minister was “deeply concerned” of these rumors and insisted on an immediate investigation.

Jack Straw, the former secretary said this matter had to be referred to the IPCC so that it could become evident who had ordered all this.

In October 2011 an independent investigation was launched against a separate undercover officer but there are still no results.

Surrogacy in the UK Needs New Guidelines

According to researchers, as there is now no regulation for surrogacy in the UK, mothers and babies are at risk of exploitation and due to this they have called for the introduction of new guidelines.

This warning was published this month in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in a review entitled Surrogate pregnancy: ethical and medico-legal issues in modern obstetrics.Many people are wondering whether the surrogate mothers will be assigned some kind of maternity leave.

It turned out that many healthcare professionals said they sometimes did not know what to do from an ethical or legal standpoint when it came to surrogacy.

After the UK laws on surrogacy, the intended family should not have to pay the surrogate mother anything else than her reasonable expenses.

Surrogacy contracts are not recognized by the law so the woman who gives birth to the baby is considered the legal mother.

Even when talking about host surrogacy and the woman who gives birth is not actually genetically related to the baby, she is again considered its legal mother.

Researchers wonder how surrogacy has worked in the past, as there were no clear figures about it.

Since 1985, about 800 children have been born from surrogate mothers in the UK. The expenses for such an event are around £15,000.

This review also claims that because of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFEA) Act 2008 more unmarried and same sex couples would search surrogacy mothers as they now have the same rights to become parents as married couples.

In the words of obstetrician Celia Burrell, who co-authored the review, new guidelines were essential.

“We are calling for additional legislation and guidelines to prevent women and babies being exploited, provide safeguards for children and guide professionals.”

 

UK Unemployment Rises

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that between December and February the unemployment in the UK has risen up to 2.56 million. Many people have been made redundant, hopefully their employers had a redundancy policy.

Those who claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance last month were 1.53 million which means 7,000 less than before. There is no reliable data on how many employment contracts have been signed up for the same period.

Another thing ONS stated was that average earnings in the year to February mark the lowest growth rate since 2009.

In the latest quarter of February the number of people in work fell to just under 30 million.

Statistics also showed that 900,000 people have been out of work for more than a year and that the number of 16-24-year-olds with no job rose by 20,000 to 979,000

The data point a 62,000 fall in the number of people in part-time jobs and an increase by 60,000 in full-time employment.

Alan Clarke, economist at Scotia bank, said: “It’s not a disaster, but a lot of the froth and really good news we had over the last year on jobs is becoming exhausted, which shouldn’t be a surprise when there is not much growth around.”

Employment minister Mark Hoban said they would not stop helping jobseekers.

The number of JA claimers in whole England, Wales and Scotland has fallen having in mind that the number of new claims was at its lowest level for more than four years.

The number of young people claiming JA is down by 2,800 on the month, and is 65,400 lower than last year.

As usually there are many people criticizing the decision of the UK government. These claim that the government has to think over reining back its austerity plan.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “The chancellor should heed IMF advice to change course to grow the economy to end this needless waste of human talent.”

 

Benefits Reform Trial Scaled Back

A new reform to the welfare system is about to be scaled back by the government.

The plans of ministers are to give people the possibility to claim the new Universal Credit in four areas of north-west England from April.

However, it was announced that three of the pilots will not be able to start until July.

According to Labour the Universal Credit was “on the edge of disaster” mainly because IT systems were still not ready to stand the pressure.

This Universal Credit is created in such a way that it is simple and cheap. It will merge several earnings-related benefits and tax credits into one single payment.

The Department for Work and Pensions had first decided to test it in four areas but now they said the beginning of the programme will be set only in one area- Ashton-under-Lyne.

Not before July the other three job centres will start working with Universal Credit.

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “The scheme is already late and over-budget and in spite of earlier promises ministers have admitted that they have no idea when out of work claimants will move over to Universal Credit.”

Salary data calculations are needed for the Universal Credit so Mr. Byrne said that small firms have to provide this data as they have now been delayed from April until October.

On Friday Anne Begg, Labour MP for Aberdeen South and a member of the work and pensions select committee, said that she was both pro and con the delaying as she felt the government first had to check everything was all right.

“The welfare system is like a giant jelly in that if you press down and try and make a change in one area, something else that you may not be expecting pops up”.

You might need to get a Redundancy Policy Template by The Legal Stop.

 

The End of Misleading Supermarket Offers Has Come

A new code has been signed by leading supermarkets, aiming to ensure that the special offers are not misleading to the customers.

After a research of the Office of Fair Trading, which showed that in some cases the pricing and the conditions of a special offer are displayed in a confusing way. For that reason the OFT drawn up the new rules in an attempt to cut confusing offers.

The biggest UK supermarkets, such as Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, the Co-op, Lidl, Aldi and Waitrose voluntarily signed the new code, however Asda (The UK`s second largest supermarket) refused to do so.

According to the new rules, supermarkets should have special offers such as “half price” or “was £3, now £2″, only in cases when the offer period is shorter than the period for which the product has been sold at its original price. There are also regulations, trying to prevent forced price inflating, with the intention to make offers at at a later stage, which seem as a great deal, because of the “discount”. Also, supermarkets will not be allowed to use promotions such as “new bigger pack” or “50% more”, in case this is not actually true.

Although the OFT did not find any supermarkets breaching the law, they say they had identified “what appeared to be inconsistency in the way the law was being interpreted and applied”.

OFT chief executive Clive Maxwell said: “Household budgets across the country are under pressure and shoppers should be able to trust that special offers and promotions really are bargains.

“Prices and promotions need to be fair and meaningful so shoppers can make the right decisions.”

The news was however met with scepticism from some quarters. Bryan Roberts, insights director at Kantar Retail, said: “I think even with a new voluntary code and greater regulation it will still be incredibly confusing for consumers to ascertain what value for money looks like and what is a bargain and what is not. Even if there is a lot more transparency, most shoppers will still need a calculator to work their way around a store.”

We all hate confusing offers and we all know the disappointment that comes with them, that`s why at The Legal Stop we avoid that by all means and strive to provide you only with great offers related to legal documents and legal services, with no catch!