Legal Advice Employment Law

Independent contractors or sham contracting: Here’s some Employment Law Advice

A Senate inquiry seeks to determine if the so-called “gig” economy is sham contracting, and if it is, they want to determine if young workers are exploited. Evidence has been presented that gig contracting is a means for corporations to avoid legislation that protects workers and workplace rights. For example, young workers perform temporary work, but they do not receive safety insurance or minimum pay.

Work under the “gig” economy are usually piecemeal, short-term contracts or engagements. Young workers work on internet platforms such as Uber, Foodora, Deliveroo, and Airtasker. They criticise these large corporations working through internet platforms for their flagrant disregard for legislation and avoidance of obligations to workers. These digital platforms receive commissions or fees from each short-term contract fulfilled by young workers.

One problem is, these internet platforms engage young workers as independent contractors but do not provide the workers with minimum conditions or entitlements. Young workers do not receive hourly rates for the work they perform. They are often paid per task regardless of how many hours are spent on the job. Some may be paid by the hour, but the hourly rate may not comply with the minimum hourly wage set by law.

Workers seek an amendment to the Fair Work Act to make sham contracting a strict liability offence. They want “gig” economy internet platforms to be included in the definition of “employers” so that the young workers who sign contracts will be protected as “employees”. They especially want the internet platforms to be responsible for their worker’s safety by providing their workers, health and safety insurance.

The same trend has been noted and complained of in the fashion industry where young workers are selected as “interns” to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry. The young interns are not paid a salary or any form of compensation. They have none of the entitlements of employment, and they have no health or medical insurance. They receive the benefit of experience, the right to put their internship on their resume as work experience, and they obtain introductions to influential persons who can provide them with future employment or further mentoring. They work long hours, often beyond the regular eight (8) hours of work per day without pay for overtime for work rendered after hours.

If you are an employer, you might find it cost-effective for your company to hire independent contractors. You may find that using an internet platform to obtain workers for short-term tasks helps curb your overhead expenses. The only risk is one contractor filing a claim for work entitlements, underpayment of salaries, or unjust dismissal.

Why You Must Have Your Contract Reviewed?

Reviewing your contract before signing it is a common advice given to workers in the UAE. Even a better idea is to review your contract with a legal advocate in Dubai by your side. Though this is a common advice to people, not all are heeding its timeless warning.

There are plenty of reasons you need to review your contract. Here are some of them:

UAE Labour Law is quite complicated

If you are an expat in the UAE, chances are, you are not familiar with the UAE Labour Law. You might even think that the labour law in the UAE is almost the same as in your home country. However, this is not almost always the case.

Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 or better known as the UAE Labour Law stipulates the different aspects of how employees and employers should perform their duties.

Before signing your contract, determine whether you are signing a limited or unlimited contract. A limited contract is less restrictive. It typically allows you to end your contract with a 30 days’ notice. On the other hand, before your break from your unlimited contract, there are different charges to pay and negative consequences you need to go through.

You want to avoid unpleasant surprises

The last thing you want to happen is to wake up one morning and discover that you have locked yourself into an unwanted contract.

Because of the way contracts are written, it can sometimes be daunting to read every single word and thus, an employee tends to just skim through the document. However, if you want to make sure that you fully understand the contract you are about to sign, how it complies with UAE employment law, and avoid future surprises, you need to read carefully your contract.

Prepare for different situations

During your stay in the UAE, there are just too many things that could happen – situations that are unforeseen. A company may change policies instantly or they may go out of business. When these things happen it pays a lot to know about your contract and where you stand in the midst of these changes.

In case you won’t be happy with your job, then at least you know what to do in the future by carefully reviewing your contract. You would also get more ideas on how employment lawyers in Dubai can help you.

Avoid unnecessary expenses

Like what was mentioned above, breaking from your contract can be costly and sometimes, you need to find a law office to get you through the process. If ever an employee and employer go through a legal battle, the financial burden is just too much for most expats. Not only that, but think about the time when you are not working while fighting your legal battle.

Why Should I Hire A Lawyer Who Specialises In Family Law?

Sadly, divorce and separation is something that is quite common. If you have recently separated from your spouse and divorce proceedings are underway it will undoubtedly be an upsetting and stressful time. It is always important that even in the most trying of circumstances you get the best possible legal representation that you can. You need someone who specialises in family law. Choosing the wrong, inexperienced lawyer can have dire and far reaching consequences.

The importance of choosing a lawyer that specialises in family law can’t be stressed enough, hence the need to mention this again. Hiring a corporate commercial lawyer or a civil litigation lawyer could make your already stressful situation even worse. There is the common misconception that any lawyer will have the required know-how and skill to deal with matrimonial matters and this is quite simply farcical.

Unfortunately, many divorces end in litigation when all forms of negotiation and mediation have broken down. The divorce is likely to be acrimonious with children involved with neither party prepared to sort things out amicably. It is important that each case is dealt with on an individual basis and appreciation that no two cases will ever be alike. This is something that will be recognised by a family law lawyer but may be overlooked by a general lawyer.

During our years in the industry, we have noticed many subtle differences between how family lawyers and those practicing in multiple areas handle the same situation. Here are just a few of our observations which may be worth considering when you choose the right person to protect your interests.

1. Over-conciliatory to the other partner

Just because both parties are willing to negotiate doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fight for what is rightfully yours. The process is about negotiating and not simply agreeing to the other party’s demands. Both sides need to openly discuss what they wish to achieve and at times, this can lead to arguments. Aggression, channelled in the right manner is required in order to achieve a fair resolution.

2. The use of outdated practices

An inexperienced representative using outdated methods can make the situation worse, for example by writing scathing and antagonistic correspondence which carry unnecessary threats. With the recognition we now have surrounding the effects of divorce, particularly on children of the marriage, such tactics are widely considered inappropriate, ineffectual and unacceptable by the judiciary and other practitioners.

3. Lack of understanding of family law

Family law is complex and having a substantive understanding is absolutely essential. It is an area, unlike many others, that is constantly evolving and there is a certain sense of unpredictability that you may not find in other legal situations. This means that a lawyer that doesn’t deal with these cases on a day to day basis may lack the knowledge and comprehension required to properly represent their client. Delays can lead to increased expense along with potentially increasing friction between the parties.

Like most things, choosing an expert will achieve the best results, something that is very important for your long-term future.

Availing Notary Services The Right Way

You would have commonly heard the terms notary and notarization. Most likely, you too would require the services of notary west Los Angeles at least once in a lifetime. Whether you intend to buy a home in Texas or New York, or require a power of attorney; a visit to the notary public is essential. For, unless these documents are stamped and sealed by an authorized person, they are neither considered legal nor authentic. Other documents like marriage certificates, business documents, wills etc also require notarization before they can be used in a different city or country.

If you need to get your documents authenticated, you only need to visit the office of an authorized notary public and get the document reviewed and attested by him. In fact, you may also opt for mobile notary services if you can’t visit the office. These provide services at the client’s specified place and time, thus, making the entire process easy and convenient. It is important for parties to trust the authenticity of legal documents. Notarization builds that trust. So, considering the importance, here’s all you need to know: Definition and services of Notary Public A notary public is authorized by the State to witness the signing of important documents in a bid to provide legal credibility to the same. However, the process includes more than simple attestation. The official -in-charge verifies the identity of the signee, while ensuring that he or she is aware of the content of the documents and is working by his own will, without any sort of force or coercion. Moreover, they also validate whether the people signing the documents are mentally fit to do so. After all the required validations, the document is termed valid and authentic.

Finding a Notary To get business, personal or other documents authenticated and acceptable by law, you have to find a notary public. Here are the ways to find qualified notary services

  • Banks: Banks often have employees who act as certified notaries and provide related services within the scope of their work. You can find qualified ones there for your work.
  • Libraries and Government Agencies: Often, libraries or government agencies in the vicinity may provide notary services, which you can avail easily. You can enquire and get the documents signed and sealed easily.
  • Membership Based Organizations and Insurance Agencies: These agencies and also some university campus often offer notary services.
  • Independent Notaries: Finally, many independent companies provide notary services. The officials are certified and authorized to perform these services. What’s more, some of them also provide mobile services and visit the client at their specified place and time.

Keeping Your Property in Trust

The last thing anyone wants is for their property to be in danger of not being protected from creditors. Therefore property protection trusts in Truro and other towns and cities are not only recommended but essential.

This is also one of those issues that more and more clients approach legal firms such as solicitors and qualified paralegals about. Trusts are created for various reasons; most often for protection from creditors and the wrong beneficiaries.

Things can change very quickly in anyone’s life. The one day everything is fine, you have a job, great income and fantastic health. This can change in an instant. Therefore all of us need to know that we have to take precautions to safeguard us from those bad times when we may be in a precarious position and thus we arrange for property protection trusts in Truro and elsewhere.

Of course it goes beyond a sudden change of fortune in terms of jobs and general circumstances. We may also become ill, or a situation causes us to no longer be able to function: we need to know that our property is safe and untouchable, that we will still have a place to live – also a place for our dependents such as spouses, partners and children – and our beneficiaries. Trusts are set up for these reasons: to ensure that whatever is held in the trust enjoys protection under certain circumstances.

This is done whereby an owner gets assistance to create a property protection trust in Truro to make sure the property remains protected from claims. This can be one’s residence, additional property or any investment property, for example. The owner or settlor transfers title of his/her property to a trustee or group of trustees to take charge of the assets of that trust, for instance immovable property such as one’s home.

In case of financial hardship, for instance, the property remains safe and can’t be claimed or attached. If, for example, a property is co-owned, you can arrange for your half or share to be placed in a trust that will protect it – and your interest.

The property protection trust in Truro may also be created to ensure that your will is carried out all times. You can specify who will inherit your share of the property and you control who your beneficiaries are. This is to avoid issues that may cause problems where, for example, a spouse remarries after their spouse’s death. The next spouse will then not have any claim to your share; your beneficiaries, as was intended, will inherit that share.

Of course no-one is unfair; therefore you arrange that your partner or spouse remains in the property after your death, if that is the wish of both parties. The property protection trust in Truro provides for these and other eventualities. Of course it depends on how this trust is drawn up.

Knowledgeable, experienced solicitors and other legal brains work with these issues all day long and they are the ones to talk to for the best advice, and they are indeed able to draw up these trusts and agreements. Make sure you approach someone that is trusted and offers experience and the necessary expertise in this regard.

The important thing is that this kind of arrangement ensures that you are able to provide for your beneficiaries as per your wishes and will. New partners’ wishes will not supersede yours since the property protection trust in Truro protects your wishes.

You can be as specific as you wish in terms of the document you have drawn up as long as it stays within all legal boundaries, parameters and requirements. A trusted legal firm will assist you with advice and the drawing up of the trust to ensure it is legally binding on all.

About Us

At West Country Estate Planning we offer specialist estate planning services and assistance. Our services are aimed at helping clients plan their estate to ensure that all their affairs are in order. We are experienced in terms of all issues relating to the drawing up of wills, funeral plans, property protection trusts, any processes that help the individual or other entity be prepared for all eventualities related to the planning and protection of their estate. Our years of expertise have made us the number 1 choice for clients throughout Cornwall, Devon and surrounds. Our personnel are well placed to assist all clients.