Your legal questions answered by Fahmida Ismail, Partner at Sydney Mitchell LLP. As featured in the Worcester News.

Q. I am contracted to do 29 hours a week although I regularly work nearer 40 hours. However, my pension and holiday entitlement are based on my contracted hours. I feel I should at least receive holiday entitlement on the hours I actually work.

A. Your holiday pay and pension will be based on your normal working hours which are defined as being those you are required to work by virtue of your contract of employment. Overtime hours are not normal working hours unless the overtime is fixed under your contract, for example if your contract stipulates a minimum number of hours in which overtime is included. Extra hours won’t be taken into account for holiday (or pension) purposes if the overtime is in fact voluntary. Ask for your employment contract to be updated to reflect work patterns.

Q. Our house deeds clearly state that we have the right to ‘pass and re-pass all roads in the vicinity’. However, with the development of land opposite, the road outside our house has been closed above our property. Since it has been used by local residents for decades, why have they done this and what can be done to change it back?

A. I imagine the council will have advertised the changes with notices on lampposts and the like. You should have objected at the time and could still organise a petition against the road closure now. Contact your local Councillor. The question about the rights contained in your deeds is a much bigger one. It may have been a private road. If you think you still have rights over it ask a solicitor to look at your title deeds.

Q. I’m presently being sued by a local builder for £300,000 and have put in a £50,000 counter claim. The builder says he will declare bankruptcy so I will get nothing. I have found out that he owns a large property in southern Ireland, but I’m told I cannot get at that to put a charge on it if necessary. Surely since we are all part of Europe there must be something I can do?

A. If the debt is in England and Wales you would sue in England and Wales. However, having got a court order against the builder you would have to enforce it against the house under the laws of Ireland (ie. commence enforcement action in Ireland). Assuming you are successful you should be able to put a charge on the builder’s property.

For further information on any of the issues raised, please contact Fahmida Ismail on 0121 698 2200 or fill in our online enquiry form.  


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