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national minimum wage

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Today sees the Government's implementation of the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) and raised the National Minimum Wage from £6.31 per hour to £6.50 for those aged 21 and over.

The New National Minimum Wage

Thanks to the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) there is a new, higher National Minimum Wage. Those over the age of 21 years old should see a 19p increase in their hourly wage, increasing the amount from £6.31 to £6.50.
Other pay brackets will also increase. The new wages are as follows:

•    Apprentices (under 19 or in first year of apprenticeship) - £2.73
•    Employees aged 16-17 - £3.79
•    Employees aged 18-20 - £5.13 More...


antenatal appointments

Having a child is a wonderful experience and attending antenatal appointments is something that couples should experience together, so imagine the upset when many partners find they cannot attend appointments with their pregnant partner.

The Current State of Affairs

At present, pregnant women may attend antenatal appointments during work hours, that by law, bosses must pay for. This paid time off however, is not an option for partners, to go with them for support. But the law is changing…

New Antenatal Rights for Partners

As of October 1st 2014, new antenatal rights for fathers, or any other ‘qualifying persons’, will be introduced. This new entitlement will allow partners to take unpaid time off to attend two appointments that last up to 6.5 hours per session. And this should not be influenced by their length of service with a company in any way.

Further to this, ‘qualifying persons’ can include many different individuals, allowing more than one person to require the time off. Those able to have this time off include: More...

moving drains for extension

This week in our FAQ series, our property team advise whether a homeowner will need to communicate with their water provider about a new extension that could affect public sewers in the local area.

Q: I have a Victorian terraced property and want to extend the back of it further into my garden. However, in my garden there is a manhole cover with a sewer pipe that’s connected to my neighbour.

I paid my water company to conduct an asset location search to see if there were any public assets on my property, and they found none. If I complete my extension without damaging any sewer pipes, and maintain access to the manhole, will I still have to pay my water company for their agreement?

Are there any rules that I must abide by when building an extension over drains?  More...


award winning conveyancing solicitors

Howells Solicitors were named as the Best Regional Conveyancing Firm of 2014 for the Wales and West Midlands region at the prestigious Law Firm Services Awards.  Competing against leading conveyancing law firms from across the region, the judges said that we stood out from our competitors, “as they truly believe in putting the customer first. This was evident by the high level of repeat business from existing customers.”

Why Howells Stood Out

The judges identified our ‘commitment to the ongoing development and training of all staff in order to keep up their fantastic reputation and very high staff retention rates’ as key factors for awarding us the category win.

We were also runners up in the Direct Conveyancing Firm of 2014 category. This award recognises conveyancing firms that operate across the UK as well as their own locality. We were delighted to be shortlisted for this award as we have only been promoting our services nationally for a short period but already achieved this recognition. More...

zero hours contracts

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There has been much debate recently regarding the use of zero-hour contracts by UK employers. But what are they and what are their advantages/disadvantages? 

What Are Zero-Hour Contracts?

As the name suggests, a zero-hour contract means no obligation on the employer to provide the worker with any working hours. Similarly, the worker is under no obligation to accept those hours when they are offered. More...

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes