Thursday, 28 November 2013

ARAG Legal Services - Online Legal Updates

The legal documents and law guide available to ARAG policyholders who have registered to access our Legal Services Website is constantly reviewed and refreshed.  Registered subscribers can opt to receive monthly lists of all revisions. As the latest round of updates affects some of the most popular documents we thought it was worth drawing your attention to selected changes. We hope this will encourage you to recommend the site to your clients when arranging or renewing ARAG policies. 

Assured shorthold tenancy.
This document has been chosen to trial new postcode look-up functionality. When the user needs to enter an address during the questionnaire, they can now enter the postcode, search and the select the correct address to be inserted as their answer. If the trial proves successful we will begin to introduce this across all documents.
The formatting of this document has also been generally reviewed, including an improved table in the inventory section.
Notice under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
The following changes were made:

i. Simplified notice text, in particular to comply with current case law concerning periodic tenancies.
ii. Added questions and logic to assist user to specify the correct date in the notice after which possession will be required in the case of a periodic tenancy.
iii. Added information screen in questionnaire to explain the concept of service of the document.
iv. Added guidance note regarding methods of, and time remaining available for, service, and on steps that can be taken to prove service.
v. Added user warnings (validators):
a. to ensure that notice is not given under s.21(1)(b) where the fixed term has already expired or where the end of the notice period is before the end of the fixed term;
b. to warn about the service of a notice within 6 months of the tenancy commencing;
c. to ensure that sufficient notice is given.
vi. Added questions and validator to ensure that where a deposit has been taken, the notice cannot be used if the deposit has not been protected or the appropriate information has not given about the protection scheme.
vii. Enabled notice to be signed by agent on behalf of landlord, or by one landlord on behalf of multiple landlords.
viii. Amended Guidance to clarify difference between a fixed term and periodic tenancy.

Consumer goods & services
Reject a seller's denial of responsibility for faulty goods.
This document was reviewed to make it more user friendly. A provision was added for the user to reclaim the costs incurred in returning the goods
Complaint to a dry-cleaning company about garment damage
This document was reviewed to make it more user friendly. The scope of the document was also increased to include an option for the user to request that the garment be repaired or replaced.
Complaint to a telephone company about a high bill and Complaint to a water company about failure to meet standards
These documents have been generally reviewed to bring them into line with house style and to make them more user friendly.
Employment agreement, Employment statement,  Fixed-term employment agreement, Job offer letter and Executive director's service agreement
The national minimum wage (NMW), apprentice and accommodation offset rates in the guidance have been updated for October 2013. Amendments also reflect changes to agricultural wages.
Employee handbook
Amendments were made to the following policies due to changes in law:

i. Basic holiday entitlement - limiting the amount of holiday leave that can be carried over into the next holiday year to 20 days for employees on long-term sick leave.
ii. Harassment policy - amended the definition of harassment for England, Wales and Scotland, following the repeal of the third party harassment provisions in the Equality Act 2010.
Grievance letter to employer, Interview checklist, Job application form and
Staff appraisal form
Amendments were made to the Guidance deleting references to third party harassment, following the repeal of these provisions in the Equality Act 2010
Health & Safety compliance review and policy creator
Changes made to the section in the Guidance on the 'Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR)' as a result of changes to the legislation. The changes include amending the list of 'major injuries' and renaming it 'specified injuries' and replacing the list of reportable work-related diseases from 47 conditions to 8 conditions. Changes do not affect Northern Ireland.
Settlement agreement
This document has been amended and renamed as a result of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013, which has changed the name of compromise agreements to settlement agreements.

References to third party harassment have been removed, following the repeal of these provisions in the Equality Act 2010.
The questionnaire and Guidance have been overhauled to improve the user experience. A page has been added to the document, detailing what the user needs to do when they have finished.


  1. Keep up the best work guys, nice posts are here to get more benefits.
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