There are plenty of indications to suggest that the disruption of the legal market is already taking effect. Online platforms, apps and in-house legal technologies are proliferating at an astonishing rate and, it seems, their presence is becoming tangible.
Take as an example of this tangibility the latest survey by international banking and financial services holding company Wells Fargo. It reports that larger flagship firms are experiencing stagnation in demand – something that leading analysts and philosophers such as Richard Susskind and Jeremy Waldron have predicted for some time. This is a perspective supported by the most recent Thomson Reuters Peer Monitor survey, which found that the litigation work of 151 large firms fell by 1.1% in the first half of 2016.
Employees in both the public and private sector who have customer-facing roles are will be expected to be able to speak fluent English to customers. However, how employers assess fluency can be controversial.
The government is planning to bring into force Part 7 of the Immigration Act 2016, which requires all public sector workers in customer-facing roles to speak fluent English. The stated intention is to increase standards in order to meet “the public’s reasonable expectation to be able to speak English when accessing public services”.
Employees and businesses have been alerted to the underpayment of wages worth thousands of pounds in damages following a major Employment Tribunal ruling involving supermarket giant Asda.
Whilst these claims are nothing new (equal pay between men and women has been law since the Equal Pay Act 1970) the majority of the 1,300 or so claims submitted each month have been against public sector employers.
A number of companies have announced plans to cut back on staff benefits to cope with the cost of the new national living wage.
But is this legal? Could there be alternative ways to manage the hike in staff salaries?
At one time only musicians looked to get a 'gig'. The rest of us found 'proper jobs' that paid a fixed monthly salary with holidays and let us plan for the future with some legal rights.
Today more of us have left this traditional job model to try to make a living working for ourselves on one-off 'gigs' –as temporary workers, independent contractors or people selling their skills through websites. The 'gig economy' has firmly entered employment vocabulary, becoming a catch-all term for anything from Uber taxi drivers and Airbnb hosts to freelance professionals.