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What is LBTT?

On the 1st of April 2015, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (“LBTT”) replaced Stamp Duty Land Tax in Scotland. LBTT is a property tax applied to residential and commercial land and buildings transactions (including commercial leases). In most cases an LBTT return will require to be made to Revenue Scotland shortly after the date of entry to the property by either the purchaser or tenant (normally submitted by their solicitor).

Most employers and employees will be aware of the requirement on employers with more than 250 employees to publish certain specific information relating to their gender pay gap by 4 April under the terms of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. Many employers have already gone public with their reports and these can be viewed on the Government website https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/Viewing/search-results..

On 26 February 2018, the Contract (Third Party Rights) (Scotland) Act 2017 (the “Act”) came into force which provides a statutory basis for third parties to be granted rights under a contract governed by Scots law.

OSCR, the Scottish Charity Regulator, has recently reiterated their guidance in relation to the safeguarding of individuals and the reporting of “notifiable events”. The guidance follows a series of high profile reports involving third sector organisations triggered by the allegation that Oxfam staff paid survivors of the Haitian earthquake for sex. Whilst Oxfam stated that they had launched a full investigation in to the incident, the Charity Commission for England and Wales has stated that it was not given full details about the use of prostitutes by aid workers.

Following substantial delay, the Government has now published its response to the Taylor Review, which was commissioned in response to issues arising out of the so-called “gig economy”, and a number of high profile Employment Tribunal cases against the likes of Uber and Deliveroo in which individuals challenged their classification as contractors rather than workers or employees, and sought access to various employment rights.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently heard the case of Lopez Ribalda & Other v. Spain, concerning five workers in a supermarket chain who raised concerns regarding covert surveillance within their workplace.

The news in the past week has been dominated by stories about the gender pay gap and the differences in what men and women have been earning for the same roles in a number of organisations. The CEO of Easyjet reportedly agreed to take a pay cut of £34,000 to bring him in line with his female predecessor. The former BBC China editor Carrie Gracie stepped down from her role in early January after discovering that her male counterparts were earning significantly more than her. When she queried this, she was reportedly told that the difference was “because she was in development”. In its report into on-air salaries in the BBC, PWC also discovered a 6.8% gender pay gap amongst staff.

While some homebuyers find it hard to see past the benefits a new-build property can provide and envisage themselves in a perfectly finished home designed precisely for their style of modern living, for others, the allure of a period property remains strong.

Chambers UK 2018

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