Legal Choices adds Easy Read definitions to law dictionary

Legal advisers and legal documents use special words and phrases. Sometimes these can be hard to understand. People often seek legal advice at busy times in their lives. This could be buying a home, making a will or settling a dispute. Hard to understand words can make this time even more stressful.

Our law dictionary aims to explain legal language in a way that’s easy to understand. All our dictionary content is in Plain English. And now we’ve started to add “Easy Read” definitions to some entries. This makes them even easier to understand.

Why baby boomers should care about Britney

Conservatorship is a word you might not have heard much. But Britney Spears’ legal problems in the USA have launched it into the headlines. This has prompted some people to ask if there is a UK version of conservatorship.

In the UK, conservatorship is called deputyship. A deputy is chosen by the Court of Protection to make decisions for someone who ‘lacks mental capacity’. A deputy is often a family member or close friend. If the case involves large sums of money, the court is likely to appoint a professional deputy, like a solicitor.

Tipping point: Has your problem at work become a legal issue?

Work is an important part of life. A lot of things can go wrong in the workplace. Some issues have simple solutions. Others can be harder for you and your employer to fix.

According to a recent study, one of the most common workplace issues is toilets. Toilets triggered almost 3,000 complaints in three years. But you can bring up anything you feel is unfair or unjust.

Common workplace issues include:

Employment rights and dismissal

Knowing your rights at work is important. You may have a legal claim if your rights have been breached when being let go by an employer.

There are three main types of employment status:

  • employee
  • worker
  • self-employed

Your contract will tell you what your status is. The rights you have depend on your status and your contract.

Self-employed people don't have employment rights as such. Employees and workers usually need to be employed for two years before they can make a claim to the Employment Tribunal.

Covid vaccine: Can workers be forced to have the jab?

Businesses are mapping their way out of lockdown. Many people hope they can get back to the workplace soon. But what's the legal position when it comes to the Covid vaccine?

Can an employer force staff to be vaccinated? In most cases, the answer is "no". But if unvaccinated people can't do the job properly, there may be no choice. Examples include care workers looking after the elderly or employees traveling overseas as part of their work.

Using legal services in a pandemic

Since Covid-19 took hold, many kinds of firms have moved their services online. Those offering legal services are no different. They are changing the way they work to make sure people can still access them.

We’ve taken a look at some of the changing ways you can access legal services. Most aren’t totally new. But they have become more common during the pandemic.

Staying in touch

Firms that offer legal services are now more likely to use technology to stay in touch with clients than before the pandemic.

Going online to find a legal adviser?

Good legal advice can be a lifeline in hard times. And finding the right legal adviser can make all the difference.

Weigh up your options before you choose a legal adviser.

There's a lot of information out there to help you compare legal advisers. Use it to choose one who's right for you.

Read online reviews

Check out online customer reviews to see what other people are saying about legal advisers they used.

For the full picture, make sure you read any replies to customer reviews. And think about the number of customers who have offered a rating.

Your consumer rights this Christmas 

People in the UK collectively spend billions of pounds at Christmas each year.

The average person spends about £1,000 more at Christmas than at any other time of the year. A big chunk of that goes on gifts for friends and family.

But what happens if those gifts need to go back to the shop? What if you're unhappy with the service you have received?

Whenever you buy something, you're protected by a set of rights.

Consumer Rights Act

Any product or service you buy must meet certain standards:

Mental health in the workplace

One in four people is likely to experience a mental health problem at some point.

Having a job tends to be good for your mental health. It lets you develop as a person and meet new people. Plus, it gives you an income to help you do the things you enjoy. It can also keep you busy and offer healthy challenges.

But work can trigger mental health problems, too.

Getting the balance right is important.