Q: During COVID lockdown I could not work as a mobile beauty therapist. As I did not qualify for government funding, I started making cakes and selling them through my Facebook page. Things went well and I expanded into take-away pastries, light meals, and a local delivery service. Now I want to get premises and open a shop. I have found a former café complete with equipment, but it means taking on a five-year lease. Could I get out of the lease if things don’t work out?Read more
Q&A - Hospital blunder left me unable to give birth. Can I claim compensation to pay foreign surrogacy costs?
Q: I was given a shock diagnosis of cervical cancer at the age of 28 and had a hysterectomy. Before surgery I had my eggs frozen as I had no children but had always wanted a large family. After recovering from the surgery, I began to question what had happened, as my cervical smears had always been fine. I made a complaint and after an investigation the hospital accepted errors had been made and my tests were wrongly reported. If appropriate action had been taken, there was apparently a 95% chance of a complete cure.Read more
Q: While he was furloughed, getting paid but not working, my husband started gambling online. He ran up huge debts we cannot afford, has become a social moron and sits glued to his computer saying nothing to me or the kids. If I divorce him, will I be responsible for half his gambling debts, or would those be taken into consideration and give me a bigger financial settlement?Read more
Q: I made a claim for compensation following quite severe injuries I suffered in an accident last year. The insurance company has now made me an offer of £30,000, but says it is unable to tell me whether the pay-out will affect my state benefits. Before I accept the offer, please can you explain the situation?Read more
Q: I run a small family business selling building products to local tradesmen. It has been really difficult trying to enforce Covid regulations with customers over the past year. Eventually we had to close the gates and use a ‘call before you collect’ system so that people queued outside our premises and it was not our responsibility if they did not want to wear a mask. Now we have a different problem, namely staff who are refusing to wear a mask when interfacing with customers because the customers don’t bother. Can we sack staff if they refuse to wear a mask?Read more
Q: Since returning to work after being furloughed during the COVID lockdown, everything changed, and I became increasingly unhappy in my job. I felt like I was trying to do my job and they were not letting me. A few weeks ago, it all came to a head, and basically, I was “let go” after a row with management, during which I was accused of having become too difficult to continue my employment with them. I was so upset that I walked out. When I tried to return, I was told my job was gone. Have I got a case for Constructive or Unfair Dismissal, and what is the difference?Read more
Q: My cousin needs to go into care as she is now in a wheelchair. She says she has been told the council will take her house to pay for the fees, but I think she must have this wrong because a former neighbour of mine went into care several years ago and kept his house, which his children inherited when he died last year. Is it possible for my cousin to keep her house and for her children to still inherit it?Read more