Housing Market given the “green light” by the Government

The Government have today published guidelines aimed at getting the housing market back in action. Due to the continuing requirements for social distancing, this is by no means “business as usual”. However, it is enough to ease the deadlock caused by the tough and necessary lockdown conditions imposed on 23rd March 2020. The lifting of some restrictions previously imposed will allow for house moves, viewings and valuations to take place safely. 

Property services image

The guidelines include advice in relation to:

  • Preparing your property for sale
  • Arranging and conducting property viewings
  • Making and accepting offers on property
  • Property Searches and Surveys
  • The Conveyancing Process
  • Preparing for your move



The full guidance published by the Government can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak#history

Our conveyancing team are well adapted to working from home. You will not be required to attend our offices to sign any documentation and all advice can be given over the phone or face to face video call. If you would like any advice in relation to the conveyancing process and the new measures in place or would like a quote for a house sale and/or purchase, you can contact our team on 0330 400 4040 or info@haroldstock.com. You can also get an instant quote by clicking on the quote button below. 


conveyancing quality logo




default image

Both Rachael Chamley and Claire Lowe were very efficient in handling my purchase and sale. They explained the process clearly and assisted me at every stage. They were also pleasant, co-operative and willing to go the extra mile to ensure things went smoothly. I felt that I was in safe professional hands.

Mrs H May 14, 2018

<< Prev
Next >>


Childflight 2019 For Mossley Primary Schools

On Tuesday of this week, 27 children from Primary Schools local to our Mossley offices received the Christmas gift of a magical experience aboard the Santa Flight (run by the Childflight charity), which aims to brighten Christmas for children with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our Kirsty Dunn volunteered to help supervise the event, which Harold Stock & Co also helped to finance. Kirsty was invited to join local volunteers, Irene Raddings, Chris Lyness and Mavis Morris (who organised the event for the children of Mossley) and the event also received help and support on the day from Mossley’s very own Greater Manchester Police representatives PC Martin Dench and PCSO Karl Lisic.

The children were greeted by characters from Monsters Inc. as they checked in for their flight at Manchester Airport and the children were treated like Christmas royalty as airport staff members greeted them as they passed through the airport in their Santa hats. Thereafter, many were stunned by the views of seeing an aeroplane up close and personal for the first time as they waited at the gate and then they were all briefly visited by the pilot. The children were accompanied on board the special Santa Flight by a teaching representative from each of their primary schools, where they were seated by elves (TUI Cabin crew and Childflight representatives) in the tinsel decorated cabin. Unusually, three supporting volunteers were also invited on board the flight itself, namely Kirsty, Mavis and Martin. The three of them didn’t waste any time helping the elves add to the magic by doing their own renditions of ‘Baby Shark’ (with the actions) and singing multiple Christmas carols whilst the flight ascended. Amazingly as the flight approached Wales, the pilot announced that Santa happened to be in the area on a test flight and the pilot later confirmed that Santa and his reindeer were going to land on top of the plane. The children were fascinated searching for Santa out of the tiny windows and there was no doubt that he had arrived when his landing on the plane was felt by all on board.

Santa then stayed with the flight all the way back to Manchester Airport where the children each got to meet the man himself and receive their very own sack of gifts along with their own TUI airline bear, from the helpful elves, followed by a picnic lunch.

Kirsty said ‘There truly is no flight like it! It was so much fun for all the children and they even had party games on board. The noise of children laughing and singing was pretty much constant and considering many children had never flown before, they certainly took it all in their stride. Childflight is such a worthy cause, which brings children unforgettable experiences. The work of our amazing local volunteers here in Mossley to support this and so many other causes, should never go unnoticed and neither should the constant support of our neighbourhood policing team. I felt truly honoured to be a part of their special day and you would have to have a heart of stone not to melt and those tiny faces lit up in wonder of it all’.

Child Flight 2019


Kirsty Dunn

Kirsty Dunn

Harold Stock & Co are proud to support Child Flight in their magical event taking place next week, when disadvantaged children and those with disabilities from local Mossley Primary Schools will take to the skies over “Lapland”.  Chartered Legal Executive, Kirsty Dunn, has teamed up with the former Mayor of Mossley, Irene Raddings, who is a volunteer and works tirelessly with Mera (Micklehurst Estate Residents Association) running Child Flight, as well as Muddy Buddies, Bingo and Mossley Foodbank

The Christmas flight takes place next week and this will be the first ever flight taken by some of the children, which is made more spectacular when Santa lands on the roof of the aircraft whilst the children are high above the clouds.  After the flight, the children will enjoy a visit to Santa’s Grotto where the magic will continue. 

In addition to Harold Stock & Co’s financial support for the event, Kirsty is volunteering to assist Irene and her hard working local team (and of course the Elves) throughout the day to lend an extra pair of hands for what is set to be a truly unforgettable experience for all involved. 

When asked about the event Kirsty said that ‘as someone who has grown up in Mossley and continues to have the pleasure of working here everyday, it is great to be in a position to give back to the community and  support such a worthwhile event for local children’

Feedback Friday – Personal Injury

This week’s #feedbackfriday is for Kirsty Dunn, Chartered Legal Executive specialising in personal injury and her secretary, Wendy Smith.  This week has been a good week for Kirsty who celebrated her birthday on Tuesday and her 16th anniversary at Harold Stock & Co on Wednesday!


Karen Kenyon celebrates 30 years as a Qualified Solicitor

As Owner/Director, Karen Kenyon celebrates her 30th year as a Qualified Solicitor, we thought we’d take a look back at 1989 and see what else was happening in the world back then. 

  • Ant and Dec first appeared on our screens as PJ and Duncan in Byker Grove
  • On this day in 1989, Lisa Stansfield was at Number 1 in the British Charts with All Around the World
  • The Number 1 Album in the British Charts was Wild! by Erasure 
  • The House of Commons was televised for the first time
  • Sky TV began broadcasting in the UK
  • In Eastenders, Den Watts plunged into a canal and to certain death (or so we thought!) after being shot by a bunch of daffodils
  • The Berlin Wall came down. For the younger generations, it will be hard to imagine that Germany was once a divided nation with a concrete wall between the two. Imagine building a wall between two nations nowadays?!
  • The Church of England allows the ordination of women
  • The FA Cup Semi-Final between Nottingham Forest FC and Liverpool FC was scheduled to take place at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield. A number of factors including standing terraces, the use of metal crush barriers and overcrowding led to the death of 96 people with many more sustaining life changing physical and psychological injuries. Sadly, over 30 years on from the disaster, the legal battles continue.  
  • The Children Act changes the law in regard to children in England and Wales introducing the notion of parental responsibility in access and custody matters

Karen was born in South Shields in Tyneside although she relocated to Manchester at a relatively young age. Karen attended Liverpool University and Chester College of Law. 

Karen deals with a wide range of family law issues including divorce, financial settlements, contact and separation agreements. Karen is a Member of Resolution, an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals, who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters. 


Holiday Pay: Could your business be at risk?

Looking out to a damp, dark Manchester morning it is hard to believe that we are now officially in holiday season! Managing leave for your staff is one thing, but have you also considered if you are paying workers correctly when they are on holiday?

The rights surrounding annual leave and holiday pay have been in a state of flux for some years.  This has led to a great deal of uncertainty for employers. In this article, we look at the recent decisions, how they affect holiday payments, and what you need to do to protect your business.

Recap: the law relating to holiday leave and pay

In brief, the right to annual leave and the associated pay is set out in the Working Time Directive, which derives from Europe.  The UK implemented the Directive into the Working Time Regulations 1998 (“WTR”) which provide employees and/or workers with 5.6 weeks entitlement per year, this translates to a basic minimum entitlement of 28 days.  There is no right to bank/public holidays but most employers usually incorporate these 8 days into the 28 day leave entitlement.  Part time workers are entitled to a pro rata equivalent.

Under the WTR the worker is entitled to be paid for the holidays taken using a formula as set out in the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Failure to properly calculate holiday pay could result in an unlawful deduction from wages claim from workers and/or employees.  Importantly, there is a mechanism which allows claims to be brought as a “series of deductions” which can link any underpayments throughout the working relationship. 

The time limit for bringing these claims is 3 months from the date of the last deduction (unless “unreasonably practicable” to do so).

Holiday pay – what to include?

The core principles from the European and national courts are that workers are entitled to be paid their normal pay during periods of annual leave, and that “normal pay” is not limited to basic pay but could include elements such as overtime, commission and allowances.

In 2014 the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) heard the important case of Bear Scotland & Ors v Fulton & Ors (“Bear Scotland”) which decided that some types of overtime should be included in holiday pay.  The case also considered how far back a worker could go when claiming a ‘series of deductions’  

In this case workers tried to claim for underpaid holiday pay stretching back over a number of years.  However, the EAT decided that any period of 3 months or more between the deductions would break the series.   Given that most people have over a 3 month break between holidays, this case had the effect of preventing workers from claiming all the way back to the start of their employment (or 1998 when the WTR were introduced).

Following this decision, the government introduced legislation in 2015 to restrict any claim for underpaid holiday further by imposing a maximum 2 year backstop.

At this stage, a worker would only be able to claim for back paid holidays if they were not subject to a 3 month break, and if there was no break, then they could only go back for a 2 year period.  This significantly reduced the impact of the European cases and was welcomed by businesses.

Current position

Following the Bear Scotland case uncertainty still remained regarding the calculation of holiday pay and what constituted a ‘series’.   The case did not provide any guidance about how to calculate holiday pay where commission/bonuses and overtime are regularly paid to the worker; specifically, what period of time should be referenced to provide an average sum to be incorporated into holiday pay?  Should it be a 12 month or a 3 month reference period?

Questions were also raised about whether the ‘series’ could be broken by making a one off correct payment. 

Last month, the Northern Irish Court of Appeal provided a decision which puts the decision in Bear Scotland under the spotlight and is estimated to cost the Police Force £40 million in backdated holiday pay: The Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland & Northern Ireland Policing Board -v- Alexander Agnew & Others. 

In summary, the court decided that police officers’ holiday pay should have included overtime and various allowances and these police officers were entitled to claim for this element of leave, with some claims dating back to 1998 (when the WTR came into force).   This puts the decision in Bear Scotland into question, as there is now doubt whether a period of 3 months or more can break the series of deductions, and therefore limit the period for the claims.  


The Agnew case is not binding on domestic courts, but this decision could be taken into account when faced with a claim for backdated holiday pay.  Further, given the significant sums involved in this case, it may be appealed to the Supreme Court.  If so, any decision made by the Supreme Court will be binding on all UK courts. 

Importantly, the court did not consider the two year cap on backdated holiday pay claims as provided for in the domestic regulations as they do not apply in Northern Ireland. These regulations are likely to be challenged in the near future as there is some concern that they are not compatible with the Working Time Directive.  

Tips for managing the risk

The is a dynamic and unsettled area of law, but it is now clear that companies must include the relevant allowances when calculating holiday pay.  Whilst some uncertainty remains, there are a number of things businesses can do in order to manage the risk of a future claim for underpaid holidays:

  1. Review your working arrangements – are there any ‘self employed’ contractors who could argue that they are ‘workers’ and entitled to back paid holiday;

  2. Perform an audit of anyone who could potentially be entitled to back pay and perform a calculation of what the financial sum this could look like;

  3. When performing calculations take into account commissions/bonuses/overtime if they are sufficiently regular and are “intrinsically linked” to the work;

  4. If a shortfall in holiday pay is established, act quickly to correct the calculations to ensure that future payments incorporate all relevant entitlements.

  5. Given the complexities in this area, if you have any queries, you should seek specialist advice.


Chloe Leyland image



Chloë Leyland has specialised in employment law since she qualified as a Solicitor in 2007. Chloë has significant experience in presenting and managing employment tribunal cases for both the private and public sector as well as individuals. Chloë’s main areas of expertise include the following: discrimination, redundancy exercises, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, TUPE transfers and equal pay. 

Email: cle@haroldstock.com

Harold Stock & Co welcome the Vanarama National League North Trophy

Last week, our Stockport office were fortunate enough to receive a visit from members of the Stockport County F.C. Team together with the Vanarama National League North trophy. 

On Saturday 27th April 2019, a 3-0 win at Nuneaton saw Stockport County claim their first league title in 52 years. Their victory was celebrated by over 4000 fans who had travelled to Warwickshire with them. One of those travelling fans happened to be our very own Claire Atkinson. Claire, a specialist Wills and Probate Solicitor is a life long fan of The Hatters. 

Stockport County

(L-R) Tracey Hine, Kelly Jackson, Francesca Rigby, Danielle Eyres, Claire Atkinson, Darren McGuinness