Work, money and legal Q&As

We've had a flurry of work and employment experts on Mumsnet to offer their professional advice on a variety of issues, from maternity leave and bank charges, to swapping careers and what exactly makes Fairtrade so fair.

Louise ColleyLouise Colley, Aviva

"There's no right or wrong time to take out life insurance." Louise Colley, November 2013

Louise Colley, Aviva's distribution director, answered your questions regarding life insurance including how to find the best policy for you and your family. 


Justine Roberts, Dan Posner and Chris Spurr, building your own business

"Put a lot of effort into a three to five year plan and making very realistic assumptions based on solid research...make sure you can justify every number in your plan." Justine Roberts, October 2013

As part of the Barclays Online Business Fortnight we hosted a webchat with a panel of experts who answered your questions on how to build your business. The experts were Dan Posner, head of innovation optimisation and performance at Barclays Business, Justine Roberts, co-founder and CEO of Mumsnet, and Chris Spurr, web design and user experience expert at Redwood.

Christina Blacklaws, The Co-operative Legal Services

"The new definition of domestic abuse as of March 2013 is any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality." Christina Blacklaws, October 2012

Christina Blacklaws, director of family law at The Co-operative Legal Services, answered your questions and offered advice on legal issues that affect the family, such as having children, breaking up, financial issues and domestic abuse.  


Bonnie burnsBonnie Burns, Legal & General

"Bills and living expenses generally account for 2/3 of your income, so you should ensure you have enough to cover your bills - even if the mortgage is paid off. It would be a shame to save the house but not be able to afford to live in it!" Bonnie Burns, June 2011

Bonnie Burns from Legal & General joined us in June 2011 to answer your questions on everything to do with life insurance. From trusts and policies to whether there's a magic formula for working out how much you life insurance you should take out, Bonnie offered her expertise.


Debt AdvisorsLorna McCallum and Andrew Greechan, Debt Support Trust advisers

"If you are being chased for a debt which is five years or older, and this is the first time you are being made aware of it, then it could be considered to be statute barred." Debt Advisors Trust, April 2011

The Debt Support Trust is a telephone and internet-based debt advice charity, staffed by a mixture of volunteers and qualified employed advisers. You put forward your questions about debt and budgeting, and Lorna and Andrew responded with information on dealing with debt collectors, catalogue debt, payday loans and more.



Nichola Malton, Student Loans Company

"You don't have to start making repayments until you're earning over £15,000pa, but interest accrues on student loans from the date they're paid to you." Nichola Malton, March 2011 

Nichola Malton from the Student Loans Company joined us to discuss issues Mumsnetters have had with student loans for themselves and their children. She responded to queries about childcare grants with student loans, receiving loans on time and funding for NHS-related courses.

Debt Advisors

Holly Thomas, personal finance advisor

"There will always be reasons why we think we can't afford to save for retirement. But the cold hard fact is that we all need to, because state pensions alone are not enough to make ends meet." Holly Thomas, March 2011

Holly offered us her personal finance expertise on a variety of topics, including how to get the most out of your savings, how to set up a pension, invest money and generally get a handle on your family finances.


Which? Legal Service, not-for-profit advice group

"If your work has reduced, there is nothing to stop you arguing to your employer that this equates to a redundancy." Which? Legal Service, May 2010

The Which? Legal Service offered the expertise of its team of lawyers to deal with your legal conundrums about employment rights, from maternity leave and flexible hours to overpayment and redundancy. 



James Daly, editor of Which? Money 

"The problem we have is that Britain relies on the financial services industry - it's the biggest single contributor to our economy, so we don't want to do anything drastic that might encourage companies to move elsewhere." James Daly, February 2010 

As part of the Big Banking Debate, James Daley gave his thoughts in response to your questions on credit ratings, bank charges and comission-driven sales. 



Harriet Lamb, executive director of The Fairtrade Foundation

"What we have achieved already matters greatly for over a million farmers already involved. But you're dead right that we have a very, very long way to go." Harriet Lamb, February 2010

'Eco queen' Harriet Lamb answered your questions on Nestle, bananas and expanding the horizons of the Fairtrade Foundation, as part of Fairtrade Fortnight in 2010.  



Nic Paton, author of The Complete Career Makeover

"If you want to become self-employed as a cake baker, you're going to need to get the legal, health and safety and qualifications issues all straight, as much as for your own professional indemnity and financial well-being as that of your potential customers." Nic Paton, February 2010

Award-winning journalist Nic Paton joined us to help Mumsnetters figure out if it was realistic to up-sticks from their current careers to pursue their dreams, and whether it's ever too late to start over career-wise. 


Last updated: 9 months ago