We hear in the news this week that Charlie Mullins, famously litigious founder and CEO of Pimlico Plumbers, has announced that he has instructed the company’s lawyers to draft new employment contracts making it mandatory for staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. If that is the case, it is not an enviable position for those […]
The government has updated its guidance on which employees may be put on furlough through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It has clarified that employees will be eligible for the grant and can be furloughed if they are unable to work (including from home or working reduced hours) because they: are clinically extremely vulnerable, or […]
The Chancellor has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as the furlough scheme) will be extended once again and will now be in place until 30 April 2021. A review of the scheme was supposed to take place in January but a decision was made to bring forward the review in order […]
On 24 November 2020, the Government announced the positive news that coronavirus restrictions would be relaxed over the Christmas period to allow people to spend Christmas with their friends and family. Everyone, irrespective of the Tier you are currently in, will be allowed form a “Christmas bubble” between 23 and 27 December. There are certain […]
Over the course 2020, it has been widely reported that domestic abuse cases have increased since the country went into lockdown in March. The charity Refuge recently reported that calls to the National Domestic Abuse helpline have increased “week on week” over the course of the year, and demand for its services is still increasing. […]
Back in April 2020, we wrote about the impact lockdown was having on debt recovery in this article Debt recovery during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. As part of that guidance, we advised that High Court Enforcement Officers (“HCEOs”) had suspended attendances at both commercial and residential properties. On 25 April 2020, the Taking Control of […]
The government has announced new legislation to ensure that furloughed employees who are made redundant will receive a statutory redundancy payment based on their normal rate of pay and not their reduced furlough pay. The same will apply in respect of notice payments for furloughed employees. The new legislation is to come into force today (31 […]
This summary outlines the new indemnity schemes and clinical negligence cases handled by NHS Resolution. It includes the new measures undertaken in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The full report can be viewed here: NHS Resolution annual report and accounts 2019/20 which details the performance and future plans of the NHS. New indemnity schemes 2019/2020 […]
The massive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many more people working from home resulting in the number of face-to-face business meetings to drop to virtually zero. This has led to an explosion in the use of video conferencing technology. Whilst the benefits of these technologies are immense, they are not without […]
It has been announced that from 27th July Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) will ask everyone going to court in England to wear a face mask. In Scotland and Wales, wearing face masks will not be compulsory. If you have a valid reason you may be excused from wearing a face mask. These […]
The often stressful, protracted and adversarial process currently in place in the family court can have the effect of worsening conflict between parties, which in turn can cause further trauma for victims of domestic abuse and their children. The family courts often have to conduct cases involving some of the most vulnerable in society, and […]
The Government recently announced that from 4th July couples can now get married in England with up to 30 guests and enjoy their wedding ceremonies with rules in place, such as all individuals from different households being at least 2 metres apart, or one metre with risk mitigation if this is not possible.
Clare Andrews looks at the cut in Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and what it means for the housing market. Following a couple of months of uncertainty in the property market as a result of Covid-19, the government has now provided some good news for home buyers, with changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax taking […]
In an attempt to help mitigate the reduced public transport capacity due to the Covid-19 social distancing rules, it became legal on Saturday 4 July 2020 to use E-Scooters on roads if they are obtained through a share scheme. This is initially thought to be a trial but it is hoped that this legislation can […]
As the stay at home rule relaxes and businesses get the green light to re-open, employers are making plans to bring their staff back into the workplace. All employers have a statutory duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees as far as reasonably practicable. The government’s message remains that employees should […]
The president of the employment tribunals for England and Wales has said that he expects a big increase of unfair dismissal claims by reason of redundancy as the government’s furlough scheme is wound up. We know that for many employers the furlough scheme has simply been a means of delaying the inevitable. With changes to […]
The Treasury Direction covering the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been updated to cover the amendments to the original CJRS to allow for flexible furlough from 1 July 2020 until 31 October 2020 when the scheme is wound up. Like the previous Treasury Directions dated 15 April and 20 May this document – The […]
Whilst most of the attention recently has understandably been on the COVID-19 crisis, the past few months have seen a number of developments regarding the on-going impact of increases in employer contributions to the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) on the independent schools sector. An ever increasing number of independent schools have left (or are leaving) […]
In March we produced our toolkit to help independent schools manage the unprecedented challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. As society starts making steps towards a return to normality and schools prepare to welcome back pupils, we have updated this key resource for independent schools as they continue to navigate their way through the next […]
The Government has just released the updated version of Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE), which will come into force on 1 September 2020. You should continue to refer to the current version of KCSIE until 31 August 2020, but schools will want to start preparing for the upcoming changes. The key new developments are […]
The President of the Family Division has announced that the functioning of the Family Court is unlikely to return to full and ordinary operation until Spring 2021 and, even by then, there may be a new normal to the court working environment. Most of the court buildings have been closed to the public as a […]
On 23 March 2020, the government mandated non-essential businesses to close and ordered individuals to stay at home except in a few limited exceptions. This had a monumental impact on the UK’s economy, with airlines, retail, hospitality, sporting and tourism sectors suffering unprecedented disruption and financial loss. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development forecasts […]
Over the weekend, the government released guidance about upcoming changes to the coronavirus job retention scheme (also known as the furlough scheme). The changes relate to new flexible furlough arrangements that will be available for employers to operate as they ease out of lock down and before the scheme closes as the end of October. […]
The President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane last week issued his Road Map indicating that as social distancing restrictions will remain in place for many months it is unlikely that anything approaching a return to the normal court working environment will be achieved before the end of 2020 or even the spring of […]
If you have a dispute concerning property or land, then strategic advice at the earliest stage can help you resolve issues. Landlords and tenants are both becoming increasingly concerned about maintaining their respective obligations under leases and – if possible – avoiding them. The situation is changing rapidly and the government is seeking to react […]
The pandemic has certainly put a lot of people in difficulties – physically, mentally, financially and socially. This can be especially true for separated couples who need to continue to live together in the current circumstances. However, even before the pandemic, some separated couples might have found themselves in no position to live apart for […]
The trials of family life are different for everyone but in this crisis situation that we are experiencing now thanks to Covid-19 it really increases the pressure on merged or separated families. We have had a number of unique Covid-specific queries from families and individuals living across the South East as well as from abroad, asking […]
The current COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we approach certain elements of signing practices. Following the lockdown, we had to quickly adapt to remote execution of documents and the challenges this presented. The pandemic has given us food for thought for reform in the future, which is very much being considered by the government. […]
On Friday 29 May 2020, the Chancellor announced reforms to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) (also known as furlough leave) and outlined a number of changes that will take effect over the next few months. The government have published a factsheet which can be access here. The key points for employers to be aware […]
Government announce plans to protect businesses During the current COVID-19 crisis the government have announced new plans to help directors run their businesses without threats from third party creditors. Some of these are temporary but the government have also announced some permanent new laws, as an addition to current Insolvency Law. This is in order to […]
Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights states: “Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one should be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of the sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law”. Everyone’s right to […]
Since lockdown began in March this year, we have generally all spent far more time at home than we would usually as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It has given us time to think, consider and explore not only the space we live in but also the area we live. Some have been luckier and […]
The government has launched its contact tracing service in England (similar initiatives available in the rest of the UK). The purpose of the initiative is to try and reduce the spread of Covid-19 by tracking down anyone that has been in contact with a person who tests positive for the virus and asking them to […]
On 26 March 2020 Practice Direction 51Z (PD 51Z) came into force in response to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). The effect of PD 51Z was to place a stay on all existing and newly issued possession claims until 25 June 2020. This has clearly had a big impact on landlords and mortgagees who are seeking […]
The government’s amendments to the COVID-19 Regulations on moving home will have come as a relief to those who have seen their sales and purchases stall since the beginning of the lockdown, as well as those in the property industry. Public Health England is keen to emphasise that these changes do not represent a return […]
Through the Cabinet Office, the government recently published its guidance on responsible contractual behaviour in the performance and enforcement of contracts impacted by the Covid-19 emergency. The guidance applies with immediate effect to parties in the private and public sectors operating in England (although notably not in the other devolved UK nations). The key takeaway […]
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a further extension to the Job Retention Scheme until 31 October 2020. In his speech to Parliament, the Chancellor reported that 7.5 million jobs have been furloughed and the scheme has helped to support nearly one million businesses. It is reported that the scheme has paid out £10 billion so […]
This week the government changed their COVID19 guidance for the housing market, including some key actions to get the housing market moving again in England. The housing market was put on hold at the end of March due to the government lockdown, and an estimated £82 billion house sales were put on hold, according to […]
The Chancellor has today announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“Scheme”) will be extended for four months, until the end of October 2020. There will be no changes in relation to how the Scheme is run between now and the end of July 2020. Between August and October 2020 the Scheme will be continue […]
We have prepared a guidance note to assist employers through the uncertain times caused by the coronavirus outbreak. You will find answers to common questions below but if you have any concerns which are not addressed here then please do not hesitate to contact us.
One of the challenges that directors of companies may face during these unprecedented times is holding board meetings and passing board resolutions whilst still adhering to the social distancing rules and keeping safe. Virtual board meetings are an efficient and relatively straight forward solution to this, and you may even find that you prefer to […]
What can directors continue to do to ensure good governance of their business? The directors of companies in the UK across many business areas are having to make unusually difficult decisions. Sometimes this even includes if their company can continue to trade and exist. Directors take advice where necessary and frequently have had to act quickly. […]
The government has introduced various forms of financial assistance to businesses in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Due to the number of different guidance available on the government website, this summary will hopefully assist in providing a quick overview on the available schemes and the applicable criteria. 1. Business Loans: The government released an […]
As with all significant events, novel viruses being no exception, people capitalise on ideas for products and services that could be relevant. For consumer goods, a commercially necessary first step is to launch trade mark applications in the expectation that they will result in registered and therefore more protectable marks. Coronavirus impact on IP and […]
In these difficult and uncertain times many people are considering having a Will prepared for the first time or reviewing an existing one because of family changes, executor updates or other significant changes to circumstances possibly as a result of this pandemic. Irrespective of issues facing us all with COVID-19, a Will is an essential […]
Following on from our previous updates on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, both the government and the Treasury have provided further guidance, details of which are set out below. The most significant change is that employees must have been on the employer’s payroll and included on the employer’s Real Time Information submission to HMRC on or […]
The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown since 23 March 2020 has raised unprecedented challenges to businesses across the UK. Some companies continue to operate with employees working from home, but others may have ceased to operate all together. One common issue for all companies during this challenging time is the management of cash flow. Collecting […]
Coronavirus (Covid-19) is having a major impact on businesses in all sectors around the UK. It has had a particular effect on hospitality, property, retail and leisure sectors. Below is a short guide to understanding insolvency, and the steps that can be taken to assess whether a company, or individual, might be facing insolvency in […]
Over the weekend, HMRC published some much needed additional guidance about the Furlough Scheme (otherwise known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). We now know that:
Whilst businesses are busy organising their workforces during the current Covid-19, there are a number of changes effective from 6 April 2020 of which employers need to be aware. Statutory rates of pay As usual in April 2020, a number of statutory rates of pay have changed. These are as follows:- Statutory Sick Pay has […]
Data privacy law has always tried to strike a balance between individual rights and overwhelming social needs. With the COVID-19 pandemic now sweeping the world, Governments are taking extreme measures to save lives by encouraging social distancing and tracking infected persons. People in democratic countries are simply not used to some of the measures being […]
The government has updated its guidance on the Job Retention Scheme which we have summarised below. Two additional requirements for employers are that they must have enrolled for PAYE online, which can take up to ten days, and have a UK bank account. The employer must notify the employee in writing that they will be […]
In current times many tenants are finding themselves in financial trouble and will be looking at ways to keep their business afloat. Rent and other lease costs will be one of the reductions they will be looking to make to reduce their outgoings.
What is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?
The UK government has now issued guidance to those buying or selling their home during the Covid-19 lockdown. This update clarifies what you can do now – whether you are considering buying or selling, already have an offer accepted or have already exchanged contracts and are waiting to complete your transaction. The key message, that we are […]
As UK companies continue to deal with the ever-changing effect on day to day business as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19), one of the challenges which companies may face is the impact of the closure of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) offices. This might be particularly challenging when faced with post completion matters following transactions […]
Due to the material impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on UK business, the Government announced on 28 March amendments to existing statutory insolvency measures. This is in order to assist directors of businesses potentially unable to meet their debts in the current climate. Suspension of ‘wrongful trading’ rules The way this will be dealt with […]
On 27th March 2020, the Government published the new Practice Direction 51Z – in relation to residential possession proceedings during the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows and should be read in conjunction with the Coronavirus Act 2020 emergency legislation (see our previous update here).
Understandably the coronavirus pandemic has caused many people to consider their existing Will or has encouraged them to make one. What is the issue for will signing? The current lockdown to slow the spread of the virus is causing problems with the signing of Wills because the Wills Act 1837 requires the person making the […]
Following on from our articles on the Job Retention Scheme, we address here the support available from the government for the self-employed in response to COVID-19. Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) SEISS provides a similar level of support to the job retention scheme (80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month […]
This article examines the ongoing coronavirus public health crisis and its impact on contracts, the ability to terminate or cancel contractual obligations and refers to a recent case study. In general terms “Force Majeure” (FM) is a legal concept defined under a contract relating to the occurrence of events outside the control of the parties. […]
The impact of Coronavirus has meant that many retailers and other businesses have had to close their premises or are suffering a severe downturn in business. As a consequence some are refusing delivery or delaying payment. Suppliers have been asking us for advice on how they can support their customers during this difficult time without […]
Being confined to a particular place for an extended period with anyone can be difficult. How much harder is it therefore if you are in the middle of a divorce? Divorcing couples living under the same roof during Coronavirus It is not uncommon for couples to remain under the same roof while dealing with the […]
The Coronavirus Act 2020 came into force on 26 March 2020, and is a wide-ranging means of support to almost every sector during the coronavirus crisis. Amongst other things, the Act confirms that private tenants will not be evicted from their homes for at least three months if they are struggling with their rent during […]
As the business upheaval of Coronavirus increases day by day, we have been approached for advice by a growing number of clients and contacts as to whether they (or another party) have legal grounds to end or suspend a contract in a bid to reduce expenditure. Accordingly, we hope that the following pointers will be […]
As UK companies continue to deal with the staggering implications of Coronavirus, one of the challenges which directors may face is the requirement to finalise and file statutory accounts at Companies House within the filing deadlines.
In these unprecedented times, independent schools are under unprecedented financial pressure. Schools are closed; parents are asking about refunds; staff are self-isolating; commercial contractors demand payment. We have prepared a checklist to help you keep on top of this fast-moving crisis…. Parents Most schools are receiving enquiries from parents asserting that they will expect a […]
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available.
The Coronavirus outbreak will have a far-reaching effect on all aspects of life, including income and job security. Your business may be feeling the brunt of it, or your income may have taken a sudden turn as you’ve been asked to take unpaid leave; whatever the case you will be wondering how you can afford […]
The government has issued a national lockdown to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic, with people only being allowed to leave their homes for limited purposes and all public gatherings of more than two people being banned (save for where the gathering is of a group of people who live together, or for essential work purposes). […]
At present, UK Visas & Immigration case working and compliance teams are still functioning and pending applications are being processed, albeit standard processing times are likely to be impacted. Although global travel is mostly on hiatus it is still technically possible to apply for visa online and some visa application centres are still operational, depending […]
The Government is offering further support for businesses and the self-employed in these uncertain times by allowing extra time for payment of VAT and income tax.
The outbreak of COVID-19 (“the Coronavirus”) brings unprecedented times with it, and family law is one of many aspects of life that will no doubt be impacted by this. You may find yourself in self-isolation with your partner, ex-partner or soon to be ex-partner for what might be months wondering what now. You may find […]
In these challenging and uncertain times many will be concerned about the adverse impact on their business and worried about their families, employees, customers and suppliers. This is a changing landscape and lots of new measures are being introduced, so take a moment to digest, reflect and access advice and support before making any big […]
Can I (or the other party) get out of an onerous contract because of coronavirus?
For those concerned about being able to pay their taxes as a result of coronavirus, HMRC has set up a helpline which you can call for help and advice on your circumstances – 0800 0159 559.
It will be increasingly likely that invoices will not be paid on time or will be disputed in some form and while there may be many reasons offered for the refusal to pay, the commercial effect is the same adverse cashflow.
The off-payroll working rules under Chapter 10 of Part 2 of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 were due to come into force on 6 April, however the Government has announced it is postponing reforms of the off-payroll working rules due to the economic impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).
On 17 March 2020, the Chancellor issued an update in respect of a temporary financial package aimed at providing support for businesses.
What should you do if you and your household are self isolating, but your child[ren] are due to spend time with their other parent, or family member such as a grandparent over the Easter holidays?
As coronavirus quickly develops from a local to a global threat, there are also increasing commercial concerns in relation to the ability of parties to perform contracts. In particular, the coronavirus outbreak is an illustration of the legal principles of force majeure and frustration which can, in the correct circumstances, excuse a party’s non-performance and/or […]
Further to our Coronavirus Employment Law Issues article issued recently, we now have the latest information and guidance concerning the employment law issues with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Self-isolation for coronavirus and Statutory Sick Pay The government have announced this morning that an employee who self-isolates will be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Whilst this is correct if […]
The Home Office has updated it’s guidance for individuals affected by travel restrictions associated with Coronavirus (COVID-19). Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. As this is because of circumstances beyond […]