Are Public Bodies able to continue to pay contractors (and their supply chains) at risk as a result of Covid-19?
Yes: The Cabinet Office has published a number of Procurement Policy Notes to provide instructions to Public Bodies to enable payments to continue to be made to at risk suppliers (and their supply chains) who have been affected by Covid-19. Copies of this guidance can be obtained from the Government website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19
You should speak to your advisors. We do not know presently how existing petitions will be dealt with by the Court. We do know that if any winding up order is made (based on a petition presented after 27 April), it could be found to be void and a creditor may face challenges. Even for petitions presented before 27th April, there is a risk that the Court will not be keen to make a winding up order so it is important that you look at the facts of your debt and weigh up all of the factors before deciding how to proceed.
Parties still need to comply with the various Protocols that apply and will be expected to exchange information in the usual way. Court proceedings can be issued electronically.
There is not a magic number. It depends on the nature of the organisation, the work carried out, the organisational structure, the geographical spread, working patterns and conditions. We would give specific advice personalised to the organisation and taking all these and other factors in to consideration. There is no such things as too many MHFAs!
The formal Government position relating to construction sites is that construction work should continue on site if it can be conducted safely, and the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, has written an open letter to the UK Construction Industry thanking it for all its help in the current crisis. The letter also confirms the Government’s current official policy of keeping construction sites open. The full text of the letter can be downloaded.
This also remains the formal position of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) with the qualification that sites should operate in accordance with Public Health England instructions; without compromising health and safety; and in accordance with the Site Operating Procedures issued last week by the CLC.
In practice, many construction sites have been closed by national developers and house builders due to difficulties with staffing and supply chain, and practical issues with compliance with the social distancing and site operating procedures.
The Scottish Government has recently issued guidance that all non-essential construction sites, which includes housing, office, leisure, schools and retail sites, must close to reduce the risk of the spread of Covid-19.
Yes probably in our opinion, even if you are not considering taking any formal action against them. Ultimately if a doctor is suspended this could be considered as causing them reputational damage and it therefore is correct that they are afforded the protections (in particular in relation to keeping exclusion/suspension under review) of MHPS. Under Part V of MHPS there is provision for excluding practitioners if they are a danger to patients and they refuse to recognise it or if they refuse to co-operate. It doesn’t refer to a particular risk for the practitioner themselves, but it would appear logical that it would apply.