Are there any other useful resources about apprenticeships during the coronavirus outbreak?
On 6 April 2020 the Government published further guidance to clarify the position with apprentices during the Covid-19 outbreak. The full guidance is available from here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-apprenticeship-programme-response/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-apprentices-employers-training-providers-end-point-assessment-organisations-and-external-quality-assurance-pro
The guidance includes details of the measures implemented by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) in order to provide flexibility in delivering apprenticeships in current circumstances. This includes breaks in learnings, delayed end point assessments and alternative arrangements for end point assessments. These measures apply immediately and until further notice.
There are a number of FAQs within the Government guidance which deal with common queries. The guidance contains some technical provisions and we recommend that you take advice if you are furloughing or making apprentices redundant. If you have any additional queries on the practicalities of implementing the ESFA measures please get in touch.
Further guidance changes to apprenticeships due to coronavirus can be found here.
a. You should first try and discuss this with your ex-partner, either directly or through a Solicitor, to see whether an amicable agreement can be reached.
If you contribute to private school fees voluntarily, it is a matter for you and your ex-partner to resolve the issue with the school, depending whose name is on the bills. You may need to speak to the children’s school to see whether they can offer any reductions or remedies in relation to those payments. If you contribute to the school fees as part of a Court Order, you will need to ensure you do not breach the Order and you may need to consider applying for a variation of the Order if you can no longer afford the payments or reach a compromise agreement with your ex-partner.
You can use the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) calculator (https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance) to recalculate your child maintenance obligations using your amended income. This recalculation can then be used in your discussions and you can formally instruct the CMS to verify that calculation if you and your ex-partner cannot reach an agreement about it. If you have already formally involved the CMS, they do carry out an annual review of child maintenance payments, however, they will also recalculate payments outside of the review period where there has been a change in income of 25% or more. We expect the CMS will be experiencing a high volume of enquiries at the present time so anticipate there may be delays in them assisting.
The position on child maintenance payments included in a Court Order are slightly more complicated and how you approach this will depend on how much time has passed since the date of the Order.
Those who are eligible will be contacted directly by HMRC based on tax returns they have received. If you are eligible you will be asked to fill out an online application. HMRC will pay applicants directly.
It would apply if the contractor uses an intermediary to provide their services or labour and they would be deemed to be an employee or office holder for tax purposes if they were hired directly by the end user client rather than via the intermediary PSC. This would of course require an assessment of employment status for tax purposes.
Contractors who are not taxed in the UK and supply their services exclusively from outside of the UK are unaffected.
If IR35 applies, tax and NIC’s should be deducted under PAYE by the PSC. In reality this has not been happening so a major reform of the regime was due to be implemented in April 2020. The changes were postponed by one year and are due to take effect from 6 April 2021.
“Within IR35” means a contractor arrangement is caught by IR35 and the individual should be taxed as an employee.
“Outside IR35” means a contractor arrangement is not caught by IR35 and the contractor status is fine.
In making a Traffic Regulation Order (“TRO”) local authorities must follow the regulations, which include provisions relating to publicity requiring publishing the notice in a local newspaper, making the orders available for public inspection at a Council’s offices (which are likely to be closed to the public during this time) and where considered appropriate, posting the notices on the streets.
In recognition of the potential difficulties with complying with the publicity requirements, the Department for Transport has issued guidance as to how a Council may still publicise a TRO. The guidance recognises that not everyone may be able to access local newspapers online and suggests that people and organisations could be adequately informed by means of letter, leaflet drops, or local radio. In respect of making the relevant document available at the Council’s offices, the guidance suggests that notices could be placed online or outside offices with brief details and including a telephone number or email to use to request a hard copy of the documents.
While the guidance is helpful, it is important to note that it is guidance only and that the regulations have not been relaxed. Authorities will still need to demonstrate that they have satisfied all of the publicity arrangements in respect of the TRO.
The change in the law has the potential to place much greater financial risks on suppliers, making it more difficult to exit a contract with a customer of doubtful solvency. This will place increased emphasis on appropriate financial due diligence and credit checking before entering into supply contracts.
In addition to the obvious issues around financial risk, suppliers will also need to think carefully about how their contracts are drafted. For example, any form of right that is drafted so as to be triggered on customer insolvency will clearly be problematic. These could include:
- Retention of Title provisions, which are commonly drafted so that the right to enter premises and retake possession of the goods is triggered on insolvency;
- Provisions for brand protection, which seek to control how goods are dealt with on termination of the contract.
This is potentially a very significant development for many businesses. We would strongly recommend specialist advice be obtained so that:
- businesses understand the potential increased risks faced; and
- where possible, contracts are updated so that appropriate protections are maintained.