Are there steps to ensure they will have access to an open register (BSR) & building safety assessments etc?
The Act should make it easier for residents to obtain relevant information. It includes an obligation for the Principal Accountable Person to prepare a strategy for promoting the participation of residents, including the information to be provided to them and consultations about relevant decisions. The strategy must be provided to residents, and there will be provision for residents to be able to request information and copies of documents from the Principal Accountable Person. The type of information and the form in which it is to be provided will be set out in secondary legislation in due course, but the explanatory notes anticipate that it will include:
- Full current and historical fire risk assessments•Planned maintenance and repair schedules
- The outcome of building safety inspection checks
- Information on how assets in the building are managed
- Details of preventative measures
- Details of fire protection measures and the fire strategy for the building
- Information on the maintenance of fire safety systems
- Structural assessments
- Planned and historical changes to the building
Data on properties, and people, has never been more important.
Given that compliance is at risk here, such a decision must be made by the Board to ensure good governance. Board approval should be sought and recorded for the approach the organisation is taking.
It is essential that you continue to record your data on compliance and report to your board at all times, and that there is a clear audit trail for issues with access, and if appropriate to the Regulator. Access issues as a result of self-isolation should be readily identifiable.
Operatives need to be provided with the tools to operate in as safe a way as possible:
- Checklist of questions to ascertain occupant’s current health
- Protective equipment (masks, gloves, over clothing)
The Gas Safe website is a useful resource for updates: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/help-and-advice/covid-19-advice-and-guidance/
If the debts owed to you pre-date Covid-19 and your debtor seemed unable to pay well before the Covid-19 pandemic took place, it is entirely possible that you will be able to present a petition on the grounds that the debtor would have been unable to pay its debts even if the Covid-19 had no effect on its financial position. We do not yet have any reliable precedent as to how the Courts are likely to deal with such cases. Whether you are likely to succeed will depend on the exact circumstances of the debt and your debtor. There has been one case decided in August 2020 where the Court concluded that Covid-19 did not have a financial effect upon the debtor and that the circumstances which gave rise to the petition had arisen long before Covid and would have occurred in any event. A winding up order was made in that case. What we do know about the court’s approach is that the purpose of the Act is to allow viable companies to trade through the current times and the Court is likely to set the bar high.
Please contact us if there a debt you would like to discuss. Even if presenting a winding up petition is not available for now, there may still be other forms of legal proceedings that you can use to collect money owed to you, like county court proceedings.
With another lock-down in force in England, it has been confirmed that the courts will remain open. This is different to the first lockdown in March 2020, in which the majority of courts were closed and most face to face hearings did not take place. Hopefully, this new lock-down measure will ensure that cases are still being heard at a steady rate, and there should not be a backlog for your case to be dealt with.
Lord Chancellor Robert Buckland QC MP emphasised the importance of maintaining safety during the new measures: “Our courts & tribunals continue to be an essential public service, served by essential workers and meeting Covid-secure standards endorsed by public health officials. With the use of remote hearings wherever appropriate, this vital work can and should continue.”
A large sum of £110m has been spent in recent months to make courts safe and to ensure that trials should go ahead where necessary. As a result of the expenditure, hearings can now still take place both in person, whilst adhering to the rules, as well as remotely. Your case may be heard in court if it is deemed as being “necessary in the interest of justice”.
Precautionary measures, such as social distancing, will still be in place, with Judges and magistrates ensuring that this happens.
Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon commented: “The next few weeks will present difficulties in all jurisdictions. But as before judges, magistrates, staff, the legal profession and others involved in the system will meet them and ensure that the administration of justice continues to function in the public interest.”
Endorsing bodies are still processing applications for these visa types and endorsements are still being issued. You usually have to apply for your visa within 3 months of receipt of your endorsement. In most cases you will still be able to submit your application online within this timeframe however it will not be completed as visa application centres across the world are closed. If you cannot apply because you haven’t been able to travel and your endorsement has expired, you may still be eligible for a visa. You should make your application as planned and UKVI will consider all applications on a case by case basis.
An obvious cost cutting measure is to reduce salaries, either temporarily or permanently. If you are to seek a reduction in salaries, this should be done fairly – either across the board or by selecting teams/individuals based on objective business reasons.
Note that this cannot be imposed without significant risk. Without agreement, this would need fair selection and consultation.