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Can employees on fixed-term contracts be furloughed?

Yes. Their contracts can be renewed or extended during the furlough period without breaking the terms of the scheme.

If the employee’s contract has not already expired, the contract can be extended or renewed. The employee may be furloughed provided that they were employed on or before 30 October 2020. You must also have made a RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.

If the employee’s contract expired on or after 23 September 2020, the employee can be re-employed and furloughed. Please note that the employee must have been employed by you on 23 September 2020 and you must have made a RTI submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.

 

Related FAQs

How do I remain compliant and cover any risk?

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/

What is the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus?

The Government has recently passed the Coronavirus Act 2020 in a response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, especially in relation to those facing the NHS during this time of crisis.  NHS Resolution worked closely with the Department for Health and Social Care to draft a clause within the Coronavirus Act providing indemnity for clinical negligence for any coronavirus related activity not currently covered by an existing arrangement.  In order to implement this clause, NHS Resolution has launched the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Coronavirus (“CNSC”).

It is intended that the CNSC will cover new contracts put in place for healthcare arrangements to respond to coronavirus, such as organisations supporting testing arrangements or Independent Contractors making agreements with NHS England and NHS Improvement to release capacity to the NHS.  Membership is not required for this scheme and the contracts entered into will automatically provide indemnity under the scheme.

The CNSC will not replace existing indemnity provisions made under the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (“CNST”) and it has been confirmed that the new Nightingale Hospitals will be covered by CNST rather than CNSC.  Similarly, NHS Resolution have confirmed that those doctors and nurses returning to practice from retirement, or those joining as students will be covered by the CNST or, where applicable the Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice (“CNSGP”).  The CNSC will not cover returning midwives to the profession, but the Royal College of Midwives have confirmed that they will extend all of the benefits of membership including Medical Malpractice Insurance to returning retired midwives.

For more information regarding this please click here.

What is the new Permitted Development Right for the construction of new dwellinghouses?

A new Permitted Development Right has been introduced by The Town and Country Planning (Permitted Development and Miscellaneous Amendments) (England) (Coronovirus) Regulations 2020 providing for the construction of new dwellinghouses on detached blocks of flats.

The new Right comes into force on 1 August 2020 and from this date development consisting of works for the construction of up to two additional storeys of new dwellinghouses immediately above the existing topmost residential storey which is a purpose-built, detached block of flats is permitted development.  The Right additionally covers specified associated works, the construction of fire escapes and ancillary structures, bin stores for example.

The Right is subject to detailed criteria being met and to a prior approval process to the Local Planning Authority who can consider the acceptability of the proposed development in a range of respects.  A link to the Regulations is here.

The Regulations additionally include a number of further amendments including additional rights for the holding of markets and for additional temporary uses of land for a time limited period.  They additionally include amendments to existing permitted development rights for the change of use of buildings to dwellinghouses through a requirement that there be adequate natural light in all habitable rooms.

Are the Courts still open and operating?

Yes, but the Courts have been temporarily restructured into three categories:

  1. Open courts (open for business including vital in person hearings)
  2. Staffed courts (for video and telephone hearings)
  3. Suspended courts (no hearings of any kind)

These changes have been effective from Monday 30 March 2020.

I hold a licence but can’t trade. Can I terminate it?

A licence to occupy premises is not an interest land and operates as a commercial contract between the parties that enter into it. Licences tend to be put in place to cover short periods and consequently they are generally a lot more flexible than commercial leasing arrangements. To that extent occupants under licences should review the contract to establish whether or not there are any provision allowing them to terminate on notice to the Licensor.

Occupants under licences that are granted for longer periods without the option to terminate may try to argue that the contract has frustrated because they are effectively unable to occupy.