Can I dismiss an employee who refuses to return to work?
Potentially. The first question is why the person is not able to return, as their individual circumstances will be very relevant in terms of whether they can be safely dismissed.
Employers should ask themselves 2 questions in this situation:
- Have I done everything I am required to do in order to make the workplace safe for the individual to return; and
- Is what the employee saying reasonable?
If the answer to question 1. is no then a dismissal is unlikely to be fair. However, even if the answer to question 1. is yes, then there is still question 2. to address. If the employee has reasonable grounds as to why they are unable to return to work, e.g. due to health issues, childcare responsibilities etc then the dismissal is unlikely to be fair. It is only if you can answer yes to question 1. and no to question 2. that you can have some confidence in the potential safety of the dismissal.
Dismissals based on objections to returning to work on health and safety grounds will very often be risky and are highly fact specific, therefore please contact one of the employment team for further advice prior to dismissal.
You had until 23 April 2020 to submit your return in order to be considered for eligibility.
Most rent suspension clauses in commercial property leases are unlikely to come to the assistance of the tenant. These clauses normally apply only where the premises has suffered substantial physical damage and are, as a consequence, incapable of being occupied, used or accessed. The coronavirus pandemic does not involve any physical damage to a property, loss from the crisis will be purely financial. Such losses then will not be covered by the landlord’s buildings insurance policy in a way that will allow a tenant to claim rent suspension.
Yes, you should submit a new visa application before your current visa expires.
The visa application is a two stage process:
- First you submit the online application and pay the fee
- Second you attend a visa application centre to enrol your biometrics and verify your passport.
Submitting a valid online application before your current visa expires secures your right to continue living and working in the UK, even after your current visa has expired.
Visa application centres across the world have been closed due to covid19 but are now mostly re-open to enable you to book an appointment to complete your application, albeit some are experiencing a backlog of applications.
The Business and Planning Act 2020 entered the statute books on 22 July 2020. Section 18 of the Act includes provisions for the extension of the date by which a reserved matters application must be submitted where the original date falls between 23 March 2020 and 31 December 2020. Where the original time limit for the submission of reserved matters is on or after 19 August 2020, the relevant conditions will be automatically read as requiring the reserved matters application to be submitted by 1 May 2021.
Where the original time limit for the submission of reserved matters is before 19 August 2020, an application will need to be made to the LPA for an Additional Environmental Approval (“AEA”), which the LPA must determine within 28 days otherwise the approval is deemed to be provided. The purpose of the AEA is to consider whether the environmental assessments carried out at the time of the original outline determination remain valid and up to date, and where that is not the case, the AEA will be refused. In such circumstances a new planning application will be required where an application is now out of time to comply with the original date for submission of reserved matters.
The NHS Test and Trace service is operated by the NHS in England to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Where an individual displays symptoms of coronavirus they can be tested to determine whether or not they have the disease. Those with the disease will then be contacted by NHS contact tracers and asked who they have come into close contract with.
Close contact is defined as:
- Face to face (within 1 metre)
- Spent more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of another person
- Travelled in a car or on a plane with another person
The contact tracer will then contact those people with whom the individual has come into close contact and tell them to self-isolate for 14 days.