Can I still progress with stopping up applications?
We are working with many of our clients to progress with stopping up applications in order to divert/stop up highways and public rights of way affecting development sites. Due to lockdown restrictions the Department for Transport stalled the progress of applications because they were unable to comply with the statutory publicity requirements. We have very recently been contacted by the Department for Transport casework team who have confirmed that the stopping up/diversion applications can now be progressed. We are aware that Councils across the country are also now progressing with applications. Please contact us if you require any advice/assistance in respect of your application.
State aid rules are contained in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (previously referred to as the Treaty of Rome). The State aid rules prohibit the use of state resources, or any public support with an economic value, which given selectively has the capacity to distort trade by favouring certain undertakings, or the production of certain goods, and which has the potential to affect trade between Member States. Where aid is present it must not be granted unless it has been specifically approved in advance by the European Commission or benefits from a general exemption to the rules.
In general, the rules apply to all State actions which might assist businesses including:
- “Soft” loans
- Selling to business at an undervalue
- Buying from business at an overvalue
The reaction from NCVO is that this is an important first step. However, it will not stop well run charities from closing and others will look very different in a few months’ time.
- Trusts should allow for telephone advice rather than face-to-face review from critical care when clinically appropriate.
- Hospitals should discuss the sharing of resources and the transfer of patients between units, including units in other hospitals, to ensure the best use of critical care within the NHS.
Please note, the above is intended to provide a summary of the key recommendations which emerge from this guidance. Access to the full guidance can be found here.
Employees with visas should be treated consistently with the wider workforce. When their furlough leave ends, they should return to work and their pay should be reinstated. If you agree a pay cut or reduction in working hours, you need to ensure that sponsored workers are still earning above the minimum salary for their role and working in excess of the minimum number of hours (see above).
The flexible furlough scheme is now in place and can be used for employees who have previously been furloughed for a consecutive period of at least three weeks. The flexible furlough scheme remains in place until 31 October 2020.
The financial implications of having to repay all deposits and advance payments could be very serious for some businesses. As an alternative to a refund, many are offering customers the opportunity to re-book at a later date, or a voucher that can be redeemed against a subsequent booking.
The CMA’s view on this practice is that consumers can in many situations be offered alternatives of this type, but they should not be “misled or pressured” into accepting this. Their view is that a refund should be an option that is just as clearly and easily available. The CMA also points out that any restrictions that apply to credits, vouchers, re-booking or re-scheduling, such as the period in which credits must be used or services re-booked, must also be fair and made clear to consumers.
The full CMA guidance re “The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, consumer contracts, cancellation and refunds” can be found here.