Court proceedings have been issued. What happens to the court timetable?
The parties to litigation should still take the steps they have been ordered to take and comply with any Orders made by the court. If for any reason it looks as if a direction cannot be complied with because of the Covid-19 virus then an extension of time can be agreed with the other party (up to 28 days) or through the court. We are aware that Orders have been made extending the time for certain steps to be taken by 56 days.
It has now changed. Instead of being 3 weeks, it is now technically any period. However, 7 days is the minimum claim period you can now make.
It would be prudent to take legal advice early in relation to any issue you foresee in performing a contract. This will allow you to:
- Ensure that initial contact with your counterparty is framed in the correct way
- Ensure that any variations are fully documented so that both parties are fully protected
As we move to look at re-opening businesses and getting people back into the workplace there is work to be done by employers, firstly in planning how they are going to do this, and secondly, communicating those plans to staff. The only way in which businesses are going to be able to manage the transition back to some form of normality is by speaking to their staff and re-assuring them about the measures that will be put in place to safeguard their health and safety in order to enable them to return. Any successful return to work will need to based on carefully thought out plans and providing re-assurances to employees that necessary action is being taken.
Employers will be focusing on:
- How do I get my workforce back safely, and
- How do I give my workforce the confidence to return.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announce new guidance in light of coronavirus.
The ICO is providing new guidance to organisations regarding data protection and coronavirus, which can be accessed here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-coronavirus/
The ICO has stated the following:
“Data protection is not a barrier to increased and different types of homeworking. During the pandemic, staff may work from home more frequently than usual and they can use their own device or communications equipment. Data protection law doesn’t prevent that, but you’ll need to consider the same kinds of security measures for homeworking that you’d use in normal circumstances.”
Whether you work from home or in the office, you still need to comply with data protection laws. While you need to process personal data with the same care you use in the office, the home working environment throws up specific data protection concerns particularly in respect of data security. You should make sure you have a home working policy which deals with data protection and these data security issues.
Organisations must ensure that, for staff who can work from home, their obligations in respect of processing personal data are clearly communicated. Organisations may already have a home working policy – if this is the case, then this should be reviewed to ensure it remains relevant and up-to-date for practices during this pandemic.
HM Treasury have no current plans to pause the collection of apprenticeship levy payments from employers, therefore levy-paying employers must continue to make payments. There is also no plan to extend the 24 month period allowed to spend levy funds.