Do I still have to pay business rates?
The Chancellor has announced that all retail and hospitality firms will be exempt from paying business rates for 12 months in a bid to combat the financial damage caused by the outbreak.
This covers pubs, restaurants and shops. After initially covering businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, this has now been extended to cover firms of any size, “irrespective of rateable value.”
Smaller businesses have also been offered the option of a £25,000 grant to cope with the impact of coronavirus.
Since the announcement, the Government has also introduced a wide-ranging package of targeted measures to provide financial support to businesses during the coronavirus crisis.
Yes, if there is a contractual right to do so. Furloughed employees who start work with another employer during this time must inform HMRC that they have another job.
The Bill allows the Secretary of State to make regulations to temporarily extend various filing date deadlines for companies. These include deadlines for filings accounts, confirmation statements, charges register, director and secretary appointments and resignations. The extended period must not exceed 42 days where the existing period is up to 21 days, or 12 months where the existing period is 3, 6 or 9 months.
Mortuaries are a sui generis use, unless ancillary to some other use of land, a hospital for example.
Sui generis uses are not within any Use Class. Consequently planning permission is required for the:
- Change in the use to a sui generis use
- Subsequently for the change in the use to an alternative use, whether that be another sui generis use or a use within a Use Class
Acknowledging the above, if the scale of the use is above de minimis, planning permission is likely to be required to change the use of a warehouse or factory unit into a temporary mortuary.
Should planning control be breached, a local planning authority must decide whether to take enforcement action or not. That enforcement is discretionary was recently reiterated in a Ministerial Statement issued on 13 March 2020 a link to which is below.
Depending on the form of the enforcement action, there could be a right of appeal.
If there is a court order then this should be complied with, unless you are unable to do so because the parent with whom the child lives is self-isolating, the other parent is self-isolating or the children are showing symptoms of the virus. If you are unable to comply with the court order, the other parent should be notified immediately in writing and proposals put forward for how they can see and speak to their children by telephone, FaceTime, Zoom or some other method.
If any necessary variations to the arrangements cannot be agreed then you should contact us for legal advice.
Whilst many employees may now have the resources and equipment to work from home, an employee may struggle to effectively work from home for a number of reasons. For example, an employee may not have a suitable working environment where they can work without being disturbed or alternatively, working from home for prolonged periods of time may be having a detrimental impact on the employee’s mental well-being.
In circumstances such as these, employers must carry out a careful assessment. Unfortunately, there is not any specific guidance as to when an individual cannot ‘reasonably’ work from home – it is likely that each case will be fact specific.
In relation to employees who are struggling with their mental well-being, employers owe their employees a duty of care. It is crucial that procedures are in place which will enable an employer to recognise the signs of stress as early as possible. In the circumstances, it may be appropriate to allow an employee to attend their place of work if this would help alleviate work-related stress or to prevent mental health issues.