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Due to the lockdown and government guidelines, my partner and I have moved in to the house I own. Is there anything I need to be worried about?

Where a couple is not married, they have limited rights in relation to each other’s assets and these mainly relate to rights over property assets. There is complex Trust law which governs whether or not your partner could claim an interest in your property and it generally relates to where someone has invested in renovations on the property or promises have been made. If this is something you are concerned about, you and your partner could enter in to a Cohabitation Agreement. These Agreements can set out various matters, including who will pay the bills and where each of you would live if you separated. Most importantly, they can record your intentions about who owns the property and exclude any rights your partner would have against your property.

Related FAQs

Court proceedings haven’t yet been issued – what should I do?

Parties still need to comply with the various Protocols that apply and will be expected to exchange information in the usual way. Court proceedings can be issued electronically.

Preparing for April 2021 – what do you need to do?
  • Audit
    • Identify your off-payroll contractors
    • Determine the status of off-payroll contractors
      • CEST – HMRC employment status checker for tax purposes
  • Communication – liaise with affected workforce
  • Contracts – get them compliant
  • Consider the Ward Hadaway toolkit
Can a Tier 2 sponsored worker start working before their visa has been granted?

Ordinarily, no but during the pandemic, yes.

You can start employing a Tier 2 or 5 worker who is in the UK before their visa application has been decided if the following conditions have been met.

  • You have assigned the worker a Certificate of Sponsorship
  • They have made an in time visa application (i.e. they made their new visa application before their current leave expired) and they have provided you with evidence of this
  • The job you employ them in is the same as the one stated on their Certificate of Sponsorship.

Sponsors should be aware that they should carry out right to work checks before the individual starts undertaking work for them and if their visa application is eventually rejected, they must stop employing them.

Although sponsors will not be able to record migrant activity on the SMS about these workers, the Home Office has confirmed that any necessary reports should still be made on the sponsor’s internal systems.

If the worker is outside the UK, they may be able to start work for you remotely subject to the relevant employment, tax and immigration requirements in that country.

Should you rely upon Statutory Demands issued after 1 March to present a Winding Up petition?

No. No action need be taken in relation to the demand but we would advise against presentation of a petition based upon any Statutory Demand issued between 1 March 2020 and the end of the restrictions. As you may be aware, with Winding Up there is no requirement to issue a Statutory Demand notice before proceeding so this is unlikely to create too many issues – click here to see whether you should issue petitions on other grounds.

There is nothing to prevent statutory demands being served at this time. However, there may be limited benefit as it cannot form the basis of a future winding up petition.

One of my employees has contracted Covid-19, should I report it under RIDDOR?

You must only make a report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:

  • An unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence
  • A worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease
  • A worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.