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Even if the Government pays the wages of my employees who are not working, there is still not enough money to pay the bills. What should I do?

Click here for details of what sort of things directors should consider if the business is insolvent .

There may be additional sources of funding available in addition to the funding made available to help pay the wages.

If you still have concerns that your business might not be able to survive you should take advice as soon as possible from our team of experts or an insolvency or restructuring practitioner. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the business is bound to fail but your advisers will be able to explore with you different ways to navigate through the current difficulties faced by the business and any restructuring/refinancing opportunities based on their extensive experience of helping companies that are facing financial problems. If ultimately saving the business in its current form is not possible, your advisors can help you ensure that you do everything you can to protect your employees and creditors whilst also ensuring that you comply with your duties as a director.

Related FAQs

PODCAST: What are the legal implications I need to think about if I cancel an event?

Head of Commercial, Colin Hewitt, speaks with the team at NewcastleGateshead Initiative about the complexities of event cancellations and the associated legal implications.

Click here to listen to the full podcast.

 

If an employee works with vulnerable people who are at high risk of catching coronavirus, can the employer require them to limit their activities outside of work?

It is unlikely that an employer can place such a requirement on staff without infringing the employee’s privacy. If the employee is acting in accordance with the rules, limiting their activity would likely be considered unreasonable.

Do I have to leave the UK to switch visas?

“Switching” is where you can transfer from one visa category to another without leaving the UK. However, in many instances where an individual wants to change from one visa category to another, they have to leave the UK and apply from the country they normally reside in.

There are currently limited concessions in place due to the pandemic where you are able to switch visas from within the UK instead of applying from overseas.  These are regularly updated and so please contact us for further information.

What guidance has the CMA issued about how it expects businesses to behave in response to the global pandemic?

On 30th April 2020, the CMA issued a guidance note setting out its views about how the law operates in relation to refunds.

Where a contract is not performed as agreed, the CMA considers that in most cases, consumer protection law will generally allow consumers to obtain a refund.

This includes the following situations:

  • Where a business has cancelled a contract without providing any of the promised goods or services
  • Where no service is provided by a business, for example because this is prevented by Government public health measures
  • A consumer cancels, or is prevented from receiving any services, because Government public health measures mean they are not allowed to use the services.

In the CMA’s view, this will usually apply even where the consumer has paid what the business says is a non-refundable deposit or advance payment.

This positon reflects the CMA’s previous guidance which they had issued in relation to the requirement of fairness in consumer contracts under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which was that a clause in a contract that gives a blanket entitlement to a trader to cancel a contract and retain deposits paid is likely to be unfair, and therefore unenforceable – it would be unfair to a consumer to lose their deposit if the contract is terminated without any fault on their part, and if they had received no benefit for the payments made.

The CMA’s latest guidance therefore confirms their view that the Covid-19 outbreak does not change the basic rights of the consumer, and that they should not have to pay for goods or services that they do not receive.

How do I carry out a Right to Work check during the Covid-19 pandemic?

The Home Office has provided useful guidance on how to carry out a compliant Right to Work check using the temporary adjustments in place for Covid-19. In summary:

  • You will need to ask the job applicant to send you digital copies of their original documents, for example by scan, photo or mobile app.
  • Hold a video call with the job applicant and ask them to show their original documents on camera so you can check them against the digital copies you have already received.
  • On the date you made the check, record that you have done this by using the following wording “adjusted check undertaken on [insert date] due to Covid-19”. Evidence of right to work checks still need to be held securely either in paper or electronic format.
  • You can use the online RTW checking service where the job applicant has Biometric Residence Permit or pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. You should do this whilst on the video call with the applicant/employee, and you must first obtain their permission to view their details on this scheme.