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How can RPs carry out Person Centred FRAs/PEEPs on tenants within directly managed supported living units where the RP is not providing support and any floating support provider doesn’t see it as part of their responsibility?

There is no simple answer.

The NFCC guidance states:

“The person-centred fire risk assessment is intended only as a simple means for non-specialists who have suitable understanding of relevant fire risks to determine whether additional fire precautions might be needed. The person who carries out the person-centred fire risk assessment will depend on the circumstances of the housing and support provision. It can be carried out by those who regularly engage with the resident, with input from specialists where necessary. Assessments will normally be undertaken with residents themselves.

In sheltered housing with scheme managers, the scheme managers normally engage with residents on a routine basis, enabling residents who need a person-centred fire risk assessment to be identified. Many vulnerable residents will be in receipt of care, so enabling the care provider to identify residents in need of a person-centred fire risk assessment. Providers of regulated care are required to take into account risks to people from their wider environment, to take steps to help people ensure that they are dealt with by appropriate agencies, or to raise safeguarding alerts when this is appropriate. Where a ‘stay put’ strategy is adopted, there will be a need to identify residents who need assistance from the fire and rescue service to evacuate the building.

In supported housing, the number of residents in each property is usually quite small. This, and the nature of the care service normally provided, enables person-centred fire risk assessments to be carried out asa matter of course, when a resident first moves into the property.

Where additional fire precautions cannot be provided in the short term, the risk should be reduced as far as reasonably practicable and an adult at risk referral should be made to Adult Social Care.”

Ideally then the RP will need to engage with any care providers in order to conduct the PCRA and identify risk mitigation measures. If they are reluctant to do so, the RP should engage with the individual in any event in undertaking the assessment.

Related FAQs

Can I demand that my employees have the vaccine?

In most circumstances the answer will be no. It would be an infringement of their human rights. It could also be a criminal assault.

However where there is a high risk to employees of exposure to COVID-19, such as care homes and healthcare environments, you might be able to make it a requirement of their role to have the vaccine.

First, consider whether you need to have a blanket requirement covering all employees or whether only certain groups who work in the most high risk areas require the vaccine.

You will need to do a thorough risk assessment balancing the amount that the risk of exposure would be reduced against the interference with the employee’s human rights. Consideration will need to be given as to whether insisting on the vaccine is proportionate to the risk and whether other less invasive steps could be taken instead, such as maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask, washing hands.

Any requirement for employees to be vaccinated should be communicated clearly to employees and trade unions together with a clear explanation for why it is necessary.

What are the new Procurement Policy Notes (PPN)?

The Government has produced and published three new Procurement Policy Notes as a direct result of the ever changing Covid-19 environment.

PPN 01/20: Responding to COVID-19

The purpose of PPN 01/20 is to ensure that contracting authorities are able to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency, to allow them to respond to the pandemic efficiently.

This PPN provides guidance for the following circumstances:

  • Direct award due to extreme urgency (regulations 32(2)(c)) (click here to read our article regarding regulation 32)
  • Direct award due to an absence of competition or protection of exclusive rights
  • Call off from an existing framework agreement or dynamic purchasing system
  • Call for competition using a standard procedure with accelerated timescales
  • Extending or modifying a contract during its term

PPN 02/20: Supplier relief due to COVID-19

PPN 02/20 focuses predominantly on the supplier to assist in keeping supply chains open and ensuring that suppliers are kept financially sound during these unpredictable times.

This PPN provides guidance for the following circumstances:

  • Urgent reviews of contract portfolios and to update suppliers if they believe they are at risk
  • Put in place appropriate payment measure to support supplier cash flow
  • Where contract payments are based on ‘payment by results’ make payments based on previous invoices
  • Ask suppliers to act on a ‘open book’ basis and make cost data available to the contracting authority during this period
  • Ensure invoices submitted by suppliers are paid immediately on receipt

PPN 03/20: Use of Procurement Cards

The third guidance note PPN 03/20 relates to the use of procurement cards to increase efficiency and accelerate payment to suppliers.

This PPN provides the following advice and urges organisations to arrange with their procurement card provider to:

  • Increase a single transaction limit to £20,000 for key card holders
  • Raise monthly limits on spending with procurement cards to £100,000 for key card holders
  • Spend on procurement cards each month in excess of £100,000 should be permissible to meet business needs

Although the above advice has been provided, should these limits not be necessary, organisations should seek an appropriate transaction limit or monthly limit.

The PPN also advises that by 30 April 2020, in scope organisations should:

  • Ensure that a number of appropriate staff have the authority to use these cards
  • Open all relevant categories of spend to enable these cards to be used more widely
I have recently bought or sold a business. How will earn outs and deferred consideration be affected by coronavirus?

A common feature of corporate acquisitions is that part of the consideration is paid on deferred terms or by way of earn out over a period of years following completion. Where deferred consideration is payable, this is either on the basis that outstanding payments will be made on scheduled dates or, less usually, subject to certain agreed (typically financial) objectives being met. These objectives almost always relate to a period before completion of the deal and are dealt with as part of a completion accounts mechanism.

Can you ask employees for evidence of the requirement to self-isolate under the Test and Trace scheme?

Yes, you can ask to see any information/documentation sent to an employee informing them that they should self-isolate.

I am an executor and in the process of selling the deceased's property. Will I still be able to complete the sale and what if someone in the chain is unable to do so?

The Government published guidelines on 23 March 2020 concerning house sales.

Estate Agents have been required to close their offices and although staff are allowed to work from home they must not attend properties for any reason.

Therefore, if the property has not yet been put onto the market you will be unable to obtain a proper valuation at present. Also, restrictions on movement means that people must not view properties in person. Therefore you ought to delay marketing.

If you have found a buyer and the property is empty then the transaction can go ahead but you may experience delays in the transaction. For example, if your buyer needs a mortgage there will be a delay in getting a mortgage offer and even if it’s a cash purchase there are likely to be delays with Local Authority Searches.

You should discuss with your conveyancer whether to include special contract conditions. These could take into account what happens if the buyer or someone in the chain falls ill between exchange and completion and cannot move on the anticipated completion date.

If you have exchanged contracts the Government guidelines indicate that the sale of an empty property can go ahead to completion. However, if the contents of the property have not been removed you may have difficulty getting it cleared. Similarly, your buyer or someone else in the conveyancing chain may find that their removers are unable to move them. If this happens, you ought to discuss this with your conveyancer and your buyer as soon as possible to see if completion can be delayed to a later date.