How do I access the scheme?
Those who are eligible will be contacted directly by HMRC based on tax returns they have received. If you are eligible you will be asked to fill out an online application. HMRC will pay applicants directly.
State aid rules are contained in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (previously referred to as the Treaty of Rome). The State aid rules prohibit the use of state resources, or any public support with an economic value, which given selectively has the capacity to distort trade by favouring certain undertakings, or the production of certain goods, and which has the potential to affect trade between Member States. Where aid is present it must not be granted unless it has been specifically approved in advance by the European Commission or benefits from a general exemption to the rules.
In general, the rules apply to all State actions which might assist businesses including:
- “Soft” loans
- Selling to business at an undervalue
- Buying from business at an overvalue
If an employer is not put on notice that the circumstances of a worker or agency worker are such that they ought to be self-isolating, by either the worker or agency worker themselves or another member of staff, then there ought to be a reasonable excuse, and potentially, no fixed penalty notice will be issued.
The reality of these unprecedented times is that enforcement of health and safety legislation by the HSE (particularly through the criminal courts) in relation to Covid-19 is an extremely unlikely outcome.
The Government announced on 22 June 2020 that it would be making provisions to enable planning permissions that have lapsed since 23 March 2020, and those that are due to lapse before the end of 2020, to be automatically extended.
The Government’s detailed proposals are set out in section 17 of the Business and Planning Act 2020, which entered the statute books on 22 July 2020. If a relevant planning permission is subject to a condition which requires the development to be begun no later than between 19 August 2020 (when section 17 of the Business and Planning Act 2020 will come into effect) and 31 December 2020, the condition is automatically deemed to instead provide that the development must be begun no later than 1 May 2021.
The Act also makes provision for any conditions requiring development to be begun between 23 March 2020 and 19 August 20202 to be extended to 1 May 2021, although this is not automatic. Where the provisions have such retrospective effect, an application is required to the local planning authority. The local planning authority are only able to grant approval, however, if they are satisfied that any EIA and habitats assessments continue to be valid. Deemed approval provisions will apply if the local planning authority do not determine any application within 28 days. The local planning authority are not able to approve such applications after 31 December 2020 so applications should be made in good time in advance of this date. There is the possibility of an appeal against the local planning authority’s decision but notice of the appeal must be submitted before 31 December 2020.
The Act includes similar provisions in relation to both detailed and outline planning permissions.
Those individuals who are already exempt from the existing face covering obligations, will continue to be exempt from the new rules. These include:
- Those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability
- People for whom wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
- Anyone assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate