How do I apply for an extension to Companies House?
The application is made via the Companies House website, and only takes a few minutes to complete. Companies House have indicated that the extension is “automatic and immediate” and will be for three months.
Having said that the extension is “automatic”, their website also says that Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may not be eligible for an extension.
If an extension is granted, it will not affect the due date for filing accounts in future years – so the deadline will revert to the usual date for the next accounting period.
The golden thread requirements will be retrospective, so will apply to existing buildings as well as new build. This is part of the reason for the Building Safety Regulator’s ‘get to know your building’ guidance referred to in the talk, with the link in the Powerpoint presentation. While the details of the golden thread requirement are still to be confirmed, now is a good time to start to gather as much information as can be obtained about existing buildings as possible in preparation. The Government guidance anticipates that the Principal Accountable Person will be responsible for developing and coordinating the golden thread for existing buildings.
If organisations don’t have a formal home working policy, then they should set out, as soon as possible, in clear terms, what is expected of employees from a data protection perspective when working from home. These might include:
- If someone is using their own device for remote working, ensuring that any devices that hold work-related information have up-to-date anti-virus software and that broadband connections have properly configured firewalls
- Reminding staff to contact the organisation’s IT department if they encounter any issues with home working, and not to try and resolve any issues themselves
- Reminding staff that they should notify relevant individuals within the organisation if they consider that there might have been a personal data breach. A breach will still be notifiable even if it does occur at home during the pandemic. These should be logged by the organisation in their data breach log in the normal way
- Ensuring staff lock their devices whenever they are not using them
- Where possible, working in a separate part of the home to family members
- Ensuring confidentiality of information – advising staff not to have phone calls where others are likely to hear the conversation. This might mean moving to a different room, closing the door, or arranging a call for a more convenient time. If employees have smart speakers, you may want to consider advising them to either turn these off, if they are working in the same room as it, or work in a different room
- Wherever possible, avoid taking hard copy documents home, and, if papers are taken home, never placing those papers in a bin or using a home shredder – any such papers should be shredded back at the office in the usual way
- Locking any papers in a safe place
- Not using social media platforms (unless already used and permitted by the organisation) to discuss work matters
- Advising extra caution with incoming emails as at times such as this there may be an increased risk of fraud, email hacking, spear phishing etc.
- Avoiding information being sent to personal email accounts (for example, so it can then be printed at home)
- Reminding staff of your organisation’s Information Security policies, procedures and protocols. These could be emailed to all staff working from home or they could be directed to such documents on the organisation’s intranet, for example
Organisations should also ensure that their remote access systems can cope with increased demand.
Whilst the ICO appreciates the unprecedented nature of this pandemic, it does not mean that organisations can forget about their obligations as controllers of personal data. If a major data security breach were to happen, there is still the possibility of enforcement action where the organisation didn’t put in place good risk mitigation measures.
We have a specialist team of data protection lawyers here at Ward Hadaway, and would be happy to discuss any data protection concerns or issues that you might have.
- Working with PFI providers to get contingency plans up to date
- If a PFI provider is struggling to achieve service delivery requirements due to Covid-19, then local arrangements should be put in place to:
- maintain unitary charge payments
- revise contract requirements/standards
moderating payment and performance regimes where appropriate.
- In any event, you may wish to review and adjust your requirements to reflect the current situation. It is possible that some requirements can be relaxed, whereas others need to be tightened. For example, there may be an increased need for cleaning and maintenance in certain areas of your PFI premises or the layout of the premises and/or room uses may have temporarily changed. With staff illness and shortage likely to be an issue, you may also wish to consider if the resource can be moved from one area to another to help maintain essential services.
- When putting local bespoke arrangements into place it is vital that:
- Contract requirements or performance standards are not relaxed to the point where health and safety are put at risk.
- It is made clear that the arrangements are temporary and that matters will return to normal as soon as the Covid-19 emergency is over. Indeed the guidance note makes clear that if assets temporarily close they should be kept in such condition that they can be immediately up and running when this emergency is over. In such instances, likely a basic level of maintenance and security will therefore be required as a minimum.
- Remember that employees will also be making contributions on any reduced wage under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The amount contributed may be less, but the contribution rate will be the same, unless the following applies.
- Employees may reduce their DC employee contributions if their scheme rules allow them to do so, but no further than the statutory minimum if the scheme qualifies as the employer’s auto-enrolment vehicle.
- Employees might choose to opt-out or cease active membership of their scheme, which might cause a spike in administration at a time when administrators are likely to be understaffed. It is important that employers remember they must not do anything to encourage or induce employees from leaving an auto-enrolment vehicle as this may constitute an offence.
- Employees who leave their scheme in this way will have to be re-enrolled in due course as and when required by law.
- For DB schemes, specific considerations apply (see the last section, below).
This may be a good idea – whatever name they are given, it is essential that MHFAs are empowered to take a proactive approach to organisational mental health and that they have the bandwidth to be able to discharge their responsibilities. The name should reflect the culture of the organisation, the key aspect is awareness and accessibility – identifying a name for your company that supports this is key.