How does a Public Body amend its contracts to enable continued payment to contractors?
The latest Cabinet Office guidance published Monday 6 April 2020 titled ‘Procurement Policy Note PPN 02/20: Additional guidance. FAQs and model terms for construction’ provides model deeds of variation for JCT and NEC3 contracts to provide for such payments to be made. As the Cabinet Office guidance states, legal advice is likely to be required to make sure that the model variations work with your specific contracts. Please contact one of our construction specialists if you need advice and assistance.
For a copy of the guidance note click here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878338/PPN_02_20._Additional_guidance__FAQS_and_model_terms_for_construction.pdf
The definition of a relevant establishment is a question of fact for an Employment Tribunal. Guidance from case law says that ‘establishment’ should be interpreted very broadly (so as to avoid employers escaping the need to collectively consult), and may consist of:
- A distinct entity
- With a certain degree of permanence and stability
- Which is assigned to perform one or more tasks
- Which has a workforce, technical means and a certain organisational structure to allow it to do so
However, there is no need for it to have the following:
- Legal, economic, financial, administrative or technological autonomy
- A management which can independently effect collective redundancies
- Geographical separation from the other units and facilities of the undertaking
£370 million will be available to support small and medium-sized charities who are at the heart of local communities and which are making a big difference during the outbreak, including those delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice. These monies will be distributed by organisations including the National Lottery Community Fund for those in England. It is understood these monies will need to be applied for. The application system for the National Lottery Community Fund grant pot is expected to be operational within a period of weeks.
The FCA’s test case in the Supreme Court ruled overwhelmingly in favour of policyholders. However, business interruption cover generally has the prerequisite of physical damage or loss to the property (or in some circumstances, the presence of a notifiable disease at the property or within a certain radius of it), to recover losses caused by the interruption to your business. The onus is on insurers to re-assess those claims which are impacted by the Supreme Court’s judgment and to make contact with the policyholders regarding next steps. If you have not already made a claim, in the first instance the terms of any policy should be checked carefully to see whether business interruption cover is provided.
As long as you can demonstrate that you have exercised reasonable care in determining status you have discharged your obligations in that respect. However, if you are unable to demonstrate this, you may as the end user client be responsible for the contractor’s tax and NIC’s.
- The Pensions Regulator has published regularly-updated guidance for employers.
- It will take “a proportionate and risk-based approach towards enforcement decisions … with the aim of supporting both employers and savers”. In other words, the law remains the same, but the Regulator will show restraint in enforcement against breaches.