How long does it take to make a claim?
Each case is different depending on the injury and the time it takes to recover from the injury. There is a 3 year limitation period for most claims and a claim must be brought within 3 years.
Often a serious claim will take longer than 3 years and court proceedings will be issued to protect the claim.
On 4 May 2020, the Government launched the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), which is intended to cut red tape to enable smaller businesses to access finance quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.
The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000.
The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there are no any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
The length of the loan is 6 years, but it can be repaid early without penalty. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months.
Under the scheme, lenders are not permitted to take any form of personal guarantee or take recovery action over a borrower’s personal assets (such as their main home or personal vehicle).
Businesses can apply for a BBLS loan if it:
- is based in the UK
- was established before 1 March 2020, and
- has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus.
Any business regarded as being a business in difficulty on 31 December 2019 will need to confirm that it is complying with additional state aid restrictions.
Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:
- banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- public-sector bodies, and
- state-funded primary and secondary schools.
Businesses already claiming under the following schemes cannot apply although it is possible to convert an existing loan under such schemes into BBLS:
- Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
- Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)
- COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility.
There are 11 lenders participating in the scheme including many of the main retail banks, which are listed on the British Business Bank’s website (www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/bounce-back-loans/for-businesses-and-advisors/). Applicants are directed to approach a suitable lender via the lender’s website. If an applicant is declined by a lender, they can apply to other lenders in the scheme.
The lender will ask applicants to fill in a short online application form and self-declare that they are eligible. All lending decisions remain fully delegated to the accredited lenders.
- Is the individual held out as being employed by the business by having a company email address, uniform, how would they introduce themselves to customers?
- Is the contractor restricted from working for other organisations without the consent of the end user client?
- Length of engagement:
- Is the contractor engaged to work on a specific project for a defined period? Or are they engaged for an indefinite period with no reference to a specific task or project?
- Are there regular fixed payments or is payment on completion of specific task or commission based? Is the contractor entitled to benefits or bonuses?
- Does the contractor provide their own equipment and materials to provide the services?
- Financial risk:
- Is the contractor personally responsible for any loss arising from their work in performing the services? Will they have to rectify unsatisfactory work at their own time and expense? Will they have the opportunity to profit from the success of a project?
- Certain workers will become “furloughed workers”.
- Furloughed workers cannot carry out any work for their employer while designated as furloughed, or a linked or associated organisation but they can do voluntary work as long as they are not providing services for or generating revenue for the employer or a linked or associated organisation.
- A furloughed worker can be furloughed part time and work the rest of the time.
- The furlough period begins when the employee stops work, not when agreement is reached.
- If furloughed employees are expected to do online training while furloughed they must receive the National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage for the time spent training.
- Workers must be told of and agree to this change in writing. This written agreement must be kept for five years as part of the scheme. The guidance has confirmed that collective agreement reached between an employer and a trade union on furloughing staff is acceptable for the purposes of making a claim under the scheme.
- However it should also be noted that this is a change in status and pay (if pay is not being topped up) and therefore subject to the usual employment law rules on changing terms and conditions.
- Changes to the contract must be made by agreement with the worker and the government guidance is clear that to be eligible for the subsidy employers must document their communication with the employee on being furloughed.
- You must confirm in writing that an employee has been furloughed, but that the employee does not need to provide a written response. Please note that this is for the purposes of making a claim under the scheme. Any reduction in pay must be agreed in writing under normal employment law principles and failure to do so may result in Employment Tribunal claims. You should not rely on a term in the employment contract to effect this change. We can advise you on how to document this properly.
- Employers must also keep a record of the agreement for at least 5 years.
- If employers have collective bargaining arrangements in place, they must agree this change with the union in the usual way.
- Collective consultation obligations may be triggered if there are 20 or more employees that are proposed to be dismissed and re-engaged in order to effect the change to terms to be furloughed. You should take advice if you think this may apply.
Yes, you can ask to see any information/documentation sent to an employee informing them that they should self-isolate.
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.