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I work in construction. Can I still travel to work?

The CLC has also prepared a template letter that firms may adopt and issue to their workforce regarding travel to work. This can be accessed at download document.

The CLC’s current advice to those carrying out works on site is to carry out your own risk assessment on each site and determine whether or not it is safe to continue to work in accordance with the Public Health England instructions and the CLC Site Operating Procedures.  If it is not possible to work in accordance with the above they should not work.

Related FAQs

How often do MHFA qualifications need updating?

The recommendation is every 3 years, however it is recommended that MHFAs receive regular ongoing training and support.

What questions/factors should you look at to determine whether your procedure/policy in respect of MHFAs is or isn’t working?

It really depends on what your measure of success is! We would suggest regular wellbeing surveys – if the results of wellbeing surveys suggest that the culture is becoming more open, more psychologically safe, if people are asking for help or referring colleagues to MHFAs as a safe and effective pair of hands – these would be strong indicators of success.

Business support organisations

The Confederation of British Industry

“What you need to know about coronavirus and how it will impact your business”. This includes the very influential and highly regarded daily webinars hosted by Director General Dame Carolyn Fairburn.
https://www.cbi.org.uk/coronavirus-hub/

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum

Links to valuable resources collected by the Entrepreneurs’ Forum team as requested by its members and partner network, including on People, Finances, Physical and Mental Wellbeing, Technology and Leadership.
https://entrepreneursforum.net/support-hub

RTC North

Billed as containing “all the UK government information in one place”, this resource includes information on access to finance, employees, planning and leadership, Growth hub toolkits, and working from home.
https://www.rtcnorth.co.uk/covid-19/

Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI)

Businesses across the UK and around the world are sharing their expertise in everything from remote working to business planning. The team at NGI have collated some of the most useful resources, alongside its own content which is designed to help partner organisations and other businesses across North East England.
https://www.ngi.org.uk/covid-19-business-resources/

North East of England Chamber of Commerce

The NEECC brings together its latest advice and guidance for businesses, as well as some of its own FAQs.
https://www.neechamber.co.uk/covid-19

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber has pulled together information about how it and others in the area are supporting all businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.
https://www.gmchamber.co.uk/covid-19-coronavirus/

North East Growth Hub

The North East Growth Hub toolkit is intended to provide businesses with the latest advice, guidance and support available from government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered include:

  • Financial support available for businesses
  • Official guidance for employees, employers and businesses
  • Advice on effective home working
  • How to care for staff/suppliers/customers and prevent the spread of COVID-19

https://www.northeastgrowthhub.co.uk/toolkits/covid-19-coronavirus-toolkit

Pro-Manchester

Links to valuable resources collected by the Pro-Manchester team, including national Government support and advice, regional support and cyber security advice.

https://www.pro-manchester.co.uk/home/covid-19-support/

Innovation SuperNetwork

The Innovation SuperNetwork, a “network of networks”, detail on their website what their team of Innovation Managers are offering during these difficult times, as well as details of funding available, and what is being offered by their numerous partners.

https://supernetwork.org.uk/

What is the latest update from the Civil Court?

Almost two thirds of hearings conducted in the Civil Court will occur in person over the next few months as the Civil Court sees an influx in cases.

The Courts

In the Business & Property Courts, cases have been dealt with consistently since the start of the pandemic, except for trials that run for longer than 10 days in the Commercial & Admiralty Court. The Queen’s Bench Division and Administrative Court are also running as normal. If your case is listed for one of these courts, you do not need to be concerned that your case may take longer than anticipated, with conclusions still being reach at the normal rate.

Hearings

Since the start of the pandemic, most hearings have been conducted online through various platforms such as Skype for Business and Cloud Video Platform. The courts are of the view that remote hearings tend to take longer than those that are held in person. As a result, if your case is due to be held in person, the case may be heard in less time. HM Courts and Tribunals Service stated that:

Wherever possible we will look to facilitate face-to-face hearings, but our expectation is that remote hearings will continue to play an important role for the foreseeable future, given that social distancing will continue to limit courtroom capacity compared to pre-Covid levels.”

More courtrooms have become available since the start of the pandemic, resulting in more facilities for cases to be heard in person, which will have the aim of helping to rid of the backlog of cases, along with remote hearings being conducted too, which is a welcome step forward.

Approximately 300 additional support staff will be employed for remote hearings before the end of 2020, enabling better service with remote hearings. The Government has decided that some civil judges will have the option to extend operating hours for cases to be held in the evenings and on weekends too, which may be most suitable for small and fast-track claims, resulting in a potentially faster outcome. The efficiency of all the new measures are being monitored and changes are being implemented, such as increasing the capacity of the Small Claims Mediation Service.

Small Claims Mediation Service

With claims of a lower value, a high proportion of cases successfully settle outside of court, therefore, if you have a small claim, the mediation service may be suitable for your case. Mediation involves a trained impartial third party, with the parties to the case discuss the dispute with the assistance of the third party, aiming to reach a settlement. Now with the increased capacity, it may make the mediation service more accessible, meaning that an agreement can be reached more swiftly rather than waiting for the matter proceed to a hearing.

The courts have stated that:

We aim to increase capacity to accommodate 90% of parties who want mediation, rather than the current 40%. We are recruiting additional mediators and restructuring ways of working to achieve this.”

This is a positive shift for those with small and fast-track claims where legal costs ought to be kept to a minimum. Settling by mediation removes the need for trial costs, amongst other costs, and has additional benefits such as the matter being dealt with more amicably.

How should an employer handle personal information in relation to NHS Test and Trace?

Employers will be collecting and sharing health information. Health information is sensitive and higher data protection standards apply. Here are a few key pointers.

  • Update privacy notices to cover the new collection and sharing of employees’ information and provide these to the workforce. Be transparent and fair.
  • Identify the legal basis and condition for use of this information and put any required paperwork in place. The ICO guidance will help. For some conditions such as the employment condition, an Appropriate Policy Document (APD) will be required. The ICO has an APD template.
  • Only use the information for the purpose of managing the workforce during the pandemic.
  • Only collect or share information if it’s necessary – if it’s a targeted and proportionate way of achieving your purpose.
  • Make sure any health information collected and shared is accurate – there may be serious consequences if it’s not.
  • Work out how long the information must be kept for. Keep a record of that period and act on it at the appropriate time.
  • Security is very important – there may be malicious actors trying to trick employers and employees. Make sure employees know how to identify a genuine NHS Test and Trace contact. Keep the information secure. Use the ICO’s data sharing checklists** and keep a record of the disclosures made and why. Control external disclosures – only certain authorised members of staff should make them.
  • Make sure individuals can still exercise their data protection rights – that’s also very important. Keep data protection records up-to-date and ensure any exports of personal information outside the UK are compliant.
  • Before introducing employer-led testing like taking temperatures, thermal imaging or other potentially intrusive tests, work out if a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is required. It will be if the intended processing is ‘high risk’. If it is, then carry out a full DPIA. It will help address the issues systematically and mitigate risks.
  • All this demonstrates ‘accountability’ – it shows affected individuals and the ICO that the employer is complying with data protection requirements.

If you need further help, please visit the ICO’s data protection and coronavirus information hub or ask our data protection team.

** Please note that this link is to the ICO’s existing checklists and data sharing code of practice. We will update the link to the ICO’s new checklists after they are published.