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I’m a doctor. Should I work outside my field of practice during the pandemic?

Whilst it is acknowledged that doctors may be working in unfamiliar circumstances or surroundings, or in clinical areas outside their usual practice. Doctors should consider the best course of action to take in these circumstances by utilising the following:

  • What is within their knowledge and skills
  • What support other members of the healthcare team could offer
  • What will be best for the individual patient given available options
  • The protection and needs of all patients they have a responsibility towards
  • Minimising the risk of transmission and protecting their health.

Related FAQs

What is the new process for assessing status under IR35?

The end user client will be responsible for assessing if the contractor is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. It is required to take reasonable care in carrying out the assessments.

When an assessment is carried out the outcome must be confirmed to the contractor with accompanying reasons in a Status Determination Statement (SDS). This SDS must be provided to the contractor before making payment to them. It must also be provided to the agency if there is one in the chain (more on this later).

The end user client must have a dispute resolution procedure to enable to the contractor or agency to appeal the assessment outcome.

Is it possible to apply for a grant of probate at the moment?

Yes. The system for Probate Applications has moved on-line and continues to be available as well as by post. However, if you need to complete an Inheritance Tax Return IHT400 you are likely to experience problems collating information due to delays in many organisations being able to provide you with current values while their offices are closed and staff working remotely. Property valuations will be particularly problematic where surveyors or valuers are unable to attend properties to undertake non-urgent work. If you cannot wait, you must use your best endeavours to be as accurate as possible as regards the information you provide in the IHT400 and follow up by providing HMRC with actual values as soon as you can do so. HM Courts and Tribunal Service is however warning that delays can be expected at this time.

Does Force Majeure apply to the leasing of commercial property?

Some commercial tenants have queried whether the current situation is a force majeure which may allow it to terminate the lease. Clauses which allow a party to terminate a lease for a force majeure event or, to put it another way, an “act of God”, are however extremely rare in modern commercial leases. Even if there is such a provision in your lease, it would need to be drafted to apply to an outbreak of disease.

How is IR35 changing?

The current position is that the PSC is responsible for assessing whether IR35 applies. This current regime has been difficult to police by HMRC and HMRC considers there is widespread flouting of the rules by contractors.

From April 2021 the responsibility for assessing whether IR35 applies will shift to the end user/client (with the exception of ‘small’ companies) which will require an assessment to be carried out on a contract by contract basis. HMRC anticipates that this will be easier to monitor and that end user businesses will be more compliant.

The reformed regime will apply to payments made on or after 6 April 2021 for services carried out on or after this date.

What is Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS“) is open for applications to provide small businesses with a loan of up to £5m to assist with the Covid-19 outbreak. The Scheme is aimed at businesses who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, and who otherwise would be denied support from lenders, to be supported by a Government backed guarantee. The Scheme will initially run for six months with the possibility to be extended where required, so businesses should only approach a lender under the Scheme as and when they require assistance.