I’m a housing provider. How do I continue to manage disrepair during the coronavirus outbreak?
The practicalities and processes regarding disrepair claims will undoubtedly be affected. Housing providers will have to adopt a risk-based approach and consider government guidance to handle claims going forward. Key points to consider are:
- Compliance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Housing Conditions Claims (particularly disclosure)
- The practicalities of inspection
- Non-urgent repairs
CBILS is made available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders and partners, which are listed on their website (https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils/accredited-lenders/).
Businesses should initially approach their own lender and only consider other lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need. Note, not every accredited lender can provide every type of finance listed.
Some banks/lenders are not included in the list of accredited lenders which appears to mean that they cannot provide support through the Scheme. We understand from the British Business Bank that further lenders are applying to be accredited but that this may take a little time to process. If the provider of your senior debt is not on the accredited list you should consider approaching the bank which provides your day to day account banking services.
If you wish or need to access the Scheme via an alternative funder the process may take longer as usual on-boarding and KYC processes will need to be undertaken.
This free Getting back to business webinar was held on Wednesday 6th May. On this video, employment partner Paul Scope and associate Flora Mewies looked at your options if you need to flex your employee resource or reduce cost without reducing headcount. This may apply across the business or to particular functions. They discussed a range of options when the furlough scheme comes to an end, including: lay off, short time working, reduced hours, reduced pay and other ways to be flexible.
They also discussed the pros and cons of each option, and cover what you will need to undertake with each of these routes.
Yes. You should be able to furlough a suspended employee subject to all other eligibility requirements however we recommend that you take advice on this before doing so.
The Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme will repay employers the SSP paid to current or former employees and will be available from 26 May 2020. See here.
The scheme covers all types of employment contracts and employers will be eligible to claim if they:
- Are claiming for an employee who is eligible for sick pay due to coronavirus
- Had a payroll scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020
- Had fewer than 250 employees on 28 February 2020
The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first qualifying day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either:
- have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms
- cannot work because they are self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms
- are shielding and have a letter from the NHS or a GP telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks
- have been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
- they have been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery
You can claim for periods of sickness starting on or after:
- 13 March 2020 – if your employee had coronavirus or the symptoms or is self-isolating because someone they live with has symptoms; or
- 16 April 2020 – if your employee was shielding because of coronavirus.
- 28 May 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS or public health bodies that they’ve come into contact with someone with coronavirus
- 26 August 2020 – if your employee has been notified by the NHS to self-isolate before surgery
Employees do not have to give you a doctor’s fit note for you to make a claim. But you can ask them to give you either:
- an isolation note from NHS 111 – if they are self-isolating and cannot work because of coronavirus
- the NHS or GP letter telling them to stay at home for at least 12 weeks because they’re at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus
- the evidence from the NHS or public health body requiring them to self-isolate
You must keep the following records in relation to a claim you make under the scheme for three years:
- The reason for the employee’s absence
- Details of each period the employee could not work, including start and end dates
- Details of the SSP qualifying days when the employee could not work
- National insurance numbers for each employee you have paid SSP to
You’ll need to print or save your state aid declaration (from your claim summary) and keep this until 31 December 2024.
On 18 April 2020, it was announced that an exception to the current stay in possession proceedings and ban on all evictions has been made to allow possession orders to be made against trespassers.
This means land owners can take action to remove unauthorised persons occupying their land. Trespassers include: squatters; travellers; failed successors of secure tenancies; and licensees whose licences have been terminated.
Further, the automatic stay to possession proceedings currently imposed no longer applies to applications for interim possession orders meaning any persons found to be “squatting” on land without permission may again be subject to an order requiring them to leave your premises within 24 hours of service of that order.