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There is a court order in place in relation to access to my child. What should I do?

If there is a court order then this should be complied with, unless you are unable to do so because the parent with whom the child lives is self-isolating, the other parent is self-isolating or the children are showing symptoms of the virus. If you are unable to comply with the court order, the other parent should be notified immediately in writing and proposals put forward for how they can see and speak to their children by telephone, FaceTime, Zoom or some other method.

If any necessary variations to the arrangements cannot be agreed then you should contact us for legal advice.

Related FAQs

Can I use my Contingent Business Interruption insurance to make a claim?

An extension to the traditional business interruption insurance, “contingent business interruption insurance” often covers areas such as business interruption due to damage to property of a customer or suppliers. Nonetheless, proving loss can be problematic.

Claims for loss of use of the property may be possible as a result of forced business closure due to lockdown.  Accordingly policies should be carefully reviewed to see if cover is available.

What are the special considerations for DB schemes?
  • Before any agreed reduction in wages, actual changes to earning patterns (loss of overtime, for example) may impact the pensionable salary as defined under the scheme rules, with knock-on effects to a number of benefit calculations, such as death in service benefits.
  • Contractual changes to member salaries may adversely impact accrued benefits as the final salary figure may be reduced to a greater or lesser extent depending on the duration of furlough and the severity of any reductions in wage, and hence reductions may be difficult to agree with staff.
  • Reducing employer contributions will be subject to a number of the same considerations applicable to a DC scheme listed above. There will also be a need to change the rules and interact with the trustees, although it may be possible to override the rules with a direct contractual agreement with members.
  • Reducing employee contributions will also depend on the scheme rules, particularly as to whether there are any discretionary powers to suspend contributions, or pensionable service.
  • The rules will need to be considered for any unexpected consequences of furlough: depending on the wording of the rules, furlough may or may not be considered a leave of absence and may or may not have the effect of terminating pensionable service. This could have far-reaching consequences.
  • In particular, if the workforce’s pensionable service is inadvertently terminated as opposed to suspended in accordance with any relevant rule, this could trigger a statutory employer debt on an employer participating in a multi-employer scheme, if pensionable service continues for employees of other employers. This sort of issue is unlikely to be spotted until after the event, and therefore difficult to untangle. However, an employer should be able to take advantage of the “period of grace” provisions by notifying the trustees of its intention to re-admit employees to pensionable service within the next 12 months.
  • Clearly the impact of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on DB schemes is complex and legal advice should be sought before any changes are considered.
How do I guard against contractor insolvency in the construction industry?

It is almost impossible to completely guard against the risks associated with contractor insolvency, but there are some steps which can assist in mitigating and managing the risks involved.   To be in the best possible position, it is worth considering the following at the outset of any project:

  • Check the contractor’s financial position – particularly the specific company which will enter into the building contract, as the employer’s rights will be against this company rather than the business as a whole
  • Take legal advice to ensure that the building contract is properly drafted with appropriate provisions to deal with an insolvency event
  • Consider requiring a performance bond and/or parent company guarantee (each serve slightly different purposes)
  • Obtain collateral warranties from the consultants and sub-contractors involved, so that there are contractual rights against other parties if the contractor is no longer able to meet claims
  • Consider requiring retention bonds, advance payment bonds or vesting certificates if necessary
  • Project bank accounts and escrow accounts can also provide some further assurances for the parties involved
What support did the Chancellor announce for employers to be attracted to take on apprentices?

The Chancellor announced that employers will be given £2,000 to employ apprentices and £1,500 for apprentices over the age of 25 for each apprentice they hire from 1 August 2020 to 31 January 2021. These payments will be in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provide for new 16-18 year old apprentices.

He also announced that employers would be given £1,000 for taking on trainees in response to the traineeship scheme being extended.

How do I apply for CBILS?

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.