ONLINE EVENT: Global Clinic: Covid-19 and International Trade
Hosted by The North East England Chamber of Commerce, this webinar discussed practical advice on Covid-19 and the specific challenges for International Trade.
Partner Damien Charlton along with Andrew Needham,from Haines Watts and Grant Murray from XE Finance, provided an update on the challenges and potential solutions in their field, as well as a look forward for the “New Normal”.
To watch the full recording, please click here or to view the slides, please click here.
- On admission to hospital, all adults should be assessed for frailty, irrespective of their age and Covid-19 status. Regard should be had to any comorbidities and underlying health conditions.
- If a patient is identified as potentially having Covid-19, the UK Government guidance on infection prevention and control measures should be followed.
- If Covid-19 is then diagnosed in someone who is not isolated from admission or presentation, the UK Government guidance on actions required when a case was not diagnosed on admission should be followed.
This is something which is certainly on the Government’s radar as there is currently a Bill being heard in Parliament about making MHFAs a legal requirement for workplaces. It is still in the very early stages and therefore it is not clear at this stage what the outcome will be. What is clear is that this is an area which is being taken very seriously and it would not be surprising if measures were put in place regarding MHFAs in the workplace.
For the purposes of collective consultation, making someone redundant and/or changing terms and conditions of employment, by termination and re-engagement, is also classed as a dismissal by reason of redundancy and so has the exact same consultation requirements.
The Commission has provided guidance as to measures which Member States can introduce without notification. These include:
- Measures which apply to all businesses within a Member State (for example the furloughing measures introduced by the UK Government)
- Measures providing support direct to consumers
- Measures which are already exempt from the notification requirement (discussed further below).
To respond to the crisis the European Commission has also issued a temporary framework to provide a basis for emergency aid to be notified for approval. The framework is initially in place until 31 December 2020. The Commission continues to keep this under review and has twice widened its scope to allow more types of aid to be notified. The type of measures covered include:
- The provision of guarantees (including guarantees for 100% of loans)
- The provision of loans at low interest rates, at zero interest rates or subordinated to senior debt
- Measures to support liquidity needs or to alleviate difficulties caused by the current crisis
- Measures to recapitalise businesses
- Measures to assist sectors hit particularly hard by the current crisis (eg transport)
- Measures targeted at COVID-19 such as research and development or production of products related to tackling the virus
The Commission has approved a UK Government “umbrella” notification to allow UK public authorities to adopt the measures permitted by the Commission framework. Therefore public authorities in the UK can use the Framework without notifying individual measures or schemes to the Commission.
The duty is to inform and consult appropriate representatives of the “affected employees”.
Note that the term “affected employees” means those who may be “affected by the proposed dismissals or who may be affected by measures taken in connection with those dismissals”. The term extends beyond those immediately at risk of dismissal to include those affected by measures associated with the redundancies.
“Appropriate representatives” can be:
- The Trade Union (if recognised)
- (For any roles not covered by collective recognition) any existing standing body of elected or appointed employee representatives (if already in place)
- Employee representatives, who are elected specifically for redundancy consultation