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What agreements will the CMA choose not to take enforcement action in respect of?

CMA guidance suggests that it will not take enforcement action in respect of agreements which:

  • Are appropriate and necessary to avoid a shortage, or ensure security, of supply
  • Are clearly in the public interest
  • Contribute to the benefit or wellbeing of consumers
  • Deal with critical issues that arise as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Last no longer than is necessary to deal with these critical issues

Related FAQs

Due to the lockdown and government guidelines, my partner and I have moved in to the house I own. Is there anything I need to be worried about?

Where a couple is not married, they have limited rights in relation to each other’s assets and these mainly relate to rights over property assets. There is complex Trust law which governs whether or not your partner could claim an interest in your property and it generally relates to where someone has invested in renovations on the property or promises have been made. If this is something you are concerned about, you and your partner could enter in to a Cohabitation Agreement. These Agreements can set out various matters, including who will pay the bills and where each of you would live if you separated. Most importantly, they can record your intentions about who owns the property and exclude any rights your partner would have against your property.

Can charities furlough their employees?

Hopefully, further guidance will provide additional clarification on this, but it is difficult to see how a charity whose operations have been significantly curtailed because of the Covid-19 restrictions, cannot furlough employees and access the scheme, in particular where they have several different income streams. For example if a charity’s retail or fundraising operations have been significantly curtailed due to the restrictions, then it would appear unfair for it not to able to rely on the furlough scheme to assist in the funding of the employment costs associated with this part of the charity.

However, it might be prudent, where there are services that are publicly funded and employees working within those services cannot undertake their normal work, to consider if they can do different roles to work on Covid-19 activities. If there is no such work available then the guidance does appear to allow the furloughing of employees and such organisations to access the scheme.

In our experience, the funding streams and work undertaken by the organisations that could fall into the third category identified above can be exceptionally diverse and we would strongly recommend that you take advice before making such decisions about furloughing employees.

If an employee has had a coronavirus test, can we require them to disclose evidence of their test results?

Obtaining an employee’s Covid-19 test result will amount to processing personal data for the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR) and information about an employee’s health is a special category of data (sensitive personal data under the Data Processing Act 2018 (DPA)).

In accordance with the GDPR and DPA, there must be lawful grounds for processing such information. Most employers rely on employees’ consent to obtain medical information and process sensitive personal data and if the employee is unwilling to give consent, you will not normally be entitled to the information.

Special category data can be processed lawfully if it is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the data controller. Employers may be able to require an employee to disclose their Covid-19 test if there is a substantial public interest, such as ensuring that the employee self-isolate if they have a positive test. However, there is a risk that this measure could be considered disproportionate particularly if it is enforced on all employees as a blanket measure.

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
When does Flexible Furlough start?

The Flexible Furlough Scheme was introduced from 1 July 2020 and is due to come to an end on 30 September 2021.