What are the data protection implications of holding Covid-19 health data?
The ICO is providing new guidance to organisations regarding data protection and coronavirus, which can be accessed here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-and-coronavirus/
Information about the Covid-19 health status of individuals is special category data under the GDPR. This means it is high risk which has implications for how you use it, store it and keep it secure.
You will already hold health data about your employees as this is necessary to provide a safe, accessible place to work and to make reasonable adjustments to the workplace. You now need to make sure that the information you gather about your employees, visitors to your sites, customers and suppliers about Covid-19 is processed in accordance with data protection laws.
The recommendation is every 3 years, however it is recommended that MHFAs receive regular ongoing training and support.
Our advice to you here is simple. It will depend on the circumstances surrounding your debt but for the most part, unless it is crystal clear that there has been a debt outstanding long before Covid-19 and there was an inability to pay prior to the Covid situation we would recommend that you hold off issuing any further petitions until after the 31st December. Unless the criteria set out above is met, a judge is likely to exercise their discretion leniently and could dismiss the petition. This could also lead to cost consequences which would adversely affect you.
We are happy to discuss individual cases to assist creditors at this difficult time, however, generally any cases proceeding to petition would be the exception as opposed to the rule. Even if presenting a winding up petition is not available for now, there may still be other forms of legal proceedings that you can use to collect money owed to you, like county court proceedings.
The workplace will not revert to its pre-Covid-19 state overnight, with social distancing in the work place likely to remain in place for quite some time to come.
This could mean that businesses will need to think carefully about how their capacity will be impacted, and how this will affect their ability to perform contractual obligations.
For example, if a business has an outsourcing contract under which it has to perform a business process, or produce a particular output, will it be able to comply with contractual performance standards whilst social distancing is still in place? In the context of a manufacturing business, what will be the impact on production schedules and delivery dates? There might also be an impact on operating costs, for example if processes are changed and additional shifts are introduced – can these additional costs be sustained?
Businesses need to plan a safe system of work for their employees to ensure they comply with Health and Safety legislation, but they also need to consider how this will impact on their ability to perform pre-existing contractual obligations. Ultimately, contractual arrangements with customers might need to remain on a revised footing for a number of months.
Getting to a point where agreement is reached on allocation of additional costs and/or changes to key elements of a contract such as scope of work, performance standards and delivery date will require co-operation between contracting parties. Again, it is important that any variations that are agreed are recorded properly and follow the required contractual procedures.
- Start critical care treatment with a clear plan of how the treatment will address the diagnosis and lead to agreed outcomes.
- Review critical care treatment regularly and when the patient’s clinical condition changes.
- Stop critical care treatment when it is no longer considered able to achieve the desired outcomes. Record the decision and the discussion with family, carers and the patient (if possible).
- Delays in preparing and submitting applications to comply with pre-commencement conditions. In this respect there can be lengthy timescales gathering evidence to support applications to comply with pre-commencement conditions, ecology, contamination and archaeology are examples of matters which can require significant periods of survey work
- Following on from the above the ability to get required experts on the site necessary to undertake the required survey work
- Delays in the determination of applications to comply with pre-commencement conditions. In this respect whilst there are deemed discharge provisions/procedures concerning certain matters, the provisions cannot be used to discharge all types of conditions
- The ability to get people on site to undertake material operations
In the circumstances, it is advisable to start considering the implementation of the planning permission early and the earlier the better. Under current legislation whilst it is possible to vary conditions, albeit potentially leading to wider issues, it is not possible to extend the life of a planning permission meaning that lawful implementation is essential to avoid the loss of that permission.
If a planning permission is lost, amongst other things it may not be granted again or may not be granted on similar terms. In the circumstances, it is advisable to seek advice given the specific facts of the case to minimise the risk of a planning permission not being lawfully implemented and expiring.