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What is parental alienation?

Parental alienation is where one parent adversely influences their child in a way that causes the child to develop hostile feelings towards the other parent for no valid reason.

Examples of behaviour that can lead to parental alienation can range from frowning or ignoring the child whenever the other parent is mentioned, to one parent bad mouthing the other parent. Behaviour that can cause parental alienation is in essence, anything that causes the child to perceive the other parent in a negative light, such as one parent encouraging the child to be disrespectful towards or behave badly towards the other parent, lying to the child to make the other parent appear in a negative light or not passing on telephone messages or gifts.

It should be noted that the court has absolute discretion to make any order it sees as necessary when considering the arrangements for children and therefore if the court determines that there has been parental alienation it can make an order to alter the amount of time that the child spends with each parent, or it can in exceptional cases make an order changing which parent the child lives with.

Related FAQs

Is the Land Registry functioning?

Yes. The Land Registry published a new service update on 14 May, here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-impact-on-hm-land-registrys-service

Importantly, the Land Registry will process registrations where documents have been executed using the Mercury signing approach:

For land registration purposes, a signature page will need to be signed in pen and witnessed in person (not by a video call). The signature will then need to be captured, with a scanner or a camera, to produce a PDF, JPEG or other suitable copy of the signed signature page. Each party sends a single email to their conveyancer to which is attached the final agreed copy of the document and the copy of the signed signature page.

To summarise some further points:

  • Most information enquiries are experiencing minimal delays
  • Registrations of new titles, such as on sales of part or new leases, and applications to update existing titles, are experiencing more significant delays but can be expedited via the expedite service
  • Cancellation dates for replying to requisitions are extended until further notice
  • Access to free documents on the land registry portal has been extended to 90 days from completion of the transaction
  • Identity requirements have been relaxed. The Land Registry will now raise a requisition for identity documents, and not cancel applications
  • Requests for extensions to a notice or objection period will be granted if lawfully possible
  • Land charges searches can be submitted electronically with PDF documents
What happens if an apprentice is made redundant?

Where an apprentice is made redundant the training provider should support the apprentice in seeking alternative employment within a 12 week period. ESFA will support this process. Where an apprentice is placed on unpaid leave or the nature of their employment no longer supports their apprenticeship, it should be considered whether a break in learning would be appropriate.

An employer who wishes to make an apprentice redundant should seek advice on the process to be followed for this.

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 is the most important thing employers should do from a health and safety perspective?

Conduct risk assessments! Your RA must cover every foreseeable risk arising from a return to the workplace, including the impact of reduced staff levels and any operational/administrative changes necessary to ensure social distancing.

Appropriate steps should be taken to manage and mitigate identified risks. Where this is not possible, businesses need to decide whether certain activities are necessary for the business to operate or if they can be temporarily put on hold.
Keep a close eye on the comprehensive Government guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

In particular focus on social distancing and workplace health measures. This guidance will evolve over time and you will need to be sure that your organisation is sticking to it AND reviewing and updating its risk assessment.

Is there anything I need to put in place for their return? What are my responsibilities?

The basics of health and safety law requires that employers take “all reasonably practicable steps” to ensure workers’ safety and that a suitable and sufficient assessment of risk is undertaken. It is the individual assessment of Covid-19 risk in each workplace that will be central. Employers will be required to conduct a robust risk assessment and then, following the hierarchy of controls, put robust processes and safeguards in place to address those risks.

UK government guidance and HSE advice is continually evolving, which in practice means that any risk assessment will need to be reviewed very regularly as that guidance develops. There is flexibility for individual businesses within the overall government framework and there will need to be a process of evaluation to ensure that the measures in place continue to meet the requirements.

The starting point of avoid, eliminate and control means looking at individuals continuing to work from home where possible (the fewer the number of people back in the workplace the lower the risk), and if not look at risk management, which leads to administrative controls – i.e. changing work practices before ending up at PPE. PPE is generally seen as control of last resort but in practice – facemasks, disposable gloves and constant prompts to wash hands for example.

In terms of changing working practices, employers should be thinking about:

  • the workspace and how this is laid layout
  • how do we make sure it is kept clean and hygienic
  • how do we keep people apart
  • how can we use toilets, canteens or other shared spaces/facilities safely
  • how do we promote and enable higher levels of workplace hygiene
  • if we are going to rely on PPE – can we get it, and is it suitable
  • what about limiting customer interactions
  • will there be enough first aiders on site
  • can we manage fire safety, deliveries etc
  • what about higher risk workers
  • should work tools and equipment be allocated on an individual basis to employees.

These decisions need to be recorded and clearly communicated to staff members.