What is the new Permitted Development Right for restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments?
A new Permitted Development Right has been introduced providing restaurants and cafes, drinking establishments with expanded food provision to temporarily provide takeaway food. The new right came into force on 24 March 2020 and expires on 23 March 2021. The right is subject to three conditions:
- The developer must notify the local planning authority if the building and any land within its curtilage is being used, or will be used, for the provision of takeaway food at any time during the relevant period
- Change of use to the provision of takeaway food under the Right, does not affect the use class which the building and any land within its curtilage had before the change of use
- If the developer changes use to the provision of takeaway food under the Right, the use of the building and any land within its curtilage reverts to its previous lawful use when the Right expires or, if earlier, when the developer ceases to provide takeaway food.
Alcohol will still be subject to the same licensing requirements. At this stage, it is not clear how the Right will interact with any current planning conditions placed on an establishment. Enforcement however remains discretionary. A link to Statutory Instrument 2020 No.330 is below.
Employees continue to accrue leave during furlough (whether they are on full furlough or flexible furlough) and can take leave during periods of Flexible Furlough (so long as you top the grant up to full pay for any days taken as holiday).
Government guidance has been updated to state that “Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period.” If a period of furlough happens to coincide with an employee’s holiday then you should ensure that there are business grounds to support furlough being used in that instance so that it isn’t just being used as a means to fund holiday utilisation.
Lenders implementing the Scheme can assist in a number of ways, including:
- Term loans
- Invoice finance
- Asset finance facilities
The maximum value available under the scheme is £5m, with repayment terms of up to six years for term loans and asset finance. Overdrafts and invoice finance facilities will be available for up to three years.
Employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from the coronavirus can continue to be furloughed. For example, employees that need to look after children can be furloughed, as you have previously submitted a claim for them in relation to a furlough period of at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June.
As more people return to work, there is an increased chance of more parents having childcare issues until Schools are fully open. However, they can’t be placed on furlough unless they had been on it before. So it would likely be unpaid leave, unless the government amends the scheme to grant an exemption.
If it is not possible to find work for the employee to do at home, you do have the option of putting the employee on furlough.
There are four criteria which must be satisfied if an agreement is to be considered exempt:
- It must improve production or distribution, or promoting technical or economic progress – the guidance suggests that cooperation ensuring essential goods and services can be made available to the public, or an important sub-set of the public such as key workers, will satisfy this criterion.
- It must allow consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit – the guidance suggests this will be the case where the action prevents or reduces shortages.
- It must not impose on the undertakings concerned restrictions which are not indispensable to the attainment of the above benefits – the guidance suggests this will be the case where the cooperation is the only reasonable option due to the urgency of the crisis and where the cooperation is temporary in nature.
- It must not afford the undertakings concerned the possibility of eliminating competition – therefore the parties must endeavour to retain competition in respect of the products (in particular price competition).