What is the NICE guidance around clinical decision-making?
- Be alert to the fact that guidance on treating Covid-19 may change with emerging knowledge/scientific data and this may require subsequent modifications to treatment.
- Critical care staff should support healthcare professionals who do not routinely work in critical care but need to do so.
The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) issued guidance mid-April confirming that you can move to a friend’s address for several days to “cool off” following an argument at home. You should strongly consider either yourself or your spouse moving elsewhere where children are involved as it prevents the children from witnessing conflict within the home, at what is already an emotionally charged time for them. Nevertheless, you should also consider and take legal advice on the financial implications of either of you or your partner moving out and how contact with the children is going to be promoted with both parents, if suitable. The Government Guidance has confirmed that children can be moved between households if they have separated parents.
It is still possible to issue Divorce proceedings and much of the process has now been taken online. The main divorce suit is dealt with separately to the separation of financial assets and children arrangements, which can often take much longer to review and discuss. While staff shortages may mean slower turn-around times there is no reason to suspect that a divorce will not otherwise go ahead as anticipated. Once coronavirus has passed, it is likely that divorce rates will spike and there will be an increased demand on the Court system, so your divorce process may take longer if you delay filing your divorce.
It is also still possible to issue Court Applications regarding any financial settlements or children arrangements, however, the Court system was already under significant pressure before coronavirus, so the pandemic will only add to that and we expect Court processes to significantly be slower in those areas.
Court Applications should in any event be used as a last resort and there are alternative dispute resolution processes available which you should consider, including Arbitration and Mediation. Family lawyers are continuing to advise and assist individuals, manage their separations and can provide information about the options available, using alternative methods of communication such as Teams, Skype or Zoom for clients. Understandably, speaking aloud may be difficult in circumstances where you are not able to get any private time away from your spouse due to you being in lockdown and so email correspondence may be the most appropriate method of communication.
- It is important to have a clear paper trail for any agreed reduction in salary, and hence any reduction in the amount of contributions. However, the contribution rates (as opposed to the amounts) should be the same as normal, and hence all processes and software should function as per normal and, amongst other things, remain compliant with auto-enrolment employer duties.
- However, if the period of affected contributions does not overlap precisely with the period of reduced salary, for example because of different cut-off dates, there may well be instances of non-compliance with auto-enrolment employer duties at the beginning as well as at the end of the period covered by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
- Accordingly, where an employer takes advantage of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, good communication with the persons responsible for pensions administration and detailed record-keeping are essential to prevent non-compliances in the short-term and confusion in the long term.
Ultimately closing a service will be a decision that is taken at the highest level and that decision will depend on risk appetite. Often these types of higher risk are mitigated by way of insurance but that still depends on an insurer being willing to accept that risk. This decision will depend on accepting a known risk and its consequences.
The first point to note is that it is the position as at 14 February 2022 which is relevant, as whether or not a lease is a ‘qualifying lease’ for the purposes of recovering costs under the Building Safety Act was effectively frozen at that time.
If a leaseholder owned more than three properties in the UK (and the property in question was not their principal home) at that time, then the lease will not be a qualifying lease. The protections under the Act which prevent or restrict the landlord’s ability to recover the cost of remedial works through the service charge will not therefore apply to that lease (save potentially for the provision that costs cannot be recovered where the landlord is responsible for the defects, which does not expressly refer to qualifying leases).
The lack of a searchable database to assess how many properties a leaseholder has in the UK is however one of the difficulties to be resolved in this regard, as there is currently no way of searching the Land Registry to obtain a list of properties owned by one individual. The guidance appears to rely on the leaseholder completing the leaseholder deed of certificate being open and honest in this regard, and that deed of certificate being passed onto subsequent owners. Making false representations or failing to disclose required information in the deed of certificate may be a criminal offence, although reliance on this to discourage mis-reporting is clearly less satisfactory than having a searchable register.
As their employer, you have an overriding duty to provide a safe system of work. The Trust would not be able to run a defence to say that an employee “waived their rights” and chose to continue to work. Provided the decision around restricting duties has been carefully thought out, a full risk assessment undertaken and the employee has been truly consulted about the impact on them, then the decision taken will be a reasonable management instruction. Failing to follow that reasonable management instruction could amount to a disciplinary offence.