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What is the reaction to the funding?

The reaction from NCVO is that this is an important first step.  However, it will not stop well run charities from closing and others will look very different in a few months’ time.

Related FAQs

What tips can you share for remote mediations?

Remote mediations have become increasingly popular as a way of settling a dispute before it goes to court. There are a number of ways in which you can mediate remotely, but the most common platform is Zoom, due to its easy-to-use nature and the ability to have ‘break-out rooms’. We have answered some FAQs and set out a quick guide to remote mediations below.

What is remote mediation?

  • Mediation is a form of assisted negotiation, in which a neutral 3rd party mediator seeks to help the parties resolve their dispute. The process on the day is managed by the mediator and adopts certain key ground-rules. These are that discussions are private and cannot be referred to in court; and the process is entirely voluntary and non-binding, if and until a settlement is finalised. In the current pandemic mediations are now usually conducted remotely by video conference, instead of an in-person meeting.
  • The structure of the mediation will depend on the matters that are in dispute. Before the mediation the parties will exchange their views in position papers and prepare a bundle of the key documents.
  • Generally the parties will start the mediation in the same ‘room’ as the mediator, where they will be invited to set out their positions. The mediator will then put the parties into ‘break-out rooms’. These rooms serve as your own private ‘room’ which the mediator will join. You will therefore be able to have private discussions with the mediator without the other side being able to hear those discussions. The mediator will go between the ‘break-out rooms’ to discuss a party’s position further in order to attempt to reach a settlement.
  • If an agreement is reached, at the end of the mediation the Settlement Agreement will be drafted. The Settlement Agreement works as an enforceable contract. The Settlement Agreement will outline the details of what has been agreed and the intentions of the parties, such as any actions required, payments to be made and appropriate timescales. Each party will sign the Settlement Agreement, which can be done electronically.
  • It is not always possible to reach a resolution/agreement by mediation, but the mediator serves as an impartial third party in order to aid the process. If no agreement has been reached, the mediation may still prove useful as it will give you a better understanding of the other side’s position.

What should I do before the mediation to prepare?

  • Ensure that you are in an area with minimal distractions. Mediation is a confidential process, so make sure that you are in a private location.
  • Ensure that your microphone and camera work and that you have access to the online platform that will be used. We send our clients a link to the website in advance so that this can be tested out.
  • Consider any agreed dress code and dress appropriately.
  • Have a copy of the mediation bundle to hand, whether in hard or soft copy, and be aware of what documents are in there.

Any tips on what to do on the day?

  • Remember to make sure that before you have any private conversations with the mediator you are in your break-out room.
  • You may contact the mediator whilst being in the break-out room. On Zoom there is an ‘Ask for Help’ button on the screen. The mediator will then be prompted to join your room.
  • Ensure that you inform the mediator if you or others enter/leave the room. It is important that the mediator knows who is present.
  • Be mindful of body language and facial expressions as these can appear more enhanced on the screen, and they are easier to pick up in a remote mediation.
  • Stay calm and focussed at all times. When you have a dispute it is sometimes tricky to maintain a calm manner, but this is always vital in attempting to reach an agreement.
  • When engaging with the mediator avoid any external distractions such as text messages and emails, as it may come across that you are not interested in the process. It is important to pay attention so that you do not miss any dialogue which may be key to any agreement that is reached.
  • When you are in the break-out room without the mediator make sure that you take breaks and keep refreshed, as virtual mediations can be tiring.
Do I still have to pay business rates?

The Chancellor has announced that all retail and hospitality firms will be exempt from paying business rates for 12 months in a bid to combat the financial damage caused by the outbreak.

This covers pubs, restaurants and shops. After initially covering businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, this has now been extended to cover firms of any size, “irrespective of rateable value.”

Smaller businesses have also been offered the option of a £25,000 grant to cope with the impact of coronavirus.

Since the announcement, the Government has also introduced a wide-ranging package of targeted measures to provide financial support to businesses during the coronavirus crisis.

VIDEO: Redundancy exercises in the new normal – what should we do differently?

Following our webinars on all aspects of furlough and alternatives to redundancy, it is an unfortunate fact that a number of organisations are likely, sooner or later, to be forced to make some employees redundant.

Our employment experts Jamie Gamble and Roisin Patton take you through the key aspects of conducting cost reduction redundancies, but with a focus on aspects that make this exercise different this time. For instance:

  • How are you going to conduct sensitive meetings remotely?
  • How are you going to ensure that dismissing any furloughed staff will be fair? You may have furloughed at speed, but redundancy selection criteria cannot be defined by such factors.
  • Will you use this time to review your selection criteria if you already have some in place?
  • How will you deal with individuals who are shielding, have child care issues or are pregnant?
  • How do you ensure this is all done sensitively and fairly for those roles that are being made redundant, but also for those who continue to work for you but are still isolated on furlough or working from home?
  • And what are the risks for making redundancies in this “new normal”?

Although you may be perfectly familiar with redundancy exercises these are far from normal times and it is therefore worth pausing to think about the impact that Covid-19 might have and what else you need to think about or plan for.

The webinar was recorded on Thursday 2nd July.

 

What about someone who refuses because they are against the vaccine (the anti-vaxers)?

It is a theoretical possibility that “anti-vax” beliefs could be a philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010 and therefore anti-vaxers have the right not to be discriminated against for their beliefs. Much will depend on why the individual is against the vaccine. Conspiracy theorists (the vaccine is being used as an opportunity to monitor you or it’s all because of 5G) are highly unlikely to be treated as having a philosophical belief!

What is the guidance for doctors working during the pandemic?

The General Medical Council (GMC) have published guidance online for doctors during this time of uncertainty.

 

Alongside this, their website displays guidance for temporary registration to approximately 15,000 doctors, who left the register or gave up their licence to practise in the last three years.

 

These clinicians have been contacted to assist with the growing pandemic, outlining the process they would follow and informing them of their right to opt-out. The Secretary of State for Health can ask the GMC to grant such registration under Section 18a of the Medical Act 1983, in an emergency.