What other financial resources are available for charities?
Charities can also take advantage of the existing measures the Government has already put in place including deferring their VAT bills, paying no business rates for their shops next year and furloughing staff where possible with the Government paying 80% of their wages under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – see our People and Employment FAQ’s and our Premise and Property FAQ’s.
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.
During these unusual times, we are all having to adapt to what has become the ‘new normal’ and implement changes in how we carry out civil cases. If you are to give evidence in a remote hearing, whether this is by Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business or the Cloud Video Platform, we have pulled together a quick and useful guide below on what would be expected by the courts:
Before the hearing
- Make sure that you have access to the video-conferencing software that will be needed for the hearing. We will tell our clients and their witnesses in advance which platform will be used. The courts have increasingly been using Skype for Business to conduct the hearings (but you may find other platforms being used)
- Test that your camera and microphone are working and it is clear to see/hear you.
- Dress appropriately, as if it was an in-person hearing, and use the same formalities.
- Ensure that the background which is visible on your screen is appropriate and allows for your face to be clearly seen. A ‘blur background’ option may also be available on your settings which you may prefer.
- Make sure that your mobile phone is on silent and you are in a location where there will be no/minimal distractions. You should be on your own in a room when giving evidence, however, as we have all experienced with working from home, sometimes interruptions such as children appearing cannot be avoided.
- Join the call ahead of the allocated time, in order to allow for any small technical difficulties.
During the hearing
- Have a copy of the hearing bundle to hand, so that you can follow the proceedings (this may be in hard copy or soft copy). You are not allowed any other notes or papers, whether hard copy or electronic, in front of you when giving evidence.
- Unless addressing the Judge or you have been directly asked a question, keep your microphone muted.
- When giving evidence, you must make sure both your camera and your microphone are switched on.
- Remote hearings can be difficult and if you do not understand or you do not hear a question properly, then do ask for the question to be repeated/re-framed.
- You should not move away from the screen without permission from the Judge. The Judge will allow time for breaks.
- Address the judiciary and other advocates the same way as you would if you were in a physical courtroom.
- It is permitted to drink water throughout the hearing, but mugs of tea and/or coffee are probably best avoided. It is also not permitted to eat food during the hearing.
- Don’t panic if someone walks into the room or the dog starts barking because there is a knock at the door. Judges are only too aware about what might happen. Communication is key and if the interruption has interfered with your train of thought or the evidence you are giving then do say so.
- Be aware that all evidence is recorded and that a transcript of all evidence can be obtained at a later date.
The Government assured parity for the self-employed but it has since accepted that this would be difficult to achieve. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has worked closely with the Government on implementing the current self-employment income support scheme. IPSE has confirmed that it will continue to work on helping to extend measures to all freelancers in need as a result of Covid-19.
The Government announced an extension to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme from 1 November 2020.
MHFAs are not qualified mental health medical professionals and they should not be diagnosing or giving medical advice, however, their training will equip them to provide initial support to those experiencing symptoms of mental ill health, and to signpost to further professional help when needed. The MHFA training makes the boundaries of the MHFA role very clear and there should be clearly defined role specifications, procedures and support pathways in place to ensure that individuals are referred on appropriately. There should be peer support in place for MHFAs and a system in place to ensure no individual or individuals are overloaded.
Those who are eligible will be contacted directly by HMRC based on tax returns they have received. If you are eligible you will be asked to fill out an online application. HMRC will pay applicants directly.