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Which charities will benefit from this funding and when – Key Services?

The Government will allocate £360 million to charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the crisis.  £200 million of this amount will be paid to Hospices UK to be distributed to hospices to help increase capacity and give stability to the sector.  The remaining amount is to be allocated to:

  • St Johns Ambulance to support the NHS
  • victims charities, including domestic abuse, to help with potential increase in demand for charities providing these services
  • charities supporting vulnerable children, so they can continue delivering services on behalf of local authorities;
  • disabled people
  • Citizens Advice Bureau to increase the number of staff providing advice during this difficult time

The Government Departments will identify priority recipients, with the aim that these charities will receive money in the form of a cash grant over the next few weeks and by the end of April to assist in paying amongst other costs April’s wage bill.

Related FAQs

What is the NHS coronavirus Test and Trace scheme and how does it work?

The NHS Test and Trace service is operated by the NHS in England to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Where an individual displays symptoms of coronavirus they can be tested to determine whether or not they have the disease. Those with the disease will then be contacted by NHS contact tracers and asked who they have come into close contract with.
Close contact is defined as:

  • Face to face (within 1 metre)
  • Spent more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of another person
  • Travelled in a car or on a plane with another person

The contact tracer will then contact those people with whom the individual has come into close contact and tell them to self-isolate for 14 days.

I am agreeing a financial settlement with my ex-spouse. Should we carry on negotiating despite COVID-19?

No. Before continuing any negotiations, you need to strongly consider whether now is the best time to settle. There is a myriad of uncertainty due to the pandemic, with unemployment rates increasing, volatility in the stock markets and difficulties regarding placing valuations on assets. This could all lead to the financial settlement being unfair to you and cause you financial difficulties in the future.

Any financial settlements reached following marital separation should be embodied in to a Court Order, to prevent future claims from your ex-spouse. As a general principle, although maintenance orders are always variable, financial orders in respect of capital (e.g. house, cash, investments, pensions) are final and it is very difficult to set aside a Court Order. The question will be whether or not the pandemic is judged as a Barder event, which broadly means something viewed as unforeseen. It would be challenging for you to argue that the effects of COVID-19 are unforeseen given the widespread expectation of an economic crisis. The Court previously found against a husband who wanted to revisit an Order that he said was unaffordable following the 2008 financial crisis, with one Judge commenting that a 90% drop in the Husband’s share price was a “natural process of price fluctuation”.

Even if you informally agree a settlement with your ex-spouse, and you do not have this reflected in a Court Order, your ex-spouse may still rely on this agreement within future Court proceedings and argue that you should be held to it.

It is, therefore, very dangerous to be reaching any financial settlements at this time with your ex-spouse without careful consideration and legal advice. Further, even if an agreement is reached, market volatility can mean longer implementation times, especially when a settlement relies on the sale of property.

What can I do if someone refuses to wear PPE for cultural and/or religious observance reasons?

Again, the primary point must be that an open dialogue is held with that individual to understand their concerns and to properly consider the impact that not wearing PPE will have on their abilities to undertake their duties. Consideration must be given as to whether there are any parts of their duties that they can undertake and whether they can remain in their role. Engage with the individual to ensure that you understand their point of view. What other duties can they do if they cannot do fulfil all the duties of their role?

Can you ask employees for evidence of the requirement to self-isolate under the Test and Trace scheme?

Yes, you can ask to see any information/documentation sent to an employee informing them that they should self-isolate.

What happens if an employee refuses to attend work because they are afraid of being exposed to COVID-19 particularly the new more transmissible strain?

An employee can refuse to attend work but their refusal to do so will have to be based on a reasonable belief that their health and safety is in danger.  Whether or not their refusal is reasonable will take into consideration factors such as the employee’s own health and whether they are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if they contract Covid-19 and the steps their employer has out in place to mitigate the danger of contracting Covid-19 at work.

In such circumstances where the employee’s belief is deemed to be reasonable, they will be entitled to stay at home and receive full pay.

If an employee is subsequently dismissed for refusing to attend work in these circumstances, they may be able to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.