Which publicly funded organisations can consider furlough?
Some employers falling into the third group of organisations described above could understandably feel aggrieved that on the first reading of the guidance they are not able to furlough employees and rely on the Government scheme. Many publicly funded organisations that are not public sector employers, receive a package of public funding with little expectation on how that funding is used or applied, other than broadly for it to be used in providing the services it is contracted to deliver. Also, several publicly funded organisations have many different income streams and the element of funding that is received from the public purse can be only an element of their operating costs.
Unfortunately there is still no clear guidance on when employers falling into the third category identified above can use the scheme. The only reference in the guidance on this states that where organisations are not “primarily funded” from the public purse and whose staff cannot be redeployed to assist with the coronavirus response, the scheme might be appropriate to be used for some staff. This seems to suggest that where an employing organisation is not wholly or mainly funded by public funding and staff cannot be redeployed to work in areas in the effort to combat coronavirus, then it would be appropriate for the employer to access the scheme.
If considering applying for grants under the scheme a sensible approach would be to look at the combined total of your public funding and payments under the scheme and make sure it will not represent more than 100% of the level of total income you would have expected to receive during this period in a non-Covid scenario.
Local Authorities are expected to maintain support to suppliers and this should be considered:
Your lawyers can take your instructions by telephone, Skype, Zoom or a similar tool. However, the formal requirement to make a valid Will requires two witnesses to be present with you when you sign the Will and they must then add their signatures. The witnesses or their spouse cannot be beneficiaries or they will forfeit their inheritance.
The main challenge is how to have your witnesses with you at a time when we are being advised to socially distance. One option would be for the witnesses to stand outside your window or at a safe distance from you where they have a clear line of sight. The witnesses can watch you sign and then you could post your Will through your letterbox or leave it on a surface for them to pick up so that they can then sign their names too. If the witnesses live together then they do not need to keep two meters apart from each other.
The Wills Act 1837 requires that your witnesses must be physically present when you sign your Will and therefore it is not possible to do this by Skype, Zoom or similar video conferencing means. You may however want to video record the process by which you and your witnesses signed your Will so that you have a record of what was done, particularly if you are worried that someone might challenge the validity of your Will in due course. You can of course re-execute your Will once social distancing has been relaxed if you are particularly concerned.
Be aware that the virus can remain on documents for more than 24 hours so it would be sensible for everyone to wear disposable gloves and in any event to wash hands thoroughly after handling the Will.
Emergency legislation may be passed regarding the requirement to make a valid Will but you must follow the current rules unless or until new legislation is passed.
Many planning permissions contain a condition restricting the hours within which a developer can carry out construction work or are subject to an approved construction management plan setting out the permitted construction hours.
The Business and Planning Act 2020 entered the statute books on 22 July 2020. Section 16 of the Act incorporates a new S.74B into the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The effect is that any condition/approved document which limits construction hours on a site could be amended through an application to the local planning authority. The application to the local planning authority must set out the date on which the proposed extension to construction hours shall cease (such date being no later than 1 April 2021, after which the original conditions over construction hours will resume). The local planning authority must determine the application within 14 days (beginning with the day after the application was submitted) otherwise there is deemed approval.
New guidance has been published alongside the Act and is available here
Yes, they can continue to undertake duties or activities for representative purposes. This includes individual or collective representation of their colleagues. They must not carry out any actual work or generate revenue for their employer or a linked or associated organisation.
On Tuesday 23rd June, partner Emma Digby was in conversation with Steve Hamstead and Mark Smith from AON along with Ward Hadaway commercial lawyer Nathan Bilton in a webinar titled Can trade credit insurance help to keep the supply chain moving?
The insurance market is under untold pressure as a result of the pandemic, and in such times there is a risk that insurers will cancel or reduce credit lines, particularly in certain high risk sectors such as retail. However the Government has stepped in to effectively underwrite the existing trade credit insurance agreements, and to keep trade supplies moving. Will this be enough?
In this webinar, we discussed:
- the Government backed scheme and how it will operate
- the prospects of obtaining insurance going forward, and whether it will become too cost prohibitive
- could the new legislation put your business at risk and jeopardise your insurance cover if you cannot cancel a contract when you are not getting paid for your goods or services
- the Brexit effect, and how this will affect the insurance market
- protecting your business with proper risk assessment processes and paperwork
Potentially, yes. If someone refuses to follow the health and safety measures that have been put in place to protect them, colleagues and possibly their customers, including (where appropriate) the use of PPE then this is a disciplinary issue and should be dealt with as such. Repeated failure to comply with the requirement to follow these measures, or a one off significant failure, may be sufficient to justify dismissal, depending on the circumstances.