Who is responsible for planning in the event of an excess of deaths?
In the unfortunate event that there will be a significant number of deaths, planning will fall to the local resilience forum; which includes all relevant local organisations and statutory bodies, who will have prior experience in working in excessive death scenarios.
It is for the coroners to ensure that they are familiar with the local resilience forum plans and discussions required. This will include issues regarding storage capacity and post-mortem examination capacity.
If such testing is regarded as a “reasonably practicable step” which has been identified as an appropriate control following a risk assessment then it is something you can do.
Although you can’t physically force someone to have something intrusive done, this is very likely to be a reasonable management instruction and therefore if someone refuses to have this done as a condition of entry into the work place then disciplinary action may follow.
Where this is something that is required of employees, employers should be letting their staff know that this is one of a number of measures that are being introduced into the workplace for their own safety. If the employer can explain, in advance of the return, why temperature checks need to be taken, what the consequences of the results will be- i.e. will they be sent home if over a certain temperature, whether this data will be stored (and if the sole purpose is to determine whether or not they are fit to attend work on a particular day then why are they being stored), and the fact that temperature checks are a requirement of entry to company premises for everyone, then there shouldn’t be significant resistance to this measure.
Large scale temperature checks have in some businesses become part of the “new normal” working environment.
There is not a magic number. It depends on the nature of the organisation, the work carried out, the organisational structure, the geographical spread, working patterns and conditions. We would give specific advice personalised to the organisation and taking all these and other factors in to consideration. There is no such things as too many MHFAs!
The courts are seeking to adapt to our new circumstances and have urgently been looking to introduce new ways of working. The courts have been testing out different ways of holding court hearings. The advice is changing almost daily and some courts have been developing local practices. Going forward the court, the parties and their representatives will need to be more proactive about all forthcoming hearings.
Everyone involved in the case is to consider as far ahead as possible how future hearings should best be undertaken and work collaboratively. It will normally be possible for all short, interlocutory, or non-witness, applications to be heard remotely. Some witness cases will also be suitable for remote hearings. The parties just need to ensure that everyone involved can use the technology suggested.
The courts have been looking at and held remote hearings using, non-exhaustively, BT conference call, Skype for Business, court video link, BT MeetMe, Zoom and ordinary telephone call. Bundles for the hearing will be prepared and circulated electronically.
If the hearing cannot be held remotely because the parties do not have the requisite technology or the length of the hearing combined with the number of parties or overseas parties, representatives and/or witnesses make it undesirable to go ahead with a hearing in court at the current time, then it may be that the case will need to be adjourned. We are hearing of trials being adjourned and that they will not be re-listed before at least September.
HMCTS has advised that several priority courts will remain open during the coronavirus pandemic to make sure the justice system continues to operate effectively. It publishes a daily operational update from the courts and they aim to update it by 9am. The link is https://www.gov.uk/guidance/hmcts-daily-operational-summary-on-courts-and-tribunals-during-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.
Also, the courts have circulated a civil listing priority list with Priority 1 listing work which must be done and which includes injunctions, any applications in cases listed for trial in the next three months, any applications where there is a substantial hearing listed in the next month and all Multi Track hearings where parties agree that it is urgent.
In the Priority 2 list, which consists of hearings which could be done, are enforcement of trading contracts, trial involving the survival of a business or the insolvency of an individual, small and fast track trials where the parties say they are urgent, and appeal in these kinds of cases.
Similarly, in arbitration proceedings, the parties and arbitrators are being encouraged to utilise technology to make sure that hearings take place. We have heard of Zoom being used very successfully for multi-party proceedings.
- Is the individual held out as being employed by the business by having a company email address, uniform, how would they introduce themselves to customers?
- Is the contractor restricted from working for other organisations without the consent of the end user client?
- Length of engagement:
- Is the contractor engaged to work on a specific project for a defined period? Or are they engaged for an indefinite period with no reference to a specific task or project?
- Are there regular fixed payments or is payment on completion of specific task or commission based? Is the contractor entitled to benefits or bonuses?
- Does the contractor provide their own equipment and materials to provide the services?
- Financial risk:
- Is the contractor personally responsible for any loss arising from their work in performing the services? Will they have to rectify unsatisfactory work at their own time and expense? Will they have the opportunity to profit from the success of a project?
No one factor will determine status and the outcomes will differ depending on the nature of the work being carried out and the business of the end user client.
When you have carried out an assessment based on the relevant factors you can either get in touch with us to discuss further, check your answers against HMRC’s CEST tool or do both before making a final determination.