CORONOVIRUS AND EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE INJUNCTIONS

Due to the current Coronovirus pandemic and Government Guidance on social distancing and ‘lock down’ conditions, victims of domestic abuse may find themselves confined to the same household as their perpetrators. Just because normal life has been suspended does not mean that perpetrators of domestic abuse stop their behaviour. We want to reassure you that our Emergency Protective Injunction Team is still functioning, and we are ready to act quickly to obtain Non-molestation and Occupation Orders on an urgent basis. We are still able to make urgent applications to the Court on behalf of our clients. The Courts are now dealing with emergency protection injunction applications ‘remotely’ i.e. by telephone…

Working from home – data protection issues

As Coronavirus continues to impact heavily on businesses of all shapes and sizes, many of us are now working from home. For some, this is an extension of a working pattern already used, however infrequently; for others, this is wholly new territory. There are a lot of different considerations when large parts of the workforce are working from home. One aspect is equipment and technology – can people do what they need to do? Is additional IT equipment required? How will this be provided to the people in need within the Coronavirus constraints? Another aspect is practicality – to what extent can a person realistically perform their role from home?…

Coronavirus: Police Powers During Lockdown

Most will be aware from the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday night (23rd March 2020) that the police will be given additional powers to enforce the guidelines that effectively put the country in “lockdown”. The powers are not yet in force and, at the time of writing, are expected to be by the end of the week. So although the police cannot yet issue on the spot fines of £30.00, or disperse groups of more than two people, anyone flouting the guidance does still run the risk of police attention as they may attempt to deal with matters by way of gentle persuasion until their powers are increased. Powers that…

Coronavirus and the workplace: The launch of NHS online isolation notes

On Friday 20 March 2020, the government’s Department of Health and Social Care launched an online service providing isolation notes to individuals unable to attend work as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Isolation notes enable employees to provide evidence to their employers that they have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, whether that be because the employee has symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms of the virus. Employees are able to self-certify for the first 7 days of absence, however employers often require evidence after this period. Employees will now no longer need to contact their GP in order to obtain such evidence if they have…

Coronavirus Business Impact Review

We are all seeing an awful lot of blog posts, articles and other releases about coronavirus at the moment. A lot of words have been used to cover some very important public health and financial messages, both for individuals and businesses. This post is looking at coronavirus from a different perspective – the reviews that every business should be carrying out on their contractual position. Most businesses have contracts in two directions – with suppliers, and with customers. In each case, there is a likelihood that coronavirus is likely to impact on one or both parties’ ability to meet their contractual obligations. I suspect that an awful lot of people…

Buying A New or First Home?

Buying a new home, whether you are a first time or tenth time buyer, can be emotional and stressful but here are a few tips which will make the process a little easier. First, get your finances in order. Make sure you have a deposit (ideally at least 10%), mortgage offer (if required) and extra funds to cover legal fees, stamp duty land tax and a little bit extra to cover any additional or unexpected expenditure. Obviously, choose a property. There are many types of property out there whether it be a flat, maisonette, bungalow, terrace, semi-detached or detached house. To help decide, think about whether you want a freehold…

Written statements of particulars: Employers’ enhanced obligations with effect from 06 April 2020

Employers have long been subject to a legal obligation to provide employees with a written statement of particulars, detailing, amongst other things, the key terms of an employee’s employment. Previously, such written particulars must have been provided to employees within two months of commencing their employment and could be provided on a piecemeal basis, however the legal requirements and obligations on employers in this area are changing with effect from 06 April 2020. Employers should be aware of the three key changes set out below and should ensure that they are taking steps to prepare in readiness for the implementation of the new rules: The right to be provided with…

Family Court Hearings and the Coronavirus – what you need to know

On 19 March 2020 the most senior Family Court Judge in England and Wales issued new urgent Guidance in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic and how the Family Court will function during this unprecedented and challenging time. If you have a Court hearing in the Family Court then this Guidance will affect you and your case. If you are at all unsure about your position, please contact your representative and we will be happy to help. With immediate effect, most Court hearings will now take place ‘remotely’, i.e. over telephone, video or Skype without any personal attendance at a Court building. The vast majority of cases will be suitable…

Civil Contingencies Act 2004 – What is it, why do we need it and when will it be used?

What is it? The Civil Contingencies Act came into force in 2004 and allows the UK government to make last minute, short term and drastic legislative changes on an unprecedented scale. It requires for organisation in the health system; including local authorities and NHS bodies, to prepare for potentially life changing events and incidents. Section 1 of the act defines an ‘emergency’ as an event or situation which threatens serious damage to human welfare in a place in the United Kingdom, an event or situation which threatens serious damage to the environment of a place in the United Kingdom or war, or terrorism which threatens serious damage to the security…

The future of legal services – University of Lincoln Students launch project with Sills & Betteridge to understand the experience of individuals and businesses when purchasing legal services and gain insights on attitudes to online services.

A team of students participating in the University’s Graduate Skills Builder programme have been tasked with undertaking research by Sills & Betteridge Solicitors. The team of students are launching an online survey today which is aimed at both individuals and business to gain a better understanding of experiences of and attitudes towards the legal services market. The survey also addresses online legal services to understand what, if any, online services people and businesses use and what online services they may wish to see made more widely available. You can complete the survey by clicking on this link (The survey is anonymous): https://unioflincoln.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bazPTwC90BRMdcp Andy Kerrigan a partner at Sills & Betteridge…