Title: Q&A – Your Covid-19 related employment questions answered

With many businesses being affected by the Coronavirus pandemic and having to furlough numerous members of staff, Head of Employment Law, Stephen Britton, answers your Covid-19 related employment law questions. Watch the full Q&A below: 00:38 – Which employers are entitled to take advantage of the corona job retention scheme? 01:20 – What will businesses be receiving under the scheme? 02:30 – How does it work with zero hour or variable hour employees? 02:40 – Does the employer have to top up the furlough wages? 02:55 – What about if the 80% is below national minimum wage? 03:45 – Does the furlough money need to be paid back? 04:30 –…

Making the best use of Coronavirus lockdown to plan for the future of your business

Coronavirus lockdown is affecting almost every business in the UK on a day-to-day basis. From supermarkets seeking to deal with exceptional demand and supply chain management, to retail and hospitality businesses having to totally or partially close down, to professional service businesses doing their utmost to meet client expectations in an often unfamiliar home-working environment – we all have urgent priorities to content with. I don’t wish to in any way downplay the volume of urgent work and decision-making that the lockdown is imposing on businesses. However, within some businesses, there is likely to come a point in the next week or two when the urgent matters have been dealt…

Government release advice for all facing UK visa expiration

In light of Covid-19 the Home Office have issued new guidance for UK visa applicants and temporary UK residents who have a UK visa that expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020. This announcement has been welcomed and comes as a relief to many who would otherwise become overstayers if unable to return home in light of current travel restrictions says Deborah Linford, who is a family and immigration law solicitor with East Midlands legal firm, Sills & Betteridge LLP. The announcement states that if a person is in the UK and their visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31 May 2020 and because of travel restrictions…

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…