No Jab, No Job: The Murky World of Mandatory Vaccinations

By Nic Hart

The ongoing pandemic has inevitably caused employers to address a significant number of issues regarding employees and working practices. Mandatory vaccination has become an acute and difficult topic in the context of the employment relationship.

As the vaccination program continues to be rolled out across the country, one of the recent issues causing controversy and consternation for employers is the question of mandatory vaccinations for employees.  Some businesses such as Pimlico Plumbers and Qantas have been reported as coming out in support of mandatory vaccination policies. Pimlico Plumbers in particular have proposed implementation of a “NO JAB NO JOB” policy and Qantas have advised that they plan to require all international passengers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as a condition of travel. Continue reading “No Jab, No Job: The Murky World of Mandatory Vaccinations”

UK National Security & Investment Bill ‒ Double-Bolting the Back Door While Keeping the Front One Wedged Wide Open?

By Ute Mueller

Over the past decade, the UK has seen foreign direct investment worth three-quarters of a trillion dollars. One of the key elements of the government’s strategy for 2021 and beyond must inevitably be to maintain and enhance the  post-Brexit UK’s attractiveness as a place to invest and conduct business. Nevertheless, the UK is set to radically change its approach to foreign direct investment when the new UK National Security & Investment Bill is passed .

Here is what you need to know

 

UK Construction & Engineering: Another Lockdown

By Vijay Bange

The New Year has been ushered in by an alarming surge in hospitalisations and sadly a dramatic increase in deaths from the ongoing pandemic. The Government was under increasing pressures to take action. Consequently, the Prime Minister has on 3 January announced another national lockdown, with measures which became law on Wednesday 6th January 2021.

Continue reading “UK Construction & Engineering: Another Lockdown”

The Prime Minister’s New Deal: Invest More and Invest Quickly

By Steve Nichol

As my colleague Vijay Bange commented in his blog post on Tuesday, Boris Johnson has announced £5bn of new funding for building and infrastructure projects in the UK.

This sounds like a lot of money, but in real terms it is not anything like enough to restart the economy in the manner suggested by the Government. In the heady days before COVID-19, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced new investment into infrastructure in the UK totaling £600bn between now and 2025. By comparison, £5bn is nothing like what is required to “level up” the economy in the way promised by the Chancellor. In his Dudley address, the Prime Minister confirmed that the £5bn promised was an accelerated release of those funds promised by the Chancellor, but it remains to be seen whether that £600bn will ultimately be released. Continue reading “The Prime Minister’s New Deal: Invest More and Invest Quickly”

COVID-19: Update To Future Fund Eligibility

By Sam Pearse

Samuel J. Pearse

02.07.2020

As previously reported (see here), the UK Government launched the Future Fund on 20 May, with the intention of providing financial support to British start-ups. It has proved to be popular, with over £320m of convertible loans to 322 businesses having been approved.

One of the criteria for accessing the Future Fund was that the applicant had to be a UK-incorporated company or a group with a UK ultimate holding company. The UK Treasury has now elected to expand the programme to include certain overseas companies.

It is not uncommon for British start-up businesses to incorporate outside of the UK, or put a non-UK holding company in place, in order to be eligible for local funding programmes. For example, European businesses may incorporate in the US in order to be more attractive to investors in the US and being able to participate in US accelerator programmes. After all, the US seed and venture capital market has much deeper pockets than its European equivalents.

In order to address this, the British Business Bank has announced the expansion of the Future Fund in order to:

accommodate businesses that contribute significantly to the UK economy, but do not have their parent company based in the UK because they participated in a non-UK based accelerator programme”.

Revised eligibility – overview

Continue reading “COVID-19: Update To Future Fund Eligibility”

COVID-19: UK Gov Flexible Furlough Scheme – 1 July 2020 Update

By Nic Hart &  Liam Hutton

Nic Hart

01.07.2020

The Flexible Furlough Scheme (FFS) commenced today July 1st 2020 and you can now submit claims for periods starting on or after 1 July.

GOV.UK published a news story this afternoon announcing this commencement.

As discussed in earlier mail outs the main premise of the FFS is to allow;

“businesses to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis and will be given the flexibility to decide the hours and shift patterns of their employees – with the government continuing to pay 80% of salaries for the hours they do not work.”

The FFS will remain open until the end of October 2020. Continue reading “COVID-19: UK Gov Flexible Furlough Scheme – 1 July 2020 Update”

New Guidance on the UK Gov Flexible Furlough Scheme – 12th June 2020

By Nic Hart

15.06.2020

As advised, the Government Guidance for the new Flexible Furlough Scheme (FFS) was released on Friday evening – June 12th.

Accessibility to the new Guidance is not the most straightforward as the information is spread across the existing CJRS Guidance and three new pieces of Guidance. The Government has also produced a  summary overview of the key changes to the CJRS and the timetable for the same.

The major changes to the existing scheme with effect from July 1st are:

  • there will no longer be a minimum three-week period for furlough. Whilst there will not be a required minimum period to furlough employees, any claim made to the CJRS portal must be in respect of a minimum one week period regardless of how many days may have been worked in this one week period.
  • Employers can no longer put in claims to the portal that cover more than one payroll period. All claims through the portal must start and end within the same calendar month.
  • An employer cannot furlough any greater number of employees than have been furloughed previously – subject to the provisions of those returning from parental leave.

The key principles of FFS are clear. Continue reading “New Guidance on the UK Gov Flexible Furlough Scheme – 12th June 2020”

UK Corporate Insolvency & Governance Bill: Termination Clauses & Temporary COVID-19 Relief

By Linda Crow

09.06.2020

The new Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill will introduce new provisions to protect a company from suppliers wishing to terminate supply contracts or invoking more draconian terms when the company is entering into certain insolvency procedures, a CVA, or a new restructuring plan or moratorium (as introduced by the Bill), (each an “Insolvency Procedure”).

The purpose behind the new provisions is to maximise the possibility of a company being rescued or being able to sell its business as a going concern by helping it to trade through an Insolvency Procedure.

Where a company (the customer) becomes subject to an Insolvency Procedure, the supplier will be prohibited from: Continue reading “UK Corporate Insolvency & Governance Bill: Termination Clauses & Temporary COVID-19 Relief”

IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE: UK Gov Furlough Scheme Cut Off -10th June

By Nic Hart

05.06.2020

Further to our earlier blog posts on this topic, please be reminded that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is closing to new entrants from 30 June 2020. You must furlough new entrants on or before 10th June. 

From 1 July 2020, there will be a new flexible furlough scheme where furloughed employees will be able to return to work on a part-time basis. Full guidance has yet to be issued (proposed for 12 June 2020) but present Guidance has advised that only employees who started furlough on or before 10 June 2020 will be eligible for the new scheme.

The Government Guidance states;

“From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3-week period prior to 30 June”

Continue reading “IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE: UK Gov Furlough Scheme Cut Off -10th June”