Following the Government’s announcement on Monday 23rd March 2020 that all but essential businesses should remain closed until further notice in a national effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus, many tenants have been forced into uncertainty. Landlords will also be facing a fall in demand for new tenants and requests for rent reductions or freezes from their existing tenants.
The government’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak moves rapidly with new measures to ease the financial burden on businesses and workers appearing almost daily.
This is a round-up of some of the main developments so far:
Furlough Leave - Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Chancellor Rishi Sunak wants to use furlough leave as the basis of a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to enable employers to lay off some of their workforce during the Covid-19 crisis while still retaining them as employees.
The impact of Covid-19
Further to our earlier article on electronic signatures, as companies come to terms with the impact of Covid-19 on the day to day practice of their business, we are advising our clients to consider conducting all business meetings remotely in an attempt to mitigate the risk of the virus spreading.
In this article, we look at whether remote, or electronic general meetings of shareholders, in private companies limited by shares are legally permissible.
The Coronavirus outbreak has demanded a significant change in not only the way we operate in our daily lives but also in the way we operate our businesses and practices. As we are all aware, social-distancing is imperative in ensuring that the Covid-19 infection is limited as much as possible. Of course, for many businesses, this may mean reduced custom and a reduced need for employees.
Following the announcement of the increased restrictions on Monday evening, members of the public should only leave the house to:-
- Shop for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
- Exercise, once per day;
- Obtain necessary medical care, or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person; and/or
- Travel to/from work (where absolutely necessary)
With rising concerns about Coronavirus, we want to advise our clients that we are taking all appropriate steps to ensure the continuity of our business and service to you.
Berry Smith LLP remains open but if we are required to close our offices, we have contingency plans in place to enable our staff to work from home and have access to our secure servers so that there will be minimal interruption to our functionality. Our telephone lines and email access will be available as normal.
As the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic develops here in the UK, we have continued to receive queries from both individuals and employers on how various employment issues should be dealt with as a result of the Coronavirus. We have therefore set out a list of frequently asked questions.
As the pandemic is continually changing and advice issued by the government and Acas is being updated, we will endeavour to provide article updates as soon as possible.
The impact of Covid-19
As of Monday morning (23 March), there were 5,683 confirmed cases of Covid-19 or Coronavirus in the UK. Social distancing and other measures imposed by the government have had a significant impact on every aspect of life, including business. Businesses up and down the country are grappling with previously unforeseen and uncontemplated issues, as they try to do their bit to manage the outbreak, whilst continuing to function, trade and enter into agreements.
With the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic continuing to develop here in the UK, both employers and workers may suffer financially in the coming weeks and months.
In an effort to assist both employers and employees during this crisis, the Government announced a number of measures on 20th March 2020, which included access to support under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.