The devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented levels of government support aimed at keeping jobs intact and businesses afloat. Although the news is beginning to promise a path out of lockdown and a gradual return to some degree of normality, equally as prominent are reports of fraudulent abuse of the COVID-19 support schemes and the government’s planned response.
In late February 2021 a news article reported that a care home worker had been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter after a patient died of COVID-19. In late March 2021, two further care home workers were arrested on suspicion of wilful neglect. We look at how those working in care homes can potentially face criminal liability in respect of COVID-19 cases.
In the Budget 2021, presented to Parliament on 3 March, the Chancellor announced that HMRC will establish a taskforce to investigate those who have fraudulently made use of government schemes set up to protect individuals and businesses against the economic impact of COVID-19 – such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) (widely referred to as the Furlough scheme) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).
The COVID-19 crisis has forced sports clubs, schools, universities and charities to rapidly change their approaches to coaching, teaching and support work. The regulations on social distancing have forced organisations to innovate; services which had previously been offered mostly or wholly in person were rapidly shifted online during “lockdown 1” and will return online at least for the duration of “lockdown 3”. If the vaccine rollout has the desired effect there will no doubt be some return to “traditional” methods, but it seems very unlikely that the changes brought about by the pandemic will be completely reversed. In this blog, Claire Parry from Kingsley Napley’s Regulatory team and Fred Allen from the Public Law team look at the challenges organisations face engaging with children online.
On 30 March 2021 the provisions of the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (“CIGA”) which allowed purely virtual general meetings will lapse, and the normal rules will apply. ICSA have produced some useful guidance to assist companies in dealing with their general meetings in the light of this change.
Managing your Migrant workforce in the COVID-19 crisis
On Friday 3 April, immigration partner and head of department, Nick Rollason, hosted a webinar looking at urgent issues employers are facing during the COVID-19 crisis and answered some of the key questions being raised.
Calls for a public inquiry are continuing to mount and are likely to prove difficult to resist. In this blog, Sophie Kemp considers the framework for such inquiries, and the key issues likely to form the core of its terms of reference.