The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt throughout the economy from supply chain disruption to venue hire cancellations, travel bans and more. Inevitably as the pandemic continues there will be a surge in questions about legal liability for delayed performance, requests for refunds and contract termination enquiries. In this blog, we focus on the implications of force majeure clauses for exceptional circumstances and the key legal principles for business owners to bear in mind during these challenging times.
Towards the end of last year I commented, as part of our Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Standards and Regulations (StaRs) blog series, that the introduction of the StaRs on 25 November 2019 was an opportunity to take stock and introduce steps to ensure compliance going forward; it was a time to prioritise, not panic.
In the current crisis, we find ourselves with time (perhaps too much time…) for worry and reflection over an uncertain future. That reflection could usefully and responsibly be channelled, in part, to issues of Wills, tax planning and general succession.
At the time of this blog, according to officials, the criminal justice system continues to operate ‘as normal’. Whilst it is to be expected that non-essential trials will likely be delayed, certain components of the justice system cannot simply be deferred - crime happens no less in times of pandemic. Police custody is one such area where the wheels will need to continue to turn regardless of COVID-19.
It was confirmed in this week’s Budget that the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) will be increasing from £400 to £624 per year of the visa. The IHS is a visa fee applicable to overseas nationals for the NHS. The measure also increases the discounted rate for students, their dependants and those applying for Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visas from £300 to £470 per year of the visa. In a new tweak to the previous arrangements, the surcharge will be set at the lower £470 rate for all children under the age of 18.
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.