UK

COVID-19: CAN EMPLOYERS CARRY OUT TESTING IN THE WORKPLACE?

Employees being infected with Covid-19 can have a significant impact in the workplace, including lost productivity and the self-isolation of groups of employees who may have been exposed, not to mention the potentially severe impact on the health of infected employees. Employers have duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 towards their employees to provide a safe system of work, as well as duties towards members of the public on their premises.

Given this, a measure employers may be considering, particularly as more workplaces begin to open up or people return from working remotely, is carrying out Covid tests in the workplace, or providing tests for employees to do on a regular basis. Read more…

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NON-DOMESTIC RATES RELIEF TO ALLEVIATE THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON BUSINESSES

Non-domestic rates, also called business rates, are taxes paid on non-domestic properties to help pay for local council services. Non-domestic rates are based on the Rateable Value of a Premises. The Rateable Value is determined by the Scottish Assessors, who are an independent body.

Each year in the budget the Scottish Government sets the tax rate along with any reliefs that may be available. Read more…

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Distressed retail: The new landscape

The retail sector has been badly affected by temporary covid closures. But with this coming on top of major structural changes in the sector, the damage is extreme. We have seen mass closures and the disappearance from our high streets of many well known names. Some have been rescued but often by transforming them into businesses much more orientated to online sales and with less (or no) ongoing high street units. And we fear that there is more to come, particularly for  medium sized and smaller chains as they emerge from government temporary protections against creditor actions, supported loans and the furlough scheme.

This is a threat to many but an opportunity for others.

In the articles below our experts look into a variety of topics to be borne in mind by retailers or their prospective rescuers to navigate through this new environment.

We hope you find it useful.

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MAKING A WILL DURING THE PANDEMIC

With COVID-19 remaining the key issue of the day, many of our clients have asked whether they can still create or amend their wills or powers of attorney during the national lockdown. The Law Society of Scotland has issued temporary guidance for the duration of the pandemic, meaning that the simple answer is yes. While our offices may be closed for the time being, Miller Samuel Hill Brown remains available to assist all of your Private Client needs. Read more…

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THE ONGOING IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON EXERCISING CONTACT WITH YOUR CHILD

It has been proving difficult for many parents to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing Government guidelines and regulations, as the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions have evolved.  These issues raise particular concerns for parents who have separated from their partner or spouse and who now only exercise contact with their child during set periods. Read more…

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THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON MISSIVES

Everyone and every sector has been impacted by COVID-19 and the property market has been no exception. Whilst in the first lockdown which started on 23 March 2020, the property market stopped, that has not been the case in this second lockdown that we are all currently facing.

Unlike the first lockdown, the property market is still moving, the Registers of Scotland have kept the application register open for registering new title and interest in property in the Land Register and so transactions can still complete. Read more…

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THE COMMERCIAL LANDLORD IN A PANDEMIC: WHAT TO DO ABOUT LEASE ARREARS

It will come as no surprise to hear that a large number of commercial landlords are becoming increasingly concerned about accruing or ongoing arears which have arisen (or been exacerbated) by tenants struggling in the current commercial climate.

The government has introduced legislation which has an impact on this [The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 (“the Coronavirus Act”)] and have also released some guidelines seeking to address and recognise the inevitable conflict that has arisen between landlords and tenants [The Code of Practice for Landlords and Tenants of Commercial Property (“the Code”)]. The requirements of the Act are mandatory, whereas the Code is advisory. Read more…

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COVID-19: BUSINESS AS USUAL?

Last Friday the Scottish Government introduced new restrictions designed to combat a recent rise in COVID-19 cases – with various ‘protection levels’ being introduced in different areas across the country.

It comes as no surprise to us that clients are eager to know what this means for their move and to what extent the housing market can continue operating as normal. Read more…

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Furlough Extended: What are the rules?

As you may be aware, on Saturday 31st October 2020 the UK government announced that, in light of the new lockdown being introduced in England, the furlough scheme is being extended for a further month and will now end in December 2020. This means that the Job Support Scheme previously announced will be postponed and come into effect once the extended furlough ends.

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THE RULE OF 14 WHEN TENANTS FALL BEHIND WITH RENT

For many businesses and sectors, 30th September 2020 was supposed to be the end date of the plethora of legislative changes brought into force by the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020. However, as a result of secondary legislation, the Coronavirus (Scotland) Acts (Amendment of Expiry Dates) Regulations 2020, means the expiry date of 30th September has been extended to 31st March 2021.

For commercial landlords, this means the continuation of a 14 week minimum notice period before being able to evict tenants for non-payment of rent or other sums due. Previously, the minimum notice period was 14 days. So what does this mean for businesses operating as landlords?  Read the full blog.

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