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- UK COVID-19: Government extends protections for commercial tenants
After much speculation the government has today announced that it will be extending protections that have been afforded to commercial tenants as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the current protections?
- Blog: FCA – business interruption insurance test case – judgment
On 15 September the High Court handed down its judgment in the Financial Conduct Authority’s COVID-19 business interruption insurance test case. While there are mixed results in relation to a large number of questions, the court has ruled in favour of the policyholders’ arguments on most of the issues.
- UK FCA's Business Interruption Insurance Test Case Decided by High Court
On 15 September 2020, the High Court in London delivered an important judgment on liability for business interruption insurance. The ruling provides much needed clarification for policyholders, in view of the detrimental business effects from the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown and restrictions.
- Finance Act 2020 — Taxation of Coronavirus Support Payments
The Finance Act 2020 includes provisions (the body of which are in Schedule 16 to the Act) clarifying the tax treatment of payments made by the UK Government to alleviate the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and the workforce. Notably, these provisions govern the tax treatment of payments made under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), under both of which a significant proportion of the UK working population has received payments. The legislation allows for other schemes to be specified as included within the scope of the legislation as necessary. Businesses, employers, individuals and partnerships are included within the scope of the legislation, as are coronavirus grants to swathes of business sectors (e.g. the retail, hospitality and leisure fund). References to coronavirus support payments made in respect of CJRS refer to payments made by the Government to employers, rather than the 'furlough pay' that employees receive from their employer.
- A New Restructuring Plan
For over a century, U.K. company law has enabled a company to propose, to its creditors or shareholders, a compromise or arrangement of their rights which, if approved by the requisite majority and then by the court, is binding on all of the relevant creditors or shareholders. This process—a scheme of arrangement under Part 26 of the Companies Act 2006—has been frequently used by companies (including those non-U.K. companies that fall within the winding up jurisdiction of the English courts, to whom the court’s scheme jurisdiction extends) to implement a wide variety of different forms of financial restructuring, despite it not being a formal insolvency proceeding. In June 2020, the U.K. Government introduced a new form of restructuring plan under a new Part 26A of the Companies Act 2006, that would be focused on the needs of companies facing financial difficulties. In this briefing, we examine how the new restructuring plan differs from a scheme of arrangement and how it is likely to be used going forward. Please see full Newsletter below for more information.
- Board accountability for ESG – five governance tips
"What oversight should our board exercise over the environmental and social performance of our business?", is the question of the moment from clients who sense the increased momentum and enterprise risk associated with ESG. In recent weeks, we have witnessed tangible impacts of scrutiny from investors, consumers and local communities. Share prices have collapsed in the wake of supply chain labour issues. Court actions alleging breaches of human rights have multiplied. Senior executives have resigned over "breaches" of the "social licence" to operate.
- Compulsory purchase orders in Scotland – can they help deliver new space for life in the new normal?
Local provision of essential services has become more important than ever in the "new normal" of the global coronavirus outbreak. We may all need to live, work and play within a smaller locality for quite some time. We are also faced with a growing economic crisis and increasing levels of unemployment. In response, the Scottish and UK Governments have both signalled that they intend to use large infrastructure projects as a means of creating new jobs and stimulating the economy.
- Residential evictions in England and Wales – an update
With the current stay on residential possession proceedings due to be lifted on 20 September 2020, new extended minimum notice periods for notices requiring possession of residential premises let on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) now apply in most circumstances, in an attempt to further protect residential tenants from eviction.
- UK HR Solutions: How to deal with sickness absence
Welcome to the next post in our weekly series of hands-on guidance for UK HR professionals. In this series we look at common HR issues that you’ll encounter in the workplace and give you practical guidance on how to deal with them. Over the course of the series we’re covering a variety of topics, such as how to handle grievances, disciplinaries, suspension, performance management and much more besides. This week we look at how to deal with sickness absence. Please see full Publication below for more information.
- Employment News: equal pay, redundancy, GDPR
If it ain't broke – material factor still explained pay disparity after job evaluation - Employers have a defence to an equal pay claim if they can show that a difference in pay between an employee and their comparator is because of a material factor that does not involve direct or indirect discrimination.
- UK Regulators Focus on Role of Auditors
The UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the UK Financial Reporting Council (FRC) issued a discussion paper on June 24 which considers ways of enhancing auditors’ contribution to regulation. The paper FSA DP 10/3 is entitled “Enhancing the auditor’s contribution to prudential...
- Supreme Court Confirms Court of Appeal Ruling on FSA Enforcement Capabilities
On July 28, the UK Supreme Court upheld the English Court of Appeal’s judgment that the power of the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) to prosecute criminal offenses was not limited to the offenses specified in sections 401 and 402 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (see the October ...
- FSA Approves Taping Relevant Communications Conducted on Mobile Phones
The FSA recently set new rules obligating authorised firms to record the ‘relevant communications’ of their employees conducted on mobile and other handheld devices. On 11 November 2010, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) published the results of its consultation paper ‘Taping:...
- Ministry of Justice announces further delay to the implementation of the UK Bribery Act
Since the Bribery Act 2010 received Royal Assent in April 2010 it has been beset with criticism from the business community and subject to delay. The Act, which has been described as “one of the most draconian anti-corruption measures in the world”, was originally expected to come into force in...
- FSA Announces DEPP Changes
On February 25, the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced certain changes to its Decision Procedure and Penalties Guide and its Enforcement Guide and Policy. With effect from March 6......
- Time to Pack Up the Phoenix Pre-Pack?
As our readers will know, a pre-pack is the process of selling the business and assets of a company immediately after it has entered into an Insolvency Act administration procedure. Pre-packs are a frequently used mechanism as they ensure that the value of a business does not ebb away through a...
- FSA Revises Guidance on Reporting of Exchange Platform Derivative Transactions
The UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) recently announced proposed revised guidance on reporting on-exchange derivatives transactions conducted through exchange platforms. Under current FSA guidance, if a transaction conducted through an exchange platform is in a instrument whose characteristics ...
- Fewer Sleepless Nights Over Defined Benefit Pension Plans – A Bonus For Backers
Silentnight & Bonas Anyone investing in, financing or restructuring a corporate group that operates defined benefit pension schemes will be aware of the potential powers of The Pensions Regulator (the Regulator). The recent decision in Bonas, that ailing companies...
- UK Supreme Court Clarifies Law on Sham Employment Contracts
In the UK, the question of whether an individual is an employee, a worker, or self-employed is an important one because the rights that the law provides to the individual vary depending on his or her status. For example, the right not to be unfairly dismissed and the right to receive a redundancy...
- An Update on the Availability of Relief under the US/UK Double Tax Treaty
The UK Courts have recently passed judgment in the latest stages of two significant cases regarding the availability of relief under the US/UK Double Tax Treaty. The first case, Swift, overruled an earlier decision allowing a UK investor in a US LLC to claim relief against US tax paid on the...