Coronavirus – Issues for businesses #1

During this extraordinary time of global uncertainty political and economic measures are being introduced on a daily basis that will affect how we live and work in the short and medium term.

Here we seek to offer guidance on the operational challenges facing directors of businesses large and small.

In this edition we discuss the latest developments on:
Evictions – astute advice for landlords and tenants
Loans – the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS)
Trade finance – borrowing to keep your business afloat
Insurance – does your safety net cover you?
Financial disputes – money matters and regulatory rules
Restructuring & insolvency – key issues for directors to consider
Employment – updated guide for employers
Immigration – a hotline for advice

Three month eviction ban: a Q&A for landlords

The ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to sweep through the economy.

Hard on the heels of the latest Government bailout on Tuesday and due to increasing political pressure, the Prime Minister announced that emergency legislation will be introduced to prevent landlords – both private and public – from evicting tenants who cannot pay their rent because of job losses or having to look after their children after school closures.

New eviction attempts will be banned for three months.

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Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme: the gates open

On 23 March, the Prime Minister announced unprecedented peacetime restrictions on the UK population including the closure of all non-essential business premises.

The impact from this prohibition to those businesses not providing essential services will be severe and each business must consider every available measure to protect its business and safeguard its staff. On the same day as the Prime Minister’s announcement, CBILS went live. This is just one measure designed to support businesses during this time (a complete list is available here).

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Covid-19 and trade finance: demand guarantees, Standby & Documentary Letters of Credit

The Covid-19 pandemic may affect different instruments commonly used in the finance of trade transactions worldwide. Here we provide a brief overview of the ways in which the virus could make an impact.

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Coronavirus and business interruption insurance: Notifiable diseases, public authority actions, and denial of access extensions

On 5 March 2020, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care issued a notice that Covid-19 was included in the list of notifiable diseases and SARS-COV-2 in the list of notifiable causative agents, by adding them to the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010. As a result, GPs are now required by law to report all cases of Covid-19 to Public Health England.

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Covid-19 and financial services disputes

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic continues, with the global death toll breaching 10,000. In an effort to minimise the impact of the pandemic, financial services regulators and firms have focused on putting together contingency plans, ensuring that customers stay protected and that firms remain operational during these challenging times.

In this note, the banking and finance team at Penningtons Manches Cooper provide an overview of the key implications of the coronavirus for the financial services industry in the UK, together with recent responses from regulators and other industry leaders.

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Covid-19: Guidance on insolvency for company directors

The Chancellor has committed to doing “whatever it takes” to save businesses and workers and, as part of a raft of measures, has pledged to pay 80% of staff kept on by employers. Not only have such radical measures have never before been attempted in the UK, but it is likely that further measures will follow as the government takes unprecedented action to seek to mitigate the economic consequences of Covid-19.

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Updated guide for employers

The spread of coronavirus continues to have an unprecedented impact on the UK employment landscape for both individuals and businesses. The latest government announcements, in particular in relation to furlough leave, “working form home” and key workers, have now been incorporated into our comprehensive guide for employers.

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Immigration team launches Covid-19 response hotline for businesses

Covid-19 is having an unprecedented impact on our daily lives and business operations. The Home Office has published some limited guidance for those whose immigration status is impacted by Covid-19 but for businesses, many immigration questions remain unanswered. To assist with queries on all aspects of corporate immigration, including sponsor compliance, visa extensions, right to work checks and the movement of people, we are launching a dedicated daily Covid-19 response hotline.

From Monday 30 March, our team of leading immigration specialists will be available from 2.00pm – 4.00pm on
+44 (0)20 7457 3219 to troubleshoot your immigration concerns. A separate hotline will be available for education providers.

We will continue to liaise with the Home Office to make sure that more detailed guidance is published and that the immigration needs of businesses are not overlooked during this difficult time.

If you need advice, please contact the hotline or your usual PMC immigration advisor.

Follow us on Twitter for breaking immigration news.

Future updates

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to evolve at pace we will be keeping our website up to date with articles and insight.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with the authors of these briefings directly or to speak to your usual Penningtons Manches Cooper contact if you need support.

Penningtons Manches Cooper

Penningtons Manches Cooper is a top 50 UK law firm with an unusually wide range of expertise and an expanded international footprint. We provide a highly personal service focussed on delivering the best results for our clients.

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