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While many of us are worrying about the strain on healthcare and making arrangements for childcare, many of the same people are also worried about how to keep their businesses functioning and critical projects on-track while caring for staff.
It can feel overwhelming; we get it. As a consultancy, we are perfectly equipped to deliver advice to our clients from anywhere in the world.
We understand your needs, and we want to support you. This article is intended to spark thoughts about the vulnerabilities and challenges your organisation might be currently experiencing or could face in the not too distant future.
How you choose to deal with the impact of Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) may differ depending on where you sit within your industry and supply chain. The impact will also be different depending on where you are in your project and how you are performing to programme.
Your concerns will naturally be different if your project is in execution, or if you are bidding for your next job. For our clients’ bidding on new projects, the added uncertainty brings a little more edge to the competition; this could be in your favour, we can help you plan how. Accordingly, our advice may differ depending on several things, but a few points probably hold true no matter where things stand:
The UK Government has announced new measures to support business, such as:
We suggest you seek professional financial and tax advice to ensure you are aware of all the financial support available during this period of disruption.
Help For Self Employed
The UK Government has also announced support for employers, employees and self-employed. This support includes a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and changes to the Statutory Sick Pay rules.
Employers will be able to apply to HMRC for reimbursement for furloughed employees through an online service anticipated to be up and running towards the end of April.
The government is also increasing access to Universal Credit for self-employed or low earners, these claims should be made by the individual directly. The government wants to achieve "parity of support" between the different parts of the UK workforce, however, salaried and self-employed workers are being treated differently. As an employer your treatment of employees and contractors will differ.
Keep checking government and HMRC websites for advice on eligibility as this area continues to evolve. We can help answer queries you have around the contracts you have in place with the individuals you engage. Further to this, you may wish to seek specific employment legal advice in relation to lay-off, short-term working provisions and redundancies.
It is likely some of your workforce will be working from home…
How well do you know your workforce?
Maintain good records of project progression against the programme. Your QS,Planner, delay analysis expert and, ultimately, your lawyer will thank you for it; and your claim will be more likely to succeed as a result of it.
We’re here to help you navigate the contract and draft documents, as may be required. So now you know, there is no magic piece of legal advice that fits all.
What we can do, is listen to your project / contract concerns, review your contractual documents and provide bespoke advice for your circumstances.
This might involve: advising you on ways that you might be entitled to seek relief under your contracts for time or cost; preparing claims for damages; setting and implementing strategies to mitigation risks to ensure business continuity; or any number of things that can assist you.
We can be a sounding board, helping you to shape business processes to navigate through these uncertain times. We also have an excellent network of legal experts that will also be at your disposal.
For those of you feeling unwell in quarantine, we wish you a speedy recovery. For those providing essential services, our heartfelt thanks. To those working remotely, we hope to help you where we can. For all those reading, stay safe and look after each other (and your contracts!).
For immediate advice and or support, please contact.
Name: Karissa Krikken
Role: Head of Commercial & Construction Law
Phone: 02030 112 661
Mobile: 07960 203 813
Find more information, visit our Construction Consultancy Services page. Our experts cover a range of services, including: