Coronavirus Legal Q&A: March 20

20 March 2020

Alice Stephenson is joined by Florence Brocklesby, a leading employment lawyer from Bellevue Law and James Pheasant, an expert litigation and disputes lawyer for this Coronavirus: Legal Q&A webinar.

During the session the panel answered the following questions:

What are the key factors that we need to think about when we have a ‘home working’ team? 01:25

My clients are extending my payment terms – what can I do? 03:55

If you have an employee that is at risk but still comes to work, what can be done? They do have the facilities to work from home but still come into the office. 06:58

If a business has to close and the employees cant work from home (because they’re in the retail or hospitality sector) then does that mean they have to carry on paying their staff? 08:43

What do I do if I can’t pay my suppliers? 10:33

In relation to lay offs or pay reductions for staff, do you need to alter employment contracts? 11:36

Can we use the force majeure clause to terminate supplier contracts? 13:43

If I have an employee that is self-isolating (as a family member has symptoms so all family are self-isolating) would it be fair to expect them to still work? They have no symptoms and are still well. 16:17

With staff redundancies, wage or day reductions, do the current circumstances mitigate risk to any degree for very small businesses in terms of the consultation periods etc? 18:32

Can I get out of events contracts that we have signed? 19:40

The venue we are using for an event say that if they are forced to close they will not give us our deposit back, which is a significant amount of money. Their reasoning is that they have paid their suppliers up front. We’re a start-up and can’t afford such a significant loss – any advice? 21:13

If someone has an underlying health issue and chooses to self-isolate for 12 weeks, do they need a sick note and what is due to be paid as SSP is only for 2 weeks? 22:59

Rishi Sunak mentioned earlier in the week that hospitality businesses can apply for a grant of £10-£25K. Do we know or anticipate that this will extend into the creative industries? 24:45

What will happen to any on-going litigations that we have on at the moment? 26:17

What can we do to maintain morale within our teams? 28:11

PLEASE NOTE – The above webinar took place on Friday March, 20 at 9.30am GMT. This is a rapidly changing situation and new measures may have been introduced by the UK Government since the time of recording. If you have any questions please contact