WEBINAR | Coronavirus: Legal Q&A – Ask Us Anything | Apirl, 3

3 April 2020 

Alice Stephenson is joined by Bellevue Law founder Florence Brocklesby, leading litigation and disputes lawyer James Pheasant and data protection expert Michelle Correia to answer more of your COVID-19 related questions. 

During the session the panel answered the following questions:

If there are two people in the same role and only one is being furloughed, do you need to follow a process similar to redundancy in terms of selection criteria? 01:58

When running market research interviews using platforms such as Zoom. How can we ensure confidentiality and data privacy as they have access to any footage created and interaction with all members on the call? 03:48

One of our key suppliers has had to halt operations since the outbreak, what rights do we have? 05:57

Presumably, in terms of your obligation to continue to pay that supplier would that cease if the service has stopped being provided? 08:09

If we reduce somebody’s pay to 80% because of the outbreak, but then we decide that we want to furlough them. Will they receive 80% of their full pay or 80% of their 80% reduced pay? Where’s the benchmark for calculating furlough pay? 09:21

For staff working from home, what are the legal implications of monitoring what they are doing during work hours from a data protection perspective? 11:15

We’ve issued a contract of employment to someone starting mid-April, followed by a letter putting the person onto short term working –  which has all been agreed. Where do we stand if we then push back her start date until the end of the month/beginning of May? Is this even possible? 13:00

What reasonable efforts can we make to reduce damages related to coronavirus? 15:03

If someone is sick from covid-19, and therefore eligible for SSP from day 1, but they are able to work (from home!) from day 4 onwards, would they still be eligible for pro-rated SSP for day 1-3? 17:16

If I’m in a situation where I might be in breach of a contract, is there anything that I can do to mitigate my exposure? 18:23

Can I let my team know if someone has coronavirus? 20:36

Can employees take up other paid work whilst on furlough? 22:30

If a supplier is not supplying the service/goods, at what stage do people need to think about moving into formal litigation proceedings with these discussions? 24:36

Is there any time limit on which people have to move those conversations into formal litigation proceedings before they lose their right to be able to do that? 27:52

We can’t afford to buy our staff laptops and mobile phones to enable them to work from home, is it ok to require them to use their personal ones? 30:38

What are the data protection risks of home working? What if the company hasn’t provided any devices? 35:01

For furloughed employees, is it ok to auto-forward their emails to another person in the organisation? 39:25

For someone not taking furlough, but taking reduced hours – rather than taking reduced hours (i.e. 80%) as a contract change, would it be better to take 1 day unpaid leave per week so that in a redundancy scenario that notice would be paid at full time rather than at the reduced 80% hours rate? Or will it not matter? 41:22

I’m being asked to prove the existence of force majeure, how do I do this? 44:20

Do employees need to provide the NHS online SSP fit note in order to claim SSP or is it at the employers discretion? 50:15

If your place of work can’t work from home and you’re still in an office environment for example, would it still not be appropriate to say if a member of the team is off sick with coronavirus? 54:24

Can we claim SSP back if someone is sick for other reasons than coronavirus? Can employers claim back SSP that has been paid to employees from the government? 55:48

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PLEASE NOTE – The above webinar took place on Friday April, 3 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 hello@stephenson.law.

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Contact Us 

T: 0117 244 0056
E: hello@stephenson.law

Desklodge House, Redcliffe Way
Bristol, BS1 6NL

Head to our social pages