Carousel_Arrow Chat icon_cookie IHT_trust_wills IR35 Combined Shape 2 Group 10 Login Mobile Menu Share Share Email SubMenuMobile Group 9 VAT View_Gallery View_List capital_allow Triangle 2 Copy Close construction cyberpro employment_tax_shares emplyer_solutions entrepreneurs_corps fee_protect Group 7 grant_fund Group i_Clock i_Consult i_Done i_Eligibility_Tick i_Enter i_Filter i_HMRC i_Negative i_Play i_Plus i_Reset i_Support_Legal i_Support_TaxDesk i_Support_VAT i_Tick noun_marketing_1872083 noun_online_2126759 i_download i_meet Group Copy 24 Group 18 noun_electrical_1240755 copy noun_Technology_2125422 noun_Science_2031115 i_tick_bullet_block international_tax patent_box private_client property_sdlt r_and_d reliefs_incentives Search specialist_tax status tax_indemnity valuation YouTube
Markel Insurances

Free legal support and guidance for care organisations with Law Hub

As we start to emerge from the UK’s country-wide lockdown, organisations are now considering how to safely reopen and return their staff to work.

That’s why our legal experts at Markel Law have been working hard to identify the resources Markel UK’s care customers need to safely run their organisation while keeping their staff safe.

That’s why Markel Care policyholders benefit from immediate access to our dedicated legal portal, Law Hub, for legal and business guides to help navigate this emergence period.  

As well as a dedicated care section within Law Hub, we have created a new designated section with a wealth of useful documentation to support care providers through COVID-19.

Useful guidance and documentation includes:

  • Guidance on furlough and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • The Coronavirus: Guidance for employers​

  • Alternative employment in a redundancy situation

  • Collective consultation on redundancy

  • Considering alternatives to redundancy

  • Coronavirus business interruption insurance

  • Coronavirus contract issues

  • Coronavirus financial support for the self-employed

  • Dismissing short-serving employees

  • Holidays

  • Insolvency of an employer

  • Lay-offs, short-time working and guarantee payments

 All Markel Care policyholders have free access to Law Hub as a policy benefit. If you do not currently have access, please email lawhub@markel.com to activate your membership. You can access Law Hub here.

Law Hub

Markel Care policyholders benefit from immediate access to our dedicated legal portal, Law Hub, for legal and business guides to help navigate this uncertain time. As well as a dedicated care section within Law Hub, we have created a new designated section with a wealth of useful documentation to support care providers through Covid-19. 

We have seen a huge spike in downloads of our guides and documents over the past few weeks. In fact, over 70% of Law Hub’s traffic has been to its dedicated Covid-19 page. Markel Care policyholders have free access to the Law Hub and should log on regularly to ensure they are referring to the most recently published documents.

Useful guidance and documentation includes:

  • Guidance on Furlough and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • The Coronavirus: Guidance for employers​

  • Alternative employment in a redundancy situation

  • Collective consultation on redundancy

  • Considering alternatives to redundancy

  • Coronavirus business interruption insurance

  • Coronavirus contract issues

  • Coronavirus financial support for the self-employed

  • Dismissing short-serving employees

  • Holidays

  • Insolvency of an employer

  • Lay-offs, short-time working and guarantee payments

All Markel Care policyholders have free access to the Law Hub as a policy benefit. If you do not currently have access, please email lawhub@markel.com to activate your membership. You can access the Law Hub here.

Guidance on Furlough and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

In response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and to safeguard the livelihood of care businesses across the UK, the Government has introduced emergency measures which will help providers through the pandemic.  These measures will cover the wages of many employees that work within the sector.   

However, just as care providers seem to be getting a handle on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), or furlough scheme, the Government seems to be making a habit of publishing new guidance.  This provides fresh challenges for care providers who need to ensure they are taking advantage of the most up-to-date guidance.   

To support our care customers, the Markel Law team have produced a comprehensive factsheet, which includes information on eligibility, the definition of a furloughed employee and how to access the CJRS.

This factsheet was last updated on 07.07.20. It incorporates the government updates to the employer guidance on claiming for employees' wages through the CJRS which applied until 30.06.20 and The Coronavirus Act 2020 Functions of HMRC (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) Direction dated 20.05.20 (which updates the original Direction dated 15.04.20 and sets out the legal framework for the Scheme).


Learn-more-button-(2).png
 

The Coronavirus: Guidance for employers

Our factsheet provides an overview of the current guidance on the Coronavirus situation for employees. It explains what the virus is and gives advice on how employers should respond to the threat and support employees by being prepared, particularly by looking after employees’ health and safety and developing flexible resourcing plans.

We're updating this factsheet regularly to ensure it reflects legislative changes, Government advice and Public Health guidance as this evolves. This factsheet is reviewed on a regular basis. This factsheet was last updated on 14.4.2020.


Learn-more-button-(3).png

Legal helpline

Markel Care customers can benefit from Markel’s 24/7 legal helpline, with access to 40 qualified solicitors who can assist on Covid-19-specific queries.  Over the past few weeks the team have been assisting with a number of Covid-19 queries, including:

  • What to do about anxious carers (not suffering with symptoms etc. or self-isolating) who do not want to come in due to growing concerns

  • Pregnant employees with no underlying medical condition (so not within the critically extremely vulnerable list) who are refusing to come to work as they cannot implement social distancing in their current role and there are no alternative roles on offer.

  • Employees who live in a household with someone who is shielding. The employee is not their carer but because they work in a social care setting, the employer is unable to implement the required social distancing.

  • General advice on who should be shielding as lots of carers are expressing an interest in being furloughed.

  • Whether or not local authority-funded care homes can furlough their staff under the CJRS.

To contact the legal helpline and speak with one of our legal experts, Markel Care customers should refer to their policy documentation. 
 

If you are not an existing customer but want more information on how to access the legal helpline, contact us on 0345 351 0025 or email lawenquiriesuk@markel.com.
 

Legal consultancy specialists

Markel Law offers specialist care services advice and legal representation to health care providers, domiciliary care businesses and nurseries through our dedicated team of care services solicitors. From deprivation of liberty issues and staff matters to dealing with the CQC. 

Over the past few weeks our solicitors have been advising on a number of specific Covid-19-related issues, and the team have summarised some of the main challenges.

Staffing

One of the challenges facing the social care sector is having enough staff to provide a safe and compliant service during a time that many employees are unwell or self-isolating. In response to this, temporary changes have been made to the DBS application process that will remain in place while the Corona Act 2020 is in force.

The CQC has produced guidance that applies to individuals (including volunteers) being recruited as a consequence of and during the Coronavirus pandemic where the three criteria below are met:

  1. providers need to start staff urgently

  2. waiting for a full DBS check could cause undue delay

  3. this delay could lead to risks to the continuity of service, impacting the safety and wellbeing of people using the service

Providers are offered a fast, free Barred List DBS check for emergency roles being recruited in response to a provider risk assessment. Enhanced DBS check information will still be processed, but will be issued afterwards.

Providers are still cautioned to exercise diligence around all aspects of safe recruitment, including other recruitment checks they might carry out. Providers are still responsible for risk assessing their situation and making decisions based on the needs of their service and people using that service during this emergency.

If providers take reasonable steps to ensure new staff are recruited in line with new DBS guidance, staff are adequately supported and sufficiently supervised so that people are safe, we will not take a punitive approach. Providers should record the decisions they have made, and any risks identified along with the mitigations they will put in place. For example, providers might consider accepting a relevant DBS check from a previous employer provided it is less than three years old and for a similar role.

The CQC have stated that they will take a pragmatic view on the portability of certificates for those being employed in emergency roles, recognising that some providers may have to consider this as part of their risk assessment. All other appointments and applications for DBS checks that are not linked to coronavirus must be processed according to existing DBS and CQC guidance. As long as providers take reasonable steps to ensure new staff are adequately supported and sufficiently supervised so that people are safe, the CQC have stated they will not take a punitive approach. Providers should record the decisions they have made, any risks identified along with the mitigations they will put in place so there is a clear audit trail in the event any concerns are raised.


Inquests

Currently deaths that are referred to the coroner are going through the usual processes, which can include investigation and inquests. However, coroners and coroners’ officers are under severe pressures due to Covid-19-related deaths, their own illness or self-isolation, or their own care commitments. Therefore the chief coroner has recognised there are likely to be delays breaching the 12-month target for completing an inquest.

The most recent guidance states that no physical hearing should take place unless it is urgent and essential business and that it is safe for those involved for the hearing to take place. A particular concern is to ensure social distancing in court and in the court building.

All hearings that can possibly take place remotely will continue to do so, and other hearings will continue only if suitable arrangements can be made to ensure distancing although it is recognised this may be difficult. Therefore providers should make sure that they have the technological capabilities and prepare for the fact that the organisation and staff may be required to give witness evidence remotely.

Covid-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death (MCCD). Covid-19 as cause of death (or contributory cause) is not a reason on its own to refer a death to a coroner under the CJA 2009. The fact that Covid-19 is now a notifiable disease under the Health Protection (Notification) Regulations 2010 does not mean referral to a coroner is required by virtue of its notifiable status (the notification is to Public Health England) and provider should be clear that there will often be no reason for deaths caused by this disease to be referred to a coroner.

It seems a simple statement, but Covid-19 is a naturally occurring disease and therefore is capable of being a natural cause of death. It is possible for there to be additional factors around the death meaning a report to the coroner is necessary such as where the cause is not clear, or where there are other relevant factors. This is set out in the Notification of Death Regulations 2019. There may also be cases where an otherwise natural cause of death could be considered unnatural.

The availability or lack of availability of post-mortem examination facilities and pathologists will be a factor for Coroners to consider in deciding whether to order an examination (or a particular type of examination) in each case. Coroners will be forced to consider partial or external examinations by pathologists as well as non-invasive examinations, or no examination at all. Cases of particular complexity and sensitivity are likely to be prioritised. Given the emergency situation, it may be that post mortem examinations are not possible, either because of infection risk grounds or capacity problems. In these circumstances, coroners are advised to consider other relevant medical and other evidence that may enable a conclusion to be reached.

It is important to note that coroners remain obligated to open an Inquest in the event of a natural death where the individual is in state detention, which can include those subject to Liberty Protection Safeguards. This includes Covid-19-related deaths. Ultimately whether a hearing can continue or not, and in what form, is a matter for the senior coroner responsible for the court covering the area where the death occurred and the coroner dealing with the case. It is likely that the coroner will open an investigation but delay the inquest until the pandemic has passed. Providers should continue to ensure that records are detailed setting out the care provided and any issues that impact upon that. Policies and staff training/briefings should look to share best practice and any infection control procedures should reflect the challenges of Covid-19 that provide an audit trail showing the organisations response. This will provide the information that will form the basis of any report and/or witness statement in the event you are required to attend an inquest.


Our legal specialists are just a phone call away
 
To speak with one of our specialist care solicitors contact us on 0345 351 0025 or email lawenquiriesuk@markel.com.