Need To Know: Your Business Updates for September 2020

  • 01 Sep 2020

Welcome to the September 2020 'Need to Know' update. You'll find the latest key information on the Coronavirus crisis, support from Government, immigration, Brexit, and the latest developments

 

Government publishes new employer resources for the new immigration routes to be launched next year

The Home Office have published some useful resources to help employers understand and prepare for the new points-based immigration system coming into effect from 1 January 2021.

Anyone from the EU wanting to come to the UK for work will need to meet new job and salary requirements to be eligible.

The Home Office has previously revealed the core principles behind the forthcoming points-based system with a statement in February.

The key features of the updated employers guide are:

  • Immigration routes for prospective employees from outside the UK
  • The application process for becoming a Home Office licensed visa sponsor
  • Information on digital status and right to work checks
  • The new global talent route; and Intra-company transfers

If you want to reads more, go to: https://bit.ly/2YJjiPp

11 New Trade Advisory Groups launched by Dept for International Trade

The Department for International Trade (DIT) has established 11 new trade advisory groups, covering a range of key sectors, to provide knowledge, insight and experience from top industry experts which the Government says will inform UK negotiating position and deliver deals that benefit the whole country.

 

The newly launched trade advisory groups (TAGs) are part of a new business drive designed to support the UK's trade negotiations.

As trade talks with Japan, the US, Australia and New Zealand intensify, the Trade Secretary is stepping up engagement with key industries across Britain, including farming, manufacturing, automotive, and tech.

Their advice will be used to help inform the government’s negotiating position and deliver key industry asks that benefit the whole UK, including securing new market access on products like ceramics, cars, steel and beef, and agreeing cutting-edge digital trade rules.

The list of the 11 Trade Advisory Groups are:

  • Agri-Food
  • Automotive, Aerospace and Marine
  • British Manufacturing and Consumer Goods
  • Investment
  • Life Sciences
  • Tech and Telecoms
  • Chemicals
  • Financial Services
  • Professional Advisory Services
  • Transport Services
  • Creative Industries

A list of members will be published on gov.uk website.

To read more go to: https://bit.ly/2Qvd419

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Cancellation and refund updates

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published further detail on its views on the law in relation to cancellations and refunds during the pandemic.

The CMA remains of the view that a consumer will generally be entitled to a refund when they have paid money in advance for services or goods that cannot be provided because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Given the evolving situation, the CMA has provided more detail on issues such as the difference between lockdown laws and government guidance, and their impact on cancellations and refunds.

  • Lockdown laws: These are pieces of legislation such as the various Health Protection Regulations across the UK. If contracts cannot go ahead because of lockdown laws then, for most consumer contracts, the CMA would expect a consumer to be offered a full refund. If contracts are partially affected by lockdown laws then, depending on the circumstances and the scale of the impact, consumers may be entitled to a refund or a price reduction.
  • Government guidance: The government has issued guidance in place of or in addition to lockdown laws. As these are guidance and not law, whether a consumer is entitled to a refund will vary according to the specific circumstances. For example, if a package holiday is cancelled in light of Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice against travel to the relevant country, there are specific protections which mean that consumers should be entitled to a full refund.

In other situations, it will not always be the case that a full refund is due because government guidance does not create legal restrictions and will not necessarily mean that a contract cannot be performed.

 

But even where that is the case, it is important for businesses and consumers to follow government guidance and it is the CMA’s view that businesses should treat their customers fairly and responsibly, including trying to find a mutually acceptable solution.

The CMA has also written to certain package travel companies involved in group trips to explain its view on when customers should be offered a refund.

This follows complaints about some package travel organisers advising customers that they are not entitled to a refund as their contract was between the company and a group, such as a school, rather than made directly with the customer. It is the CMA’s view that the Package Travel Regulations apply to these group travel packages, and that individual customers should be entitled to a refund if they have paid money in advance for a group trip that is cancelled because of the pandemic.

The CMA’s statement on consumer protection law, setting out its views, is designed to help consumers understand their rights and to help businesses treat their customers fairly. Ultimately only a court can decide how the law applies in each circumstance.

Head of the CMA’s Covid-19 Taskforce Will Hayter said: “Our view is that consumers will generally be entitled to a refund when they have paid in advance for services or goods that cannot be provided because of legal restrictions as a result of the pandemic.

“If complying with government guidance adversely impacts consumers, our message to businesses is that they should treat their customers fairly and responsibly - including trying to find a mutually acceptable solution.

“In the case of package holidays, including some group trips, if these are cancelled because of the pandemic, for example because of changing Foreign Office travel advice, our clear view is that individual customers who have paid in advance should be entitled to a full refund.”

To read more go to: https://bit.ly/34Kcnt0

New body to drive economic recovery

Three core missions for the new Scottish National Investment Bank have been laid before the Scottish Parliament for consultation.

The core missions focus the Bank’s activities on addressing key challenges and creating inclusive, long-term economic growth. This will enable the Bank to play a significant role in supporting Scotland’s economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19).

 

The proposed missions aim to support:

  • the just transition to net zero emissions by 2045
  • creating opportunities and reducing inequalities
  • harnessing innovation in response to demographic challenges

The Bank is on schedule to launch by the end of the year and the Scottish Government has committed to capitalising it with £2 billion over ten years.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Scottish National Investment Bank provides a unique opportunity to influence the direction of Scotland’s economy. It will play an important role during recovery from COVID-19 through long-term investment in our businesses and communities.

“These proposed missions will steer the Bank’s investment strategy to address the big challenges facing Scotland - a very different ethos to that typically followed by private investment institutions. There is extensive support for this approach and a significant appetite from Scotland’s investment community to co-invest with the Bank.

“By supporting innovation, driving green development and promoting inclusive economic growth, the Bank can help deliver our vision of a globally competitive, sustainable and fairer economy.

“The Bank’s launch will lead a step change in our measures to boost Scotland’s economic growth.”

To read more go to: https://bit.ly/2QzYYeJ

 

 

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