The coronavirus situation continues to disrupt and reshape “business as usual”. In this week’s roundup, we examine key employment issues; contractual obligations; immigration updates and real estate aspects of the new Coronavirus Act 2020.

AGMs – Public and Private Companies

COVID-19 has caused and continues to cause unprecedented disruption. One possible consequence for both public and private companies is the cancellation or rescheduling of AGMs and / or other general meetings. If your company is holding an AGM in the near future or is in the process of planning one, we have rounded up some points to think about and practical steps you may wish to take in light of the current situation. Click here for more.

Contractual Obligations

Coronavirus is causing problems for millions of people, and the uncertainty and disruption is set to continue for some time. But how will this play out when it comes to contractual agreements? With the government first advising, and now insisting, that many organisations close their doors and people limit contact with each other until further notice, what happens if a party is unable to fulfil their obligations under a contract? We’ve had many queries for example about cancelling an event or suspending a service. We discuss the most common issues and challenges to think about when there are obligations to perform under a contract, with particular focus on frustration and force majeure. Click here for more.


Employment law implications of coronavirus

With the disruption caused by the coronavirus continuing into April, last week Paul Seath, partner in our employment team, delivered two webinars focusing on how the ongoing turbulence has impacted on employment law. In the webinars Paul discusses everything from the rules governing sick pay that employers need to be aware of, steps employers can take in the event their employees cannot work from home, through to government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Click here to find out more and view the webinars. (Please note these webinars took place week commencing 23rd March, and were correct at the time of recording).

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – latest

The government has published the details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, under which staff can be furloughed with their consent. Following the release of this information, a number of points have become clear. We explore this further and take a look at how to make a claim. Click here for more.

Announced changes to the Working Time Regulations – what do they mean for employers and workers?

The Government has now amended the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) to allow workers to carry forward the four weeks of annual leave that would otherwise have been lost where they are unable to take it due to coronavirus. Click here for more.


Coronavirus and right to work

UK Visas & Immigration (‘UKVI’) has announced temporary adjustments to its requirements for how employers conduct right-to-work checks during the current COVID-19 environment. Remember that these checks need to be conducted before employing someone new and may also be required from time to time for existing employees with temporary visas due to expire. Click here for more.

Real Estate

Commercial property aspects of the Coronavirus Act 2020

As part of the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic new extensive laws have passed through Parliament providing wide-ranging measures to help deal with the impact of the virus. The Coronavirus Act 2020 became law on the 25th March. We have provided a roundup of the Act and it’s implications for real estate. Click here for more.

Fixed fee package

Need to review your lease in light of COVID-19? Click here for our fixed-fee package.


Our real estate team are hosting a webinar on: “Coronavirus Act: what are the implications for landlords and tenants?” this morning (Wednesday 1st April). Sign up to register to receive the full recording and slides here.

Update for charities

Charity Insolvency and Rescue Mechanisms

We have compiled a brief guide for charities on managing solvency and rescue mechanisms during the coronavirus crisis. Click here for more.

Charity Trustee Duties

During the coronavirus crisis, many charity trustees will want to be sure they are complying with their duties. We have compiled a quick guide which aims to help them do so, while it is not a comprehensive guide, it should help trustees carry out their duties. Click here to take a look at our guide.

Common Issues Facing Charities

With the entire charity sector raising a range of legal questions in relation to the impact of coronavirus last week, Bates Wells, in association with NCVO, delivered a webinar which addressed charities’ most common queries. This webinar focused on the following topics: 

  • HR and employment law, 
  • Contracts, 
  • Insurance and serious incident reporting, 
  • Governance and solvency considerations, 
  • Legal considerations when managing volunteers, 
  • Meetings and decision making. 

Click here for full details on the webinar and to access a recording. (Please note this webinar took place on the 25th March and was correct at the time of recording).


With the forecast that the coronavirus outbreak could significantly weaken the UK economy, this will inevitably impact legacy income. We have put together a list of some key issues for you to consider. Click here for more.

Serious Incident Reporting by Charities

In the first of two new video interviews, Mindy Jhittay speaks to Thomson Reuters Practical Law about the requirement for charities to report serious incidents. Charities are facing significant challenges in response to COVID-19 and the associated government restrictions, however, the Commission still requires charities to report serious incidents. Whilst this video was recorded prior to recent events, it provides a useful summary of what charities need to know. Click here for more.

Our weekly Briefing for charities and social enterprises includes a round-up of recent sector-related coronavirus news.  See here for the latest version and here to sign up for our Briefing each week.

Stay in the know

To stay up to date with all our latest updates, take a look at our Coronavirus Insights Hub.