Further suspension of UK wrongful trading laws introduced

Analyzing Business Data - pen and numbers on paperOn 26 November 2020, The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (Coronavirus) (Suspension of Liability for Wrongful Trading and Extension of the Relevant Period) Regulations 2020 (the “Regulations”) came into force.

The Regulations have exactly the same impact as the suspension of liability for wrongful trading that was brought into force by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (the “Act”) on 26 June 2020. We discussed these measures in detail in our blog here before they were brought into force by the Act and there was a subsequent extension of the “relevant period” to 30 September 2020. Continue Reading

UK Government Publishes Treasury Direction for Extended Furlough Scheme

The Government has issued what we might hope will be the final piece of the jigsaw on the latest extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – the Treasury Direction (TD4).

TD4 sets out the law that will govern the extension of the CJRS (at least until 31 January 2021) and formally withdraws the Job Retention Bonus Scheme.

Our employment colleagues have produced an alert and updated their CJRS quick guide following publication of TD4.


Court Appointed Insolvency Referees Gain Further Momentum in Australia

This year has introduced many a “new normal”.   In Australia there has been an increasing move by the Australian Federal Court to embrace references as a means of determining key contentious issues before trial – for example what is the date of insolvency.  This is particularly critical in the course of antecedent transaction proceedings, particularly unfair preferences.

There are both opportunities and challenges for litigants with this approach, but given that it is likely that the Australian Federal Court will continue to embrace referrals as a means to determining critical questions, such as the date of insolvency, we explore the consequences of this in more detail in this alert.




How Do You Assess Business Viability and Director Risk (UK)?

The biggest challenge for most UK businesses in the current environment is assessing viability.  Will it survive another lockdown? Can it recover from the last?  Each business is unique but there are common challenges to all.

One of the most difficult challenges at the moment is ensuring that when making decisions about the business that directors ensure compliance with their directors’ duties.  If the business is at risk, so might their own personal liability, and now, perhaps more so that during the first wave of the pandemic, the risk is arguably greater. 

To help navigate these uncertainties we have produced this guide focusing on the key considerations for all businesses: cash, financial pressure points, employees, tax, Brexit and directors’ duties.   

To compliment this we are also hosting a free webinar on 1 December when our panel of experts will explore these challenges and what they mean for a business and its directors.  Should a business increase borrowings and incur further debt?  What should it do with employees?  These are all difficult decisions particularly when the economic future is so uncertain.   To register for this event, please click here

UK Government Publishes Detailed Guidance on Extended Furlough Scheme

Late on 10 November 2020, the UK Government published detailed guidance on the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

As expected, the guidance largely reflects what was contained in the policy paper and is broadly the same as the last CJRS guidance.

Our employment colleagues have produced an updated alert and quick guide discussing this guidance in detail.


UK Government Extends Furlough Scheme Until 31 March 2021

As you will have seen in recent announcements, the government is now:

  • Extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) until 31 March 2021.
  • Postponing the Job Support Scheme (JSS), possibly indefinitely.
  • Scrapping the Job Retention Bonus (JRB), but this will apparently be replaced by another “retention incentive at the appropriate time”.

Businesses that have spent the last few weeks preparing for the end of furlough, possibly bringing staff back to work, telling them all about the JSS or putting in place short-time working agreements, let alone banking on the JRB for a cash boost when most needed, are entitled to feel more than slightly irked at this new and unheralded change in approach by the government.

But, like most employers, they will also probably welcome this additional financial support for ongoing wage costs at a time when the economic forecast is looking increasingly grim. The good news at least is that the extended CJRS is not only more generous for employees but also less expensive for employers than the JSS it is replacing.

Our employment colleagues have produced a quick guide of how the extended scheme will work.

UK Government Extends Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Following the UK Prime Minister’s announcement on Saturday night that England will enter a second national lockdown on Thursday 5 November, HM Treasury has confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) that was due to close at the end of October will be extended for a month (for now!). The introduction of the Job Support Scheme (JSS) has been postponed until the CJRS ends.  See our employment colleagues alert for further comment about this change.