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Safe Zone – Key COVID-19 Considerations for Your Organisation

03 April 2020

Towards the end of 2019, a new strain of coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named this strain COVID-19.

As of the beginning of March 2020, all continents worldwide are impacted. To assist businesses in their planning and risk mitigation efforts, we consider the legal, regulatory and commercial implications of the imminent global disruption caused by coronavirus COVID-19.

 

Pensions & COVID 19 Webinar - What Employers & Trustees Should Know

We hosted a live webinar discussing Pensions & COVID-19 with Jerry Moriarty, CEO of the Irish Association of Pensions Funds. During this remote session, we looked at the key actions and considerations that employers and trustees should examine as we begin to deal with the challenges of COVID-19. Our speakers also looked at measures that can be taken and provided practical tips to help mitigate the financial consequences of this crisis.

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Governance – Company Directors and Managing Risk | 11am GMT, 8 April

We will host a webinar looking at the duties of company directors during the COVID-19 crisis on Wednesday 8 April 2020. Our speakers will look at the key considerations for directors of companies such as business continuity and the exercising of directors duties, conducting board meetings and financial reporting.

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Latest Developments in Real Estate and Built Environment | 2pm GMT, 8 April and 2pm GMT, 9 April

We will host a series of webinars looking at the latest developments in Real Estate and Built Environment in light of the current COVID-19.

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Aviation | Impact of COVID-19 on the Aviation Industry

As the economic, geopolitical and health consequences that COVID-19 presents continue to evolve, we outline some recent reports from the aviation authorities and industry bodies on the proposed measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

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Charities & Not-for-Profit | Decision Making by Charities During COVID-19 Outbreak

We take a look at the increased challenges for charity trustees making decisions for their charities, including decisions regarding employees, during the COVID-19 outbreak. We also look at updates from the Charities Regulatory Authority.

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Commercial Contracts | Strain on the Relationship – Reviewing Force Majeure

While a force majeure clause is typically found in the ‘boilerplate’ section at the back of a commercial contract, it is a useful clause when an extraordinary event occurs. It is time to take the contracts out of the drawer, review the force majeure clauses, and consider if they relieve your business from performing its obligations in light of any COVID-19 disruption.

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Construction | Projects on Lockdown: Impact of COVID-19 Restrictions 

Given that the vast majority of projects are now closing, we look at how the latest restrictions will affect the rights and obligations of employers and contractors operating under the two most commonly used forms of contract in Ireland; the Public Works Contract (PWC) and the RIAI standard form contract.

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Construction | Can Your Project Become Infected?

We examine the potential effects of COVID-19 on the ability to perform contractual obligations in construction projects and how issues arising in an international supply chain could infect a project in Ireland. We look at a classic definition of a “force majeure event” and examine whether COVID-19 is likely to succeed in meeting the typical requirements for relief.

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Corporate | COVID-19 - Spreading into AGM Season?

We look at the options available to companies where shareholder participation in an AGM is restricted due to measures required to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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Corporate Governance & Compliance | COVID-19 and the Management of Companies

With the increasing spread of COVID-19 across Ireland and the world, we look at the actions that Irish companies might take to address and manage the escalating situation. 

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Data Protection | Complying with GDPR Timelines During COVID-19

In light of the current COVID-19 crisis, the Data Protection Commission (DPC) has signalled that certain allowances will be made for GDPR compliance in these unprecedented times. Of particular interest to organisations will be the guidance on the statutory timelines for responding to data subject requests. We look at the scope of the DPC’s recent guidance. 

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Debt Recovery | Show Me the Money: COVID-19 and Cash Collections

Damage assessment, forward planning and speed of remedial action are required for the survival of a business during the COVID-19 crisis. We highlight some general cash management strategies as well as specific measures a business might take to endure the economic consequences. 

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Dispute Resolution | Potential Exposure to Costly Litigation

With many high profile public interest events at risk of cancellation due to the COVID-19 outbreak and an increased danger of breaks in chains of supply, we look at exposure to potential costly legal disputes for manufacturers and suppliers.

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Dispute Resolution | The Irish Courts and the COVID-19 Crisis

The Chief Justice and the Presidents of each Court Jurisdiction released a statement this week reviewing the Courts’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic to date as well as future plans to conduct remote court hearings. We outline the arrangements implemented to date and discuss the judiciary’s welcome plans to facilitate hearings remotely.

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Food & Beverage | Impact on Key Players in the Food & Beverage Supply Chain

We look at the impact on the food & beverage sector, at continuity in the supply chain and how food production plants are adapting to the COVID-19 risks. We also outline whether businesses may be able to avail of force majeure if they are unable to fulfil contractual obligations.

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Education | Tech Savvy Teachers – Top Tips for Working from Home

The recent directive by Government for schools to close in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has necessitated teachers to work remotely. We provide some helpful tips on keeping personal data safe when working at home.

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Education | Teachers and SNAs to Help Deliver Essential Public Services?

It is important for Boards of Managements to be aware of the provisions of Circular 24/2020 and the impact it may have on the employment of teachers and special needs assistants. We look at the scope of the Circular.

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Employment & Benefits | Updated and Continued Guidance for Concerned Employers

With the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, showing no signs of abating, there are some points employers should be keeping in mind.

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Employment & Benefits | COVID-19 – Guidance for Concerned Employers

With many people currently affected globally, we provide helpful guidance for employers faced with uncertainty caused by public health concerns and how best to minimise the impact on their business. 

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Employment & Benefits | Paying Employees in Uncertain Times

We look at an employer’s obligation to pay employees where it is no longer in a position to provide employees with their normal contractual hours as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

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Employment & Benefits | Calls for Immediate Enhanced Emergency Employment Measures

Employers across the country are facing extremely difficult decisions regarding their businesses and employees as a result of the current COVID-19 crisis. We identify three specific measures the Irish Government should be called on urgently to consider to support businesses in crisis. 

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Employment & Benefits | Call for Clarity – Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (COVID-19) Bill 2020

The Irish Government has introduced emergency measures in order to provide financial support to employees affected by the COVID-19 crisis. However, the rushed nature of its introduction has left many employers with questions as to how these measures are going to operate in practice as the penalties for non-compliance are severe and far reaching.

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Healthcare & Medical | COVID-19: A Notifiable Disease – Guidance for Medical Practitioners

Medical practitioners, including clinical directors of diagnostic laboratories, who diagnose COVID-19 or suspect that a patient under their care is a carrier of the disease, should now be aware of their notification requirements.

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Insolvency & Restructuring | Survival for Businesses Significantly Affected by COVID-19

Businesses that likely to be significantly affected by the COVID-19 crisis need to able to react quickly in order to ensure their survival. We look at the range of options available to companies under Irish law during this period of uncertainty.

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Insurance & Risk | Business Interrupted – The Insurance Implications of COVID-19

Many businesses will be looking to their insurance policies to cover the financial losses incurred as a result of the disruption. We discuss the application of business interruption insurance in the current COVID-19 crisis.

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Intellectual Property | COVID-19 Causing Important Deadlines to be Extended

The EPO, EUIPO and Intellectual Property Office of Ireland have made a number of recent important announcements regarding the extension of official office deadlines due to the outbreak of COVID-19. We review these announcements which will be relevant and important for applicants for and holders of patent, trade marks and designs. 

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Legislative Update | The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020

The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Bill 2020, as drafted, will likely not have the intended effect of encouraging employers to retain and pay employees, with all of the collateral benefit that brings. This seems to arise from drafting failures rather than a failure of political will or intent.

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M&A | Isolating the Issues in M&A Transactions

With the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 increasing daily on the island of Ireland, we look at how the continued spread of the virus may impact the negotiation of M&A transactions.

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Pensions Not Immune from COVID-19

As stock markets tumble, the virus has continued to spread throughout the world with Ireland reporting its first case at the end of February. We look at the effects the virus is already having and the outlook for pensions in a very uncertain market. 

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Pensions: COVID-19 First Aid Kit for Employers and Trustees

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing a significant global slowdown in economic activity and a severe effect on the financial markets, we briefly analyse some of the key issues that will need to be addressed by pension scheme trustees and employers in the coming weeks and months.

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Planning & Environment | Open For Business – The Planning System in Ireland

We review recent government directions and examine the importance being placed on ensuring the planning system continues to function.

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Planning & Environment | COVID-19 and the Impact on the Planning System in Ireland

We examine how the COVID-19 public health emergency has already impacted on the planning system in Ireland and its potential future effects. 

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Public, Regulatory & Investigations | COVID-19 – Do Normal Standards of Practice Apply?

We examine the approach adopted by UK statutory health and care regulators to professional regulation in light of the COVID-19 outbreak and consider the Irish position.

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Real Estate | Temporary Rental Sector Measures Imminent

We look at the anticipated measures to be introduced by the Irish Government by way of emergency legislation. 

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Real Estate | Tenants Entitled to Stay at Home – New Government Emergency Measures for Rental Sector Enacted

The Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Covid-19) Act 2020 has been drafted, debated and introduced at speed. We briefly examine the scope of the measures as they relate to residential tenants and their landlords.

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Real Estate | COVID-19 and the Effects on Retail

We look at some of the already substantial effects the COVID-19 crisis has had on landlords and tenants in the retail sector and the legal considerations that might be relevant to actions that tenants have taken or plan to take.

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Real Estate | Staying Alive – Hotels, Restaurants and Licensed Premises

Without the ability to trade, what can the owner of a hotel or licensed premises do to safeguard the survival of their business? We provide some practical tips during this challenging period. 

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Discuss your related queries now with Declan Black.

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