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The New CJRS Treasury Direction

On 13 November, HM Treasury published its fifth Direction in relation to the furlough scheme. Treasury Directions form the legal framework for the scheme.

The new Direction:

  • formally extends the CJRS from 1 November 2020 until 31 March 2021;
  • sets out the detail of how the CJRS will operate between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021 (a further Direction covering February and March 2021 to be published in due course); and
  • withdraws the Coronavirus Job Retention Bonus.

The rules cover a wide range of issues including: eligibility; furlough agreements; claim periods; reference salaries; calculating usual hours of work; permitted activities during furlough; business succession (including TUPE); PAYE scheme reorganisations; and time limits for making claims.

Some key points are as follows:

  • Claims may not be made for any day that an employee is serving notice between 1 December 2020 and 31 January 2021. The Direction does not distinguish between notice of dismissal and notice of resignation.
  • It is now a condition of making a claim that the employer accepts that HMRC will publish information about CJRS claims on-line. This includes the name of the employer and a “reasonable indication” of the amount claimed. An exception may be made for employers who can show that publication would expose their workforce to “serious risk of violence or intimidation”.
  • Furlough agreements must be in place before the start of the relevant claim period (but may be varied during the claim period).

Collaborative Law – Q&A

2020 has been a difficult year. With the additional strains and stresses that Christmas will bring, we divorce lawyers anticipate that the New Year will be a busy time.

However, the good news is that there is a way to reach agreement during a divorce without having to resort to expensive court disputes, as I will explain in this blog.

Why Is the Start of the Year so Busy for Divorce Lawyers?

The New Year is often a time for new resolutions and new starts. After putting up with difficult situations or perhaps finding that a stressful Christmas is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, people may decide that it is a good time to make changes for the better to their lives, including contacting family lawyers.

What Is Collaborative Law?

It is a method of resolving issues arising from relationship breakdown focusing on finding solutions in a collaborative rather than court-based process. The aim is for a couple to focus on their most important goals, such as ongoing care and co-parenting of their children.

A series of face-to-face meetings promotes dialogue and provides a tailor-made solution for all aspects of their separation. It does not have to be solely for divorcing couples, it can be used in cohabitation breakdowns and also where couples are looking at starting a relationship together.

What Are the Advantages?

The parties commit not to go to court and are therefore in charge of the process and in control of the outcome. They make the final decision.

Unlike mediation the parties are supported in the face-to-face meetings by their lawyers, who can provide direct and immediate legal advice on any technical queries. As issues are discussed in the room there is complete transparency, which builds trust and enables the parties to see how their process is evolving.

If technical issues or disputes are encountered, experts known as “neutrals” can be brought in to assist the parties. This includes financial advisors, such as actuaries and business accountants, as well as family therapists if issues over children crop up.

The costs tend to be about half that of going to court to resolve financial issues or children matters because the meetings are tailor-made for the parties, who agree the agenda on each occasion. In addition to this, the couple is offered privacy, which provides a sense of achievement knowing that they have worked together to resolve matters.

How Long Have You Been a Family Lawyer?

24 years. I qualified in 1996 and have specialised exclusively in family work since then. I have seen many changes, including the introduction of pension sharing orders in the year 2000 and The Civil Partnership Act in 2004. I trained as a Collaborative Lawyer in 2010 and I am an active member of the “Shropshire Collaborative Lawyers” Group. Visit here for more details. Contact us for more information.

CJRS – Updated Guidance

As promised, the government updated its guidance on the furlough scheme on 10 November. The latest guidance for employers is here and that for employees is here.

Amongst other things, the updated guidance confirms that from 1 November, the scheme is open for employees who were employed on 30 October, as well as employees who were made redundant or stopped working on or after 23 September if they are then re-employed (provided that they were subject to a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October, or 23 September as the case may be, notifying a payment of earnings for them); and there is no longer a maximum number of employees for whom an employer can claim. (Up to 31 October, subject to limited exceptions, in any claim period employers could not claim for a greater number of employees than the maximum number for whom they had claimed in any claim period up to 30 June.)

As is well known, from 1 November employers can claim 80% of an employee’s usual pay for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

The guidance states that employees returning from maternity leave need to give 8 weeks' notice to end maternity leave early in order to be furloughed under the scheme. The guidance does not deal with the situation where employees who are not subject to a statutory obligation to provide such eight weeks’ notice (because the employer did not confirm the date upon which maternity leave would otherwise expire in writing) or otherwise where the employee and employer agree to shorten the eight week period. Therefore, for clarity, we await the updated Treasury direction, which will set out the formal rules of the extended scheme, and/or further updated guidance.

The employer must confirm in writing to the employee that they have been furloughed, and keep a written record for 5 years. Employers should also ensure that any furlough arrangements are introduced lawfully and otherwise effectively. We have updated our precedent furlough documents to take account of the extended scheme.

Employers can retrospectively implement furlough with effect from 1 November 2020, as long as the agreement to retrospectively claim furlough occurs on or before this Friday 13 November.

There seems to be a mistake in the guidance concerning TUPE. It states that employees who transfer under TUPE must have "been employed by their prior employer on or before 30 October 2020 and transferred from them to their new employer on or before 1 September 2020" whereas it should say: "been employed by their prior employer on or before 30 October 2020 and transferred from them to their new employer on or after 1 September 2020". See this Twitter exchange.

Notably, whilst the updated guidance confirms that, for the time being, employers can still claim under the scheme for furloughed employees, who are under notice of dismissal, it states that the government is reviewing whether this should continue, and the approach will change for claim periods starting on or after 1 December, with further guidance to be published in late November.

Wedding or Alarm Bells?

Confirmed cases of coronavirus are on the rise and greater restrictions are, once again, being imposed by the UK Government and the devolved administrations.

At the time of writing, Wales is due to come out of its national lockdown and England has entered its own.

Both nations have imposed various rules concerning gatherings at weddings and these have changed over time as the pandemic progresses.

Resultantly, couples who had planned to tie the knot in 2020 have been faced with a seemingly never ending amount of obstacles to overcome to get to their big day.

The Issue

Some of those, who have had their plans changed by the pandemic, have encountered issues with changing dates or reclaiming deposits from suppliers and venues. In the majority of cases, this isn’t a small amount of money, with the average cost of a UK wedding being around £21,000.

On 7 September 2020, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) in an open letter to the weddings sector highlighted concerns surrounding unfair practices by a minority of businesses, mainly relating to the cancellation of contracts and services due to the coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Specifically, these issues were:

  • wedding businesses refusing to offer or give appropriate refunds where weddings are, or were, prevented from taking place by lockdown laws;

  • uncertainty about weddings that are affected by legal restrictions and government guidance as lockdown laws are eased; and

  • businesses seeking to rely on unfair contract terms.

The starting point is, the consumer should be offered a full refund where lockdown laws prevent or have prevented a wedding from going ahead as agreed. This refund being due even where the consumer has paid what the business claims to be “non-refundable” deposits.

There are circumstances where the business may be able to retain a proportion of the sums paid. This can include sums to cover services or products, which have already been provided, and a contribution to costs incurred by the business, which have a sufficiently direct connection with the contract.

Although, it is worth noting that there is no automatic legal right for a business to deduct its costs from a refund, but it may be able to where this could be considered as just taking all the circumstances into account.

Laws and Guidance

To make the issue that little bit more complicated, there is the added confusion surrounding lockdown laws and lockdown guidance.

Lockdown guidance is government issued directions concerning what people should or should not do and compliance with the guidance is not legally binding. Whereas, lockdown laws are legal restrictions on certain activities and include such laws as the rule of six and the requirement to self-isolate.

Consumers who choose to follow the government guidance should be treated fairly by the business and should not be misled as to the effects of that guidance.

However, where either party do not want to proceed due to government guidance, the situation is more complex. It will not always be clear what impact the government guidance will have on the contract.

It will be important to review any applicable pre-existing terms and conditions, specifically, clauses relating to cancellation, refunds, suspension of obligations or force majeure. A force majeure clause, if there is such a clause in the contract, will operate to relieve the parties’ obligations if a trigger event occurs, which is beyond the control of either party. In the absence of a force majeure clause, the parties would likely need to rely on the doctrine of frustration.

Where the contract has become frustrated, the parties are relieved from their obligations. There is potential for this to occur where lockdown guidance has made what was agreed impossible to perform. If the contract is frustrated, this will effectively end the contract. However, whether a contract is to be frustrated is highly dependent on the circumstances.

What Should You Do?

First of all, it is important to speak with the business itself, it may be possible to find a solution which benefits both parties. Whether this is a refund, a rearrangement or some other course of action.

If you cannot reach an amicable resolution, or you believe the other party is acting unfairly, you should consider why your dispute has come about; is it due to lockdown laws or guidance? If it is due to lockdown laws, your options will be greater and the situation will be clearer.

You should keep a record of what was agreed between you and the other party, and any documentation that you may have concerning the transaction.

If you have paid via credit card, your provider may be able to assist in obtaining a refund. This can be the case even where some of the deposit was paid via other means.

What Can Lanyon Bowdler Do to Help?

Our Dispute Resolution team has decades of combined experience in helping clients deal with all manner of disputes.

We will act quickly and professionally to settle the matter in your favour, and where possible, without the need for costly court proceedings.

Contact a member of our team today to see how we can help you.

Furlough Scheme Extended to March 2021

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”), also known as the furlough scheme, will remain open not just until December, as originally announced by the Chancellor on 31 October, but until 31 March 2021.

From 1 November - 31 January the level of support available will mirror that available under the CJRS in August: for hours not worked by an employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500, with employers paying employer NICs and minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. The extent to which employers are required to contribute to the cost of the scheme from February will be subject to review.

Full guidance on the extended scheme is due to be published on 10 November. However, we know this much from the HMRC policy paper:

  • Employers can claim even if they have not previously used the CJRS.

  • To be eligible employees must have been on the PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020.

  • Flexible furloughing is still allowed, as well as full-time furloughing.

  • Employees who have previously been furloughed continue to have their reference pay and hours based on the existing furlough calculations (as under the old scheme).

  • Employees who have not previously been furloughed will have a different pay/hours reference period. In basic terms, for those on a fixed salary, pay is based on 80% of the wages payable in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020, and for those on variable pay, it is 80% of the average payable between the start date of their employment or 6 April 2020 (whichever is later) and the day before their CJRS extension furlough periods begins.

  • Employees can be furloughed if they are shielding in line with public health guidance, if they “need to stay at home with someone who is shielding”, or if they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (including a need to look after children).

  • Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020, who stopped working for their employer after that date can be re-employed and claimed for.

  • The Job Support Scheme and the Job Retention Bonus have been put on hold.

Extension to the CJRS

On 31 October 2020, HM Treasury announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ("CJRS"), which was due to come to an end that day, would be extended until December in order to provide support to businesses and employees during the new national lockdown due to begin on Thursday 5 November.

The level of support available under the extended scheme mirrors that available under the CJRS in August: for hours not worked by an employee, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a maximum of £2,500, with employers paying employer NICs and minimum auto-enrolment pension contributions. Flexible furloughing is still allowed, as well as full-time furloughing.

The Job Support Scheme, which was scheduled to come into effect on 1 November, has been postponed until the CJRS ends.

An HM Treasury press release outlines the eligibility rules governing the extended CJRS. It states that neither the employer nor the employee needs to have previously used the CJRS, and that the scheme is available in respect of employees who were on the employer’s PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020.

Employers can claim the grant for the hours that their employees are not working, calculated by reference to their usual hours worked in a claim period. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers need to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.

The press release states that employers are still “able to choose” to top up wages above the scheme grant at their own expense if they wish. Employers should remember, however, that without a valid contractual agreement (whether pre-existing or newly agreed) allowing them to reduce pay, it will be their obligation, and not a matter of choice, to continue to pay furloughed employees in full.

The government will confirm shortly when claims can first be made in respect of employee wage costs during November, but states that there will be no gap in eligibility for support between the previously announced end date of CJRS and the extension.

Music Therapy – How Does It Benefit Patients?

This week I watched an inspiring presentation about the potential benefits of music therapy for people, who have been affected by brain injury or neurological disease.

The presentation was by an organisation called Chroma. Chroma provides music therapy services for patients with neurological and spinal cord injuries across the UK. I was particularly interested to learn about “neurologic music therapy” and how music can be used to help injured patients with their rehabilitation. This therapy can be used for people who have cognitive, sensory, and motor function deficits related to neurologic disease.

I studied neuroscience alongside law at university and have always been particularly interested by anything “brain related”. It was a (very) long time ago and inevitably science has come on leaps and bounds since then, but I remember learning about the concept of “neuroplasticity” and the idea that the human brain is able to change and adapt throughout its lifetime. Music therapy, as I understand it, can be used to encourage and promote this plasticity in the brain.

Brain or neurological injury can damage or disrupt neural networks in the brain, causing significant impairment. Plasticity involves the creation of new neural pathways and rehabilitation can be designed to promote this activity, which plays a part in helping people overcome impairments due to brain injury.

So How Does Music Therapy Help?

Listening to music involves several areas of the brain, as does learning to play an instrument. These activities may help to strengthen connections between neural networks in the brain and improve the brain’s ability to adapt to changes in the environment.

For example, if a patient is working on improving their gait, they can be encouraged to move to a particular rhythm. This has been shown to improve walking speed and distance in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Benefits have also been seen in stroke patients. I am sure that most people will be able to relate to the impulse to move in sync to a beat, even those non-dancers!

In addition, the enjoyment of listening to music, or playing an instrument, may also have an effect. This can release dopamine (a “feel good” neurotransmitter), which can have a positive effect on neural connections in the brain. It also plays an important part in learning and the brain’s motivation/reward systems. All key in forming and strengthening neural connections.

Brain and neurological injuries can have such a devastating impact on someone’s life and it is incredible to think that music could make such a functional difference here. It has certainly renewed my appreciation for music in general, although perhaps not for all genres!

Transparency/Accountability in the Private Sector

In the news this week there have been warnings of cancellations of operations on the NHS as a result of COVID-19. It would appear that this is to help the NHS cope with potential rising numbers of coronavirus cases this winter.

Many routine surgeries were cancelled or postponed earlier in the year because of the pandemic. The impact of the pandemic has also been keenly felt by oncology services, with worrying reports of cancer patients experiencing delays in treatment. It is predicted by the Lancet Oncology Journal that these delays will inevitably result in unnecessary deaths from cancer, which is a tragic outcome. NHS hospitals across the country are now facing a backlog and it could be possible that ongoing delays see more patients considering whether they are able to go private. With the ongoing strain on the NHS as a result of the COVID crisis, there is the potential for more services to be outsourced to the private sector.

Recently, stories surrounding orthopaedic surgeon Derek McMinn have made headlines, reporting that patient bones had allegedly been stored without full consent or licence over the last few decades. It is understood that many of his patients were seen at the private BMI hospital in Edgbaston. These accounts also bring to mind the fairly recent scandal involving breast surgeon Ian Paterson, who subjected many patients to unnecessary surgeries and exposed some of the gaps in protection for private sector patients.

How Easy Is It for Patients with Legitimate Claims to Receive Compensation?

Generally, doctors who work at private hospitals are not “employees” of that hospital in the way they usually would be if they worked for an NHS trust. Doctors working at private hospitals must therefore have their own individual indemnity insurance. This can sometimes make it more difficult for patients with legitimate claims to receive adequate compensation, which was one of the issues faced by Ian Paterson’s patients. Cases are, of course, fact-specific but the private hospital itself is not always accountable if things go wrong. This is in contrast with care within the NHS when it is the relevant NHS trust, which is accountable.

What Are ‘Never Events’?

Last month the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) published data on serious patient safety incidents in private acute care from 2019. This appears to be the first time a comprehensive dataset of “Never Events” involving private patients has been published in the UK. Never Events are defined by the NHS as patient safety incidents that are “wholly preventable”. The data published by PHIN refers to 21 Never Events being reported in a private setting and include instances such as wrong site surgery and wrong implants/prostheses being used.

The publication of the above information is interesting as this type of information is something that is already monitored in the NHS on a regular basis. The NHS has routinely published this information as part of an open and transparent approach to patient safety and so that lessons can be learned where things go wrong (whether this culture is, in fact, always adopted is a subject for a different day).

It is important to note that the PHIN data indicates that data was submitted from only 287 out of 595 private provided sites. This would indicate there is still some way to go in terms of improving transparency within the private sector. However, hopefully this is still a step in the right direction and patients will now have access to more information to enable them to make better informed decisions about treatment.

With increased transparency, it is hoped that this will also lead to better protection for patients in the private sector and greater consistency across the board with regard to accountability in healthcare generally.

Amendment to the Job Support Scheme

HM Treasury has today announced that the Government contribution to employers’ wage costs under the Job Support Scheme (“JSS”) for open businesses will be increased, and the minimum percentage of normal hours that must be worked by an employee under the scheme will be reduced.

Employers will be required to pay not less than 5% of the cost of unworked hours, capped at £125.00 per month, instead of the 33% (uncapped) originally announced; and the minimum hours requirement is to be 20% of the norm, instead of 33%. The requirement for employers to pay all employer’s national insurance contributions and auto-enrolment pension contributions is to remain.

The government will now provide 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to a cap of £1541.75 per month - more than doubling the maximum payment of £697.92 under the rules as originally announced.

The scheme for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged. For details of that scheme, click here

The JSS, which was originally announced on 24 September 2020, opens on 1 November 2020 and is intended to run for six months.

The government’s full announcement can be accessed here and its modified factsheet for the ‘open’ JSS is here

Seven Months on and I'm Still Juggling the Balls!

Unbelievably five months ago I wrote about the challenges faced working and adapting to “lockdown” because of COVID-19 and now we are somehow in October, and whilst currently we are avoiding “lockdown” we are still adapting to a new working world!

The challenge in the early months of COVID-19 was balancing work with home, whilst having everyone around, and ensuring the needs of clients could be met. A challenge I initially thought would be for a couple of weeks but, which quickly, turned into a couple of months. However, I coped and the new working way evolved. I started work earlier, I home schooled, I carried out motherly duties, hairdressing duties, housekeeper duties and progressed my cases as far as I could, with the courts granting stays on cases where steps to progress just could not be taken. Even defendant insurers were being reasonable!

Then came the next challenge…..the end of lockdown. Hooray! I thought, things will go back to normal…children in school, husband back to work, dad moved back to his own home and I can go back to work to progress my clients’ cases with them getting medical examinations and rehabilitation.

I waited, with excitement, for the ‘announcement’ from the managing partner for the date to return to the office. I was ready….I had seen my hairdresser so no longer looked like captain cavemen, my nails were done and I had bought a new pair of shoes. Yep I was ready!!

But, in the announcement the managing partner said he was not in a rush to get us all back to our desks, that we needed to wait to see what the impact on the virus would be when the schools re-opened, along with the bars and restaurants. Whilst I was disappointed I still thought it would be okay, I believed we’d know in a month or so that all was going to be fine and we’d go back to normal!

The services our firm offers are vast and often clients need their legal advice without delay. The plan to remain in the status quo, with some staff working at home and some staff working in the office, meant the cases could continue to be progressed. Should the worst happen, with someone working in the office receiving a positive test for COVID, those who’d been at home could swap places, meaning the vital services for our clients would continue.

Another few weeks on and the challenge continues. Unfortunately, COVID-19 does not appear to be going anywhere any time soon and so the business, and its people, have had to adapt to a new working world, but we have successfully found a way to do it. Clients are having rehabilitation such as counselling just through a virtual platform rather than a face to face, they can have their medical examinations for the reports required to progress their legal case, even if they too are on the virtual platform, their cases can be progressed and settled, virtual platforms can be used for court hearings, settlement meetings and meetings with barristers. I now have my own office in the spare room where my dad used to be, so when my boss rings he no longer can hear the washing machine in the background!

So seven months on and yes I’ve still got this! I still work at home but, can see clients either in person by appointment or virtually, at a time when it is convenient for them, even if it is outside “normal” office hours, whatever they used to be! I can deal with the court process so deadlines can be met and cases can still be settled. Whilst I personally very much hope the new virtual world will not take over completely, and there will be some return in the future to the old normal working world of one to one contact, it is a way of life that does work.

Whatever the new “normal” may turn out to be, one thing is for sure, I have got this! We are more adaptable than we think and I have a lovely new pair of shoes to wear!!

Driving Whilst Using a Phone

Reports in the national press over the weekend have highlighted changes to the law when driving whilst using a mobile phone, which are set to be implemented early next year.

It will now become illegal to pick up a mobile phone whilst driving, thereby closing a somewhat bizarre loophole, which currently allows drivers to escape punishment for taking photos or playing games for example.

The Department for Transport has confirmed that following the changes, mobile phones can still be used as hands-free devices to make phone calls, as satnavs if in a cradle device, and also to pay contactless at drive-through takeaways.

The proposed changes have been introduced to close current ambiguities, which have allowed drivers to successfully argue, for example, that filming or taking photos are not ‘performing an interactive communication’ whilst driving.

Comedian Jimmy Carr utilised such a loophole a few years ago, claiming that he was dictating a joke into his phone whilst driving and thus escaping a conviction.

More recently Ramsey Barreto was found guilty of using his phone to film a car crash but successfully appealed, leading to High Court Judges criticising the current legislation as failing to have evolved with the advances in smartphones.

Anyone convicted of such an offence would be looking at a fine and six penalty points on their driving licence.

For any advice or guidance on this or any other motoring law matter, please contact me or one of the team.

Extension to the Job Support Scheme

On 24 September 2020, the Chancellor announced the Job Support Scheme (“JSS”), as explained here. In its original form, the JSS would not provide support to businesses that are legally required to close their premises due to Covid-19 restrictions, meaning that employees are unable to work. Therefore, on 9 October, the Chancellor announced an extension to the scheme.

The extension will also apply from 1 November and will help businesses that are legally required to close their premises as a direct result of local or national Covid-19 restrictions, including those businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services. The extension will not apply to businesses that are required by local public health authorities to close following a specific workplace Covid-19 outbreak.

Currently, there is no exclusion for large employers based on a financial assessment test (as applies under the original JSS), but there is an expectation that large employers will not claim if they are doing well enough to make capital distributions.

For the extended JSS to apply to an employee, they must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days following an instruction from their employer to cease work as a result of restrictions applicable to the employer's premises. In addition, a Real Time Information (“RTI”) submission notifying payment to that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September.

The government will fund two thirds of eligible employees' normal pay, up to £2,100 per month, with payments to employers being made in arrears and subject to tax. The payments will only be made in respect of periods that an employee has ceased work altogether. The only contribution required from employers under the scheme will be to cover employer national insurance contributions and auto enrolment pension contributions, but employers may make additional the payments if they wish – and, indeed, they should bear in mind that as was the case under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”), unless they have the benefit of a contractual lay-off provision which entitles them to do so, they will need the agreement of the employee, or otherwise appropriately effect an amendment to their employment terms, if they are to lawfully make reduced payments.

An employer does not need to have made claims under the CJRS to make a claim under the extended JSS.

When its premises re-open, an employer can claim under the original JSS if it meets the criteria applicable to that part of the scheme.

As applies in the case of the original JSS, an employee cannot be made redundant or put on notice of redundancy during the period in respect of which their employer is making a claim.

HMRC intends to publish the names of employers that have used the JSS, so that employees will be able to find out if their employer has claimed for them. This has not been a feature of the CJRS.

The extension will sit alongside the original JSS and the Job Retention Bonus scheme. The online claims service is expected to be available from early December 2020.

HM Treasury has published a factsheet with some of the details as to how the extended scheme will work. However, clarification and guidance from HMRC is needed on both parts of the scheme, with detailed HMRC guidance and a Treasury direction yet to be published. For example, it remains to be seen how the two parts of the JSS will work together for employers that re-open and exactly what rules will apply to large employers in respect of the different parts of the scheme.

This leaves employers with little time to put appropriate arrangements in place by 1 November. However, we are assisting employers with arrangements based on the information currently available, to include reserving their position in respect of any developments in the way the JSS is to operate.

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