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Coronavirus Information Hub: Your rights

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the very fabric of our society. At times of such uncertainty, laws and regulations remain to keep everybody safe and secure. Leigh Day is committed to providing the latest information on the law in the time of COVID-19. Below, we bring together blogs and articles written by some of the country's leading lawyers to give opinion and practical advice on a wide variety of legal topics in relation to the current crisis:

 
We're updating the information on this page in relation to the coronavirus outbreak so the advice may change as the situation continues to develop. We cannot take responsibility for third party websites and the advice they provide.

Employment Rights Leigh Day Coronavirus Information Hub

Employment, Discrimination and COVID-19

Our employment department has been incredibly busy assessing the rapid changes to employment law in this country in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As well as a series of blogs on specific topics they have also devised this downloadable guide to Covid-19 and your employment rights.

If you have any specific concerns the team can be contacted at postbox@leighday.co.uk or call 020 8038 1325 and ask to speak to the employment team.

General employment rights

Kiran Daurka, a partner in the employment team, looks at some of the FAQs people may have at this time in this blog on employment concerns during the COVID-19 crisis.

In the first of three blogs covering workers’ rights amid changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryan Bradshaw and Niall Byrne explain what the law says about an employee’s options when an employer changes the terms and conditions of employment.

Ryan Bradshaw and Claire Powell discuss returning to work and the health and safety obligations of employers in the second of the three-part series on COVID-19 and employment rights.

In the final blog on workers' rights, Jasmine Patel discusses the rights of workers facing redundancy as a result of economic difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, in this blog.

Health and Safety

Employment solicitors Emma Satyamurti and Shubha Banerjee examine the current laws and regulations relating to health and safety at work in this blog.

Working at home

Lawyer Nichola Marshall discusses working at home and the adjustments most of us are making to normal family life in this blog entitled: Homeworking with children in tow.

Employment solicitor Alice Ramsay and her colleague Sonya Cassell discuss in this blog whether working from home could be a new normal after the pandemic.

Supermarket and other retail workers' rights

The employment team at Leigh Day represent over 40,000 supermarket workers and have been working extensively on the impact of the health crisis on the rights of their clients. The following guidance appears on our Equal Pay Now website and looks at: Legal rights and coronavirus: Retail and supermarket workers.

In this blog employment lawyer Liana Wood, discusses the challenging employment conditions that key workers have faced for years and the importance of not forgetting the value of their work once the coronavirus crisis is over.

NHS and healthcare workers' rights

For those dealing directly with patients suffering from coronavirus, employment solicitor Ryan Bradshaw discusses their rights in this blog: Legal rights and coronavirus: the rights of NHS and healthcare workers. 

Transport Workers' rights

Workplace injury solicitor Ross Whalley discusses the safety precautions which should be considered for those keeping our transport networks going in this blog: Legal rights and coronavirus: Safety protections for transport workers.

Working from home on wish list for life after COVID-19

Alice Ramsay and Sonya Cassell from Leigh Day’s employment and discrimination department consider, in this blog, whether working from home could become the ‘new normal’ after the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us.

 

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Healthcare law and COVID-19

Our team of specialist medico-lawyers and healthcare professionals who regularly deal with the legal concerns of patients and healthcare charities, have been looking at the implications of individuals needing healthcare during this crisis.

If you have any specific concerns the team can be contacted at postbox@leighday.co.uk or call 020 8038 1325 and ask to speak to the healthcare law team.

Advice for expectant parents

Healthcare solicitor Frankie Rhodes discusses women’s rights during childbirth and the challenges faced by pregnant women during the current coronavirus pandemic in this blog: What to expect when you're expecting during a pandemic.

Artificial intelligence

Healthcare solicitor Toby Wilton discusses the use of artificial intelligence technology in the fight against COVID-19 and the legal questions it raises for patient safety in this blog

How the coronavirus lockdown rules differ for those with significant health conditions

Healthcare solicitor Kriya Amin discusses, in this blog, the challenges posed by the lockdown rules for those with significant health conditions.

Fertility treatments

Healthcare solicitor Anna Brothers discusses the current situation regarding fertility treatments during the coronavirus pandemic, including one woman’s personal experience in this blog.

Cancer care and diagnosis

Healthcare solicitor Kirsten Wall reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on cancer care in this blog

In this blog, Natasha Sherry and Kirsten Wall discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the diagnosis of bowel cancer.

Impact on neurorehabilitation

Fiona Huddleston and Lily Hedgman discuss the impact coronavirus has had on neurorehabilitation for people with a brain injury in this blog.
 

Human Rights and Judicial Review Leigh Day Coronavirus Information Hub

Human Rights and COVID-19

We all have basic human rights enshrined in law, these ensure that we all have the access to treatment and representation within society. Our human rights team has been looking at the issues which have arisen as the government and other public bodies have responded to the coronavirus crisis.

If you have any specific concerns the team can be contacted at postbox@leighday.co.uk or call 020 8038 1325 and ask to speak to the human rights team.

Inquests

Human rights solicitor Merry Varney discusses changes to the inquest system due to the Coronavirus relating to ongoing inquests and those that have already been opened in this blog: Legal rights and coronavirus: Ongoing inquests and Coroner’s investigations. This was expanded upon by Merry following a guidance note from the Chief Coroner here: Legal rights and coronavirus: update to ongoing inquest guidance and deaths relating to COVID-19.

Merry and Dan Webster in this blog examine the circumstances in which an inquest is required and discuss the latest information on inquests relating to the coronavirus.

Do not resuscitate (DNR) notices

With thousands of people now being treated in hospital for symptoms of COVID-19, human rights solicitor Merry Varney sets out the law in regard to decisions over Do not resuscitate notices on people's medical records in this blog: Legal rights and coronavirus: Do not resuscitate (DNR) decisions.

Prisons

Benjamin Burrows and Maya Grantham discuss the implications of a severe outbreak of COVID-19 within our prisons in this blog which, they argue, would not be confined to prison walls.

Benjamin Burrows and Maya Grantham consider the Government's progress in addressing the risk of COVID-19 in prisons in this blog, thinking about the impact of social distancing measures on more vulnerable prisoners.
 

Police powers

Leigh Day human rights solicitor Yvonne Kestler and barrister Sam Fowles who specialises in public law at Cornerstone Barristers discuss the rights of individuals in relation to the lockdown in this blog entitled Legal rights and coronavirus: Police powers and your rights.

Mental Health Act

In this blog human rights solicitor Emma Jones looks at the possible changes under the Mental Health Act at this time.

Caring for vulnerable people

Human rights solicitor Anna Moore discusses the changes to the Care Act put in place due to the coronavirus and how this could impact on the care received by vulnerable people in this blog.

Care leavers and young people

Sophie Wells, solicitor in the human rights team, discusses in this blog the effect of the Coronavirus Act on young people in care or with care and support needs and states that while the Act has not changed the rights of care leavers, it is bad news for children transitioning to adult social care. 

Care homes

Human rights solicitor Beatrice Morgan discusses the impact of coronavirus on residents in residential care homes and the staff who care for them in this blog.

Product safety solicitor Zahra Nanji considers in this blog how privately run care homes will fare under the law during the pandemic. 

Human rights solicitor Emma Jones considers in this blog whether it has been wise to relax the requirements for certification of death among the elderly population.

Social welfare provision

Human rights solicitor Lucy Cadd discusses how changes to benefits amid the COVID-19 pandemic have affected particular groups of claimants in this blog.

Older LGBT+ people and Covid-19

In this blog, human rights solicitor and member of our LGBT+ and Allies committee Zoe Johannes considers the mental health risks for the older LGBT+ community affected by social isolation measures.
 

BAME community

In this blog, human rights team members Shereen Brogan and Gene Matthews discuss why the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the BAME community so severely.

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Personal Injury and COVID-19

Our personal injury team support people who have been injured, or the families of those who have died, where another party is at fault. The following advice from our specialist injuries at work team provides a reminder for essential workers on their rights in the workplace.

Health and safety measures in the workplace

Occupational injury lawyer Ross Whalley asks in this blog if employees have been sent back to work too early, before Covid-safe measures can be put in place

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Read our blog by Ross Whalley and the head of our personal injury team, Sally Moore on Legal rights and coronavirus: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the workplace

Visit our PPE Claims page to learn more about the work we have done taking legal action on behalf of clients over the lack of PPE provision by an employer.

If you have any specific concerns the team can be contacted at postbox@leighday.co.uk or call 020 8038 1325 and ask to speak to the personal injury team.

Health and safety protections for home workers

With many of us now working from home in an effort to remain socially distant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, workplace injury solicitor Ross Whalley discusses what safety protections should be offered to home workers by their employers in this blog.


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Travel and COVID-19

Holidaymakers and travellers

Many thousands of people have had their holiday, and travel plans generally, disrupted through the unique circumstances we all find ourselves in.

Head of our travel law team Clare Campbell answers some of the most frequently asked questions her team has received during the current coronavirus lockdown - Legal rights and coronavirus: FAQs for holiday consumers (20 April 2020).

In this blog, head of the travel law team Clare Campbell and consumer law solicitor Sarah Moore discuss Legal rights and coronavirus: travel plans and holiday bookings (27 March 2020).

In this blog travel law expert Clare Campbell discusses the future of cruise ship holidays as the companies behind them face an uncertain future following COVID-19 and legal action from passengers and bereaved families.

Head of our travel law team Clare Campbell answers some of the most frequently asked questions her team has received during the current coronavirus lockdown in this blog.

If you have any specific concerns the team can be contacted at postbox@leighday.co.uk or call +44 020 8038 1325 and ask to speak to the travel team.


Consumer Law and COVID-19

Our consumer law team act for individuals who have suffered a loss as a result of unethical and illegal behaviour by sellers. 

If you have any specific concerns the team can be contacted at postbox@leighday.co.uk or call 020 8038 1325 and ask to speak to the consumer law team.

Student consumer rights

In this blog, Harriet Bass and Teresa Joseph from the consumer law team discuss the rights of higher education students in the current coronavirus lockdown.

 

 

Contracts in the time of coronavirus

Consumer law solicitor Zahra Nanji discusses, in this blog, the impact of coronavirus on contracts and the protection that consumers have in this pandemic.

Product safety and COVID-19

In this blog, Tina Patel and Irene Karidas, from the product safety and consumer law team, discuss the regulations and guidelines relating to product safety standards during the coronavirus outbreak

In this blog, Jill Paterson and Christy Allen, from the product safety and personal injury team, discuss latest regulatory developments for advertising vitamin "immune boosters" during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Beauty products online and DIY treatments

In this blog, Tina Patel and Irene Karidas discuss the risks involved in buying beauty products online and trying DIY treatments at home amid the pandemic

BIA-ALCL and other cancer diagnoses

Solicitor Zahra Nanji, who represents women with the rare cancer BIA-ALCL, discusses the dangers incurred by delays in diagnosis and treatment of cancer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in this blog.

 

COVID-19 and safety in sport

Solicitor Emma Hall discusses who is responsible for the safety of professional athletes returning to work following the suspension of sports due to the coronavirus, in this blog.

Emma Hall discusses, in this blog, how to ensure the safety of athletes as some sports resume and others are still resting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Regulatory and Disciplinary and COVID-19

Regulatory and disciplinary landscape for lawyers and law firms 

Emma Walker and Gideon Habel from the regulatory and disciplinary team discusses, in this article, the challenges posed to law firms during the coronavirus outbreak and what firms can do to ensure they stay on track, and within the SRA’s regulatory framework. 
 

Sources of support for regulatory, compliance and disciplinary matters

The Law Society

The Law Society is continuing to publish a series of resources and support and information for its members, including on: preserving cashflow, business continuity, insurance renewal, practitioners as keyworkers, working from home, regulatory compliance and practice points.

The Law Society also has a series of helplines that can provide practical advice and assistance to solicitors and their employees.
 

SRA

In addition to its coronavirus update, the SRA has published answers to common regulatory queries and a cyber security Q&A. For specific queries that are not covered in the guidance, the SRA’s Professional Ethics team can be contacted by email.
 

LawCare

LawCare’s mission to promote and support good mental health and wellbeing throughout the legal community. One of the ways it does this is by offering free, independent and confidential support to anyone in the legal community, including families and support staff, through its helpline, webchat and email service. The service is operating as normal, in spite of Covid-19. 

SBA

SBA The Solicitors’ Charity is an independent charity working for solicitors and their families. It provides welfare grants, support with career transition and access to advice on welfare benefits and managing personal debt. SBA has established a £1,000,000 fund for solicitors most in need of support and a dedicated COVID-19 Support Hub on its website.

If you need advice on a topic that isn’t covered in this guide, or you need more detailed guidance on reporting, ethical decision-making or any regulatory matter, then please do get in touch. Although we’re working from home, we are still available to hold a confidential, free and no obligation discussion with you about your options. Above all, keep safe.


International and COVID-19

Open Justice and Covid-19 in civil cases

Oliver Holland and Walker Syachalinga discuss the challenges to the principle of open justice posed by Covid-19 restrictions on public access to civil court hearings in England and Wales in this blog.


What responsibilities do multinationals have to those in their supply chains?

Kavita Modi discusses, in this blog, the responsibilities of multinational companies to those in their supply chains - particularly during the current coronavirus crisis. 

Alex Wessely highlights international efforts to protect artisanal and small-scale miners from economic and work-related consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in this blog.

Lydia O’Connor-Butler and Oliver Holland discuss, in this blog, how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed poor practice impacting workers at the bottom of global fashion supply chains and what is being done to address it.
 

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COVID-19 Resources

We hope the following resources are useful to you if you are concerned at this time. We know that it is an incredibly difficult time both emotionally and physically for many people. We hope that if you are reading this, you are well and feel safe and that these guides go some way to protect or inform to help maintain your health and the balance in your life. In alphabetical order:

Birthrights

For those who are pregnant and who are about to give birth during the health crisis, Birthrights have put together this practical guide on coronavirus - how it will affect my rights to maternity care.

The Encephalitis Society

The Encephalitis Society will be keeping people informed on this page, sharing information about the pandemic, factsheets and updates on coronavirus and encephalitis.

The Katie Piper Foundation

The Katie Piper Foundation have created an page on their website with ideas on how to stay connected as well as wellbeing resources and information for people dealing with burns.

London Fire Brigade

London Fire Brigade have put together advice on staying safe from fire when you’re spending more time at home.

NAPAC

NAPAC have put together a page on their website providing useful information on self-care during Covid-19 for survivors of childhood abuse.

Patients Association

The Patients Association provide general advice, guidance and rules on coronavirus, including what to do if you need support, or if you would like to offer support. The Patient’s Association helpline is open for free advice, information and signposting.

Samaritans

The coronavirus outbreak is affecting people's mental health. The Samaritans have gathered resources that might be helpful to those finding it difficult to deal with the current situation emotionally.

Spinal Injuries Association

The SIA have put together this page on coronavirus and Spinal Injury on their website for people with a spinal cord injury on how the coronovirus pandemic may impact them.

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation 

The Challenging Behaviour Foundation have put together this page on their website of information, resources, FAQs and tips during this coronavirus outbreak.

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