Common problems for companies in these days of Covid-19
Posted on 15th May 2020 at 16:35
A substantial number of our clients have contacted us with Covid-19 queries and as a result we have composed some short memos which we hope will be of assistance to you during this difficult time. The first below deals with general issues which may arise. In addition we have composed two blogs which specifically deal with employment issues and landlords. I urge you to read them because they do contain important information. If there is any particular issue on which you need help or advice please do not hesitate to contact me.
As a result of these uncertain times companies and businesses now find themselves making unusual decisions in a very short space of time. In addition, emergency legislation has complicated matters. However, the law especially in relation to employment has not changed, and if you make rushed decisions with regard to dealing with and laying off particular employees, you could end up at the wrong end of an application before the Workplace Relations Commission. In addition, if you have a number of cases before the Workplace Relations Commission, their investigation branch may also take an interest in your company for a potential audit, once the restrictions in relation to Covid-19 ease. Please see our blog dealing with employment issues in greater detail. I strongly suggest you read it.
Your Relationship with your Landlord both Commercial and Personal
Another aspect of business which will have legal impact in addition to any downsizing, is your relationship with your landlord. You may need to negotiate with your landlord, which will almost certainly require a re-visitation of any Lease you have signed. This may present difficulties especially in situations where a landlord simply refuses to negotiate. You may have to sublet part of your offices to offset against the rent you are currently paying. This may and will require legal advice as to how you would propose to bring in a sub-tenant, both onto your premises and in relation to obtaining the landlords consent to same. Please see our blog dealing with domestic tenancies.
In the worst-case scenario businesses may require additional investment and protection from creditors, to make it through this extremely difficult period. There are a very substantial number of Government supports all of which can be accessed at Gov.ie and at your local enterprise office. Do not be shy. Avail of every Government help available. We also have close relationships with financial institutions who may be able to assist.
However, these supports may not be sufficient and some companies may contemplate examinership. We have particular expertise in this area and would be happy to advise you upon your options in the event that your company wishes to explore this option.
We hope that all of us will stay safe and make it through this recession relatively unharmed financially physically and emotionally, but if you are making decisions about the future of the business there will be legal implications to these decisions which we will be happy to assist you with.
Wishing you all the very best in business and personally in these uncertain times.
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