As we continue to emerge from lockdown measures and deal with local measures and the short and long term economic impact of Covid-19, local authorities will need to re-assess how services will be delivered for years to come.
As a values-driven business ourselves, we understand the challenges of balancing the commercial realities of running a sustainable and profitable business while also achieving your social goals.
So how can you maximise your impact? Where are the opportunities? Over the coming months, our team of commercial lawyers will share a series of e-briefings with you, which aim to provide an insight into some of the legal and practical solutions for meeting the business challenges we all face. These will begin with a series of e-briefings outlining our advice about working with social housing, local government, health and social care, education and charity clients, intending to give you an understanding of some of the specialist sector knowledge we have gained from working in these sectors for over 40 years.
In the meantime, you can start thinking about who you work with and how you work with them. Whether you are a start-up, an established SME or a large organisation with a sizeable workforce, the following issues will be key to your success:
- Making your supply chain work for you — the level of service you can provide your customers with is only as good as the level of service you receive from your supply chain. This year, consider reviewing your supply contracts. Are suppliers delivering on all of the promises they made pre-contract? Are their standards still matching your expectations? And are lines of communication, data transfers and key contacts still working smoothly?
- Understanding the supply chain you are in — for those of you who work 'business-to-business', taking the time to understand the needs of your clients' own sectors can save you a headache further down the line. This is particularly important when working with some of the specialist sectors that we are particularly experienced with, such as social housing, local government, education, charities and health and social care. We know from our own experience that specialist clients need their supply chain to understand and respond to their unique challenges, such as regulatory issues, data management, safeguarding, funding and procurement.
- Making the most of partnering — effective collaboration with partners can be a way to promote real growth. Our clients are choosing a plethora of partnering models, from sophisticated contractual or organisational joint ventures to contracting arrangements with enhanced partnering provisions. There is never going to be a 'one-size-fits-all' model for partnering arrangements, so take your time and seek advice at the negotiation stage to ensure that the model you sign up to secures a proportionate return on your investment.
- Making sure you are not restricting your own growth — internal governance problems can be a greater threat to businesses than external issues. Take the opportunity in 2017 to consider whether your board’s structure and decision-making processes are still fit for purpose, or whether a change could have a positive impact on the productivity of the whole organisation.
- Managing your workforce effectively — workforce challenges can be the most time-consuming issues for any employer, as they use up valuable resources that could be used to grow the business. One simple task that you could undertake this year to help smooth the management of your workforce and reduce the risk of any challenges is to review and update your policies and procedures. Ask yourself, do they actually reflect what you do or need to be doing in practice? Are they compliant with the latest law in this area? Does non-compliance increase your risk of legal challenge?
Whatever steps you are taking in 2017 to increase your impact, we would be pleased to help.
The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.