Could you face new liabilities as a result of COVID-19?
Employee and public liability claims, employment practices suits or directors & officers lawsuits could look much different in the age of COVID-19.
While the industry is currently dealing the implications of the present pandemic, there are potential areas that could produce claims that we have not seen yet.
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how we think about our world. From the way we interact with one another to the way businesses operate, nothing will be the same if and when a vaccine is found.
Because COVID-19 appeared so suddenly, many industries were completely blindsided by the disruptions that occurred as a result: businesses forced to close, employees transitioning to working from home where possible, mass layoffs and much more. As the government begin to relax lockdown and businesses begin to return to work there are several considerations that every business must consider.
Every business is likely to encounter an enhanced version of the risks they were already facing before COVID-19 struck.
Below are a few examples of what these are going forward:
The key question for employers’ liability claims is whether the injury or death occurred at the workplace. If it did and that can be proven, the employee may be entitled to financial compensation from their employer. An employee could claim that they contracted COVID-19 while working and a potential employers’ liability claim.
Employment claims in the UK as a result of COVID-19 are expected to soar over the next few months, As a result of the furlough scheme being extended and contributions changing companies will be turning their attention to redundancy as they consider the workforce required in the future.
Directors and officers could experience an increase in investigations and claims regarding decisions taken by them in their capacity as a director or officer of the company for allegations they haver has committed a "wrongful act". In the case of COVID-19, if a director or officer faces a claim alleging their contingency planning was unsatisfactoryor that inappropriate management decisions were made.
Every industry is currently dealing with a number of major challenges. Consideration should be given to claims we haven’t seen yet. Over the next 12-24 months, we expect the industry will feel the true legal implications of COVID-19 — with employers’ liability, employment practices and even directors and officers claims leading at the forefront of the next wave of exposures.