This page highlights the contractual guidelines for landscaping professionals during COVID-19.
BALI has produced a frequently asked questions document related to COVID-19 Contractual Guidelines. This document will be updated regularly following updated guidance from the Government and was originally compiled on 8 April 2020 following several queries from members after the BALI COVID-19 webinar clinics.
In addition to the guidance below, BALI members are advised to watch a webinar presented by BALI Registered Affiliate member Oracle Solicitors from Friday 3 April 2020. During this webinar, a solicitor discussed the likely legal implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a specific focus on the landscape industry. Click here to view the webinar in full or click play below if your browser supports.
Please note: The questions on the following pages were generated by BALI members during a webinar on Friday 3 April 2020. The answers are intended as a guide only and members should seek professional advice for specific questions.
Oracle Solicitors specialise in all aspects of law for commercial, corporate and individual clients. They can be contacted via their website here.
General notes on contractual obligations
Regardless of public health concerns, it is wrong to assume non-performance of commercial contractual obligations is automatically justified during the pandemic, citing the pandemic alone as a reason for failure to perform
- A specific, tangible reason or circumstance is required, together with documented proof, to justify failure to perform a contractual obligation - even if the coronavirus is the underlying cause e.g. impossible to source a specific type of paving material from anywhere in the UK
Non-performance of commercial contractual obligations cannot be justified simply because these obligations are inconvenient, more onerous or more expensive
- In most cases, contractors are responsible for taking reasonable endeavours to ensure they fulfil their contractual obligations in the current circumstances
Similarly, a client owes their contractor a duty to liaise regarding any contract they are a party to, and to discuss reasons why the contract cannot be fulfilled as planned.
- Courts are also likely to be understanding and will consider the effect of the current pandemic on small businesses.
For further contractual guidance: