Mukhtiar Singh of Garden Court Chambers is offering free legal services for key workers residing or working in Gravesham or Medway to help those in need.
Mukhtiar Singh is an Employment and Commercial barrister at Garden Court Chambers, tackling inequalities, promoting ethics and supporting the vulnerable. He commented:
"When the current lockdown was announced by the government, it meant that my forthcoming cases were adjourned. My faith has taught me that in difficult times, I should assist the vulnerable rather than be concerned about myself."
So for April 2020, Mukhtiar is endeavouring to provide free legal advice to minimum wage key workers residing or working in Gravesham or Medway; free employment law advice to any key worker resident or working in Gravesham or Medway; and to any business operating in Gravesham or Medway, free advice on any Covid-19 related employment or commercial issue.
"I feel strongly that there should not be any profiteering in these dark times. To reflect this, I am providing discounts to businesses and individuals in genuine hardship cases and will be donating 20% of my April net receipts to charities supporting the crisis."
The advice given to employers has predominantly related to the Job Retention Scheme and particularly furlough. The scheme is changing at a fast pace as the government tries to fill various gaps and make it clearer. Whilst this scheme is extremely welcome, Mukhtiar's experience is that the current health crisis has blinded many from employment law rights and obligations. Employers have also needed advice on the performance of contracts hampered by the crisis.
Workers have been concerned about being forced to work in an unsafe environment and some have suffered detriment for raising concerns. It is anticipated a number of whistleblowing and health & safety detriment claims will be brought forward. Mukhtiar has also been assisting the national whistleblowing charity, Protect, so that our heroic NHS workers are supported when they speak up about concerns.
"I feel blessed to play a very small part in supporting our key workers and helping our local businesses survive. My overall message is that businesses and workers alike should try and do the right thing so we can get through this as best as we can."
If you fit the criteria for free advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org.