Advice on the cancellation of events due to COVID-19. Sarah Elizabeth Kemp, Coroporate Commercial Solicitor at Wilkin Chapman gives her advice.

Navigating the Minefield of Cancellation Rights and the Event and Wedding Industry. Advice from Wilkin Chapman and Information from the Competition and Marketing Authority.

Coronavirus has sent the wedding industry into total turmoil, and hotels in particular have been very hard hit by this.

Weddings for many independent hotels are a major source of revenue for their business and the impact that COVID-19 has had on this season is catastrophic.

The issue’s surrounding cancellations and refunds has not been clear and as yet the Government has not provided any clear guidance to support either the business or the consumer.

Visit Lincoln recognises that this is a stressful time for our wedding providers so we have enlisted the help of Sarah Elizabeth Kemp, Corporate and Commercial Solicitor at Wilkin Chapman  to help shed some light and advice on this complicated situation.

Cancellation of Events due to COVID-19

In addition to this Visit Lincoln has learnt that The Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) are to investigate cancellation rights, which includes hospitality venues.

The CMA has launched a programme of work to investigate reports  of businesses failing to respect cancellation rights during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through its COVID-19 Taskforce, which monitors market developments and identifies the big problems facing consumers, the CMA has seen increasing numbers of complaints in relation to cancellations and refunds.

These now account for four out of five complaints being received into the Taskforce and so far include concerns about businesses refusing refunds or firms pressuring people to accept vouchers for holiday accommodation, which can only be used during a more expensive period.

Based on the complaints received, the CMA has identified 3 sectors of particular concern:

  • weddings and private events
  • holiday accommodation
  • nurseries and childcare providers

It will tackle these areas as a priority and then move on to examine other sectors, based on the information received by the taskforce. The CMA has stated that it acknowledges that most businesses are acting reasonably in what are unprecedented circumstances, and the current crisis is placing everyone under pressure, but it says consumer rights cannot be ignored.

For further information please visit the Government Website here.