Out Principal, Mr. Dan Johnson’s Full Statement to Mail Online – With regard to their article:-
Mr. Settle appears to have formed a limited company, with a registered office at his residential address in West Yorkshire, and further claims to have issued zero-hour employment contracts to family members – whom he is thereby constituting as ‘staff’ – in the belief that this will allow him to meet with his family members on Christmas Day.
Whatever his characterisation of the envisaged ‘Christmas day gathering’ – everyone present should be following social distancing guidance (as it is applicable in all local COVID alert levels and in all circumstances), and such guidance mandates social distancing (ideally of two metres) and wearing of face masks.
There are also local restrictions across England, with West Yorkshire already being in a ‘High Alert Level’ (or ‘Zone 2’) – As at the time of writing.
While most businesses (and venues) can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner (in a ‘Zone 2’ High Alert level area), Mr. Settle does not appear to have a business – Defined by Oxford Languages as (1) ‘a person’s regular occupation profession, or trade’; or (2) ‘commercial activity’.
What he has is merely a shell company and some nominal staff.
Mr. Settle’s decision to publicly post (on Twitter) the ‘true nature’ of his gathering – would likely place him with little defence if the authorities were to take the point re: his proposed gathering.
Sadly, what this story reveals is that after Dominic Cummings and Stanley Johnson’s (and various H.M. Govt. Ministers) historic flagrant abuses of coronavirus restrictions, many members of the public are unprepared to observe restrictions and guidance which are in the interests of public health and the economy.
Mr. Settle is likely to find himself the target of irate Yorkshiremen, when their businesses and venues face further lockdown in an impending move in ‘Very High Alert Level’ (or Zone 3) – He unwisely having publicly posted his home address at Companies House.
Should he ever succeed in his argument that he is running a business, then as a director of a company he has health and safety obligations to his ‘staff’, and should they contract coronavirus – they might well be able to hold him personally liable for the physical harm they suffer from contracting the virus in his ‘premises’.
This could (in extremis) mean he loses his house to a personal injury claim from a family member . . .