Swine flu could provoke contractual disputes_2

20 July 2009

21 July 2009 | Jake Kanter

Buyers should check how prepared vendors are for an outbreak of swine flu to avoid supply chain disruptions, a lawyer has told SM.

Kelvin Balmont, senior associate at law firm Clarke Willmott, said the virus could lead to an increase in contractual disputes as staff illnesses may mean suppliers are unable to perform duties.

He urged purchasers to review the force majeure terms in their contracts, which frees one or both parties from liability when an extraordinary event prevents one or both fulfilling their obligations.

"We would strongly advise any business to review their terms and conditions and those of their suppliers to see where they stand in the event of such an outbreak," Balmont told supplymanagement.com. "If you're particularly reliant on one supplier you should spread the risk and have the ability to switch over."

He added that delivery and logistics firms are most likely to be affected by lower staff numbers, while catering suppliers should also be considered at risk.

Balmont was alerted to the issue when an event management supplier approached him with concerns that swine flu would affect its ability to perform contractual agreements.

The Department of Health will launch the National Pandemic Flu Service this week to provide advice on a website and from call centres.

SMjul2009

LATEST
JOBS
Swindon, Wiltshire
upto £40K base (+ Paid overtime and corporate benefits)
Honda Manufacturing Ltd
Kew gardens, Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
£37,000 - £42,500 per annum pro rata, depending on skills and experience
Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
SEARCH JOBS
CIPS Knowledge
Find out more with CIPS Knowledge:
  • best practice insights
  • guidance
  • tools and templates
GO TO CIPS KNOWLEDGE