Nursery & Early Years sector update from the CMA

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Nursery & Early Years sector update from the CMA

Nursery & Early Years sector update from the CMA

On 28 July 2020 the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) published an open letter to the early years sector and a general advice note on Covid-19 restrictions and consumer law.

These follow an earlier statement on 30 April about refunds and cancellation of consumer contracts and an announcement that the nurseries and early years providers were of particular concern.

The CMA identifies three areas of provider conduct to note:

  • Requiring full or excessively large fees for services which are not being carried out because of Covid. The CMA would not object to fees paid on a genuinely voluntary basis or otherwise charged to reflect direct unavoidable costs until the parents decide to exit the contract.

  • Reliance on unfair cancellation terms, such as requiring unreasonable notice to be given, or high cancellation fees in cases where the business is unable to provide the service.

  • Unfair pressure on parents to agree to make payments by threatening that the child’s place will be lost or the provider will go out of business.

The open letter (download here) and advice note (found here) are well worth a read for both providers and parents.

Get in touch

If your business needs legal support with any issues arising from COVID-19, please get in touch with Sebastian Calnan.

All information in this update is accurate at the time of writing. It is meant for general information only and is not legal advice.