CCP06070 - Reasonable excuse: Other excuses which may be provided
Examples include the unforeseen illness of the person responsible for complying with the requirement, or the death or serious illness of a relative of that person.
Pressure of work
An example might be an unexpected sudden increase in workload as a result of temporary staff shortage due to sickness. It would not normally include the scenario in which a trader accepts additional business and over stretches existing resource.
This does not constitute a reasonable excuse on its own. It is the reason why the error was made that needs to be addressed when deciding if an excuse exists.
The onus rests with the trader to ensure that his computer system does the job for which it is intended. Cases in which computer error is a reasonable excuse will be rare.
Consider the following.
- Was the event unforeseen?
- If it was foreseeable or had continued for some time, what contingency plans had been made?
- How serious/debilitating was the problem? Is it reasonable to believe that the event caused uncharacteristic behaviour on the part of someone who had a long history of reliability?
- If it is claimed that the error was caused by the death of someone close to the person responsible for the contravention, how closely involved were they? Try to establish the relationship between the two and then take a balanced viewpoint.
It is unlikely that illness of a key member of staff will prove acceptable as reasonable excuse for a lengthy period of time. It is reasonable to expect a trader to make alternative arrangements in order to ensure compliance with the law.