As we all move towards the Government’s final stage for the easing of lockdown restrictions, employers are turning their minds to how to manage their employees returning to the workplace. Considerations include what changes employers are legally obliged to make and what requests for changes to working conditions from employees can be refused or negotiated?
Our free guide contains an overview of a number of the key questions that employers will have to consider together with as a synopsis of the relevant employment law principles.
Employers should always bear in mind that an overly legalistic approach can easily have a negative impact on staff morale. Creating a good workplace culture, and sense of “tribe”, among your employees is often difficult and time consuming to build but can very quickly be lost, so it pays to tread carefully and ensure adequate consultation with staff.
Conversely, a number of employers have provided feedback to us that performance has been an issue with large numbers of staff working independently at home. There is an acceptance that continuing with a blanket policy of staff working at home will inevitably have a long term negative effect on businesses. Consequently, there are often good commercial reasons to justify a return of staff to the workplace, be it on either a full time or flexible basis.
Employers need to take care when devising a policy for a phased return to ensure that it’s fair to all staff and does not indirectly discriminate against any particular groups of individuals, e.g. in respect of women or employees with disabilities. Any deficiencies in either the drafting or implementation of such a policy may prove costly in terms of discrimination or other claims and could also result in the loss of valuable members of staff.
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