In this article, Andrew Wilson, THSP’s Employment Law Consultant Director, discusses the latest trends in HR and Employment Law cases for January.
The Government have certainly made life interesting this last month when it came to COVID rules, isolation and testing… was it a cover for something else going on in Downing Street, or simply time for us to start living with COVID without any restriction?
There remains numerous questions regarding the workplace and COVID. We’ll go into more depth into each of these topics in the coming weeks, but here is a run through of the three most common issues employers are currently facing, and which we are lending our invaluable support towards.
The ‘New Norm’ of the Workplace
Firstly, workplaces have had to contend with a ‘new norm’ of working amidst the Government’s request of homeworking being dropped in the last few weeks and months. There is also consideration being given to abolish isolation periods for anyone double jabbed and who tests positive. In the not too distant future, many people could have a pretty free state where COVID is concerned. With this a number of ‘new norms’ are starting to emerge, both within our long standing and new workforce colleagues. This includes the increasing flexibility of working patterns as well as people preferring the hybridity of working.
The Employers’ Duty to Prevent Workplace Harassment and Bullying
Furthermore, after nearly 2 years of unprecedented restrictions towards distancing, homeworking and social venues, there is a need for employers to be reminded of their duty to prevent workplace harassment and bullying. As workforces to return to work, there is an opportunity for employers to remind workers of the conduct, etiquette and rules around workplace banter that can easily be construed as unwanted, ill-conceived or simply inappropriate conduct.
Data Protection Laws, Obtaining Employee Data and Sharing it
Lastly, there have been lots of questions regarding Data Protection laws, obtaining employee data and sharing it. We get asked a lot about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations 2015), so just to be clear. Our laws for obtaining, keeping and sharing personal data, like employment records, are all government by the Data Protection Act of 2018. GDPR was absorbed into this Act and has been superseded. In our upcoming article on this topic we will offer a few pointers from common questions that get asked of our employment law team.