The latest HR Forum explored the challenges that new ways of working are raising for members.
Rob Briggs and Tim Spillane from legal employment specialists Bird & Bird joined members to discuss some of the issues including creating safe working environments at home, regional pay frameworks, flexible hybrid working patterns, and how many days a week staff should be encouraged to the office.
EIC's Director of People, Culture and Skills, Claire Clifford said: “The session was hugely useful, not only did we get expert advice from Bird & Bird, but there was also a lot of discussion around what members are doing and sharing of best practice.”
The bulk of the discussion explored how members were dealing with the introduction of new hybrid working environments and the amount of time people should be expected in the office. Rather than recreating a culture of presenteeism, companies were encouraged to reflect on why people are in the office and how they can best add value.
Bird & Bird also reminded attendees that although there were many benefits to encouraging people to work from anywhere, there were legal implications to consider too. Working outside of the UK can become complicated with HMRC on a tax level - specialist advice should be sought.
With working days becoming more flexible, it was important to remember that the working week should not exceed 48 hours and that employers have a legal duty of care. People should be taking a break every 20 minutes if working for more than six hours straight.
Finally, there was a discussion around data security. Employers should be encouraged to upskill their people on the do’s and don’ts of handling confidential Information in hybrid environments.
Claire added: “The frank conversation will have helped everyone tackling these issues. We are very much in uncharted waters so gaining an understanding of how peers are approaching our new world of hybrid and remote working is invaluable.”
The next HR forum takes place on Wednesday 8 December 2021 at 11.00am. Interested in finding out more about or want to come to the next meeting? Email Claire.