We can all accept as read that the pandemic has already led to a number of fundamental changes in relation to the way in which we work, with more to come. One in five small businesses are considering, or have already implemented, a revised working week. As the rollout of the vaccine programme progresses, the next challenge facing businesses is whether to allow employees to return to the office on a full-time basis, continue working from home, or provide employees with the option of a hybrid of both.
Spring is in the air; the vaccination programme is well under way and with the increasing relaxation of restrictions over the next few weeks, things are edging closer to some semblance of life as we knew it. However, as minds turn to reopening workplaces, health and safety issues remain as important as ever.
With the UK’s coronavirus vaccination programme well under way - at the time of writing over 20 million people have received at least their first dose – attention is increasingly turning to the possibility of “vaccine passports” to allow foreign travel, to permit attendance at sports or music events, or even to allow entry to pubs, restaurants or gyms. However, concerns have been expressed around discrimination and around a refusal to be vaccinated (perhaps for good reason), preventing an individual from taking part in society.
We are taking a break from Covid and furlough-related issues to look at an important Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision on harassment (though the EAT does manage to refer to coronavirus in its decision).