Returning to the workplace after lockdown - what employers need to consider

3 mins

Posted on 12 May 2021

Returning to the workplace after lockdown - what employers need to consider

Are you ready for your employees to return to the workplace? How do you plan to integrate people back into the office? Will you allow or encourage people to work from home or have a hybrid home/office blend?

How do you feel about non-vaccinated employees in the office? What if only half of your workforce is vaccinated? Are you prepared for staff complaints and issues around vaccination?

In our upcoming webinar, employment experts Alison Garrow (Legal Director) and Naomi Jameson (Legal Director) will cover the following topics around the return to the office:

  • Communicating the road map for moving back to the office or moving to a hybrid working model
  • Flexible working arrangements – how to consider requests and balance these across the whole team
  • Vaccination (including health and safety concerns and grievances)
  • What to do if someone won’t come back to work in the office?

For access to the webinar notes please click here. 

Webinar Takeaways

The key points to take away from the webinar are:

  • Communicating with staff about the return to work and issues arising from vaccinations is key;
  • Many employers are approaching the return to work issue on a ‘workforce wide’ level and asking all staff for their views and requests on flexible working in the future – a hybrid approach to working from home is emerging in many business;
  • The law on flexible working has not changed.  This means that no one has an automatic right to work from home just because they may have done so during the pandemic and that employers are still bound by their usual obligations to consider statutory requests;
  • If employees refuse to return to working in the usual workplace without good reason, disciplinary action is an option, as a last resort.
  • Compulsory vaccination? Employers need to be aware that insisting staff are vaccinated before they return to the office runs the risk of discrimination claims and a blanket “no jab, no return” policy should be avoided.

Interested in a particular area? Find the answer easily without watching the whole webinar (times are approx)

1. Minutes 0 - 1. Intro 

2. Minutes 2 - 3. Communications 

3. Minutes 3 -13. Hybrid and flexible working

4. Minutes 13 -14. Failure to consider flexible working requests

5. Minutes 14 - 16. Equality act risks re flexible working

6. Minutes 16 - 19. Vaccination roll out 

7. Minutes 19 - 24. Insisting on vaccination across workforce

8. Minutes 24 - 29. Refusal to wear a mask - case law 

9. Minutes 29 - 31. Vaccinations 

10. Minutes 31 - 33. Testing in the workplace

11. Minutes 33 - 36. Refusing to return to the office

12. Minutes 36 - 37. Ideas and suggestions for encouraging staff back to the office

13. Minutes 37 - 39. Providing office equipment for home working

14. Minutes 39 - 40. Parents waiting for childcare place at nursery 

15. Minutes 40. Staff not wanting to return to normal but clients wanting them to return

Key Contacts

Alison Garrow

  • Legal Director
  • T: +44 (0)20 7042 7205
  • Email me

View profile

Naomi Jameson

  • Legal Director
  • T: +44 (0)20 7042 7204
  • Email me

View profile

The articles published on this website, current at the date of publication, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your own circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.

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