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Gove reveals “shift in emphasis” from government push to return to the office to now not actually doing so. This shift will continue the operational and legal challenge in employment of balancing the needs of roles that must work on site versus those individuals who say they cannot do so because of safety reasons.

Gove reveals “shift in emphasis” from government push to return to the office to now not actually doing so. This shift will continue the operational and legal challenge in employment of balancing the needs of roles that must work on site versus those individuals who say they cannot do so because of safety reasons.

Gove reveals “shift in emphasis” from government push to return to the office to now not actually doing so. This shift will continue the operational and legal challenge in employment of balancing the needs of roles that must work on site versus those individuals who say they cannot do so because of safety reasons.

Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday morning, the cabinet office minister said:

“If it is possible for people to work from home then we would encourage them to do so.”

With the news this week of the significant increases in Covid-19 infection rates, and further restrictions looking likely to be on the way, the Government appears to be confirming that the previous exhortation to try to get employees back to the physical office is no longer being pursued, and the flexible approach with home-working available where possible is making a resurgence.

BRIDGE we are helping business clients to ensure their businesses are Covid-secure both for those employees who want to, or, who legally need to be in physical premises, whilst ensuring those who continue to work from home are doing so safely and productively.

Flexible working itself is not a new thing for those of us in employment law, although the scale of it taking place now is, so we are in a good position to use our knowledge to help navigate what are new channels for many employers with new assessments and procedures required to reduce risks of claims.

With what looks to be a long-term shift taking place, we can help you to put your business in it’s best shape and to ensure that you comply with existing legal obligations whilst making adjustments for the new ones, in this case using:

compliant flexible working policies;
individual workplace assessments; and
our legal expertise to handle tricky related issues such as the Equality Act 2010 or allegations of detriments when safety issues are raised – which often arise when handling flexible working requests and related Covid/safety concerns.

Emma Grace, specialist employment solicitor at BRIDGE notes that: ’bearing this shift in mind, flexibility coupled with considered individual safety assessments (at home and work) will continue to be crucial for employers to fulfil their legal obligations to staff who either need to come in for operational reasons, or, who can’t do so for safety reasons…employers continue to grapple with this operational challenge and it really does require a clear role and individual safety / legal assessment and process as well as thorough and well documented workplace COVID compliance to support that’

Michael Gove on Sky

Michael Gove on Sky