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Reflecting on the positives

By Jennie Jahina

Wilson Browne Solicitors

IN this month’s article, I am not going write about employment law issues in the usual way. Instead, I want to reflect on the past few weeks and the positives that have come out of COVID-19.

One of these positives, and which should not be underestimated, is the way in which businesses and individuals have adapted to meet COVID-19 challenges. I have heard stories of employees working around the clock and undertaking tasks far removed from their normal duties in order to achieve what the business needs them to do at short notice. Many have also adapted to entirely new ways of working; often going outside their comfort zones with many new skills (not least IT) being learnt as a result. All of this has been done despite the uncertainty of what, if any salary will be guaranteed to them for the foreseeable future.

Equally astounding is the speed at which companies have managed to diversify to enable some form of continued trading when faced with a Government directive to immediately cease their ordinary operations. And those businesses which could not continue trading have, often, tirelessly sought to identify alternatives to dismissal as well as how to best support their staff and be in the best possible position to take advantage of the uptake in demand for their services or goods once current restrictions are relaxed.

Undoubtedly, innovation, resilience and self-management have been key attributes in the coping strategies that have been devised. And, without wishing to downplay the degree of suffering experienced by many during this time, COVID-19 has enabled many to showcase their organisation’s ability to tackle the most unique of challenges, adapt to present day circumstances and quite probably forever alter our way of working.

In some ways, writing about how all of this impacts on current employment legislation is a moot point. Legislation is changing almost by the day so what is important is that all businesses try to keep abreast of the changes, which is why we have created The Hub (www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk/thehub).

Whatever happens over the coming weeks, business much ensure that it complies with established legislation and procedures whilst at the same time keeping fully up to date with the latest Government announcements.

These are testing times for everyone and what remains important is that we respect the efforts of our employees and treat them accordingly: long after we are all hopefully through this, people will remember these times and what we do and how we behave now will be their lasting memory.

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