About this event

A balancing act - public sector employment post-Covid

As the worst of the Covid outbreak is (hopefully) behind us, the government and some employers are urging their staff to return to their offices. However, many employees have found remote and hybrid working much to their liking and are reluctant to resume a regular commute to a fixed workplace. With the tightest jobs market for many years, employers that don’t offer remote or hybrid working may find themselves at a distinct disadvantage.

The public sector has been an enthusiastic adopter of remote and Hybrid working patterns, but the transition to more permanent hybrid working patterns comes with a number of legal risks. This live webinar will attempt to identify and manage the potential pitfalls of the ‘new normal’ for public sector employers.

It will look to cover the following questions:

  • In what circumstances can employees request or demand remote or otherwise flexible working?
  • In what circumstances can employees be required to return to the office?
  • How can employers provide (or refuse) remote/hybrid working while remaining compliant with the Equality Act? Where do the potential pitfalls lie?
  • Can the medically vulnerable be required to work at the office?
  • Should employment contracts be amended to facilitate remote/hybrid working?
  • How straightforward would it be to change the balance of remote/office based working if the needs of the employer change in future?
  • How much control do public sector employers have over hybrid working and staff employed by contractors?

If you have a question for our guest speakers, please submit this here or visit slido.com and enter the code #LN3003.

Speaker

Allison Cook

Head of public sector at VWV

Allison has over 10 years' experience in advising clients on a wide range of employment law issues. She has a special interest in advising publicly funded bodies on individual employment issues or situations where the organisation is dealing with its workforce from a more strategic standpoint, including wholesale organisational change and industrial relations.

Allison also advises businesses, charities, emergency services and the not for profit sector on all issues regarding their employees. She is the outgoing Chair of the Local Government Training Partnership and regularly contributes to the Local Government Lawyer website. She is fully immersed in the local government sector and in tune with the challenges facing publicly funded organisations.


Felicia Epstein

Ms Epstein is originally from New York. Since moving to London she qualified as a lawyer and specialises in labour, equality and discrimination. She worked as in-house counsel with trade unions and private practice before commencing work with Brent focussing on employment, education and governance law. She was previously the head of training in employment law at her firm of private practice. She is co-author of Employment Law Practice: Strategies for Success (Sweet and Maxwell, 2009) and regularly writes in legal journals and lectures on legal issues. She is a member of the Employment Law Association (ELA) legislative & policy committee and regularly chairs ELA responses on government consultations including most recently on freedom of expression and domestic violence. She recently completed the Law Society Diploma in Law for Local Government. Ms Epstein was the Law Society national competition award winner and a recipient of the award for Women in Law in Employment and Labour Law. She was appointed the LLG national lead on employment law and recently commenced work as an employment lawyer in the civil service but is speaking in her private capacity for the purposes of this webinar.