January – named for the Roman god Janus, god of beginnings and transitions. A time to reflect on what is past and look forward to what is to come. What a year it has been!
Unsurprisingly, at mpm our focus last year was very often on the constant changes wrought by a global pandemic. Furlough was not a word that any of us would have used prior to March 2020, and yet it was the focus of at least three webinars, as well as a number of blogs, leaving aside all of the advice we gave to our clients on furlough, its successor flexible furlough, and the short lived (perhaps to be resurrected in 2021?) Job Protection Scheme. Along with furlough, the pandemic led to frequent discussion about redundancy, as some of our clients hit hardest by the pandemic fought to save their businesses.
As well as the pandemic, Brexit was never far from our minds, first, as to what the world might look like in the event of or indeed the failure to achieve a Brexit deal, and secondly because of the changes to Immigration Rules that impacted many of our clients. If you are yet to catch up on the changes, Adrienne Hardy and Peter Beisty discuss them in this webinar – take a look!
There was some light in the darkness – we were able to hold two webinars in July and October to discuss one of the more positive impacts of the pandemic, namely the realisation from many businesses that it was in fact possible to carry out even the most senior professional jobs remotely and flexibly, moving the conversation on flexible working forward at a pace that was unimaginable just one year ago. As clients (and we!) juggled home schooling and work, we noticed a positive trend for far more open conversations about families, the challenges of the pandemic, life away from work and mental health and wellbeing. If you want to catch up, you can find our flexible working webinar here and our discussion on a working from anywhere future here.
If you missed any of our webinars and want to catch up, these can all be found on our What’s New page.
Now we stand at the start of a whole new year.
As we write, the Oxford vaccine has just been approved and by the time you read this, will be being rolled out to the most vulnerable members of our society, carrying with it the hope of restrictions lifting and a post-pandemic world of work, where we hope that good habits learned in the pandemic will be sustained whilst the more negative, isolating aspects of the past months fall away.
The Brexit transition period is over and the UK is in charge of its own employment law, distinct from Europe.
Who knows what 2021 has in store for us – but whatever happens, you can rest assured that mpm will be here to advise and support you. Happy New Year!
And now to business…
Acknowledging that January can be a tough month at the best of times, and the announcement on Monday evening of a further national lockdown and schools closing is most definitely NOT the best of times, our second webinar of the New Year will be focussed on wellbeing. Sarah Wilder and Verity Saxon will be discussing with special guest Louisa Thomas of Incredible You Transformational Coaching the importance for individuals of having strategies to cope with the tough times and the benefits for businesses of putting wellbeing at the centre of their HR strategy. Details and registration link to follow so watch this space!
But first this…
In light of the lock down announced on Monday we are running an additional webinar, Lockdown 3.0: 10 tricky employment law questions answered. Please join us for this free session to hear our views on the key issues employers will face during the coming weeks. It is also your opportunity to pick our brains on your burning questions– for free!