Walkers' employment law conference on "Covid-19 and the Evolution of the Workplace" will take place online in late-February.
The conference will be led by Walkers' Guernsey and Jersey employment law specialists, along with members of the firm's employment law team in Dublin, and will cover the ways in which Covid-19 has and will continue to affect workforces and workplaces and key lessons learned for 2021 and beyond.
Walkers senior counsel Sarah Ash (Guernsey) said: "The past ten months have seen a huge shift in how and where we work requiring directors, legal counsel and HR leaders to deal with an entirely new set of challenges and changes to the economic backdrop.
"Technological and organisational changes have shown that working remotely over the longer term is a real option for many businesses. While Covid-19 continues to challenge working practices and requires businesses to be able to adapt quickly to changing circumstances, we are definitely at the stage where we can start applying the lessons we have learned for the future, and that's what our conference is about."
The team from Walkers has been dealing with a range of questions from businesses including the challenges of working from home, dealing with employees reluctant to return to the office, changes in staffing requirements, questions about working remotely from another jurisdiction, "lockdown burnout" and issues around disciplinary and performance management during the Covid-19 disruption.
The team has also been working with specialist regulatory colleagues on the unique challenges experienced by regulated financial services businesses during the disruption.
Daniel Read, senior counsel in Walkers' Jersey employment law team, said: "The breadth of questions for employers – some of them urgent and of strategic importance – that have been posed by Covid-19 along with how to respond to the changing restrictions imposed and support offered by the States of Jersey and Guernsey have been of critical importance for employers. These challenges face all businesses and we have advised a wide variety of employers across a range of sectors.
"There is no single message or lesson from what we have seen, but it has been so interesting to see how flexible many employers and employees have been, how willing many have been to accommodate the requests and requirements of their teams, and how much energy and time they have been prepared to invest in two-way communication between leadership and teams."
Senior counsel Victoria Pratt from Walkers' Guernsey team added: "We have been running these conferences for several years now as a way to bring people together and share what we've learned about key issues that are having an impact on our clients. This year, we believe our conference will add real strategic value to businesses that are looking to adopt a resilient approach in an unpredictable environment. We are very pleased that we're still able to go ahead, albeit online, and we look forward to exploring the issues for 2021."