02 December 2021

Cas's blog - Looking on the bright side?

I presented a mini Law on Tour webinar on Wednesday and it was so great to be able to connect, albeit electronically, with both Law on Tour regulars and first timers to Law on Tour.

Never work with children or animals (the saying goes) but may I just add, or ‘tech’.  If it can go wrong, it will go wrong, but although we had a few minor technical glitches our wonderful tech support from Liv Harris from Goho, together with our brilliant KLC duo of Melanie Whittle and Wendy Ball, meant that all the evil tech elves were defeated!

Technical glitches aren’t the only problems we have to cope with when presenting seminars, or attending employment tribunal, via video platform, though.  When undertaking these activities, we use our ‘back room’ at the KLC offices, which is always a very quiet place to work from. Well, it is a quiet place when somebody isn’t drilling into the office outside wall with a massive kango drill!  My colleague courageously carried on with his cross-examination of a witness regardless of being drowned out by the noise, while some of our colleagues enquired of the chap, wielding the offensively noisy machine, as to why the office appeared to be under a demolition order without our knowledge.

As with most things in life, both peace and quiet were restored and the issue resolved with diplomacy (and I trust not too many veiled threats!).

Back to Wednesday, I must confess that when I was putting the content together for the webinar I truly believed that we would, by now, be living with Covid-19, as we do with other viruses, and largely discounted the possibility, practicability, and enforceability, of employers outside of the health sector making Covid vaccinations compulsory. How wrong was I!

The European Commission President, Ursula von de Leyen, is now calling for a debate on mandatory vaccinations in EU member states.  Her concern is due to the discovery of the Omicron variant and the fact that 149 million EU citizens remain unvaccinated (that’s roughly one third of EU citizens).

It appears that some non-UK political leaders are now beginning to think and do what many thought was the ‘unthinkable’ just a few months ago.  So we’ll have to watch that space very carefully to see if it has a knock-on effect to political and business attitudes in the UK.

Looking ahead to the Christmas period, I read that many employers are cancelling their staff Christmas get-togethers. Aw!  Such a shame. Hardly surprising, and perfectly understandable though, I guess given the mixed-messaging on this subject.  But, given that most of us need and crave social interaction, and of course something positive to look forward to, it should make us all more concerned about our employees’ mental health. The restrictions and uncertainty related to the pandemic have had such a detrimental effect on mental health that it’s definitely a topic we’re going to cover on the Spring 2022 Law on Tour.

I have never been described as one of life’s natural optimists but…looking on the bright side…think of all the time saved dealing with those post-Christmas party complaints and disciplinary cases!  Although the KLC team will greatly miss our annual ‘which client has the worst behaved employees’ sweepstake* .

Let’s all just hope that the new ‘variant of concern’ turns out to be of no, or at least very little, concern at all.   

* For the avoidance of doubt, we don’t really hold a sweepstake!

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