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Live Online Q&A: What are the Key Employment, Personal Injury, Health & Safety, and Whistleblowing Issues to Consider for Staff Returning to Work After Lockdown?

How can your firm best protect the health and safety of its workers during the current crisis and following lockdown? How can you ensure data privacy for your workers relating to health data? What can your firm do from a partnership, employment and personal injury law, and strategic perspective to prepare for the inevitable return to work? Prior to lockdown, there was a lack of clarity as to who was and was not meant to be at work and the extent to which employees could refuse to travel to work.

Your prevailing instinct as an employer is likely to be to protect and prevent the spread of the virus at all costs, however, your responsibilities under data protection laws need to be weighed against the privacy rights of employees. As we, hopefully, move out of lockdown and contemplate returning to the workplace, the health and safety of your workforce is paramount, and it would be unfortunate if employers were hampered in their efforts to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by concerns over either being in breach of health and safety or data protection law.

Our partners, Merrill April, Sarah Chilton and Beth Hale (experts in employment and partnership disputes) will join Catherine Foster of Crown Office Chambers (a barrister specialising in various niche areas of personal injury and disease litigation) to answer your questions and deal with the practical implications and issues in maintaining a safe working environment. Issues covered will include:

1. What can employers expect their employees to do when they return to work?

2. Health and safety and whistleblowing issues.

3. Employers’ duties in relation to health and safety arrangements and provision of equipment, including PPE.

4. Legal risks of exposing employees to dangerous environments and failing to take adequate safety precautions.

5. How best to encourage compliance with safety measures in the workplace.

6. Data privacy issues relating to health data of employees, including whether you can ask an employee to submit to a temperature check or a COVID-19 test.

If you are a business owner, partner, manager or HR professional, please click the link below to register to attend and take part in this live online event.

Date: Thursday 14 May, 2020

Time: 9.00am – 10.00am (BST)

About the speakers
Merrill April is a partner at CM Murray LLP specialising in Employment and Partnership Law. She has developed an international employment law practice which covers both contentious and non-contentious matters and has an excellent reputation for advising both senior executives and employers across a diverse client base, spanning key sectors such as financial services and technology, and consisting of both listed and private companies.

Catherine Foster is a barrister at Crown Office Chambers specialising in Abuse, Disease and Catastrophic Injury litigation, focusing on a range of occupational diseases; occupational stress; child sexual exploitation; sexual abuse; brain injury; professional negligence and Inquest work. She has a busy Court practice and is regularly instructed to attend mediations and joint settlement meetings.

Sarah Chilton is a partner at CM Murray LLP specialising in Partnership and Employment Law and leads the contentious partnership practice at the firm. Sarah advises professional services firms, including many law firms, on a wide range of partnership and employment issues. She has particular expertise in relation to partner conduct issues, investigations, discrimination and whistleblowing, contentious exits and partnership dissolutions, as well as partner restrictive covenant and team move issues, and associated disputes. She has significant experience of the financial services sector, in particular partner issues in hedge funds and private equity funds, and advises on remuneration structures and issues arising in relation to deferred remuneration, carried interest and good leaver/bad leaver provisions. As an employment and partnership lawyer, she has particular expertise where there is a crossover of these disciplines, which arises in relation to whistleblowing, discrimination and harassment issues as they relate to partners and LLP members.

Beth Hale (Session Chair) is a partner at CM Murray LLP specialising in Employment and Partnership Law and also acts as General Counsel for the firm. Beth has significant experience advising employers and employees on all aspects of employment law. Beth provides day to day advice on HR and management issues, including drafting contracts and restrictive covenants, managing sickness absence, disciplinary and grievance procedures, whistleblowing issues and performance management. She has extensive experience advising corporate clients on the employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and outsourcings, including frequently in relation to cross-border issues involving multiple jurisdictions. Beth is often instructed in relation to senior departures by both senior executives and employers. In addition, Beth advises partners, partnerships, LLP members and LLPs on a wide range of issues including partner exits, discrimination, whistleblowing, expulsion and enforcement of restrictive covenants.