As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, there are concerns that legal and regulatory risks and liabilities will likely arise in both the mid and long-term as a result of the pandemic. We have drawn together a number of Public, HR, Insurance and Charity Sector articles that explore some possible risks and liabilities that local partners may want to consider in their capacity as employers and service providers.
Disclaimer: This article does not serve as legal advice. Local partners should seek independent legal advice if they have any concerns arising from the issues explored within the article.
Situations resulting in possible prosecution or legal claim
In its recent briefing originally published in May 2020 and updated in December 2020, the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) looks at the potential risks and liabilities arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, and situations that may potentially arise resulting in prosecution or legal claims against a care service provider.
The long-term effects of Covid-19 on those who have suffered with the virus are still relatively unknown, and there is increasing evidence of people experiencing long-term health complications. These articles explore potential and known implications for employers and consider whether Long Covid could amount to a “disability” and the potential consequences for employers more generally.
- Long Covid – What Implications does it have for Employers
- Long Covid – What Employers need to know
- Coronavirus – Protecting your Workforce
As the Covid-19 vaccine programme rolls out, there are implications for employers and employees and potentially some challenges should employees refuse to have the vaccination. These are explored in an article by Stephens Scown, the HR Lawyers and providers of our HR Express service.
Long-term impact on employees
One of the most visible examples of the impact of Covid-19 on the workplace is the growth of remote working, yet the long-term impact of this is still relatively unknown. There is increasing evidence of adverse effects for employees that employers need to bear in mind in relation to staff working from home. People Management, a leading UK HR media brand, consider the negative effects on training employees, including new and/or inexperienced members of staff, who cannot be observed, taught, or learn with other colleagues in their organisation which in turn can impact career development.
In a Lewis Silken, global HR lawyers, article from February 2021, they consider the long-term mental and physical health of employees, and if it has detrimentally affected their career development. Timewise, flexible working advocates and consultancy firm, explores the opportunities and risks of the increased take up of remote and flexible working caused by Covid-19, and explains how to build the more positive aspects into long-term strategies.
- Coronavirus FAQs for employers on working from home
- The Impact of coronavirus – Next Steps for Flexible Workplaces
- Covid: ‘People are tired of working from home’ – BBC News
Insurers increasing premiums and introducing exclusions
The long-term effects of Covid-19 are concerning many insurers – particularly with regard to the potential for legal liability claims alleging that Covid-19 has been contracted due to the negligence of a policyholder. In its article last month, Civil Society looks at this growing concern and movement towards limiting Employer and Public Liability cover where insurance companies may exclude Covid-19 or pandemic-related claims at the point that policies come up for renewal, or hugely increase premiums for the sector in order to cover Covid-19 related risk.
Free HR support for local partners
For any advice and guidance on employment related matters, please remember that you can register for our HR Express service provided by Stephens Scown and receive free newsletters, updates, guidance and webinars that will explore the employment related aspects of the pandemic and how they might affect your organisation. They have been providing the partners that have registered with updates at each key point of the pandemic, including at each new version of the furlough scheme. They have also provided everyone they work with on HR Express with all the templates they have needed through the pandemic and around furlough.
For more information, contact Stephens Scown on: 03300 945314 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org