As the rollout of the vaccination continues and starts to include more of the general working population a key question is being asked by employers around the country.
Can I force my staff to get the jab?
The short answer is no. Any medical intervention generally requires the consent of the individual and if your employee doesnt want to have the jab that is their choice.
But the real-world situation is a lot more nuanced than that. Your staff may feel strongly that they do not want to work with anyone who has not been vaccinated and feel that you are putting them at risk if you dont insist that everyone has the jab.
The pandemic is continuing to leave a huge mark across the nations business community.
Jobs have been lost, businesses mothballed, and spending slashed as worried workers rein in their expenditure amid the ongoing uncertainty of what might happen next.
So it might seem an odd time to be thinking about taking new staff on. But by using the apprenticeship scheme companies can not only give a valuable opportunity to new starters, but also do so in a cost-effective way.
Should your company have a policy regarding domestic abuse?
You might think its an unnecessary question. Its domestic abuse, so it has nothing to do with work. Right?
But you couldnt be more wrong.
Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show that an estimated 1.3 million women in England and Wales experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2018.
And so here we are.
An independent nation once again, determining our own trade policy and securing our own agreements with countries all over the world.
Our final transition out of the EU marked with those bongs from Big Ben at 11pm on December 31 means that almost everything you knew about doing business will have changed in some way or another.
Every year at around this time, we HR professionals generally issue warnings about the perils of the works Christmas party.
In a nutshell these boil down to a simple piece of advice: Just because youre not at work, doesnt mean work rules dont apply.
This year, the office festive bash has largely been confined to the scrapheap. But theres another area where that piece of advice is growing ever more important the Zoom, Microsoft Teams or virtual meeting.
It looks certain that working from home is the new normal.
With the current restrictions possibly set to stay in place until the spring there is very little chance of a widespread return to the office in the next few months.
And even after that it seems likely that employers will be reluctant to head back into the office to resume the sort of working life we knew this time last year. The benefits of working from home for both employers and employees look certain to mean that more flexible working arrangements will continue long into the future.
One spin off of the working from home revolution is that software companies are reporting a big increase in interest in devices which track or monitor staff remotely.
Its been the big debate of the last few month: Should jabs for jobs be compulsory.
On the one hand are the group who says nobody should be allowed back into the workplace until they have had their Covid vaccination.
That way, they argue, everyone will be safe and have peace of mind.
On the other side are those who claim making jabs compulsory for all workers is discriminatory, would be impossible to police and could pit staff member against staff member.
We have a strange relationship with technical and vocational qualifications in this country.
Too often we look down our noses at the sort of schemes which produce the skills, training and knowledge we desperately need to make our economy work.
Take apprenticeships for example. How many parents are happy to see their child take up an apprenticeship if they also have the chance to go to university?
Yet there are considerable advantages to an apprenticeship which should make it an attractive option for any youngster.
Lockdown has been a pretty gruelling affair for almost all of us.
The ever-present fear of the virus, long periods of isolation for many, disruption to schools and colleges and the need to adjust to new working practices or being on furlough has taken a toll across the nation.
But for the millions of people who have been and are the victims of domestic abuse, being locked down with their abuser is almost unimaginably awful.
Heres some good news to start the new year (and heaven knows, we need it).
Brexit and the end of the transition period on December 31 is unlikely to have a huge effect on your rights as an employee.
At least for now.
Most of the employment laws which were in place prior to our final transition out of the EU will simply be adopted as UK law for the time being and will remain in place until the UK Government decides to change or amend it.
Of course, nobody can predict the future with any certainty (a lesson weve all learnt over these past 12 months) but there is unlikely to be an immediate rush on the Governments part to start tearing up all the employment legislation we have inherited whilst being a part of the EU.
It might be new technology, but the emergence of Zoom, Microsoft Teams ad all the other video conferencing platforms weve had to get used to over the past eight or nine months has brought the return of an old foe.
Sexism, it seems, is back in the workplace (not that it ever truly went away).
Women across the country have been reporting a series of uncomfortable experiences whilst using video conferencing for work during the pandemic.