Have you heard of IR35 yet?
Chances are that if you havent, you soon will.
Thats because it comes into effect from April 6 and could have a major impact on all medium or large-sized private sector businesses which employ contractors.
From that date, responsibility for deciding the employment status of those contractors for tax purposes will switch to the employer doing the hiring and away from the contractor themselves.
After three years of wrangling it now looks certain that the UK will leave the EU at the end of this month.
And for businesses of all shapes and sizes, thats going to bring some sizeable changes to the way they employ people, the rights those workers enjoy and the way in which they are enforced.
It wont all happen overnight of course in fact, far from it.
Hot desking how to make it work
The world of work is changing and that means our working habits are changing with it.
Gone are the days when employees religiously clocked on at 9am, sat at the same desk they had always sat at, and then religiously clocked off at 5pm to return home.
The explosion in digital technology, changing lifestyles and the growth of the freelance culture mean that flexible working is now very much an everyday part of our working lives.
And with that has come the rise of hot desking.
Heres an astonishing fact for you.
Last year in this country a total of 15.4 million working days were lost to stress.
According to the HSE, nearly 600,000 workers were affected by work-related stress, anxiety or depression, with 44 per cent blaming the pressures workload for their condition.
We all do it.
Every day we make routine assumptions about the people around us based on nothing other than our own unconscious bias.
Thats why so many of us routinely associate the colour pink with girls and the colour blue with boys.
Its also why very many people will automatically assume that the nurse they have an appointment with will be a woman, whilst the consultant will be a man. Its why we assume youngsters are better handling technology than older people and taller people make better leaders than those of a more diminutive stature.
Interestingly, we all assume that every other person we meet will be making judgments based on these unconscious factors, though we ourselves would never do so.
Unconscious bias is a very real factor in the workplace too.
If you are anything like me, Brexit will be the last thing you want to talk about.
More than three years have passed since the referendum, and theres been barely a day when our departure from the EU hasnt dominated the headlines.
And yet, in all that time, we seem to have made little definite progress.
Business has, almost universally, called for some form of clarity. Yet little has come.
If you are a freelancer or contractor working almost exclusively for one company, theres a significant change on its way which could affect you.
New tax regulations called IR35 come into force on April 6 and could change the way you are regarded by the Inland Revenue.
Up until now, self-employed contractors have been responsible for sorting out their own tax and National Insurance payments.
That has brought some benefits as well as the annual headache of completing a tax return and making sure it gets to HMRC in time to avoid any penalties which is why the taxman now wants to ensure everybody is employed on the same basis.
There's been plenty of talk about how Brexit will affect workers rights since Boris Johnsons Conservatives won the December general election.
Some of the debate was intensified after a section on protecting those rights was removed from the governments EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill when it went before the Commons in the week before Christmas.
But at the same time, there was a raft of measures outlined in the Queens Speech which should give us a reasonable picture of where employment rights for workers are headed over the next few years.
Personal space the final frontier
You know the feeling.
Youre running late for work and your company has a hot desking policy.
Minute by minute, the mounting dread that youll have nowhere to sit when you get in starts to rise.
It might sound trivial to those of us not employed at a company which uses hot desks, but for those who are its a very real and stressful situation.
In fact, according to research by management consultancy Brickendon earlier this year, a staggering 92 per cent of us have experienced issues with hot desking.
Whatever the outcome of Brexit and sooner or later there will have to be an outcome of one sort or another one thing is certain.
If and when we leave the EU, workers rights will inevitably change.
There has been plenty of speculation in recent weeks about what this might mean particularly after a leaked memo suggested the terms of Boris Johnsons Withdrawal Agreement meant the UK could diverge from EU standards once Brexit was completed.
It can be the most frustrating thing in the world.
You work your socks off, produce great results but somehow never seem to get the recognition you think you deserve from the boss.
Part of the reason could be unconscious bias.
And it could be just as much on your side as on your bosss.
Unconscious bias can influence all sorts of decisions in the workplace involving recruitment, promotion and performance management. And it can be discriminatory when the unconscious bias relates to a protected characteristic.