Boris Johnson has today confirmed that, from Monday 14 September, group gatherings indoors with more than six people will be illegal.
Unfortunately, this seems to mean that (once again) all in-person networking events have to be postponed.
It’s important, however, for employers and employees to note that these restrictions do not apply to workplaces. It was confirmed that schools and universities will still open.
Something we’re seeing a lot is employees seeking to continue working from home; this might increase, following these new restrictions. The long and short of it is that, provided those employees are healthy, without any difficulties travelling to work, a refusal to return to work may result in disciplinary action.
However, employers should be mindful that employees with mental health conditions may struggle with this seeming “backward” step. We wrote a blog which can be found here about employees returning to work, and how although there seemed to be a group mentality at firms (“we were all in the same boat”) it’s becoming increasingly clear that in fact, we are all in the same storm, but maybe a different boat. With this in mind, our blog should hopefully clarify the key areas employer should consider when thinking about their employees.
The Prime Minister also confirmed that there is no intention to extend the furlough scheme due to it just keeping people in “suspended animation”. This is exactly as we predicted.