Innangard held its first virtual conference on 24 and 25 March 2021, bringing together six international panels of distinguished speakers that included leading scientists, politicians, in-house professionals and global HR and employment law experts, to share insights and discuss how the world of work and their organisations have adapted and will develop in 2021 and beyond.
We are pleased to bring you podcast recordings for the following sessions:
Please see below for futher details:
Social Improvements Impacting the World of Work
Rohan Burn, Senior Associate at People + Culture Strategies, Innangard«s Australian member firm, chaired this fascinating panel discussion accompanied by Schona Jolly QC, Barrister and human rights expert from Cloisters Chambers (UK), Ma Eugenia Gay Rosell, Dean of the Barcelona School of Law and Chair of the Barcelona Bar Association in Spain and Beth Hale, Partner and General Counsel at CM Murray LLP, the UK Innangard member firm. The panel discussed some of the pros and cons of organisations aligning themselves with social movements such as #MeToo and Black Lives Matter (BLM), how organisations are responding to these movements and how these have impacted on employer regulation and reporting requirements. In the UK, Parliament«s Women and Equalities Select Committee led an inquiry into the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with regulators such as the Financial Conduct Authority and the Solicitor«s Regulatory Authority taking note. The SRA later issued a notice warning solicitors against using NDA«s inappropriately. The #MeToo movement led to a change in the law in Tasmania, Australia that previously limited victims of sexual assault or rape from speaking up. The panel discussed that not all social movements are equal. Employers should be careful to balance rights such as an individual«s freedom of expression and the right to a private life against the need for harmonious employee relations, particularly if employee views are offensive and might harm the employer's reputation if made public. Any statements made by organisations taking a particular stance with a social movement such as BLM should be followed with action.
Listen to the recording here
- Schona Jolly QC, Barrister, Human Rights, Cloisters, UK
- Ma Eugenia Gay Rosell, Dean of the Barcelona School of Law and Chair of the Barcelona Bar Association, Spain
- Beth Hale, Partner and General Counsel, CM Murray LLP, UK
- Rohan Burn, Senior Associate, People + Culture Strategies, Australia (Chair)
Equal Pay – How Far Have We Come or Are We Going Backwards?
Regan O'Driscoll of CC Solicitors, the Irish Innangard member firm, chaired this panel, accompanied by an incredible line up of guest speakers, including Ivana Bacik Labour Senator (Ireland); Barrister Claire Darwin of Matrix Chambers (UK) and Carl-Fredrik Hedenström of Morris Law, the Swedish Innangard member firm, through an important discussion on how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected equal pay for women. Ivana discussed the five C's that hold women back: cash, childcare, confidence, candidate selection and culture, and discussed how the Coronavirus pandemic has led women back into stereotypical roles. Women have taken the lead with home schooling and caring responsibilities, which has also had an impact on their work, pay and career progression. Statistics show that women are more likely to be made redundant and to be selected for wage subsidy schemes such as furlough. Claire shared with the audience some of the (rather unattractive) arguments advanced by the BBC in the Samira Ahmed UK Employment Tribunal equal pay case (e.g. women are not as funny as men and that justifies less pay!) In relation to gender pay gap reporting, Claire highlighted that we are yet to see any improvement for women. The UK Government«s decision to suspend reporting in year 4 because of the Coronavirus pandemic sends a dangerous message suggesting that »employers are too busy for this«. Carl-Fredrik discussed some interesting statistics on the impact that taking parental leave in Sweden has on the earnings of men and women. He highlighted that perhaps things have not improved as much as one had hoped, despite Sweden«s progressive approach. Employers continue to count on women to take parental leave and women take it because they remain more likely to earn a lower salary compared to their male partners. Surprisingly, Sweden has not yet had a female Prime Minister!
Listen to the recording here
- Ivana Bacik, Labour Senator, Seanad Group Leader and Spokesperson on Children, Disability, Equality and Integration, Ireland
- Claire Darwin, Barrister, Matrix Chambers, UK
- Carl-Fredrik Hedenström, Partner, Morris Law, Sweden
- Regan O«Driscoll, Partner, CC Solicitors, Ireland (Chair)
The Future of Work: Remote Working and the Right to Disconnect
Chaired by Colleen Cleary of the Irish Innangard member firm, CC Solicitors, with a panel of experts including Dr Laura Bambrick, Social Policy Officer or the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, tax expert David Yewdall, Partner of Smith & Williamson (UK) and Leyla Nematollahi Esmaili, HR Leader Southern Europe at GE Renewable Energy in Spain. Laura discussed how remote working has been the »great disruptor« to the workplace with many employees favouring a blended approach to home and office working. One area of concern is that existing legal protections are outdated and not fit for purpose – the legislation currently in force was designed for those working standard hours and predates technological advances such as the smart phone. It will be important for employers to strike a balance between recording workers« hours of work to ensure they have rest breaks and ensuring their approach does not become surveillance. Leyla described the Coronavirus pandemic as a great opportunity for employers to allow greater flexibility for employees regarding how and when they work, and emphasised the need to respect employees' right to privacy when working at home. One potential issue with introducing laws that allow employees the right to disconnect might mean an end to flexible working patterns, if enforced too strictly. David discussed some of the potential tax issues of allowing employees to work abroad, recommending that employers consider any local responsibilities and potential administration costs that may be involved. UK employers should ensure they comply with National Minimum Wage obligations now that it is well documented that home workers are working longer hours.
Listen to the recording here
- Leyla Nematollahi Esmaili, HR Leader Southern Europe, GE Renewable Energy, Spain
- David Yewdall, Partner, Smith & Williamson, UK
- Dr Laura Bambrick, Social Policy Officer, Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Ireland
- Colleen Cleary, Principal and Founder, CC Solicitors, Ireland (Chair)