Predictions

Eight predictions: Considerations for employers, legislators and policy-makers

CONSIDERATIONS FOR EMPLOYERS, LEGISLATORS AND POLICY-MAKERS

As organisations evolve to adapt to the so-called New Normal this report offers a checklist of actions for employers to consider and looks ahead to identify potential changes to the employment law landscape ahead.

Employers will need to adapt to increased automation and use of artificial intelligence, alongside the impact of Big Data. In responding to demographic change, organisations will see increasingly diverse workforces, with workers deciding to retire later.

Increasingly fragmented workforces, with team members scattered geographically and often in other jurisdictions, will pose a host of practical and legal issues for employers.

Labour market disruptions will force employers to look more widely to attract the best people. Organisations will also need to invest more in training and development in order to meet the twin challenges of a growing skills gap and the need to equip the workforce with the requisite personal skills and strengths, such as resilience and flexibility.

Considerations for employers - Technology, demographics, sustainability and globalisation

Considerations for employers - Technology, demographics, sustainability and globalisation

  • Harness the opportunities of Big Data while safeguarding individual data privacy rights
  • Embrace the potential for further automation while managing its impact on workforce jobs
  • Be aware of the potential risks of discrimination and bias in deploying AI in workplace management and decision-making
  • Use technology to enhance the experience of employment and foster employee voice
  • Take steps to respond to the ageing profile of the workforce
  • Respond to evolving social priorities in relation to ESG, sustainability and diversity, as a means to attract and retain the best people and meet expectations of customers and investors
  • Reassess the locations from where business is carried out, goods are produced and services provided in response to the climate crisis, technological developments, skills shortages and geo-political uncertainty
  • Understand the legal issues that arise from staff or potential hires wanting to work wholly or partly abroad

Considerations for employers - Role of the state, migration, covid-19 and social trends

Considerations for employers - Role of the state, migration, covid-19 and social trends

  • Build organisational and workforce resilience by widening the recruitment pool, having more flexible resourcing strategies and increasing diversity in the workforce
  • Embrace apprenticeships and enhance training and development to meet the challenge of skills shortages and gaps
  • Adapt to the “New Normal”, in which many work wholly or partly from home, while addressing new challenges over supervision, isolation, working hours, integration and fairness
  • Take steps to protect the health, safety and physical and mental wellbeing of the workforce, and also of the wider community and supply chains, in light of Covid-19, climate change and changing values
  • Adopt policies and procedures aligned with strong governance, organisational values and evolving workforce concerns. Review existing policies and procedures to meet the needs of the changing world of work
  • Evolve culture, workspaces and processes to foster collegiality, collaboration and a sense of belonging
  • Have a greater focus on training and developing people in the skills needed for the future, such as interpersonal and communications skills, resilience, flexibility and innovation
  • Prepare to deal with a rise in conflicting views in the workplace through effective and rigorous training and intervention processes

Potential changes to employment law ahead

Potential changes to employment law ahead

  • Overhauling the complex and uncertain rules on employment, worker, self-employment and other statuses, adopting a simpler approach that strikes the right balance between flexibility and individual rights
  • Increasing monitoring and reporting obligations on various measures of pay and diversity to drive transparency and organisational change
  • Articulating employment protections as fundamental rights
  • Widening discrimination protection to address other characteristics, such as socio-economic status
  • Rethinking the role of social partners in a world of less adversarial industrial relations
  • Revisiting unfair dismissal laws which concentrate too much on process with claims often being too costly to enforce or defend
  • Reconsidering the territorial scope of employment laws in the context of increased cross-border working
  • Introducing information and consultation obligations in relation to environmental business decisions affecting the workforce

Part 1 

DRIVERS OF CHANGE

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Part 2 

EMERGING THEMES

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Part 3 

PREDICTIONS

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