By Darren Isaacs - 27 September 2021
Our intrepid Covid-19 blogger, Darren Isaacs, picks up his blog where he left off as he sets off for 14 days of forced quarantine to visit his family in Australia. In this limited run of Covid Diaries, Travel Edition, he will share some of his travel and quarantine experiences alongside his musings on topical HR issues our clients are facing.
And the category is: “Pandemic. Travel. Realness.” …
Some readers – possibly a relative few – will immediately recognise this as a borrowed quote from Pose, a US series created by Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy. It has just ended its 3-season run. It showcased the lives of a group of (mostly) transgender people of colour (I will use the US term instead of the UK term “BAME”, as it was a US show) in 1980s New York during the onset of the AIDS crisis. I will come back to this show another time, but it has come to mind as we begin National Inclusion Week today, here in the UK.
Diversity, be it in our TV content or in our workplaces, is a good thing.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
I have snuck out of the UK for a temporary 4-week trip to Australia to see family. Two weeks in compulsory quarantine working business-as-usual-ish, and two weeks of downtime drinking wine in the sun.
I thought it might be a good time to return to my musings on COVID-19 and HR things. Having just spent the best part of 24 hours in the air, I have had some time to think. So here goes.
Today’s thought has to be about working abroad, and the great pandemic employee diaspora. We still get weekly queries about this topic, strangely involving a lot of UK workers suddenly being asked to just “pop in for a meeting in the - you-know - office” and having to confess that actually they have spent the past 6 months in the countryside in some far-flung destination. How they have managed that and got sufficiently good wifi that they were not rumbled within 24 hours, is always beyond me.
However, if you find yourself in this position as an employer, there are typically three big legal things to think about:
We haven’t even touched on things like compliance with local HR laws, including issuing the correct work documentation (contracts, handbooks etc) because those aspects can normally be sorted out along the way, and somehow fixed.
But if you do find yourself, as an employer, in this situation, please chat to someone about how to manage it and the business/HR risks it creates – either your lawyers, or your accountants (hopefully someone hot on expat tax issues), or whoever else advises you on these things.
If you would like to read more Covid diary entires please click here.