A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.
By Dónall Breen - 07 April
We are increasingly dealing with more non-Covid related queries. This is quite natural, most clients still have functioning businesses to run. However, to a certain degree you can run, you can hide, but you can't escape my love (for putting queries in the big picture).
For example, one question I got was pretty benign. It was whether you need to record the working time of employees (even if they have opted out of the Working Time Regulations cap on the 48hr working week).
Usually the response is pretty standard. However, there is no avoiding the fact that the practical reality on the ground has changed. Where previously you may have been able to monitor office workers when they swipe in and out for the day, this may not be possible any more if they are working from home. In days gone by home workers may have had set working hours, now the schedule may be far more disjointed due to childcare or other responsibilities.
This isn't a complaint. One the key skills of being a lawyer is to be flexible with your advice and apply it in a commercial way. But it is an interesting development.
Change in working patterns is traditionally incremental, but we now have to apply the law to dramatically different situations on an almost wholesale basis. The nerdy side of me is even excited by this - suddenly ordinary queries become more extraordinary depending on the circumstances.
As a tattered inspirational poster in my old school used to say, “Standing still is the fastest way of moving backwards in a rapidly changing world."
If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.