By Darren Isaacs - 4 October 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.
Monday again already.
Day 6 of my blogging and day 8 of my quarantine (the weekend days were days 6 and 7).
I hope you all had good weekends, though I hear the weather in London has become decidedly autumnal in the past week or so. On the other side of the world, it is becoming decidedly vernal (at least vernal for the sub-tropics – this coming week the highs are apparently from 24C to a whopping 34C, though in my confined space a steady 22C).
My weekend went quickly, which is not something I thought I would be saying. I spent Saturday cleaning my cell (sorry, there I go again, I of course mean hotel room), doing my washing (by hand in the shower), ironing, juicing (a cousin dropped of a small juicer and I had a glut of fruit), watching Squid Game, and desperately trying to avoid spoilers for the final episode of Vigil. I am quite stressed about poor DCI Silva, who at the end of episode 5 was stuck in a bit of a sticky situation (#obv). I now have to wait until I return at the end of this month to see what happens next, though being a BBC series and DCI Silva being the protagonist, I assume it will all work out somehow. Please don’t tell me if we happen to be chatting before then!
On Sunday I rearranged he furniture (I couldn’t help myself), slept a lot and did some work in advance of the coming week.
I also received a notice from the hotel that I am being released on Sunday 10 October, which is the date my quarantine direction expires. They apparently don’t do releases after 12pm, so I have to get out at 9.30am instead. The slight issue with this is that it is about 12 hours before my official quarantine direction expires. I thought this may have been a mistake and then ummed-and-arred about whether to raise it with the staff. In the end I did. I wish I could say I was driven by some higher public health morality but really it is just because I think that if we have rules then they should be followed. Anyway, I was told by the very friendly health department person that this is just how it is done, it’s entirely part of “the system” and so it was not a mistake. Fine by me.
Thus endeth my stint as a whistle-blower.
As I am now onto whistleblowing (see what I did there) don’t forget that if you are a business operating in the EU, then in theory there is a brand spanking new EU-wide whistleblowing law coming into operation at the end of this year. I say “in theory” because the law needs to be implemented into local law by all the relevant EU countries, and reports are that a significant number of them have not quite got around to it yet.
You can read more about it here but the upshot is that if you operate in the EU and have 250+ workers then in theory you will need some sort of whistleblowing system in place by 17 December this year. If you have 50-249 workers, then you get a 2-year break so you will have a bit more time.
The new EU law does not apply to businesses with fewer than 50 workers, but individual countries may decide it does anyway, so do check (and there are separate whistleblowing requirements for financial services businesses as well, no matter how large).
If you would like to read more Covid diary entires please click here.