Back to the Future of Work

Samar Shams & Fudia Smartt
12 June 2020

A stellar panel of experts guided us through the trickiest return to work issues, including discrimination and staff refusals. We considered the latest labour market and recruitment data: What do ongoing hiring challenges mean for attracting and retaining talent? We also explored the value of benefits and of sponsoring overseas workers and how to implement both in the new world of remote working.


Employment barrister and judge Olivia-Faith Dobbie and Spencer West employment law partner Fudia Smartt looked at:

• The legal requirements on employers for promoting health and safety as workers return to work

• Covid-19 susceptibility, protected characteristics and the potential discrimination issues

• Managing staff refusals to returning to work

• Homeworking and the health and safety obligations on employers

Pawel Adrjan, Head of EMEA Research at Indeed used data on online job searching and labour market activity to discuss:

• The impact of Covid-19 on the UK labour market and different demographic groups

• Which sectors continue to experience hiring challenges despite rising unemployment

• How remote working opportunities have changed during the crisis

Benefits expert Sorangi Shah, of Vested, explored the importance of employee benefits in recruiting and retaining top talent. Sorangi also considered how employers can engage with their workforce on employee benefits, with remote working increasingly becoming the norm.

Samar considered that the data on ongoing hiring challenges means UK employers will have to sponsor non-UK nationals to attract the talent they need. Samar will also consider how to comply with sponsor duties in the context of remote working.

You can watch the full recording here


Fudia Smartt
Partner – Employment
Fudia Smartt is a Partner Solicitor at Spencer West. She specialises in all employment law both domestic and international, disputes and litigation.