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HR Webinar Baker McKenzie invitation: Employment Trends under the New Normal

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

On Tuesday 19th January, our trad&corp leadership team has attended the HR webinar organised by Baker McKenzie where several trends have been evocated.

The terms of conditions of every contract due to the Home working conditions seem to be reworked. For instance, in this regards, the consent of employees shall been collected, there is no regulation that is applying during Covid, it is an unprecedented event.

What remains and what is clear is that each company needs to ensure the safety of its employees no matter the changes required by the new normal wether it is at home or at office.

Also, companies terms and conditions contractual basis have to be redefined first, and the company needs to discuss the new rules in terms of benefits for employees who don't have to work in office anymore, so anything related to benefits in terms of use of a car, or gasoline expenses or driver are not anymore of actuality. The question remains, how is the employee compensated, how is it reworked ?

There is no relevant reason to continue providing those benefits as it is less expenses for employees and employers, it must be discussed as a win/win. It requires employee consent rather than ordering to employees. There is the need to show the employee the benefits. The employer is also showing his issues in order to sustain the pandemic.

The work from home policy must be written as well as IT policy in terms of confidentiality , and how do we define working hours, when working from home, how do we do time track for some functions?

The duties and benefits shall be written under the law.

Another thing is from the employee side, what do they do with their internet bills, their water bills, etc...everything shall be discussed and made in writing as much as possible.

What if an accident occurs during work from home ? No matter where we work from home, or on a production site, if there is an accident work related, it shall be reported. Procedures of compensation shall be followed.

Now, there is a new definition of flexible working hours versus working from home.

For IT people we call it flexible working hours, but working from home with flexible hours for an admin assistant is not possible etc...same for a production site worker...

Thai law is quite conservative, so flexible working hours for people in factories is not possible.

If we talk about millennials generation versus new normal,we shall think productivity, for instance if a meeting needs to be scheduled in zoom,there is no need anymore of an assistant to book a meeting room, check for people availability and attendance, ensure the refill of water, coffee, so its more productive in a LEAN manner.

Still we are in a period of expressed consent, we ask people to consent to work from home. We don't know for how long it is going to be like this.

Bottom line ! Do talk to your employees, Do seek consent and in writing. It is not a permanent change possibly later it will be forced to work from home and back to office to a minimum of meetings. If the employee wants to work from home for safety reasons whereas it has to come to office, are there other possibilities, nobody shall be discriminated against...

Shall employer reimburse the vaccine to allow employees to travel later ?There is no obligation, or policy, for that so far or to foresee, and the employer can't be made responsible if the employee catches the virus. It should be stated clearly in the new working conditions in writing. The company can propose a reimbursement plan of the vaccine but it is not mandatory.

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