Gapsquare Blog

Fair and Legal Employment during the Covid Crisis: Weekly Q&As with Gapsquare & Osborne Clarke

Posted by Gabi Spiro on 30-Mar-2020 14:54:27

We know that, at the moment, everything is changing very quickly and it can be hard to keep up - with the news, with the government's changing restrictions, and with knowing what steps to take next. So we're holding weekly discussions with employment lawyers in the UK at our partner firm, Osborne Clarke, to try and help you navigate the coming months as an employer. 

Each week, Osborne Clarke will catch up with Gapsquare CEO Dr. Zara Nanu about the latest developments in employment law, to advise you on what steps to take now, and to let you know what you can expect to see going forward.

Episode 8: 15th April

With non-essential shops in the UK resuming business today, and in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, there's a lot to talk about in this week's Q&A with Osborne Clarke. In Episode 8, we cover:

  • Employment updates - changes to furlough, and employers taking advantage of the scheme
  • Redundancies and the risk of unfair dismissal
  • The 'productivity gap'
  • Supporting BAME employees at work, and thinking about health & safety for those at higher risk 
Episode 7: 26th May 

From training managers to have those difficult conversations to one to one meetings, this Q&A with Gapsquare and Osborne Clarke covers the essentials to navigating the coming weeks of employment, including:

  • Potential redundancies and sensitively managing expectations
  • Holiday - can you expect to ask employees to take time off during a furlough period? How will it be valuable in the long run?
Episode 6: 13th May 

This week has undeniably been a big one for UK employment regulations, and there are a few question marks. Join us for a conversation about:

  • Advice from the government about returning to work 
  • Advice from experts on making the return to work as safe as possible
  • Preparing to support employees with caring responsibilities for the 'back to school' period
Episode 5: 27th April

Some European countries are moving towards post-lockdown life, the UK Prime Minister is reminding us to stay inside and many of us are struggling to keep motivation up. This session covers:

  • How employers can prepare for the return to normality 
  • Taking this moment to assess furloughing, childcare and motivation 
  • Learning from other countries and preparedness  
Episode 4: 20th April 

The furlough scheme is up and running in the UK as of today, in this session we are checking in with Julian, asking how employers can claim for furloughed staff. This session talks the practicalities of furloughing, as well as:


  • The challenges of the 'return to school' day for parents working from home & importance of creative thinking
  • How work and life is now being rebalanced by the current environment 
  • Phasing returns to work after this crisis subsides & social distancing at work with an emphasis on fair practices



Episode 3: 15th April 

Mid-way through our fourth week of lockdown, the questions that employers are asking are changing. In this video, Zara and Julian discuss:

  • What we've learnt about furloughed staff, and plans going forward

  • Essential communication
  • Volunteering during furlough

  • Fixed term contracts and unpaid leave 

Episode 2: 6th April
This week Zara and Julian talk details around:

  • Furloughing, including for people on 0 hour contracts
  • The inclusion of salary sacrifice & seasonal workers in the furloughing process
  • Maternity leave in the current context,
  • Holiday entitlement and how productivity and connection to employers is currently being impacted


Episode 1: 30th March 
This week, Julian and Zara cover:

  • Furlough: What does it mean? How should you be preparing to reclaim the money? What are the alternatives?
  • Communication: How you should be talking with your teams about these big changes?
  • Upskilling, retraining, employee retention and looking forward: How do we get back to the same productivity levels we had before the crisis?
  • Well-being and looking out for one another: How we're adjusting to new ways of working

Watch the video below

The next video in this series will air on Mon 6th April.

Do you have any questions to put to Zara or Julian? Get in touch 

Gapsquare are here to help. We're offering a 'pay what you can'  consultancy/analytics package to help you lead your team through the Coronavirus crisis. This is an unique opportunity for progressive companies to think ahead and make informed decisions around workforce change, so that work, business and individuals won't have to suffer. 

Find out more

We develop software that will revolutionise how you measure and end pay gaps in
your company. Generate gender pay gap reports, ethnicity pay analysis,
equal pay audits and beyond at the touch of a button.

For more information, visit our website or get in touch via email.

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Tags: Legal sector, Financial Sector, Covid19