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There’s no (work)place like home: HR and legal challenges of flexible and home working

Bird & Bird LLP

Description

The COVID-19 crisis has caused a paradigm shift in the workplace. Confinement measures forced millions of workers to work from home as videoconferencing replaced business travel and face-to-face meetings. With confinement measures slowly being lifted, the office environment has invariably changed. Mandatory health and safety measures such as social distancing, the wearing of face masks and the end of open work spaces all have a significant impact on the former work floor dynamics. With many workers still unable or reluctant to return to the office, working from home has become an inherent part of any work organisation. Inevitably, the resulting blurring of lines between work and private life puts flexibility and its challenges and opportunities at the heart of the future work organisation debate.  

It is clear that the current legal framework is neither particularly well adapted to tackle the new ways of work nor to accommodate the legitimate needs of all parties in the employment relationship.    

Our webinar will focus on how the COVID-19 crisis has expedited the transition to more flexible work forms and explore the challenges and opportunities which these developments present for the business community. More specifically, we will look at homeworking and flexible work. From the vantage point of the Belgian legal framework and EU law (regulations and case law), we will offer some comparative guidance across neighbouring EU jurisdictions, to then present some future trends on the new world of work. 

 

Moderator

Pieter De Koster
Partner, international HR services, Brussels
Bird & Bird

Pieter De Koster is a partner in Bird & Bird’s international HR services group in Brussels with over 30 years' experience in advising on contentious and non-contentious issues in employment and benefits matters, including high-profile employment litigation, boardroom advisory work, strategic change management, industrial relations, compliance and reward issues.

Clients come to Pieter for all aspects of employment and benefits law, particularly complex, sensitive and cross-border matters, including compliance issues, works council and industrial relations matters, remuneration and benefits. Pieter combines bespoke, in-depth yet hands-on advice and counselling with strategic insight and proper business perspective.

Pieter’s clients range from start-ups and SMEs to internationally recognised multinationals and government authorities, in all lines of business and industry.

He has published extensively and is a regular conference speaker and commentator in the consumer and trade press on legal HR issues. He is a guest and practice lecturer at KU Leuven Law School.

 

Speakers

Anton Aerts
Counsel, international HR services, Brussels
Bird & Bird

As counsel in Bird & Bird’s employment team in Brussels, Anton Aerts advises and represents clients in a wide range of matters relating to employment and social security law, including the transfer of undertakings, restructurings and individual and collective redundancies. He also advises clients on business immigration and cross-border employment situations.

Anton also specialises in all employment aspects of corporate transactions. Working closely with the international Bird & Bird corporate teams, he ensures that all potential employment liabilities are fully assessed and appropriately managed or factored into the deal. He often works with clients that are in the process of restructurings, assisting with strategic decisions to allow clients to plan their employment policy for the future.

Anton helps clients to optimise their remuneration and benefits packages for employees, considering the heavy tax and social security burden in Belgium. He has experience implementing equity plans for international companies in Belgium.

 

Cecilia Lahaye
Counsel, international HR services, Brussels
Bird & Bird

As counsel in Bird & Bird’s international HR services group in Brussels, Cecilia Lahaye has in-depth experience in employment and civil law litigation, with a practice that spans an array of employment and social security law matters, focusing on dismissals, compensation and benefits and workplace health and safety hazards.

A graduate of KU Leuven (magna cum laude), Cecilia has worked for top-tier law firms in the employment law field and in the Appellate Supreme Court practice. Obtaining the certificate in Supreme Court proceedings has enabled her to have a thorough understanding of legal proceedings. She knows what it can take to avoid a legal decision from being quashed by the Supreme Court, and this experience puts her in good stead when preparing written submissions.

Cecilia has joined the International Association of Defence Counsel, a US-based, invitation-only organisation of lawyers providing litigation services and counsel to corporations globally.

 

Jehan de Wasseige
Associate, international HR services, Brussels
Bird & Bird

Jehan de Wasseige is an associate in Bird & Bird’s international HR group in Brussels, where he advises clients on individual and collective labour law issues and social security and HR matters.

Jehan regularly advises employers and executives on all aspects of the employment relationship, including the setting up of new units in Belgium, drafting HR policies, employee leavers, hires and terminations. He also assists clients throughout litigations. Jehan has participated in complex disputes involving social authorities or former managers with significant salary packages containing advantages which are unusual under Belgian law.

Jehan also assists clients with collective relations, including employee representative bodies, collective lay-offs, harmonisation of employment conditions, collective bargaining and closing down. He also advises on employment matters arising from corporate transactions. He has experience in conducting diligence and working with counsel outside Belgium on global matters (eg, the setting up of European works councils or group reorganisations).

 

Guillaume Nolens
Associate, international HR services, Brussels
Bird & Bird

Guillaume Nolens is an associate in Bird & Bird’s international HR services group in Brussels. He provides strategic and pragmatic regulatory advice to leading local and international corporations as well as financial institutions and individuals.

He advises on the full range of employment and benefits issues, advisory and transactional, and contentious and non-contentious. This includes advising on issues from working conditions, labour risk prevention, employee relations, HR policies and privacy, to restructuring, relationship breakdowns and dispute resolution.

Together with Bird & Bird’s newly expanded Belgian employment practice, Guillaume guides clients and provides them with a solid pathway through the complex, fluid and fast changing area of employment law.  He assists with domestic employment law as well as international aspects of employment law for clients who, for example, wish to expand their international platform. He works together with Bird & Bird’s strongly developed international network of lawyers, which share knowledge and invests in innovation to solve issues for our clients in a more efficient way.

Speakers


Pieter De Koster
Anton Aerts
Cecilia Lahaye
Jehan de Wasseige
Guillaume Nolens

Details

Date
3 December 2020
Time
16:00 - 17:00 UTC
Duration
60 min
Language
English
Location
Online