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Future workplaces: How Indian firms can manage compliance risks in the post-pandemic world

13 Sep 2022

By Pratibha Sharma (Senior Executive)

As the world recovers from the pandemic, organisations globally are observing several challenges in facilitating the smooth transition of employees to the workplace. These challenges are reflective of the changing employee-employer relationship, and are compounded by evolving labour codes and other regulations that define the workplace, and outline employee and employer obligations.

Some of the current concerns include the following

  • Planning how and where to get the work done: Selecting the right working arrangement – work from office, a hybrid model, or a fully remote set-up – can pose several challenges. The government is chalking out a legal road map to formalise work-from-home arrangements. In the absence of that, how should organisations treat employees opting for remote working?
  • Managing employee health and well-being at the workplace: How should organisations manage employee health and well-being, if vaccination is not mandated by the government? In India, government guidance states that vaccination is voluntary. However, in a few states, such as Maharashtra and Karnataka, there have been circulars obligating employers to ensure that their employees are vaccinated.
  • Attracting and retaining talent: While remote working has increased organisations’ access to talented professionals, the challenge lies in determining which state laws can apply to these employees. A significant part of employee compensation and work hours are dependent on state laws.
  • New disciplinary issues leading to violation of the employment contract: While new working arrangements have provided employees the flexibility to manage their work and personal commitments, organisations are also observing several disciplinary issues. These include employees moonlighting while working remotely, interview frauds and impersonation, job abandonment, unauthorised absence, and virtual sexual harassment.

How can organisations address these challenges and remain compliant with regulations? Below are some suggestions to consider.

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