As Firms Push Back On Remote Work, Tribunal Cases Will Rise

Lawyers and HR experts expect an increase in employment tribunal cases.

The reason? Companies are increasingly shutting down work from home, and staff are becoming resentful about their lost flexibility.

The return to-office mandates are becoming the new norm, and a number of companies are now advocating a full five-day return.

The HR consultancy Hamilton Nash said they expected the number of employment tribunals involving remote working to rise this year.

Its analysis of past employment tribunal records shows that 42 tribunals mentioned remote working in 2022. This is up 50% from the 27 cases in 2021.

In the first half of 2023, there were 23 cases. 

In contrast, in 2019, before the pandemic, only six employment tribunal cases cited working from home.

There are significant tensions between flexible working requests and employers pushing people back into the office.

The main debate arises because, in some cases, business leaders advocate a return to the office based on their personal views. Instead, they could look at data or academic studies on working from home.

A KPMG survey found that 63% of global leaders in the UK predicted a full return to in-office work by 2026.

Plus, many companies, including law firms and big banks, are increasingly using entry-gate data to track staff attendance.

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