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A look into the future: the implications of the Metaverse

Technology, and the way businesses embrace it in their day to day activities, has moved at a vast rate of knots in the last few years. 20 years ago, the concept of video calls seemed light years away and yet it is now a feature of daily life.

The metaverse is the next step: a virtual world where avatars interact with each other. This interesting article written by my colleague, Emily Hocken, has made me realise just how many implications this potentially has from an employment law perspective. Is an employer liable if one avatar discriminates another? Does someone have to design an avatar to look like them, or can they assume other characteristics, for example of a different race? Could the metaverse increase the risk of bullying and harassment, particularly as some people are more aggressive in the virtual world than they otherwise would be in real life? 

At present, there are more questions than answers...

Employment legislation and case law have responded to many significant changes over the years, including email and other digital communication, the gig economy and, most recently, the change to remote and hybrid working ushered in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the advent of the virtual workplace is creating unprecedented challenges for the existing legal framework, simultaneously testing many different aspects of employment law.


employment, technology