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Searchlight & Lumina HR Forum: Shaping the Workplace of the Future


Should we be sweating the small stuff? Yes! Sweating the small stuff was just one of the key takeaways from the Searchlight & Lumina HR Forum.

The crux is that we find ourselves in a world where the small things matter; Does the business represent me? Can I see my beliefs reflected within my organisation? Can I have a flexible approach to work?

Taking place on April 27th, Searchlight and Lumina came together with the support of Lewis Silkin to put on another successful HR Forum, our annual event for HR professionals working within the media and entertainment sectors.

The theme of this year’s Forum was ‘The Workplace of the Future’, the topic allowed for a variety of different panel discussions and talks, and the range of companies and sectors attending represented this.

Emma Morgan (Former Creative Producer at Lion TV) kicked off the morning’s proceedings, exploring how the pandemic has changed the workplace for both the good and bad.

Following Emma’s opening talk was a panel exploring the importance of the ‘S’ in ‘ESG’. One of the prevalent themes that came out of the discussions was a focus on company culture and how company culture can be promoted during the recruitment process. Michelle Aitcheson (SVP & Head of Human Resources for Lionsgate) offered some insight into this; “It is vital when recruiting to be upfront, genuine and authentic. This ensures that company culture is easily portrayed and understood from the offset.

During his engaging presentation, Russell Brimelow, a respected partner at Lewis Silkin, delved into a range of topical employment law issues that are highly relevant to the media industry. Drawing upon his extensive expertise, he explored the significant employment challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of new laws through Private Members’ Bills and the Retained EU Law Bill, and the most pressing issues arising from recent case law and political developments.

However, one particularly illuminating aspect of his talk was his discussion of emerging trends in the field. In particular, Russell provided valuable insights into the critical issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, highlighting the new proactive duty to take reasonable steps to prevent such behaviour. He emphasized that failure to meet this duty could result in up to a 25% increase in Employment Tribunal compensation, making it a crucial area for employers to address.

One of the most important sessions of the day explored respect and dignity in the workplace. Netflixs’ Waqas Ali discussed the relatively new phenomenon of HR on set, exploring the pitfalls and successes of this new HR function. For example, he discussed the differences between HR in the UK and HR in the Middle East, with key differences in women’s and LGBT rights. Waqas shared a timely example of how Netflix hired a HR advisor to educate the cast and crew of the hit TV show “Sex Education” about non-binary issues, demonstrating the company’s commitment to diversity and combating discrimination.

As we move forward, let us remember that paying attention to the small details, nurturing company culture, and prioritising respect and dignity in the workplace are essential for creating a better future for all. Together, we can continue to shape workplaces that reflect our values, promote inclusivity, and foster growth.

Thank you once again to those that joined us at this year’s Searchlight & Lumina HR Forum. We look forward to future gatherings where we can continue our journey of exploring and reimagining the ever-evolving world of HR.