CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition 7-8 November 2018 - Karen Teago joins the Blog Squad

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This will be my first time at a CIPD event since returning to legal practice and I cannot wait to get stuck in.  After 5 years in HR roles, I took up the position of Joint-CEO and Principal Solicitor here at YESS Law, a leading employment law practice, in June 2018.

What is there at conference for me?  Is it relevant to an employment lawyer?  More to the point, bearing in mind CIPD has asked me back to the blogsquad following last year’s debut, is an employment lawyer relevant to this conference?

I’d like to think so.  After all, I’m the same person I was this time last year.  I’m just carrying a different label.  I’m still fascinated by human relationships at work and how they impact on the work experience.  In my experience (as employment lawyer and HR professional), people will put up with bad work for the sake of good working relationships far more frequently that they will put up with poor relationships for the sake of work they enjoy.  Relationships make or break the experience in almost all cases. So I will enjoy meeting up with people I already know and meeting new folks, all of whom will be at the conference because they are similarly interested in better work and working lives.

The CIPD conference is a great opportunity to find out how organisations in all sorts of industries and sectors look after their people and how this has changed and is changing over time.  The free exhibition is brimming with fun new ideas and breathtakingly clever technology aimed at improving people experience at work, but we also see exhibitors who can help employers with the more serious aspects of working life – things I am back to working with every day as an employment lawyer, such as inequality, ill health, the impact of caring responsibilities, and breakdowns in communication and relationships.

There are organisations exhibiting who won’t have the biggest stand or the best freebies, but whose work is invaluable when working life is difficult for employers and their people, for whatever reason.

Some exhibitors working with the tough stuff who I’ll be popping along to see:

Dry January

The Government Equalities Office

Macmillan at Work

The National Autistic Society


If you are heading to conference please take some time around the exhibition and take advantage of information and resources from these exhibitors and others who work in the slightly less glamorous fields, who can help you make a difference to people when it really matters.  If you work in or around Manchester, you could pop along for an hour or two – the exhibition hall quietens down while the conference sessions are in progress and the exhibitors would love some extra visitors to help the day whizz by.

You might see me too, I’ll be the girl with the big label that says “Employment Lawyer”.  Or I’ll just be the human being whose label doesn’t matter, same as everyone else there.


Life's too short to litigate