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In brief

In an article for PLC Magazine, Kim Sartin, Zelander Gray and Sam Rayner look at how employers that are considering venturing into the metaverse will need to address new challenges that arise out of employees working in a virtual environment.

Key takeaways 

  • A metaverse is an immersive digital world where users can virtually live, socialise, play and work.
  • For more organisations, metaverse use is a formative or future issue.  But momentum is gathering, and uptake is increasing across sectors; for those that have not yet considered it, it is worth starting to think about potential strategies for when the inevitable questions arise.
  • While the metaverse will enable new ways of working, many of the employment issues that are likely to arise in the virtual realm are not so different from those that employers face today.
  • However, employers will need to address new challenges that arise out of the virtual environment, such as policing employee avatars and virtual harassment, the potential for virtual activism and industrial action, working time, and the health and safety issues associated with the use of equipment to access the metaverse.
  • This article first appeared in the March 2023 issue of PLC Magazine. Click here to access the full briefing.

Kim Sartin is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Employment and Compensation team in London. She advises senior legal and HR professionals on a wide range of employment and data protection matters. Kim is also a member of the Firm's Compliance & Investigations Practice Group where she works with a multidisciplinary team of lawyers in managing the employment and privacy aspects of compliance investigations. Kim is a regular speaker at internal and external conferences and seminars on a range of employment, data protection and compliance topics. She is a frequent contributor to legal journals and a contributor to the Tolley's Discrimination Handbook. Chambers UK 2021 described her as "very responsive and knowledgeable; her guidance is clear, effective and to the point." "She is very client-focused, intelligent and calm under pressure." "She is great - helpful, proactive and always tries to find a solution." Chambers UK 2022 "She is business-focused, practical and gives practical solutions." "She is a very good lawyer who is very strong technically."


Zelander is a mid-level associate in the Employment Department of Baker McKenzie in London. Zelander joined the Firm as a trainee in September 2014. She has recently been on a four-month secondment with Facebook as part of their EMEA employment legal team.


Sam Rayner is an Associate in Baker McKenzie's Employment & Compensation practice, based in London. He qualified as a solicitor in 2017, before joining Baker McKenzie in April 2020 from another international law firm. Clients recommend Sam (Legal 500, 2019) as an "exceptionally bright and highly talented lawyer".

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