Employment Law Tracker – August 2020

We are pleased to present you with the L&E Global Employment Law Tracker for August 2020, our monthly bulletin specifically designed to help employers stay up-to-date on the latest global workplace trends.
 

L&E Global launches COVID-19: BACK TO WORK – Special Report

 

L&E Global, together with our member firms, are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis for the latest workplace law developments, in order to respond effectively to the needs of our clients and to help see them through this unprecedented threat to the global economy.

COVID-19 has confronted the world with challenges to public health and the economy, in a way few of us have ever experienced or even contemplated. When we published this guide in July 2020, we came to realise that the disruptions caused by COVID-19 were not confined to a single moment in time, but rather they remain an ongoing phenomenon, which will affect all of our lives well into 2021 and beyond. The workplace is in many ways, the epicenter of our battle to contain and defeat COVID-19, as we continually identify the most effective and current measures to protect employees, while also striving to maintain the enterprises which provide our livelihoods and generate the revenue to support the needs of our societies.

In this COVID-19: BACK TO WORK – Special Report, we compile the best information and guidance available from 28 major markets concerning the most important workplace law issues that you will encounter, as you reopen your business and seek to improve the safety of your operations: national emergency mandates and special programmes aiding affected businesses, health and safety measures, teleworking, managing COVID 19-related employee issues and cost reduction strategies. Perhaps most importantly, we identify local sources for you to consult in order to remain up-to-date, and set out best practices learned from the already robust experience many others have had in dealing with this crisis.

Visit and bookmark the new COVID-19: BACK TO WORK – Special Report in your browser. It is our privilege to provide this resource to you, and we hope you will refer to it often as you advise your employees, staff, colleagues, business partners, customers and clients. Please contact L&E Global or any of our member firms with any questions you may have.

BROWSE BY COUNTRY
Australia • Belgium • Brazil • Canada • Chile • China • Colombia • European Union • France • Germany • Italy • Mexico • Poland • Qatar • Romania • Saudi Arabia • Spain • United Arab Emirates • United Kingdom • United States

AUSTRALIA • Harmers Workplace Lawyers

Court Affirms the Seriousness of Sexual Harassment and Availability of Aggravated Damages

The Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has recently handed down a decision on the availability of aggravated damages and appropriate quantum of general damages in sexual harassment (Hughes trading as Beesley and Hughes Lawyers v Hill [2020] FCAFC 126). In the decision, the Full Court confirmed the availability of aggravated damages in sexual harassment cases where there is bullying by the contravener to deter the plaintiff from making a complaint, and where the conduct of the contravener during trial was deplorable and furthered the psychological damage inflicted on the plaintiff. The Full Court also determined that the quantum of general damages in sexual harassment cases should follow an earlier authority that justified a substantial increase in general damages for sexual harassment cases, to reflect the community’s appraisal of the seriousness of sexual harassment. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Australia, please contact Michael Harmer (Partner) of Harmers Workplace Lawyers at michael.harmer@Harmers.com.au or visit www.harmers.com.au.

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BELGIUM • Van Olmen & Wynant

Temporary Unemployment After 31 August – Flexible Corona Scheme Or Transitional System

The general application of the flexible COVID-19 temporary unemployment scheme will come to an end on 31 August 2020, but will nevertheless continue to apply (from 1 September until 31 December 2020) to certain companies and sectors which have been particularly hard hit by the corona crisis. Meanwhile, other companies will be able to utilise a transitional system for economic reasons. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Belgium, please contact Chris Van Olmen (Partner) of Van Olmen & Wynant at chris.van.olmen@vow.be or visit www.vow.be.

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BRAZIL • TozziniFreire Advogados

Brazilian Federal Supreme Court Decides that Employers’ Social Security Contributions are Not Due on top of the Maternity Leave Allowance

On 4 August 2020, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (“STF”) ruled that no social security contributions should be paid by employers on top of maternity leave allowance (“maternity salary”). The decision emphasises that the maternity salary does not have salary nature and corresponds to a social security benefit granted when the employee is on maternity leave, hence, not working. » Read More

Brazilian General Data Protection Law updates: effectiveness and ANPD structure

After some back and forth, Brazil has seen relevant legislative developments over the last days regarding the effectiveness of the Brazilian General Data Protection Law and the definition of the structure and regulatory framework of the National Data Protection Authority. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Brazil, please contact Mihoko Sirley Kimura (Partner) of TozziniFreire Advogados at mkimura@tozzinifreire.com.br or visit www.tozzinifreire.com.br.

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CANADA • Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti

Redesigned Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: What Employers Need to Know

On 27 July 2020 Bill C-20, An Act respecting further COVID-19 measures, received Royal Assent. Bill C-20 significantly redesigns the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) program, implements a one-time payment of up to $600 to persons with disabilities, suspends limitation periods in civil litigation, and empowers Federal Ministers to extend or suspend select regulatory time limits. While the amendments imposed by Bill C-20 are far-reaching, this particular update focuses on the amendments to the CEWS program. » Read More

Canada: Ontario’s Declared Emergency Ends: Implications for Employers

Bill 195, Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020 (“Bill 195”) was proclaimed into force on 24 July 2020; the same day on which the provincial declaration of emergency established under O. Reg. 50/20 came to an end. Under Bill 195, the Ontario Government is able to amend, extend, or revoke orders made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (“ELEGA”), even though the provincial declaration of emergency has expired. The Government has exercised its authority under Bill 195 to extend various orders, including those relating to labour redeployment in long-term care and retirement homes, stages of reopening, compliance with public health advice, and public gatherings. » Read More

Court of Appeal for Ontario Restates the Common Law of Reasonable Notice Following a Sale of Business

In Manthadi v ASCO Manufacturing, the Ontario Court of Appeal clarified how a sale of business affects the assessment of common law reasonable notice when an employee is dismissed by a successor employer. In particular, the Court confirmed that in the context of an asset transaction, an employee’s length of service with the predecessor and successor employers should not simply be added together for the purposes of calculating reasonable notice. Rather, the Court reiterated its earlier pronouncement that an employee’s service with a predecessor employer should be captured in the Bardal analysis by assigning appropriate weight to the employee’s experience from which the successor employer benefited. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Canada, please contact Robert Bayne (Partner) of Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti at rbayne@filion.on.ca or visit www.filion.on.ca.

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CHILE • Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos

New Immigration Chilean Law: embracing modern times and Chile´s needs

The Chilean Congress is currently discussing a reform bill that seeks to modernise the current Immigration Law -which dates back to 1975- by orienting it towards a model based on safety, order and regular immigration, adapting the rules to modern times and the needs of the country. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Chile, please contact Ricardo Tisi (Partner) of Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos at rtisi@cariola.cl or visit www.cariola.cl

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CHINA • Zhong Lun Law Firm

Passengers Shall Provide Certificate on Negative Result for Nucleic Acid Testing before Boarding Flights to China

The Civil Aviation Administration of China, the General Administration of Customs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires foreign passengers to complete COVID-19 nucleic acid testing 5 days before boarding flights to China and provide the negative result to the Chinese Embassies or Consulates to apply for a declaration of health status. » Read More

Beijing Strengthens Supervision and Prohibits the Social Insurance Contribution on Behalf of the Employer

The social insurance center of Daxing District, Beijing Municipality, released a circular to require labor service dispatch companies and human resources service companies to report certain information of the employment contract when they register or add new members to the social insurance scheme. This new social insurance policy of Beijing Municipality may put an end to the contribution of social insurance on behalf of the employer. » Read More

Employers Shall not Suspend Employment Contract On the Grounds that COVID-19 Pandemic Constitutes Force Majeure

To unify the standard of judgement, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Supreme People’s Court jointly released the Typical Cases of Labor and Employment Disputes-The First Series (the “Typical Cases”). We have selected one of the Typical Cases where the arbitration committee and the court ruled that employers shall not suspend employment contract on the grounds that COVID-19 pandemic constitutes force majeure. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in China, please contact Carol Zhu (Partner) of Zhong Lun Law Firm at carol.zhu@zhonglun.com or visit www.zhonglun.com.

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COLOMBIA • López & Asociados

Constitutional Court weighs Constitutionality of Special Decree reducing the pension contribution rate for two months and declares its unconstitutionality

The Colombian Constitutional Court analysed Decree 558 in their decision C-258, 2020, and declared its unconstitutionality. The Court considered it implied a clear violation to social rights and a change of purpose to resources specially created for financing pensions, which did not guarantee a financial sustainability of the system. Therefore, Decree 558 did not pass the material connection and motivation tests run by the Court. » Read More

According to the Media, the Constitutional Court found unconstitutional the Special Decree creating the solidarity tax

The national press has informed that the Colombian Constitutional Court declared the unconstitutionality of the solidarity tax, created on Decree 568. According to the news, the Court analysed it under generality of the tax and horizontal tax equity principles, finding that the tax did not have a valid reason to levy only the public sector. » Read More

Extending the Mandatory Preventive Isolation for One More Month

Based on July’s COVID-19 fatality rate of the country (3.42%) included in the report made by the Epidemiology and Demography Direction of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of 27 July 2020, and that the world’s rate (3.91%) is just 0.49 greater than the Colombian, the government extended the mandatory preventive isolation until the 31st of August 2020. » Read More

Bogota reaches the 90% of ICU occupancy and extends the sectorized quarantine

As of the middle of July, the Mayor of Bogota ordered a strict quarantine for different localities in the city, according to the epidemiologic curve over the capital. Recently, the measure was extended until the 31st of August based on the 90% of ICU occupancy in the city and July’s COVID-19 hospitalization and fatality rates of each sector. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Colombia, please contact Alejandro Castellanos (Partner) of López & Asociados at alejandro.castellanos@lopezasociados.net or visit www.lopezasociados.net

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EUROPEAN UNION • Van Olmen & Wynant

Grand Chamber of the CJEU delivers a Serious Blow to Social Dumping Practices

The CJEU does not consider the Cyprus-based letter box company to be the employer of international lorry drivers in the Netherlands, for purposes of determining the applicable social security system. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in European Union, please contact Chris Van Olmen (Partner) of Van Olmen & Wynant at chris.van.olmen@vow.be or visit www.vow.be.

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FRANCE • Flichy Grangé Avocats

Can an Employer Ban Beards?

A recent case concerning beards recalls that in order to impose neutrality in the workplace concerning visible religious, political, or philosophical insignia, a written clause must be provided for in the company rules. These clauses must be justified and meet certain criteria. Otherwise, there must be a safety imperative. In the case at hand, the employer couldn’t sanction the employee for his religiously-connoted beard, though this remains theoretically possible. » Read More

European Directive on Posted Workers enters into force

On 30 July 2020, the new European directive on the posting of workers entered into force. With the publication of the last two transposition texts on 29 July, the system is now fully operational. In particular, it guarantees workers posted to France a remuneration identical to that of French employees, and requires employers to cover their professional expenses. It also creates a status of long-term posted worker to which almost all national labour law applies. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in France, please contact Joël Grangé (Partner) of Flichy Grangé Avocats at grange@flichy.com or visit www.flichygrange.com.

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GERMANY • Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law

The effects of short time work on annual leave entitlement

Short time work allows for the state subsidised reduction of working hours for a limited period in time. This raises the question of its effects on the employees’ annual leave entitlement. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Germany, please contact Dr. Tobias Pusch (Partner) of Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law at pusch@pwwl.de or visit www.pwwl.de.

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ITALY • LabLaw

The So Called “Relaunch Decree “

The law decree set out urgent measures concerning health, support for work and the economy as well as social policies connected to Covid19 emergency in Italy. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Italy, please contact Luca Failla (Partner) of LabLaw at l.failla@lablaw.com or visit www.lablaw.com.

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MEXICO • De La Vega & Martinez Rojas S.C.

Amendment to the Retirement Fund System (RFS)

On 22 July, President Andres Manuel López Obrador announced and amendment to the Social Security Law and the Retirement Fund System Law with the aim of strengthening the employee’s retirement plans. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Mexico, please contact Oscar De La Vega (Partner) of De La Vega & Martinez Rojas S.C. at ODelaVega@dlvmr.com.mx or visit www.dlvmr.com.mx.

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POLAND • Sobczyk & Partners Law Firm

Forced holiday leave in 4.0 Anti-Crisis Act

On 24 June the so called 4.0 Anti-Crisis Act came into force. The act is another tool aimed at improving the situation of entrepreneurs affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The act introduces many changes, including the regulations on taking holiday leave. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Poland, please contact Prof. Arkadiusz Sobczyk (Partner) of Sobczyk & Partners Law Firm at arkadiusz.sobczyk@sobczyk.com.pl or visit www.sobczyk.com.pl.

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QATAR • Clyde & Co

Exceptional Entry Permit Portal Services open

Qatar has set up an electronic portal for Qatar residents to apply for an exceptional entry permit to return to Qatar. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Qatar, please contact Sara Khoja (Partner) of Clyde & Co at sara.khoja@clydeco.ae or visit www.clydeco.com.

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ROMANIA • Magda Volonciu & Asociatii

Recordings of conversations between employees and employers might be used in Court as prove

Usually recordings can be used in civil court cases only if both parties are aware that the conversation is being recorded and agree to it. During a recent meeting held by the National Institute of Magistrates, specialized employment judges decided that in employment related cases recordings of conversations between employees and employers (or employers representatives) can exceptionally be used as prove. » Read More

New legal provisions against moral harassment at the workplace

Law no. 167/2020 introduces the legal definition of moral harassment at the workplace and new obligations and guidelines for employers that need to guarantee a harassment free environment for their employees. » Read More

Romania will remain under the state of alert for at least 30 more days starting 16 August

The state of alert was extended by the Government for an additional 30 days starting 16 August under similar conditions as it was previously declared. The same restrictions regarding operating specific businesses will continue to apply. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Romania, please contact Magda Volonciu (Partner) of Magda Volonciu & Asociatii at magdavolonciu@volonciu.ro or visit www.volonciu.ro.

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SAUDI ARABIA • Clyde & Co

Administrative Violations of Precautionary Measures followed to Combat COVID-19 Outbreak

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has issued a document setting out the fines which may be imposed on employees violating the Covid-19 restrictions in place. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Saudi Arabia, please contact Sara Khoja (Partner) of Clyde & Co at sara.Khoja@clydeco.ae or visit www.clydeco.com.

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SPAIN • Suárez de Vivero

Supreme Court declares that the enjoyment of the marriage leave must begin the first business day after the marriage

The Supreme Court declares that the enjoyment of marriage leave must begin on the first working day following the bank holiday on which the event occurred, since it recognizes the right to be absent from work being entitled to remuneration. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Spain, please contact Iván Suárez (Partner) of Suárez de Vivero at isuarez@suarezdevivero.com or visit www.suarezdevivero.com.

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES • Clyde & Co

Residents no longer require approval to return to the UAE

The UAE government has advised that a special approval for residents returning to the UAE is no longer needed. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United Arab Emirates, please contact Rebecca Ford (Partner) at Clyde & Co at Rebecca.Ford@clydeco.ae or visit www.clydeco.com.

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UNITED KINGDOM • Clyde & Co

Disability discrimination – failure to make reasonable adjustments

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that is was a reasonable adjustment for an employer to undertake to give an employee a redundancy severance package if her request to not work with certain colleagues was unworkable. » Read More

Unfair dismissal – no procedure followed after breakdown in working relations

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that a dismissal for “some other substantial reason”, when the employer had not followed any procedure, was not unfair. » Read More

Employment status – Cycle couriers are workers

An employment tribunal ruled that CitySprint couriers were workers, even after a change in their contractual terms, and therefore entitled to receive holiday pay. » Read More

COVID-19: New law on redundancy and notice pay for furloughed employees

The UK government has introduced new rules aimed at ensuring that statutory payments to which furloughed employees are entitled, such as redundancy or notice pay, are based on their normal pay, rather than reduced furlough pay. » Read More

COVID-19: Furlough bonus scheme

As part of the UK government’s plans to support the UK economic recovery, it announced plans to pay a Job Retention Bonus to employers who keep their furloughed employees on after the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends on 31 October 2020 – and further details have now been published. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United Kingdom, please contact Robert Hill (Partner) at Clyde & Co at robert.hill@clydeco.com or visit www.clydeco.com.

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UNITED STATES • Jackson Lewis

What It Means: President Trump’s Executive Order on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations

On 8 August 2020, President Donald Trump issued the Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster (Executive Order). » Read More

New Executive Order Takes Aim at Hiring Under Federal Contracts

The “Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices With the Interests of American Workers” Executive Order directs federal departments and agencies to conduct audits of federal contracts awarded in Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 to determine if U.S. job opportunities or the economy have been adversely affected by the use of temporary foreign workers in the U.S. or abroad. » Read More

GOP Stimulus Bill Would Give Some PPP Borrowers a Second Draw and Expand Forgivable Expenditures

Senate Republicans have introduced the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools (HEALS) Act, a nearly one-trillion-dollar stimulus package comprised of a package of bills that includes the Continuing Small Business Recovery and Paycheck Protection Program Act (HEALS PPP). » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the United States, please contact John Sander (Principal) of Jackson Lewis at john.sander@jacksonlewis.com or visit www.jacksonlewis.com.

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