We are pleased to present you with the L&E Global Employment Law Tracker for January 2021, our monthly bulletin specifically designed to help employers stay up-to-date on the latest global workplace trends. 
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AustraliaBelgiumCanadaChileChinaColombiaEuropean UnionFranceGermanyIndiaItalyMexicoThe NetherlandsNorwayPolandQatarRomaniaSaudi ArabiaSwedenUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited States

AUSTRALIA • Harmers Workplace Lawyers

The Australian Government introduces major Industrial Relations reform through the new Omnibus Bill

The Australian Federal Government has recently introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020. This ‘omnibus’ Bill, if passed, would make changes to five key areas of industrial relations law, with many changes implemented in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Most notably, the Bill provides a statutory definition for casual employees and widens the net for agreements that are not required to meet the Better Off Overall Test. The Bill also criminalises wage theft, allows greenfields agreements to be extended to eight years, and introduces a mechanism to allow employees to enter into agreements to work additional hours at ordinary rates as opposed to overtime. » 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

Can an employer oblige his employees to vaccinate against COVID-19?

As Belgium begins rolling-out its vaccination programme against the coronavirus, employers may wonder whether they can make a vaccination against the virus obligatory for their employees. » 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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CANADA • Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti

The “Death” of an Appeal: Court of Appeal Dismisses Funeral Home’s Appeal, Upholding $1.274 Million Damages Award for Constructive Dismissal

In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld the lower court’s decision awarding a former employee over $1.274 million as a result of the employer unilaterally imposing a number of changes to the terms of employment. The employment relationship was governed by a 10-year fixed term contract with no termination provision. This is one of the highest damage awards ever issued in a Canadian wrongful dismissal case. It serves as a stark reminder to employers that using fixed-term contracts can be extremely costly if they are not carefully and properly drafted. » Read More

Ontario Government Announces Second Provincial Emergency and New Restrictions

With COVID-19 cases rising across the province, the Ontario Government declared a second state of emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. The state of emergency is expected to last until at least 11 February 2021. In conjunction with this declaration, the Government has also announced additional restrictions, including a Stay-At-Home Order (the “SAH Order”), and new amendments to the Rules for Areas in Stage 1 regulation (the “Stage 1 Order”). » 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

Court sets a precedent on Rest Periods

Chilean Court sets a precedent on the relevance of rest periods of employees and the responsibility of the employer in the protection of this right. » 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

Employee was held entitled to prorated 13th month salary though the Employer’s policy indicated otherwise

The employer’s policy prescribed that only those who remain employed by the time of payment are entitled to 13th month salary. However, the Court held that the employee was entitled to the prorated 13th month salary in view of actual working period accrued in the year, regardless of the employer’s policy. » Read More

Workers without employment relationship in certain categories can participate in work-related injury insurance

Guangdong Province recently released a new policy that allows employers to voluntarily contribute work-related injury insurance for workers, who do not establish employment relationships, such as those who are over statutory retirement age, interns and engaging in new forms of business through Internet platforms. » 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

Bogota is on “red alert” due to the ICU occupancy over 90%

As of the beginning of January, Bogota is on “red alert” and a strict quarantine has been reintroduced for different localities in the city, as the capital reaches the second epidemiological peak of COVID-19 virus and the ICU occupancy overpasses 90%. » Read More

Monthly Minimum Wage and Transportation Aid for 2021 fixed by Colombian government

On 29 December, the Colombian government fixed the monthly minimum wage and the transportation aid for 2021 at COP$ 908.526 and COP$ 106.454, respectively, due to the lack of consensus in the Permanent Commission on the Harmonisation of Wage and Labour Policies. » Read More

Changes in the protocols to enter the country using the international flight operation

Bearing in mind the judicial order to ask for a negative result for COVID-19 test to every international passenger, the government issued Resolution 2532 of 2020. According to it, every international traveller must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 carried out within 96 hours before the flight, or a clear statement in case of difficulties in taking the test in the place of origin, among other requirements. » 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

CJEU rejects complaints of Poland and Hungary against the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive

Poland and Hungary have invested a lot of time and energy to block the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive, as they feared that the new rules would further limit their competitive advantage of low-cost labour. But now they have lost the (final?) battle. » 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

Handling the Consequences of Brexit

Thursday, 31 December 2020, marked the end of the transition period following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. An agreement was reached at the eleventh hour and it comes on top of a host of decrees. This has important consequences for British nationals working and residing on the French territory. As a result, it is vital that businesses and workers in France begin preparations for the many changes expected in the coming months. » 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

Foreseeable changes in German Employment Law in 2021

With the new year, there are also a few changes in German employment law. We provide a brief and comprehensive overview of the main changes employers and employees should be aware of. » Read More

The employer can order employees to wear a mouth-nose cover

In the Corona pandemic, employers can order the wearing of face masks. Employees may be exempted from this requirement only if they present a medical certificate stating the reasons that require the exemption. » Read More

Legally effective introduction of short-time work requires legal basis in the concrete employment relationship

The employer may only implement short-time work if this is permitted by contract, works agreement or collective agreement. If short-time work is implemented without any such legal basis, there is no entitlement to short-time work allowances and the employer owes the full remuneration to the employees. » 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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INDIA • IndusLaw

Ministry of Labour and Employment notifies certain provisions of the Code on Wages, 2019

The Ministry of Labour and Employment vide a notification dated 18 December 2020, has notified certain provisions of the Code on Wages, 2019, which has been brought into effect immediately. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in India, please contact Avik Biswas (Partner) of IndusLaw at avik.biswas@induslaw.com or visit www.induslaw.com.

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ITALY • LabLaw

Financial Law 2021 extends the dismissal ban

The so called “Financial Law 2021” (Law 178/2020) published on the Official Gazette on 30 December 2020 and entered into force on 1 January 2021, has extended the ban of dismissal for economic reasons (both individual and collective) until 31 March 2021. » Read More

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

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

Post-Brexit Trade Agreement reached between Mexico and the UK

On 15 December 2020, Mexico and the United Kingdom signed an agreement to continue trading after the UK leaves the EU. The deal entered into force on 1 January 2021, which corresponded with the end of the transition period for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This means that as of 1 January 2021, the UK has officially left the EU. » 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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THE NETHERLANDS • Palthe Oberman

Summary and Outlook of Changes in Employment Law with effect from 1 January 2021

From 1 January 2021 onwards, things have again changed in the area of employment law. We have listed the key amendments and the changes to be expected. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in the Netherlands, please contact Christiaan Oberman (Partner) of Palthe Oberman at oberman@paltheoberman.nl or visit www.paltheoberman.nl.

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NORWAY • Storeng, Beck & Due Lund: SBDL

Supreme Court passes its first judgment on sexual harassment in the work place

The Supreme Court has provided us with the first judgment on sexual harassment in the work place. The judgment provides legal guidance on what kind of behaviour that may constitute sexual harassment according to Norwegian law. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Norway, please contact Kari Andersen (Partner) of Storeng, Beck & Due Lund: SBDL at kari.andersen@sbdl.no or visit www.sbdl.no.

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POLAND • Sobczyk & Partners Law Firm

Performance of work during quarantine

During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic in Poland in many cases a majority of employees of a given workplace had to be quarantined. In such cases, the workplaces have been practically unable to operate. Therefore, many employers chose to entrust quarantined workers with work to do at home, where practicable. Such situations were difficult to assess form the legal point of view, as there were no legal provisions in place that would refer to this matter. The subject was, however, regulated by the act that came into force on 29 November 2020. » 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

Private Health Insurance Requirements

Mandatory private health insurance for those over 60 years of age. » 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

New Minimum Wage applicable starting January 2021

According to Government Decision No. 4/2021, from January 2021 a new minimum wage will be applicable. » Read More

25.000 working permits for foreign workers in 2021

According to Government Decision no. 1133/2020 the maximum number of working permits that are authorized to be issued in 2021 for workers outside the EU and EEC is 25.000. The maximum contingent is lower than the one approved for last year. » Read More

Romania will remain under the state of alert for at least 30 more days starting 13 January

The state of alert was extended by the Government for an additional 30 days starting 13 January under similar conditions as previously established. Restriction of movement between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. is still in place nationwide. » 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

Ministerial Decision No. 86972 dated 8/5/1442H (23 December 2020)

Ministerial Decision No. 86972 dated 8/5/1442H (23 December 2020) regarding saudisation within accounting profession. » Read More

Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) Mudad Platform

MHRSD has launched the Mudad platform to enable the management of payment of wages and MHRSD reporting requirements to be managed electronically. » Read More

Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) Qiwa Platform

MHRSD has launched the Qiwa platform which is an electronic platform that provides the MHRSD’s services and solutions. » 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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SWEDEN • CEDERQUIST

Labour Court considers the assessment of damages for cases involving Trade Secrets

In a guiding case on trade secrets, the Labour Court considers that in the assessment of damages, a division should not be made between financial damages and non-financial damages. Court ruling that an employee who, together with a business partner, has started a company that carry out business in competition with the employee's former employer, and who, inter alia, have used a spreadsheet program that constituted a trade secret of the former employer and a copyrighted work that the former employer owned, has caused the former employer damage. The former employer is entitled to damages, but no division of the types of damages (financial damages and non-financial damages) has been made. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Sweden, please contact Robert Stromberg (Partner) of Cederquist at robert.stromberg@cederquist.se or visit www.cederquist.se.

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES • Clyde & Co

Abu Dhabi Circular No. 16 of 2020

Abu Dhabi Circular No. 16 of 2020 to all government entities and companies in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with regards to mandatory PCR testing. » Read More

Federal Circular No. 3 of 2021 amending Circular No. 2 of 2021

Federal Circular No. 3 of 2021 amending Circular No. 2 of 2021 on PCR testing. » 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

Brexit: The Key Implications for Employers and HR Professionals

There has been much debate around how employment laws may change after Brexit, given the UK’s new found freedom - but it comes as no real surprise to learn that, in view of the level playing field commitments, the trade agreement will to some extent limit that freedom. » Read More

Redundancies – when a redundancy situation arises

The Employment Appeal Tribunal considered whether the motive behind a redundancy situation affects whether a genuine redundancy situation exists. » Read More

Perceived religious discrimination/racial harassment – injury to feelings and aggravated damages

An employment tribunal awarded aggravated damages and an injury to feelings award on the cusp of the middle/upper "Vento" bands (for serious cases/the most serious cases) to an employee it ruled was a victim of perceived religious discrimination, racial harassment and victimisation. » Read More

Agency workers' rights - applying for internal vacancies

The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that agency workers are not entitled to apply, and be considered, for relevant vacancies with a hirer on the same terms as directly-recruited employees. » Read More

COVID-19: Lockdown 3.0 restrictions in England

The government has published new guidance and amendment regulations setting out the restrictions that will apply in England during Lockdown 3.0. They set out the latest rules on attending the workplace, travel and protecting people who are more at risk – and once again emphasise staying at home. » 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

EEOC: Non-U.S. Citizen Employees Working Abroad May Be Excluded from OWBPA Disclosures

Significantly, this opinion letter may be relied upon by employers and constitutes binding legal authority in any proceedings brought against an employer. » Read More

Mandatory COVID-19 Benefits Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act Have Ended, Now What?

In March 2020, when Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) with a sunset date of 31 December 2020, few anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic would be ongoing into 2021. Several similar state and local laws also sunset at the end of 2020. But the pandemic has not slowed, and requests for COVID-19-related leave (along with the corresponding tax credits) continue. » Read More

Department of Labour Issues Final Independent Contractor Rule

The Department of Labour’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division has formally released a Final Rule defining “independent contractors” under the Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA). The regulation provides that “an individual is an independent contractor, as distinguished from an ‘employee’ under the Act, if the individual is, as a matter of economic reality, in business for him or herself.” » Read More

2021: The Year Ahead for Employers

2021: The Year Ahead for Employers details trends, legislation, regulation and litigation nationwide to help employers know what to expect in the coming months. We hope the report will prove to be a useful resource as you consider employment issues and navigate the coming year. » 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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