L&E Global
We are pleased to present you with the L&E Global Employment Law Tracker for July 2020, our monthly bulletin specifically designed to help employers stay up-to-date on the latest global workplace trends.
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.
L&E Global launches COVID-19: BACK TO WORK - Special Report
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
ArgentinaAustraliaBelgiumBrazilCanadaChileChinaColombiaEuropean UnionFranceGermanyItalyJapanLuxembourgMexicoPolandQatarRomaniaSwedenUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited States

ARGENTINA • Allende & Brea

Extension of Prohibition of Dismissals and Furloughs

Decree 624/2020 has extended the prohibition of dismissals: (i) without justified cause; or (ii) due to lack or reduction of work and force majeure, for a period of 60 days as from its original deadline (i.e. the prohibition is now extended until 30 September 2020). » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Argentina, please contact Nicolás Grandi (Partner) of Allende & Brea at ngrandi@allende.com or visit www.allende.com.

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AUSTRALIA • Harmers Workplace Lawyers

Wage theft against employees criminalised under new legislation in Victoria

The Victorian Government has recently passed the Wage Theft Act 2020 (Vic), which establishes new criminal offences in order to target employers who dishonestly underpay or do not pay workers their employee entitlements. The Act is the first legislation in Australia to make the deliberate underpayment of workers a criminal offence, having been drafted in response to revelations that a string of large, high-profile companies have reported underpayments. » 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

New Measures for Employers to Cope with COVID-19

The Government has introduced several new measures which employers can use to cope with the corona crisis. Some of these are restricted to companies which are recognised to be in difficulties or in restructuring. » 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

Measures Adopted During COVID-19 Pandemic

New Provisional Measure regulates the proportional reduction of working hours and salary, as well as the temporary suspension of the employment agreement during the state of calamity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. » 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

All or Nothing: Void Just-Cause Termination Provision Invalidates Entire Termination Clause

In a recent decision, the Court of Appeal for Ontario held that an employer could not rely on a valid and enforceable without-cause termination provision because the employment contract included a separate for-cause termination provision that violated the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). In coming to its decision, the Court of Appeal considered it irrelevant that the employer had not actually relied on the for-cause termination provision when terminating the employment relationship. The Court of Appeal also refused to give any effect to the employment contract’s severability provision. » Read More

Reopening Ontario – Stage 3

The Ontario Government announced that, as of 17 July 2020, it will begin implementing the final stage of its three stage process for reopening Ontario’s economy. Stage 3 will take a regional approach to restarting the economy by opening most businesses and services and opening all public spaces in the regions with lower rates of COVID-19 transmission. Stage 3 will also see gathering limits loosened, subject to ongoing health and safety measures. » Read More

Federal Government Publishes Final Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations

On 24 June 2020, the Federal Government published the final version of the Work Place Harassment and Violence Prevention Regulations. These Regulations will come into force on 1 January 2021, providing federally regulated employers with 6 months to implement changes to their policies. » 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

Congress Approves Withdrawal from Private Pension Funds Due to Covid-19 Epidemic

Chile’s bicameral legislature successfully ratified a constitutional reform bill that will allow citizens to withdraw up to 10% from private pension funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, from a minimum of (approximately) $1,200 (USD) up to a maximum of $5,375 (approximately). People with less than $1,200 in their pension funds account will be able to withdraw all of their funds. The bill will enter into force within the next few days. » 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

Constructive Termination Due to Employer’s Default on Social Insurance Contribution

Worker was constructively terminated based on the court’s finding that the employer had failed to contribute social insurance for the employee. » Read More

Period for Reduction and Exemption of Employers’ Social Insurance Contributions Extended

New Circular will extend the period for implementing the policies to exempt social insurance contributions borne by employers in China, which is intended to further relieve the employers’ burden during the coronavirus pandemic. » 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

Regulating Protocols for a Rebound of the Economy

As the current lockdown is likely to be extended beyond 1 August 2020, the proper approach to reactivate the economy has been one of the key concerns of the Colombian government, which, in the past month, has issued several resolutions containing strict hygiene conditions and protocols that need to be followed. » Read More

Containing the Virus while Supporting the Formal Sector and the Unemployed

On 9 July 2020, the Colombian government extended the mandatory preventive isolation until 1 August 2020, while allowing the reactivation of some sectors under strict hygiene conditions and protocols. However, as the regional governments have the power to implement different measures according to their respective COVID-19 infection rate, some cities have enacted a second lockdown fragmented by sectors, which prevents certain businesses within the municipalities from engaging in any activity that is not otherwise categorised as essential, just as Bogota did, beginning on 13 July and carrying through until 23 August 2020. » Read More

Special Aid for Suspended Employees

Through Resolution 1361 (2 July) and External Circular N. 3 (6 July), the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit and the Pension and Payroll Contributions Unit (UGPP) has regulated access to the state contribution to help employers to pay the legal service bonus for the first semester of the year. In addition, Resolution 1262 (10 July) established the procedure to identify employees who are eligible for special aid, as well as the process to grant such aid up to three times. » Read More

Court weighs Constitutionality of Special Decree declaring Telecom Services an Essential Public Function during COVID-19 Emergency

Decree 555 declared the telecommunication services to be an essential public service that plays a pivotal role in the labour environment, which therefore demands that a different set of rules should apply during the state of emergency. The Court declared that the process used to issue Decree 555 was legal. Furthermore, the substance of the decree passed each and every test that the Court applied to it, in order to determine its constitutionality, and found it to be constitutional, in that it clearly limits the effects of its intended purpose to the Sanitary Emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 crisis. » Read More

Ministry of Labour Reactivated Processes

Electronic and remote communications shall prevail over the traditional signing, notification and meeting protocols typically governing such methods, which is why, at this time, during the Sanitary Emergency period, the customer service provided by the Ministry will not be delivered in its facilities. » Read More

Congress has the Power to Allow Remote Sessions

The Colombian Constitutional Court found article 12 of Decree 491 unnecessary and incompatible with the Constitution. Since Congress has the power to allow remote sessions, it does not need to enact a special decree in order to do so. » 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

Commission Launches Process to Guarantee Collective Bargaining for Self-Employed Workers

The Commission has launched a consultation process on the issue of the competition rules standing in the way of the possibility to engage in collective bargaining for certain self-employed workers, such as platform workers, in the On-Demand Economy, who could use this instrument to improve their working conditions. » 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

Changes in the Partial Activity Assignments

On 24 June 2020, the Elysée received the social partners to present them with the first proposals for changes to the partial activity system. Ultimately, two regimes would coexist: the partial activity regime according to ordinary law and a long-term partial activity regime. Since 1 June, the assignment rate has been reduced: companies no longer receive 100% reimbursements, but 85% of the compensation paid to the employee, with a limit set at 70% of 4.5 times the hourly rate of the minimum wage. As an exception, the highly affected sectors (hotels, restaurants, tourism, air transport, etc.) remain fully (100%) supported. » Read More

Can an Employee on Sick Leave Go for a Jog?

In order to engage in exercise or a sporting activity during a work stoppage, the employee must be expressly authorised in advance by the attending physician, and such authorisation must be included directly on the notice of stoppage. Otherwise, the payment of daily allowances will be suspended and a corrective certificate from the physician is insufficient. » Read More

Sick Leave Allowance Calculations Changed on 1 July 2020

On 1 July 2020, several rules relating to the calculation of daily sickness benefits changed, as provided for in the Social Security Financing Law for 2020. In particular, the increase in the replacement rate, applicable when the insured person has at least three dependent children, is abolished. » 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

Right to Information on Wages Extended to Employee-like Freelancers

The Transparency in Wage Structures Act has been in force since July 2017. Since then, employees have a claim for information against their employers regarding the wage structure in the establishment. According to latest case law, this right to information cannot only be asserted by employees, but also by employee-like freelancers. » Read More

Update on Data Protection Laws

Since coming into force on 25 May 2018, we have evaluated the effect that the GDPR has had in Germany, in both legal and practical terms, and have summarised the most important current topics and issues related to data protection. » 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

Smart Working Beyond the COVID-19 Emergency – The Challenge is to Change the Mentality

The COVID-19 emergency that we are facing today has provided the opportunity for many workers and entrepreneurs to imagine the possibility of a different way of organising work. Knowing how to seize the current opportunity, brought about by the COVID pandemic, to test Smart Working in order to achieve such a reorganisation of work would allow employers to capitalise on the evident advantages that this system entails. Of course, in addition to these possible advantages, there are also potential risks for workers which may emerge - such as workaholics, burnout syndrome and a sense of loneliness. Great attention and care will therefore be needed in redesigning the organisational positions. The real challenge is to be able to complete a real cultural revolution that introduces a new way of implementing the working relationship between the employee and the employer – in addition to how work is organised. » 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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JAPAN • Atsumi & Sakai

Best Practices for Lawyers Returning to the Office following COVID-19 State of Emergency

The government of Japan recently lifted the nationwide state of emergency that had been in effect since early April. Atsumi & Sakai has established a special response team to address the risk posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19), and is implementing countermeasures to avoid the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of our clients and team members. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Japan, please contact Tatsuo Yamashima (Partner) of Atsumi & Sakai at tatsuo.yamashima@aplaw.jp or visit www.aplaw.jp.

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LUXEMBOURG • Kleyr | Grasso

The “Not So” Temporary Suspension of the Protection Against Dismissal Due to Illness

The employer is confronted with the following situations depending on the starting date of the sickness period: i) the employee’s sick leave began before the state of emergency or between 18 March and 24 June 2020. Hence, the employee benefits from a protection against termination for a maximum duration of 78 weeks; or ii) the employee’s sick leave began on 25 June 2020 or later and therefore, the employee benefits from a protection against termination for 26 weeks. » Read More

For more information on these articles or any other issues involving labour and employment matters in Luxembourg, please contact Christian Jungers (Partner) of KLEYR | GRASSO at christian.jungers@kleyrgrasso.com or visit www.kleyrgrasso.com.

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

Extraordinary Inspections regarding Labour Matters derived from COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic in Mexico, inspectors from all the Federal Labour Dependencies have been designated to visit several workplaces, daily, to perform inspections regarding hygiene and safety. The inspection visit is strict and rigorous; therefore it is necessary to have all documentation and information current and up to date. In accordance with the extraordinary character of these inspections, it is indispensable that all safety and health measures are taken into account, in order to avoid any sanction and/or fine. » 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

New Regulations on Remote Work

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 specification of remote work regulations. » 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

Summary of Recent Labour and Employment Law Developments

In the past month, there have been several labour and employment law developments, chief among them: i) all passengers travelling out of Doha with a return booking must have a confirmed hotel reservation in one of Qatar's designated quarantine hotels on their return; ii) every citizen and resident in the country is required to register a permanent national address with the official authorities in Qatar; and iii) the government has announced its plan for gradually lifting restrictions imposed in response to Covid-19. » 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

Nationwide State of Alert will Continue into mid-August

Romania will remain under a state of alert for at least 30 more days starting on 17 July. The same restrictions on 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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SWEDEN • Cederquist

CJEU rejects Privacy Shield as Legal Basis for Processing Personal Data in the US

The Court concluded that personal data can no longer be legally transferred to the United States (or processed with access from the United States) on the basis that the recipient has self-certified under the Privacy Shield framework. This is because all companies in the United States, even if they are certified, are subject to legislation that gives US authorities very far-reaching opportunities to request access to personal data. » 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

Summary of Recent COVID-19 Developments

In the past month, there have been several important developments regarding COVID-19 and its impact on the operations of employers in various sectors. » 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

COVID-19 - Employees Returning to Work as the Lockdown Eases – Where Are We Now?

With the easing of the lockdown and more businesses now re-opening, employers are facing fresh challenges and having to find new ways of working. In this blog, we bring you up-to-date on some of the latest and upcoming changes for employers to be aware of as employees return to work. » Read More

COVID-19 - How can Employers Reduce Litigation Risks when Bringing Back Staff to the Workplace?

From 1 August, the official guidance to work at home if you can, will change. From that date, employers will be able to ask their home-working-staff to return to the workplace, provided they have made their workplace safe after consultation with staff or staff representatives. » Read More

COVID-19 and the Flexible Furlough Scheme

The government has now published further details about the new flexible furlough scheme under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will run from 1 July until 31 October 2020, when the scheme closes. The information has been set out in a Treasury Direction of 25 June, which is the legal basis for the scheme, and the government guidance which was updated on 1 July 2020. » 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

OSHA Does Not Back Employee Work Refusals in All Circumstances

Since March 2020, workers have expressed elevated concerns about their exposure to COVID-19 on construction sites. As states lift restrictions on construction work, employers should note that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) limits workers’ ability to refuse work. Thus, the OSH Act gives employers ample opportunity to address hazards arising from employee failure to follow OSHA’s COVID-19 Guidance for the Construction Workforce or use EPA-approved Disinfectants for Use Against COVID-19 to sanitise tools or work stations used by multiple employees. » Read More

New Work Visas Suspended Under Presidential Proclamation Until End of 2020

The day before his previous Proclamation on immigrant visa was to expire, President Donald Trump signed the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak” to extend his previous immigrant visa restrictions and suspend issuance of certain nonimmigrant, temporary work visas until at least the end of 2020. The new order will be reviewed on or about 24 July 2020, and every 60 days thereafter for possible modifications, according to the Administration. » Read More

I-9 Inspection and Return-to-Work Issues

The Department of Homeland Security’s COVID-19 flexibility regarding the physical presence requirements for I-9 inspection ends on July 19, 2020, for companies that are still operating 100-percent remotely. Unless further extended, the three-day rule to review the original documents in person will kick in on that date, but that three-day clock may start ticking sooner if your company is starting to return to the worksite before 19 July 2020. Given the COVID-19 national emergency, employers have had to try to determine what would be reasonable in that light. » 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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