We are pleased to present you with the First Edition of L&E Global’s weekly client circular, Reimagining Employment Law In the Era of the Coronavirus, bringing you the latest insights on the COVID-19 crisis and related employment law developments from across the globe.

Is your business proactively planning for the “restart” of operations, and the return of employees to the workplace?  As organisations return to business as usual, obviously health and safety of the workplace is critical. Among COVID-19 screening programs in the workplace, many employers have implemented or are considering temperature monitoring as a way to identify persons at risk of being infected and stopping them from infecting others. Whether mandatory or recommended, screening employees and visitors could play an important role in curbing the spread of the virus. Nonetheless, developing and implementing a screening program raises a range of issues organisations need to think through carefully.

Setting up a COVID-19 screening program for your organisation requires careful planning.  Here are a few key steps to consider:

  • Identify a “Screening Program” Leader. With guidance across the globe changing rapidly, a leader needs to be informed and practical, as well as sensitive to confidentiality.
  • Understand applicable mandates and recommendations.  Guidance may come from a myriad of sources on the national, regional, and local level. 
  • Develop a plan.  The program leader, together with appropriate personnel, e.g. legal and HR, should outline a program in writing. Examples of key components of an effective program include:
    • Designating responsibility. Who will conduct screening, maintain records, address disputes, handle requests for screening related information? All such employees and/or third parties should undergo training on program requirements.
    • Identify who is subject to screening. This may include employees, contractors, job applicants and/or visitors.
    • Establish procedures for administering screening. Determining the best time of day for screening, obtaining notice/consent (if required), deciding who receives and handles results, identifying equipment needed for screening, informing individuals about best practices for self-quarantining (if necessary), and communicating any updates to the programs.
    • Ensure confidential and secure collection, storage, and, if necessary, transmission of the data screened.

Here are some examples of screening program mandates and recommendations from across the globe:
  • The Americas: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued an update expressly recognising that employers may implement temperature-screening programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Likewise in Mexico, the Federal Labour Law allows employers to implement mandatory screening programs. 
  • Europe: The European Data Protection Board has confirmed that the GDPR provides legal grounds for employers to implement screening programs. This however, is subject to limitations of national law – e.g. in France the CNIL informed organisations that they should not collect the body temperatures of their employees or visitors to the premises, while in Germany, the DPA’s guidance made it clear that such screening is permissible.
  • Asia: Most countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region have implemented GDPR-like data privacy legislation that would treat temperature data as sensitive. Nevertheless, and despite the concerns over privacy, several countries (e.g. ChinaHong KongJapan and Singapore) have, to some extent, either mandated or recommended temperature monitoring in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
As nations confront the possibility of reopening, governments may increasingly compel, or otherwise sanction, the implementation of COVID-19 screening programs to help prevent a second wave of the virus. Your organisation may also decide to proactively establish such a program. In either case, the program should be carefully considered and implemented.
» Argentina
Employees placed in “Mandatory Preventive Social Isolation” are relieved from duty to attend the workplace
• 23/04/2020
» Australia
Variations to Modern Awards and Introduction of the JobKeeper Scheme in Response to Serious Industry Concerns During the COVID-19 Crisis
• 23/04/2020
» Belgium
Reopening The Economy: The Belgian Exit Strategy and the Guidelines to Reopen Your Company
• 28/04/2020
» Brazil
Brazil establishes an Emergency Program for the Maintenance of Employment and Employees’ Income
• 04/04/2020
» Canada
Canada Emergency Student Benefit and other Assistance for Post-Secondary Students
• 27/04/2020
» Chile
New legal regulations related to working remotely
• 23/04/2020
» China
Managing China-related COVID-19 Force Majeure Clauses
• 06/05/2020
» Colombia
Summary of Recent Labour and Employment Law Developments
• 24/04/2020
» France
France legislates to help limit the economic fallout of COVID-19
• 23/04/2020
» Germany
Ministerial draft on short-time work during Corona crisis
• 24/04/2020
» India
Employers and the Coronavirus
• 24/04/2020
» Italy
COVID-19 e-book: Health Emergency and Personnel Management in Italy
• 05/05/2020
» Japan
COVID-19 & Employment Law in Japan — Some Key Questions
• 23/04/2020
» Luxembourg
COVID-19 Situational Updates: All current measures, categorised by legal areas
• 23/03/2020
» Mexico
Executive order to suspend terms and activities of the Interior Ministry with the exceptions mentioned in the same order
• 01/05/2020
» Netherlands
‘NOW’ Updates – new amendments announced by the government of the temporary bridging emergency measure for job preservation during corona crisis
• 24/04/2020
» Norway
Sweeping Measures enacted in Response to the Covid-19 Crisis have real Consequences for Employers and Employees
• 03/04/2020
» Poland
Subsidies to the remuneration of employees affected by economic downtime or reduced working hours as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic
• 24/04/2020
» Portugal
Legal Implications of COVID-19
• 24/04/2020
» Romania
Employees affected by COVID-19 measures will receive an indemnity during the state of emergency
• 24/04/2020
» Spain
State of Alarm declared due to COVID-19
• 24/04/2020
» Sweden
New proposal recommends additional support for employers struggling with financial difficulties caused by the coronavirus
• 27/04/2020
» Switzerland
Coronavirus Rules Apply to the Temporary Home Office
• 16/04/2020
» United Kingdom
IR35 tax reforms postponed due to Coronavirus
• 24/04/2020
» United States
Partial Unemployment and Workshare Eligibility Guide
• 24/04/2020
L&E Global invites you to register for our Global Webinar Series via the Registration links provided below. Our complimentary series of webinars feature some of the world’s foremost labour and employment lawyers practicing today. These renowned thought leaders present practical insights and expert analysis on a wide-range of trending legal topics - nationally, regionally and globally. We look forward to learning with you!

COVID-19 and Reimagining the Workplace: Daily Briefing
Jackson Lewis Webinar
• Date: Daily, 11-15 May 2020
• Time: 4:00pm Eastern Daylight Time
• Duration: 30 minutes

» Register Now!

How to prepare for the post-COVID reopening in Latin America!
L&E Global Webinar
• Date: 12/05/2020
• Time: 10am México, Colombia and Perú, 11am Chile, 12pm Argentina

» Register Now!

Please bookmark this site for the latest developments in our webinar series.
L&E Global is pleased to provide you with full access to our Global Webinar Series Archives. To view any of our webinar presentations, please click on the links below:

Restarting a Global Business: Coronavirus Labour and Employment law challenges in Europe and the U.S.
L&E Global Webinar
• 28/04/2020

COVID-19: Your Essential Workforce Law Update in Asia-Pacific!
L&E Global Webinar
• 20/04/2020

COVID-19: Your Essential Workforce Law Update in Latin America!
L&E Global Webinar
• 8/04/2020

COVID-19: Your Essential Workforce Law Update in Europe!
L&E Global Webinar
• 23/03/2020

How Coronavirus impacts the workplace? Perspectives from China, Europe & the USA
L&E Global Webinar
• 2/03/2020
Harmers Workplace Lawyers Webinar
The Coronavirus and Australian Business: Workplace Relations Issues
• 11/03/2020

Van Olmen & Wynant Webinar
Coronavirus and the Public Service: What is the impact on your procedures and decision-making?
• 01/04/2020

Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti Webinar
Back to Work – The Future of the Workplace Post COVID-19
• 6/05/2020

Cariola Díez Pérez-Cotapos Webinar
Latin American Labour Webinar: COVID-19
• 08/04/2020

Flichy Grangé Avocats Webinar
Getting back to work – How to Organise the Workplace Safely for COVID-19
• 29/04/2020

Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law Webinars
Coronavirus Quarantine Procedures
• 27/02/2020

The New Regulation on Short-time work Benefits
• 03/04/2020

Labour Law Instruments in Crisis
• 20/04/2020

Palthe Oberman Webinar
Does the NOW offer a solution for your organisation?
• 16/04/2020

Sobczyk & Partners Law Firm Webinar
COVID-19 Crisis in Poland: Collective Redundancies
• 09/04/2020

Jackson Lewis Webinar
Regulatory and Enforcement Issues in the Age of COVID-19
• 29/04/2020
In the context of this unprecedented threat to the global economy, we recently launched our dedicated  CORONAVIRUS IN A FLASH microsite, a virtual Coronavirus crisis resource centre for employers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Please bookmark the site in your browser.

This publication may not deal with every topic within its scope nor cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice with regard to any specific case. Nothing stated in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law on any particular aspect or in any specific case. Action should not be taken on this document alone. For specific advice, please contact a specialist at one of our member firms or the firm that authored this publication. The content is based on the law as of 2020.

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