We are pleased to present you with Issue No. 2 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.

Stopping the spread of the coronavirus is critical to overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. As companies prepare for a return to the workplace, many are considering contact tracing measures. Contact tracing entails the identification of individuals who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, during the time in which that individual was likely infectious. In the news of late, there is much discussion on the use of contact tracing technology by governmental organisations (e.g. Singapore, Australia and Israel) to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but this technology is also developed for use by employers in the private sector.

A contact tracing tool generally comes in the form of an “app”, relying either on GPS/location data and/or Bluetooth to alert the user if he or she has been in contact with an individual who reported a positive test result for COVID-19. These apps are usually connected to an employee’s smartphone, or a “wearable” such as a bracelet or badge.

While the appeal of this technology is clear, employers must carefully think through a range of issues before the implementation of a contact tracing tool in the workplace. Here are a few key issues to consider:

  • Whether use of the tool will be mandatory or voluntary;
  • Whether there will be any limitations on the hours the tool will track employees;
  • What data will the tool collect;
  • Who within the organisation and/or third party will have access to data;
  • How and where data is stored (e.g. on an external server/cloud or on an employee’s device);
  • What policies are in place to ensure data privacy and security;
  • How long data will be retained for;
  • Review of data privacy and security, health and employment laws in countries where your business operates.
Here is a roundup of mandates, guidance and other resources from across the globe to help navigate contact tracing technology:
  • The European Commission issued its Guidance on Apps supporting the fight Against COVID-19 pandemic in relation to Data Protection, “to ensure a coherent approach across the EU [European Union] and provide guidance to Member States and app developers” relating to “features and requirements which [contact tracing] apps should meet to ensure compliance with EU privacy and personal data protection legislation, in particular the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the ePrivacy Directive.”
  • In the United States, a key feature of the White House’s Opening Up America Again Guidelines are several “core state preparedness responsibilities” that each state should be able to adhere to before removing COVID-19 restrictions. The White House plan suggests that employers should “[d]evelop and implement policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following employee COVID+ test [results].” In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a COVID-19 Contact Tracing Training Guidance and Resources Plan (strategies for implementing contact tracing standards and practices in the workplace, suggestions for policy improvements, and resources to consider when designing a company-specific training plan for COVID-19 contact tracers), a booklet on the basic principles of contact tracing tools, as well as a fact sheet discussing different types of digital contact-tracing tools.
  • In Australia, the Attorney General is considering a draft bill to include significant penalties (breaching these requirements will be a criminal offence, among others) for misuse of data collected through the country's COVID-19 contact tracing app, which has been downloaded more than 5 million times since its release on 26 April. Serious infractions related to misuse of the COVIDSafe app include collection, disclosure or use of data outside public health authorities' contact tracing purposes, and uploading the information without an app user's consent.
The advantages of these technologies can be substantial, quickening an organisation’s path to compliance and opening its doors for business. However, organisations should proceed with care and examine not only whether the particular solution will have the desired effect, but whether it can be implemented in a compliant manner with minimal legal risk.
» Argentina
Special Procedure for Contracting during COVID-19 Emergency
» Australia
Coronavirus Economic Response Package amends Fair Work Act
» Belgium
Corona Parental Leave
» Brazil
COVID-19 and Occupational Disease
» Canada
Ontario Government permits Limited List of Businesses to Reopen
» Chile
COVID-19 Sanitary Governmental Measures
» China
A Booming Market and an Evolving System amid COVID-19
» Colombia
Guide to Labour Measures Against COVID-19
» France
COVID-19 Biological Risks: What do the Decisions of the Lille Court Imply?
» Germany
BYOD in Times of a Pandemic
» India
Augmenting the Fight Against COVID-19: How Businesses are Stepping Up
» Japan
COVID-19 and Force Majeure in Japan: Some Key Questions
» Luxembourg
COVID-19: Suspension of Deadlines for Public Contracts
» Mexico
Profit Sharing must be Paid in spite of the COVID-19 Contingency
» Netherlands
Corona Crisis and the Workplace
» Poland
The "Forgotten" Role of Employee Representatives during the Coronavirus crisis
» Portugal
COVID-19: State of Emergency and Employment Measures
» Sweden
Labour Law Issues in the light of the Coronavirus pandemic
» United Kingdom
COVID-19: Life and Employment After Lockdown
» United States
Guidelines for Employers Preparing to Reopen after COVID-19 Shutdown
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, 15 May 2020
• Time: 4:00pm Eastern Daylight Time
• Duration: 30 minutes

» 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:

How to prepare for the post-COVID reopening in Latin America!
L&E Global Webinar
• 12/05/2020

Restarting a Global Business: COVID-19 Challenges in Europe and the USA
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 COVID-19 is Impacting the Workplace in the USA, China and Europe
L&E Global Webinar
• 2/03/2020
Harmers Workplace Lawyers Webinar
Construction & Infrastructure, Real Estate and Workplace Relations Post COVID-19
• 29/04/2020

TozziniFreire Advogados Webinar
Labour Relations after 90 days of Calamity: Where We Are & Where We’re Going
• 15/05/2020

Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law Webinar
Dealing with the Labour Law Consequences of COVID-19
• 15/05/2020

Sobczyk & Partners Law Firm Webinar
GDPR and Labour Law in the time of the COVID-19 Crisis
• 19/05/2020

United Kingdom
Clyde & Co Webinar
COVID-19: What’s the Impact of Coronavirus on Commercial Property?
• 14/04/2020

United States
Jackson Lewis Webinars
Communicating about COVID-19 in the Workplace
• 07/05/2020

How to implement COVID-19 Screening, Testing, and Tracing Programs
• 06/05/2020

Maintaining Employee Engagement When Working From Home
• 01/05/2020

In the context of this unprecedented threat to the global economy, we recently launched our dedicated CORONAVIRUS IN A FLASH microsite, a virtual COVID-19 crisis resource centre for employers affected by the pandemic. Please bookmark the site in your browser.

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