25 June 2020 – We are pleased to present you with Issue No. 6 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.
THIS WEEK'S KEY TOPIC
MANAGING LEAVE FOR EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic employers have been faced with difficult decisions regarding their workforce. Businesses across the globe have been grappling with furloughs, layoffs, redundancies, workshare programs and other cost-saving strategies, to ensure the long-term health of their organisation. Now however, as businesses gear up to reopen, an organisation may find itself in a different dilemma - how to respond to employees affected by COVID-19 who cannot return to the worksite.

Below are various scenarios that would require an employer to provide or consider providing leave for an employee:

  • The government has advised that the employee stay home because they fall under a vulnerable population category.
  • The employee is caring for an elderly parent or lives with someone who falls under a vulnerable population category.
  • The employee’s child’s day care (or school) is closed and he/she needs to take care of the child or help with schoolwork.
  • The employee has been exposed to COVID-19.
  • The employee’s spouse has COVID-19.
  • The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking medical confirmation.
  • The employee has COVID-19.

While each jurisdiction will have its own appropriate course of action, the potential dilemmas are universal, and it is important for an organisation to anticipate and prepare for how to respond to these scenarios if and when they arise.

In the United States, employers covered by the Family First Corona Response Act (FFCRA) must provide up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave for many of the examples mentioned above. The FFCRA also prohibits employees from being discharged, disciplined or discriminated against for taking (or seeking to take) emergency paid sick leave, filing a complaint or instituting a proceeding to enforce the FFCRA or testifying in such a proceeding.

In France, if confinement is required (and teleworking is impossible due to the nature of the job), or it is necessary take care of a child under 16 affected by a school closure, an employee may be placed on sick leave and compensated. 

In Canada, as a result of Bill C-13, the Labour Code now contains a new leave of absence for absences related to COVID-19 that corresponds with CERB (Canada Emergency Response Benefit). Every federally-regulated employee in Canada is now entitled to and shall be granted “Leave Related to COVID-19” of up to 16 weeks if the employee is unable or unavailable to work for reasons related to COVID-19. 

Organisations confronted with these unprecedented leave scenarios should consider the following takeaways:

  • Update company policies to address requests for COVID-related leave.
  • Stay up-to-date on this still evolving area of the law, and make updates to policies when necessary.
  • Consider whether an employee is entitled to any form of protected leave or other accommodation under national or local law.
  • Ensure HR, legal and any other relevant personnel are trained to handle leave requests, including documentation and providing any required notice.
  • Maintain open communication with employees to help ensure the appropriate course of action.
  • Consider any privacy and confidentiality implications associated with an employee’s reason for leave.
  • Implement safety and health measures in the workplace, to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and in turn the need for any additional leave once an employee is able to return.
COVID-19 EMPLOYMENT LAW DEVELOPMENTS
» Argentina
Employee Dismissed for Cause during COVID-19 Crisis Reinstated
• 22/06/2020

Double Compensation Extension Regarding Dismissal Without Justified Cause
• 11/06/2020
» Australia
Federal Government Announces Plan for Easing COVID-19 Restrictions
• 22/06/2020
» Belgium
Assimilation of Periods of Absence for Extension of Maternity Leave Approved
• 22/06/2020
» Brazil
Changes to Competition Law during COVID-19 Crisis
• 17/06/2020
» Canada
Regional Approach to Reopening in Ontario (Stage 2)
• 22/06/20
» France
Creation of the “Reduced Activity for Job Preservation” System
• 23/06/20
» Germany
COVID-19 Update on Latest Government Measures
• 22/06/20
» Italy
The so called “Relaunch Decree”
• 23/06/20
» Mexico
Implementation of Teleworking as consequence of COVID-19
• 23/06/20
» Poland
Data Protection Authority weighs in on Temperature Checks in the Workplace
• 23/06/20
» Spain
Subsistence Income
• 23/06/20
» United States
Multiemployer Construction Sites in the COVID-19 Era
• 23/06/20

New Work Visas Suspended Under Presidential Proclamation Until End of 2020
• 23/06/20
COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES
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!

Reimagine Your Workplace:
Guidance for Manufacturing Industry Litigation Avoidance

Jackson Lewis Webinar

• Dates: 22/07/20 and 23/07/20 and 28/07/20
• Time: 3:00pm Eastern Daylight Time
• Duration: 30 minutes

» Register Now!

Please bookmark this site for the latest developments in our webinar series.

INTERNATIONAL WEBINARS
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:

Employment Litigation after COVID-19?
L&E Global Webinar
• 18/06/2020


Returning to Business as Usual in Retail?
L&E Global Webinar
• 09/06/2020


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
LOCAL WEBINARS
United States
Jackson Lewis Webinar
Labour Relations in the COVID-19 Era
• 25/06/2020
CORONAVIRUS IN A FLASH MICROSITE
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.
STAY INFORMED OF THE LATEST CROSS-BORDER LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT LAW DEVELOPMENTS
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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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