The new German Works Council Modernization Act

The “Act to Promote Works Council Elections and Works Council Activities in a Digital Working World” (Betriebsrätemodernisierungsgesetz – Works Council Modernization Act) came into force on June 18, 2021. The Act is intended to facilitate the activities of works councils and to strengthen the co-determination rights of works councils with regard to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and the plans for more mobile working in companies.

Promoting works council electionsContinue Reading

New offences and powers under Victorian Occupational Health and Safety laws

The Occupational Health and Safety and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2021 (the amendment Act) was passed by the Victorian Parliament on Thursday 16 September 2021, and amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (the Act).

Labour Hire

On the first day after the end of a 6 month period, new provisions in relation to labour hire commence.  Those provisions provide that:

  • for the purposes of the Act, an employer of a worker is defined as including workers supplied by, recruited for or placed by a labour hire services provider, to work for the person;
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Essential guidance for employers implementing COVID-19 measures at the workplace

As Singapore moves towards living with COVID-19 as an endemic disease, the Government has issued guidance for employers on the COVID-19 measures to be implemented at the workplace. We will discuss the guidance issued by (i) the Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) on the updated safe management measures at the workplace; (ii) the MOM on COVID-19 vaccination in relation to the workplace; and (iii) the Personal Data Protection Commission (“PDPC”) on the collection of personal data at the workplace for COVID-19 contact tracing.

MOM guidance on the updated Safe Management Measures at the workplace[1]

MOM has … Continue Reading

Singapore to enshrine workplace anti-discrimination laws

On 29 August 2021, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the Government will enact new laws to formally enshrine the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices (“TAFEP Guidelines”) into statute.1

There are, at present, no specific laws in Singapore which directly regulate workplace discrimination. Employers are, however, expected to abide by the principles of fair employment and adopt the recommended good practices set out in the TAFEP Guidelines.2 These guidelines are promoted and maintained by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), which is an independent body established by … Continue Reading

UK Pensions: Pension scams and amber flags: is the future orange?

In recent years, many defined benefit (DB) pension scheme members have taken advantage of the ability to transfer their DB pension pots out of their schemes, to be able to access their money in different and more flexible ways. In practice, this often means a transfer to a self-invested personal pension (SIPP). However, the industry has been plagued by unscrupulous advisers and unsuitable receiving schemes, which have often left transferring trustees uncomfortable, but with little power to prevent a transfer that they fear will not be in a member’s best interests.

In May this year, the Department for Work and … Continue Reading

Speculation in Human Rights Claims – A Recent Decision

One of the challenging circumstances often facing an employer is having to make a tough decision (e.g. termination) with respect to an employee who is known to have a protected characteristic under human rights law. Whether the employee is elderly, has a disability, is gay, or has another protected characteristic, the concern is that the employee will allege that the decision was discriminatory. Even if the employer is comfortable that the protected ground was not a factor in the adverse decision, the threat or commencement of a complaint will add costs, time and stress.

Thankfully, the BC Human Rights Tribunal … Continue Reading

UK Pensions: SIPs for small schemes: law-making through the back door?

Last week’s interim consultation response from the Pensions Regulator addressed a common concern about the “Funding and Investment” section of the draft single Code of Practice: it confirmed that it would drop its proposal for a 20% cap on unregulated investments.

This is a point that we are aware had been troubling some larger pension schemes in particular.  Their trustees and investment managers will be breathing a sigh of relief.

But there’s another point buried in the same section of the Code that could be equally worrying for smaller schemes.  This is the Regulator’s suggestion that schemes that are not … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Safety Plans vs. Communicable Disease Plans: Have you Caught the Differences?

On July 1, 2021, British Columbia enthusiastically took the next step in its four-step COVID-19 Restart Plan. The transition to Step 3 brought several changes, including the transition for employers to move away from the previously required COVID-19 Safety Plan to the now required Communicable Disease Plan (“CDP”).

WorkSafeBC has published detailed guidance for employers on what is expected in a CDP, including a Communicable Disease Prevention: A Guide for Employers as well as new Guidelines for the Workers Compensation Act on communicable disease prevention at work.

Although many of the expectations for employers in a COVID-19 Safety Plan continue … Continue Reading

New Immigration Routes in New Innovation Strategy

On 22 July, the UK Government published a UK Innovation Strategy which sets out the government’s vision to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035.  As part of this strategy, the UK intends to make the UK the most exciting place for innovation and talent.  This means introducing new visa routes and revitalising the existing Innovator route to attract and retain high-skilled, globally mobile innovation talent.

High Potential Individual route

 The UK government has announced a new immigration route for ‘High Potential Individuals’ as part of its new Innovation Strategy. This route intends to allow ‘internationally mobile … Continue Reading

New infringement notices for offences against Victorian Occupational Health and Safety laws

WorkSafe inspectors will now be able to issue infringement notices to companies and individuals for certain occupational health and safety offences.

The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Infringements and Miscellaneous Matters) Regulations 2021 (Vic) which amends the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (Vic) (2017 Regulations) commenced on 31 July 2021 in Victoria.

Section 139(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (OHS Act) states that the regulations may provide that a person be served with an infringement notice as an alternative to prosecution for an offence (not including an indictable offence) against the … Continue Reading