Topic: Coronavirus

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Chancellor announces amendments to the UK Job Support Scheme

As we announced in our blog post here on 24 September the UK Chancellor outlined additional government support to help businesses and workers impacted by COVID-19, which would come into force once the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends on 31 October 2020. However, with further restrictions being placed on businesses and the introduction of a three tier lockdown, the Government announced on 22 October that the level of support to be provided under the Job Support Scheme (JSS) would be increased.

The JSS relating to businesses that can remain open has been renamed the Job Support Scheme Open (JSS … Continue Reading

Job Support Scheme – Expansion for Closed Business Premises

In our previous blog post here  we told you about the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which is due to come into force on 1 November, and will provide support to employers where employees work reduced working hours. On 9 October, the Government announced an extension of the JSS to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises are legally required to close as a direct result of Coronavirus restrictions set out by one or more of the four governments of the UK. The purpose of this expansion is to help businesses through that temporary closure, by supporting the wage costs of … Continue Reading

UK Migrants stranded abroad due to COVID-19. – will their ability to settle in the UK or apply for further leave to remain be impacted?

The effects of the global pandemic are far reaching; few have been unaffected by measures and restrictions introduced in response to the spread of COVID-19. As borders have closed and visa processing services have been suspended, those living and working outside their home jurisdictions have, and continue to face, uncertain times.

Some migrants made the decision to return to their home jurisdictions as the reality of long term border restrictions unravelled, worried they would be unable to see family for unknown periods of time. As this coincided with widespread working from home, many employers permitted their employees to continue to … Continue Reading

Chancellor announces new Job Support Scheme

The UK Chancellor has outlined additional government support to help businesses and workers impacted by COVID-19.

There had been calls from businesses for the chancellor to help protect jobs once the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends on 31 October 2020. As a result the chancellor has announced the new Job Support Scheme which will be introduced from 1 November to protect viable jobs in businesses facing lower demand over the winter months due to COVID-19. The scheme protects employees who are in work and will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due … Continue Reading

Legacy Employers: Who are they? Can they still access the temporary JobKeeper enabling directions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth)?

When extending Part 6-4C of the Fair Work Act (Cth) (FW Act), the government recognised there would be employers who had previously qualified for the JobKeeper scheme, but who would no longer qualify to participate in the scheme following its extension past the end of September 2020.… Continue Reading

Mise à jour sur les lignes directrices des Cours fédérales sur la COVID-19

La Cour d’appel fédérale (CAF) a fourni une mise à jour sur les lignes directrices concernant la reprise des audiences débutant le 1er septembre 2020 et a clarifié l’effet de la Loi sur les délais et autres périodes (COVID-19) fédérale concernant les délais quant au commencement et à la conduite des litiges à la CAF. Tant la CAF que la Cour fédérale ont confirmé que l’ensemble des directives à la pratique, des jugements, des ordonnances et des directives émanant des deux tribunaux restaient pleinement en vigueur.

Reprise des audiences en personne

Le 1er septembre 2020, la CAF a … Continue Reading

Testing employees for COVID-19, self-isolation and sick pay

On 10 September the Department of Health and Social Care published guidance for employers on the legal obligations and matters that they need to consider if planning to introduce their own testing for COVID-19. With current infection rates increasing this is ever more important for employers to help protect business continuity. In addition, employers need to be up to date with guidance and legislation regarding self-isolation and sick pay.

Government guidance on testing

The guidance clarifies that employers should not be using the NHS Test and Trace service for testing their employees. That service is for those who display symptoms … Continue Reading

Employés qui s’absentent en raison de la pandémie : le gouvernement du Québec adopte des protections additionnelles

Le 9 septembre dernier, le gouvernement du Québec a adopté le nouveau décret 943-2020 (le Décret), lequel, comme l’a confirmé le ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale dans une annonce gouvernementale communiquée à cet égard le même jour, vise notamment à protéger le lien d’emploi des employés devant s’absenter du travail en raison de la COVID-19.

Plus précisément, les nouvelles mesures interdisent à un employeur d’imposer toute sanction ou encore d’exercer des mesures discriminatoires ou des représailles à l’endroit d’un employé, et ce, au motif qu’il s’absente du travail et que cette absence découle du … Continue Reading

Everyone Needs a Break Sometimes: Employer Rights and Obligations around Employee Vacation in British Columbia

The COVID-19 pandemic has put much on hold, including many vacation plans. As travel remains restricted, some employees may be interested in postponing vacation until greater and safer options become available. However, employers that are continuing to experience slowed operations may prefer for employees to use up their vacation entitlement sooner rather than later. For this reason, as the end of summer nears, a number of employers may well be seeking clarification as to what rights and obligations they have with respect to employee vacation.

Employer obligations regarding employee vacation

Under the British Columbia Employment Standards Act (“ESA”), … Continue Reading

L’obligation de se couvrir le visage au Québec : de nouvelles mesures annoncées

  1. Lieux publics fermés

Depuis le 18 juillet dernier, le port d’un couvre-visage est obligatoire dans les lieux qui accueillent le public au Québec. Le couvre-visage comprend un masque ou un tissu bien ajusté qui couvre le nez et la bouche. Le décret n° 810-2020 (décret 810)[1] précise les lieux qui accueillent le public qui seront touchés au Québec.

Quels lieux sont touchés?

Il convient de noter que le terme « lieu qui accueille le public » comprend la partie accessible au public, dans la mesure où elle est fermée ou partiellement couverte et qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une unité … Continue Reading

Ontario employers, cover up! Mandatory face-covering orders now in effect in Toronto, Ottawa, and beyond

While Stage 3 allows many businesses in Ontario to reopen and to welcome returning employees back to the physical workplace, employers and service providers—as operators of enclosed public spaces and establishments—must meet certain recently announced conditions. As of July 7, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., these conditions now include the mandatory covering of the mouth, nose and chin for members of the public and employees in indoor public spaces in Ontario’s two largest municipalities, Toronto and Ottawa. On July 30, 2020, the Province of Ontario unveiled its plan for reopening schools in the 2020-2021 school year, which will require students … Continue Reading

Pandemic check: face covering requirements for federally regulated employers in Canada

In certain provinces, masks and face coverings have now or will soon become mandatory in certain indoor establishments accessible to the public, including in, or in parts of, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Recently, in Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia also announced that masks will be required as of July 31 in enclosed public places.

In the federal sphere, the Labour Program has not imposed mandatory face covering requirements in establishments operated by federally regulated employers and service providers. However, current public health guidance informs that face coverings can be an effective form of protection from the … Continue Reading

À savoir sur la pandémie : exigences en matière de couvre-visage pour les employeurs sous réglementation fédérale au Canada

Dans certaines provinces, le port d’un masque et d’un couvre-visage est maintenant, ou sera bientôt, obligatoires dans certains établissements intérieurs accessibles au public, notamment en Ontario (en anglais seulement), au Québec, en Alberta et en Colombie-Britannique (en anglais seulement), ou dans certaines parties de ces provinces. Récemment, au Canada atlantique, la Nouvelle-Écosse a également annoncé que le port du masque sera exigé à partir du 31 juillet dans les lieux publics fermés.

Du côté du gouvernement fédéral, le Programme du travail n’a pas imposé de mesures obligatoires en matière de couvre-visage dans les établissements exploités par des employeurs et … Continue Reading

US: Virginia becomes first state to adopt COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard

On July 27, 2020, the first state “Emergency Temporary Standard” (ETS) for COVID-19 went into effect. The ETS requires employers in the state to develop and implement COVID-19 prevention and control measures in the workplace. The ETS is in effect for six months, although this period could be shortened if the Virginia State of Emergency expires, a permanent standard is enacted or the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board repeals it.

Employers covered by the Emergency Temporary Standard

The ETS applies to all public and private employers and places of employment in Virginia, with the exception of federal employers, private … Continue Reading

A reminder to BC employers: Family care obligations to accommodate family care needs amid pandemic

Covid-19 has made working from home the new normal for many employees. This new reality has created challenges for employees  who, due to the closure of schools, daycares and other social services, have had to serve as full-time caregivers in addition to carrying out their everyday work tasks. Under these circumstances, it is important for employers to understand their obligations for accommodating the family care needs of employees.

Family status accommodation during Covid-19

The issue of family status accommodation is not new. In past newsletters we have explored how various tribunals across Canada have come up with differing tests on … Continue Reading

New law to ensure furloughed employees receive full redundancy payments

The UK Government has published legislation, which will ensure that all furloughed employees receive statutory redundancy pay based on their normal wages, rather than a reduced furlough rate.

The Employment Rights Act 1996 (Coronavirus, Calculation of a Week’s Pay) Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) ensure that various statutory entitlements based on a week’s pay and connected with the termination of employment are not reduced as a result of an employee being furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The entitlements included in the Regulations are:

  • redundancy pay for those with more than 2 years’ continuous service who are made redundant and
Continue Reading

Quelques précisions sur les conséquences de la pandémie pour les employeurs au Canada : dispositions clés en matière de licenciement collectif

Alors que bon nombre d’employés regagnent progressivement leurs lieux de travail physiques ou leurs chantiers, il est encourageant de constater que les gouvernements ont amorcé la levée des restrictions imposées aux employeurs. En effet, près d’un million de personnes au Canada ont trouvé un emploi entre mai et juin. Cela dit, partout au pays, les employeurs sont toujours à la recherche de tactiques pour mieux réussir à tirer leur épingle du jeu dans le présent contexte d’incertitude quant à l’avenir.

Dans certains cas, certains employeurs pourraient être obligés d’envisager des licenciements collectifs en raison de la nécessité d’adapter et de … Continue Reading

More on employer pandemic consequences in Canada: key “group” termination considerations

As many employees gradually return to the physical workplace or jobsite, governments are encouragingly lifting restrictions on employers. Indeed, nearly one million people in Canada found jobs between May and June. Nonetheless, employers across the country are continually reassessing how to best position themselves for what remains an uncertain future.

In some cases, the need to adapt and maintain operational capacity may require employers to consider group or mass terminations. Generally, mass terminations are governed by applicable labour standards legislation and regulations. To that end, remember that in Canada each jurisdiction has slightly different rules regarding group terminations. This piece … Continue Reading

Employeurs de l’Ontario : des décrets sur les masques obligatoires sont désormais en vigueur à Toronto et à Ottawa

*La version actualisée du présent billet de blogue peut être consultée, en anglais, en cliquant ici.*

Alors que l’étape 2 permet aux entreprises de l’Ontario de rouvrir et d’accueillir les employés sur le lieu de travail physique, les employeurs et les fournisseurs de services doivent remplir certaines conditions qui ont été récemment annoncées. Depuis le 7 juillet 2020 à 0 h 1, cela inclut le port obligatoire d’un masque couvrant la bouche et le nez pour les membres du public et les employés dans les espaces publics intérieurs des deux plus grandes municipalités de l’Ontario, Toronto (en anglais … Continue Reading

US: California: San Francisco employees laid off due to COVID-19 may have reemployment rights under new ordinance

On July 3, San Francisco’s new “Back to Work” emergency ordinance took effect, requiring employers to rehire certain employees laid off as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic when the employer seeks to fill the same position formerly held by the laid-off worker, or a substantially similar position. The ordinance will expire on September 2, 2020, but may continue if extended by the City of San Francisco.  For more information on the requirements of this new ordinance creating special reemployment rights, see our legal update, With San Francisco’s Back to Work Ordinance now in effect, employees laid-off due to COVID-19 Continue Reading

UK Government: Plan for Jobs

On 8 July, the UK Chancellor announced proposals to help UK businesses have the confidence to retain and hire staff. The Government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has helped employers pay the wages of 9 million employees across the UK.  However, the scheme will come to an end on 31 October 2020 and as the economy is now beginning to reopen, the summer economic update looks at the Government’s second phase of its response to the Coronavirus with a targeted Plan for Jobs.

The Plan includes the following proposals to support employers:

  • A Job Retention Bonus. This will
Continue Reading

Say It Ain’t So, I Will Not Go: Responding to Employee Requests to Not Return to the Workplace in British Columbia

Following the unveiling of BC’s Restart Plan, and as part of the province’s transition to the “new normal”, many British Columbian employers are welcoming their employees back to the traditional pre-pandemic workplace.  However, given the current climate of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers will inevitably be met with requests from employees wishing to not return to the physical workplace for fear of contracting COVID-19.  Some of these requests will be justified or reasonable but others will not, and this legitimacy will not always be immediately clear for the responding employer.

In order to determine whether a request not to report … Continue Reading

Nouveauté pour les employeurs québécois : Publication de la Charte d’engagement à combattre le coronavirus en milieu de travail

La Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) a récemment publié en ligne la Charte d’engagement à combattre le coronavirus en milieu de travail (Charte). Celle-ci vise essentiellement à ce que les employeurs et les travailleurs coopèrent en matière de prévention pour diminuer les risques que pose la COVID-19 sur la santé et la sécurité en milieu de travail. Elle reconnaît l’importance de chaque acteur dans cet effort de prévention et souligne la nécessité de mettre en place des mesures concertées, fondées sur la protection des travailleurs.

À … Continue Reading

New Guidance published for flexible furlough scheme

On 12 June the UK Government issued details of the flexible furlough arrangement which will operate from 1 July 2020. The new scheme will allow employees to work for their employer during some of the period and the employer will still be able to claim under the scheme in respect of the time where employees are on furlough.

Existing guidance has been updated and new guidance notes and examples have been published to cover the new flexibility.

What restrictions are there to an employer’s use of the scheme?

From 1 July employers can bring furloughed employees back to work for … Continue Reading

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