Topic: Europe

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Extension of whistleblowing protection

Workers in the UK are protected from suffering a detriment where they have made a protected disclosure under the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996). To be protected under section 47B ERA 1996 the individual must be a worker as defined by s203(3) of that Act.  A recent decision of the Supreme Court considered whether … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Paying for the sins of the fathers – how far back must you make up pension underpayments?

  Trustees of UK pension schemes which include old guaranteed minimum pensions have got a bit of a dilemma on their hands at the moment. They have to equalise benefits between men and women to paper over the inherent inequality in the GMPs themselves, which means correcting past underpayments.  There are many questions raised by … Continue reading

France: The complex consequences of the occurrence of gross misconduct during the notice period

The general rule under French law is that when employment contracts are terminated, employees are entitled to a prior notice period, the length of which depends on the status of the employee (executive or non-executive), their length of service, and in some cases their age. The applicable rules are generally set by the sector-wide collective … Continue reading

New EU rules for protection of whistleblowers

On 7 October 2019, the EU Council formally adopted the new Whistleblowing Directive that will guarantee whistleblowers EU-wide standards of protection. The Directive obliges both public and private organisations and authorities to set up secure reporting channels, so that whistleblowers can report violations of EU law as safely as possible. Member States have two years … Continue reading

Death during sexual intercourse qualified as a work-related accident

During a business trip to a construction site, an employee was found dead of a heart attack in a room after having had sexual intercourse with a “complete stranger” he met during the day. The employer completed the usual formalities by informing the social security authorities of the death and the circumstances. The social security … Continue reading

What are an employer’s chances of overcoming an employee’s claim for overtime in France ?

The basic working time arrangement in France is 35 hours per week, and although there are a number of alternative working time arrangements potentially available, this is still the one that applies to the majority of French employees. However, this is not a maximum working week – employees working beyond that amount are entitled to … Continue reading

Facilitating HR Management: Electronic medical certificates

As part of the “Third Bureaucracy Relief Act” the German government intends to introduce an electronic submission procedure for medical certificates regarding the incapacity of employees. More than 80 million of such certificates are issued every year by doctors in Germany. Replacing extensive documentation and record-keeping duties will allow medium-sized companies in particular to reduce … Continue reading

Control or trust: Legal claim to home office?

Digitization and  technological advances are accelerating the flexibility of working conditions leading to a changed understanding of leadership. A key topic of debate is the “home office” which is currently used by approximately 12 per cent of employees in Germany for all or part of their working time. On this topic, the German government is … Continue reading

The End of Free Movement in the UK?

The UK Government’s announcement, that free movement will end the day after a no deal Brexit on 31 October 2019, has left many wondering how the rights of EU citizens will be impacted in the days that follow. Whilst some have speculated that it is unlikely that this means anything different than the original ‘no … Continue reading

New fast track visa to cement the UK as a science superpower

The Home Office has announced a new fast-track immigration offer for individuals with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The scheme will provide a three-year visa, during which the individual can come and go from the UK at will. Following the three year period, those on the scheme can apply for indefinite … Continue reading

UK Pensions – is the current annual allowance limit unfair and unworkable?

UK Pensions – is the current annual allowance limit unfair and unworkable?  The Revenue has been forced, finally, to face up to the fact that the annual allowance changes in relation to pensions contributions which attract tax relief, and which were brought into force in April 2016, are unfair and unworkable. The Treasury announced on … Continue reading

Good Work Plan: Government issues further response and consultation to support families and pregnant women

As part of its Good Work Plan, the UK Government has recently published a response and a consultation paper on proposals which will protect and support families and pregnant women. The first Government paper considers extending redundancy protection for women and new parents.  The second consultation looks at various proposals to support families, including a … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Regulator ramps up “green” investment guidance for revised SIPs

New guidance from the Pensions Regulator reflects recent legislative changes requiring trustees of occupational pension schemes to set out their policies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues which may influence their investment decisions. The new law From 1 October 2019, changes apply governing the way pension schemes prepare and revise their investment disclosure documents, including … Continue reading

Alcohol at work: can the employer apply a zero tolerance policy?

A decision of the Supreme Administrative Court (“Conseil d’Etat”) of 8th July 2019 has overruled the decision of a work inspector (“inspecteur du travail”) who had rejected a zero tolerance policy regarding the consumption of alcohol during working hours for certain classes of employees in a company. The case concerned a company specializing in the … Continue reading

Managing German labour migration: The new “Skilled Immigration Act”

The German Bundesrat recently approved a long-awaited and controversially debated immigration legislation, implementing several European directives dating back more than ten years. The “Skilled Immigration Act (“Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz”) intends to attract qualified professionals from around the world. Further, the Act aims to improve labour market efficiency, prevent skill shortages and offset regional imbalances in order to … Continue reading

Plafonnement des dommages intérêts en cas de licenciement injustifié : la rébellion se poursuit

La Cour de cassation vient de déclarer conforme aux engagements internationaux de la France, le « barème Macron » qui plafonne les indemnités attribuées par un juge en cas de licenciement sans cause réelle et sérieuse. Avant l’entrée en vigueur du « barème Macron », en cas de licenciement sans cause réelle et sérieuse , il appartenait au juge de fixer … Continue reading

In its first decision on restrictive covenants in more than a century, the UK Supreme Court upholds a 6-month non-compete covenant adopting the more liberal approach to the rules of severance

In the case of Tillman v Egon Zehnder Ltd [2019] UKSC 32, the Supreme Court has upheld a 6-month non-compete covenant, adopting the more liberal approach to the rules of severance. The Court ruled that on its proper construction, the covenant was unreasonably wide in that it restrained the employee from holding a minority shareholding … Continue reading

Migration Advisory Committee asked to review salary threshold by UK Government

The Home Secretary has asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to review future salary thresholds for the new immigration system which is due to come into force in January 2021. As we mentioned in our blog post- The immigration white paper – what will it mean for the UK’s future immigration system? December 2018 – … Continue reading

The strict conditions that must be complied with to pay variable remuneration in France

Whilst an employer is perfectly free to offer variable remuneration to an employee, the validity of such remuneration is subject to compliance with a number of conditions developed by the courts, as follows: – the variation of the remuneration must be based on objectives or targets the accomplishment of which are independent from the employer’s … Continue reading

UK Pensions: Are you sure you’re not a Professional Trustee?

If you are a pension scheme trustee, there is a risk that you might be considered a professional trustee without realising, and be subject to new standards for professional trustees that were published earlier this year. A new system of accreditation for professional trustees is also being introduced. Am I a professional trustee? A professional … Continue reading
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