UK Pensions: Don’t ‘do’ pensions? Think again…

The Pensions Regulator has had a busy lockdown. While some details of its new enforcement powers under the Pension Schemes Act 2021 remain to be finalised, the need to consider the implications of those changes when conducting a wide spectrum of corporate transactions is clear.

Merger and acquisition dealmakers, board members and others should be aware of the obligations – and the consequences of getting it wrong.

Much has already been said about the new criminal offences and civil penalties that could catch ‘normal’ corporate activity. But it is the increased notification requirements that could have the greatest practical impact … Continue Reading

Germany: Exclusion clauses put to the test

Regularly agreed in employment contracts, exclusion clauses shorten the statutory limitation period for claims arising in the employment relationship and ensure certainty between employer and employee especially with regards to claims that are years old. In a remarkable decision the German Federal Labour Court (BAG, 26.11.2020 – ref. 8 AZR 58/20) has fundamentally changed the case law with regard to the drafting of these clauses. A large number of the exclusion clauses used in practice are now likely to be ineffective.… Continue Reading

La Fête nationale et la Fête du Canada : quelles obligations ont les employeurs?

L’approche de la période estivale rime avec l’arrivée des vacances annuelles, mais aussi l’enchaînement de deux jours fériés en l’espace de 8 jours. La Fête nationale (le 24 juin – jour de la St-Jean Baptiste) et la Fête du Canada (le 1er juillet) tombent cette année toutes les deux un jeudi.

Afin de dissiper les doutes que les employeurs de juridiction provinciale pourraient avoir, vous trouverez ci-dessous un survol des questions (avec réponses) les plus courantes.

Il est important de mentionner que les obligations découlant des lois sont le strict minimum à respecter. Les conventions collectives, contrats de travail … Continue Reading

US: New HERO Act Imposes Significant Obligations on New York Employers

New York State employers should be aware of a recent law aimed at protecting workers from COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases, the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (HERO Act), which imposes significant obligations on covered employers.  Among other things, the HERO Act requires the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) to develop industry-specific model safety standards, requires private New York State employers of all sizes to implement and distribute health and safety plans that meet specified requirements, and requires certain employers to permit the creation of joint employer-employee workplace health and safety committees.

Model Safety Standards

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Disciplinary actions and dismissals

Paul Griffin, Amanda Sanders and Joanna MacKenzie consider how to handle disciplinary and dismissal matters, and the additional requirements that employers should consider in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the future workplace.

This article was originally published in PLC Magazine

The PDF is available:

Disciplinary actions and dismissals PDFContinue Reading

US: OSHA Issues COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rule

On June 10, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a mandatory workplace safety rule requiring employers to take specified steps to protect workers from COVID-19.  However, the rule applies only to health care settings.  Referred to as an emergency temporary standard (ETS), the rule exempts fully vaccinated workers from masking, distancing, and barrier requirements when in well-defined areas where there is no reasonable expectation that any person with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be present.

OSHA has also updated its Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace guidance for workplaces … Continue Reading

SafeWork NSW approves Code of Practice on managing psychosocial hazards

SafeWork NSW has approved Australia’s first Work Health and Safety (WHS) Code of Practice on managing psychosocial hazards at work (the Code). The Code took effect on 28 May 2021.

The WHS Act provides that an approved code of practice is admissible in Court proceedings as evidence of whether or not a duty or obligation under the WHS Act has been complied with. A Court may have regard to an approved code of practice as evidence of what is known about a hazard or risk, risk assessment or risk control, and rely on the code of practice in determining what … Continue Reading

“Long Covid” and the implications for employers

“Long Covid” (or “post-Covid-19 syndrome”) is a condition where people who have contracted Covid-19 continue to experience symptoms for weeks or even months after their initial infection.  It affects individuals differently, and symptoms can range from fatigue, headaches, loss of taste or smell, lasting fever or anxiety, to respiratory difficulties, muscle weakness, blood clots and even organ damage.

The Office for National Statistics in the UK reported in April 2021 that an estimated 1.1 million people in the UK had symptoms associated with long Covid, with over two-thirds of these individuals having had (or suspected to have had) Covid-19 at … Continue Reading

US: Labor Department Sets Occupational Safety & Health Meeting

The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health will conduct a virtual meeting on June 22, 2021, to address current workplace issues and its prior work.  The details are set forth in today’s U.S. Department of Labor announcement.  The DOL and federal OSHA have been shifting priorities since the initiation of the Biden Administration, and are now focusing on enhanced workplace health and safety inspections and enforcement, notably including COVID-related worker protection issues.  There has been talk of increasing the amount of monetary civil penalties and potentially triggering associated criminal indictments for particularly egregious employer misfeasance.… Continue Reading

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