US: Combating Human Trafficking of Domestic Workers In The United States

It is difficult to imagine that the evil of human trafficking, and all the pain and suffering it entails, can still be so pervasive this deep into the 21st Century. One would have expected that contemporary domestic and international law enforcement, to say nothing of the United Nations and all the monies it has at its disposal for such purposes, would serve as a resolute bulwark against this scourge of modern humanity. And yet it is a dominant player in the headlines as we learn daily of some new outrage perpetrated by those who would profit from human misery, sexual … Continue Reading

Can teachers be required to teach simultaneously online and in person?

In a recent decision – Centre de services scolaire du Lac-Témiscamingue et Syndicat de l’enseignement de l’Ungava et de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, 2020 QCTA 641, an arbitrator was called upon to determine if a school board’s requirement that teachers undertake a dual teaching system of simultaneous in-person and online learning was contrary to their right to privacy and constituted fair and reasonable conditions of employment.

As many of us know, given the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have had to miss school to self-isolate. In order to ensure that students in this position would be able to continue their education, one Quebec school … Continue Reading

Contexte de pandémie : un arbitre précise les droits et obligations des employeurs québécois en matière de télétravail

Dans une décision récente, un arbitre de griefs a précisé les droits et obligations des employeurs québécois en matière de télétravail. Cette décision fait suite à celle qu’il a rendue l’automne dernier dans laquelle il a rejeté la demande d’ordonnance de sauvegarde du Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Québec (le Syndicat) visant à forcer la Ville de Québec (la Ville) à favoriser le télétravail.

La décision au stade provisoire

Tel qu’exposé dans notre billet de blogue sur la décision au stade provisoire, essentiellement, l’arbitre a rejeté la demande d’ordonnance de sauvegarde du Syndicat pour deux raisons :

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UK Home Office announces further changes to immigration routes

Last week the Home Office published a series of changes to the Immigration Rules, many of which will take effect on 6 April 2021.

Graduate Route
In welcome news to many UK employers, the Home Office is introducing a new Graduate route into the UK (under a new section in the rules, called Appendix Graduate). Whilst UK graduates will need to meet a points threshold (in line with the new points based system), applicants will meet this by satisfying the essential criteria to the immigration route: (1) successfully completing their studies with an approved institutions; (2) obtaining a bachelor’s degree, … Continue Reading

UK Pensions: Data transfers from the EU likely to continue uninterrupted

We’re pleased to report what looks like some good news for pension schemes on data protection.

The European Commission has published a draft decision as to the “adequacy” of the UK’s data protection laws. If the draft decision is formally approved by EU Member States, this would allow personal data to flow from the EU or EEA to the UK uninterrupted after a temporary arrangement put in place at the start of this year expires. This is the so-called “data bridge” agreed as part of the Brexit Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which will last until the end of April or … Continue Reading

Budget – Immigration Proposals

In addition to the measures referred to in the Budget which are aimed at addressing the immediate challenges of COVID-19 and putting the UK’s public finances on a sustainable footing in the medium term, the Government stated in the Budget that it recognised the importance of creating the conditions for an investment-led recovery driven by private sector growth. In view of this, in the Budget, the Government has made a number of immigration policy decisions which it regards as modernising the UK’s immigration system to help the UK attract and retain the most highly skilled, globally mobile talent – particularly … Continue Reading

Extension of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until end September 2021

In the budget on 3 March 2021, the Chancellor announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the CJRS) would be extended until the end of September 2021. The CJRS was due to end on 30 April 2021, but with many restrictions (in particular in the hospitality and leisure sectors) not being fully lifted until June at the earliest, the Chancellor was under pressure to extend the scheme. There are however changes to eligibility criteria and contributions under the scheme.

From 30 April 2021 until 30 June employees who are placed on furlough under the CJRS will continue to receive 80% … Continue Reading

How to manage vacation when there is nowhere to go

Vacation may not be top of mind for employees in Ontario right now: March Break is postponed, public health officials continue to advise against non-essential travel, and the Government of Canada imposed greater international travel restrictions. But even though employees may want to save their time off for warmer weather and, hopefully, an improved public health situation, employers in Ontario must nonetheless ensure that employees are taking at least the minimum annual vacation time prescribed under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the ESA).

How many weeks of vacation are employees entitled to under the ESA?

An employee who has … Continue Reading

“Stale” and “ineffective” training is insufficient to establish the reasonable steps defence

A recent decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in Allay (UK) Limited v Mr S Gehlen provides useful guidance to employers seeking to rely on the “reasonable steps” defence to a claim of discrimination, harassment or victimisation.

An employer can be liable for acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation carried out by its employees in the course of employment, even if the employer was not aware of those acts (section 109(1) of the Equality Act 2010). However, there is a potential defence available to an employer under section 109(4) of the Equality Act 2010 if it can show that … Continue Reading

Fausses déclarations sur le questionnaire des symptômes de la COVID 19 : peine capitale confirmée en arbitrage

Dans une décision rendue le 21 décembre 2020, l’une des premières en la matière au Québec, un arbitre confirme le congédiement d’une salariée pour avoir fait défaut de répondre honnêtement au questionnaire des symptômes de la COVID‑19 imposé par l’employeur au début de chaque journée de travail.

Les faits de cette affaire

L’employeur, une entreprise qualifiée comme un service essentiel au sens des décrets émis par le gouvernement en mars 2020, a pu continuer ses opérations, malgré l’impossibilité de respecter les consignes de la Santé publique sur la distanciation physique. Il mettait alors en place une procédure visant à atténuer … Continue Reading

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