Tag archives: #coronavirus

Easter & Passover 2020: Pandemic reminders for employers

Good Friday marks the start of the Easter long weekend in Canada. Undoubtedly, this year, festivities will be observed differently. Due to COVID-19, large gatherings are currently prohibited and most private and public places of recreation are closed, including places of worship. Employers must continue to navigate these trying times, holiday or not. Below, we have outlined a few key reminders for employers and as the long weekend approaches.

Non-essential services closed

Jurisdictions across Canada have ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses, some until at least May, pursuant to powers under applicable emergency legislation. This weekend will be no … Continue Reading

Relaxation of German working time regulations due to COVID-19?

In an effort to fight the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) is working on a bill to relax restrictions on working time in Germany. Specifically, longer working hours, shorter rest periods and the employment of workers on Sundays and public holidays for certain activities will temporarily be permitted.

The right to issue such a bill without having to seek the approval of the parliament (Bundestag) and the Federal Council (Bundesrat) was granted to BMAS as part of the government’s social protection package passed on 27 March 2020. This new regulation authorizes … Continue Reading

France implements new social measures to face the pandemic

The first COVID-19 cases appeared in France a few weeks ago and French people have been in lockdown since March 17. The repercussions of this pandemic are significant, and the Government has been authorized, by Emergency Act No. 2020-290 of 23 March 2020, to take measures through ordinances (which means that no debate is required before Parliament, and the ordinances are voted directly by the Council of Ministers).

Several ordinances on employment-related matters were adopted by the Council of Ministers on 27 March 2020, and published. A decree was also issued to extend the rules of reduction in activity (short-time … Continue Reading

Exigences relatives aux langues officielles en situation de pandémie : Mise en garde à l’intention des institutions fédérales

Comme plusieurs, les institutions fédérales doivent surmonter le défi monumental que posent la gestion de la situation entourant la COVID-19 et l’obligation d’assurer le respect d’un certain nombre d’exigences légales, notamment celles de la Loi sur les langues officielles (« LLO »). La pandémie de COVID-19 exerce une pression sur les ressources financières et humaines des institutions fédérales. Dans ces circonstances, les institutions fédérales font des choix difficiles quant à l’affectation de leurs ressources, en particulier dans les situations d’urgence où la santé et la sécurité de leurs employés ou du public sont en jeu. Le commissaire aux langues officielles … Continue Reading

Official language requirements in a pandemic: A word of caution for federal institutions

Like many, federal institutions are facing the capital challenge of managing COVID-19 and ensuring compliance with a number of legal requirements, including those under the Official Languages Act (the “OLA”). The COVID-19 pandemic is causing stress on both financial and human resources of federal institutions. In such circumstances, federal Institutions are making difficult choices on where to allocate their resources, especially during emergency situations where the health, safety or security of their employees or of the public are at stake. Recently, the Commissioner of Official Languages (the “Commissioner”) published a statement on how COVID-19 is impacting federal institutions, namely as … Continue Reading

US: DOL issues guidance on coronavirus paid leave rule and clarifies coverage for stay-at-home orders

On April 1, 2020, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a temporary rule providing key guidance on paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The rule clarifies that employees covered under a federal, state or local stay–at-home order may be eligible for paid FFCRA leave but only if work or telework is available. The rule also provides detailed guidance on teleworking, the small business exemption, required documentation and a number of other points.  For more information, see our legal update, US: DOL issues key federal paid leave rule, extends leave to certain employees under stay-at-home ordersContinue Reading

Pandemic Q&As: Walking off the job, limitation periods, symptomatic employees and human rights considerations

In this blog post, we provide answers to the following four questions posed by Ontario employers:

  1. Can my employees walk off the job for fear of contracting COVID-19?
  2. Do I still need to meet my filing deadlines?
  3. One of my employees reported having COVID-19 after reporting to work for several days—what do I do?
  4. Is a COVID-19 infection a disability?

Q1: Can my employees walk off the job for fear of contracting COVID-19?

Short answer: No.

In press conferences last week, Premier Doug Ford stated:

We passed legislation.  Not just construction workers—any worker in Ontario—if you don’t feel

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Foire aux questions sur la pandémie : Quitter le travail, délais de prescription, employés symptomatiques et questions de droits de la personne

Dans cet article de blogue, nous répondons aux quatre questions suivantes que se posent les employeurs ontariens :

  1. Mes employés peuvent-ils quitter leur travail par crainte de contracter la COVID-19?
  2. Dois-je toujours respecter mes échéances de dépôt?
  3. L’un de mes employés a déclaré être atteint de la COVID-19 après s’être présenté au travail pendant plusieurs jours – que dois-je faire?
  4. L’infection par la COVID-19 constitue-t-elle un handicap?

Q1 : Mes employés peuvent-ils quitter leur travail par crainte de contracter la COVID-19?

Réponse brève : Non.

Lors de conférences de presse la semaine dernière, le premier ministre Doug Ford a déclaré Continue Reading

La France face à la pandémie : les mesures sociales s’organisent

Le COVID-19 a fait son apparition en France il y a quelques semaines déjà et les Français sont confinés depuis le 17 mars dernier. Les répercussions de cette pandémie sont importantes, et le Gouvernement a été autorisé, par la loi n° 2020-290 du 23 mars 2020 d’urgence pour faire face à l’épidémie de covid-19, à prendre des mesures par voie d’ordonnance.

Plusieurs ordonnances ont été adoptées en Conseil des ministres le 27 mars 2020, et publiées au Journal Officiel, en matière sociale. Un décret est venu élargir les règles de l’activité partielle. De nouvelles ordonnances sont par ailleurs venues compléter … Continue Reading

US: Employer obligations for COVID-19 mandated remote work expenses (California and beyond)

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, many employers are requiring their employees to work remotely (either voluntarily or because several states, including California and New York, have imposed social distancing restrictions). The new work-from-home reality has implications for employers with workers employed in California and other states, as described in COVID-19: Working from home and employer reimbursement of remote-work expenses in California and beyond.  For more information, read COVID-19: Working from home and employer reimbursement of remote-work expenses in California and beyond, and for additional information about legal implications of COVID-19, see Coronavirus: Legal implications of a global Continue Reading

US DOL issues new guidance on COVID-19 paid sick and family leave

The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance which answers a number of key questions on the new federal coronavirus paid sick leave and emergency Family and Medical Leave Act leave, including when the law takes effect, how to count employees for purposes of the 500-employee threshold, how to treat related employers and other key questions. The DOL also issued model paid sick leave posters and announced limited amnesty for violations through April 17th.  For more information, read US DOL answers questions on new federal sick and family leave, issues new posters and announces limited amnesty and see our chart Continue Reading

The UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – An Update

As we noted in our previous blog post here the UK Government announced the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme by which employers can apply to HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wage costs (up to 80%) of salary of workers who are temporarily not working but kept on the payroll (furloughed workers) for up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. The Government has now published further guidance on the scheme.

Which employers can apply under the scheme?

Any employer (regardless of size or sector type) who operates PAYE will be eligible for the scheme. … Continue Reading

UK Government support to self-employed individuals

On 26 March the UK Government announced a package of support to self-employed individuals. The main points of the proposal are:

  • Self-employed individuals can apply for grants of up to 80% of their profits up to £2,500 per month
  • The level will be calculated on the basis of the average monthly trading profit over the last three years.
  • The Scheme will be open to those with a trading profit of less than £50,000 in 2018/19 or an average trading profit of less than £50,000 from 2016-17,2017-18 and 2018-19. The chancellor has indicate that this accounts for 95% of the self-employed.
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France combats the pandemic

Since January 2020, Coronavirus COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world, causing massive disruption to business and everyday life as well as thousands of deaths.

The French Government has reacted in several stages. After issuing recommendations for barrier measures, it decided to close schools and more recently, it ordered the general confinement of French people and the closure of many establishments deemed non-essential in order to protect public health. The Government’s latest recommendations for employers can be found here (available in French only).

Consequently, for companies operating in France, three types of employees can be distinguished (excluding sick employees, who … Continue Reading

Comment faire face au Coronavirus en France?

Depuis le mois de janvier 2020, l’épidémie de Coronavirus COVID-19 s’est rapidement propagée à travers le monde, causant des milliers de décès.

Le Gouvernement français a réagi en plusieurs temps : après avoir émis des recommandations en matière de gestes barrière, il a ensuite pris la décision de fermer écoles et établissements accueillant des enfants, puis plus récemment a été ordonné le confinement généralisé de la population française et la fermeture de nombreux établissements jugés non indispensables, afin d’assurer la santé publique. Les dernières recommandations du Gouvernement pour les employeurs peuvent être consultées ici.

Dès lors, pour les entreprises ayant … Continue Reading

UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The UK Government is setting up a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will help employers pay their workers’ wages.  Any employer (regardless of size or sector type) will be eligible for the scheme.  Employers can apply to HMRC for a grant to cover most of the wages (up to 80%) of salary of workers who are temporarily not working but kept on the payroll (furloughed workers) for up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month.  The scheme will be backdated to 1 March and will run for three months, but the Chancellor will extend it if required.… Continue Reading

New York’s new coronavirus-related leave requirements

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, New York State enacted a law requiring that New York State employers provide job-protected time off (in some cases, paid time off) to employees who are affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in certain ways (the “NY COVID-19 Law”). The NY COVID-19 Law requires that, for each employee who is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the State of New York or certain other government entities due to COVID-19, employers provide job-protected time off until the termination of the COVID-19 Order, as described in our legal update New Continue Reading

US: New key COVID-19 employment and labor issues

COVID-19, the 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19” or the “coronavirus”) continues to stress US employers attempting to prevent the disease from spreading in their workplaces while continuing to operate effectively. With each passing day, health authorities provide more information about the spread of the disease and federal, state and local governments impose additional restrictions that impact businesses, their employees and their customers/clients. As the commercial and social environment rapidly changes, we are continuing to address a wide variety of labor and employment issues arising from those changes. We address some of those basic issues in US: Critical COVID-19 labor and employment Continue Reading

COVID-19 / Germany: Admissible measures and co-determination rights

The rapid spread of COVID-19 within Europe and the beginning of the pandemic have led many of our clients to consider how employees and, if necessary, customers can be protected against any further spread of the infection and which employment law related measures should they be taking. We have summarised and answered the main questions in a table below. This table is intended as guide for questions arising at short notice and represents the current legal opinion of our colleagues working in the field of German employment law.

Please note, however, that the current legal assessments, in particular with regard … Continue Reading

UK – STATUTORY SICK PAY AND COVID-19

One of the key issues for employers is what payments to make to employees if they are unable to work as a result of COVID-19.

Entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay

Where an employee has symptoms of the virus then they must be absent from work. These employees will be entitled to sick leave and sick pay. The government announced on 4th March that emergency legislation will be introduced to ensure that statutory sick pay, or SSP, is payable to employees from day one of the absence instead of day four as set out in the existing legislation.  Another change to … Continue Reading

United States federal coronavirus law requires some employers to provide paid leave

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provides relief to families and workers facing the global coronavirus pandemic.

The FFCRA provides: (1) free diagnostic testing for coronavirus; (2) food assistance to low-income pregnant women and mothers with young children, food banks, seniors and students; (3) increased federal assistance to state Medicaid programs; (4) enhanced unemployment assistance to affected workers; and (5) paid sick leave and emergency federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage to certain employees and individuals.

See US: New federal coronavirus response act provides paid leave requirements Continue Reading

Economic measures taken by the Dutch government in light of the COVID-19 outbreak

On 17 March 2020 the Dutch government announced exceptional economic measures. The aim is to protect jobs and incomes and to address the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak on self-employed professionals, SME-entrepreneurs and large companies. The measures aim to ensure that companies can continue to pay their staff, bridge the gap for self-employed workers and assist companies in maintaining their cash position as much as possible through specific tax schemes, compensation and extra finance and credit proposals. We will focus on the employment measures.

Emergency Fund Bridging Employment

The government introduced the ‘’Emergency fund bridging employment’’ (Noodfonds Overbrugging Werkgelegenheid). This … Continue Reading

COVID-19: Erleichterungen bei Kurzarbeit

Um Arbeitsplätze zu schützen und die infolge der Corona-Krise von einem Arbeitsausfall betroffenen Unternehmen zu unterstützen, hat die deutsche Regierung Erleichterungen bei der Kurzarbeit beschlossen. Rückwirkend zum 1. März 2020 können Betriebe bei der Agentur für Arbeit Kurzarbeit beantragen, wenn ein Zehntel (statt bisher 1/3) ihrer Beschäftigten von einem Arbeitsausfall wegen der Epidemie betroffen ist. Wird die Kurzarbeit bewilligt, erstattet die Agentur für Arbeit einerseits durch das Kurzarbeitergeld 60% (bzw. bei Beschäftigten mit Kindern 67%) des Verdienstausfalls und übernimmt – das ist neu – zu 100% die Sozialversicherungsbeiträge. Diese mussten bisher auch im Fall der Kurzarbeit von den Arbeitgebern getragen … Continue Reading

Germany: An Employer’s duties dealing with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – Q&A

COVID-19 is spreading across the world and companies everywhere are faced with its challenges. In circumstances where a COVID-19 case impacts your German workplace we recommend close coordination with the public health authority on how to proceed. In doing so – especially against a possible liability for illness or even death – it will show that you, as an employer, have taken all reasonable steps to ensure that you have protected your employees. For further guidance please check our Q&A list:

1. Can employees be forced to take unpaid leave or flexitime or to reduce their working hours?

There is … Continue Reading

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