Tag archives: Covid-19

Retrait préventif : la COVID-19 ne constitue pas un contaminant au sens de la LSST

Dans une affaire récente – Piché et Entreprises Y. Bouchard & Fils inc. – le Tribunal administratif du Travail (Tribunal) a rejeté la demande de retrait préventif d’un travailleur en vertu de l’article 32 de la Loi sur la santé et la sécurité du travail (LSST) car il considère que la COVID-19 ne constitue pas un contaminant au sens de la LSST.

Le contexte

Le travailleur est un technicien ambulancier paramédic atteint d’un psoriasis sévère en gouttes depuis 2015 pour lequel il reçoit des injections de Cosentyx, un agent immunomodulateur. En mars 2020, son médecin … Continue Reading

Returning to the Workplace – Government Guidance for a Covid-safe working environment from July 19

The UK Government announced that it would be lifting many of the restrictions that applied from 19 July and entering into what it terms Step 4 of its roadmap.  Part of Step 4 is that the government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can and so employers can start to plan a return to the office. While there are already in place a number of guidance notes for employers on how to provide a Covid safe work environment, these are being amended from 19 July.  So what is the government guidance for employers going forward?… 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

COVID-19 vaccination leaves : which provinces require employers to provide paid time off?

Vaccination efforts across the country have ramped up significantly. A number of provinces have recently amended existing legislation to allow employees paid time off to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. We provide you with a brief summary of these legislative amendments.

Province

Legislation Paid Time Off

Other Relevant Information

British Columbia s. 52.13 of the Employment Standards Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 113 Up to three hours of paid leave for each request made for leave for the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

  • The employer can request reasonably sufficient proof that the employee is entitled to the leave.
  • The employer must not request
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Employee’s receipt of CERB doesn’t change employer’s obligations

The Ontario Superior Court recently held that a dismissed employee who received Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments immediately following his dismissal should not receive less in wrongful dismissal damages on account of the fact he received the emergency benefit.

The decision underscores the point that CERB does not affect an employer’s post-termination obligations.

In Iriotakis v Peninsula Employment Services Limited, the Court ordered an employer to pay its former employee damages in lieu of three months’ reasonable notice.

The employee had been dismissed without cause in March of 2020. Shortly thereafter, he began receiving CERB.

The … Continue Reading

Télétravail obligatoire en contexte de pandémie : l’exception demeure les employés dont la présence est essentielle à la poursuite des activités de l’employeur

Dans une décision récente – Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique, section locale 1108 et CHU de Québec – Université Laval (grief syndical), 2021 QCTA 187 – l’arbitre Me Nathalie Faucher a rejeté la demande d’ordonnance de sauvegarde du Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique (le Syndicat) visant à forcer le CHU de Québec (l’Employeur) à se conformer à l’arrêté ministériel 2020-105 (l’Arrêté) afin que les salariés concernés puissent effectuer leurs tâches en télétravail.

Cette décision s’inscrit dans la même veine qu’une décision récente que l’on avait précédemment commentée laquelle concernait plutôt le … Continue Reading

Ontario introduces paid COVID-19 sick leave

On April 29, 2021, the Ontario government enacted Bill 284, COVID-19 Putting Workers First Act, 2021 (Act). The legislation amends the Employment Standards Act (ESA) to require employers to provide employees covered by the ESA with up to three paid days of sick leave for certain reasons relating to COVID-19. In this update, we review the scope of the new pay entitlement and corresponding obligations for employers.

  1. What if employees were already entitled to paid leave under their employment contracts?

Employees who were already entitled to at least three paid leave days for certain reasons … Continue Reading

COVID-19: Mandatory testing in companies

In view of worrying pandemic figures, the German Federal Government has amended the existing “SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance” (Corona-ArbSchV) (the Ordinance). Employers now face the additional obligation of offering COVID-19 testing to their employees, unless the employees work from home.

Introduction of mandatory testingContinue 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

Can South African employers require their employees to undergo mandatory vaccination and testing for COVID-19?

South Africa is now deeply within its second wave of COVID-19 infections which appears to be significantly more widespread than that which prevailed during early to mid-2020. Since then, and in response to the pandemic, global efforts have successfully developed both expedited means of testing for the virus and, more recently, vaccines.

Employers may thus wish to explore the introduction of workplace policies which formalise mandatory testing and vaccination protocols in order to restore their workplaces to some level of normality, particularly workplaces where remote working is not suitable.

In this piece we attempt to give employers some guidance as … Continue Reading

L’accord national interprofessionnel du 26 novembre 2020 : « soft law » à la française

Le télétravail s’est largement développé en France au fil des années, et naturellement, ce mode de travail a été particulièrement utilisé, bon gré mal gré, par les entreprises au cours de l’année 2020, à la faveur de la crise sanitaire, et des recommandations (plus ou moins liantes) du Gouvernement.

Les bases du télétravail ont été posées par un accord national interprofessionnel signé par les partenaires sociaux en 2005 (étendu en 2006), dont certaines dispositions ont été transposées par une loi du 22 mars 2012 dans le Code du travail. Ces règles ont eu pour objet de créer un véritable statut … Continue Reading

Can French employers require their employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine?

Further to the approval by EU authorities of the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, and further to the recommendations of the French Health authorities on the vaccination programme, the French vaccine campaign against Covid-19 was launched yesterday, at the same time as in all EU countries.

In France, the Government established a specific strategy regarding the vaccine campaign. This includes targeting the most vulnerable and exposed persons first, and progressively extending the Covid-19 vaccine to the rest of the population.

French employers are now asking whether they can insist that employees are vaccinated before returning to the workplace. However, … Continue Reading

Can employers require their employees to get the Covid-19 vaccine?

With the announcement that one of the Covid-19 vaccines has received approval from the UK regulator, employers are now asking whether they can insist that employees are vaccinated before returning to the workplace. There are clearly legal and moral issues that need to be considered.

Firstly, the anticipated Covid-19 vaccination programme in the UK will not be made mandatory as the UK government does not have legal power to do this, alongside the challenges and human rights concerns this would raise in any event. The UK Government has the power to prevent, control or mitigate the spread of an infection … Continue Reading

California imposes new requirement of a COVID-19 Prevention Program

With the approval of Cal/OSHA’s new COVID-19 regulations, the proponents of action-taking won out over those who felt California’s existing laws, regulations, and enforcement arsenal were sufficient to meet the moment. It’s clear that California likes to lead—though it’s not the first state to enact specific COVID-19 standards (Virginia and Oregon got there first).… Continue Reading

Guidance published on the Extension of the UK Furlough Scheme

Further to our blog post on 5 November, when the UK Government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will remain open until 31 March 2021, the Government has now published detailed guidance on the extension of the scheme. The guidance is comprised of a number of different documents covering such matters as which employees can be claimed for and how to calculate the claim under the scheme.

The main points to note from the guidance are as follows:

  • For the period 1 November 2020 to 31 January 2021 the Government will pay 80% of wages for hours not
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UK Job Retention Scheme extended until 31 March 2021

Further to our post about the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), the Chancellor announced on 5 November that the CJRS (also known as the furlough scheme) will remain open until 31 March 2021. The Government also published a policy paper setting out further details of the CJRS, confirming that the scheme rules will remain the same except where indicated otherwise.

The main points to note are that:

  • For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap
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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

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

Amendments to the JobKeeper scheme

On 3 September 2020, the Coronavirus Economic Response Package (JobKeeper Payments) Amendment Act 2020 (Cth) (Act)[1] passed both houses of the Commonwealth Parliament, extending the JobKeeper scheme, varying employer JobKeeper eligibility requirements and making amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act).… Continue Reading

End of the lockdown in France: what are the precautions for employers operating in France?

On 7 May, the French Prime Minister announced the date chosen for the start of the “de-confinement” phase for France, namely 11 May 2020.

The lockdown, which started on 17 March, lasted almost 2 months during which some shops and businesses were closed, and the vast majority of companies operated on the basis of remote working. The lockdown weighed heavily on the national economy, with 12.2 million employees now covered by the short-time working scheme (i.e. six out of ten jobs in the private sector).

While public health has obviously been the government’s primary consideration in setting the plan to … Continue Reading

Employment law under COVID-19 lockdown: 10 things to know

The government enforced 21 day lockdown raises many issues relating to employee rights, including concerns around whether leave (for workers who cannot work from home) will be paid or unpaid, whether UIF (Unemployment Insurance Fund) applies and what the rights of essential workers are.

Here are ten things to know about employment law during the COVID-19 lockdown.

  1. If employees are able to work from home, they should do so.
  2. If employees cannot work from home, employers can request that staff take their annual paid leave during this time. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act allows an employer to determine when
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La France sort du confinement : Quelles précautions pour les employeurs ?

Le 7 mai dernier, le Premier Ministre a annoncé la date retenue pour le début de la phase de déconfinement des Français dans le cadre du plan de lutte contre le Covid-19, à savoir le 11 mai 2020.

Le confinement, qui a commencé  le 17 mars dernier, aura duré près de 2 mois durant lesquels certains commerces et entreprises ont été fermés, et la grande majorité des entreprises a fonctionné sur la base du télétravail. Le confinement aura lourdement pesé sur l’économie nationale, 12,2 millions de salariés étant aujourd’hui couverts par le dispositif du chômage partiel (soit six emplois sur … Continue Reading

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