Tag archives: employee benefits

UK Pensions: DB Funding Statement 2020: NRF survey gives the Pensions Regulator a thumbs-up

DB Funding Statement 2020: NRF survey gives the Pensions Regulator a thumbs-up

Sophy Lelliott, a trainee in our pensions team writes: the UK Pensions Regulator published its annual funding statement later than usual on 30 April 2020. The Statement is aimed at trustees and sponsoring employers of defined benefit (DB) schemes with valuation dates between September 22, 2019, and September 21, 2020. Our previous blog examining its key elements can be viewed here.

On 28 May 2020 Lesley Browning, Phil Jelley and Sabrina English from our London pensions team hosted an interactive webinar discussion focusing on the … Continue Reading

UK Pensions: Regulator’s annual DB funding statement urges collaboration to meet COVID-19 challenges

 

On April 30, 2020, the Pensions Regulator published its 2020 funding statement for defined benefit (DB) schemes with valuation dates between September 22, 2019, and September 21, 2020. However, these COVID-19 times are challenging for all businesses, and the effects of the pandemic are relevant to all DB schemes.

The statement urges collaboration between trustees and employers to manage scheme funding impacts and to maintain a focus on the long term, particularly regarding planning and risk management. With the uncertainty of the COVID-19 crisis, effects will be marked on both the short-term business impact of the lockdown … Continue Reading

UK Pensions: Regulator’s warning that member transfer requests during the pandemic may be a poor decision

UK Pensions: Regulator’s warning that member transfer requests during the pandemic may be a poor decision

Adding to its already impressive haul of Covid-19 related publications to date, on 29 April 2020, the Pensions Regulator published further trustee guidance Communicating with members when they request a transfer or to access benefits.

Pension scheme members seeking a transfer from a defined benefit (DB) to a defined contribution (DC) pension during the Covid-19 crisis will be warned by trustees that such a move is unlikely to be in their best long-term interests. They are also reminded that where a DB transfer value … 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

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

UK set to introduce ‘world first’ right to two weeks’ parental bereavement leave

The UK Government has announced that a new right to two weeks’ parental bereavement will come into force from 6 April 2020.

The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations (which have been laid before Parliament and are awaiting final approval) implement a statutory right to a minimum of two weeks unpaid leave for all employed parents following the loss of a child under the age of 18, or a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of their length of service.

Parents will be able to take bereavement leave at any time within a period of 56 weeks after the … 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 7 August 2019 that there will be a consultation on proposals to vary contribution rates for NHS staff to minimise the impact of the annual allowance on them.

Currently, the annual allowance (broadly the rate contributions can be paid to a defined contribution scheme or … 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 their Statement of Investment Principles (SIP). There are also new requirements for an Implementation Statement to be prepared and published.

Further changes were implemented in 2019 following the transposition into UK law of the Shareholders’ Rights Directive II which … Continue Reading

Loi Pacte : Que faut-il en attendre dans les relations employeurs / salariés ?

La loi « Pacte » (Loi relative à la croissance et la transformation des entreprises) a été adoptée en lecture définitive par l’Assemblée Nationale le 11 avril dernier, après de longs mois de débats devant l’Assemblée Nationale et le Sénat.

Elle a fait l’objet d’un recours devant le Conseil Constitutionnel, saisi le 16 avril dernier. Les commentaires ci-dessous sont donc sous réserve de la décision de cette instance.

Le but affiché de cette loi est de donner aux entreprises, notamment les TPE, ETI et PME, les moyens d’innover, de se transformer, de grandir et de créer des emplois. Cependant, cette … Continue Reading

What happens a firm’s internal regulations following a TUPE transfer ?

Under French employment law, the application of TUPE regulations triggers specific consequences not only with regard to an employee’s employment contract, which is transferred automatically by operation of law, but also on the employees’ collective status.

In this respect, a recent decision of the French Supreme Court has specified what happens to a company’s internal regulations (règlement intérieur) in the event of a TUPE transfer.

It should be recalled that the promulgation of internal regulations is compulsory in companies employing at least 20 employees and the purpose of such document is to cover specific topics, essentially health and safety rules, … Continue Reading

Singapore: “Watershed” Amendments to Employment Legislation

Singapore’s employment laws are set to undergo watershed changes come April 2019. In summary, a greater number of employees – in particular, professionals, managers and executives (“PMEs”) – will soon be able to avail themselves of the statutory protections contained in Singapore’s Employment Act, the key employment legislation in Singapore.

The single most significant legislative change is the removal of the monthly salary cap of SGD 4,500 in respect of PMEs. Presently, only PMEs below this salary cap have the benefit of the provisions in the Employment Act relating to minimum periods of notice, paid public holiday and … Continue Reading

Issues of employment status: pseudo self-employment and hidden personnel leasing in Germany

German labour law follows the “all or nothing” principle: Labour law regulations presume an existing employment relationship between employer and employee. If no such relationship exists, protective labour law regulations cannot be applied (with a few exceptions e.g. in the case of managing directors of a “GmbH” (limited company)). Assessing whether an employment relationship exists requires evaluating the nature of the relationship in question and assessing it against the legal definition of “employment”.

As in many other countries, Germany witnessed the trend of reducing core workforces in favour of a more flexible use of external resources. This in particular lead … Continue Reading

New York City expansion of sick time law to cover “safe time” goes into effect on May 5, 2018; action required for New York City employers

New York City has recently adopted amendments to the New York City sick time law.  These amendments, which go into effect on May 5, 2018, will require action by New York City employers.

Background on New York City’s sick time law

Since April 1, 2014, all New York City employers have been required to provide sick time to their employees.  Whether such sick time is paid or unpaid depends upon the size of the employer.  New York City employers must provide each employee with a copy of the Notice of Employees Rights at the time of hire, and generally must … Continue Reading

Recent developments in French employment law regarding financial institutions: How the French Government wants to enhance Paris’ attractiveness as a global financial place

Apart from certain provisions which may be tailored to the relevant situations negotiated by companies or sectors of business through collective agreements (subject to compliance with a number of basic rules and principles), French employment law does not include any specificities in relation to certain sectors of business.

In particular, financial institutions are subject to the same set of rules as any other French company.

However, this may change in the next few weeks or months.

As part of the process of ratification of President Macron’s ordinances reforming the French labour code,  the French National Assembly adopted on 23 November … Continue Reading

Bill C-44 coming into force

The Governor General in Council has announced that the sweeping changes to the Canada Labour Code (the “CLC”), which affects federally regulated employees will come into force on December 3, 2017.  The coming into force completes the amendments that were announced in Bill C-44, the Budget Implementation Act, 2017, No. 1, after it received Royal Assent on June 22, 2017.  The changes were discussed in a previous legal update; however, a number of the more noteworthy changes are worth highlighting below.

Along with amendments to the Employment Insurance Act, Bill C-44 increased the unpaid parental leave of … Continue Reading

Significant changes to French employment code to enter into force no later than January 1st, 2018

French President Emmanuel Macron has signed five ordinances making important changes to several aspects of the French employment code. The ordinances, which were immediately published in the French Official Journal on September 23rd, 2017, are aimed in particular at providing employers more flexibility and predictability in labour-management relations.

Several provisions of this ambitious reform – numbering 159 pages and providing for 36 measures – are already in force.

The amendments to existing legislation effected by the Ordinances are built around the following principles defined by the French Government:

  • giving precedence to micro-businesses (TPE) and to small and medium-sized companies (PME);
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Butt out! (ergonomically speaking): British Columbia Court of Appeal outlines management and union rights in employee accommodations

On February 28, 2017 the British Columbia Court of Appeal issued a decision that should be welcomed by unionized employers dealing with accommodating employees.  In Telus Communications Inc. v. Telecommunications Workers’ Union, 2017 BCCA 100 the issue was whether the employer was able to deal directly with its unionized employees when attempting to accommodate those employees or whether there was a duty to first consult with the union.

The Union’s position was that the certificate of bargaining authority gave it the right to engage in all requests for accommodation for a medical disability.  In the case before the Court … Continue Reading

Federal Government’s 2017 Budget Proposes Changes to Maternity and Parental Leave

The Liberal Government’s 2017 federal budget (“Budget 2017”) proposes changes that affect maternity and parental leaves and associated Employment Insurance (“EI”) benefits.

Currently, EI combined parental and maternity benefits are available at the benefit rate of 55 per cent over a period of up to 12 months. Budget 2017 proposes that this option continue to be available, but parents will alternatively be able to choose to receive EI maternity and parental benefits over an extended period of up to 18 months at a lower benefits rate of 33 per cent of average weekly earnings. Budget 2017 also proposes that women … Continue Reading

Medical Marijuana and Health Benefit Plans

On January 30, 2017, a Board of Inquiry, formed as part of the Provincial Court of Nova Scotia, issued its decision in Skinner v. Board of Trustees of the Canadian Elevator Industry Welfare Trust Fund, which found that the denial of an employee’s request for coverage of medical marijuana under a health benefit plan amounted to discrimination under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act.

On August 13, 2010, the employee was in a vehicle accident while working. As a result of the accident, the employee suffered chronic pain and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Conventional drugs proved … Continue Reading

Key employment law developments expected in 2017

A significant amount of new employment legislation is expected or is already in place for 2017. Key changes will be in the hiring of temporary workers through an agency (referred to as “personnel leasing” in Germany), employee protection and equal treatment.

Reform of laws regarding personnel leasing

One of the main developments in 2017 will be the long expected reform of the German Act on Temporary Employment (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG), as well as other related laws, with effect from 01 April 2017. Aiming to reinforce the rights of temporary workers during personnel leasing and in particular to prevent … Continue Reading

Key French employment law developments in 2017

As 2017 is a Presidential election year in France, we do not expect major changes in employment legislation to occur in France in the near future.  However, this does not mean that French employment lawyers will be unoccupied.

First and foremost, the El Khomri law (dated 8 August 2016), which significantly modified the employment law landscape in France, is progressively coming into effect: a number provisions only entered into force on 1st January 2017, and implementing decrees are still awaited in a number of areas.

The main measures which have come into force on 1st January 2017 are:

  • New
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Reduction in the Employment Insurance Waiting Period and the Potential Implications for Employers

In March 2016 the federal government announced changes to Employment Insurance (EI) rules in Canada.  Effective January 1, 2017, the EI waiting period has been reduced from two (2) weeks to one (1) week by way of amendments to s. 208 of the Employment Insurance Act, SC 1996, c 23.  The EI waiting period change will only impact benefit periods starting on or after January 1, 2017. The reduction of the waiting period applies to all types of EI benefits – regular, sickness, maternity, parental, compassionate care, parents of critically ill children, and special benefits for self-employed … Continue Reading

What rights and protections are there for part-time workers?

This post was also contributed by Dimitri Schaff, Trainee, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (Munich).

Currently, about one quarter of all employment relationships in Germany are based on part-time models, the proportion of part-time to full-time employees having increased by about 12 per cent since 2001. Furthermore, as a result of the implementation of the EU Part-time Workers Directive 97/81/EC into German law in 2001, an enforceable right for current full-time employees to switch to part-time work exists in Germany. Besides this, employees with children (under the age of eight) may additionally claim the right to part-time parental leave.

Although employers … Continue Reading

Bonus Entitlement for Dismissed Employees: The Ontario Court of Appeal Weighs In

Employers frequently address the issue of whether a dismissed employee should be paid a bonus that would be paid after an employee’s dismissal but during the period of common law reasonable notice. We now have recent guidance from Ontario’s highest court on this issue

In Paquette v TeraGo Networks Inc., 2016 ONCA 618, the Court of Appeal for Ontario held that a dismissed employee was entitled to a bonus payment that became payable after his dismissal but during the reasonable notice period. This was despite the fact that the employer’s bonus plan required an employee to be “actively employed” … Continue Reading

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