Many businesses quickly shifted to remote work, where possible, and abandoned operations in an office setting when COVID-19 became a pandemic or when jurisdictions required or encouraged people to stay at home. Now, as these businesses contemplate resuming operations in the general office setting, they are grappling with a myriad of issues and concerns. See our article COVID-19: Best practice considerations for resuming work in an office setting for employer considerations for resuming work in the office setting, including advice on determining when to reopen, determining modifications to be made in the workplace, employee communication and training considerations, implementing the … Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
COVID-19, the 2019 novel coronavirus (“COVID-19” or the “coronavirus”) is naturally on the minds of US employers as the number of cases in the US continues to rise. Although the Centers for Disease Control is still advising that most people in the US have a low immediate risk of exposure, that could change and employers are well advised to consider some basic questions that could arise in the future. We pose and answer some of those basic questions in our article US employers must consider multiple legal requirements when addressing coronavirus concerns. Remember that individual situations can vary and … Continue Reading
Dans une récente décision, la Cour du Québec (Chambre criminelle et pénale) s’est prononcée quant à la détermination de la peine à l’encontre de l’entreprise C.F.G. Construction inc. Cette entreprise avait été déclarée coupable de négligence criminelle causant la mort de l’un de ses employés, en vertu des dispositions du Code criminel traitant de la responsabilité pénale des organisations, et mieux connu sous le nom « Loi C-21 » (ou encore, « Projet de loi C-45 »).
En septembre 2012, un travailleur de l’entreprise C.F.G. Construction inc. décède lors d’un accident impliquant un camion lourd … Continue Reading
The Divisional Court recently released a decision that helps to clarify the law on mitigation of damages in wrongful dismissal cases.
The Court held that if a dismissed employee gets a new job during his or her notice period that pays more than the employee’s previous job, the employee’s surplus earnings can’t serve to reduce damages owed to the employee for the period he or she was unemployed.
The Court held that, in other words, a dismissed employee’s notice damages can’t be “back-filled” by higher earnings earned later.
An employee who is dismissed from his or her employment has the … Continue Reading
On 1 March 2020, the Skilled Worker Immigration Act will come into force. The law completely opens up the German labour market to skilled workers from countries outside the European Union. In addition to the measures set out in our blog the German legislator has included further measures including an accelerated administrative procedure and more efficient recognition procedures.
- Accelerated procedures: The employer is able to reduce the official processing time by initiating the procedure himself following an agreement with the competent immigration authority. As soon as all necessary documents are available and the authority consents to entry, the skilled worker
Les plateformes de mise en relation (comme Uber ou Deliveroo), qui sont de plus en plus utilisées en France, font pourtant l’objet de nombreuses critiques, principalement fondées sur les conditions de travail des travailleurs indépendants qu’elles utilisent dans le cadre de leur activité.
Le Gouvernement français s’est donné pour mission d’encadrer l’activité de ces plateformes, en particulier en ce qui concerne leur responsabilité vis-à-vis de ces travailleurs indépendants.
La loi Travail du 8 août 2016 a créé, au sein du Code du travail, une partie dédiée aux travailleurs utilisant ces plateformes, et a mis à la charge des plateformes une … Continue Reading
Since 1972, there have been numerous laws on professional equality between men and women but the gender pay gap remains a crucial issue which has not been resolved yet.
The parliament voted a new law on 5th September 2018 creating an index to be used to measure the gender pay gap in companies.
Since 1st January 2019, there has been an obligation to assess the gender pay gap in each company with at least 50 employees through the use of the index. The methodology adopted is to allocate a certain number of points based on the following criteria:
- Comparison of
Le harcèlement sexuel est défini, dans le Code du travail, par « des propos ou comportements à connotation sexuelle répétés qui soit portent atteinte à [la] dignité [du salarié] en raison de leur caractère dégradant ou humiliant, soit créent à son encontre une situation intimidante, hostile ou offensante ».
Le Code du travail prévoit également une assimilation aux faits constitutifs de harcèlement pour « toute forme de pression grave, même non répétée, exercée dans le but réel ou apparent d’obtenir un acte de nature sexuelle, que celui-ci soit recherché au profit de l’auteur des faits ou au profit d’un … Continue Reading
The French employment Code defines sexual harassment as “repeated sexual comments or conduct that either violate the [employee’s] dignity because of their degrading or humiliating nature or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive situation against the employee“.
The French employment Code also assimilates to sexual harassment “any form of serious pressure, even non-repeated, exercised for the real or apparent purpose of obtaining an act of a sexual nature, whether it is sought for the benefit of the perpetrator or for the benefit of a third party“.
Dans le cadre de leurs missions, les salariés doivent respecter l’ensemble des règles (notamment de sécurité) applicables. En particulier, les chauffeurs routiers sont astreints au respect du Code de la Route.
Mais l’employeur est également responsable de la sécurité de ses salariés et, si l’obligation de sécurité n’est désormais plus une obligation de résultat, il n’en demeure pas moins que la responsabilité de l’employeur peut être engagée au titre de l’obligation de sécurité lorsque celui-ci a manqué à ses obligations à ce titre.
Dans le cadre de cette affaire, le salarié, chauffeur d’un poids lourd, avait perdu le contrôle de … Continue Reading
The general rule under French law is that when employment contracts are terminated, employees are entitled to a prior notice period, the length of which depends on the status of the employee (executive or non-executive), their length of service, and in some cases their age.
The applicable rules are generally set by the sector-wide collective bargaining agreement (a large majority of employers in France are subject to such collective bargaining agreements).
Employees may either be asked to work during their notice period, or be released from working during it. In the latter case, they are entitled to receive their full … Continue Reading
During a business trip to a construction site, an employee was found dead of a heart attack in a room after having had sexual intercourse with a “complete stranger” he met during the day. The employer completed the usual formalities by informing the social security authorities of the death and the circumstances. The social security authorities decided to treat the death as being work-related, which was contested by the employer.
The company’s arguments before the Paris Court of Appeal were as follows:
– the employee’s death occurred when he had knowingly interrupted his mission for a personal reason, independent of … Continue Reading
The basic working time arrangement in France is 35 hours per week, and although there are a number of alternative working time arrangements potentially available, this is still the one that applies to the majority of French employees. However, this is not a maximum working week – employees working beyond that amount are entitled to overtime.
Employers must be able to prove the actual number of hours worked by their employees and must therefore ensure such hours are properly recorded. In the absence of proper records, the employer may have difficulties in overcoming a claim for overtime payments made by … Continue Reading
As part of the “Third Bureaucracy Relief Act” the German government intends to introduce an electronic submission procedure for medical certificates regarding the incapacity of employees. More than 80 million of such certificates are issued every year by doctors in Germany. Replacing extensive documentation and record-keeping duties will allow medium-sized companies in particular to reduce existing manual processing workloads.
According to current German law an employee must submit a medical certificate of incapacity to the employer at the latest by the fourth day of absence due to illness. In the future, employers will be able to retrieve electronic certificates directly … Continue Reading
A decision of the Supreme Administrative Court (“Conseil d’Etat”) of 8th July 2019 has overruled the decision of a work inspector (“inspecteur du travail”) who had rejected a zero tolerance policy regarding the consumption of alcohol during working hours for certain classes of employees in a company.
The case concerned a company specializing in the manufacture of automotive equipment which decided to revise its internal employee regulations to include a clause totally prohibiting the consumption of alcohol for certain categories of employee such as machine operators, lift platform users, electricians and mechanics.
By law the internal … Continue Reading
The German Bundesrat recently approved a long-awaited and controversially debated immigration legislation, implementing several European directives dating back more than ten years. The “Skilled Immigration Act (“Fachkräfteeinwanderungsgesetz”) intends to attract qualified professionals from around the world. Further, the Act aims to improve labour market efficiency, prevent skill shortages and offset regional imbalances in order to sustain competitiveness and economic growth. The Skilled Immigration Act provides clear requirements for “qualified professionals” which, for the first time, includes academics as well as persons with vocational qualifications.
To enter the German labour market, highly qualified third-country professionals must present a valid … Continue Reading
Today the Dutch Senate voted in favour of the legislative proposal. The WAB is therefore likely to enter into force on 1 January 2020.
The effect for employers
The proposed changes to the current Dutch Labour and Employment Laws are expected to have an impact on many types of employment contracts. The main principle of the WAB is to make it more attractive for employers to hire employees on a permanent basis by reducing the gap between permanent contracts and flexible employment. The WAB contains a number of important legislative changes in relation to flexible employment, dismissal law, the transition … Continue Reading
The smooth operation of a pension scheme depends on an efficient flow of information between the employer and the member. Frequently, the Pensions Ombudsman is asked to consider scheme trustees’ and employers’ duties on providing benefit information to members.
Where the law is silent, this can be a tricky area to navigate and considerable uncertainty may arise. What level of information should trustees and employers provide to a member given a diagnosis of terminal ill-health? When might this information stray into the territory of unauthorised financial advice?
Two illustrative cases
In February 2019 (Mrs T – PO-19080), the … Continue Reading