Tag archives: working time

EU rules on worker status

The ECJ has ruled on the definition of worker status under the EU Working Time Directive in the case of B v Yodel Delivery Network Ltd – is this good news for businesses? Time will tell.

Background

The Working Time Regulations (1998) (WTR) transposes the EU Working Time Directive (WTD). Regulation 2 of the WTR, provides that  a ‘worker’ means an individual who enters into or works under a contract of employment or any other contract, whether oral or in writing or express or implied, whereby the individual undertakes to perform personally any work or services for another party. The … 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

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

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

What are an employer’s chances of overcoming an employee’s claim for overtime in France ?

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

Launch of the Federal Employment Guide for Employers: September 1 Amendments to Part III of the Canada Labour Code

A suite of changes to Part III of the Canada Labour Code (the Code) are coming into force on September 1, 2019, that will confer new rights to employees. For many federally regulated employers, these amendments, brought under Bills C-86 and C-63, will have a significant impact on their workplaces and businesses.

To assist employers prepare for and navigate these new legislative changes and additions, the employment and labour group at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP has created the “Federal Employment and Labour Guide”. The guide includes information and takeaways for employers on the following:

  • Overtime: Employees now have
Continue Reading

Lancement du Guide d’information en matière de droit de l’emploi et du travail fédéral: Modifications à la partie III du Code canadien du travail qui entreront en vigueur le 1er septembre 2019

Une série de nouvelles modifications apportées à la partie III du Code canadien du travail (Code), qui entreront en vigueur le 1er septembre 2019, conféreront de nouveaux droits aux employés. Ces modifications, adoptées en vertu des projets de loi C-86 et C-63, auront des répercussions importantes sur le milieu de travail et l’entreprise de nombreux employeurs régis par les lois fédérales.

Afin d’aider les employeurs à se préparer à ces modifications et ajouts à la loi et à se familiariser avec ceux-ci, le groupe Droit de l’emploi et du travail de Norton Rose Fulbright Canada … Continue Reading

What records must an employer keep to record working time?

A recent European Court of Justice decision has held that in order to comply with the provisions of the EU Working Time Directive (No. 2003/88), employers are obliged to set up a system for measuring actual daily working time for individual workers. What impact will this have on UK employers and their obligations to their workers?

The recent case of Federación de Servicios de Comisiones Obreras v Deutsche Bank SAE considered what records an employer was obliged to keep to comply with the Working Time Directive.  Under Spanish legislation, there are no requirements for workers to have records maintained by … 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

The dangerous combination of the right to disconnect and the concept of on call-duty

French law implemented in 2017 the “right to disconnect” from digital tools, requiring employers to limit employees’ use of digital tools outside of office hours.

The purpose of this legislation is to protect the employees’ work-life balance and their right to rest periods.

The law did not provide details of how employers should implement the right to disconnect as the employer is supposed to negotiate such modalities with its unions. In the absence of agreement, the employer is required to prepare a charter, after having consulted the works council or the staff representatives.

The law did not provide any specific … Continue Reading

National Minimum Wage – “On Call”, “Sleep In” employees

The Court of Appeal has held that carers who carry out overnight “sleep-in” shifts are not entitled to be paid the National Minimum Wage (NMW) for the full duration of the shift, only when they are actually performing work.

The UK National Minimum Wage Act 1998 creates the right for workers in the UK to be paid an hourly rate of remuneration for work carried out. The National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (the 2015 Regulations) (and its predecessor the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (the 1999 Regulations ))  contain complex provisions relating to how employers should calculate the number of … Continue Reading

Overtime and holiday pay – non-guaranteed and voluntary overtime

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in the UK has recently considered whether voluntary as well as non-guaranteed overtime should be taken into account in calculating the amount of holiday pay. The question arose both under the terms and conditions of the claimants’ employment, but also pursuant to the EU Working Time Directive (No.2003/88) (WTD).

The case involved a group of employees in an NHS trust, who brought claims for unlawful deductions from wages, relating to two types of overtime – non-guaranteed overtime and voluntary overtime. Non-guaranteed overtime related to payments, where, at the end of a shift, one of the … Continue Reading

Le temps de trajet des salariés itinérants n’est (définitivement) pas du temps de travail effectif

La détermination du temps de travail effectif des salariés est un sujet complexe, et l’enjeu est considérable pour les salariés dans la mesure où ce temps de travail effectif a un impact direct sur leur rémunération.

C’est encore plus vrai pour les salariés itinérants, dont les fonctions impliquent des temps de trajet importants (notamment entre leur domicile et le lieu d’implantation des clients de l’entreprise pour laquelle ils travaillent, qu’il s’agisse du premier client visité dans la journée ou le dernier client).

Comment doivent être pris en compte ces temps de trajet ? Sont-ils constitutifs d’un temps de travail effectif … Continue Reading

Uber appeal – Drivers have worker status

The EAT has dismissed Uber’s appeal against the employment tribunal’s decision that its drivers are ‘workers’ within the meaning of S.230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996) and the equivalent definitions in the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 (NMWA 1998) and the Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR 1998).   The EAT held that the employment tribunal was entitled to reject the characterisation by Uber of its business in the written contractual documentation and to look at the situation as a whole.

There are three levels of employment status in the UK: self-employed, worker and employee. Self-employed individuals are not … Continue Reading

Modern Workplaces – Wide ranging recommendations in the Taylor Report

The long awaited Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices was published on 11 July. The recommendations from the review throw some interesting questions into the mix. The general theme  is the need for an adaptable, consistent and protected community in which employment and security of workers can prosper.  It will be interesting to see how this will transpire in practice. Some of the main points from the review are mentioned below, but a further more detailed briefing will follow.

Employment status

The Review calls for the retention of the three-tier approach to employment status, with further clarification of the definition … Continue Reading

What rights do workers have to rest breaks in France?

French regulations strictly supervise employees’ working time, which may not exceed a certain limit and must include break time and minimum rest periods. Not only must the employer comply with these obligations, but in the event of litigation, the employer must be in a position to produce evidence that it has done so.

Each employee is entitled to a minimum daily rest period of 20 minutes if they work 6 hours in a row. This break time is a period during which an employee can freely deal with his personal occupations without having to comply with directives of his employer.… Continue Reading

What rights do workers have to rest breaks in Germany?

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

Due to increasing demands for a work life balance, uncertainty as to employees’ rights to rest periods, in particular, is widespread. German law distinguishes between two types of rest periods:

  • Rest breaks (to be granted during working time); and
  • Resting time (the period between two working days)

Subject to special rules for different industries both are regulated by the German Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz). During both periods employees cannot be required to work but must be free to use this time for their own … Continue Reading

What rights do workers have to rest breaks in the UK?

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (the Regulations), which implement the requirements of the 1993 EC Working Time Directive, introduced restrictions on the number of hours worked by employees and workers together with a right to rest breaks, rest periods and holidays. This post is concerned with the right to rest breaks during the working day.

Who is covered by the Regulations?

The Regulations apply to “workers”. The definition of worker includes employees, but also extends to other workers who are not independent self-employed contractors.

The right to rest breaks

Under the Regulations, subject to certain exceptions, adult workers whose daily … Continue Reading

DOL to appeal injunction against new overtime regulations

Despite the fact that the U.S. Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations were set to go into effect on December 1st, the validity of the regulations remains unsettled. We previously reported that on November 22nd, Judge Amos Mazzant of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide injunction precluding the Department of Labor from implementing and enforcing the regulations on November 22nd in Nevada v. U.S. Department of Labor.  On December 1st, the very same day that the regulations were supposed to go into effect, the Department of Labor announced that it would … Continue Reading

Texas federal judge puts the brakes on the DOL’s new overtime regulations

Employers who had been searching for a way to best  implement the Department of Labor’s new overtime regulations (the “Final Rule”), which are set to go into effect on December 1, 2016, received an early holiday gift on Tuesday, and from one of President Obama’s appointed jurists, no less.  On November 22nd, Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against implementation of the overtime regulations.  As a result, the Department of Labor will not  be able to enforce the regulations as of  December 1, 2016.

The Final Rule, … 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

Overtime overhaul – small businesses want more time to prepare

With just about 90 days to go before the U.S. Department of Labor’s final rule dramatically updating overtime regulations is scheduled to go into effect, small business owners have petitioned the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division seeking more time to prepare for and implement changes to the way they operate their businesses so that they can remain compliant with wage laws. In a parallel move, on September 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives also voted in favor of the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act, which would delay implementation of the DOL’s final overtime rule … Continue Reading

What rights and protections are there for workers on zero hours contracts in Germany?

Unlike in the U.K. and other EU member states, zero hours contracts are not (yet) common practice in Germany. To date, other arrangements aimed at achieving “flexible working” such as fixed-term or part-time contracts, secondment of personnel and – more recently – contracts to provide services have been more widespread. However, as German case law and legislation are gradually restricting the flexibility once offered by these arrangements, zero hours contracts are increasingly being used in Germany (in particular with regard to care workers, teachers, and paramedics).

Typical provisions which can be found in employment contracts read for example:

“The working Continue Reading

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