Employee Welfare

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Reducing personnel costs in the Corona crisis: how Germany supports employers

Germany supports employers by facilitating the payment of short-time work benefits (“KUG”). KUG is a service provided by the Federal Employment Agency to safeguard jobs and avoid redundancies when employees are temporarily unable to be employed. The previous regulations in this regard have been considerably improved. The new regulation is limited in time and is … Continue Reading

Welcome pragmatism from UK’s ICO on disclosure of employees’ virus exposure

Some new clarification from the Information Commissioner’s Office yesterday about that grey area between individual privacy rights on the one hand and the public interest on the other. Against the background of the Coronavirus crisis (and perhaps recognising that any other position would be politically terminal), the ICO has made it clear that even though … Continue Reading

Changes in Polish employment laws bring new costs:benefits equation

This Autumn brings quite a few changes for Polish employers. Not only do new pension plans called PPK (Pracownicze Plany Kapitałowe) became a reality for the biggest Polish employers in the fourth quarter of 2019, but the Labour Code and Code of Civil Procedure see changes too. Some of them result in a need to … Continue Reading

Belgian social partners reach agreement on employment conditions for the next two years. Or do they?

Group of 10 reaches agreement on employment conditions In the very early morning of 26 February, the Belgian social partners in the so-called Group of 10 (the main representatives of employers’ federations and trade unions) reached the bones of an agreement on employment conditions for 2019-2020. In this draft agreement, the margin for increases in … Continue Reading

The earth is doomed, and other reasons not to send an employee on leave (UK)

The New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Australia last year awarded an employee AU$20,000 in compensation for pain and suffering where her employer forced her onto “personal leave” for assumed mental illness based on her discussion of conspiracy theories in the workplace. Though an Australian case, it contains valid lessons for UK employers … Continue Reading

Sleepovers and the NMW – clarity at last for the UK care sector

The Court of Appeal handed down its much anticipated judgment on Friday last week in the joined cases of Royal Mencap v Thompson Blake and John Shannon v Jakishan and Prithee Rampersad (t/a Clifton House Residential Home). The decision provides much-needed clarity on whether workers are entitled to the national minimum wage for each hour during … Continue Reading

Employee Wellbeing Programmes (UK)

With a clear link between increased employee wellbeing (both in terms of physical and mental health) and reduced sickness absence, many employers may use renewed New Year ambitions to adopt or promote employee wellbeing programmes. Businesses have introduced measures including step challenges with free pedometers, fruit ‘desk drops’ and health monitoring stations in the workplace. … Continue Reading

Mental health in the City workplace – how are you doing?

No job within the Square Mile is immune from its own stresses or strains.  As the City of London Corporation’s Business Healthy blog notes (https://www.businesshealthy.org/blog/), the recent economic climate has exacerbated these through the invariable requirement that businesses reduce their cost base without adversely affecting their profits.  Undoubtedly, this drive to do more with less … Continue Reading

NI Court of Appeal thickens UK holiday pay plot

The Northern Ireland Court of Appeal has today added its small contribution to the debate around the inclusion of overtime earnings in holiday pay.  The direction it has taken in Patterson –v- Castlereagh Borough Council is logical up to a point, but of terrifyingly little practical assistance to employers looking for some, indeed any, reliable … Continue Reading

Keeping your eyes on the road – are there limits to a UK employer’s monitoring of staff movements?

How would you feel about your employer knowing where you are 24 hours a day? News reaches us of a claim by an employee dismissed in the US for deleting a smartphone app Xora which her management had required her to install as part of its mobile workforce management systems.  Xora bills itself (with callous … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision Affecting Retiree Benefits

From Greg Viviani via our Global Compensation Insights blog: In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for many employers to re-examine their ability to alter or amend retiree benefit plans. The Court rejected a long-standing presumption in the Sixth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals (Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio, … Continue Reading
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