Flexible Working

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UAE: what next in working week changes

The UAE authorities announced late last year that in Federal Government departments from 1 January 2022 the working week would be reduced to four and a half days, with the weekend running from Friday afternoon to Sunday night. The authorities also confirmed that all schools and universities would operate from Monday to Friday on the … Continue Reading

EEOC Issues Reminder That Caregiver Duties Continue Even As COVID Surge Wanes (US)

On March 14, 2022, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a new technical assistance document, “The COVID-19 Pandemic and Caregiver Discrimination Under Federal Employment Discrimination Law,” reminding employers that caregiver obligations continue notwithstanding our gradual return to normal. The 10-page document warns that, even as pandemic conditions change, many employers, schools, and daycare … Continue Reading

Belgium takes first steps towards improved work-life balance in new Labour Deal

After the federal majority parties failed to conclude an agreement on Friday on a series of labour market reforms, they finally broke the deadlock overnight on Monday this week. In an early fail on the work:life balance front, the new measures were unveiled at a presumably sparsely-attended press conference at 2.30am. Bleary-eyed Ministers praised the … Continue Reading

Party politics – what is Plan B for employers? (UK)

So as Boris sits in his bunker and works on Plan C (early draft – “Go to Sardinia. Don’t come back“), employers in England are confronting the shoulder-sagging knowledge that all their prior work on cajoling people back to the office has been comprehensively torpedoed by Plan B. However, leaving aside the obviously deeply unworthy … Continue Reading

Returning to the workplace – Part 4: Now you see me, now you don’t … Monitoring teleworkers’ productivity (Belgium)

The pandemic has given an enormous boost to working from home, in particular (to state the obvious) when it was mandatory. Where roles permitted it, even those employers and employees most vigorously opposed to it simply had no choice but to accept it. When quizzed about the reasons why they oppose WFH, most employers’ main … Continue Reading

Returning to the workplace – Part 3: Off to town for a home office? (Belgium)

I will start this third part of our Working from Home series with a confession: I worked the first couple of weeks of lockdown from a small table dragged in from our balcony. Not because I don’t have a fully equipped and ergonomically approved home office, because I do. I just didn’t like the vibe … Continue Reading

US Federal Labor Viewpoints – Week of June 28, 2021

From our Capital Thinking blog, our public policy colleague Stacy Swanson shares the latest federal employment law developments in in the legislative and executive branches during the week of June 28, 2021. *** This is a weekly post spotlighting labor topics in focus by the US legislative and executive branches during the previous week. In this issue, … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 1 (UK)

Over 700 sign-ups for our Future of the Workplace webinar yesterday show much continuing uncertainty on the part of employers as to just what happens next in practical HR terms as the lock-down staggers to a scheduled end in June.  As usual lots of questions were received through the chat facility, so we have combined … Continue Reading

Legal Developments Webinar 23 February – your follow-up questions answered, Part 1 (UK)

Thank you to all those who signed up for our “Employment Law in 2021 and Beyond” webinar on 23rd February.  Over 400 people dialled in for the session, so our profuse apologies but maybe little wonder that we did not get to answer all the questions raised.  As promised, here are a couple of the … Continue Reading

Little scope for UK employers to get lost on recovery roadmap

So there it is, Boris’s long-heralded 4 Step plan for the country to move forward into our new future.  Lots of statistics, cautions and caveats, but what does the 60-page “COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021” document presented to Parliament yesterday contain for employers?  Is there anything new or is it, like the paper the original … Continue Reading

If you have tiers, prepare to shed them now – thoughts for UK employers under lockdown v.3

So here we are all again and, says the Government’s latest guidance, able to leave home to work only where it is “unreasonable for you to do your job from home“.  This is the umpteenth permutation of the same underlying message about working from home if you can, and was almost certainly meant to say … Continue Reading

Important new developments in remote working rules in Russia

It became increasingly clear over 2020 that the existing legislation on remote working was not fully up to the challenges faced by the Russian economy during the Covid-19 pandemic, in particular the need of some businesses to place very large numbers of employees onto compulsory remote working arrangements at short notice. On 8 December, therefore, … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown flexible working, Part 6 – when childcare goes bad (UK)

Time to answer another interesting question which came up at our Managing Working Parents webinar a couple of weeks ago: Where the employee is unable to come into work for childcare reasons, what are my duties to provide him with work suitable to be done from home?  This was a question which we might have … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown flexible working, Part 5 – handling requests sooner or later (UK)

Here is another question which came up more than once at last week’s webinar on Managing Working Parents but which I was unable to get to at the time. If you receive a flexible working application now, can you “park” it until things settle down and you have a clearer picture of what your post-pandemic … Continue Reading

Spain’s new decree on remote working

A new decree (Royal Decree-law 28/2020) was passed on 22 September to regulate remote working in Spain. As for many countries worldwide, Spain has recently seen a marked increase in the number of employees working from home as part of its bid to decrease physical contact between individuals and curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to … Continue Reading

The joy of six – but cold comfort for UK employers in latest pandemic measures

So what price now,  your long-planned initiative for returning your workforce to the office?  How much of your RTO plan is still standing among the smoking wreckage of the Government’s message only two months ago that employees should “start to go back to work now” if they can?  What does Michael Gove mean by the … Continue Reading

“Go back to work or risk losing your job” – fact and fiction in the return to the workplace (UK)

Friday’s headline in The Telegraph above heralds the launch of a new Government campaign to encourage those currently working from home back into their physical offices.  A series of noticeably unnamed Government Ministers and “sources” told the paper that “bosses at struggling firms will find it easier to hand out P45s to people they never … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown flexible working, Part 3 — the big questions (UK)

If we are right to think that the unravelling of lockdown will be accompanied by a sharp increase in the number of employees requesting to work from home, then many employers will shortly start to face some serious posers in relation to the flexible working scheme. These are not new questions, but will be thrown into … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown flexible working, Part 2 – making it official (UK)

By now, many employees working from home in the lockdown will have made quite firm decisions around how they wish to operate going forward.  Some will have decided that there is nothing in their lives quite like their family and, for that reason, that they wish to extend their WFH indefinitely.  Others, on probably very … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown flexible working, Part 1 – can you still say no? (UK)

The world of work has remained broadly the same for the last 100 to 200 years – offices might have lost the wood panelling, trains become less smoky (inside and out!), top hats turned into bowler hats then no hats, beards have gone in, out, then back into fashion,  but the central tenet remains – … Continue Reading
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