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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

President Biden Signs Executive Order Extending Workplace Protections Against COVID-19 (US)

One of President Biden’s first acts in office was to sign an Executive Order (EO) on January 21, 2021 aimed at increasing the safety and health of U.S. workers, particularly healthcare and other essential workers, against the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, President Biden instructed the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DOL), through … Continue Reading

Belgium’s social inspection services on a mission to check observance with working from home rules

In a previous blog we noted that as of November 2020, Belgium would again be in semi-lockdown and that one of the measures re-imposed was the obligation to work from home, unless this is realistically impossible. Employees whose work requires them to go the office need a confirmatory certificate from their employer attesting to this … Continue Reading

Stimulus Bill Extends Tax Credits for Paid Coronavirus Leave, But Not FFCRA Paid Leave Framework Itself (US)

On Monday, December 21, Congress unveiled the nearly 5,600-page text of the latest COVID-19 relief package. If signed into law by the President, the omnibus spending and stimulus relief package will provide direct cash payments to many adults in the U.S., extend unemployment benefits, reopen the Paycheck Protection Program, and provide wide-ranging rental and educational … Continue Reading

EEOC Publishes Guidance on Employer Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policies (US)

Last month we discussed whether employers will be able to require employees to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of returning to, or remaining in, the workplace. We noted at that time that the conditions for and lawfulness of mandatory vaccination policies was unclear, but that guidance was anticipated from the US Equal Employment … Continue Reading

Planning Ahead for the End (For Now) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (US)

Throughout 2020, we have provided updates on the adoption of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), its implementing regulations, and its amended regulations. In these updates, we have noted that the FFCRA – which provides emergency paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons to public sector employees and employees … Continue Reading

Global Guide on Employment Implications of COVID-19 Vaccination

The news that a number of COVID-19 vaccines are in the final stages of development and approval has been welcomed by employers and employees around the globe. It also has prompted a number of questions, such as whether employers can require their employees be vaccinated as part of a plan to make the workplace as … Continue Reading

CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance to Include Alternatives to 14-Day Quarantine Recommendation (US)

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been one of the primary resources providing the public with recommendations on all aspects of the virus, and it has closely monitored the evolving science for information that would warrant reconsideration of its  recommendations. As a result of those ongoing efforts, … Continue Reading

Employers needled by vaccine refusals, Part 3 – injecting some reality (UK)

In the earlier parts of this blog series (part 1 & part 2) we saw that for the most part, asking your employees to take the covid-19 vaccination will be a reasonable management request and that their refusal to do so will usually be deemed unreasonable at law. Against that background, how should the employer … Continue Reading

Employers needled by vaccine refusals, Part 2 – the role of reasonableness (UK)

Having established in the first of this series that a request to take the covid-19 vaccination is probably a reasonable management request, then what? Can you go straight from there to enforcing it as an issue of disobedience? Only if the refusal is unreasonable. Will refusal to take the vaccine be an unreasonable failure to … Continue Reading

Employers needled by vaccine refusals, Part 1 – your rights and obligations (UK)

So a government-approved vaccination becomes available and you really want your employees to take it.  Can you just insist, or does the development of the vaccine turn out to have been the easy bit? Here and in further posts to follow shortly are some headline thoughts on the point. Please note that these will be … Continue Reading

An Update Concerning Employer Mandatory Vaccination Policies – COVID-19 (US)

With news reports emerging this week that two companies each have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is more than 90% effective and carries few side effects, and that mass immunizations may begin as early as December 2020, when more than 20 million doses of the vaccines are predicted to be available, employers will soon confront … Continue Reading

Arizona and Three More States Approve Recreational Marijuana Use: Hashing Out What This Means for Employers (US)

For citizens of Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota, 11/3 may become another 4/20, as on Election Day, voters in those states approved initiatives to joining 11 other US states that previously decriminalized recreational adult use of marijuana.[1] Employers in those states however may not be as enthusiastic, since approval of recreational marijuana use … Continue Reading

Belgium – Your employees can’t work from home? Time for a certificate!

We were – as ever – maybe a little late to the party, but as of Monday 2 November, Belgium is in new lockdown, at least until 13 December. Non-essential shops are closed and so-called “professions with direct contact” (beauticians, barbers) are prohibited from working.  Working from home is mandatory, unless this is “impossible due … Continue Reading

WEBINAR – November 5 – Healthcare Employers’ COVID-19 Update: A Practical Discussion of Recent Employment Law Developments Relating to COVID-19 (US)

As part of Squire Patton Boggs’ ongoing focus on COVID-19 pandemic challenges and opportunities, on November 5, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, William J. Kishman and Laura Lawless of the firms’ Labor & Employment Practice Group will host an hour-long discussion aimed at healthcare employers that will focus on some of the key issues that are front … Continue Reading

Government ropes English employers into new self-isolation push

Regulations come into force today which impose new obligations on employers in England to help enforce the coronavirus self-isolation regime. The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 apply to any person who is officially notified (other than via the NHS Smartphone app) that they have tested positive for Coronavirus or been in close … 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

A Guide for Employers Considering A Mandatory Flu Vaccination Policy (US)

As if 2020 hasn’t already presented more than its fair share of challenges, flu season is now rapidly approaching. Combined with the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, employers are more concerned than ever before with ensuring that their employees stay healthy and productive. As a result, many employers are weighing the pros and cons of encouraging, … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Issues Updated Families First Coronavirus Response Act Regulations, But Does Little To Resolve Employer Uncertainty (US)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was enacted on March 18, 2020. The sweeping federal legislation provides emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and expanded paid Family and Medical Leave (EFML) to certain covered workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued regulations implementing the FFCRA … Continue Reading

EEOC Provides Welcome COVID-19-Related Guidance To Employers As Employees Return To The Workplace (US)

On September 8, 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued updated guidance concerning COVID-19 and the workplace. The update provides much-needed answers to questions that have been troubling employers struggling to adapt to circumstances presented by the still-ongoing public health emergency. Can we test employees for COVID-19 prior to allowing them back in … Continue Reading

Post-lockdown working, Part 5 – doing your homework (UK)

The logical extension from the discovery that all or most or your staff can work from home without anything catastrophic happening is to ask yourself whether you actually need an office in the first place.  Obviously it has potential advantages in terms of staff cohesion and corporate identity, but decisions are being made across the … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Hazard Pay for COVID-19 Frontline Workers (US)

On July 16, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a hazard pay grant program to help employers provide additional pay for employees engaged in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  This hazard pay is funded by $50 million from the CARES Act and is intended to recognize and reward frontline workers and to help eligible … Continue Reading

OSHA Updates Guidance On COVID-19-Related Workplace Safety (US)

As businesses continue to reopen and more workers return to the workplace despite significant increases in infection rates in some parts of the country, many questions have surfaced about employers’ obligations to provide employees with a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently updated its informal COVID-19-related guidance to address a number … Continue Reading
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