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Possible impact of Brexit on UK employment law – some informed guesses

So if in some parallel universe you had somehow acquired the ability to strike red lines through EU-derived employment legislation, where would you put them? That is a question I put well before the Brexit Referendum to countless HR audiences, the very people one might think would be straining at the leash to make changes … Continue Reading

Belgium’s new measures on employee illness – headaches for employers?

If I were to rank the employment law questions I receive by popularity, questions around long-term absence, absenteeism and generally how to deal with work incapacity would be right up there, a definite podium finish. The tension between the legitimate frustrations of employers and the no-fault nature of the employees’ absence seems eternal. To give … Continue Reading

The four day working week: revolutionising working life, one day at a time (UK)

The idea of a universal four-day working week – with the reduction in working time intended to bolster productivity and wellbeing – is not new. In 1956 Richard Nixon argued (perhaps a little prematurely) that “the four-day work week is inevitable”; from 2007-2011 Republican politicians in Utah redefined the week for State employees as from … Continue Reading

EEOC Opines Long-Haul COVID-19 Consequences May Constitute ADA Disability (US)

This past summer, we reported that President Biden expressed in a speech commemorating the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that his administration believes “long-haul” COVID may constitute a disability. Unlike mild cases of COVID-19 that resolve in days or weeks, long-haul COVID is marked by chronic symptoms that continue weeks or months … Continue Reading

US Occupational Safety and Health Administration Issues Updated COVID-19 Workplace Safety Guidance, Recommends Indoor Mask Use (US)

In the words of Yogi Berra, it feels like déjà vu all over again. With COVID-19 infections rising again throughout the country, particularly due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant strain, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance on July 27, 2021 (i) recommending that all persons living … Continue Reading

Future of the Workplace webinar 18 March – follow-up questions answered, Part 2 (UK)

Here are a couple more answers to questions coming up at our webinar last week: Do we still need to comply with collective consultation where we are not dismissing, only making contractual changes? Our policy currently removes COVID-related absences from our Bradford factor sickness calculations – should we do the same for adverse reactions to … Continue Reading

Belgium: paid time off takes pain out of employee vaccinations

In order to ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated, the trade unions and the employers’ organisations in the National Labour Council have agreed that employees will be allowed to take the necessary time off to be vaccinated. If enough vaccines are available, at-risk patients will be vaccinated from April onwards and the … Continue Reading

Proposals to amend working time protections denied – “public unconvinced” shock (UK)

On Friday last week the Financial Times reported on proposals from the Business Department to “rip up worker protections” under the current Working Time Regulations.  But simultaneously on BBC News online, look, it’s the Business Secretary himself denying on twitter any notion that his department is planning to dilute UK workers’ rights.  The very idea. … 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

California’s COVID-19 Sick Leave: Expanded and Articulated (US)

AB 1867 was signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 9, 2020. The purpose of the bill is to eliminate gaps in coverage so that many more employee have access to paid sick days if they are exposed to or test positive for COVID-19 in 2020. This means that the new law applies to … Continue Reading

Dealing with health and safety fears of returning to the workplace (UK)

So now that the slow movement back to workplaces has started, the next hot question will be this: “If I don’t want to go back in because I fear infection if I do, can my employer make me?” The short and absolutely definitively answer to this is no.  And yes. It cannot compel you to … Continue Reading

California Governor’s Order Creates Workers’ Compensation Presumption For COVID-19 Diagnosis (US)

As California employers prepare for the gradual re-opening of business, they must now take into consideration Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order N-62-20 executed on May 6, 2020, making any COVID-19 infection diagnosed within two weeks of an individual working outside of their home presumptively work-related. This has the effect for employers of reversing the burden … Continue Reading

EEOC Offers Employers Post-COVID-19 Return-to-Work Pointers (US)

Since early in the pandemic, the EEOC has been maintaining a Technical Assistance Questions and Answers page, which it updates from time to time. As employers’ attention turns to life after COVID-19 and planning for our return to the workplace, on April 17, the EEOC updated its COVID-19 pandemic informal guidance to address the challenges … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Legal Issues in the US

Although the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), commonly referred to as the “coronavirus,” remains a developing situation, it has begun affecting the US in major ways.  With cases now reported throughout the US, every organization should have a plan of action in place concerning the coronavirus.  Although every business faces unique considerations, a cross-disciplinary team of … Continue Reading

Pandemic or Pandemonium? Employers Brace for the Coronavirus (US)

You can’t escape the panic spreading through mass and social media regarding the 2020 Wuhan Novel Coronavirus, a virus that has resulted in fatalities in China and infected thousands worldwide. Symptoms mimic that of influenza (fever, cough), but can include difficulty breathing, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death in severe cases. Despite the panic, there are … Continue Reading

Are Employers Going to be Required to Accommodate Medical Marijuana Use?

State-registered medical cannabis patients may now sue a private employer for discrimination under Massachusetts’ law if they are fired for their off-the-job marijuana use, according to landmark ruling issued July 17, 2017, by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Citing the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act, the court states that patients shall not be denied “any right … Continue Reading

New Acas guidance on holiday pay and accrual during sickness

The Acas National Newsletter for June, out earlier this week, contains some slightly updated advice on the eternal question of how you calculate holiday pay, plus an existential poser on the relationship between sickness and holiday accrual. On the holiday pay front, there remains no steer as to how commission or overtime earnings should be … Continue Reading

Dismissing for long-term sickness – when is enough enough?

Legally-speaking O’Brien – v – Bolton St Catherine’s Academy as reported last week is mostly about how much overlap there is between fairness for unfair dismissal purposes and justification in disability discrimination terms (in brief, very substantial).  It is also a fine illustration of how hard it is to overturn an Employment Tribunal judgement on … Continue Reading

Arizona Voters Approve Paid Sick Leave for Employees and Minimum Wage Increase

The election results are in, and President-elect Donald Trump’s victory over Secretary Hillary Clinton has the nation abuzz and undoubtedly will for the foreseeable future.  However, the Presidential race was not the only notable race or measure on the ballot.  Although the dust hasn’t quite settled from last night’s historic vote, there a number of … Continue Reading

State Law Roundup: Illinois’ New Leave Laws and Non-compete Warning; Sick Leave Comes to Berkeley and St. Paul

Illinois passes two new leave laws; bars non-compete agreements for low wage workers. First, the Child Bereavement Leave Act, which became effective July 29, 2016, requires Illinois employers with 50 or more employees to grant up to two weeks (10 days) of unpaid leave to eligible employees who have lost a child (and 6 weeks … Continue Reading

Recent redundancy exercises – learning points for HR, part 5

Dealing with employee absences and grievances in redundancy consultation You’ve delivered the at risk letter and sent the employee home on pay pending the formal consultation meeting. As an HR professional it is possible that your faith in human nature has become a little corroded over time, so you are not completely surprised when what … Continue Reading
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