Tag Archives: coronavirus

Second thoughts for employers facing new pandemic measures (UK)

Boris’ press conference on Saturday night addressed one key question and left another unanswered. In his late start, overturning of previous statements and an expression more hunted than Ronnie Biggs, the Prime Minister showed clearly that the pandemic holds the reins of power at present, not the Government.  On the other hand, after six months … 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

Belgian Ministry of Employment blows hot and cold on pre-return temperature checks

In an attempt to keep Covid-19 out of the workplace, many employers have been inquiring about the possibility of performing temperature checks before employees enter their premises each day. The Belgian Ministry of Employment’s position until last week was fairly relaxed: its FAQ document referred to the stance taken by the Belgian Data Protection Authority, … 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

WEBINAR April 21 – US ESH Webinar Series – COVID-19: Safety and Health Law on the New Frontier (US)

While COVID-19 has turned everyone’s focus toward safety and health generally, it has forced US employers specifically to focus on the safety and health of their employees during an unprecedented time. Employers in the US have common law and statutory duties to ensure safe workplaces, but the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly disrupted many of the … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS – The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Five of a Five-Part Series (US)

Previous installments of our series analyzing in detail the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the regulations interpreting that law issued by the US Department of Labor addressed the following issues: Part One – employee eligibility and employer coverage; Part Two – the coronavirus-specific circumstances why eligible employees may take paid leave; Part Three … Continue Reading

HMRC quizzed by Parliamentary Treasury Committee on Job Retention Scheme (UK)

Here is a quick glimpse behind the scenes of parliamentary process – some highlights from the Parliamentary Treasury Committee meeting yesterday when officials from HMRC were quizzed by the Committee about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, plus some thoughts of our own in bold. The new scheme will be up and running on 20 April … Continue Reading

SPB IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS:  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act – Part Two of a Five-Part Series (US)

In the first part of our in-depth analysis of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and its accompanying regulations, we addressed employer coverage and employee eligibility issues under the new law.   In the second installment of this series, we turn to looking at the coronavirus-specific reasons upon which an employee can obtain FFCRA leave, … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – first two weeks on the front line (UK)

As anyone who has spent the last fortnight trying to apply the Government’s CJRS knows, there is currently no actual law.  Bar some guidance clearly not written by employment or HR specialists (hence indiscriminate references to workers and employees, and use of “laid-off” to mean both put on leave without pay and made redundant), pretty … Continue Reading

Revised rules on holiday carry-over don’t fully resolve employer’s concerns (UK)

Hot on the heels of my piece about the inevitable build-up of holiday entitlements thwarted by the Coronavirus comes the announcement by the Government that the Working Time Regulations are to be amended to allow the carry‑forward of up to four weeks holiday from 2020 to be taken over the following two years. The Working … Continue Reading

The positive side-effects of staying close to employees in isolation (UK)

What a difference a week makes. By now, businesses, offices and families all across the United Kingdom are coming to terms with the recommendation that (where possible) people self-isolate as the UK Government seeks to “spread the peak” of the Coronavirus pandemic. Ignoring the seismic impact this has had upon businesses and industries, there 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
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