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13 April 2021
Germany: Covid-19 screening in companies becomes mandatory
As of 19 April, all private and public sector companies must offer all their onsite employees a rapid Covid antigen test, free of charge, at least once a week. This testing requirement will remain in effect until 30 June 2021 along with the other measures contained in the ‘Coronavirus related Occupational...
13 April 2021
Ireland: parental leave extended to 5 weeks
As of 01 April 2021, parents of a child born or adopted on or after 01 November 2019, can now take an additional three weeks of parental leave bringing the total number to five weeks. The Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2021 increases paid parental leave from 2 to 5 weeks per parent. It also...
9 April 2021
Health crisis exposes shortcomings of EU member states’ welfare systems
European Union member states were all compelled by the Covid-19 pandemic to implement urgent reforms to their welfare systems. According to a study of social protection during the Covid-19 pandemic, conducted by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), the independent research and training centre of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), 24 out of the 27 EU member states have increased the amount or duration of unemployment or income support benefits, or broadened the eligibility conditions for such aid....
8 April 2021
Great Britain: have big companies set aside the gender pay gap issue?
While the U.K. has given companies with at least 250 staff an extra six months to publish their gender pay gap data (c.f. article No. 12377), only one out of four met the initial 04 April deadline. HR experts are worried about this lack of momentum and especially since the situation for females at work has deteriorated alongside the Covid-19 crisis.
7 April 2021
Mexico: government secures agreement on outsourcing regulations with employers’ and unions’ organizations
On 05 April, Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that a tripartite agreement regulating outsourcing had been secured, following several months of negotiations between the employers bodies and their closest trade unions, and ending the impasse since November 2020 over the passage of an executive bill (c.f. article No. 12269) banning the practice of outsourcing workers. The bill had previously provoked an outcry from employer organizations.  Three main points have emerged from the...
2 April 2021
Mexico: Supreme Court endorses new rules on trade union democracy under 2019 labour reform
The highest court in Mexico has defended and reaffirmed a range of articles from the 2019 labour reform, including direct, secret and free ballots for trade union elections, the transparency requirement for trade unions in their budgetary management and the new rules for collective bargaining instituted by the reform. The result is twelve legal precedents that are now binding for Mexico’s new labour courts.
1 April 2021
Ireland: new code of practice gives employees the right to disconnect
On 01 April, Ireland’s prime minister, Taoiseach M. Martin, along with the deputy prime minister, Tánaiste L. Varadkar signed a new code of practice formulated by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) that gives all employees the right to disconnect from work. This measure has been included in the new code as a prescriptive instrument and as such is not wholly binding. Separately and as part of a commitment to creating family-friendly working arrangements, the Tánaiste also opened a consultation inviting...
1 April 2021
Italy: Autostrade’s innovative agreement allows smart working parents 90 minutes of time off every morning to help children with online schooling
With schools closed in a large part of the country and only set to gradually reopen after the Easter period, the agreement signed on 18 March at Autostrade per l’Italia (Aspi, Italy’s major motorway management company), and which runs for one month from 22 March, provides agile working parents a specific ‘right to disconnect’ for 1.5 hours every morning, so they can support...
31 March 2021
Germany: government adopts the bill to ‘modernize’ Works Councils
On 31 March and following several frustrated attempts due to blocking by the conservative wing (CDU/CSU), the bill to ‘support’ Works Councils that Minister of Employment and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil (SPD) presented in December 2020 was finally adopted by the federal government Council of Ministers. The future law renamed the ‘Works Council Modernization Law’ (Betriebsrätemodernisierungsgesetz), aims to facilitate procedures for WC constitution, and for the election and work of employee...
31 March 2021
Ireland: government and social partners to work on overhauling industrial relations
A comprehensive review of industrial relations. On 30 March the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar announced the review of a system he considers to be excessively dependent on the voluntary approach by players. A high-level working group, under the aegis of the Labour Employer Economic Forum, which brings together representatives of employers and trade unions with Government Ministers to discuss economic, employment and labour market issues, will meet to draw up proposals for...
30 March 2021
New Zealand: government introduces parental bereavement leave after miscarriage
On 24 March New Zealand’s parliament unanimously adopted a new right giving mothers who suffer a miscarriage along with their partners partners, to 3-days of paid bereavement leave. This new right will be effective in a few weeks, following royal assent. Ginny Andersen, Labour MP, who initiated the taboo-breaking legislation stated, “Their grief is not a sickness, it is a loss. And loss takes time.” New Zealand law specifies that going forward all miscarriages will be come under scope, irrespective of their...