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2 April 2020
Austria: social partner agreement for faster access to partial unemployment
On 01 April, the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB) and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ) announced that they had reached an agreement “for maintaining company operations”, which in particular provides for faster procedures for partial-unemployment  applications. Going forward, the formerly mandatory WKÖ agreement for each request concerning “Covid-19 partial unemployment” (c.f. article No. 11724) will in principle already have been acquired. The “Austrian Employment...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
2 April 2020
Argentina: job layoffs banned for 60 days
A decree published on 31 March declared that Argentina’s government was banning jobs layoffs for the next 60 days. Already struggling after two straight years of recession, the economy is suffering the full force of the Covid-19 related consequences with production halted across the country, and  notably since the government proactively implemented total lockdown conditions on 20 March. ‘It is absolutely essential that jobs are safeguarded for a reasonable period of time in order to preserve social peace and this is only possible by way of urgent multi-level social dialogue rather than via unilateral measures,’ the decree declared and...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
2 April 2020
Great Britain: Supreme Court rules that supermarket chain Morrisons is not responsible for the data leak by a ‘disgruntled’ former employee
On 01 April and following years of proceedings, the UK’s highest court  ruled that the Morrisons supermarket chain was not vicariously liable for a web-based data leak of personal information for 100,000 staff that was carried out by an employee seeking revenge. The ruling comes as a relief for employers worried over being held responsible in these types of cases that could prove...
1 April 2020
France: another series of Labor Code emergency related ordinances to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic
On 01 April France’s Council of Ministers adopted a further five ordinances as applied by the Emergency Law (c.f. article No. 11749), which was enacted to empower the government to modify certain aspects of the Labor Code in order to mitigate the economic and employment impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. One of the five facilitates the recourse to video-conferencing for holding WC meetings and relaxes the opinions procedure for certain issues. Another of the five  addresses the purchasing power bonus that...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
1 April 2020
Japan: ‘equal pay for equal work’ principle comes into effect
Coming into force on 01 April in Japan is an ‘equal pay for equal work’ principle that aims to narrow pay differentials between regular and irregular workers. This represents a fundamental development for the country that has almost 40% of its active labor force in precarious forms of employment.
1 April 2020
Chile: a national index for employment quality to be formulated
On 16 March Chile’s Labor Ministry together with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) signed a partnership agreement for an expert committee to be set up in the next few months and formulate an employment quality index
31 March 2020
France: court decision interprets a clause of an EWC agreement providing for a minimum number of seats for non-French delegates
If a clause of an agreement establishing a European Works Council provides for a minimum representation of delegates from countries other than that of the parent company, does this imply that there can be no additional representatives from those countries? A decision handed down on 28 January 2020 by the Court of Paris, based on the principle of balanced representation provided for in the European Works Council directive and the intention of the parties, states that this clause sets a minimum for representation,...
EWC agreements and recast directive
31 March 2020
Chile: promulgation of the ‘distance work and telework law’
More than eighteen months after its initial drafting, the coronavirus pandemic alongside the outlook for a serious nationwide economic and social crisis have provided the necessary impetus for the definitive adoption on 23 March of legislation modifying the country’s Labor Code that regulates and supervizes distance work. The new law was officially  published on 26 March (here) and comes into effect within 30 days.
30 March 2020
Spain: government halts all non-essential activities and bans redundancies resulting from consequences of the pandemic
On 29 March the Spanish government put the country into “hibernation” through a decree that only allows essential activities to continue, so as to limit the movement of people and therefore the spread of Covid-19. Under another decree, published the day before, dismissals for force majeure or objective reasons of an economic, technical, organisational or production-related nature, resulting from the impact of the coronavirus, will not be deemed justified as long as the health crisis lasts.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19