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21 January 2022
China: parental leave extended in all provinces
Most Chinese provinces adopted new local rules on family planning through the second half of last year, with significant extensions to parental leave and the introduction of childcare leave, providing allowances that are more generous than those granted by national regulations. Such developments are in...
18 January 2022
Austria: more flexible recruitment procedures for 66 professions with labour shortages
Updated every year, Austria’s list of professions classed as suffering from labour shortages and for which the Austrian national hiring preference does not apply has increased from 45 to 66, marking This is the largest increase ever recorded in the Skilled Workers Ordinance (Fachkräfteverordnung 2022), and a sign that despite the slowdown in some sectors due to the pandemic (tourism, catering), skilled labour shortages continue to grow. The 66 professions on the list is wide ranging including roofers, welders,...
17 January 2022
Italy: 2022 budget law contains significant social measures
With a reform of unemployment insurance, measures to facilitate the management of business crises, a tightening of rules on internships for young people and employers who intend to relocate, as well as a partial pension reform, Italy’s 2022 budget law reshapes a range of rules in the country’s social sphere.
17 January 2022
United Kingdom: employers required to supply personal protective equipment to “workers”
From 6 April, UK businesses will be required to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to “workers” who are exposed to health or safety risks in the workplace. It should be noted that the status of “worker”, which is specific to the United Kingdom, does not entitle an individual to the same level of rights as that of “employee”. Nevertheless, workers benefit from certain rights such as paid holiday and a minimum wage, thereby enjoying more guarantees than self-employed workers. UK companies are...
14 January 2022
United States: no vaccine mandate for large companies
The plans of US president Joe Biden’s administration to make vaccination against Covid-19 mandatory at companies with 100 employees or more have been dashed. In a ruling passed on 13 January, the Supreme Court blocked the mandate introduced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The requirement was set to apply to some 80 million people and would have entered into force on 14 January (see article n°12779). However, the highest court in the US ruled that the Biden administration had no...
14 January 2022
Italy: vaccination mandatory for over-50s under stricter workplace rules
Under the decree law issued by the Italian government on 7 January, which contains new measures to slow the surge in Covid-19 infections, those over the age of 50 are required to be vaccinated against the virus (including with the third ‘booster’ dose). From 15 February, all employees over the age of 50, in both the private and public sectors, will therefore be required to present a health pass that proves they have been vaccinated against Covid or have recovered from the virus to access their workplace. It is...
13 January 2022
Germany: the Minister of Labour wants to create a right to telework
As the resurgence of Covid-19 and its Omicron variant makes teleworking once again mandatory in Germany for all employees for whom this form of working is possible, Hubertus Heil, German Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, has announced his intention to establish this system within everyday working life on a long term basis, by introducing a ‘right to telework.’ For the Social Democrat Minister, it is a question of drawing lessons from the “large-scale teleworking experiment” that the coronavirus crisis...
hybrid work Remote work regulations
13 January 2022
Austria: Long Covid, a work-related illness or not?
In Austria a debate is started to emerge on whether or not Long Covid can be classified as an occupational illness. On 09 January 2022 Brigitte Anderl, President of the National Chamber of Labour, to which all Austrian employees are officially affiliated, called for Long Covid to be placed on the official list of occupational illnesses. Such a listing would make it easier for employees suffering Long Covid to access rehabilitation care and, if necessary, disability pensions.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
11 January 2022
Germany: controversy surrounding the announced rise in the minimum salary to €12 per hour
On 09 January 2022 and in line with one of the SPD’s major election promises, Social Democrat Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Hubertus Heil, informed the German Dpa news that the legal minimum wage would be raised “from 2022” to €12 per hour, versus the current level of €9.82, and that he would present a bill along these lines “in the coming weeks”. Although expected, this announcement immediately reignited the controversy surrounding this measure.
10 January 2022
EU: minimum wage set to be introduced in Cyprus this year
Of the six European Union member states yet to introduce a minimum wage, Cyprus appears set to be the first to do so, in what could be a first impact of the directive presented by the European Commission at the start of December. The measure promised by the Cyprian government follows talks between social partners, launched at the end of the summer. The minimum wage announced will be around €1,000 per month, which equates to 52.1% of the average wage recorded in the third quarter of 2021 (€1,916) and, as a...
6 January 2022
China’s new trade union law strengthens Communist Party control
On 24 December 2021, the National People’s Congress adopted a series of amendments to the Trade Union Law of the People’s Republic of China, which will become effective on 01 January 2022. Originally adopted in 1992, this law was amended in 2001 and then again in 2009, and it has gradually extended trade union rights within companies themselves. The new amendments do not fundamentally change the previously established rules of the game. So, while the right to form and join a trade union is universal,...