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10 July 2020
United Kingdom: High Court permits union to challenge government on lack of protections for gig economy workers
On 9 July, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain revealed that the UK High Court has granted the union permission to challenge health and safety legislation in the country. Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the IWGB will be able to proceed with a so-called judicial review and ask for a judge to rule on whether the UK government has failed in its obligation to transpose health and safety directives from EU law into UK law. The IWGB believes that, although according to the European directives all workers...
10 July 2020
France: companies cannot propose to their employees that they waive salary increases provided for by collective agreement (court decision)
The ruling handed down on 30 June under emergency procedures recalls the fundamental principles of the predominance of the collective agreement over the individual agreement and of the most advantageous agreement, even if this was not at issue in the case. At issue was Michelin’s decision, following the refusal of a trade union organization to sign an amendment to a previous...
9 July 2020
UK: job retention bonus payment for employers bringing back employees after furlough
On 08 July the UK government unveiled a vast post-Covid recovery plan that looks to inject £30 billion pounds (€33 billion). Dubbed the ‘Plan for Jobs’, the package of measures includes a £1,000 per employee payment made to companies bringing back employees who were previously placed on the job retention scheme (furlough), incentives to hire apprentices, and reimbursement for certain types of young people’s contracts.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
8 July 2020
Ikea will return government aid for short-time working to nine countries
The Swedish furniture giant has announced its intention to reimburse EUR 500,000 to the Portuguese government for the salary support it received from the state to pay Ikea employees who were placed on short time working during the coronavirus pandemic. Under the current short-time working system the state social security scheme pays 2/3 of the salary (reduced by 30%). Ikea has estimated that the upturn in business activity and turnover occurring during the easing of lockdown conditions makes this reimbursement...
7 July 2020
Italy: Constitutional Court rejects one the Jobs Act’s flagship measures and returns more leeway to judges for setting compensation in cases of unfair employment dismissal
At the end of June, Italy’s Constitutional Court examined the constitutional questions raised by the courts of Bari and Rome over the criteria used to determine the severance pay due to workers who were hired under the ‘rising levels of employment protection contract’ after March 2015 and who were subsequently individually and unfairly dismissed. In a statement preceding the...
2 July 2020
Chile: legislation on remote working comes into force
While in neighbouring Argentina, legislation regulating remote working is currently under parliamentary examination (Congress adopted the bill on 25 June), Chile’s law regulating this form of work, which was adopted in March (c.f. article No.11782) came into force on 01 July. Below we detail various aspects including compliance with and derogation from the rules on working time, the right to disconnect from work, and payment for expenses.
Remote work regulations
1 July 2020
Germany: a 4-step 12% rise in hourly minimum salary to €10.45 by 01 July 2022
On 30 June, the Minimum Salary Commission announced that the universal minimum salary would increase from the current €9.35 to €10.45 per hour by 01 July 2022.  Debate continued right to the wire on how to change the minimum salary level at a time when the German economy is suffering violent aftershocks from the health crisis lockdown. A four-step increase was finally agreed upon.
29 June 2020
Germany: self-employed woman granted right to know the wages of male colleagues on permanent contracts
Germany’s Federal Labour Court (BAG) ruled in favour of freelance political journalist Birte Meier on Thursday 25 June, when she demanded the right to know the salary levels of her male colleagues on permanent contracts (case Az. 8 AZR 145/19). Since 2007, the journalist has been working for an investigative programme on Germany’s second largest public TV station, ZDF, as a freelance journalist but under conditions similar to those of employees on permanent contracts. In 2014, Ms Meier discovered that her...
26 June 2020
Spain: agreement to extend state support for short time working until 30 September
On 25 June, the Spanish government and social partners reached an agreement on the conditions for extending the short time working arrangements that were implemented when the state of alert was declared in the country and economic activity was paralysed by the Covid-19 pandemic. This second ‘social agreement in defence of employment’ comes after weeks of tense negotiations between Spain’s labour ministry, the CEOE and Cepyme employer confederations, and the CCOO and UGT trade unions. The agreement will be...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
25 June 2020
France: contours drawn for future short time working provisions under common law and as a long-term measure
On 24 June, French President, Emmanuel Macron gave a presentation to the social partners outlining the contours of the future short time working provisions that were formulated following a process of social consultations. In addition to the long-term measures already announced as an emergency bill (c.f. article No. 11981), there will be a new common law measure with enhanced protection as compared to that prior to the health crisis, the new arrangements for which will take effect on 1 October, and will replace the...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19