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24 February 2021
EU: European Commission launches its first phase consultation of social partners on platform workers
On 24 February and as part of its considerations on how best to improve working conditions for platform workers, the European Commission launched its first phase consultation of the European social partners as a way to inform the direction of the debate. The document identifies both the challenges and problems with platform working as well as possible solutions at European level. Failing a decision by the social partners to enter into negotiations, the European Commission is expected to publish a second...
24 February 2021
Italy: only the occupational physician i.e. not the employer can collect employee vaccination information (Italian Data Protection Agency)
While getting inoculated against Covid-19 is not compulsory in Italy, an issue currently being debated among labor lawyers is whether or not employers can terminate the employment contract of someone (or not hire someone) who refuses the Covid-19 vaccination. On 17 February, the Italian Data Protection Agency (Garante Per La Protezione Dei Dati Personali- GPDP) set an important...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
24 February 2021
Great Britain: large companies given a 6-month delay for publishing their ‘gender pay gap’ data.
After the government’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) cancelled the mandatory publication of gender pay gap data by large companies for 2020 (c.f. article No.11757), due to the coronavirus pandemic, the national equality body has announced it would not commence enforcement proceedings on employers who fail to publish their gender pay gap data until 05 October. This means that large private companies, which are required to publish gender pay gap data before 04 April, will be given a 6-month reprieve...
23 February 2021
Great Britain: employers can legally refuse to hire job candidates who have not had a Covid-19 vaccine
UK Justice Secretary, Robert Buckland has acknowledged that employers can legally insist that new employees are vaccinated against Covid-19. The legality of the ‘no jab no job’ clause will depend “very much on the terms of employment and the particular contract,” the secretary said, however, adding that he would be ” surprised if there were contracts of employment existing now that did make that approach lawful.” “The issue would have to be tested,” he added. In the wake of this...
22 February 2021
France: campaign for Covid-19 vaccines administered by occupational physicians to be launched shortly
France’s labour ministry has sent instructions to occupational health services (médecine du travail) as regards the implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, the daily newspaper Les Echos reported on Monday 22 February. Occupational doctors will be able to take part in the Covid-19 vaccination campaign in France. Starting this week, occupational physicians that volunteer to take part in the campaign will receive an initial delivery of a vial containing 10 doses. This quota may be increased to two or...
22 February 2021
Finland: parental leave reform announced to boost uptake by fathers
At a press conference held on 16 February, Finland’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen announced a reform of the country’s parental leave system, which would extend parental leave by one month. The primary aim of the reform push, however, is to encourage fathers to make use of their leave allowance, so as to promote professional equality among men and women.
22 February 2021
Germany: labour minister plans to increase financial support for companies hiring apprentices
Hubertus Heil, Germany’s Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, of the SPD party, has said in an interview that many companies are reluctant to offer apprenticeship positions due to the uncertain economic backdrop. “A collapse in the availability of apprenticeships would be fatal for everyone,” the minister says, adding: “That is why I will be presenting a new support system for apprenticeships in March.” In concrete terms, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs intends to significantly...
19 February 2021
United Kingdom: Supreme Court rules that Uber drivers are “workers”
After years of legal proceedings, the UK’s Supreme Court, the country’s highest court, ruled on 19 February that the drivers operating via the US application Uber should not be considered as self-employed but rather as “workers” (see the UK government’s definition here), who are thereby entitled to a minimum wage and paid holiday, even if they are not “employees”. This ground-breaking decision – which is likely to shake up the gig economy – will improve the working conditions of tens of...
17 February 2021
Italy: Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s policy statement to Parliament outlines a wide-ranging program for a ‘new Reconstruction’
Mario Draghi, Italy’s newly sworn in Prime Minister and head of a ‘unity government’ that ranges from the left to the extreme right, is committed to “fighting the pandemic and to fighting the economic crisis.” His policy statement, read out on 17 February in the Senate, shows a willingness to face not only the emergency situation, but also the major issues of the time, namely future generations, ecological transition, digitalization, and gender parity. Aware of the concerns raised by the inclusion of...
16 February 2021
Great Britain: Scottish court blocks the Tesco supermarket ‘fire & rehire’ strategy
During this boom time for certain companies since the Covid-19 pandemic, an increasing number of them have been resorting to the ‘fire & rehire’ practice, whereby employees are forced to quit their jobs and sign new employment contracts for the same positions, but with less favorable working conditions. However, the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Scotland’s supreme civil court, has just ruled in favour of the Usdaw (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers) and temporarily blocked Tesco...