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18 June 2020
France: first legal challenge to the shortening of related works council consultation deadlines due to Covid-19 proves unsuccessful
The ruling on 17 June by a French court of first instance (lower court), came about from what ostensibly appeared as a classic dispute between works council (WC) and company management over the provision of the information necessary for the WC to be able to provide an reasoned opinion as part of a consultation procedure. In fact, the issue grew beyond the scope of a company dispute, because trade unions, expert and lawyers groups joined in to question the shortening of the information and consultation periods,...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
17 June 2020
Japan: record amounts in additional budget directed to saving jobs
On 12 June, Japan’s Diet parliament, approved a second record budget of almost 32 trillion yen (€262 billion) to ‘improve the government’s measures designed to protect lives and livelihoods from Covid-19 and to accelerate economic recovery.’ Included in the budget’s categories are several provisions concerning support for maintaining employment, which although largely intended for enterprises also include direct payments to employees.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
17 June 2020
Chile: the government and the opposition agree on a ‘Covid agreement’ to address the economic and social impact of the pandemic
Late into the night of 14 June, and after weeks of tough negotiations, Sebastián Piñera’s (liberal right) government came to an agreement with the main opposition parties (Socialist Party, Party for Democracy, and Christian Democracy Party), over an ‘Emergency Plan Framework Agreement for the Protection of Family Income and the Reactivation of the Economy and Jobs.’ To this end a new $12 billion program will be set up to finance this extraordinary ‘Covid fund’, which over a 24-month period will be...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
17 June 2020
Germany: employees’ rights during internal investigations are laid out in draft legislation on ‘integrity in the economy’
On, 16 June, Germany’s Federal Council of Ministers adopted the draft “Act to strengthen integrity in the economy.’ Criticized by the Employers’ Federations, but provided for in the ruling coalition contract, the legislation brings together a series of measures that are much stricter than before, and that apply to companies in which one or more employees have been guilty of wrongdoing. When the text, which is to be put to the vote in the Bundestag before the summer recess, becomes law, the...
16 June 2020
Great Britain: government clarifies new arrangements for short-time work
The guide to applying the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (short-time working scheme) has been revised to take new measures into account and in particular to allow for the possibility from 01 July of combining ‘furlough’ arrangements with work. This umpteenth update also specifies that the scheme officially closes to new entrants on 30 June, but will, as an exception, remain open to employees who were on parental leave during the peak of the pandemic.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
16 June 2020
Italy: businesses will be able to use the ‘Cassa Integrazione’ (short time work) without interruption
On 15 June, Italy’s Council of Ministers approved a decree-law guaranteeing the continuity of the ‘Cassa Integrazione’ (CIG redundancy fund, short time work scheme) that was set up to cope with Covid-19, and as well as derogating from the usual mechanisms. The decree-laws ‘Cura Italia’ (March 2020) and ‘Relaunch’ (May 2020) (c.f. article No. 11726 and No. 11936) have provided finance for a total of 18 weeks of partial unemployment, with 4 of those earmarked for September and October. Many companies...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
15 June 2020
Netherlands: government, unions and employers strike deal that paves the way for implementation of pension reform
On Friday 12 June, the government, trade unions and employers in the Netherlands reached an agreement to finalise the pension reform, the broad outlines of which had already been agreed a year earlier. The agreement has yet to be submitted to the organisations’ members. Should social partners confirm their agreement with the compromise, the country’s government is expected to quickly adopt the draft law and submit it. The details of the agreement’s text are not known, but it should allow for the...
12 June 2020
EU: the reference period for classifying collective redundancies must be as wide as possible (Opinion of the Advocate General in a case involving Spanish law)
Must the reference period (30 or 90 days) for collective redundancies, as laid down by relevant 1998 EU Directive 98/59, and which is used to classify a redundancy as collective or not based on the number of employment contract terminations occurring during that period, precede, succeed or overlap the ending of an employment contract for an employee seeking to benefit from the more...
11 June 2020
Germany: employers seriously concerned over tighter regulations for temporary employment and contracting work
Following a long series of scandals within Germany’s meat industry and its large slaughterhouses, the Federal Council of Ministers adopted a bill on 20 May 2020 that drastically restricts recourse to contracting work (Werkverträge, excludes workers from labour law protection) in this specific sector from 2021. The Social Democrats and some of the trade unions believe that this ‘pilot project’ should be extended to all sectors of the economy. These announcements pose serious concerns for German employers.