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Managing the fallout of Covid-19

You will find here all the Planet Labor articles covering the initiatives of public authorities and social partners as they seek to manage the economic and social repercussions of the coronavirus outbreak.

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
2 December 2021
Portugal: telework to be mandatory for employees in post-holiday period between 02-09 January 2022
On 20 November and facing a resurgence in the Covid-19 epidemic right across the country, Portugal’s government presented a series of reinforced measurestaken in the Council of Ministers as part of the new state of emergency. These measures include the compulsory wearing of masks in the workplace, ‘except for isolated positions where there is physical separation between workstations.’ While remote working is currently only a recommendation, the government has announced that schools will be closed between 02...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
30 November 2021
Belgium: federal government imposes 4 days of telework per week
On 17 November and faced with a resurgence in the number of Covid-19 cases, the Belgian authorities decided to modify the Royal Decree of 28 October 2021 and to make telework compulsory again in order to “limit the number of contacts, as well as reducing the number of people on public transport during peak times and thus avoiding their inability to uphold social distancing rules”. From 20 November until 12 December, all people whose work permits it, “regardless of the nature of their employment...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
6 October 2021
Great Britain: creation of a hospitality council to support the sector exit the crisis
The Hospitality Council is a UK Government initiative that it set up to help the authorities identify the best support strategy at a time when the hospitality industry is attempting to recover now some of the effects of the pandemic are starting to recede. The council comprises 22 industry experts, including executives from companies such as Deliveroo and Burger King, and representatives of industry associations.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
29 September 2021
Spain: government extends short-time working mechanisms and introduces an training incentive
On September 28 the government’s Council of Ministers approved an extension to the ERTE arrangements (Expediente de Regulación Temporal de Empleo extraordinary temporary employment regulations) for employees and to the reduction of charges on employers provided they ensure training for those who remain on ERTE arrangements. The reduction in social security contributions can reach up to 80% for companies that provide training courses to employees on short-time working. These new measures will apply from 01...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
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
11 January 2021
Spain: social partners strike initial agreement to extend short time working mechanisms to 31 May
The Spanish government and social partners have agreed to extend temporary employment regulation plans (ERTEs, equivalent of short time working) enacted due to the reduction in business volumes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. The mechanism should be extended until 31 May, in what would represent the fourth extension of the ERTE mechanism, set up in March 2020 (see article nº11729) to address the first lockdown, then extended and adjusted in May, June and September last year (see articles nº 11920,...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
18 December 2020
United Kingdom: government extends Job Retention Scheme until end of April
Having extended its furlough scheme until 31 March, the UK government decided on 17 December to push its end date further back, this time to 30 April 2021. Dubbed the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the short-time working measure sees the government contribute 80% of the salary of employees for hours not worked. Having previously been exempted from all payments when the Job Retention Scheme was launched in March (see article n°11771), companies must now cover pay for hours worked as well as national insurance...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
30 November 2020
Spain: individuals on short-time working given priority access to training
Published in the Spanish Official Gazette (BOE) on 27 November, a decree from the country’s labour ministry establishes priority access to vocational training for individuals affected by furlough measures as part of the ERTE (Expediente de Regulación Temporal de Empleo) scheme. This applies both in cases of furlough in the event of force majeure, directly linked to Covid-19, and those for technical, organisational or production reasons.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
10 November 2020
Greece: new economy and employment supports implemented alongside fresh lockdown restrictions
On 07 November Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis imposed a minimum three-week national lockdown in a bid to manage the sudden escalation in the number of new coronavirus cases. With the new restrictions, companies must put at least 50% of their staff on telework arrangements. Alongside this the state salary-support program is extended for companies undergoing reduced activity.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19