25 September 2020
On 24 September the UK government unveiled its Job Support Scheme as part of its efforts to combat the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme will see the government pay for a portion of hours not worked in order to lessen the burden on companies and support jobs. This measure, which is similar to support systems in France and Germany, will however be reserved to employees doing at least 33% of their usual working hours. It will be effective for a period of six months from 1 November and replaces...
17 September 2020
The 31 August 2020 agreement marks the completion of a process of reflection that commenced in March, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, and that focused on revising the short-time working system. Context related adjustment is thus giving way to a more structural revision that offers more flexibility in terms of arrangements for reduced activity and also broadens the benefits.
17 September 2020
Germany: short-time working scheme is extended until the end of 2021 (updated with details on social security contribution cover for those on short-time working)
On 16 September Germany’s Federal Council of Ministers (Bundeskabinett) passed the ‘Law on job security in light of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic” (Gesetz zur Beschäftigungssicherung), which will extend the length of time companies and employees can benefit from the short-time work scheme, ‘adapted to the Covid-19 period’. Two related decrees were also...
16 September 2020
Italy’s Labor Minister Nunzia Catalfo has convened a meeting with the social partners during the week 21 September to reflect on a reform to Law 81 of 2017 (that establishes smart working), in order to make some necessary adjustments in light of the post-Covid context. Rethinking smart working is all the more urgent since the end of the health related state of emergency, set for 15 October will sound the death knell for the exceptional measures that were taken during the country’s lockdown period to...
15 September 2020
On 15 September a decree published in the Official Journal (here) opened a small door for workers who have worked in establishments particularly exposed to the risk of Covid-19 contamination and solely for the most severe forms of the virus. Indeed, this decree provides for the automatic official recognition of SARS-CoV2 as an occupational disease for all caregivers, and maintenance and administrative staff who have worked in the field of healthcare or medical-social institutions and who have suffered from acute...
14 September 2020
Portugal: remote working or flexible working hours recommended (and compulsory in Lisbon and Porto) due to re-emergence of Covid-19
The Portuguese government has recommended that remote working or telework should be in place wherever possible. This measure was decided in the Council of Ministers as part of the plan to combat Covid-19 on Thursday 10 September. Telework is also compulsory when a company cannot guarantee implementation of the directives issued by the Directorate-General of Health of Portugal (DGS). If remote working is not possible, companies must introduce a rotation system, staggered working hours and breaks at different times....
10 September 2020
Austria’s short time working allowance, one of Europe’s most generous, in so far as it covers between 80% and 90% of the employee’s latest net salary, will be extended beyond the initially planned end date of 01 October 2020. As such, companies can, until March 2021, continue filing applications for a maximum of 6 months. Following two earlier extensions of the short-time working provision, each of which was for three months, the government and the social partners agreed at the end of July on this latest...
7 September 2020
While the UK press had announced at the end of August that the Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson would be unveiling a ‘back to work’ plan, the government ended up denying it had any intention of encouraging employees to return to their deserted office buildings. This surprise U-turn may be because of the mixed reception the ‘back to work’ initiative has received at a time when the virus continues to circulate.
3 September 2020
France: a recovery plan to promote ecological transition, economic sovereignty and competitiveness, with employment as a priority
100 billion euros is set to be injected into the economy until 2022 as part of the ‘France Recovery’ plan that the government presented on 03 September. From this more than 15 billion euros will be allocated to measures that directly support employment. The majority of these measures have already been announced and include the ‘one youth, one solution’ plan, the ‘long-term short time working scheme’, and training funding for employees and job seekers, all of which aim to provide France with the...
2 September 2020
The Netherlands: tripartite agreement to extend support measures for companies dealing with a fall-off in business
The Dutch Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW, Tijdelijke Noodmaatregel Overbrugging voor Werkbehoud) that provides employee salary compensation support is to be extended in an altered form until July 2021. An agreement reached between the government and trade union and management organizations on 27 August extends the NOW provision (NOW3) under new and adjusted salary payment conditions, which will be paid to companies during periods of reduced business activity.