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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.

22 June 2022
Great Britain: first court recognition of long COVID as a disability
This unprecedented decision by a Scottish employment tribunal, following an unfair dismissal claim lodged by an employee, is something companies should keep an eye on, not least since until this point the government had been recommending employers not to consider long Covid as a disability and instead to operate on a case-by-case basis.  With this latest employment tribunal decision, the complainant employee will be able to progress his claim and sue his employer for wrongful dismissal.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
12 May 2022
Great Britain: employers recommended not to consider long Covid as a disability
On 09 May, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)*, released an update of its recommendations in which it says that employers should not have to recognise ‘long Covid’ as a disability. As a result, employees living with ‘long Covid’ cannot make recourse to the Equality Act 2010, which protects employees from all forms of discrimination. ‘Discussions continue on whether ‘long Covid’ symptoms constitute a disability. Without case law or scientific consensus, EHRC does not recommend that...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
30 March 2022
Italy: state of health emergency to end on 31 March
The Italian government has decided to gradually lift its anti-Covid measures. The health pass at work, which has been compulsory since 15 October 2021 (c.f. article No.12685), will remain in force until 30 April 2022, as will the wearing of masks in the workplace. While the requirement for those over 50 years of age to be vaccinated does remain in place in theory until 15 June 2022 (breach of which is liable to €100 fine), in practices as of 25 March this age cohort age (c.f. article No.12853) can access the...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
17 March 2022
Germany: Covid-related restrictions on companies to be lifted from 20 March
On Friday 18 March, the Bundestag will vote on an amendment to the Infection Protection Act, which will formalise the rules for lifting many of the protective measures against Covid-19, planned for 20 March. The decision to lift these measures came at the start of the month, at a conference that brought together representatives of Germany’s federal government and the Länder.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
17 March 2022
Brazil: government sends pregnant women back to work
The working conditions for pregnant women have been overhauled by Law 14.311, which was passed by Brazil’s chamber of deputies in February before being validated by President Jair Bolsonaro, of the far-right Liberal Party, on 10 March. Since May last year, pregnant women in Brazil have been entitled to keep their salary, even if their work cannot be done remotely. However, if this law is validated by the Senate, they will have to return to work and adhere to social distancing guidelines to protect themselves...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
1 March 2022
Hong Kong: refusal to get the Covid-19 vaccine may result in employment dismissal
In early February 2022, the Hong Kong government announced that it would amend the Employment Ordinance in order to prevent labour disputes arising from the new social distancing measures. The Employment Amendment Bill was published in the Official Journal on 25 February. Among other things, it provides that workplace absences that fall within the requirements of the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599) must be given one or more sick-leave days and with compensation. In addition, any dismissal on...
Covid-19 Vaccination Managing the fallout of Covid-19
11 February 2022
Germany: short-time working allowance extended until June 2022
Germany’s labour and social affairs minister Hubertus Heil announced on Wednesday 9 February that short-time working is to be paid until the end of June 2022, meaning the measure will have been in place for 28 months instead of months as planned. When announcing the extension of measure, introduced due to the pandemic, the minister said it would be a “real shame to lose healthy companies in the home stretch.” Companies are eligible for short-time working as soon as at least 10% of staff are without work or...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
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