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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.

16 March 2020
Portugal: simplified short-time working scheme and other business support measures adopted to tackle the coronavirus crisis
The new simplified regime enters into force on 16 March 2020 in order to deal with the coronavirus epidemic. The package of extraordinary measures adopted on 13 March also includes social protection measures for workers that have to stay at home to look after children as well as to protect the self-employed (using the so-called green receipts system) who are experiencing a drop in business volumes.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
16 March 2020
Italy: social partners sign protocol on measures to battle coronavirus in the workplace
Pressed by the government to establish uniform guidelines to guarantee the safety of employees in the workplace, the Cgil, Cisl and Uil unions and the employer organisations Confindustria, Confapi and Confartigianato (large and small industrial and craft enterprises) reached a memorandum of understanding on Saturday. It took the social partners 18 hours of negotiations to develop these operational guidelines, which apply as of today to all companies. An agreement was much needed, with workers spontaneously walking...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
13 March 2020
Spain: employer and union organisations come together to demand exceptional measures to quickly ease impact of coronavirus
The CCOO and UGT trade unions, as well as the employer confederations CEOE and Cepyme, have together drawn up a document setting out their joint proposals for dealing with the coronavirus and cushioning the impact of the health crisis on companies and employment. They set out their demands through a videoconference with the head of state on Thursday 12 March. In particular, they are calling for the recourse to partial or temporary unemployment to be simplified, as well as extraordinary measures to reduce the time...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
13 March 2020
Argentina: new waves of branch negotiations to take place against ever uncertain backdrop
Sectoral wage negotiations are in full swing in Argentina, against an economic backdrop that is as uncertain as it is tough. These are the first such talks to take place since the centre-left government of Alberto Fernández came to power in December. Wage increases in fixed tranches appear to be the approach being favoured, for example by the commerce sector trade union, so as to avoid feeding into the inflation outlook while reinvigorating the purchasing power of the lowest paid. Although the restoration of...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
12 March 2020
Great Britain: a coronavirus themed budget
As expected, Covid-19 was the main focus for the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak’s first budget that he presented to parliament on 11 March. In it £30 billion (€34.1 billion) will be used to bolster the UK as it attempts to withstand what the WHO has now termed a pandemic situation. Trade unions however were critical of the lack of concrete support for independent and gig economy workers who may have to enter quarantine. The budget also intends for leave for premature births (Neonatal Leave and Pay) and an increase in the minimum salary level.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
11 March 2020
United States: coronavirus outbreak highlights inequalities in paid sick leave and relaunches debate on sick leave rights
Until now the US has opposed paid sick leave. This stance may be changing as the coronavirus takes a grip over the nation. Democrats are putting forward draft sick-leave legislation and the Republican President, Donald Trump appears willing to listen. According to Labor Ministry statistics, as things currently stand, one in four employees (32 million) have no access to paid sick leave and featuring among them are those in the most precarious forms of employment. All of which serves to direct a spotlight on the...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
10 March 2020
Poland: fast track legislation comes into force to counter the coronavirus
On 08 March 2020, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda promulgated legislation combatting the coronavirus. It took the country’s parliament less than a week to formulate this legislation, which contains several exceptional measures, and the law was published in the Official Journal the very same day it was signed. The text contains specific provisions for the world of work during the crisis period. Thus, recourse to telework can be made widespread during quarantine and suspected case monitoring situations. If...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
10 March 2020
Argentina: exceptional leave period in place to counter work-related spread of the coronavirus
Argentina’s Labor Minister Claudio Moroni has signed Resolution Number 178 that allows employees returning from a known coronavirus country to take 14 days of leave (licencia excepcional), paid for by employers. The resolution was published in the Official Bulletin on 10 March 2020. ‘It is appropriate to accord workers in employment in both the public and private sectors those guarantees that are linked to their employment contracts and that could be affected by this health contingency, and in such a way that...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
9 March 2020
Germany: measures announced to support companies impacted by coronavirus
On 8 March, following several hours of negotiations, representatives of the parties in Germany’s governing coalition announced a range of measures that will be taken to help companies who are grappling with a decline in business activity stemming from the outbreak of the coronavirus. In addition to specific tax incentives and cheap “bridge loans”, the government will seek to facilitate the conditions for short-time working measures. In practice, the Federal Employment Agency will cover between 60% to 67% of...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
5 March 2020
Great Britain: government makes a temporary emergency change to sick leave legislation as a result of Covid-19
While UK statutory sick leave compensation normally starts to come into effect on the fourth day of work absences, the Conservative government has announced that Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), which comes to £94.25 (€108.87) per week, will be paid by employers as of the first day of absence for those employees obliged to undergo the recommended 14-day corona virus related quarantine period, and companies will be tasked with assessing if employee absences are justified. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated, “No...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19