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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.

17 March 2020
Austria: Federal government announces Covid-19 support including ‘partial unemployment’
On 13 March, Austria’s government announced €4 billion would be directed to support independent workers, maintain employment, and help businesses avoid insolvency in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Finance for partial unemployment measures will rise from €20 million to €400 million, along with less stringent rules applying for ‘Covid-19 partial unemployment’ which will be accessible as of 23 March. Planet Labor will keep you abreast of these rules and regulations as they come on-stream in the...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
17 March 2020
United States: the UAW and automakers set up a task force to tackle the coronavirus
The United Auto Workers union (UAW), together with US automakers has decided to set up a task force to address the coronavirus, the objective being to implement stronger protection measures for blue-collar workers in vehicle production and warehouse facilities. White-collar staff members have already been requested to work from home in order to avoid personal contact.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
16 March 2020
Germany: law to faciliate short-time working measures adopted by the Bundestag with retroactive effect from 1 March
The law, which extends and facilitates access to short-time working measures to help businesses manage the Covid-19 crisis, was passed by the Bundestag on Friday 13 March, having been urgently adopted by the federal cabinet two days earlier. The provisions of the law, which also lightens the financial burden on businesses, are valid retroactively from 1 March. This means that requests can be taken into account as soon as they are submitted to the Federal Employment Agency, which monitors and funds the system.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
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