Dealing With Missing Participants in Terminating Puerto Rico 401(k) Plans

For a host of legal and practical reasons, the only feasible alternative for disposing of the accounts of missing participants in a terminating 401(k) or other defined contribution retirement plan qualified only in Puerto Rico (commonly known as a “P.R.-only plan”) is, after making reasonable efforts to locate the missing participants, depositing with the proper state unclaimed property fund(s) the retirement money of those participants who cannot be located.

Mexico’s COVID-19 Traffic Light Monitoring System: News for January 18–31, 2021

As of January 18, 2021, the number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in Mexico since the pandemic began had risen to nearly 1.65 million, up from 1.45 million two weeks earlier. Some areas of Mexico have higher infection rates and hospitalizations than others, in part due to population density and access to medicine and care. As a result, 10 states are now designated in the color red—indicative of the highest risk level of pandemic spread according to Mexico’s traffic light COVID-19 alert system—up from 5 states for the previous alert period.

UK Publishes Updated Guidances on Gender Pay Gap Reporting Requirements

As the 4 April 2021, gender pay gap reporting deadline approaches, the UK government has published an updated set of guidance for employers on the gender pay gap reporting requirements. Although the reporting requirements have not changed, the guidance has been updated to include information for employers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular relating to furlough leave and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

England Enters Third National Lockdown—What Are the New Rules?

On 4 January 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a third national lockdown in England. The regulations allow the lockdown to continue until 31 March 2021, although the restrictions are expected to be reviewed in mid-February to allow for the possible reopening of schools. All of the United Kingdom is now under strict measures to curb the spread of the new fast-spreading COVID-19 variant—with Wales, Northern Ireland and most of Scotland also in lockdown (although these countries are governed by separate rules).

New Alberta Law Makes Sweeping Changes to Occupational Health and Safety Act, Amends Workers’ Compensation Act

On December 9, 2020, Alberta’s Bill 47, the Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020, received Royal Assent. The legislation replaces Alberta’s current Occupational Health and Safety Act in its entirety, and makes significant amendments to the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Act.

Mexico’s COVID-19 Traffic Light Monitoring System: News for January 4–17, 2021

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to rise in Mexico, with more than 1.45 million positive cases as of January 4, 2021, according to the Ministry of Health, and hospital occupancy rates still climbing. The worsening spread of COVID-19 has prompted the federal government to impose greater restrictions on activities in more states throughout the country according to the nation’s four-tiered “traffic light” pandemic monitoring system.

Mexico Approves Increases to Daily Minimum Wages for 2021

On December 16, 2020, the Mexican National Commission on Minimum Wages (Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos or CONASAMI) approved, by majority vote, a general increase to the daily minimum wage, including an increase to the minimum daily wage in the Free Zone of the North Border (Zona Libre de la Frontera Norte or ZLFN)—an area that comprises cities along or near the U.S. border. Also, on December 23, 2020, CONASAMI published the corresponding decree in the Official Gazette of the Federation.

Mexico’s COVID-19 Traffic Light Monitoring System: News for December 22, 2020, to January 3, 2021

Confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Mexico increased to more than 1.3 million as of December 18, 2020, according to Mexico’s Ministry of Health, prompting the federal government to designate the majority of states at high risk of spread of the virus according to the nation’s four-tiered “traffic light” pandemic monitoring system.

 

Q&A on Mexico’s Telework Legislation: Answers to Employers’ Questions on the Pending Reform

On December 9, 2020, Mexico’s Senate of the Republic approved amendments to Article 311 and added Chapter XII Bis of the Federal Labor Law (FLL), on teleworking. If President Andres Manuel López Obrador approves the bill, it will become effective the day after it is published in the Official Journal of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación).

Ontario Entering Province-Wide Shutdown on December 26, 2020

On December 21, 2020, the Ontario government announced province-wide shutdown measures, similar to those recently enacted by the governments of Alberta, Québec, and Manitoba. The government cited the “alarming rate” at which COVID-19 cases are increasing due to travel between public health regions that are subject to different levels of restriction, and the strain on the healthcare system as the driving forces behind the province-wide shutdown.

The United Kingdom’s New Points-Based Immigration System

Applications for the new work visa routes for eligible overseas workers who wish to work in the United Kingdom from 1 January 2021 opened on 1 December 2020. Provided applicants meet the criteria, workers from overseas, including the European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals, are now able to apply online for (among other new entry routes), the skilled worker visa, the intra-company transfer visa and the global talent visa.

Ontario Government Passes Regulation to Create Flexibility in the Hospitality, Tourism and Trade Show Industries

On December 17, 2020, the government of the Province of Ontario enacted Regulation 764/20, which will permit unions and employers in the hospitality, tourism, and trade show industries to negotiate for greater flexibility in the application of termination pay, severance, recall rights and other related matters under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA).

Mexico’s COVID-19 Traffic Light Monitoring System: News for December 7, 2020, to December 20, 2020

In an effort to control the spread of COVID-19, the Mexican federal government implemented a “traffic light” monitoring system in June 2020 to alert residents to the epidemiological risks in each of the country’s 32 states and provide guidance on restrictions on certain activities. The bimonthly monitoring system is aligned with health protocols to guide Mexico’s states through the country’s phased reopening plan. Below is a map for the period of November 23, 2020, to December 6, 2020, indicating the COVID-19 risk level in each of Mexico’s 32 states.

An Update on COVID-19–Related Protocols in Ontario, Québec, and British Columbia

Canada is experiencing an increased number of daily COVID-19 infections in what appears to be a “second wave.” In response to higher positivity rates and increased hospitalisations, some provinces have passed strict public health orders to limit the spread of COVID-19. This article discusses the workplace impacts of measures implemented in Ontario, Québec, and British Columbia.

Mexico’s New Proposed Amendment to Eliminate Outsourcing

On November 12, 2020, during a recurring morning press conference, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador issued an amendment proposal to reform various laws with the aim of establishing a new regulation to the outsourcing scheme currently in effect in Mexico.

What Is the U.K.’s Global Talent Visa?

The new Global Talent immigration category is available for talented and promising applicants in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, humanities, digital technology, and arts and culture (including architecture, fashion design, film and television, and literature). The Global Talent visa is very similar to its predecessor, the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa; however, it provides a simpler route and expands on the existing rules. The Global Talent visa is no longer part of the points-based system. Instead, the Global Talent visa route consists of two main stages: the endorsement stage and the application stage. An applicant must already be a leader in his or her respective field (i.e., one who is considered an exceptional talent) or a person with the potential to become a leader in his or her field (i.e., one who shows exceptional promise).

Mexico’s COVID-19 Traffic Light Monitoring System: News for November 23, 2020, to December 6, 2020

In an effort to control the spread of COVID-19, the Mexican federal government implemented a “traffic light” monitoring system in June 2020 to alert residents to the epidemiological risks in each of the country’s 32 states and provide guidance on restrictions on certain activities. The bimonthly monitoring system is aligned with health protocols to guide Mexico’s states through the country’s phased reopening plan. Below is a map for the period of November 23, 2020, to December 6, 2020, indicating the COVID-19 risk level in each of Mexico’s 32 states.

Travel to Canada During a Global Pandemic: a Welcome Break in Quarantine Requirements in Alberta

On March 16, 2020, Canada announced that it would be closing its borders to international travelers but for a few exceptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few days later, Canada and the United States mutually agreed to temporarily restrict all nonessential travel across the U.S.-Canada land border. The travel restrictions are still currently in force at the date of publication of this article.