UK Employment Alert: New Rules on Written Statements Will Take Effect on 6 April 2020

As part of the reforms introduced under the United Kingdom’s Good Work Plan, amendments to Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA) will impose a number of new obligations on employers in relation to written statements of particulars of employment. These changes will come into force on 6 April 2020. As such, employers may want to review and update their standard employment contracts to ensure compliance with the requirements.

Virgin Islands Governor Extends Stay-At-Home Order and Suspends Plant Closing Act

On March 30, 2020, Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands Albert Bryan Jr. issued an executive order extending both the previously declared State of Emergency through May 12, 2020, and the territory-wide “stay at home” order through April 30, 2020. The executive order includes several provisions that impact businesses with operations in the Virgin Islands.

Canada’s Emergency Wage Subsidy Program: A $71 Billion Investment in Employers During the COVID-19 Crisis

On April 1, 2020, Canada’s Minister of Finance outlined the federal government’s plans for a comprehensive wage subsidy plan that, in total, would put as much as $71 Billion (CAD) back into the pockets of participating employers. The stated purpose of the plan is to maximize the ability of employers to maintain employment relationships with their employees during this difficult time.

Mexico Institutes Measures to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace

As of March 24, 2020 and effective until April 19, 2020, the Mexican government implemented a number of measures aimed at stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the illness it causes, COVID-19. The latest regulation, which the Official Gazette of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación) recently published, requires employers and individuals to comply with a number of preventive and obligatory measures.

U.S. and Global Employee Data Privacy FAQs

An employer’s response to COVID-19 involves numerous privacy issues. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about these issues within the United States and globally, based on laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (which applies in the United States) and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While many of these principles can be applied globally, employers should always look to applicable local laws in their jurisdictions and guidance from public health authorities. Employers should also consult any applicable internal policies, data privacy notices, employee collective bargaining agreements, employment contracts, and individual employment terms.

COVID-19: FAQs for Global, Multinational, and Non-U.S. Operations

As a complement to our frequently asked questions (FAQ) for U.S. employers, below are some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the latest developments on the virus, guidance from applicable public health authorities outside the United States, and managing COVID-19 responses across multiple jurisdictions worldwide. For terminology purposes, these FAQs use the term “COVID-19” generally to refer to the illness that is the subject of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) pandemic declaration.

The Latest COVID-19 Conundrum: Can Employers Institute Temperature Checks at Workplaces?

Employers across the globe, faced with the need to reduce the risk of workplace transmission of COVID-19, may be contemplating imposing standard temperature screenings on their employees. In many jurisdictions, an employer may need or want to consult with employee representatives (such as Works Councils in Europe or unions where applicable) or limit temperature checks to only those employees who consent. Even if temperature checks comply with local and national laws, instituting such measures may still present risks for employers, such as claims that the employer screened employees in a discriminatory fashion and mishandled the data from a privacy perspective. Temperature screenings may also pose employee and public relations considerations.

COVID-19 Update: Ontario Leave and Federal Travel Bans

In light of the international concern about, and risks associated with, the COVID-19 virus, the Canadian government recently took action aimed at stopping its spread and providing relief for those immediately affected. On March 16, 2020, the government announced that it is closing its borders and the introduction of job protection legislation.

Puerto Rico Issues Guidance for Disaster Relief Distributions From Tax-Qualified Retirement Plans Due to 2020 Earthquakes

In response to the earthquakes that since January 6, 2020, have shaken Puerto Rico, on February 18, 2020, the Puerto Rico Department of the Treasury (known by its Spanish name as “Hacienda”) issued Circular Letter of Internal Revenue Number 20-09 (CL 20-09) to allow Puerto Rican participants in qualified retirement plans to receive, under favorable tax terms, distributions of the money they may need to help recover from the damages they and/or their close relatives sustained as a result of the earthquakes.

UK Government Releases Policy Statement on Points-Based Immigration System

The United Kingdom (UK) formally left the European Union (EU) on January 31, 2020, and entered a transition period that will officially end on December 31, 2020. The UK and EU have agreed that EU nationals who move to the UK before January 1, 2021, will be permitted to remain in the UK. However, they must apply under the EU Settlement Scheme by June 30, 2021, to secure confirmation of their immigration status.

COVID-19 in Canada: Key Questions for Employers to Consider

As of March 3, 2020, the Canadian government has confirmed 33 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the country: 20 cases in Ontario, 12 in British Columbia, and one in Quebec. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to assess the public health risk as low. Nevertheless, Canadian employers may want to ensure that the risk of exposure in the workplace is minimized. Here are some key questions for employers to consider.

Mexico’s Femicide Movement and the March 9 National Stoppage: Guidance for Employers

Recently Mexico has been facing a considerable and seemingly uncontrollable increase in femicide cases. In 2019, more than 3,825 women were killed, and the rate of femicide in Mexico increased by 6 percent from 2018. Currently, 10 to 15 women are killed every day, presumably due to their gender. An analysis conducted by the national institute of statistics and geography—the Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI)— established that over 50 percent of Mexican women have suffered violence because of their gender.

UK Supreme Court Confirms Divergence in Pay for Maternity and Parental Leave Does Not Discriminate Against Men

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has refused leave to appeal in the case of Chief Constable of Leicester v. Hextall. The claimant had sought leave to appeal the court of appeal’s May 2019 ruling in the combined cases of Ali v. Capita Customer Management Limited and Chief Constable of Leicester v. Hextall, [2019] EWCA Civ 900.

Maintaining Employees’ Privacy During a Public Health Crisis

As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to spread, employers have been trying to strike a balance between safety and privacy as they apply their own policies and attempt to follow laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 in the United States.

Japan’s COVID-19 Response Could Indicate a Global Shift in Daily Workplace Disease Prevention Practices

Recognizing that Japan has entered a new phase in its fight against the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), Japan officials announced a preemptive approach geared toward risk mitigation and slowing down the spread of the virus to prevent a spike in infections. This strategy, which includes strengthening testing and quarantining capacities, could have long-term impacts on employment practices, particularly in office-based environments in which technology provides more adaptive flexibility.

20 Tips for U.S. Virgin Islands Employers in 2020: Workers’ Compensation Insurance Update

Conducting business in the Virgin Islands poses unique challenges not often encountered in the states, but also unique opportunities. This 20-part blog series will offer tips for doing business in the U.S. Virgin Islands, covering a broad array of topics affecting employers. Part one of this series addresses workers’ compensation insurance.

China Provides Return-to-Work Guidance for Employers Dealing With End of Spring Festival Holidays and Ongoing Coronavirus Epidemic

The outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (now designated COVID-19) caused massive disruption in China, including a nationwide extension of its Spring Festival holidays. Though February 10, 2020, was the last “public holiday,” some businesses remain closed, and many still encourage China-based employees to work from home.

Brexit Is Here! What Employers Need to Know About the UK’s Departure From the EU

On January 31, 2020, the United Kingdom formally left the European Union after 47 years of membership. However, for a transitional period that will end on December 31, 2020, it will still be covered by all current agreements including membership in the European Single Market and European Union Customs Union and rights such as freedom of movement of workers throughout the EU.

The Coronavirus Outbreak’s Impact on International Employers

As the world responds to the accelerating 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak originating in Wuhan, China—a situation now declared by the World Health Organization to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern—multinational employers, particularly those with employees based in or traveling to China, are assessing their role in managing workforce impact. In addition to taking precautions to prevent the spread of illness, employers are contending with government-imposed travel shutdowns and advisories, quarantines, border screenings, and extended holidays that may affect local operations and global mobility.

Termination Clauses in Ontario—Precise Language Can Help Limit Employers’ Liability

In Canada, if an employer wishes to terminate an employee without cause, it must provide notice or pay in lieu thereof. In other words, unlike in the United States, Canada does not have employment at-will. American businesses operating in Canada may find that Canadian employees whose employment has been terminated without cause will be entitled to no less than one month per year of service if a judge is left to decide an employee’s severance package. For this reason, employment contracts—and, specifically, the termination clauses in those contracts—are essential to controlling severance costs in Canada.

USMCA Review: A New Deal for Labour in the ‘New NAFTA’

The United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) is a free-trade pact that was agreed to by U.S. President Donald Trump, then-president of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on November 30, 2018. This agreement changes the current rules governing North American trade contained in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).