Labour Laws and Regulations Newsletter January, 2021
- In Austria, a new collective agreement will enter into force at the end of 2021 for all employees of companies in the trade sector
- The agreement will reform the salary schedule and aims at uniformising and reducing the salary levels, and “to create a modern scheme of employment groups, obtain more legal certainty in job grading”
- On 9 December 2020, the Mexican Senate approved a reform to the Federal Labour Law to regulate telework.
- The law establishes the voluntary nature of this form of work and the need to define it in writing
Newsletter December, 2020
- The 2000 agrarian law was derogated by the Peruvian parliament without consulting or taking into account the views of the social partners
- The reform generated violent protests throughout the country
- The new law imposes a higher minimum living wage and requires the employers to pay a special bonus, equal to 30% the minimum living wage
- Bipartite discussions continue, prior to the adoption of the specific regulations to be annexed to the law.
- In 2018, the Government of New Zealand commenced internal discussions on the establishment of a “Fair Pay Agreement system”, a system combining simultaneously collective negotiations and the establishment of minimum legal employment standards.
- The legislation is currently discussed among social partners and received important criticism for de facto imposing collective negotiations.
Newsletter November, 2020
- On 27 September 2020, the citizens of the Geneva Canton agreed to modify the Law on Inspection and Labour Relations, by the institution of a mandatory minimum hourly wage.
- This means that the monthly minimum wage will amount to CHF4210 gross per employee (42 hours weekly).
- Changes to the labour codes aim at promoting harmonious industrial relations, higher productivity and employment creation, and increase the workers coverage by social security.
- They also aspire to facilitate businesses in terms of licensing and permit requirements.
- On 5 October 2020, the Indonesian Parliament adopted the “Omnibus Bill on Job Creation” to favour investments and positively impact employment in the country.
- The labour law component of the Bill introduces important changes for employers on minimum wages, outsourcing and temporary contracts, severance payment, unemployment and other matters.
- The reform aims at limiting outsourcing only to the provision of specialized services that are not part of the beneficiary’s main economic activity.
- National social partners met President Lopez Obrador, who expressed the government’s openness to dialogue.
- IOE and WEC underlined their concern and offered support to draft a future-proof labour market regulation.
- Regulation No. 035/2018 (Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-035-STPS-2018) on psychosocial risk factors at work was adopted in 2018, but it entered into force on a two-step phase and became fully applicable on 23 October 2020.
Newsletter October, 2020
- On telework, the Code establishes the rights and obligation of employers and employees.
- The amendments defined the criteria of representativeness to sit in the Economic and Social Council of the Slovak Republic.
- The possibility to renew fixed-term contracts has been extended to three years.
- The certification of labour law experts introduces a new profession, but it was ultimately only required for human resources companies.
- The employers’ organisation Concordia expressed some criticism on the coverage and clarity of the law.
- The amendment to the Posting of Workers Directive had to be transposed into national law in July 2020.
- Sweden has already complied with this obligation after undergoing a process of dialogue with the social partners.
- The outcome regulation is not fully satisfactory as there is still a lack of clarity on a major part of the amendment concerning wages, which is likely to impact companies.
Newsletter September, 2020
- The legislation on remote working was finalised and adopted by Royal Decree-Law 28/2020 on 22 September 2020.
- While at the outset the Government did not involve the social partners in the development of the draft text, trade unions and employers’ organisations were finally able to negotiate and agree on the main elements of the law.
- European regulation on the 25% limit of telework in the country of residence for cross-border workers was suspended by agreements among neighbouring European countries
- The Italian government extended the ability for employers to use fixed-term contracts.
- The change increased the ability to renew fixed-term contracts and increased the maximum duration of working on a fixed term contract.
- The changes applies to fixed-term contracts concluded by employers and employment agencies alike.
- Restrictions to the movement of seasonal workers and the situation of unemployed workers pushed governments to ease the hiring of workers in agriculture, even if already receiving unemployment benefits.
- A draft legislation is under discussion to support investments in training during the operation of the short time work scheme.
- As of 2021, a paternity leave of ten days to be taken within six months after the birth of a child will be introduced.
- The Swiss citizens supported the introduction of this measure by 60.3%.
Newsletter August, 2020
- The regulatory change abolishes the Kafala system and introduced a minimum wage that covers all workers including migrants
- These reforms are in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, a governmental programme aimed at modernising the country’s labour market.
- In July 2020, the amended Labour Hire Licensing Act entered into force in South Australia.
- The amendments narrow the licensing needs for staffing (labour hire) companies to specific sectors and businesses.
- Employers of temporary foreign workers in Canada are required to comply with the Quarantine Act and respect the mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon entry in Canada
- The quarantine period must be paid to employees. However, the government announced a financial support to employers up to CAD $1,500 per temporary foreign worker to cover employee pay during the mandatory quarantine period and other associated costs
- The government enhanced labour inspection for employers in agriculture
- New rules are adopted to make the Danish job sharing scheme more flexible
- The regulation was followed by local and/or sectoral agreements
- Specific short-term contracts previously subject to a tax of EUR10 are now exempted
Newsletter July, 2020
- The law “On Amendments and Additions to Some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Labor Issues”, was adopted in Kazakhstan on 4 May 2020
- It had multiple repercussions on employers
- If this regulation is adopted, employers’ liability would be limited to acts of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
- The law would have retroactive effect from 2019 and be in force until 2024.
- Health checks with data collection are prohibited
- Health checks with no additional collection of data are allowed, but the employee can refuse them
- The new legislation defines legal strike as opposed to illegal strike, and sets the conditions for legality.
- It also distinguishes between essential services and services of transcendental importance and many other important specificities.
- Legislations in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay aligned to recognised Covid-19 as an occupational disease for the health sector.
Newsletter July, 2020
- Belgian legislation established recognition of Covid-19 as an occupational disease in various sectors, but for a limited period of time;
- After consultation, social partners agreed to this new legislation
- The Relaunch Decree ease the condition for use of fixed-term contracts,either through private employment agencies or directly with the employer;
- These contracts offer good guarantees and safeguards compared to other forms of work, ranging from bogus self-employment to illegal work.
- New Zealand corporate and commercial property laws were temporarily reformed to increase the prospect of business surviving;
- Employment and industrial relations regulations were reformed to include electronic means of signing collective agreements.
- The Minimum Vital Income is ensured to all low-income individuals or families, for as long as their income conditions do not improve.
- It is not linked to other subsidies or active search of employment.
Newsletter May, 2020
- The Court determined that the employer must bear some costs linked to telework for employees working from home upon request of their employer
- The employers obligations in case of telework depend on the context
- Chile passed a law on telework that allows for flexibility in the way work is organised, but it needs to be formalised into an agreement.
- The law is among the measures to limit the Covid-19 pandemic.
- US Government approved the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (Public Law 116-127) to support workers and their families
- Specific laws were enacted in France, New Zealand, Ontario (Canada) and South Africa containing a list of essential services that could continue operating during the pandemic.
- Employment services were considered essential in France, New Zealand and Ontario.
- Employers’ organisations were included in the list in New Zealand.
- Governments of Argentina, Italy and Spain enacted a law to ban dismissals to avoid lay off procedures.
- Employers’ organisations in those countries strongly reacted against this measure.