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Labour Laws and Regulations
Newsletter April, 2021

Argentina introduces a law on telework

April, 2021
  • The law and its implementing Regulation were strongly criticised by Argentinian social partners, mainly for the poor quality of prior consultation, that failed to take into account the input of the social partners, specially the comments introduced by the private sector. 
  • The main issues concern the difficulty of implementation of the clauses of reversibility, right to disconnect, employees with special care responsibilities and contracts for non-residents.

Italy adopts a compulsory vaccination approach for care personnel

April, 2021
  • Violation of this law entails the transfer to another type of work or, if this is not possible, the suspension from tasks or duties that involve interpersonal contacts and the risk to spread the virus.

Hungary reform on Labour Inspection

April, 2021
  • It introduced Flexibility in the sanctioning of infringements, among others;
  • The reform lacked proper consultation with the social partners, especially on the content of the regulatory Decrees.

Uruguay adopts a law on working time during vaccination

April, 2021
  • Employees that get Covid-19 vaccination have a justified leave of 4 hours from work

Viet Nam new Labour Code entered into force in January 2021

April, 2021
  • The new legislative framework is in line with the ILO Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, as established in several trade agreements signed by Viet Nam;
  • New laws and policies put greater emphasis on social dialogue at the workplace and collective bargaining.
Newsletter March, 2021

Australian new Bill introduces a definition of casual worker

March, 2021
  • The Australian Parliament adopted a Bill that defines a casual worker as someone offered work without commitment of continuing and indefinite work.
  • The Bill sheds light on the possibility to convert the casual work contract into a long-term full or part-time employment relationship.
  • The Law also clarifies employers’ economic responsibility in case a casual worker is later on recognised as an employee.

Japan, new law to deal with harassment and abuse of power at work

March, 2021
  • The Comprehensive Labor Policy Promotion Act (CLPPA) (No. 24 of 2019 (Reiwa)) aims at eliminating sexual harassment, harassment against women and workplace bullying (known as “power harassment” in Japan)
  • This Act requires companies to put in place a policy to prevent harassment in the workplace, including taking measures to avoid recurrences
  • Failing to comply with this Law entails reputational risks, as companies’ names may be disclosed

Philippines: legislative changes on Covid-19-related sick leave, social security contributions and unemployment insurance

March, 2021

The Filipino House of Representatives approved a series of Bills related to the pandemic and having important repercussions on employers

Russia adopts a new legislation on remote work

March, 2021
  • State Duma of Russian Federation adopted amendments to the Labour Code in December 2020
  • The new legislation contains rules on employers’ and employees’ obligations in case of telework, as well as new regulation on the use of the electronic signature
Newsletter February, 2021

Brexit and its repercussions on the free movement of persons

February, 2021
  • The free movement of persons between countries of the European Union and the UK ended on 31 December 2020. Complex rules and visa permit requirements apply. 
  • The automatic mutual recognition of professional qualifications is no longer a reality. 

EU parliament Resolution on the right to disconnect

February, 2021
  • The Resolution contains specific recommendations on the scope and content of a Directive
  • The right to disconnect is defined as “the right for workers to switch off their digital tools including means of communication for work purposes outside their working time without facing consequences for not replying to e-mails, phone calls or text messages”.
Newsletter January, 2021

Austria reform on employment law

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

Mexico regulates telework

January, 2021
  • 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

Peruvian new agrarian law is adopted in the midst of social partners' objections

January, 2021
  • 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.
Newsletter December, 2020

New Zealand aims at changing the “Fair Pay Agreement” system

December, 2020
  • 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.

Switzerland: minimum wage in Geneva now amounts to monthly CHF4210 (USD4768) gross per employee

December, 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).
Newsletter November, 2020

India: New Labour Codes on Industrial relations, social security and occupational safety and health

November, 2020
  • 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.

Indonesia: Revision of 81 laws results in an Omnibus Bill on Job Creation

November, 2020
  • 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.

Mexico: Presidential initiative to ban “outsourcing” to be discussed by the Parliament

November, 2020
  • 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.

Mexico: Full implementation of the Regulation No. 035/2018 on psychosocial risks and prevention at work

November, 2020
  • 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.

Slovakia: Changes to labour Code on remote working, fixed-term contracts and representativeness criteria

November, 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.
Newsletter October, 2020

Romania: changes in labour law introduce a certification for “labour law experts” and improve conciliation of labour disputes

October, 2020
  • 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.

European Union: amendment to the Directive on the posting of workers and transposition into Swedish national laws

October, 2020
  • 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.

Spain adopted a new legislation on remote working

October, 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.
Newsletter September, 2020

Cross-border employees: the exception to the European regulation is extended

September, 2020
  • 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 

Italy: novelties in the extension of fixed-term contracts

September, 2020
  • 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. 

Italy and Spain: Unemployment benefits may coexist with a fixed-term job in agriculture

September, 2020
  • 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. 

Germany legislation on funds for training during the short-time work scheme duration

September, 2020
  • A draft legislation is under discussion to support investments in training during the operation of  the short time work scheme. 

A Swiss referendum introduced paternity leave

September, 2020
  • 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%. 

Qatar adopts new laws on mobility of migrant workers and the establishment of a minimum wage

September, 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. 
Newsletter August, 2020

New Law on licensing for private employment agencies in South Australia

August, 2020
  • 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.

Canada: Enhanced labour inspection and financial support for employers in the agricultural sector

August, 2020
  • 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

Denmark: change in legislation makes the job sharing scheme more flexible

August, 2020
  • New rules are adopted to make the Danish job sharing scheme more flexible
  • The regulation was followed by local and/or sectoral agreements  

France gets rid of a EUR10 tax on a short term contracts

August, 2020
  • Specific short-term contracts previously subject to a tax of EUR10 are now exempted

Kazakhstan new Law on employment contract and dismissals

August, 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
Newsletter July, 2020

US legislations on employers’ liability protection clauses in case of Covid-19 could become a federal issue

July, 2020
  • 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.

France: temperature checks before entering the workplace are not permitted

July, 2020
  • Health checks with data collection are prohibited
  • Health checks with no additional collection of data are allowed, but the employee can refuse them

Costa Rica: Strike regulation goes through an important reform

July, 2020
  • 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.

Chile, Colombia, Uruguay: Covid-19 as an occupational disease

July, 2020
  • Legislations in Chile, Colombia and Uruguay aligned to recognised Covid-19 as an occupational disease for the health sector.

Belgium: Covid-19 as an occupational disease extended to employees in essential services

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