Latest updates

Only buying assets? Look out for surprise employment liabilities!
Fasken
  • Canada
  • 20 November 2019

A recent Ontario Superior Court ruling highlights how employers can end up with unexpected employment liabilities after an asset purchase deal. It also highlights the importance of careful wording when hiring employees in those situations. In light of this decision, purchasers in an asset deal should be aware of the new employer's fate. In such cases, proper employment offers are key.

Draft law amends right to leave for family reasons and clarifies reclassification provisions
Castegnaro
  • Luxembourg
  • 20 November 2019

A bill amending articles of the Labour Code relating to family leave and professional reclassification was recently tabled in the Chamber of Deputies. The bill intends to provide an exception to the rule that employees with a dependant child of a certain age are entitled to family leave in case of the child's illness only if the child is hospitalised. It also provides details on occupational reclassification.

New paid parental leave scheme
Lewis Silkin Ireland
  • Ireland
  • 20 November 2019

The government recently published the General Scheme for the Parental Leave and Benefit Bill. The bill provides for a paid parental leave benefit, which must be used within the first 12 months of a child's life or 12 months from the date of adoption. In light of these changes, employers should not only consider whether they should top up the parental leave benefit, but also review their family leave policies more generally to ensure that their business is in line with the latest developments.

Israeli labour and employment law – an overview
Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co
  • Israel
  • 20 November 2019

Israeli employment law is a blend of continental and common law legal systems. Employment protection laws – a set of laws that provide minimum conditions for all employees, irrespective of their wage levels – are at the foundation of employment law in Israel. Failure to comply with these requirements may constitute a criminal offence and further expose an employer to liability for damages.

Proposed modernisation of Swedish labour law
Wistrand
  • Sweden
  • 13 November 2019

The government recently decided to appoint a special investigator to explore the possibilities of modernising some of the basic regulations of Swedish labour law. The investigation aims to explore how Swedish labour law can be modernised and adapted to meet current market needs while maintaining the fundamental and historical balance between the various parties to the labour market.

Survival of parties' will for penalty clauses in employment contracts
Gün + Partners
  • Turkey
  • 13 November 2019

The Supreme Court General Assembly on the Unification of Judgments recently concluded that penalty clauses agreed for the unjust termination of a fixed-term employment contract before its end date are valid and enforceable even if the contract is deemed to be of an indefinite nature due to a lack of objective conditions required by law to conclude fixed-term contracts.

How is technology changing employer-employee relationships?
Stanchi Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 13 November 2019

A recent Padua Labour Court decision affirmed that the traditional concept of subordinated relationships between employers and employees should be redesigned to reflect how changes in technology are reshaping company organisation. This decision is one of the first in which an Italian labour court has considered whether the traditional concept of employment relationships is still valid or if employees' and employers' rights should be considered differently in light of technology's impact on organisations.

Disability case: Supreme Court clarifies extent of employers' duty to provide reasonable accommodation
Lewis Silkin
  • Ireland
  • 13 November 2019

A recent Supreme Court decision clarifies the legal principles to be applied to the question of which measures of reasonable accommodation an employer should consider to enable disabled employees to participate in the workforce. While the decision provides welcome guidance on the applicable principles, employers must consider that what constitutes 'reasonable accommodation' will depend on the facts, guided by the reasonableness and proportionality of any appropriate measures proposed.

Employer flexibility does not modify employment contracts
Fasken
  • Canada
  • 13 November 2019

Employees sometimes need flexibility to start or leave work at different times than originally agreed with their employer (eg, because of childcare issues). A recent appellate decision confirms that employer flexibility in granting occasional requests does not always modify the underlying employment contract.

New guidance on use of confidentiality agreements in discrimination cases
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 13 November 2019

Confidentiality clauses or non-disclosure agreements have become a topic of significant interest because of how they can be used to prevent employees from reporting allegations of sexual harassment or other similar misconduct. The government recently published its response to a consultation on the regulation of confidentiality clauses, which sets out a number of proposals for new legislation in this area.

Showing nude photos to supervisor justifies termination of long-service employee
Fasken
  • Canada
  • 06 November 2019

A recent arbitration decision has confirmed that termination can be the appropriate penalty for long-service employees with clean disciplinary records when they engage in sexual harassment, including showing a nude photo to a supervisor. This case highlights how seriously arbitrators look at sexual harassment in the workplace – particularly in the #MeToo era – and reminds employers of the importance of taking detailed notes during an investigation, including with respect to an individual's demeanour.

Greater reforms for promoting work-life balance
Lee & Ko
  • South Korea
  • 06 November 2019

Significant changes to the Gender Equality Employment and Work-Life Balance Support Act, including changes to employees' rights to paternity leave and reduced working hours for child and family care, recently came into effect. Employers are strongly advised to review their existing practices and policies to ensure compliance with the act's latest amendments. Workplace disruptions are expected due to the increased benefits.

Responsibility for pay information transfers under TUPE
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 November 2019

A recent Employment Appeal Tribunal case clearly underlines that, on a Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) transfer, new employers must ensure that all records kept by the transferor in relation to the national minimum wage are transferred when it takes over the employees (especially as such records are likely to be held electronically). The transferor's refusal or failure to provide the records should be dealt with by way of indemnities or other contractual provisions in the transfer documentation.

Consultation: is a dismissal harsh, unjust or unreasonable without it?
Lander & Rogers
  • Australia
  • 06 November 2019

Does an employee have to be consulted, in accordance with an applicable industrial instrument, about their impending termination? According to a recent decision by the Fair Work Commission, the answer is not necessarily. The decision highlights that there are certain circumstances where an employer may be safe from an unfair dismissal claim if it proceeds to termination without consulting the employee. However, these situations are highly exceptional and should be approached with caution.

Hong Kong protests: employment issues
Howse Williams 何韋律師行
  • Hong Kong
  • 30 October 2019

Since June 2019, Hong Kong has faced ongoing protest action. These protests were initially directed at the enactment of the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill, but their scope has subsequently expanded. This situation has created serious challenges for employers trying to manage and protect their employees. As these protests continue, employers must understand what they can and cannot do.

Right to request working schedule adjustments
CMS Albiñana & Suárez de Lezo
  • Spain
  • 30 October 2019

There has been a wave of criticism that the mandatory recording of employees' working hours has hindered the flexibility measures which companies were beginning to introduce. As such, it is somewhat surprising that a recent amendment to the Workers' Statute appears to have flown under the radar, especially given that it aims to boost flexibility in order to uphold employees' rights to a work-life balance.

Attendance rather than childbirth-related leave determines whether dismissal is lawful
Norrbom Vinding
  • Denmark
  • 23 October 2019

The Western High Court recently found that the dismissal of an employee who had called in sick on the first day after a period of childbirth-related leave and holiday did not contravene the Act on the Equal Treatment of Men and Women. The judgment exemplifies that if an employee's dismissal has a close temporal connection with their return from childbirth-related leave, this does not automatically raise a presumption of discrimination.

Government simplifies outsourcing requirements
Makarim & Taira S
  • Indonesia
  • 23 October 2019

The minister of manpower recently amended the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Regulation on the Requirements for Outsourcing, simplifying manpower outsourcing requirements to reflect current needs. The main highlight of the changes is that the required Manpower Office approval can now be obtained online and transferred using the online single submission system. Further, the time limit for registering a manpower outsourcing agreement with the Manpower Office has been removed.

Leave pay for commission-based employees: an often overlooked pitfall for employers
Mayer Brown
  • Germany
  • 23 October 2019

An accurate method for calculating leave pay must take into consideration an employee's holiday, sickness, bank holiday and other paid absences; however, this can be burdensome for a company's HR department if its employees earn fluctuating rates of commission. While a certain amount of bureaucratic effort is inevitable, a well-thought-out system and properly trained HR officials will help to minimise complications and avoid negative consequences.

Employer ordered to disclose privileged material
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 October 2019

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) recently ordered an employer to disclose comments that it had received from its external solicitor relating to an employee's dismissal because it had deliberately disclosed other related privileged documents which were helpful to its case. Interestingly, this case is one of the few where the EAT has had to grapple with issues relating to privilege. It is also a strong reminder that employers that make a tactical decision to waive privilege must be aware of the potential ramifications.

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