Belgium + Comments from other countries - Mental health at work: how healthy is the law?

How does Belgian law safeguard mental health in the workplace? This article describes the law and provides some guidance for employers. The issue of mental health in the workplace According to the Special Eurobarometer produced by the European Commission, almost one in ten Europeans struggles with mental health issues. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that the costs related to mental health problems for the…

Europe - European Court of Justice rules on the scope of the ‘right to be forgotten’ for search engines

Two recent European Court of Justice cases have given guidance on the scope of the ‘right to be forgotten’. The European Court of Justice has published its rulings in two prominent cases addressing the scope of ‘the right to be forgotten’ under EU privacy laws. Both cases involved Google and the French National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (‘CNIL’). The right to be forgotten was…

Implementation of the Posted Workers Reform Directive in Germany

On 28 June 2018, the EU Posted Workers Reform Directive (2018/957) (the „Reform Directive“) was passed, which contains extensive changes to the EU Posted Workers Directive of 1996 (96/71/EC). The implementation into EU Member State national law must now take place by 30 July 2020. Under German law, this especially means that the Posted Workers Act (Arbeitnehmerentsendegesetz – AEntG), which currently implements the (old) Posted…

Netherlands - Employee awarded damages for breach of the GDPR

The Netherlands Employee Insurance Agency has been ordered to pay EUR 250 damages to an employee whose personal health information was accidentally sent to her new employer. On 2 September 2019, the Amsterdam District Court rendered an interesting ruling on compensation for damages after a violation of the GDPR by the UWV (the Employee Insurance Agency). It is one of the first judgments about a…

Finland - New Working Hours Act brings changes to working hour arrangements

New rules on flexible working that will take effect in January 2020 will allow employees in Finland greater freedom over where and when they work. The new Working Hours Act will enter into force on 1 January 2020. The goal of this legislative reform is to modernise the regulation of working hours and in particular, to take into account the special features of expert work,…

France – Zero tolerance of alcohol in the workplace can be legal

When there is a high risk to employees or third parties, employers are entitled to prohibit the consumption of alcohol, including outside the workplace, for certain categories of workers, according to a recent judgement. In France, alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer, cider and perry are allowed in the workplace. Other alcoholic beverages are prohibited. In circumstances where the consumption of these authorised drinks is likely…

European Court of Justice - A ‘Like’ button on your website? Then you are a joint data controller with Facebook!

Website operators who feature a ‘Like’ button have been ruled to be joint controllers for data protection purposes in a recent European Court of Justice judgement. In a judgment of 29 July 2019 (Fashion ID GmbH & Co, C-40/17) the European Court of Justice ruled that operators of a website that features a ‘Like’ button are controllers jointly with Facebook. This means they must make an arrangement with…

US - Connecticut passes sweeping changes to its human rights laws

Connecticut has introduced new legislation on sexual harassment in the workplace, including new policy and training requirements and additional protection for employees complaining of sexual harassment.    Executive Summary  In the continued fallout from the ‘#MeToo’ movement, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has signed new legislation imposing sweeping changes to Connecticut’s human rights law designed to reduce sexual harassment in the workplace and provide additional protections to victims of sexual harassment….

UK + Comments from other countries – The EU adopts a work-life balance directive

The Work-Life Balance Directive, which brings in new rights for carers and working parents, must be implemented in all EU member states by the middle of 2022. We look at what it means for employers.  Background to the Directive  The Work-Life Balance Directive (the ‘Directive’) originates from the EU Commission’s unsuccessful attempts to improve maternity rights across the EU. Currently, EU law provides for 14 weeks…

Immigration and Global Mobility Update

See below our Immigration and Global Mobility Update, which shows the changes in global mobility and immigration from around the world over the past few months. We aim to update you regularly. Belgium: New immigration rules in Brussels New immigration rules apply in Brussels for foreign employees who are not European Economic Area or Swiss nationals. Unlike the Flemish Region (see previous Update) and the Walloon…