Executive Order combatting discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community: what do US-employers need to know?

Within hours of his inauguration on 20 January 2021, President Biden signed his Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. The Executive Order establishes the new administration’s policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, and directs federal agencies to take affirmative steps to secure these rights.   The Executive Order commits to enforcing the…

Free speech and the US First Amendment: where it is implicated, and where it is not

The right to free speech is protected by the First Amendment in the US, but what does this mean for private employers and employees? This article provides guidance on this topical question in the wake of the unrest at the US Capitol on 6 January.  In the wake of the 6 January 2021 unrest at the United States Capitol Building and several social media outlets…

Long Covid: what implications does it have for employers in the UK?

This article explores the growing phenomenon of ‘Long Covid’: the continuation of serious symptoms and effects for a significant period after a person’s initial COVID-19 infection and illness. Is disability discrimination law likely to apply in this context in the UK and how should employers approach this issue?  The COVID-19 virus was first identified in China towards the end of 2019 and, a year or so…

Vaccination for COVID-19: can employers in the UK require their employees to be vaccinated?

With a vaccination against coronavirus in sight, many employers will understandably be eager to have their employees vaccinated in hope of their workplace finally returning to some form of normality. This article explores some of the legal issues.  Can employers provide the vaccination to their employees?   The government’s medical experts have published an outline of how any vaccine will be rolled out. It is clear…

Rewarding employees: new clarity on benefit plan rules in Italy

The Italian Tax Authority has released new guidance clarifying how employers can use benefit packages to reward employees. In particular, the Authority has ruled that plans cannot be used to reward individual performance but only to retain employees and distribute company profits.  Employee benefit packages have a growing impact on companies’ management of their resources and local tax authorities have to deal with the fiscal impact of these packages more and more. The Italian Tax Authority (Risoluzione n….

Can an employer in France dismiss an employee for private Facebook content? Yes, if there is no subterfuge

The French Cour de Cassation has confirmed that an employer could dismiss an employee based on a private Facebook post that breached her confidentiality obligations, because the way it had found out about the post did not involve subterfuge or trickery.   Background In April 2014, an employee working in sales in the clothing company Petit Bateau attended a fashion show presenting the future spring-summer…

Agency workers in the UK and how to engage them

This article looks at the increasing popularity of agency workers in light of coronavirus and the main points that businesses in the UK should consider when seeking to engage them. Agency workers form a growing part of the UK workforce, with many businesses viewing them as a key part of their workforce strategy, particularly as a route to recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19…

New rules for the posting of workers to Germany

Since 30 July 2020, new regulations apply to the posting of workers to Germany (as well as to the posting of workers to other EU member states). The EU Directive 2018/957 amending the Posted Workers Directive 96/71/EC, has – after a lengthy legislative process – been implemented into German law. The resulting amendments to the German Posted Workers Act (Arbeitnehmerentsendegesetz, AEntG), which regulates the rules…

Pension reform in the Netherlands: changes ahead for employers

A wholesale reform of the Dutch pension system is underway and is likely to be implemented on 1 January 2022. This article sets out the proposed changes and their impact on employers in the Netherlands. Dutch pension reform impacts all pension schemes Social partners and government have agreed on a drastic reform of the Dutch pension system. At the latest per 1 January 2026, pension…

What does the COVID-19 tier system mean for offices in England?

Regulations underpinning the 3-tier lockdown system are now in force in England, as part of the government’s efforts to step up its response to the pandemic. This article considers if the new regulations demand a stricter approach to office work and meetings. The current work from home guidance On 22 September, the government changed its guidance on office workers in England and advised that they…