Latest updates

New bill on social elections: making certain processes paperless
Castegnaro
  • Luxembourg
  • June 20 2018

A new bill that was recently submitted to the Chamber of Deputies aims to modify several articles of the Labour Code which concern social elections in order to make certain administrative processes paperless within the context of social dialogue. According to the bill, making certain processes paperless will result in a clear simplification of administrative tasks for managing directors and the Inspectorate of Labour and Mines.

Bill 148: new risks for misclassifying independent contractors as employees
Fasken
  • Canada
  • June 20 2018

The Ontario government is increasing the risks and penalties for employers that misclassify workers as independent contractors as part of the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. The burden is now on employers to prove that workers are not employees under the Employment Standards Act. This change of presumption will make it even more difficult for employers to defend claims filed by individuals challenging their status as an independent contractor in favour of being classified as an employee.

First Conduct Rule breaches: not just anti-competitive, but illegal
Howse Williams Bowers
  • Hong Kong
  • June 20 2018

The Competition Commission recently issued an advisory bulletin on the potential risks that could arise under the Competition Ordinance (Cap 619) in the employment context. The commission identified a number of practices between employers which are at risk of contravening the First Conduct Rule of the ordinance – specifically, wage-fixing and non-poaching agreements and the exchange of sensitive information.

Procedural changes in labour cases
Gün + Partners
  • Turkey
  • June 20 2018

The Labour Courts Act has introduced a number of changes and amended the appeal procedure for labour disputes. The legislature hopes to shorten the duration of actions which, by their nature, should be resolved as quickly as possible. Although it is still questionable whether these amendments will produce the anticipated returns in terms of reaching the desired duration for trial processes, they mark an important attempt to limit the two-phase appeal stage for certain cases.

Employment liability cannot be avoided by hiring staff through affiliates or related entities
Porzio Rios Garcia
  • Chile
  • June 20 2018

When structuring their businesses, companies must keep in mind that employment liability cannot be avoided by hiring personnel through their company affiliates or related entities. Fines may apply if the existence of multiple companies under a common employment management is found to be a scheme to avoid compliance with employment rights (eg, allocating profits in one company but hiring employees in another).

More than 2 million Australians set for 3.5% wage increase – 2017-2018 Annual Wage Review
Lander & Rogers
  • Australia
  • June 20 2018

The Fair Work Commission's Expert Panel recently issued its 2017-2018 Annual Wage Review decision. Among other things, the panel decided that it was appropriate to adjust modern award minimum wages. From the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2018, minimum weekly wages will increase by 3.5%, with commensurate increases in hourly rates on the basis of a 38-hour week.

What is the origin of a name – not as innocent a question as it seems
Fasken
  • Canada
  • June 13 2018

The Human Rights Tribunal recently examined discrimination in hiring, specifically in regard to ethnic or national origin. It opined that the purpose of Section 18.1 of the Charter of Human Rights and Liberties is to eliminate discrimination in hiring at its roots by prohibiting any question relating to a personal characteristic. Accordingly, a mere question relating to one of the grounds listed in Section 10 of the charter will constitute an automatic violation of Section 18.1.

All in the family: court removes restriction on employment of spouses and blood relatives
Makarim & Taira S
  • Indonesia
  • June 13 2018

Previously, under the Manpower Law, employers in Indonesia could include an article in their employment agreements, company regulations or collective labour agreements which allowed them to terminate employees for having a marital or blood relationship with another employee in the same company. However, the Constitutional Court recently sided with eight individual claimants who contended that the wording of the law contravened their constitutional rights.

New rules regarding salary payments in event of illness
Castegnaro
  • Luxembourg
  • June 13 2018

A new law has modified various provisions of the Labour Code, including Article L121-6(3) regarding salary payments in the event of illness. Following the issuance of the new rules, the majority of case law in this regard has become redundant. Now, employers must prove whether employees received their work schedule before falling ill.

Navigating the murky waters of employee bonuses and incentive payments
Lander & Rogers
  • Australia
  • June 13 2018

Navigating the payment of bonuses or incentive payments can be a tricky legal issue. One question that clients regularly ask is how discretionary is an employer's discretion when it comes to awarding a bonus or setting an employee's annual remuneration? As with most legal issues, there is no quick answer, but there are some tips from case law which can provide guidance.

Labour Court: fresh guidance on definition of 'collective strike action'
Wistrand
  • Sweden
  • June 06 2018

The Labour Court recently reviewed whether actions conducted by the employees of a private waste collection and transportation company were illicit collective strike actions. According to the court, the employees had refrained from performing their work tasks in order to pressure the company into ending the demands to conduct an inventory of keys. This was a stoppage of work and an illicit collective strike action, since it had not been duly decided by the trade union.

Employer-mandated physician visit is not a privacy violation
Fasken
  • Canada
  • June 06 2018

Employers are entitled to require employees to visit in-house occupational health department physicians to obtain reasonably necessary medical information if that right is provided for in their collective agreement. This was recently confirmed when an arbitrator found that an employer had not violated employee privacy rights when it required employees to visit in-house occupational health department physicians to confirm eligibility for wage loss protection benefits.

Employers' duties – references and negligent misstatement
Mason Hayes & Curran
  • Ireland
  • June 06 2018

Employers that provide references for former employees may be sued for negligent misstatement if the reference is found to be inaccurate. Employers should therefore take reasonable care to ensure that references are not misleading due to omitted information or the inclusion of facts which, although accurate when viewed discretely, either through nuance or innuendo generate a misleading picture when considered overall.

New legislation for pregnant women and new mothers in workplace
George Z Georgiou & Associates LLC
  • Cyprus
  • June 06 2018

Parliament recently introduced new legislation that aims to promote and support breastfeeding in the workplace and enhance the legal protection for working pregnant women and new mothers. One law established the minister of health as the competent authority for the promotion and protection of breastfeeding, while another extended the period during which pregnant women are protected against dismissal and established the right for working mothers to breastfeed or pump and store milk in the workplace.

How to manage the challenges of an ageing workforce
Lander & Rogers
  • Australia
  • June 06 2018

The effects of Australia's ageing workforce are expected to be so pronounced that the government has budgeted for retraining. Between the tax cuts and promises to return to surplus, one of the centrepieces of the 2018 Budget was increased funding to assist Australia's so-called 'greying' population. To manage the changes to Australia's demographics, employers should start to prepare for an ageing workforce and develop strategies to manage and retain older workers.

Second Circuit holds that sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination under Title VII
Mayer Brown LLP
  • USA
  • June 06 2018

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently reversed its prior precedent and held that Title VII's prohibition on sex discrimination includes a prohibition on sexual orientation discrimination. For years, states and municipalities have been adding laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, whether Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation under federal sex discrimination prohibitions has been actively debated in both courts and administrative agencies.

Appeal judgment confirms Addison Lee cycle couriers are workers
Lewis Silkin
  • United Kingdom
  • June 06 2018

In the latest decision on employment status in the gig economy, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has dismissed Addison Lee's appeal against an employment tribunal decision that its cycle couriers were workers and therefore entitled to holiday pay. The EAT upheld the tribunal's findings that the established practice and expectation of both parties was that the couriers would carry out work as directed, which was sufficient to prove that they were workers under the legal test.

Transgender and gender transitioning status under Title VII
Mayer Brown LLP
  • USA
  • May 30 2018

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has held that a funeral home violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 when it fired a director because she was planning to undergo sex reassignment surgery and had requested to dress in women's clothing at work. Employers – particularly those in the Sixth Circuit – should consider reviewing their employment policies and hiring practices to ensure that they are treating transgender status as a protected category.

Recent challenge to unfair dismissal exclusion clause in fixed-term contracts
Mason Hayes & Curran
  • Ireland
  • May 30 2018

A recent case regarding a claim of unfair dismissal was appealed on a point of law from the Labour Court to the High Court. The Labour Court decided that an employee should have been advised by her employer in advance of signing a fixed-term contract of the effect that the contract would have on her contractual status as an employee. It held that it was insufficient for the employer to simply rely on the fact that the contract had complied with the Unfair Dismissals Acts.

With great power comes great responsibility
Howse Williams Bowers
  • Hong Kong
  • May 30 2018

In a recent case, a senior employee was found to have acted as a de facto director of the plaintiff company as a result of her position and responsibilities within the company. Consequently, the employee was held to have breached the fiduciary duties which she owed to the company by diverting business opportunities away from it and making unauthorised use of its resources.

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