The Right to Disconnect

The French government has presented before Parliament the “El Khomri” bill which, if passed, should modify a significant part of the employment law framework in France.

Among various provisions, the bill mentions the right, for the employees, to disconnect.

Indeed article 25 of the bill states that the employer has to regulate the employees’ use of digital tools in order to protect their private and family life as well as resting periods.

More specifically, it is provided that the terms and conditions related to the right to disconnect are part of the topics which must be discussed on an annual basis between the employer and the employees’ representatives, during the mandatory negotiations related to the quality of work life. The purpose of it is to ensure the respect of rest time provisions and minimum leave.

This does not entail an absolute obligation to stop all email exchanges during weekends or out of working hours. Instead, it should help employers defining new rules within the company in order to achieve a good work/private life balance.‎

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Brexit: What Does it Mean for Employers in the U.K.?

We set out below our best guess on where this leaves employees, management and HR in the UK.

Firstly as we have all heard repeatedly today, nothing is going to change immediately and that is the same for employment law.  It will be years before any changes are made and for the time being, everything remains the same and critically, no one has to leave.

Much of our employment law is just that – employment law driven solely by the UK.  We then have laws that have been enacted into UK law as a result of European directives – so those laws are the ones that may, at some point in the future, be targeted.  Our guess at Orrick is that changes where they happen will be focused on consultation rights, holiday pay and working time.  Worker involvement has never had the same traction in the UK that it has with our European counterparts and the UK has always viewed employee consultation with a degree of skepticism.  For this reason, we think it may eventually be a focus for change.

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Using Temp Agencies in Germany: New Restrictions for Companies

On June 1, 2016, the draft law regarding the reform of the German Act on the Supply of Temporary Employees (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG) has been adopted by the Federal Cabinet. The German Bundestag will address the draft law after the summer break. However, material changes to the draft are not expected to be made during the parliamentary process. If the time schedule will be observed, the reform will come into force as planned on January 1, 2017.

The new law will bring material changes for both, employment agencies and their customers, the host businesses.

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O Canada: The U.S.’s Neighbor To The North Proposes Its Own Whistleblower Program

The Ontario Securities Commission (“OSC”), Canada’s largest securities regulator, has proposed establishing its own whistleblower program for individuals to report suspected securities fraud, marking Canada’s first foray into establishing such a system.

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“Temporary Employees” in Germany Need to be Temporary Under New Draft Law

Draft legislation regarding the reform of the German Act on the Supply of Temporary Employees (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG) has been introduced by Germany’s Federal Minister of Labor. Although further amendments to this draft are likely and a final version will not come into force before January 1, 2017, it is important to know what this means for temporary employment agencies and their customers, the host businesses.

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Proposed German Equal Pay Act May Complicate Remuneration Issues

Statistics reveal a difference of 7 percent between the remuneration paid to men and that paid to women with the same qualifications in Germany. The average hourly wage even shows a difference of 22 percent, making pay discrepancy in Germany one of the highest in the EU. In order to adjust these wage injustices, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth submitted a first preliminary ministerial draft of the German Equal Pay Act (Entgeltgleichheitsgesetz) on December 9, 2015. The act is expected to be adopted in 2016.

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Germany – Premium Paid by Employer for Leaving Trade Union is Unlawful

Powerful trade unions often are a thorn in the side of employers. But if a company tries to reduce the trade unions’ influence, it may violate the freedom of association under Article 9 section 3 of the German Constitution (Grundgesetz – GG). This was made clear in a recent ruling of the Labor Court (Arbeitsgericht) Gelsenkirchen (judgment of March 9, 2016 – 3 GA 3/16).

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Setback for EU-US Privacy Shield – How to Safely Get HR Data Across the Pond

After the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Framework invalid in October 2015, multinational companies with employees in the EU are facing the question how to legally transfer personal data. Current developments in the process of the proposed EU-U.S. Privacy Shield result in further uncertainty for companies relying on transatlantic data flows.

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Recent Changes to EU Employee Data Protection – Two Years to Comply with New Requirements

Employee Data Protection in the EU is subject to major changes, notable to multinational companies with employees in the EU.

A few days ago, after 4 years of negotiation, the European Parliament adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”). As it is planned to be effective in 2018, companies should be aware that they only have two years from now to prepare for compliance.

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