International Employment Law Developments

COVID-19 Germany: Can You Terminate Employment During Short-Time Work?

The COVID-19 crisis led to drastic changes in employment. Although measures have been taken by the German legislator and the government to secure jobs, staff cuts appear inevitable for many companies as the crisis progresses. The following blogpost explains how short-time work and layoffs relate to each other and what companies must do to effectively terminate employment.

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COVID-19 Germany: Working From Home and Employer Reimbursement of Remote-Work Expenses

Due to the pandemic-related increase in remote work, questions come up who will end up bearing additional costs – such as increased electricity costs and expenses for cell phone and internet plan. There is also a need for clarification regarding occupational health and safety when working remotely. READ MORE

Reducing Salary Costs Across the Globe – An Overview of COVID-19-Related Work Hour Reduction and Furlough Schemes

Can companies reduce the working hours and/or pay of their international workforce?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt business across the globe, many international companies are continuing to consider and implement cost-saving measures to protect their financial health. One of the major points for consideration is whether multinational companies may reduce the working hours and/or pay of their international workforce. READ MORE

Employers as Contact Tracers: the Employment and Privacy Implications of Returning to Work

Of the many new terms that we have learned as part of the current pandemic, ‘contact tracing’ is one that seems to offer some light at the end of the tunnel. READ MORE

COVID-19 – European OSHA Gives Guidance on Returning to Work

When starting to take steps to return to a new normal where business continues, even as outbreaks may flare up, employee health and safety certainly are top of mind. Since many EU member states are loosening up COVID-19 lockdowns, employers need to know how to ensure a safe environment for their employees when they come back to the workplace. READ MORE

COVID-19 Workforce Decision Making: Don’t Forget Your Foreign National Population

Given the current pandemic, companies are tackling an array of business-critical decisions ranging from workplace safety measures to remote working parameters to pay cuts, furloughs and reductions in force. In this mass of competing priorities, employers of foreign national employees should be careful not to overlook any unique impact that their decision making can have on their nonimmigrant employee population and corresponding compliance requirements that may be triggered. The analysis and impact will be highly contingent upon what type of work authorization and nonimmigrant status the employees are working pursuant to (for example: H-1B, O-1, L-1, TN or F-1 OPT EAD holder), and what the corresponding parameters of their status are. READ MORE

COVID-19 Germany: How to Handle Short-Time Work Amid the Crisis – A Q&A for Employers

In the wake of COVID-19, many companies in Germany implemented short-time work (Kurzarbeit) in order to safeguard jobs and save on personnel. In our previous blog, we outlined the application process and provided an overview of the updated short-time work regulations introduced by the German government in the light of the coronavirus crisis.

Now that short-time work has been implemented, employers are facing questions arising from the handling of short-time work in practice in the day-to-day. We answer the most frequently asked by employers below.

  1. Secondary employment – Are employees allowed to have a secondary employment during short-time work? If so, how does this affect the short-time work allowance?

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新型コロナウイルス:緊急事態宣言後に会社が取り得る選択肢

2020年4月7日に、安倍総理大臣は、7都道府県(東京都、神奈川県、埼玉県、千葉県、大阪府、兵庫県、福岡県)を対象に、効力を5月6日までとする新型インフルエンザ等対策特別措置法に基づく緊急事態宣言を行った。その後、対象地域の各知事は、独自の基準で、外出の自粛、休業や時間短縮、学校の閉鎖などの緊急事態措置を要請するとともに、休業に応じた事業主への補償を発表している。そして、4月16日には、緊急事態宣言の対象地域を日本全国に拡大することが発表された。 READ MORE

Employers’ Options after the Declaration of State of Emergency in Japan

On April 7, Japan declared a state of emergency covering the seven prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka, effective immediately and lasting through May 6. Subsequently, the governors of such prefectures, based on their own criteria, each issued emergency measure requests such as refraining from going outside, reduction of work hours or suspension of operations, and closure of schools[1]. Such requests, however, do not constitute a lockdown and do not carry the force of enforceability, and are dependent on voluntary compliance. Further, for instance, with respect to compensation for businesses that do comply and suspend operations, the handling by the prefectures depend in part on their financial capacity, and is not uniform. READ MORE