HR world today (20210311)

Whilst the news continues to be dominated by measures to deal with the Pandemic, there are a number of very important changes on other fronts.

In this issue, we look at the forced virus testing of migrants in South Korean companies, permitted delays in pay gap reporting in the UK and the opening up of the Norwegian border for foreign workers. The Pandemic continues to persuade governments like Hong Kong (China) to relax visa renewal rules, but visa rules are also changing due to protectionism – as in Singapore – and also the opposite policy, to attract foreign workers, as in the case of Lithuania. Furthermore, newly relaxed visa rules are being gained for nationals of Cape Verde and Ukraine.

One of the most active areas for legislative change are “family friendly” leave rights. These range from extended parental benefits in the Irish Republic, to paid care leave in Switzerland and Germany. Parental care rights have also been subject to an important ECJ ruling. Other legislative changes include a new right to blood donor leave in Poland and overtime rights in Indonesia. There are also potential federal measures in the USA concerning mandatory arbitration and pregnant worker rights.

The courts have also been active producing controversial outcomes – such as the decision in favour of gay rights in Malaysia and the issue of employees being obliged to provide mobile numbers to enable geolocation in Spain.

Some of the most innovative recent developments have been in the field of remote working – whether it be the new “telecubes” popping up across Japan, or the “Agile Work” agreement in Italy. We also report on a US company that has sought to buck the trend and maintain face-to-face working.

It is still too early to be able to determine what impact the Pandemic has had on collective bargaining. We report on progress made in Spain, but also a major challenge to bargaining in the German engineering sector.

Two added features of newswires you may be noticing recently are reminders about important existing legal measures in different jurisdictions – that could easily be overlooked. We also feature some analytics concerning major individual employers (that are not FedEE members) in order to provide some comparators. In this issue, for instance, we look at two German bio-tech enterprises – Sartorius and Bayer.

DISCLAIMER: This document is for general guidance only. Its contents do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to be complete or exhaustive. Although we try to ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date, all users should seek legal advice before taking or refraining from taking any action and no liability is accepted for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in this document.