Since last March, AGS has maintained a COVID-19 Resource Center to help clients and businesses keep abreast of evolving developments related to workforce and workplace policies. In addition, here are some examples of compliance and labor issues companies should monitor as they move forward.
- US: New Guidance on Expiring Sick Leave Program and Related Activity
A ruling that required employers to offer paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act expired on December 31, 2020. While employers are no longer obligated to offer such benefits, they may do so voluntarily. For guidance, check the Frequently Asked Questions page from the US Department of Labor. In addition, workers furloughed due to the pandemic who may have become ineligible to use Family and Medical Leave Act time-off benefits could have other protections under state laws or the Americans with Disabilities Act. And, companies have more time to comply with Form I-9 requirements, which address employee eligibility verification.
- UK: Can Employers Legally Mandate a COVID-19 Vaccine Program?
There is no currently enforceable legal ground upon which companies can require workers to participate in a COVID-19 vaccination program, nor is there a known plan to make such participation mandatory. However, employers across the UK are wrestling with how to meet their obligation to provide safe and healthy workplaces. A related survey by the Society of Human Resource Managers in the US found employers are leaning toward encouraging worker vaccination, but participation rates so far indicate high levels of convincing may not be necessary.
- EMEA: Health, Finance, Entitlements and Performance Regulations Emerge
Largely due to COVID-19, many new regulations are going into effect that will influence all aspects of work, from worker health and safety to finance, entitlements and performance. Many of these changes will likely have a lasting influence beyond the pandemic. Get the European Commission’s December 2020 flash report for labor law updates across the region to learn more. (Scroll to the bottom of the page).
- Singapore: Wage Growth May Happen, But Not for All Sectors
While many companies are still hesitant on pay raises as they continue to assess the impact of COVID-19, some in Singapore seem poised for growth. Two recent surveys portray a smaller number of organizations reporting plans to continue or initiate salary freezes in 2021 compared to 2020.
Takeaway: Best practices around compliantly managing remote work, benefits, health and safety, and pay remain a continuing priority as companies navigate workplace and workforce issues due to COVID-19. AGS can provide the insight and expertise needed to adapt to a changing regulatory and legislative landscape.
US: Biden Administration Freezes Proposed Regulations on Worker Classification
US & Canada: Both Employees and Contractors are Among Growing Alphabet Workers Union
US: H1-B Electronic Registration Process Could Undergo Changes
US: Age Discrimination Claim Denied in Worker Performance Case
UK: AGS Launches IR35 Resource Site to Help Companies Prepare for April Countdown
UK: Points-Based Immigration System Updated
UK: Brexit Trade Deal Excludes Financial Services, With Data Sharing and Privacy Rules to Come
Poland & Hungary: EU Ruling Influences Posting of Workers and Services Across Region
India: A Government-Mandated Wage Code Restructuring Could Boost Retirement Income
China: Heavier Penalties for Violating Workplace Safety Measures Being Considered
Australia: New Reform Bill Aims to Protect Workers, Define Casual Employment