Recent developments in Russian employment law arising out of the President’s Order given on 14 March 2011 allow employees to work from home. These changes to the Labour Code of the Russian Federation (the “Labour Code“) are effective from 19 April 2013.
The current market requires more flexibility regarding the workplace since many professionals are able to work from a location other than their employers’ offices, i.e. home, local café, etc. Remote employment offers a number of advantages, including cost savings for both employer and employee. Moreover, it also gives employers access to professionals whom they might otherwise not easily employ (due to mobility problems or living outside the commuting area). Continue reading
The guide includes a detailed summary of the ‘need-to-know’ elements of employment law in 18 jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region, covering Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, People’s Republic of China, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
The guide captures the latest employment law developments across the Asia-Pacific region. Continue reading
If you’re an observer of current affairs, you’ll have noticed a new social phenomenon of commuters taking videos of racial abuse by fellow passengers. Initially, there was outrage at the footage – why was no-one around the victim doing anything? In more recent footage, members of the public are now standing up and saying, ‘that’s not on, and I won’t stand by silently and let you do this’.
This is an example of bystanders in action. It is a new and powerful frontier for eliminating unacceptable behaviour in our society, and it is one employers can harness to improve the culture of their workplace, their employees’ engagement, and reduce the risk of claims of unlawful discrimination and harassment. Continue reading
Last week the French Parliament adopted a major employment law which will have a significant impact on companies with a workforce in France.
Key provisions of the new law for employers include: greater certainty in relation to the timing of collective redundancies but also stricter requirements to actively seek out a buyer in the event of the proposed closure of a site.
The new law also delivers in particular new provisions in relation to employee representation at board level in larger companies/groups and increased obligations in relation to the subjects for information and consultation of works councils.
The law has not yet been officially published – the text has been referred to the Constitutional Court (on 15 May 2013) and a decision of the Constitutional Court is pending.
Our briefing sets out the principal provisons of the new law.
For more information, or to discuss how the changes may affect you business, please contact Sophie Brézin or Emma Röhsler in our Paris office.
At the last of the global launches of our Asia-Pacific Employment Law Guide taking place in London on 11 June we will be discussing recent developments and trends in employment laws in the region. Continue reading
Compliance with local employment and migration laws remains an area of increasing interest to Russian regulatory authorities. Consequently, international companies operating in Russia should pay attention to the employment and migration aspects of their local business activities.
Below we highlight some features of Russian migration laws in the context of the present economic climate. Continue reading
Employers should succeed in striking out a claim where, putting the claimant’s case at its best, there is still no evidence of an essential part of the claim. The claimant’s hope that “something may turn up” later in the claim will usually be insufficient to avoid strike-out.
The EAT upheld the strike out of a disability discrimination claim where there was no evidence that the managers making the relevant recruitment decision knew of the claimant’s disability. The hope that the managers might admit to knowledge under skilled cross-examination was not sufficient to allow the claim to proceed. Presumably a claimant would have to show that the chance of something probative turning up on cross-examination – or perhaps in disclosure – was realistic. (Patel v Lloyds Pharmacy)
The EAT has ruled that post-employment victimisation is unlawful, departing from its previous decision in Rowstock v Jessemy. (Onu v Akiwiwu)
Such victimisation often consists of an employer giving an unfairly negative reference or refusing to give a reference (when it is normal practice to do so) for an ex-employee because they made a discrimination claim.
The conflicting decisions derive from a drafting error in the Equality Act. The government did not intend to exclude protection from such conduct, but the EAT has reached conflicting conclusions as to whether the wording can be interpreted to provide it or, if not, whether words can be read in to comply with EU law. The issue will have to be resolved by the Court of Appeal, due to hear Rowstock later this year.
Employers may need to distance themselves from discriminatory remarks made by shareholders who are closely connected to or wield influence over the management of the business.
The ECJ has ruled that homophobic remarks about the recruitment of gay players, made by a shareholder in a football club in an interview to a journalist, shifted the burden of proof to the employer to show that a recruitment decision was not discriminatory. This was because, although the shareholder had no power to make binding recruitment decisions, he was perceived by the media and public as playing a leading role in the club and the club had failed to distance itself from the remarks. (Asociatia ACCEPT v Consiliul National C-81/12)
The ECJ has confirmed that a person who can work to a limited extent or limited hours can still be “disabled”. Relying on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (to which the EU itself signed up as part of the Treaty of Lisbon), the ECJ ruled that disability requires an impairment that “in interaction with various barriers” may hinder the full and effective participation in professional life “on an equal basis with others”. UK law focuses on the effect on “normal day-to-day activities”, which has been held to exclude specialist work-based activities; this approach may need to be adjusted to reflect this ECJ ruling.
The ECJ also confirmed that the origin of the disability is irrelevant – it can be caused by a temporary illness if the disability is sufficiently long-term. A reduction in working hours can be a reasonable adjustment if it enables the individual to remain in employment.
Finally, the Court considered that a national law allowing termination on reduced notice after 120 days’ absence in one year was potentially indirect discrimination. The ECJ ruled that it might be appropriate to adopt such a rule to achieve the Member State’s legitimate aim of giving employers the confidence to recruit and retain employees likely to have repeat absences – but this was for the national court to decide.
Directors’ service contracts often contain this type of early termination provision and the ruling serves as a reminder of the potential for indirect disability discrimination claims when operating such a clause; justification will be key and the ECJ view on potentially legitimate aims is therefore of interest. The same potential for indirect discrimination (unless justified) applies to absence control policies given that disabled workers have the additional risk of disability-related illness and therefore a greater risk of accumulating days of absence and reaching the absence control policy limit. (HK Danmark v Dansk, C-335 & 337/11)