ANNUAL REVIEW

Labour & Employment 2014

January 2014  |  LABOUR & EMPLOYMENT

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Financier Worldwide canvasses the opinions of leading professionals around the world on the latest trends in labour & employment.

 

UNITED STATES

John P. Furfaro

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

"In the US, there has been an expansion of employee rights and protections of varying degrees at federal, state and local levels. Although Congress has remained gridlocked, over the last year federal agencies and courts issued significant regulations and decisions, and state and local governments passed legislation considerably impacting employers."

 

CANADA

Graeme McFarlane

Roper Greyell LLP

"In two important decisions, Canada’s Supreme Court clarified certain issues related to the operation of pension programs. In the first decision – Sun Indalex Finance, LLC v. United Steelworkers, 2013 SCC 6 – the Court held that creditors who provide credit during insolvency proceedings rank ahead of pension funds."

 

ARGENTINA

Federico M. Basile

M. & M. Bomchil

"The last relevant change in employment law was the modification of Section 39 of the Labour Hazards Act Nbr. 25,557 (LHA), which prescribes the civil liability of the employers in the event of damages suffered by any employees during the performance of work."

 

COLOMBIA

Santiago Martinez Mendez

Godoy Cordoba

"Labour laws in Colombia are often in a state of flux. In 2013 there were a number of key developments, including Act 1610/2013, which strengthens the inspection activity of the Labour Ministry, with attributions such as the closures of businesses by inspectors; Act 1636/2013, which provides protection and benefits for newly unemployed; and Decree 723/2013 which helps to regulate the operation of the affiliation of independent workers in the occupational hazards system."

 

UNITED KINGDOM

Ed Bowyer

Hogan Lovells

"During 2013 the UK has seen a general relaxation of employment regulation, in an attempt to encourage businesses to hire staff and boost economic growth. The period of redundancy consultation required where 100 or more employees are to be dismissed has been reduced from 90 to 45 days."

 

FRANCE

Viviane Stulz

Actance, Société d’avocats

"The main development in the past year has been the enactment of a law of which the basis had first been agreed between unions of employers and employees at national level. This law is the result therefore of negotiation and a compromise situation whereby employers have agreed to more security for employees against more flexibility for companies."

 

SWITZERLAND

Andreas Casutt

Niederer Kraft & Frey

"In Switzerland, an initiative against ‘excessive’ compensation for managers was adopted in March 2013. The respective laws entered into force on 1 January 2014, obliging publicly held companies to make the compensation to top management, as well as the board of directors, subject to approval of the shareholders at the board meeting."

 

SPAIN

Nazaret Clemente

Ramón y Cajal Abogados, S.L.P.

"Several changes have been introduced to Spanish Employment Law over the last 12 months. The most recent changes are related to the inclusion within the social security contribution basis of new contribution concepts, which until now were exempted from contribution – transport allowances, contributions of the company to employees’ pension plans, and so on – and which will increase the total cost assumed by companies in relation to their employees."

 

ROMANIA

Ana Maria Placintescu

Musat & Asociatii

"The long-running controversy surrounding the possibility of the court replacing disciplinary sanctions applied by the employer, was settled by the High Court of Cassation and Justice. According to this decision, rulings by the High Court of Cassation and Justice, which has the capability to solve the employee’s complaint against the disciplinary sanction applied by the employer, can replace the disciplinary sanction with another, if such disciplinary sanction was wrongly applied."

 

AUSTRALIA

Tim Davey

Minter Ellison Lawyers

"The most significant statutory development has been the introduction on 1 January 2014 of a right, for workers who believe they have been bullied at work, to make an application to the national workplace relations tribunal for orders to prevent the bullying from continuing. We anticipate that this new jurisdiction will result in a large number of claims, particularly in the context of performance management."

 

NEW ZEALAND

Carl Blake

Simpson Grierson

"The most notable development in New Zealand’s employment law has been the introduction of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill 2013, in April 2013. The key proposed changes to the Employment Relations Act 2000 – New Zealand’s primary statute governing employee rights – relate to various union related and collective bargaining matters, overall providing greater power to employers."

 

INDIA

Nohid Nooreyezdan

AZB & Partners

"The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 that received presidential assent on 22 April 2013, has now been brought into force by the central government’s notification published in the official gazette, dated 9 December 2013. The Act codifies a formal redress mechanism for women subjected to sexual harassment and comprehensively incorporates the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan, whilst expanding inter alia on the definition of employee and workplace."


CONTRIBUTORS

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Roper Greyell LLP

M. & M. Bomchil

Godoy Cordoba

Hogan Lovells

Actance, Société d’avocats

Niederer Kraft & Frey

Ramón y Cajal Abogados, S.L.P.

Musat & Asociatii

Minter Ellison Lawyers

Simpson Grierson

AZB & Partners


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