Labor & Employment

FURLOUGH SCHEME: ERRORS AND PENALTIES

HMRC has published new guidance on what to do if you have made an error in a claim under the furlough scheme and claimed too much or too little. There is also new guidance on penalties which apply in cases of overpayment.

If an employer has claimed too little for an employee under the scheme, they can inform HMRC and amend the claim. However, since 31st July 2020 claims cannot be amended for the period up to 30th June 2020 where an employee should have been included in a claim before that date. However, the guidance indicates that other errors can still be rectified. The guidance also confirms that where too little has been claimed in error, the employer must pay the employee what they were due and make up any shortfall. Read more…

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CHANGES TO FURLOUGH SCHEME IN COMING MONTHS

In our previous newsletters we have discussed the furlough scheme (or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme). We are now entering the last three months of the scheme, in which there will be further changes to how it operates. From the 1st July, employers have been able to place employees on ‘flexible furlough’ where they return to work part time and are furloughed on the remainder of their usual working days. Read more…

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Rule 1: Don’t Rush In Without a Plan – Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19

Part 1 of a series featuring our video Rules of the Road: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19. 

As Labor Day approaches, with schools reopening (in some form or fashion), and as we approach the end of our collective bandwidth for Zoom meetings, much time and attention has been spent discussing how and when to finally “return to work.”

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U.S. DOL Issues Additional Guidance on COVID-19 and FLSA, FMLA and FFCRA Rules

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued new FAQs addressing requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) as employees return to work amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The DOL has stated that work performed remotely is treated the same as work performed at the primary worksite for purposes of compensability. Employers must compensate nonexempt employees for all hours of telework actually performed, including overtime work, provided that the employer knew or had reason to believe the work was performed. This includes unauthorized hours worked and unreported hours by an employee when an employer knew or had reason to believe that the work was performed. Read more…

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UPDATE: CERB EXTENDED BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND NEW EI BENEFITS

The federal government announced on Thursday, August 20, 2020 new income support measures as individuals are transitioned off of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (the “CERB“). These income support measures include an extension to the CERB, adjusted eligibility for Employment Insurance benefits, and new benefit programs.

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Connecticut Governor Lamont Strengthens Workers’ Compensation Claims for Workers Affected by COVID-19

On July 24, 2020, Connecticut Governor Lamont issued Executive Order JJJ (“E.O. JJJ”), which creates a presumption that employees who contracted COVID-19 in the early days of the pandemic contracted it at work and are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

Pursuant to E.O. JJJ, there shall be a “rebuttable presumption” that an employee, who makes a claim for benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act, and who missed one or more days of work between March 10, 2020 and May 20, 2020, inclusive, due to a diagnosis of COVID-19 or symptoms that were diagnosed as COVID-19, contracted COVID-19 as an occupational disease arising in the course of his or her employment. The following four conditions must be met for the rebuttable presumption to apply:

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Luxembourg Employers Face Additional Obligations During Heat Waves in the Midst of COVID-19

On August 8, 2020, in response to local meteorology reports of expected temperatures of above 95°F, Luxembourg’s Ministry of Health announced a “red alert warning,” and implemented a Heat Wave Plan. The Heat Wave Plan (i) advises that older individuals, infants, and those with chronic illnesses may be affected by such high temperatures and (ii) offers personal check-in and hydration services by the Luxembourg Red Cross and home care agencies. All such visits must adhere to COVID-19 safety procedures.

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Video: Cybersecurity and Other Considerations for Extended Remote Work Models – Employment Law This Week

As featured in #WorkforceWednesday: As the uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many employers are considering extended or permanent work-from-home (WFH) models. Attorneys Brian G. Cesaratto and Shawndra G. Jones share some tips for employers on cybersecurity and other issues to consider when implementing extended WFH models.

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Philadelphia Enacts Protections for COVID-19 Whistleblowers

Philadelphia is making sure employers err on the side of caution when it comes to COVID-19.  As of June 26, 2020, Philadelphia-based employees have additional protections from retaliation through the  unanimously passed the Essential Workers Protection Act (“EWPA” or “Act”), which prohibits retaliation against any employee who speaks out about, or refuses to work due to, the employer’s non-compliance with Pennsylvania and Philadelphia COVID-19 public health orders.  The EWPA applies to all Philadelphia employers, regardless of their size.

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U.S. DOL: Employees Who Refuse to Work Under Unsafe Conditions May Be Eligible for CARES Act Unemployment Benefits

While much attention is currently focused on whether Congress will extend, in whole or in part, the emergency $600 increase in unemployment insurance benefits (“UI”) that, until July 31, 2020, had been provided by the CARES Act (“Act”), the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) is continuing to address questions about the other expansions of UI benefits under the Act, most recently, in an advisory letter issued on July 21, 2020 by the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration office (“ETA”). Of particular note, the latest ETA advisory letter instructs that an employee who refuses to work because of COVID-19 health or safety concerns nevertheless may be eligible under state law for UI benefits authorized under another provision of the Act—the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (“PUA”).

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