As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working became a necessity. Despite the easing lockdowns, the trend is likely to stay, particularly with “workstations” being actively promoted by the travel industry; however, there are considerable tax consequences for international employers. In this International News article, McDermott’s Gero Burwitz and Isabella Denninger discuss the complexity of this new working order and how international businesses can navigate it.
What are some of the challenges and opportunities of hybrid work arrangements? In this Lexology GTDT Market Intelligence article, McDermott Partner Carole Spink offers insight about tracking remote work, navigating local rules, and protecting confidential and propriety information.
Law firms and other members of the corporate world are seeking to find the right balance between in-person and remote work. According to this American Lawyer article, McDermott Chairman Ira Coleman noted the “cultural expectation” of in-person work at his firm.
“One of the big challenges for us is trying to navigate how we think about mentorship and apprenticeship when so much of the work we’re doing now is actually being done virtually,” Coleman said.
The process of recruiting and onboarding new employees will require re-examination as remote work becomes a permeant fixture of the American workplace. In this Law360 article, McDermott Partner Ellen Bronchetti offers perspective about how companies will need to modify these policies and procedures.
“My concern when you don’t have the level of engagement that you used to have when you brought an employee in the door, is whether or not a company’s policies and practices are adequate to instruct employees [about] the rules [and] expectations,” Bronchetti said.
Throughout the latest COVID-19 wave, some healthcare employers have relaxed safety measures to bring COVID-positive employees back to work. According to this Corporate Counsel article, these decisions may signal a new direction in how businesses deal with safety measures as they navigate a competitive labor market and demand. McDermott’s Abigail M. Kagan noted many healthcare facilities are doing their best to balance employee safety with workplace strain.
“If a patient hears that their nurse has tested positive that morning, the patient may be uncomfortable,” Kagan noted. “ … On the other hand, if it’s the difference between having no nurse, or having a nurse that medical authorities in the (United States) seem to believe is not going to be contagious anymore, that’s something that employers have to think about.”
While remote work provides many conveniences, the office offers an ‘interpersonal glue’ that is difficult to replicate when working from home. As McDermott Partner Tina Martini notes in this Chicago Lawyer article, there are countless opportunities to develop professional and personal relationships in the office.
“I don’t think I would be where I am today as an attorney and professional if I didn’t have these chances,” Martini said.
How should the federal and state governments approach remote work taxation? In this Law360 article, McDermott partner Kathleen Quinn says the growing complexity of remote work highlights the need for guidance.
“What’s becoming even more problematic is now, we don’t just have people that work in a New York office and they traditionally work from home from New Jersey,” Quinn said. “Now, people are saying, ‘Well, I’m going to work from New Jersey, then in the winter I’m going to work from Florida…and then maybe for a month I’ll go to Europe.’ It really becomes sort of a withholding mess.”
Employment law continues to evolve, and it can be a challenge amid an ever-changing landscape of local employment laws for human resources executives and employment counsel at multinational businesses to maintain a consistent global corporate culture.
McDermott’s Global Employment Law Update brings you the key highlights from across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin and North America. Developed in collaboration with peer firms operating in more than 50 countries, this resource guide contains summaries of the laws and significant court decisions that impacted employers and employees all over the world. It includes:
- COVID-19 legislative updates
- Remote work and telecommuting policies
- Data privacy protections
- Minimum wage and salary compensation updates
- Changes to labor protection laws
- Sexual harassment modifications