In September, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Self-Isolation) (England) Regulations 2020 came into effect in the United Kingdom. The Regulations, together with earlier updates from the Government of the United Kingdom, require office workers who can work “effectively” from home to do so over the winter. What's more, potential criminal liability attaches to any employer failure to comply with the Regulations. Access the article.
The freelance space, one of the few sectors to thrive as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis, has seen a surge of openings, especially with the shift to remote work. But the blurred new reality can be bad for freelancers: An employer can have two workers doing essentially the same job, and sometimes what differentiates them is not what they turn in or the gains they make for the company but rather their earnings and insurance status, potentially putting a contractor in a disadvantaged position. In a recent article from Durrelliot, McDermott partner Michelle Strowhiro explains the importance of establishing clear boundaries for freelancers and employees alike in the era of “working from home.” Access the article.
Remote work will be a talent magnet in coming years and must be viewed as a long-term investment, according to recent global research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Oxford Economics and SAP Success Factors. A recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management outlines remote work trends, and McDermott partner Carole Spink highlights opportunities for employers to connect with their teams in the era of increased remote work. Access the article.
Employers that are converting furloughs into permanent layoffs need to ensure compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act and with the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). In a recent article by the Society for Human Resource Management, McDermott partner Carole Spink explains why employers should carefully consider both state and federal regulations—and the importance of clear communication—when converting furloughs into layoffs. Access the article.
Some estimates have upwards of 10 million Americans living abroad; three-fifths of them are working in some fashion, according to a 2017 survey by the expatriate support organization InterNations. And even if a much smaller number are working for US employers, a substantial portion have spent much of 2020 navigating the challenges of visa, benefits, taxes and work status. Beyond that, the challenges that come along with remote work—Zoom fatigue, balancing caregiver roles with job tasks and more—are exacerbated by working across a long stretch of time zones. In a recent article by Evolve, McDermott partner Brian Cousin outlines the importance of employers staying engaged with their employees working abroad—and staying on top of shifting employment circumstances and restrictions. Access the article.
UK employees "working from anywhere" face fines or investigations from foreign tax authorities if they stay too long, become a resident in a foreign country for tax purposes and fail to declare their UK incomes. In some cases, they could also be hit with double taxation on the same earnings. In a recent article in The Daily Telegraph, McDermott partner Simon Goldring advises employees to consider the tax implications of extended "work from home" abroad. Access the article.
Employers are contending with how to respond to telecommuters dressing down during the pandemic. Companies also are considering how to ensure dress codes don't unlawfully discriminate or violate National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rights. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott Employment associate Philip Shecter advises employers to be mindful of these rights, which may arise in the context of attire in favor of social justice movements. Access the article.
With the school year underway, employers in the United States face a new challenge: childcare-related leave and accommodation requests by employees. With widespread remote learning and evolving legal obligations to provide paid leave to working parents, employers must navigate unique staffing challenges while complying with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and other state and local leave laws. In our recent webinar, we outlined some of the current leave requirements regarding childcare obligations and practical solutions to navigate these uncharted waters. View the slide deck here.
Employers must use reasonable diligence in tracking nonexempt telecommuters' work hours and may do this by providing a reporting procedure for unscheduled time, the US Department of Labor (DOL) stated in August 24 guidance. The workers then must be compensated for all reported work hours, even those not requested by the employer. In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, McDermott partner Ellen Bronchetti explained that employers should have policies that prohibit working off the clock. "If an employer has an expectation that an employee was working from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and the employee works later at night responding to emails, that could lead to wage and hour liability." Access the article.
Some essential workers are refusing to go to work out of fear of contracting COVID-19. Their employers must weigh the employees’ legal rights and understandable health concerns with the organizations’ business needs. It can be a tough balancing act. In a recent article, McDermott Partner Pankit Doshi said employers may relax documentation requirements due to the difficulty some employees could have obtaining access to medical providers during the pandemic and to encourage ill employees to stay away from work. Access the article.