Belgium: Different collar rules? Recent statute changes have brought about greater equality between the employment terms of the ‘blue collar workers’ and the ‘white collar workers.’ For decades trade unions, governments and courts have been trying to eliminate the differing treatment of these two types of workers. Recent statutory changes have brought about greater harmonisation in their terms of engagement in relation to e.g. notice periods, paid sick leave and outplacement with additional pension rights also soon to be harmonised.
Ireland: ‘World class whistle blower law’ – if you are planning to whistle blow, it appears Ireland is the best place to do it. In order to encourage more workers to ‘speak up’, new legislation is being introduced in Ireland which will reportedly award successful whistle blowers up to five years’ remuneration, even where the employee has not been dismissed.
Netherlands: The government has been busy trying to reduce the high degree of employment protection afforded to employees – New laws are being introduced which should make it cheaper to for companies to make employees redundant after 2015. The current formula of roughly one month’s salary per year of employment will be reduced to a ‘transitional allowance’ of roughly one third month’s salary per year of employment. This is still not a patch on our employer friendly rates of only one to one and a half weeks’ salary per year of employment – and that’s capped!
France: What do you get when you put a federation of employers from engineering and consulting sectors together with a couple of French unions? Answer: A ‘clock-off’ agreement – forcing employees to switch off work phones and avoid looking at work emails after 6pm. France has taken this stance to start measuring ‘digital working time’ in a bid to improve the health and well-being of its workers in these sectors.
We often deal with employment issues in the UK on behalf of overseas clients and are experienced in advising such clients on the intricacies of English law. Furthermore, as Mundays are founding members of Cicero League of International Lawyers, we also work closely with our fellow members overseas when our UK based clients have employees based overseas.