As jurisdictions across the world grapple with the effects of the more infectious delta variant, many governments either have taken or are considering more restrictive measures to reduce infection rates and community spread of COVID-19. To encourage individuals to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, countries have developed creative initiatives, including by offering lottery tickets for cash prizes and tickets to soccer (i.e., football) matches, entering raffles to win cars, offering soused herring and providing barbeque sausage sandwiches. Despite these incentives and other forms of encouragement, vaccine hesitancy lingers. As such, some countries in which the “carrot” (i.e., reward) approach has not enticed enough individuals to receive a vaccination now have resorted to the “stick” (i.e., punishment) approach to accelerate COVID-19 vaccination rates. France is an example of a country that has taken a tougher stance on encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations.
Neurodiversity is the inherent differences in neurological structure and function. The term encompasses neurocognitive differences such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, Tourette’s syndrome, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, intellectual disability and schizophrenia. Although most governments do not provide neurodiverse individuals with the support necessary to enter and remain in the workforce, multinational employers are becoming aware of the benefits of having a neurodiverse workplace and are developing hiring and retention initiatives to support neurodiverse applicants and employees.
Effective June 30, 2021, all public health units in Ontario may move to Step 2 of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen. On June 30, all public health units in Ontario will be subject to the requirements established by O. Reg. 263/20, Rules for Areas in Step 2, as amended by O. Reg. 488/21, along with any other conditions that may apply in specific public health units. Due to a recent surge of COVID-19 cases in certain regions, including the Region of Waterloo, not all public health units will move into Step 2 at this time.
Over the past fifteen months, many countries have introduced creative new approaches to address the economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. As employees continue to work remotely and employers reconsider whether employees must return to the workplace at all, some jurisdictions have implemented measures to accommodate the needs and interests of both employers and employees in the ever-changing and evolving employment environment. Luxembourg is an example of a country that has sought to develop solutions with its neighboring nations to ease the economic burden of the COVID-19 pandemic on workers.
On May 29, 2020, the Province of Ontario enacted Ontario Regulation 228/20, Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (the “IDEL Regulation”), under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”). The IDEL Regulation retroactively reclassified any temporary layoff that occurred during the COVID-19 Period as an infectious disease emergency leave (“IDEL”). On June 4, 2021, the Ontario government amended the IDEL Regulation to define the “COVID-19 Period” as the period between March 1, 2020 and September 25, 2021. As a result of this extension, non-union employees with reduced or eliminated work hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic are considered not to be on layoff under the ESA, but instead continue on deemed IDEL.
Continue reading “Ontario Extends Temporary Relief from the ESA’s Termination and Severance Provisions”
As we have reported, the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged not only the employment relationship but also how local government may lessen the economic impact of the pandemic. The governments of Barbados, Estonia and Malta, among others, have implemented measures to support the local economy by either allowing individuals to live in the country while they work for foreign employers or incentivizing independent travelers to visit the country. Now, two Italian towns, specifically Santa Fiora in Tuscany and Rieti in Lazio, may be added to the list of countries, regions and cities that are attempting to revitalize the local economy by offering benefits to lure newcomers.