Ontario Moving to Step 2 of its Reopening Plan on June 30

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.

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Luxembourg Extends Cross-Border Tax and Social Security Agreements with Neighboring Countries

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.

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Ontario Extends Temporary Relief from the ESA’s Termination and Severance Provisions

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.
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Prendiamo un Caffé!: Be Paid to Work Remotely in Italy

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.

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Proposal to Include the Right to Disconnect to the Luxembourg Labor Code

On April 30, 2021, the Luxembourg Economic and Social Council (Conseil économique et social, “CES”) issued an opinion on the right to disconnect.  In its opinion, the CES recommended that a new provision, L. 312-9, entitled “Respect for the right to disconnect,” be included in the Labor Code.  This new article proposes to (i) define a right to disconnect program and (ii) implement the right to disconnect program.

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New Efforts to Manage India’s Second Wave of COVID-19 Infections

As has been well-documented over the past several weeks, India has experienced a significant second wave of COVID-19 infections. In light of the unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, at least 11 Indian states and union territories have imposed COVID-19 restrictions. This past weekend, the eastern state of Odisha and the northern industrial state of Haryana became the latest to announce new lockdowns, joining Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra and West Bengal, among others.

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