Employment Practices

Ireland

Ireland to Introduce a New Auto-enrollment Pension Scheme for Employees

The Irish government recently published a bill introducing the mandatory automatic enrollment of eligible employees into a central government-run defined contribution pension fund. Auto-enrolment is expected to take effect in January 2025, once the bill is passed. If the bill passes, the auto-enrollment pension scheme will be effective in early 2024.

Globe

New Remote Working Legislation Around the World [Updated]

With the rise of technology, work from home has been a steadily growing trend for many years. Remote working has exploded since Spring 2020 with quarantines, workplace closures, and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at least for jobs and industries that do not always require workers to be on-site.

This abrupt, worldwide shift to remote work has sparked new logistical and structural legal challenges that have warranted many countries to pass teleworking legislation, some of which are summarized in this article.

New teleworking legislation varies widely across countries. While some countries introduced their first teleworking general legal framework, other countries passed more detailed measures. This article will only cover permanent teleworking legislation that has entered into effect since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Temporary COVID-19 related measures, as well as proposed legislation not yet passed as of the publication of this article will not be addressed.

War and the Workplace in Israel

As combat operations continue in Gaza, there have been several developments affecting the workplace, employee rights, and employer obligations in Israel.

Cyprus

Cyprus Increases Maternity Leave Entitlements  

Cyprus has extended maternity leave entitlements for first-time birthing mothers, first-time adopting mothers, and mothers whose newborn is hospitalized for 14 or more days for health reasons. The extended leave provisions enacted by the Protection of Maternity (amendment) Law of 2024 apply to female employees who are on maternity leave or commencing maternity leave from 1 March 2024.

Unlocking employee engagement by embracing disconnecting

High-performing organizations feature engaged workforces that are motivated by the connection employees feel towards their work, teams, leadership, and organization as a whole. And the digital technologies that are a central part of modern life can strengthen that connection while giving employees greater flexibility in when and where they perform their work. For this greater connectivity to promote positive engagement, employees also need to know that they can safely disconnect and recharge, which is only possible when organizations communicate reasonable expectations around working outside of normal working hours, including monitoring and responding to communications (emails, chats, posts, etc.).

Australia

Australia Introduces the Right to Disconnect After Working Hours

On 12 February 2024, the Australian Federal Parliament passed the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Closing Loopholes No. 2) Bill 2023, which introduces, among other changes, a right for all employees to disconnect outside of working hours.

The right to disconnect will enter into effect 6 months after the legislation receives royal assent (expected soon) for businesses with at least 15 employees and 18 months after royal assent for businesses with fewer than 15 employees.

Ukraine introduces limitations to employment rights during martial law period

The Ukrainian parliament recently adopted a new law introducing certain limitations to employment rights as a response to the presidential Decree No. 64/2022, which declared martial law in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

“On Organizing of Employment Relations During Martial Law” (the “Law”) entered into effect on 15 March 2022 and is expected to apply until 13 May 2024, as extended by the Ukrainian President.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg to Introduce Rules When Two Public Holidays Fall on the Same Day

The Luxembourg Parliament recently approved a new Bill clarifying employee holiday entitlements when two paid public holidays fall on the same day, as is the case with the upcoming public holidays: Ascension Day and Europe Day, which both fall on 9 May 2024.

Bill 8266 is expected to enter into effect sometime before May 2024 (exact date to be determined).

United Kingdom

United Kingdom Implements Unpaid Carer’s Leave

The UK government has published draft regulations to implement the Carer’s Leave Act 2023 (the “Act”) providing employees with one week of unpaid carer’s leave per year to arrange or provide care for a dependent.
While the Act entered into force on 4 December 2023, the Draft Regulations implementing unpaid carer’s leave are expected to be effective from 6 April 2024.