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When the coronavirus pandemic exploded around the world, multinationals sprang into action, safeguarding workplace health and safety globally by furloughing workers where necessary, shutting down workplaces, and shifting to work-from-home. But the tide is shifting. As countries ease lockdown restrictions, the “new normal” under COVID-19 means reopening offices and sites while protecting health and safety of employees, customers and visitors.
As long as this virus ravages the world, workforce reintegration raises tough problems of HR strategy, corporate social responsibility and legal compliance. For international employers, these problems are international. Multinationals want to meet their legal duty of care to safeguard workers’ health and safety in every workplace, in every country, while complying with employee rights and tough data privacy laws like EU GDPR. Proactive multinationals are forging global strategies to avoid inconsistent, piecemeal approaches that force local managers to “invent the wheel” independently in far-flung locales -- while simultaneously accounting for differences among local laws and varying COVID-19 infection patterns.
Please join Donald C. Dowling, Jr., Lavanga V. Wijekoon and Nancy Zhang, international employment lawyers on the COVID-19 Task Force of international employment law firm Littler Mendelson P.C. for this fast-paced session that addresses multinational headquarters designing consistent international return-to-work strategies in the shadow of the global pandemic, answering the tough questions:
- What do the duty of care and duty to protect workplace healthy and safety require, worldwide, when implementing COVID-19 strategies like social distancing, mask-wearing and constant disinfecting?
- Can employers require, as a precondition for entering overseas workplaces, temperature tests? Infection tests? Antibody tests? Health/travel disclosures? Doctors' clearances?
- How can an employer be fair when one size just doesn’t fit all -- when some workers must report to the worksite while others work from home, others are on furlough, others are on quarantine -- and others are particularly susceptible to infection?
- Where do foreign collective labor representatives fit into the return-to-work equation -- trade unions, works councils and those omnipresent “Health and Safety Committees”?
What You Will Learn
- This session offers up lots of examples of specific local laws in specific countries that regulate returning staff to workplaces in the COVID-19 era. But rather than inventorying local foreign regulations, the program arms multinational decisionmakers and their legal advisors, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with cutting-edge strategies and compliance tools to get employees back into workplaces worldwide -- legally and safely.