Be Global: Employment law newsletter

1. Ireland and Italy: Gender pay gap reporting remains in the spotlight

Ireland has finally published its long-awaited regulations setting out the detail of its new gender pay gap reporting obligations. Employers must now take steps to quickly fully familiarise themselves with the requirements – employers with 250 or more employees must report on the specified gender pay gap data no later than six months after the “snapshot date” (a date in June 2022 chosen by the employer). These obligations will extend to employers with 150 or more employees in June 2024, and to employers with 50 or more employees in June 2025. In the event of non-compliance, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission can make an application to court for an order to require an employer to comply with the regulations. Additionally, employees who believe their employer has not complied with the obligations may make a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission. Click here for more information. Italy has also published a new decree providing guidelines on how employers of 50 or more employees must draft their mandatory biennial report on gender pay equality. The report must be filed online through the Ministry of Labour’s online portal which is expected to be available from 23 June 2022. For 2020-2021, the deadline for filing reports is 30 September 2022. For each following two year period, the deadline will be 30 April.

The May 2022 edition of our Global Gender Pay Transparency survey can be requested here and is available to subscribers on our GENIE website.

2. Australia: New government will have a significant impact on the employment and industrial relations landscape

May 2022 saw a new government take power in Australia. The change will have significant impacts for employers across all sectors. In the lead up to the election, the Australian Labor Party ("ALP") committed to introducing a range of major legislative reforms across the employment and industrial relations landscape. If implemented, these changes will significantly transform the industrial relations arena and create several new challenges and regulatory obligations for employers. The ALP has indicated plans to reform laws surrounding casual workers and the gig economy, introduce federal criminal penalties for underpayment of employees, and impose a positive obligation on employers to take measures to eliminate sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and victimisation. In the short time it is has been in power, the ALP has already pushed forward its support for an increase to wages, with the Fair Work Commission confirming that a 5.2% increase to minimum wage will take effect from 1 July 2022. It has also indicated that it is going to prioritise the implementation of 10 days’ paid family and domestic violence leave. Click here for more information.


3. Sweden: Important changes to labour law

As we move on from the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries are now taking steps to introduce more flexibility in the labour market. On 8 June 2022, the Swedish parliament voted to implement changes to Swedish employment law which Sweden’s minister for Employment and Gender Equality, has described as the “greatest reform of Swedish employment law in modern times”. The new rules will enter into force on 30 June 2022 and will be applied from 1 October 2022. The goal of the changes to the Employment Protection Act, which cover a broad spectrum from redun-dancy to performance terminations, is to make the Act more flexible yet more predictable for both employers and employees. Click here for more information.


4. Brazil: Supreme Court held that unions must be involved in mass dismissals

On June 8 2022, the Supreme Court decided, in a claim that analyzed the dismissal of 4,000 employees of one the biggest Brazilian companies, that the intervention of the unions is necessary to allow the company to carry out the mass dismissal of its employees. The Supreme Court decision is considered a ‘general repercussion’ decision, which means that its understanding should be applied to all other similar cases, and in all instances, that are being held before the Brazilian Courts. Click here for more information.


5. Canada: Back to the drawing board again: Canada’s second attempt at privacy legislation revamp

On 16 June 2022, Canada’s Innovation Minister presented Bill C-27, the Digital Charter Implementation Act, 2022 (the “DCIA”) for first reading. Bill C-27 is the second attempt to reform privacy laws in Canada as one of the ten principles of “Canada’s Digital Charter”. The proposed bill is intended to modernize and strengthen privacy protections for consumers and provide clear rules for private-sector organizations. In common with recent legislation in Spain and Illinois the legislation addresses the increasing use of artificial intelligence. The 2022 DCIA includes a new Artificial Intelligence and Data Act (“AIDA”) that creates rules around the deployment of AI technologies, including establishing an AI and Data Commissioner, assessing and mitigating the risks of harm and bias, and outlining criminal offences and penalties relating to the use of AI technologies. For more information on what the new bill means for Canada’s privacy landscape click here.