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Government Updates

India – Nationwide Lockdown Extended Through May 31

While the government has allowed considerable relaxations, it has extended the ongoing, nationwide lockdown until May 31 (May 21, 2020).

Australia – States Urged to Open Borders to Tourists

As Qantas prepares for the easing of travel restrictions, Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham is urging state and territory governments to open borders to domestic holiday-makers when safe (May 19, 2020).

Europe – EU to Propose 1 Trillion Euro Recovery Grants and Loans

The European Commission will present a pandemic recovery plan next week that will exceed 1 trillion euros and provide a mix of grants and loans (May 19, 2020).

India – States Announce Revised Guidelines Following Lockdown Extension

After the government announced plans to extend the lockdown through the end of May, several states issued new guidelines, including the opening of public transport and markets (May 19, 2020).

Hong Kong – Plans in Motion to Boost Coronavirus Testing to Detect More Silent Carriers

Public hospitals and laboratories will expand their daily testing capacity by more than half within months (May 18, 2020).

Hong Kong – Construction Workers Get Subsidies

About $1.2 billion in subsidies has been disbursed to 160,000 construction workers under the second round of the Anti-Epidemic Fund, totaling more than $1.7 billion in subsidies that have been paid out to date (May 18, 2020).

India – Final Economic Package Details Released

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released the last component of a five-part economic package, including several reforms, and fiscal and liquidity measures (May 17, 2020).

US – Feds OK Remote I-9 Document Review for Another 30 Days

Initially set to expire May 19, the remote review of documents associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) is now permissible for an additional 30 days (May 14, 2020).

US – Officials Release Coronavirus Reopening Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted six one-page decision tool documents for businesses, schools, and other organizations to use as they assess reopening plans (May 14, 2020).

India – Prime Minister Modi Announces Special Economic Package

India’s nationwide lockdown is scheduled to stay in place until May 17, and details about the next phase are expected soon based on recommendations by the states (May 14, 2020).

India – Finance Minister Details Plan for “Responsive Government”

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says the vision for a “Self-Reliant India” is to promote the potential of business and the economy (May 13, 2020).

Hong Kong – Job Aid Scheme Opens May 25

The government unveiled more details for the Employment Support Scheme, for which employers and self-employed people will be able to apply online starting May 25 (May 12, 2020).

Northern Ireland – Executive Publishes Plan for Easing Lockdown

Northern Ireland’s five-stage plan for easing the COVID-19 lockdown identifies key criteria to be met at each phase, with hopes of reaching the final stage by December (May 12, 2020).

UK – Furlough Scheme Extended by Four Months

The UK scheme to pay workers on leave due to the coronavirus has been extended to October (May 12, 2020).

Hong Kong – No New Cases Prompts Plan to Relax Cross-Border Travel Restrictions

An agreement to relax cross-border quarantine measures among Hong Kong, Guangdong province, and Macau could be reached within weeks but with a delay in family visits and tourism (May 11, 2020).

Australia – Prime Minister Issues an Update on Coronavirus Measures

The National Cabinet met to discuss options for easing restrictions, preparing Australians to go back to work in a safe environment and getting the economy back to a more sustainable level (May 8, 2020).

US – USCIS Extends H-1B Documentation Grace Period

US Citizenship and Immigration Services has extended a prior grace period for responses to requests for evidence and notices of intent to deny (May 6, 2020).

Switzerland – Government Releases Plan to Reopen the Country

In a bid to avoid further damage to the economy, the government announced its plan to reopen the country in three phases on April 27, May 11, and June 8 (May 5, 2020).

Hong Kong – 60,000 Workers Received Financial Support Allowances

About 60,000 eligible workers have received the first round of financial support under the Anti-Epidemic Fund (May 4, 2020).

India – Lockdown 3.0: What You Can and Can’t Do

The government announced a two-week extension of the country’s lockdown through May 17, with guidelines for which types of activities are allowed in the meantime (May 4, 2020).

Malaysia – Some States Insist Restrictions Will Remain

As Malaysia eased lockdown restrictions on business activities, six of its 13 states are refusing to comply, and others have imposed additional restrictions to promote health and physical distancing (May 4, 2020).

India – Prime Minister Stresses Need for Reforms, Help to Businesses

Government and finance officials met to discuss the need to aid businesses, expedite infrastructure projects, and ensure financial stability and liquidity (May 3, 2020).

Ireland – Roadmap Sets Outs to Reopen Society and Business

The five-phase roadmap sets out Ireland’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions beginning May 18 through August 10 (May 3, 2020).

Germany – Government Issues Occupational Health and Safety Standard for Reopening Business

As Germany eases its emergency measures, the federal government has issued standards to guide employers about which occupational safety measures they must take to protect workers (May 1, 2020).

Poland – Support Program to be Offered from the Polish Development Fund

Work is underway to redirect support offered by the Polish Development Fund to counteract the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (April 29, 2020).

Hong Kong – Public Services to Return to Normal Next Week

Chief Executive Carrie Lam expects civil servants to return to work, while libraries, museums, and sports grounds will all reopen (April 29, 2020).

US – White House Allows Social Distancing Guidelines to Expire, So States Can Establish Protocols

Existing social distancing guidelines will be allowed to expire April 30, leaving state governors in charge of steps to reopen their economies and lift stay-at-home restrictions (April 29, 2020).

Australia – Restrictions are Changing Across Several States

As Australia continues to successfully flatten the coronavirus curve, some states and territories have begun easing lockdown restrictions (April 28, 2020).

Canada – Ontario Unveils Guiding Principles to Reopen the Province

The Ontario government released a framework for reopening, with criteria on loosening emergency measures, and principles for the safe, gradual opening of businesses, services, and public spaces (April 27, 2020).

UK – Chancellor Unveils 100% State-Backed Loans for Small Firms

Within days of applying, small firms will be able to access to 100% taxpayer-backed loans of up to £50,000 when a new scheme begins next week (April 27, 2020).

US – Trump Signs $484 Billion Coronavirus Relief Bill

The bill provides $310 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $75 billion for healthcare providers, and $25 billion for coronavirus testing (April 24, 2020).

Singapore – Prime Minister Extends Shut-Down Measures to June 1 to Limit Spread

Prime Minister Lee implements tighter measures to close more workplaces as well as a four-week extension to existing mandates to help limit coronavirus cases (April 22, 2020).

Hong Kong – COVID-19 Restrictions Extended by 14 Days

Hong Kong's government will extend restrictions aimed at tackling the coronavirus for another 14 days to preserve the city's success in keeping the number of cases down (April 21, 2020).

Australia – What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus Tracking App

The federal government plans to release an app that would use Australians’ phones to help detect who they may have been in close proximity with as a way to augment manual contact tracing (April 20, 2020).

India – Prime Minister Urges Industry to Adopt New Business Models, Work Culture

Prime Minister Modi named five pillars of a new business and work culture, including adaptability to survive future crises, efficiency, caring for the poor, new opportunities, and unity and brotherhood (April 20, 2020).

US – Department of Labor Ends Temporary Non-Enforcement of Paid Leave Protections

The non-enforcement period of paid leave protections under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act has ended, which allowed the Department’s Wage and Hour Division to offer extensive guidance and education about the law’s requirements, giving workers and employers time to come into compliance (April 20, 2020).

UK – Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Up and Running

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is now live with an application process that opened 10 days ahead of schedule, enabling businesses to claim up to £2500 a month toward staff wages (April 20, 2020).

UK – Billion-Pound Support Package for Innovative Firms Hit by Coronavirus

UK business driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package (April 20, 2020).

Ireland – Update on Payments Awarded for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Enhanced Illness Benefit

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued payments to 584,000 people as part of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment program with 50k receiving payment for the first time (April 20, 2020).

India – New Lockdown Guidelines Offer Insight into Permissible Economic Activities

A limited resumption of activities begins April 20, for areas outside COVID-19 containment zones, with protocols in place for prescribing strict workplaces, and aimed at ensuring agricultural activities are functional, promoting the rural economy, and helping daily wage earners, including at select industrial activities (April 20, 2020).

Hong Kong – Legislature Approves HK$137.5 Billion Aid Package

The aid package includes HK$80 billion worth of wage subsidies to cover up to 50% of workers’ salaries for six months, capped at HK$9,000 a month, along with one-off handouts for the hardest-hit sectors (April 18, 2020).

UK – Chancellor Extends Furlough Scheme to the End of June

Following the recent announcement to keep social distancing measures in place, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would now be open until the end of June, enabling businesses to furlough employees with the government paying them cash grants of 80% of their wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 (April 17, 2020).

US – Federal Guidelines Issued for Opening Up America Again

The White House has released federal guidelines for reopening the American economy through a phased-in approach (April 16, 2020).

UK – Companies House Support for Businesses Hit by COVID-19

Companies House, the UK’s registrar of companies and an executive agency and trading fund of Her Majesty’s Government, will help businesses avoid being dissolved by allowing them to seek extensions and gain greater flexibilities as they deal with pandemic (April 16, 2020).

Germany – Contact Restrictions Extended

The Chancellor and the state premiers of the federal states have reached an agreement to extend contact restrictions until May 3, with schools and some shops reopening gradually, beginning May 4 (April 15, 2020).

UK – More Newly Hired Staff Will Get Paid

Thousands of employees could receive support following changes to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which extended the eligibility deadline from those employed on February 28 to those employed as of March 19 (April 15, 2020).

Norway – New Temporary Rules on Layoffs in Light of COVID-19

To mitigate the economic consequences of extensive layoffs, the Norwegian parliament has adopted several new rules about layoffs (April 14, 2020).

Malaysia – Prime Minister Urges its Plus Three ASEAN Partners to Work Together to Ensure Recovery

In a Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit, the Malaysian Prime Minister called on China, South Korea, and Japan to work together to formulate an economic recovery plan post-COVID-19 that focuses on financial issues, social safety nets, food security, and education (April 14, 2020).

India – Talks Underway to Restart Highway Construction Projects

As a way to turn the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity, talks are underway among state governments and road sector officials to restart highway construction projects and employ migrant laborers (April 13, 2020).

Malaysia – Partial Lockdown Extended to April 28

Malaysia's Prime Minister ordered an extension on its restricted movement order, which was set to expire on April 14 and will now last until April 28 (April 10, 2020).

US – EEOC Releases Updated Workplace Guidelines and FAQs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has published further workplace protections and rules pertinent to COVID-19 that address common employer questions (April 9, 2020).

Hong Kong – Leader Announces Biggest Relief Package Yet, Worth HK$138 Billion

Leader Carrie Lam unveiled her government’s biggest coronavirus financial relief package so far, offering a financial lifeline worth ~US$18 billion to save ailing businesses and ensure some 1.5 million workers would continue to get paid in the months ahead (April 8, 2020).

Singapore – All Returning Residents to Serve 14-Day Self-Isolation at Dedicated Facilities

In a further expansion of stay-home notice requirements, citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders entering Singapore from any country will be required to serve a 14-day self-isolation (April 8, 2020).

Singapore – Social Gatherings of Any Size, Public and Private, Banned Under New Bill

Valid for six months, a new bill passed in Parliament bans all social gatherings, including those with families or friends not living together, at home or in public spaces (April 7, 2020).

Malaysia – Government Announces Third Economic Stimulus Package Valued at US$2.3 Billion

The Malaysian government announced a stimulus package of 10 billion ringgit (US$2.3 billion) to fend off economic repercussions of an extended lockdown period (April 6, 2020).

UK – Flexible Workers Gain New Rights Under Good Work Plan

A provision that previously allowed agency workers to be paid between assignments, instead of receiving equal pay after working 12 weeks for the same client in the same role, will now be unlawful (April 6, 2020).

UK – Changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme “Could Help Contractors”

Limited company contractors can explore assistance options through Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, following small business-friendly changes made by the chancellor (April 6, 2020).

UK – First Government-Backed Loans Reach Firms in Need

The chancellor is taking further action to support firms affected by the coronavirus by bolstering business interruption loans and announcing a new scheme for larger companies (April 3, 2020).

Australia – Prime Minister Extends a Financial Lifeline to the Childcare Sector

Australian government has removed childcare fees to help parents who keep working through the coronavirus crisis (April 2, 2020).

Australia – Coronavirus “Pandemic Leave” Expected to Save Tens of Thousands of Jobs

Workers will soon have access to unpaid pandemic leave and extended annual leave at reduced rates to help keep them in their jobs (April 2, 2020).

Switzerland – Pandemic Plan: What Companies Need to Know

This frequently updated news resource shares updates on emergency ordinances granting loans, benefits, and other measures aimed to avoid layoffs, maintain employment, and secure wages for employees and the self-employed (April 2, 2020).

Poland – New Anti-Crisis Shield Package Offers Solutions for Workers and Employers

A new regulatory package, the Anti-Crisis Shield, offers employment protections while reducing burdens and maintaining financial liquidity in companies (April 1, 2020).

Poland – Extension Granted for Visas for Internationals by 30 Days

Internationals who hold work permits, national visas, or temporary residence permits will benefit from an extension of 30 days after the state of emergency in Poland ends (April 1, 2020).

Singapore – Record Stimulus Planned as Coronavirus Turns GDP Growth Negative

Singapore is planning a record $39-billion stimulus package aimed at supporting the economy amid the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic (April 1, 2020).

US – Employers Chosen in Lottery Can File H1-B Cap Petitions

Employers chosen in the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ random selection process have 90 days to file H1-B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year 2021 (April 1, 2020).

US – CARES Act Unemployment Insurance FAQs

States are empowered to adjust their standard policies to provide temporary benefits to workers who become involuntarily unemployed amid the pandemic, particularly workers not typically eligible for such benefits (April 1, 2020).

Australia – Government Announces AUD$130 Billion Plan to Help Businesses Retain Jobs

The JobKeeper Payment subsidy program is designed to help keep Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by COVID-19 (March 31, 2020).

US – Senate Finance Committee Addresses Employee Retention Credit Questions

Learn which businesses impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief following government-mandated business suspensions, significant declines in gross receipts, and more (March 31, 2020).

US – IRS Releases Tax Credit FAQs for Small and Midsized Businesses Regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Gain clarity on refundable tax credits available to certain companies for providing paid sick and family leave wages (March 31, 2020).

France - Government Amends Corporate Rules to Help Companies Deal with COVID-19 Crisis

The government has adopted ordinances to provide flexibility around the convening of shareholders and collegial management bodies, as well as amended deadlines for approving financial statements and managing forecast documents (March 30, 2020).

UK – Temporary Changes to Right to Work Checks

Landlords and employers are not required to see original documents during the coronavirus outbreak. Effective immediately, the Home Office will allow checks to be undertaken over video calls. (March 30, 2020).

Australia - Federal Government Offers $130 Billion in Wage Subsidies for Businesses to Pay Workers

Businesses will receive a fortnightly wage subsidy up to $1,500 AUD per employee as part of an Australian Federal Government bid to prevent people from losing their jobs during the pandemic. (March 30, 2020).

UK – Government Announces Further Details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

A new announcement means the government will cover the costs of employer national insurance and minimum auto-enrollment pension contributions for furloughed staff – on top of wages covered under the Scheme (March 30, 2020).

UK – Treasury Irons Out Finer Details of COVID-19 Furlough Scheme

Limited company directors who owner-manage a business can furlough themselves under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (March 30, 2020).

US – President Signs $2.2 Trillion Economic Relief Legislation

Following near-unanimous action in Congress, President Trump signed an economic rescue package into law with help for health care provider and struggling families (March 28, 2020).

Malaysia– RM250 Billion Economic Stimulus Package Unveiled as COVID-19 Cases Surge

Worth the equivalent of US$58 billion, Malaysia’s stimulus package provides funds for healthcare providers, one-off payments for small and medium-sized enterprises, a government guarantee scheme for the corporate sector, and more (March 27, 2020).

Switzerland – Government Compensation for Employees, Self-Employed Who Cannot Work Due to COVID-19

The Swiss Government is stepping in to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic by offering compensation benefits to those who cannot work currently (March 27, 2020).

Canada – Government Program Opens Up Credit and Liquidity Options for Businesses

Through its COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, the Government of Canada has stepped in with new programs to defer taxes and fund new loan programs (March 27, 2020).

UK – Industry Responds to Self-Employed Support Package

Government urged to get on with ensuring supporting loans are available as soon as possible to help the self-employed (March 27, 2020).

France – Government Implements Partial Activity Measures to Support Employers and Employees

French Government publishes new decree to ease eligibility criteria for its partial activity (partial unemployment) measures (March 27, 2020).

Singapore – Ministry of Manpower Publishes Advisory on Safe Distancing Measures

New guidelines provide advice on safe distancing at the workplace and in work from home situations (March 26, 2020).

US – US Department of Labor Answers Common Families First Coronavirus Questions

The Labor Department has released a new set of frequently asked questions to help employers and workers understand their rights under the new legislation (March 26, 2020).

Germany – Country Looks to Fast-Track Extensive Aid Package

On Wednesday, Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz introduced a supplementary budget to the German Bundestag, providing 122.5 billion euros to address the coronavirus pandemic (March 25, 2020).

Canada – Proposed Legislation to Create Benefit Program for Workers and Businesses

Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers who are sick, quarantined, caring for sick family members, or lose income as a result of the pandemic (March 25, 2020).

Spain – COVID-19 Employment Measures

Government approves package of employment-related measures to cope with the economic and social impact of COVID-19 (March 25, 2020).

US President and Senate Leaders Agree to $2 Trillion Virus Rescue Bill

Pending final approval, the largest economic rescue bill in history would send direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits, provide funding to small businesses to pay workers forced to stay home, and extend other resources to help workers, families, and businesses (March 25, 2020).

Singapore – Ministry of Manpower Helps Companies Cope with COVID-19

New measures allow businesses to benefit from extensions on levy tax payments for foreign workers, while foreign workers may change employers if they aren’t needed (March 24, 2020).

UK Government Proposes Coronavirus Bill Amendment to Support Freelancers and Contractors Impacted by COVID-19

Additional support package expected this week with Statutory Self-Employment Pay and guaranteed income of either 80% of a person’s monthly net earnings, averaged over the last three years, or £2,917 per month, whichever is lower. (March 24, 2020).

Germany – Emergency Assistance for Small Businesses, Freelancers, and One-Person Businesses

The Cabinet has agreed on the main points of an emergency aid package worth 50 billion euros to support micro enterprises, freelancers and one-person businesses through a non-repayable grant (March 23, 2020).

Germany – Rescue Package for Companies

The German government announced an economic stabilization fund to help ensure companies have sufficient liquidity, with promises to raise additional funds as needed on the capital market (March 23, 2020).

Germany – Easier Access to Short-Time Work Allowance

To support employees and employers, a fast-track parliamentary procedure has put in place the legal basis to facilitate a short-time work allowance. The Cabinet has also adopted the pertinent ordinance (March 23, 2020).

US – Law Firm Summarizes DOL Guidance and Accommodations for Employers Sponsoring Temp and Permanent Foreign Workers

The Fragomen law firm offers a summary of changes to the H-1B and other visa processes as announced by the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification, including those in connection with the location of workers to remote sites and various filing deadline extensions (March 20, 2020).

UK Government Aims to Stop Layoffs

Workers impacted by COVID-19 may receive up to £2500 per month (~2,900 USD) if companies agree not to lay them off (March 20, 2020).

US Department of Homeland Security Announces Flexibility in Employment Eligibility Verification

Requirements to view identity and employment authorization documents in the physical presence of a worker temporarily lifted (March 20, 2020).

Temperature Checks Now Permitted in the US

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lets companies measure a person’s body temperature following community spread of COVID-19 (March 19, 2020).

As Governors Mandate Closures, CISA Offers Guidance on “Critical Workers”

Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency clarifies its definition of “critical workers” (March 19, 2020).

IR35 Changes Delayed

UK government delays April 6 effective date for changes to IR35 in the private sector for at least a year (March 18, 2020).

Trump Expands FMLA, Paid Leave for Businesses with Fewer than 500 Employees

Emergency bill, “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” takes effect April 2, 2020, and will sunset Dec. 31, 2020 (March 18, 2020).

Thailand – Government Enacts Coronavirus Shutdowns to Stem Outbreak

Thailand enacts tougher moves that include postponing the country’s biggest holiday, shutting down schools, and closing bars. (March 17, 2020).

Business News We're Watching

US – Facebook to Shift Permanently Toward More Remote Work After Coronavirus

While acknowledging the need for new tools and techniques to manage policy shifts, Facebook’s CEO expects half of its employees to work remotely in the next five to 10 years (May 21, 2020).

Australia – ASX Jumps on Hope for Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine, Dow Jones Surges 912 Points

Australian shares are expected to surge as investors bet on a coronavirus vaccine coming sooner rather than later (May 19, 2020).

Europe – Coronavirus: How the Lockdown is Being Lifted Across Europe

Across Europe, lockdown measures are being lifted in phases, with businesses reopening and many children back in school (May 19, 2020).

Singapore – Exports Grow 9.7% in April, Bolstered by Pharmaceutical and Food Shipments

Defying market consensus for a contraction, non-oil domestic exports unexpectedly rose about 10% year-on-year in April, after shipments were bolstered by a surge in demand for pharmaceuticals and processed food (May 18, 2020).

UK – Government on Target to Recruit 18,000 Contact Tracers by Next Week

The government has said it is on course to recruit 18,000 contact tracers next week to help reduce virus transmission by identifying and alerting those who may have been exposed (May 15, 2020).

India – Back to Work India Inc. Equips Itself with COVID-19 Apps

As some of India’s largest companies bring workers back to the workplace, they are enlisting in-house apps for people to input self-assessed health information before entering (May 14, 2020).

Singapore – Local Firms Team Up to Distribute 100,000 Care Packs to Vulnerable Households

In a demonstration of community comradery, companies including Ninja Van and Night Owl Cinematics joined forces to deliver care packages to those in need (May 12, 2020).

US – Majority of Facebook, Google Employees to Work From Home Through End of 2020

While a majority of Google and Facebook staff who can work from home will be able to do so through year’s end, the companies will begin providing access to some offices in June and July (May 12, 2020).

US – Twitter Announces Employees Will be Allowed to Work From Home “Forever”

The company says those who want to return to the workplace will not likely do so until at least September and reopening will be “careful” (May 12, 2020).

US – Walmart, Sam’s Club to Give Hourly Employees Cash Bonuses Worth $390 Million in June

Hourly employees will receive another round of cash bonuses in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic (May 12, 2020).

India – Firms are Rapidly Automating Processes

Large enterprises in India are rapidly adopting hyper-intelligent automation, which incorporates AI, machine learning, and other data tools atop robotic process automation, to help ensure business continuity (May 11, 2020).

US – CVS Went Virtual “Almost Overnight,” Hiring 50,000 Workers Amid COVID-19

Between a virtual hiring process and partnerships with employers that furloughed workers, CVS was able to reach its hiring goals (May 11, 2020).

US – Google Adds Company Holiday to Address Work-From-Home Burnout

Employees at Google are getting May 22 off to recover from the coronavirus burnout of working remotely (May 8, 2020).

US – Kohls CEO Says Shoppers are Coming Back

Shoppers have returned to some of the department store’s physical locations this week, and 250 additional stores will reopen Monday (May 7, 2020).

US – UnitedHealth to Give Customers $1.5 Billion of Discounts

UnitedHealth will offer customers about $1.5 billion in discounts, credits toward premiums, and suspensions of out-of-pocket charges for some doctor visits amid the coronavirus pandemic (May 7, 2020).

Australia – Australian Shares Market Rises as Qantas Shares Rally

The Australian share market has risen, with Qantas shares up sharply after the airline secured more funding to help it through the coronavirus pandemic (May 5, 2020).

Canada – 80% of Bank of Montreal Employees May Switch to Blended Home-Office Work

Roughly 36,000 of Bank of Montreal’s staff may adopt new flexible work arrangements, blending work from home with going into the office – even after the pandemic subsides (May 5, 2020).

India – Manufacturing Factories Ready to Roll Under Tough Norms

Many plants across the county are taking small steps toward opening factories under strict hygiene and social distancing norms while navigating locked zones (May 5, 2020).

Singapore – Logistics Firm Ninja Van Raises S$394 Million

E-commerce delivery firm Ninja Van has raised US$279 million (S$394 million) in funding from investors, including Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and ride-hailing firm Grab, as more people are shopping online (May 5, 2020).

India – Goldman Sachs, Capgemini in No Hurry to Return to Offices

Firms in Bengaluru are preparing for an eventual return in a staggered, conservative manner, with a focus on safety, well-being, and physical distancing (May 4, 2020).

Poland – Hotels, Malls Reopen as Virus Curbs Eased

The second phase of easing coronavirus restrictions has begun, with hotels and shopping malls, cultural venues, and other businesses reopening with social distancing measures in place (May 4, 2020).

UK – Demand for Talent Rises for the First Time in a Month

The number of permanent vacancies for the week ending April 26 increased by 28% week on week, marking the first time that demand for talent has risen in a month (May 4, 2020).

Ireland – Almost 2,000 Working or Job-Ready Through Ireland’s Call Recruitment Drive

Almost 2,000 people hired through the government’s “Be on Call for Ireland” recruitment drive are already working or are ready to work for the country’s health service (May 2, 2020).

US – Walmart Hires 200,000 Associates, Pays $180 Million in Early Associate Bonuses

The retailer accelerated quarterly incentive payouts, including $180 million in cash bonuses to hourly workers, and fulfilled the hiring of 200,000 associates since March 19 (April 30, 2020).

Canada – Bank of Montreal CEO Sees Version 2.0 of Work After Pandemic

Plan are underway for ongoing physical distancing and a blend of working at home and in offices to maintain worker health and safety while delivering critical banking services (April 29, 2020).

US – GM Hiring Over 1,000 Temp Workers to Help Make Ventilators

GM plans to hire more than 1,000 full- and part-time workers to produce at least 30,000 ventilators by the end of August (April 27, 2020).

US – American Airlines to Offer Personal Protective Equipment to Customers

The airline is the first major US airline to provide gear to fliers during COVID-19 (April 27, 2020).

Australia – Accent Group Announces Reopening of Hype, Platypus, Athlete’s Foot Stores

The group behind shoe retailers including Sketchers, Platypus, Hype DC, and the Athlete’s Foot will reopen all stores before May 11 (April 206 2020).

Australia – Retailer Myer Rehires 2,000 Stood-Down Workers

Recent spikes in online sales enabled the department store Myer to rehire 2,000 of its 10,000 workers following a temporary closure of its physical stores (April 20, 2020).

Ireland – Facebook to Hire Stablecoin Staff in Dublin

The social media giant will hire 50 new staff across compliance, fraud, and customer service as it prepares to launch its Libra digital wallet by the end of the year (April 20, 2020).

India – Tata Consultancy Services Chief Expresses Optimism for Recovery

Citing a pause in demand versus any lack in structure or capability, TCS’ chief executive is hopeful for the IT services provider’s future (April 20, 2020).

Singapore – Jetstar Asia to Resume Some Flights

Budget carrier Jetstar Asia will resume partial operations to three key Southeast Asia cities (April 20, 2020).

UK – IT Jobs Dominate London Hiring as Businesses Respond to COVID-19

IT and technology job vacancies are dominating the London hiring market as firms seek to continue operations remotely (April 20, 2020).

US – Widespread Testing Will be the New Normal as Automakers Get Back to Work

Personal protective equipment and tons of testing will be central to restarting the economy, and automakers and others are exploring ways to test workers before they return to the job (April 20, 2020).

US – Businesses Strive to Reopen Following Coronavirus Shutdown

From Pepsi and Coca-Cola to major carmakers, businesses are starting to employ tactics to protect workers from the coronavirus as they turn their attention to reopening the economy (April 20, 2020).

US – Amazon Installs Thermal Cameras to Monitor Workplace Safety

Operations facilities now feature thermal cameras to screen workers and promote health and safety (April 20, 2020).

India – Despite Lockdown, Some Firms Keep Hiring Momentum

Many companies are pledging to not only not lay off employees but are going ahead with hiring; among them are Micron, Intel, Tata Consultancy Services, Amazon, and Flipkart (April 18, 2020).

India – Nasscom Seeks Phased Return of IT Staff to Offices

IT trade association Nasscom suggested businesses apply a phased-in approach for IT workers’ return to the workplace, completing the process by the end of June (April 17, 20200).

India – Tech Centers Extend New Forms of Support to Employees Working at Home

To retain talent, some tech centers are reimbursing internet and mobile bills, and extending health benefits to include COVID-19 testing and wellness program (April 17, 2020).

US – Boeing to Reopen Some Production Plants with New Worker Safety Protocols

Boeing has announced it will bring back 27,000 employees, reopen its airplane manufacturing plants in Washington state, and restart production next week under new safety protocols (April 17, 2020).

US – Walmart is Filling 50,000 More Posts Amid Coronavirus Hiring Spree

To meet a surge in demand, the retailer will hire 50,000 more workers at stores, clubs, and distribution centers, and announced 85% of workers are being hired into temporary or part-time roles, with many coming from the restaurant and hospitality industries (April 17, 2020).

UK – Barclays to Pause New Layoffs

Banking giant Barclays has temporarily suspended new job cuts and will offer financial relief, based on the UK Coronavirus Furlough Scheme, for employees already in the process of a layoff (April 15, 2020).

US – Caterpillar Foundation Reaches Out with Helping Hands

The Caterpillar Foundation has donated $10 million to support global COVID-19 relief efforts (April 14, 2020).

Netherlands – Heineken Makes “No Layoffs” Guarantee Through End of Year

Heineken has pledged to retain employees and not carry out any structural layoffs as a consequence of COVID-19 until at least the end of the year (April 8, 2020).

Australia – Employment Regulation Changes Will Stem Job Losses in Hardest-Hit Sector

The Fair Works Commission has made some new and temporary changes to how it regulates the employment of 2.2 Australian workers through minimum pay rates and conditions of employment – all aimed at preventing further job losses (April 8, 2020).

Canada – Air Canada Taps Wage Subsidy, Returns Workers to Payroll

Ottowa’s emergency wage subsidy program will allow the airline to rehire 16,500 laid-off workers originally set to be without pay through May (April 8, 2020).

Singapore – New Task Force on Economic Resilience Designed to Promote Bounce-Back

Reporting to the Future Economy Council, the new Emerging Stronger Task Force aims to “review how Singapore will stay economically resilient and build new sources of dynamism in a post-COVID world” (April 7, 2020).

Global – Chubb Chief Pledges $10 Million to Global Relief Efforts and No Staff Layouts During Pandemic

Reassuring 33,000 employees worldwide, Chubb Ltd. Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg said that there would be no staff layoffs during the COVID-19 pandemic (April 6, 2020).

UK – BT Pledges Not to Cut Jobs Over the Next Three Months

Consumer business BT introduced new measures, so employees feel more secure in their roles through reskilling and redeployment (April 6, 2020).

US – PayPal Joins Starbucks and Other Companies Committed to Taking a No Coronavirus Layoffs Pledge

Commenting on the move as, “This is the right thing to step up, to make sure they know that we’ve got their back,” PayPal’s CEO joins Starbucks, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and others promising not to layoff employees due to the pandemic (March 31, 2020).

US – GM Turns Shuttered Plant into Face Mask Supplier

Giving skilled employees the chance to work, automaker GM partners with UAW and supplier partners to begin producing face masks at a Michigan plant beginning Monday (March 31, 2020).

US – Walmart is Hiring 5,000 Workers Per Day

The retailer in a hiring boom, having hired 50,000 new associates in two weeks following an expedited hiring process (March 31, 2020).

US – Google, Facebook Offer Paid Leave to Parents Amid School Closures

With California public schools likely to be closed the remainder of the school year, companies like Google and Facebooks are helping families meet childcare needs through new paid leave and emergency care programs, as well as other help for contract workers (March 31, 2020).

UK  – Another Bank Delays Layoffs Due to COVID-19

Societe Generale pushed a temporary reprieve from any immediate cost-cutting measures to limit COVID-19’s impact, including previously planned job cuts from its London-based middle and back-office workforce (March 31, 2020).

US & Europe – HSBC Pauses its Restructuring Plan

HSBC had previously unveiled a plan to eliminate 35,000 jobs in the US and Europe as part of a restructuring effort but emailed its staff a few days ago saying that plan was on hold (March 28, 2020).

Australia - Coles Supermarket Hires 7,000, Needs 5,000 More

The supermarket giant has also extended its recruitment drive, opening an additional 5,000 positions— New across the country. Roles include store team members to serve customers and replenish shelves, customer service agents to deliver orders to online customers, and more than 100 trade-qualified bakers (March 28, 2020).

UK – Retailer Fills 5,000 Store Roles in Just Seven Days

The Co-op has filled all 5,000 temporary store roles it created last week in a record seven days – following an unprecedented response to the retailer’s recruitment drive (March 27, 2020).

US – Automakers Shift Gears in Race to Make Ventilators

Ford, General Motors, and Tesla among automakers working to meet demands for ventilators (March 27, 2020).

US – Jobs in Demand During COVID-19

Job posting data reveals top 10 most in-demand jobs and companies with the most openings (March 26, 2020).

UK – The Companies That Need Workers

Major supermarkets seek 35k additional workers, home care company Cera created 10k new jobs, Lloyds Pharmacy seeks >1k workers, and Virgin Media needs 500 (March 25, 2020).

UK – Banks Offer Support to Customers

Lloyds, Halifax, and Bank of Scotland to offer £300 interest-free buffer as Barclays waives interest for a month (March 25, 2020).

Providing Essential Services is Top-of-Mind for Retail Giant

Amazon supports employees, partners, customers, and communities with relief efforts, preventative health measures, actions to combat price gouging, and more (March 25, 2020).

India – CIOs Share Ways to Tackle COVID-Related Disruptions

IT teams at healthcare firms are not only battling a pandemic, but they’re also fighting to support workers’ well-being while maintaining their companies’ operational efficiency through expanded IT access and capabilities, and developing digital workplace resources and technologies (March 24, 2020).

UK – Lloyds Banking Group Halts 780 Planned Job Cuts

Lloyds Banking Group has halted plans to cut around 780 jobs and suspended all union negotiations for fresh layoffs in view of the unfolding coronavirus pandemic (March 24, 2020).

Nearly 400k Job Openings, and Growing, Across Amazon, Walmart, Domino’s, and Others as Demand Grows

Growing openings across fulfillment centers, transportation operations, food stores, telecommunications, and more prompt ramped up hiring efforts following a wave of unprecedented demand (March 24, 2020).

Telstra to Freeze Job Cuts and Hire 1,000 Temporary Contractors

Telco giant has frozen its job-cutting program for six months, suspended late payment fees and disconnections, and will hire 1,000 temporary contractors to help counter Australia's economic toll of the COVID-19 outbreak (March 23, 2020).

BHP to Hire 1,500 to Support Operations and the Australian Economy

BHP supports pandemic with 1,500 jobs on six-month contracts to bolster the Australian economy across operations in several states including WA, QLD, NSW, and SA (March 20, 2020).

Walmart to Give Workers $550M in Bonuses, Set to Hire 150k Associates

Retail giant to help hourly workers with special cash bonuses as thank-you for “Herculean efforts” while also reporting plans to hire new associates through the end of May (March 19, 2020).

Good News for Hourly Employees

Willis Towers Watson survey finds employers will continue to pay hourly workers who test positive for the virus (72%), whose workplace experiences a mandated closure (54%), or who have a cold or flu-like symptoms and voluntarily stay home (51%) (March 19, 2020).

Home Depot Extends Paid Time Off

Company takes care of workers and customers by giving employees additional paid time off, and amending store hours to focus on cleaning and restocking (March 19, 2020).

Bank of Montreal Offers Customers Financial Relief

Programs are tailored to individual needs, including six-month deferrals of mortgage payments, as well as deferral of payments on loans and credit cards for up to three months (March 18, 2020).

American Airlines Offering Unpaid Leave, Early Retirement

Airline adjusts to changing demands by offering most union workers options like early retirement, and unpaid, voluntary leave for up to a year; pilots offered partial pay and voluntary leave (March 18, 2020).

FedEx Suspends Signature Requirement

Company issues temporary suspension on signature requirements for most US deliveries (March 17, 2020).

Workday Gives Workers Cash Bonus

The software company will give employees below the VP level a cash bonus equal to about two weeks’ pay to support them during the pandemic (March 16, 2020).

Amazon Hires More Workers

In response to increased demand, Amazon will open 100,000 new full-and part-time fulfillment center positions across the US (March 16, 2020).

US – Google Demonstrates Support for Extended Workforce

Google established a fund to cover paid sick leave for temporary and contract workers, as well as support those impacted by reduced office schedules (March 10, 2020).

Employers Updating Sick Leave Policies

The Washington Post reports Walmart, Olive Garden, and others are rethinking how they pay service employees (March 10, 2020).

Apple Offering Unlimited Sick Leave to Hourly Employees

Retail and other hourly workers get extended benefits if they exhibit symptoms related to the COVID-19 infection (March 10, 2020).

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