While businesses progress their recovery and renewal strategies amid the disruption of the global pandemic, there is more change in store for 2021, as US president Joe Biden takes office and the UK and EU adjust to their formal separation. Below we outline the latest employment considerations surrounding US and UK politics and how they will impact the global workforce.
How the Biden administration will change the workplace
President Biden’s campaign promised to strengthen workers’ rights and organizing efforts, including pledged support for “provisions in” the Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act), which contains punitive financial penalties for companies that interfere with workers’ organizing efforts. President Biden’s nomination of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (a former construction union leader) for labor secretary – i.e. to run the Department of Labor – is a definitive step in what we expect to be an administration that will mandate employers to adopt employee-friendly policies, and tip the scales to favor union organizing and collective bargaining. The Labor Department’s aggressive enforcement of workers’ rights, and increases in companies’ obligations to their employees, is now a near certainty.
For the key takeaways of how the Biden administration may impact union organizing, OSHA protections, independent contractor classifications, wages and benefits and more, see our recent Labor and Employment report in the paper, “Looking Ahead: How Will US Law and Policy Change Under the Biden Administration” along with our blog posts on his immediate actions regarding diversity policies, “Biden and D&I in the Workplace: A New Direction” and other executive orders impacting the workplace, “Biden and the Workplace: Early Days, Major Changes,” and “New DOL Final Rule on Independent Contractors is (Likely) no More”
The Brexit deal – Key implications for employers
Brexit constitutes a major change for any company that has operations – directly or indirectly – in the UK as well as in the EU. Companies are still analyzing the short, medium and long-term impact and how to best mitigate the risks posed and capitalize on new opportunities that may arise.
To review the key immigration and employment concerns affected by the end of the transition period and practical considerations to minimize the impact to your business, see our Brexit Deal Checklist.