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Senior Executives and COVID-19: A Cross-Border Perspective – Expert Discussion

We are delighted to bring you this recording of an expert discussion between members of leading international employment law alliance Innangard Executives, exploring and offering insight into key questions and concerns of senior executives in the current climate in Ireland, the UK, France and Spain.

The risks, entitlements, and obligations of senior executives during the COVID-19 pandemic can vary greatly across jurisdictions depending on national employment law legislation, contractual provisions and socio-economic agenda. This discussion takes a close look at some of the more common issues being faced by senior executives and examines the protections and remedies potentially available to them.

The discussion is hosted by Claire Dawson (Ireland) with contributions from Merrill April (UK), Mathilde Houet-Weil (France) and María José Sánchez (Spain).

The key questions addressed by the panel include:

1. What are the issues impacting senior executives in terms of wellbeing? What obligations do their employers have to them and what should they be asking their employers to do to support them? How far does their employer’s duty of care extend?

2. What has been the approach of employers in different jurisdictions to changes to senior executives’ terms and conditions? Can an employer impose a unilateral change?

3. How are the senior executive’s options shaped by the industry they are working in? Is their leverage for negotiation reduced if they are employed in a public company or a regulated field?

4. What protections exist for senior executives who face job insecurity, redundancy or dismissal in the current climate? Are senior executives entitled to reduced compensation by virtue of their senior status in Ireland, the UK, France and Spain? Are employers restrained from taking certain actions against senior executives during the COVID-19 pandemic?

5. How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted upon senior executives in terms of equality and discrimination? What selection criteria can employers in Ireland, the UK, France and Spain lawfully implement when proposing redundancy? Will issues such as gender pay gap reporting and opportunities for ethnic minorities regress or continue to progress in the current climate?

6. What rights do employees in Ireland, the UK, France and Spain have with respect to requesting, and being permitted, to work from home? Has the pendulum swung too far with respect to working from home and is there a need to find a balance?

If you have any concerns or questions arising from this discussion, for a review of your employment documents, or for specific legal advice on particular circumstances, please contact our partner Merrill April. For specialist advice in another jurisdiction, contact one of our member firms at Innangard Executives.

Innangard Executives is the specialist Senior Executive and Founder advisory arm of international employment law alliance Innangard.

Innangard is a non-exclusive alliance whose members are leading independent law firms located across Europe and Asia-Pacific, with specialist employment law experience and reputation in advising Employers. Each firm is individually recognised in their own country and jurisdiction for their expertise in labour and employment law issues.

Follow Innangard Executives on Twitter: @InnangardExecs.