Online Seminar: Labour law and social law during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Event: Social Justice and Trade Unions

German, Chinese and international legal experts discussed the reactions of labour and social law in China, Germany, Austria, France and the UK to the challenges of Covid-19

The world over, the Covid-19 pandemic did not only place heavy burdens on health care systems, but also dramatically changed the working life of many employees. Suddenly faced with restrictions on office access, work shortages and potentially ill family members, workers were faced with much uncertainty regarding their legal rights and obligations. Countries have found different ways to resolve these issues by creating different sets of laws and regulations. However, as the pandemic continues to spread, there is continuous need to adapt.

In light of these developments, FES Beijing, in cooperation with the Research Institute for Social Law at the Chinese University for Political Science and Law co-organised a workshop for legal scholars on labour and social law during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The co-organisers invited 25 legal experts in total. Scholars invited by FES held presentations on various topics: Prof. Dr. Katja Nebe explained the legal and practical implications of the need to work from home. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Däubler presented the German system of short-term work (Kurzarbeit) and detailed how it had helped save many jobs during the pandemic. Prof. Dr. Claudia Beetz gave an overview of the rights and obligations of persons in quarantine and their relatives. Reinhard Vorbau reviewed policy and legal measures taken by the European Union. Prof. Dr. Wolfhard Kohte analysed how the pandemic influences and speeds up processes of digitalization.

Discussions centered on the various ways to support employees and companies through labour and social law in the different countries. Although the approaches debated are not similar, all participants agreed that the exchange was very fruitful.

Go back