COVID-19 and the Workforce: April 17, 2020

TOP HEADLINES 

Hiring in a COVID-19 World 
SHRM – April 14, 2020 
How can companies appropriately — and legally — extend, or not extend, job offers? Can companies require testing? Quarantine? Work from home? Can they choose not to hire someone who refuses to work on-site, or from home? SHRM asked some HR and legal experts to weigh in. 

Weekly Jobless Claims Hit 5.245 Million, Raising Monthly Loss to 22 Million Due to Coronavirus 
CNBC – April 16, 2020 
Weekly jobless claims totaled 5.245 million, the U.S. Labor Department reported. That was a drop of 1.37 million from a week earlier but was above estimates for 5 million job losses. Numbers not adjusted for seasonal factors showed a 20% decline in jobs. 

DOL Continues to Clarify Scope of CARES Act Unemployment Benefits 
SHRM – April 15, 2020 
As jobless claims reach record highs, states now have more guidance on how to roll out the emergency unemployment benefits provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

What’s New from the CDC 
Keep up with all the latest information on COVID-19 directly from the resources created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

GLOBAL NEWS 

AUSTRALIA 
Coronavirus: The Graphs That Show How Australia is Containing the Pandemic 
The Guardian – April 16, 2020 
Each individual infected with COVID-19 in Australia is passing it on to less than one person on average, new government-backed modelling suggests. If it is kept below one, the epidemic is estimated to be in decline, but if it is above one, the epidemic is estimated to be growing, a paper published by the Doherty Institute explains. 

CANADA 
WHO Issues Guidelines for Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions. Is Canada Ready? 
Yahoo Finance – April 14, 2020 
Federal and provincial officials are starting to discuss how and when to start reopening schools and businesses, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned Tuesday the full-scale lockdowns most Canadians are living with right now will remain in place for at least several more weeks. 

INDIA 
All Major Cities Named COVID-19 ‘Red Zone’ Hotspots 
BBC News – April 16, 2020 
In its guidelines issued on Wednesday, the government divided the country into color-coded areas depending on the level of infection. Six major Indian cities, including the capital Delhi and the financial capital Mumbai, have been designated coronavirus “red zones”. 

UNITED KINGDOM 
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab Says Lockdown Will Continue ‘For at Least Next Three Weeks’ 
The Guardian – April 16, 2020 
In his opening statement at Thursday’s press conference Raab said, “the advice from Sage [the scientific advisory group for emergencies] is that relaxing any of the measures currently in place would risk damage to both public health and our economy … the government has determined that current measures must remain in place for at least the next three weeks.” 

UNITED STATES 
This is Where All 50 States Stand on Reopening 
CNN – April 16, 2020 
More than 90% of the U.S. population is currently under a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order as the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend life as we know it. But worries for the economy — and people’s mental health — are raising the question: When will things go back to normal? This article covers the latest on where states stand in their plan to reopen. 

POLAND 
Polish Government to Soon Begin “Unfreezing” Economy From Coronavirus Lockdown 
Notes from Poland – April 14, 2020 
Poland’s health minister Łukasz Szumowski has announced that the government will begin “unfreezing” the economy on April 19, with a possible loosening of restrictions on shops and a reopening of forests and public spaces. 

Post by Jasmine Patel

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