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Digitalization and technology have seen incredible evolutions over the past years worldwide. This development has fostered the perfect environment for the gig economy to be able to sustain incredible growth. Short-term working agreements between companies and workers, which are paid after every undertaken task, are at the foundation of the gig economy and they seem to be more popular with every passing day. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to have been yet another factor that allowed this market sector to reach new heights, with more and more people turning to online platforms as an additional source of income. These people are generally labeled as ‘platform workers.’

As the COVID-19 pandemic globally swept away the business-as-usual concept, many countries, including Croatia, were faced with a rising problem of workplace-based COVID-19 transmissions. Croatia had a remote work (RW) framework initially introduced in 2003, but its application in practice was considered rather exotic. Once RW became one of the main workplace-related responses to COVID-19, authorities and employers were suddenly faced with interpretation and implementation problems. As a temporary solution, the Ministry of Labor and Pension System (Ministry) issued a number of opinions regarding the RW regime. These opinions were intended to loosen the regulatory grip, usually by turning a blind eye to unambiguous and mandatory statutory requirements, for example, by interpreting that a pandemic constitutes such circumstances under which employers are allowed to unilaterally impose a RW regime.

Since 2020, employers and employees in the Czech Republic, as well as elsewhere, have been preoccupied with issues relating to COVID-19, not least the employees’ testing, quarantines, or vaccination. It is without question that the pandemic has left its footprint on the Czech labor market and provided an impetus to many current trends. Looking beyond the pandemic, this article will focus on the development of the Czech employment market in a post-COVID-19 world and the role that Czech employment law will play in it.

Based on the new Act on Support During Short-Time Work, also known as Kurzarbeit, the employers’ new permanent support scheme will apply as of January 1, 2022, in Slovakia. The basic aim of the new regulation is to compensate employers financially for temporary loss of working hours and thereby preserve employment. Kurzarbeit can be applied if an employer is forced to reduce its operational activities due to temporary external factors beyond its control that have a negative economic impact on its business, particularly the declaration of a state of emergency, state of crisis, or force majeure. Furthermore, the Kurzarbeit allowance applies only in case at least one-third of the employer’s workforce is not assigned work for at least 10% of their working hours.

Three of the world’s most influential institutions have established expert teams to gather as much data as possible in order to make sense of the nature of the changes currently affecting the global labor market. Many law firms are already on board and are implementing strategies that will meet these changes head-on.

In 2012, the Bulgarian Parliament introduced statutory rules regarding the activities of temporary staffing enterprises (TSAs). Before that, their existence and operations were recognized and tolerated in practice, but their activities took place in a legal vacuum.

On November 17, 2021, the Infectious Diseases Commission of North Macedonia proposed anti-COVID-19 measures requiring unvaccinated healthcare professionals and public sector employees to be vaccinated and recommending the vaccination of private-sector employees. The form of the measures could differ somewhat from this proposal; the definite measures, however, are expected to be adopted soon.

One of the most important inventions of the 21st century is undoubtedly the COVID-19 vaccine, with respect to its affirmative effect on public health. Before its invention, humanity had been battling a substantial rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, and the vaccine managed to raise hopes of controlling the pandemic. Likewise, Turkey, especially the Turkish Ministry of Health, has taken a lot of steps towards having individuals become more conscious of the importance of vaccination, in an effort to decrease the number of cases. Recently, the total number of shots administered has reached more than 119 million.

More than 15 years ago, when I graduated from law school in Romania, there were few opportunities for a young lawyer. You could either be an apprentice for a senior lawyer, your ‘master’ as they were called, trying to ‘steal know-how’ from anywhere you could, or, for the luckier ones, you could be employed by one of the only two business consulting law firms that were on the market – a national one and the only international law firm – Linklaters. I was one of the lucky ones. I passed my bar exam and started working as a junior lawyer in the latter. And thus, my journey as a CEE lawyer began.

The capital markets in Ukraine have been a sleeping topic until recently. On June 19, 2020, the Ukrainian Parliament has restated the Law of Ukraine on Capital Markets and Organized Commodity Markets (Law). The restated Law became effective in July 2021, introducing a whole new framework for the issue of securities in Ukraine. It implements the most important EU capital markets regulations, including MiFID II, MiFIR, and CRD IV.

Back in 2007, the foundation for sustainable financing was set through the issuance of a green Climate Awareness Bond by the European Investment Bank. This was in part due to the increased awareness of climate change. By June 2022, Austria wants to issue its first Green Bond. Possible investments for the Green Bond are public transport and renewable energy. Aside from bonds, sustainable financing can be concluded in several other product forms, such as guarantee lines, as well as classic bank loans. The volume of sustainable syndicated bank loans reached EUR 200 billion for the first time, last year.

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