The UK Government has, in keeping with past practice, used the arrival of the bank holiday weekend to update the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It has now published a second iteration of the Treasury Direction, which we have reviewed.

To read our commentary on the updated Direction, please visit MayerBrown.com.

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Following our recent update on Life in the Time of Corona, Part 3: Handling Collective Consultation in the UK, we have produced a practical checklist that highlights the steps that employers should consider when handling collective consultations in the UK during these challenging times, particularly when staff are working remotely.

To download the checklist,

During the economic downturn associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, some 401(k) plan sponsors may be considering a mid-year reduction or suspension of matching contributions or nonelective contributions to their 401(k) plans as a cost-saving measure. Generally, whether the matching or nonelective contributions may be reduced or suspended will depend on the specific terms of the plan. In addition, in the case of  a plan that is intended to be a safe harbor plan under sections 401(k) or 401(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended (the “Code”), the Code imposes particularly restrictive rules limiting mid-year changes. The following summarizes steps that a plan sponsor must take to reduce or suspend matching or nonelective contributions to its safe harbor plan during the plan year without jeopardizing the plan’s tax-qualified status.

In order for a plan to be a basic safe harbor plan under sections 401(k)(12) or 401(m)(11) of the Code or a qualified automatic contribution safe harbor plan under sections 401(k)(13) or 401(m)(12) of the Code, an employer must make a specified level of matching contributions, or alternatively, a specified level of nonelective contributions, to the plan. In addition, an employer must provide in advance of the plan year a “safe harbor notice” of the matching contributions or nonelective contributions, as applicable (but see SECURE Act change below), and the plan must satisfy certain vesting requirements. If these requirements are satisfied, the plan will be treated as satisfying the actual deferral percentage (ADP) and, with respect to matching contributions, the actual contribution percentage (ACP) nondiscrimination tests that normally apply to 401(k) plans. (We refer hereinafter to a 401(k) plan that is intended to satisfy the safe harbor rules as a “safe harbor plan,” and the matching contributions or nonelective contributions used to meet the safe harbor requirements as “safe harbor contributions.”)


Continue Reading How to Reduce or Suspend Matching or Nonelective Contributions Under a Safe Harbor 401(K) Plan

As one of the sadder consequences of the Coronavirus pandemic, most employers are going to have to look closely at whether or not to make significant job cuts to their current headcount. While some employers may view this as an opportunity to recruit and acquire staff either generally or in particular areas, most employers are

After several weeks of quasi-lockdown in Germany and immense public pressure to lift limitations imposed by COVID-19, more and more companies are starting to resume their activities. For some, this means increasing the number of employees who can again come in and work from a company office, rather than from their homes. For others, it

The latest guidance from BEIS, published 13 May, confirms how holiday entitlement and holiday pay is to work during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Guidance Note, which is informative in some areas but makes a number of quite odd suggestions in others, is simply guidance. An employee’s statutory rights for holiday leave and holiday pay are

This update follows on from the Article we recently published on the many areas of planning that UK employers could usefully carry out in preparation for a return to work. We now have had the announcement from the Prime Minister on Sunday, May 10, 2020, and the advisory document, “New Guidance Launched to help

Contrary to the fears of many commentators, we have had news of an extension to the UK Government’s Furlough Scheme. Our latest update looks at the recent announcement from May 12, 2020, and the details we are awaiting.

To read the full update, please visit MayerBrown.com.

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The COVID-19 pandemic and the concomitant drop in oil prices, have significantly affected the global economy. The United Arab Emirates, whose phenomenal growth over the past 20 years has been driven by the development of a tourism destination, a financial hub and endless construction projects and was, in part, funded by oil revenues is obviously

We now have a further updated the Guidance Note from HMRC. On April 30, 2020, the Government produced some new guidance on the Furlough Scheme. Contrary to some of the previous guidance updates, these are broadly helpful in clarifying some areas of uncertainty.

We have written a short report on the changes, which is available