Due to the Covid 19 crisis, several unions and employers have announced that they will postpone negotiations on the new collective agreements until further notice. Despite the typical lack of legal applicability, most collective agreements are signed by employer and union representatives. An electronic signature or a signature of wet ink would be permitted for this purpose. In the United Kingdom, there is a presumption that collective agreements are not legally enforceable, and that is the usual position. If the agreement contains (exceptionally) an express provision that the parties intend to make it enforceable in whole or in part, that part or the entire contract is legally enforceable. It is also possible (and in practice, more generally) that the provisions of collective agreements can be incorporated into individual employment contracts and are therefore enforceable by the workers and not by the union. As noted in previous “flashes,” physical meetings are allowed during closure for social dialogue, including collective agreement negotiations. However, in practice, video conferencing or telephone meetings are now the general rule to conduct negotiations that take place during this period and no problems have arisen. Unions and works councils have so far cooperated in this regard. The labour authorities already had online registers for the registration of collective agreements (and other types of communications and communications), which was therefore not addressed during this period. In particular, the Spanish system for registering collective agreements is referred to as “REGCON”. Under Italian law, the negotiation and implementation of collective agreements are not subject to specific and strict legal provisions (normal rules for “individual” contracts apply).
Union members will vote on an agreement early next week, particularly with regard to Covid-19, the violation of certain general trade union conventions on security measures may result in a temporary suspension of the company`s activities. With respect to workers` representative meetings, it is recommended that meetings be held at a distance to negotiate these agreements. Negotiating personally is not an obligation in France or Germany, but a written document is always necessary.