EU: Council reaches compromise on draft directive for employment contracts
The Council of the European Union has struck an agreement in principle over a proposed directive on “transparent and predictable working conditions”, which aims first and foremost to lay the ground for minimum protection of workers in new forms of employment. Exchanges between ministers indicated that there is unanimous support of the objectives of the draft directive, however an agreement was made easier by the fact that, under the compromise reached, member states would be able to set the scope of its application and decide which workers would benefit
ILO: a step closer to an international convention on workplace violence and harassment
After two weeks of negotiations, which took place between 28 May and 8 June in Geneva, state representatives, employers and trade unions decided to continue discussions with a view to adopting a convention and a recommendation on the issue of harassment and violence in the workplace at the next International Labour Conference, in June next year.
Germany: towards further flexibility over working time
The metals industry, Deutsche Post, Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Bahn: an increasing number of sectors and companies are arming themselves with flexible working time models that enable employees to choose between higher pay or more free time. Thirty-four years after the historic dispute that triggered a 35-hour working week in the metals sector, the theme of working time has come right back to the forefront in Germany’s companies and is developing fast.
European Commission proposes law to strengthen whistleblower protection
The proposal aims to offer protection to whistleblowers who report breaches of European Union law. It obliges companies to implement safe channels for reporting regulatory breaches, illegal practices and other abuses, and will also protect whistleblowers against dismissal, demotion and other forms of retaliation.
The European Commission makes proposals for a European Labor Authority
On 13 March, the Commission presented a legislative proposal detailing the tasks and resources for this new body that aims to develop worker, trainee and apprentice mobility, provide operational and technical support to national bodies in order to ensure mobility related rules are upheld, and provide a mediation service in cases of cross-border disputes, especially in situations of company restructuring. If the EU Parliament and the EU Member States support the proposal the new ELA could become operational in 2019.
Germany: metals sector agreement includes a 4.3% salary increase and a landmark provision to make working time more flexible
Late into the evening of 05/06 February the metal sector’s social partners, IG Metall and the employers’ body struck a new collective agreement. The main thrusts of the agreement comprise a 4.3% salary increase for 3.9 million workers in the sector as well as the creation of a substantial ‘working time corridor’ without being called as such. Temporary variations in weekly working time will be able to range between 28 and 40 hours.
2018, a key year for the ILO’s Future of Work initiative
The Future of Work (FoW) initiative stemmed from the premise that processes of change were taking place at great speed and on an unprecedented scale and that the ILO’s fundamental mission of safeguarding social justice was never before as significant as currently. As such, the organization has to reflect on the future of work in order to be able to think about its own future in this environment of transformation.
ENGIE: signature of a new European agreement on professional equality between women and men
As in 2012 the energy group commits to guaranteeing equal opportunity in the field of recruitment, fairness in terms of career development, equal access to occupational training as well as equal pay for women and men for equal work or for work, which is of equal value. This agreement however goes further in terms of its implementation and in addition to individual company level plans, it intends for three-year action plans to be developed at group level that will drive deployment momentum.
EU: the EU Commission seeks to modernize employment contract rules
On 21 December, the EU Commission presented a Directive proposal that would modernize Directive 91/533 requiring employers to provide employees with written communication on essential elements of employment contracts (the so-called Written Statement Directive). The scope of the text will be extended to cover more workers than is currently the case (2-3 million according to the EU Commission’s estimates). In addition it also establishes new rights by improving working conditions predictability (working time, remuneration, banning exclusive arrangements
France: the Court of Cassation delivers its ruling on wearing of the veil in the workplace
On 22 November France’s highest appeals court handed down its ruling that affirmed the principle whereby an employer can only dismiss an employee who has direct contact with customers whilst wearing a religious symbol, in this case an Islamic headscarf, if the company’s internal regulations include a neutrality clause that bans the visible wearing of all political, philosophical, and religious symbols in the workplace by employees. The Court of Cassation added that an employer must seek an alternative job position that does not involve visual contact
Vinci: agreement signed over workers’ rights in Qatar
This agreement is the first of its kind. On 21 November Vinci and the Qatari company Qatari Diar VINCI Construction (QDVC), signed an agreement with the global federation, the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), that covers human rights at work, accommodation, and issues related to migrant workers’ fair recruitment and employment rights. It applies to all workers employed by QDVC in Qatar and includes due diligence with sub-contractors.
EU: Gothenburg summit sees top-level commitment to social rights
On Friday 17 November at the social summit held in Gothenburg, Sweden, the European Union, as had been expected, adopted the European Pillar of Social Rights. To allow the Commission to keep tabs on its implementation, an online scoreboard has also been created.
EU: following the ETUC refusal to further negotiations the EU Commission is now free to launch an initiative on revising the employment contract directive
The ETUC announced it was not looking to enter into negotiations with the employers body, BusinessEurope, on the issue of overhauling the 1991 Written Statement Directive that requires employers to give written details to employees on the employment relationship. Indeed, the Commission is set to present a legislative initiative before the end of 2017 that could transform Directive 533/1991 into a text that creates minimum rights for all workers.
The third UN working group session on a proposed binding business and human rights treaty gets to the heart of the matter
The Open-ended Intergovernmental Working Group (IGWG) on Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises that is tasked with developing a binding instrument on multinational enterprises’ human rights violations responsibilities, gathered for the third and final time in Geneva, for a meeting that will last until the end of the week. This time round however, the delegations are working from a base document
containing elements that define the contours of the draft legally binding instrument. The document proposes implementing a requirement
EU: difficult compromise agreement secured on the posting of workers directive
Meeting in Luxembourg, on the evening of 23 October, and after twelve long hours of discussions, Europe’s Employment and Social Affairs Ministers finally came to a compromise agreement on reform to the 1996 posted workers Directive.
Safran signs a global agreement with IndustriALL Global
On 18 October the French high-tech aerospace and defence group signed a global framework agreement on corporate social responsibility and all of the company’s other major social and HR policy topics.