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.
ASOS signs a global framework agreement with IndustriALL Global
In a Global Framework Agreement (GFA) signed on 02 October, the UK clothing company ASOS commits to adopting policies and procedure that develop collective bargaining and social dialogue along its supply chain so as to bolster workers rights across the globe as they produce ASOS labeled products.
Safran: renews its European Framework Agreement for Professional Integration of Young People
On 19 September, Safran Group together with the European Industry Union Federation, IndustriALL Europe, renewed the European Framework Agreement for Professional Integration of Young People, which was first signed in 2013. Retaining the same goal of facilitating its hiring momentum as well as the professional integration of young people, the new text notably strengthens its quantitative goals and how it recognizes the status of tutor.
The European Court of Human Rights outlines essential guarantees surrounding electronic communications surveillance and monitoring
In a ruling handed down on 05 September, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) set out the conditions under which an employer has the right to monitor an employee’s electronic communications. This particular case led to a second examination by the Court’s Grand Chamber of a ruling the ECHR had delivered on 12 January 2016 this time resulting in a contrary outcome.
France : the government presents its set of labor law reform ordinances
On 31 August, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe together with the labor Minister, Muriel Pénicaud present five ordinances under the enabling legislative framework adopted on 02 August
. This law authorizes the government to accelerate reform of the country’s labor law by operating outside the regular legislative process. The ordinances address in particular labor tribunal compensation ceilings for cases of unfair dismissal, the geographic scope within which employment termination for economic cause is recognized, the introduction of the
Germany: insurance sector pay to rise 3.7% over 29 months
The insurance sector social partners compromised on a sector agreement that includes a two-stage 3.7% pay rise. Other provisions include introducing the right to a qualification, primarily when divisions and job positions become digitalized. The agreement also intends to open negotiations for an agreement on mobile working. Fears over digitalization in the insurance sector will hit jobs weighed heavily on the negotiations.
Spain: Axa Seguros becomes first company to recognise ‘right to disconnect’
The agreement also looks to help workers achieve a work-life balance, by developing distance work and flexible working hours. This initiative from Axa comes at a time when the Spanish labour ministry has been showing interest in the law which recently came into force in France. It is also an issue on which the country’s trade unions would like to open the debate.
France: ordinance published on non-financial CSR reporting
In keeping with the spirit of the Directive this new legislative move switches from the requirement for companies to report social and environmental impacts of their business to an obligation for companies to inform on social and environmental risks, and human rights risks as well as any reasonable due diligence procedures they have implemented to anticipate and prevent these risks.
United Kingdom: government has published its Brexit related European Union (Withdrawal) Bill
What this Act will do, if enacted, is to incorporate into UK law as domestic law all existing EU law that currently applies to the UK. Thereafter, the UK government and parliament can amend those laws as they please, so that eventually there could be significant differences between UK law and EU law. There are many on the right wing of the Conservative Party who would very much like to see a bonfire of EU-inspired employment laws, especially the Working Time Directive and the Agency Workers Directive.
Bangladesh: over twenty leading fashion brands signed a new safety agreement with garment factories
On 29 June twenty-three leading ready-to-wear fashion brands together with the IndustriALL and Uni Global Union organizations signed a new safety agreement covering Bangladeshi garment factories.