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24 May 2022
Finland: parental leave reform to promote gender equality
Finland’s new parental leave system, which comes into effect on 01 August 2022, aims to improve parents’ work-life balance, strengthen the role of fathers, and take various family configurations better into account. Approved by the Finnish Parliament on 08 December 2021, this reform will apply mainly...
Corporate social responsibility
18 May 2022
U.S.: McDonald’s leaves Russia while ensuring its employees’ jobs
On 16 May, and after 32 years in business in the country, the American fast-food chain announced it was withdrawing from Russia, due to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in 1990 in Moscow’s Pushkin Square and was one of the first American companies to set up operations in Russia. In making this announcement, McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Kempczinski, said “We have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our...
9 May 2022
United States: several big firms prepare to defend right to abortion
Prompted by the question marks currently surrounding abortion rights in the United States, several companies – including Levi Strauss, Airbnb and Tesla – have opted to take action to safeguard those rights. In the event that certain states restrict or prohibit abortion, these large US groups are considering covering travel expenses so that their employees can travel to another state where the procedure would be possible.
28 April 2022
Germany: 36 major companies create the ‘Allianz der Chancen’ (Opportunity Alliance) as a way to prepare for transitions
On 28 March in Berlin during the ‘Transformation Summit’, which was attended by no less than Wolfgang Schmidt, Chief of Staff of the German Chancellor, 36 large companies employing more than 1.3 million people in Germany, decided to join forces in the Opportunity Alliance. In it the members intend to address the burning challenges of digitalization, automation, decarbonization and demographic aging. According to the Alliance, at least 10 million workers are affected, and the concomitant training and adaptation...
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Digital tools
25 April 2022
France: Natixis harnesses artificial intelligence tool to anticipate job transformation
The Jobs in Motion programme launched in 2020 by French financial services group Natixis aims to train staff for emerging roles in tech, data and corporate social responsibility. The initiative harnesses an artificial intelligence-based programme that detects the most suitable job for each employee. This innovation in the field of human resources, which should affect some 600 employees in France, received recognition from the French national association of HR directors in March.
29 March 2022
Brazil: ILO and Ministry of Labor launch guide to map job changes
On 23 March the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the International Labor Organization (ILO) launched Brazil’s first Guide to Occupations. This online document offers updated quantitative and qualitative information on the characteristics and main indicators of 2,609 occupations currently operating in the local labor market, and provides key data, in particular, for human resources professionals.
2 February 2022
Italy: UniCredit prepares for generational renewal and focuses on training
UniCredit is planning for 1,200 voluntary early retirements, that will be partly offset by 725 younger hires. An agreement signed on 27 January 2022 by Italy’s second largest bank and the Fabi, First-Cisl, Fisac-Cgil, Uilca and Unisin trade unions lays the foundations for realising the bank’s ‘UniCredit Unlocked’ 2022-2024 strategic plan by focusing on generational renewal, new skills acquisition and a revival of the branch network. This last point notably marks a break with the previous management.
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HR practices
19 May 2022
Customer relations firm Critizr provides employees with menstrual and miscarriage leave
French customer relations company Critizr has decided to grant a specific leave period to females based in five different countries who have undergone a miscarriage. Employees whose partners have similarly suffered will also be entitled to leave. Furthermore, females will be able to benefit from one to two days per month of menstrual leave. In this way the company is seeking to be at the vanguard in terms of “future social developments” and to anticipate potential regulatory developments.
19 May 2022
India: Sri Mookambika Infosolutions providing matchmaking services as a way of retaining talent
Founded in 2006, Sri Mookambika Infosolutions (SMI), a global technology solutions provider headquartered in Madurai, in the southern Tamil Nadu state, has decided to assist its employees find their love match. SMI is providing its employees with free matrimonial services along with a bonus for those who get married. The aim is to reduce turnover in a sector that has particularly high attrition rates. The company is trying to retain talent and negate the desire to quit the company in order to seek a love match in...
18 May 2022
Germany: SAP pilots ‘Focus Friday’, to encourage a meeting-free end to the week
Following a number of trials, the German and European leading multinational software corporation has decided to extend the “Focus Friday” principle of to all its German employees. Starting on 20 May, unecessary meetings and video conferences will be postponed or cancelled, in order to increase employees’ peace of mind and productivity.
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Industrial relations
17 May 2022
France: Legrand providing up to three telework days per week to older workers, caregiver workers & workers with disabilities
French industrial group Legrand (5,000 employees in France), which is global specialist in electrical and digital building infrastructures signed a telework agreement that came into force in April 2022. In it the group extends teleworking to two days per week alongside additional work flexibility measures provided for workers who are parents, caregivers, over age 58, or working with disabilities. All the company’s representative trade unions (CFDT, CFE-CGC, CGT, FO) signed the agreement which will run until 30...
16 May 2022
United Arab Emirates: food delivery workers step up strike action to secure better pay
Food delivery workers in the United Arab Emirates have gone on strike for the second time since the start of the month. On Tuesday 10 May, delivery workers on motorised vehicles working for Talabat, the Middle East subsidiary of German group Delivery Hero, refused to deliver meals in the vast megalopolis of Dubai. They are demanding a $0.54 increase in pay per trip on the current rate of $2.05, pointing to the fact that fuel prices in the country have risen by 30% since the start of the year. According to workers...
13 May 2022
United Kingdom: Deliveroo and GMB union strike unprecedented deal
Online food delivery group Deliveroo and the British trade union GMB have announced the signing of a “Voluntary Partnership Agreement”. The agreement signed on 12 May will, for the first time, entitle Deliveroo’s more than 90,000 delivery riders to representation by the GMB in the event of disputes.
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Legal developments
16 May 2022
Belgium: government presents “return to work” plan targeting those on long-term sick leave
On Friday 13 May, the Belgian Council of Ministers unveiled a range of measures as part of its “return to work” plan, aimed at helping many of the 500,000 or so people in the country on long-term sickness absence (one year or more) get back into work.  Belgium has more people out of work due to long-term sickness than people in unemployment (324,000 in 2021). The government intends to address this situation by placing greater responsibility on the parties concerned. The approved measures are aimed...
16 May 2022
Spain: plans to introduce leave allowance for menstrual pain prove contentious
The Spanish government is set to approve three days of leave per month for women suffering from painful periods, covered by social security. This unprecedented measure is part of a much broader new reproductive health law that will, among other things, bolster the right to abortion. It has been prepared by the Ministry of Equality, but even before the text has been presented publicly, and its details made known, the “menstrual leave” allowance is creating discord, both within the government and on the...
12 May 2022
Belgium: labour inspectors will be able to more easily use ‘mystery calls’ to test for discrimination in hiring
An amendment to Belgium’s Social Penal Code, which was adopted by the House of Representatives on 31 March and came into force on 08 May, extends the labour inspectorate’s powers for detecting discrimination in hiring. Going forward, inspectors can more easily test for discrimination using ‘mystery calls’ (aka anonymous practical tests), where an inspector pretends to be a job applicant in order to ascertain whether or not the employer’s behaviour can be considered discriminatory. Until now, three...
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