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23 November 2021
EU: Danish Parliament rejects EU minimum wage directive
While MEPs are due to vote this week on a resolution that requires the EU Member States to promote social dialogue between employers and employees when collective wage agreements cover fewer than 80% of employees, the Nordic countries are united in opposing the EU Directive. On 18 November, the Danish...
Corporate social responsibility
18 November 2021
Great Britain: Marks & Spencer offering employees individual pronoun badges
Employees at the UK supermarket chain, Marks & Spencer (M&S), can choose to wear a badge specifying the personal pronouns with which they wish to be identified. M&S that recently revealed this information in a LinkedIn post, said that employees can opt to wear “whichever combination of pronouns” they choose. In office settings where badges aren’t used, employees are encouraged to specify their preferred pronouns in their email signatures. David Parke, Food PR Manager in Croydon, UK, posted a...
15 November 2021
United Kingdom: law firm Stephenson Harwood launches electric car scheme for staff
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from next year, as encouraged by the draft resolution from the COP26 climate change summit, UK-headquartered law firm Stephenson Harwood has announced that it will offer an electric car leasing scheme to 550 employees in London. The law firm, which employs 1,100 people across the globe, says the “benefit” announced at the start of November will be offered via a “salary sacrifice” model, whereby staff can opt to reduce their salary in exchange for a non-cash...
10 November 2021
Great Britain: government looks to further improve female representation in the upper rungs of FTSE companies
On 01 November, the UK government announced the establishment of a new five-year review called the FTSE Women Leaders Review. The overall ambition of the review is to increase female representation at the top of large stock-market listed companies. Specific targets are expected to be disclosed shortly, along with the name of the person responsible for steering the review. “UK business has taken great strides when it comes to gender diversity at board level, underlining the success of the government’s voluntary...
Diversity
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Digital tools
15 October 2021
Italy: social partners in engineering and metals sector launch a national ongoing training platform
The employer organisations Federmeccanica and Assistal have joined forces with three trade unions – Fiom-Cgil, Fim-Cisl and Uilm – to launch a digital platform called MetApprendo, with a view to aiding the implementation of the individual right to training provided for in the collective agreement for the engineering and metals sector. The digital platform will provide companies in the sector with a series of services to gauge training needs, build customised plans and provide online training. In the Italian...
13 October 2021
France: a psycho-social prevention tool to accompany the internal transformation of Fayat Energie Services
Fayat Energie Services is a branch of the Fayat real estate group, France’s 4th largest real estate group, and it specialises in energy services, electrical engineering, climate control and digital systems. Since 2019, the company, which has 4,000 employees, has been using the Moodwork tool to support the company’s transformation project and better prevent psychosocial risks. Moodwork proved particularly useful during the Covid-19 crisis.
22 July 2021
France: “We want to develop our own artificial intelligence, which means having structured, efficient data”, Sophie Sanchez, CEO of Synergie (Interview)
French human resources group Synergie is implementing a digital transformation plan that is based on the establishment of a data lab that will develop its own artificial intelligence and is set to start in September 2021. Sophie Sanchez, Synergie’s CEO, has kindly set time aside to discuss the main thrusts of this four-year project with Planet Labor. The ultimate goal is to be able to...
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HR practices
18 November 2021
Germany: Volkswagen allows up to four days of teleworking per week
The German car manufacturer has signed a new agreement with its central works council framing the implementation of remote working arrangements. Entitled ‘Remote work – Restart’, it updates and completes an initial agreement on this topic that was adopted in 2016. The revised company agreement will come into force after the Covid-19 pandemic, and it will allow Volkswagen employees who are able to do so, and with their manager’s agreement, to work up to four days a week remotely and to distribute these days...
hybrid work
17 November 2021
Hybrid work: contours of work organisation patterns post the Covid-19 pandemic are starting to take shape
The Covid-19 pandemic has called into question the traditional working day with its ubiquitous fixed working hours. With backing from employees, hybrid working, which combines remote and in-presence periods is becoming the norm in many companies. Furthermore, the shift to hybrid combinations is occurring all over the world. Some businesses have already signed agreements implementing a new, more flexible work organisation that allows them to reduce their real estate costs and carbon footprints, as well as profiling...
hybrid work
16 November 2021
Germany: 3 days of telework per week and €1,000 allowance at Deutsche Bank
After much procrastination, Deutsche Bank and its central works council (Gesamtbetriebsrat) have together reached an agreement for implementing hybrid working. This framework agreement allows employees of Germany’s largest bank to work remotely for up to 40% of their working hours, and in special cases for even up to 60%. Those who commit to at least two days of teleworking a week will receive an employment allowance of €1,000, which will be renewed every five years.
hybrid work
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Industrial relations
22 November 2021
Italy: energy group Eni extends remote working option as part of effort to foster parenthood
At the end of October, Italian oil and gas group Eni signed an agreement on so-called smart working. Set to enter into force at the end of the state of health emergency, currently set for 31 December 2021, the agreement includes the possibility of remote working for staff at industrial sites, different modes of application according to individuals’ family situation and state of health, as well as a codified right to disconnect.
19 November 2021
Colombia: first employers’ union in the country established
On 2 November the Colombian ministry of labour gave approval to the Sindicato de Empresarios por Colombia (Siempre Colombia) as a union organisation for employers, making it the first of its kind in Colombia. “This new union aims to present a model of social innovation that fosters the country’s development and features entrepreneurs from various sectors of micro, small, medium and large companies from different productive sectors of the country, with a modern and disruptive vision but that focuses on market...
17 November 2021
Austria: substantial salary increase in the metal industry
On 10 November, after 18 meetings and a number of warning strikes, collective bargaining in the Austrian metal industry resulted in a +3.55% salary agreement over one year. The same rate also applies to bonuses. Apprenticeship allowances are rising from 4.27% to 6.74% depending on the year of apprenticeship. Lastly, the new minimum salary for the sector is set at €2,089.87 per month. As in previous years, the six metalworking federations, which have been negotiating separately for ten years at the request of the...
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Legal developments
22 November 2021
Ireland: bill published to introduce sick leave paid by employers
In line with plans announced last year, the Irish government has published a bill to introduce statutory sick pay from 2022. The sick pay scheme is to be phased in over a four-year period; employees that have completed 13 weeks of continuous service at their company will be entitled to three days’ sick pay in 2022, rising to five days in 2023, seven days in 2024 and 10 days in 2025. Ireland is one of the few advanced European countries without a compulsory employer sick pay scheme. Many companies have been...
19 November 2021
Germany: Covid health pass and other measures introduced for workplaces
Amid the ongoing transition of power in Germany, following the federal election in September, the country is facing an unprecedented number of Covid-19 cases, driven by a particularly infectious Delta variant. In a bid to stay on top of a rapidly deteriorating situation, the Bundestag, the interim federal government and the Länder met on Thursday 18 November. Several of the measures announced concern the world of work, including revival of remote working, introduction of the health pass and compulsory vaccination...
16 November 2021
EU: MEPs support EU minimum wage directive with strong emphasis on collective bargaining
On 11 November, MEPs on the Employment and Social Affairs Committee voted in favour of a draft directive for ‘fair minimum wages’. While the Member States were unable to reach an agreement on the text presented by the European Commission at the end of 2020, particularly in view of the opposition of the six countries (out of 27) that do not yet have a minimum wage, the MEPs have adopted a version that is close to the initial text. With it EU Member States should impose a legal minimum or mechanisms to promote...
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