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3 July 2020
New leadership team at IndustriAll Europe
The 2020 Congress of IndustriAll Europe, the European union federation, which had been scheduled for May of this year, was postponed until June 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, IndustriAll Europe’s executive committee refreshed its general secretariat on 1 July with the appointment of two new deputy general secretaries, Isabelle...
Corporate social responsibility
30 June 2020
Asian garment sector on the cusp of a “humanitarian crisis”
An investigation conducted by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC) has reached an indisputable verdict: the anticipated impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on the fashion and garment industry would represent a veritable “humanitarian crisis”. The first signs began to emerge as early as March, when a report indicated that, in Bangladesh, more than half of suppliers had experienced mass cancellations of orders, either completed or in production, as a result of the pandemic (see article n°11941),...
26 June 2020
Germany: government scales back ambitions for corporate duty of vigilance bill
In an article published on Thursday 25 June, the business daily Handelsblatt lifts the lid on the broad outlines of a bill being prepared, which would introduce a duty for companies to be vigilant when it comes to social and environmental standards in supply chains (Sorgfaltspflichtengesetz). The bill, the presentation of which has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and consequent lockdown, is important as it is intended to serve as a model for similar future European Union legislation that Germany wants to...
26 June 2020
Great Britain: more than 370 companies have now signed the “Women in Finance charter”.
Forty-two new companies have just signed up to this charter, the goal of which since 2016 is to raise female occupancy rates in positions of responsibility within the financial sector (c.f. article No. 9771). At the time of this announcement on 23 June, the government stated that in 2019 the proportion of women in senior management positions had either increased or stabilized in 3 out of 4 signatory companies. In addition, the average proportion of females in senior management rose from 30% in 2017 to 32% in 2019....
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Digital tools
29 April 2020
Great Britain: the government launches a training platform for furloughed employees during Covid-19
Called The Skills Toolkit, this free online learning system aims to enable the many Britons currently not in full time employment (c.f. article No. 11878) to acquire skills during the pandemic. “I want businesses to encourage their furloughed employees to use The Skills Toolkit to improve their knowledge, build their confidence and support their mental health so they have skills they need to succeed after the coronavirus outbreak,” said Education Secretary Gavin Williamson at the launch of the offer on...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
16 October 2019
Digital tools : UK start-up ‘predicts’ employee resignations
Oxford-based visual data management start-up, Zegami, has just launched a new tool for employers that will enable them to predict which employees are most likely to resign from their jobs. Called Zegami HR, the platform operates using a tailor-made algorithm developed from work carried out at the Oxford University Computational Biology division into the factors that made people happy at work in a company. The algorithm uses relevant data and includes age, salary, career path, academic history, career satisfaction...
30 September 2019
Digital tools: when companies offer work experience that is 100% virtual
Doing an internship at a multinational firm without even leaving the house, and perhaps while still in one’s pyjamas, is now a possibility, thanks to the concept of virtual work experience offered by the Australian start-up InsideSherpa. Since 2017, the company has offered short work experience programmes, exclusively online, at companies from all over the globe. While students see the platform as an unprecedented opportunity to discover large companies and gain experience, employers using this method hope to...
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HR practices
23 June 2020
France: launch of a 2nd tranche of testing aimed at combatting discrimination in recruitment
In the coming weeks, the government will launch a second tranche of tests conducted to shed light on ongoing discrimination in hiring within companies. It will be conducted among 40 randomly selected large companies in the SBF 120 index (Société des Bourses Françaises 120 Index; French stock market index comprising all 60 stocks in the CAC 40 & CAC Next 20 indexes plus 60 further stocks listed on the Premier Marché & Second Marché). France inaugurated this type of initiative with a campaign that ran...
22 June 2020
Brazil: Petrobras weighs up permanent remote working arrangements for administrative staff
This is what the public Brazilian petroleum corporation told Reuters following the lifting of lockdown in the country. The conditions are still to be defined, but the objective is to offer every administrative employee the option to work remotely. According to Petrobras, the experiment has proved successful in terms of productivity and has revealed potential avenues to reduce office costs as the company works to reduce its operational costs. Remote working will be voluntary, although the company anticipates that...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
15 June 2020
Germany: study reveals cost-effectiveness of apprenticeships through comparison with cost of a conventional hire
On 9 June, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) published its third study since 2007. It is based on more than 4,000 interviews and details the average cost of dual training by region, size and business sector. In addition to a comparison between the periods 2007, 2012/13 and 2017/18, the study offers a fairly high degree of accuracy on the type of costs incurred by an apprenticeship, as well as on the average gain generated by apprentices depending on the number of years of training....
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Industrial relations
1 July 2020
France: the environment is a subject for social dialogue in some companies
Environmental issues are currently a key focus of discussion in the trade union apparatus with debates occurring  in forums outside those of traditional social dialogue and collective bargaining. At company level, employee representatives are looking at using the levers of social dialogue to address environmental issues in the very places where production methods are defined. While the corporate executive level is increasingly accountable for externality effects on other actors in addition to their own employees,...
30 June 2020
Italy: a selection of ‘Covid-Phase 2’ company agreements
Following the initial disruptive impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on production processes, and as a result of the safety measures that were adopted in line with Italy’s national protocol signed in March 2020, a number of multinational companies and trade union bodies have signed ‘Covid-Phase 2’ company agreements to facilitate a ‘return to normality.’
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
23 June 2020
EU social partners sign agreement on digitalisation
Today, on 22 June, European social partners (BusinessEurope, CEEP and SMEunited on the employer side, and ETUC on the trade union side) signed a framework agreement on the digital transformation, which provides an “action-oriented framework to encourage, guide and assist employers, workers and their representatives in devising measures and actions aimed at reaping these opportunities and dealing with the challenges”.
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Legal developments
1 July 2020
EU: European Commission presents a series of measures to support youth employment and skills acquisition
On 01 July and as a new crisis looms in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission presented a package to support youth employment along with a New European Skills Agenda. Two documents set out the European Commission’s vision of addressing skills to enable all citizens access the labor market. In two other separate documents (both proposals for EU Council Recommendations), the European Commission suggests ways to reinforce the Youth Guarantee (which it renames ‘A Bridge to Jobs –...
1 July 2020
Germany: a 4-step 12% rise in hourly minimum salary to €10.45 by 01 July 2022
On 30 June, the Minimum Salary Commission announced that the universal minimum salary would increase from the current €9.35 to €10.45 per hour by 01 July 2022.  Debate continued right to the wire on how to change the minimum salary level at a time when the German economy is suffering violent aftershocks from the health crisis lockdown. A four-step increase was finally agreed upon.
29 June 2020
EU: a worker reinstated following unlawful dismissal must be granted paid leave entitlement for period between their dismissal and reinstatement (CJEU)
In a decision passed on 25 June, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) grants the right to a worker reinstated after their unfair dismissal has been overturned, to paid leave for the entire period from their dismissal to their reinstatement. The ruling, passed in relation to two cases, one regarding Italian law and the other regarding Bulgarian law, comes in light of...
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