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13 April 2021
Germany: Covid-19 screening in companies becomes mandatory
As of 19 April, all private and public sector companies must offer all their onsite employees a rapid Covid antigen test, free of charge, at least once a week. This testing requirement will remain in effect until 30 June 2021 along with the other measures contained in the ‘Coronavirus related Occupational...
13 April 2021
Ireland: parental leave extended to 5 weeks
As of 01 April 2021, parents of a child born or adopted on or after 01 November 2019, can now take an additional three weeks of parental leave bringing the total number to five weeks. The Family Leave and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2021 increases paid parental leave from 2 to 5 weeks per parent. It also...
Corporate social responsibility
8 April 2021
Italy: ENI oil group secures agreement on up-skilling and generational renewal
Signed on 01 April by ENI and the Filctem-Cgil, Femca-Cisl and Uilca trade unions under the auspices of Italy’s Ministry of Labour, the agreement will enable 900 employees to take voluntary early retirement. Starting in 2021, 500 people will also be hired in order to facilitate the oil group’s transformation and the redeployment of its business activities as it focuses on lowering its carbon emissions by introducing new skills linked in particular to the circular economy and technological innovation. The...
7 April 2021
Germany: slow start to coronavirus testing in companies causing controversy
In line with a decision by Germany’s Federal Government and its various Länders on 03 March 2021, companies are being called on to offer free weekly (at least) Covid rapid antigen tests to employees who are physically present at their place of work. These company screening campaigns are a core element of Germany’s national strategy to combat a third wave in the coronavirus. March 2021 was also the month that saw the country’s major employers’ associations (BDA, BDI, DIHK, and ZDH) call on...
2 April 2021
United Kingdom: PwC unveils hybrid model for post-pandemic working, combining remote and in-office work
On 30 March professional services firm PwC announced that its 22,000 UK employees will be able to continue flexible working once the Covid-19 pandemic has passed and will be able to go to the office just two or three days per week if they so wish. The group also plans to trial reduced working hours on Fridays this summer. Called the ‘Deal’, this new hybrid working model was thought up after consultation with staff. The announcement means PwC is the first of the so-called Big Four accounting firms to set out...
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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
1 April 2021
Italy: Autostrade’s innovative agreement allows smart working parents 90 minutes of time off every morning to help children with online schooling
With schools closed in a large part of the country and only set to gradually reopen after the Easter period, the agreement signed on 18 March at Autostrade per l’Italia (Aspi, Italy’s major motorway management company), and which runs for one month from 22 March, provides agile working parents a specific ‘right to disconnect’ for 1.5 hours every morning, so they can support...
31 March 2021
Kering: interview with Béatrice Lazat, Human Resources Director of the luxury group, on Kering’s global domestic violence policy
Since the start of 2021, Kering has been rolling out its global domestic violence policy that provides specific support to all employees who open up on their situations as victims of domestic violence, which includes adapting their working conditions, making referrals to specialized associations and providing tailored assistance. In conversation with Planet Labor, Béatrice Lazat, Group Human Resources Director talks about some of the actions Kering has undertaken as part of its global policy.
31 March 2021
Volvo Cars announces 24-week parental leave for all employees worldwide
On 30 March car manufacturer Volvo Cars announced it is opting-in its more than 40,000 employees globally, in all plants and offices, into a new all-gender, paid parental leave policy. From 01 April, Volvo Cars employees will be able to receive 80% of their salary for 24 weeks over a period of up to 3 years after the birth of a child. This initiative is not new for the carmaker, which is extending its 2019 initiative launched for its employees in the Europe/Middle East/Africa area. The company’s statement noted...
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Industrial relations
7 April 2021
EU: a broad switch to telework is presenting trade unions with both challenges and opportunities to reconnect with their grassroots
‘Telework is here to stay and unions need to learn how to organise workers online and address their concerns.’ With this in mind, IndustriAll Europe, the European industry trade union federation has identified both challenges facing the trade union organizations as they strive to continue keeping in touch with workers and recruit new members, as well as fresh opportunities to reinvigorate by capitalizing on some new methods that were deployed during the pandemic. The union federation message has drawn on a...
1 April 2021
Great Britain: Unite launches a confidential hotline for Amazon whistleblowers
As of 29 March, Amazon UK’s 40,000 employees who claim to have witnessed or been victims of bad practices can contact Unite directly by way of a dedicated hotline number and email. With this, the UK’s largest trade union body is looking to gather testimonies that can confirm the various stories circulating in the press, including accounts of ‘timed toilet breaks’ and several workplace injuries. The dedicated hotline “is not a publicity stunt” and the union is “in this for the long...
30 March 2021
Germany: pilot agreement struck the metallurgy industry in North Rhine-Westphalia
As expected, at daybreak on Tuesday 30 March, and following months of tense negotiations that have been marked by several warning strikes, the social partners in the metallurgy industry concluded a new collective agreement for the 700,000 employees in the North Rhine-Westphalia metallurgy sector. As a pilot regional agreement, it is now expected to be taken up by the other regions and applied to Germany’s 3.8 million metallurgy workers. The new 21-month agreement provides for the payment of a €500 ‘Covid...
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Legal developments
9 April 2021
Health crisis exposes shortcomings of EU member states’ welfare systems
European Union member states were all compelled by the Covid-19 pandemic to implement urgent reforms to their welfare systems. According to a study of social protection during the Covid-19 pandemic, conducted by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI), the independent research and training centre of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), 24 out of the 27 EU member states have increased the amount or duration of unemployment or income support benefits, or broadened the eligibility conditions for such aid....
8 April 2021
Great Britain: have big companies set aside the gender pay gap issue?
While the U.K. has given companies with at least 250 staff an extra six months to publish their gender pay gap data (c.f. article No. 12377), only one out of four met the initial 04 April deadline. HR experts are worried about this lack of momentum and especially since the situation for females at work has deteriorated alongside the Covid-19 crisis.
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