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29 September 2020
India: parliament adopts labor law reform
On 23 September, India’s legislators passed a reform aimed at simplifying and modernizing the nation’s labour law, which, inter alia, makes it easier to hire and fire workers. Opponents to the reform are denouncing what they term a dilution of labour law.
29 September 2020
Japan: Yahoo adopts a new way of working
It is a news story that has caused quite a stir in Japan. From October onwards, Yahoo Japan will let its employees choose their working hours and their place of work. In a country where human resources management is often synonymous with long hours in the office and a rigid collectivist spirit, the rise of remote working due to the Covid-19 health...
Corporate social responsibility
23 July 2020
Great-Britain : new app to combat modern slavery in agricultural work
This new UK app aims to inform companies and workers in order to help tackle worker exploitation in the agricultural sector, and is an attempt to respond to labour exploitation situations that have come to light as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The Farm Work Welfare app was commissioned by the Church of England’s modern anti-slavery programme – The Clewer Initiative – and was developed in collaboration with key organisations in the field, including the UK’s leading labour exploitation...
16 July 2020
United States: California wants to eliminate piecework payment in the clothing industry
Working conditions for female textile and clothing workers in California are expected to improve as a result of the proposed Garment Worker Protection Act. This legislation, authored by South San Diego Democrat Lorena Gonzales, received Senate approval in June and is set to go before the Assembly at the end of July. Barring any last-minute surprises, the Democrat majority-led chamber will approve the text, and Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom will then only have to sign it off. Within the text is the elimination of...
15 July 2020
Germany: federal government confirms adoption of controversial draft legislation on corporate due diligence ahead of the 2021 elections
On 14 July, Federal Ministers of Economic Cooperation and Development, and Labour and Social Affairs, Gerd Müller and Hubertus Heil respectively, confirmed that the draft law on companies’ due diligence as regards compliance with social minimum standards and environmental standards in supply chains would be submitted to the German Bundestag before the current parliamentary term ends...
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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
8 September 2020
Google is offering its teams a three-day weekend so they can recover fully
The US digital giant has for the second time encouraged its teams globally to take a Friday off in order to enjoy a 3-day weekend. This second day ‘off-work’ was implemented for all workers on Friday 04 September and notably allowed the US work teams to enjoy a 4-day weekend as Monday, 07 September 7 was also a public holiday (Labor Day). Google, which announced several months ago that it would maintain teleworking on an ongoing basis until the summer of 2021 at the earliest, is also aware of the consequences...
27 August 2020
United Kingdom: firms tempted to keep mass remote working in place in September
Only a fifth of UK companies plan to re-open their offices to staff next month, according to a survey conducted by specialist HR site People Management, reported on 25 August. The same study indicates that one third of employers will ask their staff to come into the office only a few days per week and that 15% of companies still do not know when staff will be brought back into the office. The desertion of UK offices is a concern to the Confederation of British Industry, the UK business organisation, which has...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
20 July 2020
Siemens plans long-term policy of 2 to 3 days per week of remote working for all
On Thursday 16 July, the German multinational unveiled a plan that will see two to three days of remote working become the norm for at least 140,000 of its employees. Developed in the wake of the pandemic, during which remote working has been practiced and experimented on a large scale, the plan has been dubbed the “New Normal Working Model”. It is geared towards promoting employee well-being and the transition from a management centred on “presence” to a results-based approach.
Remote working and companies' initiatives
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Industrial relations
25 September 2020
Austria: metal industry strikes collective agreement in record time
On Thursday 24 September in Vienna, social partners in the metal industry struck a collective agreement applicable to the sector’s 190,000 employees (40,000 of whom are currently on short-time working) in a record time of just one hour. It comes 10 days after employers in the sector requested that the traditional autumn negotiations for the six metal industry sub-sectors be completely postponed. While the Pro-Ge (industry) and GPA-djp (private sector employee) unions rejected the prospect of no wage increases...
24 September 2020
Telefonica: global agreement on the digital disconnection came at just the right time
The global agreement signed with global union federation UNI Global Union on the digital disconnection, which was penned at the end of 2018, was put into practice with the majority of the world’s population subsequently confined to their homes. Speaking to Planet Labor, Teresa Casertano, head of the ICTS department at UNI Global Union, covered this most timely of implementations.
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Legal developments
25 September 2020
United Kingdom: new support scheme for “viable” jobs to run from 1 November
On 24 September the UK government unveiled its Job Support Scheme as part of its efforts to combat the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The scheme will see the government pay for a portion of hours not worked in order to lessen the burden on companies and support jobs. This measure, which is similar to support systems in France and Germany, will however be reserved to employees doing at least 33% of their usual working hours. It will be effective for a period of six months from 1 November and replaces...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
25 September 2020
India: the risks of a major labour market slump
As is the case in many other countries, the crisis in India sparked by the Covid-19 pandemic is not purely a health crisis but also an economic and social one. For the Indian economy, the loss of income caused by the nationwide lockdown declared on 24 March, which will last far longer than the three weeks initially planned, is colossal. On the employment front, the impact of the crisis and the structure of the labour market reinforces anomalies that are peculiar to India and also threatens to undermine efforts to...
23 September 2020
France: fathers to be entitled to 28 days paternity leave
On 23 September following  of the Council of Ministers meeting, President Macron announced paternity leave would be extended to ‘one month’. According Elysée Palace press information from 22 September paternity leave will be increased from 11 calendar days to 25 and compensated for by the social security system at the same rate as maternity leave. Along with the existing three days of birth leave (fully paid by the employer) fathers will be able to benefit from a total of 28 consecutive calendar days of...
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