EU: the new European Labour Authority will have specific tasks and assignments focusing on the free movement of labour
On 14 February 2019 the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Council secured a provisional agreement on the EU commission proposal to create a European Labour Authority (ELA). If officially adopted, the new authority’s prerogatives will center on issues surrounding labour mobility and EU social security coordination ‘while supporting cooperation between national authorities, including in preventing and tackling social fraud and abuse,’ the Commission press statement noted.
France: framework set out for residence and social rights of workers in the event of a no-deal Brexit
Ordinance n°2019-76, which was published
in France’s official journal on 6 February, sets out specific residence arrangements for UK nationals that are living in France when the UK departs the European Union. The ordinance also says that periods of insurance under a UK regime will be taken into account when assessing the rights to social security and unemployment benefits in France for EU nationals.
EU: agreement on draft directive on transparent and predictable working conditions
On the evening of 06/07 February 2019, representatives of the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers secured provisional agreement on a draft directive that aims to guarantee clearer information for all workers and especially non-standard workers on their working conditions, as well as new rights in terms of employment security and predictability. It now remains for the EU Parliament and Council of Ministers to validate this agreement so that it can be finally adopted.
Société Générale renews the global agreement with UNI Global Union on fundamental rights
On 04 February, Société Générale together with UNI Global Union renewed their global agreement on fundamental rights. This new version explicitly addresses the role of the international trade union federation in terms of French Duty of Care legislation for corporates, and add two new pillars, namely, combatting discrimination and developing workplace diversity, health and safety and wellbeing to that of freedom of association, which was comprehensively developed in the first 2015 agreement.
The EU Commission adopts regulations to safeguard citizens’ social security rights under a hard Brexit scenario
The Commission has consistently made clear that the rights of EU citizens in the United Kingdom and UK nationals in the EU are our priority. They should not pay the price for Brexit,’ indicated an EU Commission press statement on 30 January 2019, the day it adopted a final set of “no-deal” contingency measures aimed at safeguarding the rights of those who have exercised their right to free movement prior to the UK exiting under a no-deal scenario.
Meliá: global agreement signed with IUF to prevent workplace sexual harassment
On 17 January 2019, a landmark agreement was signed between Spanish hotels group Meliá Hotels International and the IUF (International Union of Food, Agriculture, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations) that aims to help prevent sexual harassment.
Great Britain: employers’ body overwhelmingly rejects the government’s post-Brexit immigration plan
On 19 December, and with the 100-day countdown to Brexit just underway, the UK government unveiled its much-awaited Post-Europe Immigration white paper
. Key measures in the plan include the creation of a one-year work permit for low skilled workers coming from abroad (worldwide) as well as the establishment of a minimum salary offer that aims to attract highly skilled workers to come to the UK. The plan is set to come into force on a progressive basis from 2021, i.e. at the end of the transition period, and become effective by 2025. However the vast majority of businesses
Germany: nation opens its doors to skilled workers from across the world
After 30 years of ideological debate on the need to formulate legislation on economic immigration and on whether or not to consider Germany as an ‘immigration country’, the country’s grand coalition government met in cabinet on 19 December and adopted draft legislation on skilled manpower immigration that aims to facilitate the arrival of skilled manpower entering Germany from abroad in order to meet the increasingly strident calls by business for more labor.
United Kingdom: May blows the cobwebs off the labour code, without taking action on zero-hour contracts or the gig economy
On 17 December, the UK government unveiled a package of labour reforms, which it believes are the biggest for 20 years. The government’s Good Work Plan, which is a response to the Taylor report issued in July 2017, scraps the so-called “Swedish derogation” and introduces unalterable rights for all workers from their first day of work, as well as tougher penalties for employers that do not meet their obligations.
Spain: data protection legislation recognizes workers’ right to disconnect
The organic law on personal data protection and digital rights, which transposes EU GDPR legislation into Spanish law, officially recognizes workers’ rights to privacy when using their employers’ digital provisions as well as their right to disconnect.
IndustriALL Europe members adopt a Working Time Charter
During the IndustriALL Europe quadrennial conference hosted this year in Bratislava (Slovakia) from 06 – 07 December, on the topic of collective bargaining, a working time Charter was adopted that defends the idea that digitalization spurred productivity gains should lead to a redistribution of work and to decent work.
EU: Council of Ministers arrives at a compromise position in order to tackle social dumping in the road transport sector
It wasn’t all plain sailing but on 03 December the EU Council of Ministers agreed its position on a key reform of the road transport sector that in particular addresses drivers’ working conditions, special posting rules in international transport, access to the haulage market, and improved enforcement.
UE: banking sector social partners sign a joint declaration on the impact of digitalization on employment in the sector
In this joint declaration that was signed on 30 November 2018 by UNI Europa Finance together with the banking sector employers, (the European Banking Federation Banking Committee for European Social Affairs, the European Association of Co-operative Banks and the European Savings and Retail Banking Group), the social partners outlined a shared vision of the challenges being posed by digitalization and the areas requiring their particular attention.
Germany: Bundestag definitively adopts bill to bolster continued training
In order to improve continued training for workers in Germany, the law will significantly strengthen the public support mechanisms for training in companies, while the Federal Employment Agency will cover some or all of the training and salary costs, depending on the size of the company. For workers hired for short-term projects, the law will improve their access to unemployment insurance benefits. It will also decrease contributions for unemployment insurance; these will drop from 3% to 2.5% of gross salary as of 1 January 2019.
Great Britain: Morrisons supermarket chain held liable for a data breach carried out by a disgruntled former employee
In a decision that has UK companies up in arms, on 22 October the UK’s High Court (court of appeal) and notably in a first, ruled that an employer, in this case the Morrisons supermarket chain, was vicariously liable for the data leak that was committed in 2014 by a disgruntled former employee, which saw the personal details of some 100,000 employees being made publicly available and that the supermarket will have to pay millions of pounds in compensation to the victims of the data breach. The nation’s fourth largest chain has already stated it will be challenging
CSR: using blockchain technology to combat forced labor
Blockchain technology enables several sectors to access a single register that is decentralized, transparent, and by its construction, really tough to hack. In both the US and Europe, companies, NGOs, and public authorities are starting to conceive of ways to apply blockchain technology in the corporate CSR domain. A pilot project led by soft drinks producer Coca-Cola, the US State Department, and Blockchain experts (Blockchain Trust Accelerator, Bitfury Group et Emercoin) is seeking to deploy blockchain technology in the combat against forced labor occurring