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25 May 2022
Great Britain: KPMG makes unconscious bias training mandatory
From June 2022, all 15,800 staff at the UK accounting and auditing giant will undergo mandatory ‘unconscious bias training.’ Employees who refuse the training risk losing part of their bonus allocation as their career evaluation will inevitably be affected, the group has warned. This unprecedented...
9 May 2022
United States: several big firms prepare to defend right to abortion
Prompted by the question marks currently surrounding abortion rights in the United States, several companies – including Levi Strauss, Airbnb and Tesla – have opted to take action to safeguard those rights. In the event that certain states restrict or prohibit abortion, these large US groups are considering covering travel expenses so that their employees can travel to another state where the procedure would be possible.
28 April 2022
Germany: 36 major companies create the ‘Allianz der Chancen’ (Opportunity Alliance) as a way to prepare for transitions
On 28 March in Berlin during the ‘Transformation Summit’, which was attended by no less than Wolfgang Schmidt, Chief of Staff of the German Chancellor, 36 large companies employing more than 1.3 million people in Germany, decided to join forces in the Opportunity Alliance. In it the members intend to address the burning challenges of digitalization, automation, decarbonization and demographic aging. According to the Alliance, at least 10 million workers are affected, and the concomitant training and adaptation...
27 April 2022
Mexico: some thirty companies mobilize against racism
On 21 April, twenty-eight Mexican and multinational companies signed the Corporate Agreement against Racism in the Workplace and the Professional Environment. The document, signed by companies from various sectors, including Coca-Cola, Scotiabank, Netflix, Walmart, Ford, Nike, 3M, HSBC and Sanofi, together with the Council to Prevent and Eliminate Discrimination (Copred) and the RacismoMX association, aims to establish new practices to eradicate racism and discrimination in companies. The companies are committed...
26 April 2022
Great Britain: following the P&O scandal a coalition of companies is campaigning for more ethical governance rules
Aghast at P&O Ferries’ sudden dismissal of 800 seafarers  (c.f. article No.12984), more than 1,000 business petitioned the UK Parliament on April 20 to reform the Companies Act 2006, which is the backbone of UK company law. The appeal’s signatories, which include Anglian Water (utility), Iceland (food retail), and Innocent Drinks (beverages), are seeking in particular to amend section 172 of the Act (where a company director only has the ‘Duty to promote the success of the company’) so that directors...
13 April 2022
Great Britain: NatWest to train more than 16,000 employees on climate issues
On 11 April, UK’s NatWest Group, which owns the NatWest and RBS banking networks, announced the signing of a partnership with the University of Edinburgh Centre for Business, Climate Change and Sustainability. The £1.5 million (€1.79 million) contract will provide climate training to more than 16,000 employees, including managers and customer advisors, by the end of 2024. Development of the 12-week e-learning course will be spearheaded by NatWest and the university, and its content will be augmented with...
12 April 2022
Germany: SAP launches a welcome and integration program for Ukrainian refugees
On 04 April, Germany’s SAP, the world leading multinational software and business applications corporation announced the launch of ‘dedicated onboarding process for refugees’ fleeing Ukraine, which aims to welcome and integrate qualified Ukrainians in the corporations’ subsidiaries in seven countries (Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia). Recruitment has already begun via an online platform that enables applicants to apply from their smartphones via a dedicated and...
11 April 2022
Netherlands: 13 leading firms commit to helping 20,000 refugees enter labour market
On 8 April, at the Second Dutch Business Summit on Refugees, co-hosted by the Tent Partnership for Refugees in the Netherlands, a series of the country’s multinationals – including recruitment group Randstad, dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina, and electricity transmission system operator TenneT – made pledges to help over 20,000 Ukrainian refugees find a job and integrate in the Netherlands and across Europe over the next three years. The Tent Partnership for Refugees is a network of over 220 major...
5 April 2022
United Kingdom: Siemens UK offers staff on-demand access to vehicles for business travel
The UK arm of German automation group Siemens has unveiled a new transport programme for its staff, which will provide on-demand access to vehicles to all its 15,000 employees. Under the plans announced at the end of March, Siemens staff will be able to use the more than 1,400 vehicles provided by the Enterprise Car Club – the majority of which are low- and zero-emission – spread across 200 towns and cities in the UK, as well as in rural areas and on-site at Siemens premises. To do this, employees simply need...
1 April 2022
Germany: labour minister looks to facilitate Ukrainian refugee access to jobs
With around 283,000 Ukrainian refugees having officially registered in Germany since the start of the Russian invasion, labour and social affairs minister Hubertus Heil – of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) – plans to help those who so wish to quickly find a job in the country. At a meeting on labour market integration, held on 30 March at the labour ministry in Berlin, Heil discussed practical issues related to this goal with the social partners and the Federal Employment Agency (BA).
1 April 2022
United Kingdom: government pledges to publish code of practice on “fire and rehire”
Since the beginning of the pandemic the UK has seen a boom in the practice of “fire and rehire”, which consists of companies dismissing workers and rehiring them on new, less-favourable terms (see article n°12482). Although this procedure is legal in the event of financial difficulties, on 29 March the UK government announced the publication of a so-called statutory code, setting out best practice in this area and underlining that such measures “should only ever be considered as an absolute last...