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8 September 2022
United States: California introduces a minimum wage for fast food restaurant employees
California’s Democratic governor Gavin Newsom has finally signed the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act/ FAST Recovery Act, or AB 257, which will improve working conditions in the fast food industry in his state (c.f. article No.13181). The act establishes a Fast Food Council within the Department of Industrial Relations that will comprise 10 members including 4 employer representatives, 4 employee representatives, one representative from the Department of Industrial Relations, and one...
5 September 2022
China: combatting discrimination against those who have contracted and recovered from Covid affirmed as an official priority
On 29 July,  China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the National Health Commission issued an ‘urgent’ directive aimed at ‘resolutely’ combating employment discrimination against those who have recovered from Covid-19. Indeed, given that even slightest sign of a positive Covid test can result in all business activities ceasing, many employers appear to have developing their own workplace-based zero tolerance illness policies which is translating into a form of  punitive...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
2 September 2022
Nike and ILO join forces to reduce road accidents among garment workers
The International Labour Organization has launched an initiative in partnership with sportswear giant Nike to “reduce injuries and deaths from road accidents among garment and footwear workers”. This sector was selected as such workers are disproportionately involved in road accidents, for example as a result of “commuting long distances”, according to a statement announcing the initiative. Nike will produce “guidance materials” on commuting safety, which will be piloted at...
31 August 2022
Scotland: a dedicated mental health at work platform for employers
Since 11 August 2022, Scottish employers have had free access to a digital platform that contains a wealth of information to support employers who want to engage in tackling and ending the stigma surrounding mental health. The new platform, which contains advice and training as well as contacts and legal information, aims to help employers implement a culture of well-being at work. “Happier workforces create successful businesses – it’s a win-win for all involved,” said Kevin Stewart the Minister for...
29 August 2022
Luxembourg: businesses affected by gas shortages will be able to resort to short-time work
On 23 August, Luxembourg’s Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Georges Engel, together with the Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, and the social partners, met within the framework of the Comité de conjuncture (Economic Committee, the primary goal of which is to maintain employment). They met to consider solutions to alleviate the underemployment occurring in companies, which, due to Ukraine-conflict-related gas supply shortages, might temporarily contract or cease business....
27 July 2022
Great Britain: the government publishes guidance to bring clarity on the status of workers
While legal proceedings related to the status of gig economy workers have multiplied over the last few years (c.f. article No.12369 and No.12605), on 26 July the UK government published fresh guidance on this topic. This information is geared to HR departments, employers, and workers who sometimes have no knowledge of the subject, even though British labour legislation is very specific. Indeed, several worker statuses can be specifically identified, the best known of which are ‘employee’ that enjoys greatest...
22 July 2022
US federal investigations into working conditions at three Amazon warehouses
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) agents are inspecting three Amazon sites located in New York, Orlando (Florida), and Chicago (Illinois, following a referral from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, over potential health and safety violations.  The investigation focuses on “potential worker safety hazards” as well as potential “fraudulent conduct designed to conceal accidents from OSHA”.
20 July 2022
Italy: gender equality certification for companies created
One of the priorities of Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Piano Nazionale di Ripresa e Resilienza – PNRR) is to reward the companies that perform best in terms of gender equality, with the rate of women in work having reached a ceiling of around 50%.  The decree of 29 April 2022, which was published in Italy’s Official Gazette on 1 July, formalised the parameters that companies must respect to be certified for gender equality. The indicators are divided into six categories: culture...
25 May 2022
G7 labour and employment ministers commit to strengthening vocational training amid transitioning economies
On 24 May 2022 during their meeting held in the north-German city of Wolfsburg, the G7 labour and employment ministers agreed on a roadmap for a ‘Just transition and the promotion of decent and skilled work in a green economy.’ Faced with the challenges of ‘digitalisation, decarbonisation and demographic change’, the ministers intend to remove the ‘structural barriers’ hindering access to continuing education for all. To this end, the action plan intends for tools to be developed that anticipate skills...
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...