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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...
31 March 2022
France: three unions put McDonald’s on notice to publish a vigilance plan
The restaurant group McDonald’s has been given formal legal notice to publish a vigilance plan; an obligation imposed on multinationals since 2017 (c.f. articleNo. 10079). The decision comes four months after a complaint lodged by three major unions, namely the CGT (French), UGT (Spanish), and CUT (Brazilian), which accuse it in particular of ‘failures’ in the fight against sexual violence in the workplace. The American NCP (national contact point) to the OECD Guidelines for Multinationals has also just...
28 March 2022
United Kingdom: government decides against compulsory ethnicity pay gap reporting for companies
The UK government has no intention of forcing large companies to disclose their ethnicity pay gap, despite prior promises from the Conservatives and widespread calls for such a requirement. This unexpected stance was revealed by the government on 17 March, in its response to a report by the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparity, published last year, which sparked controversy by – in the view of its critics – downplaying the effects of institutional racism. Instead the government has unveiled its so-called...
25 March 2022
United Kingdom: employers commit to improving health outcomes
The Confederation of British Industry, the UK business organisation, announced the creation of the CBI Health Council on 18 March. Made up of around 30 leaders from across industry and academia – including representatives of Danone UK and Ireland, John Lewis, AstraZeneca and Pfizer – this council will have the task of establishing ongoing collaboration with the government on health issues, as well as setting health targets for employers. The move comes after the CBI identified health as a key pillar for...
23 March 2022
Germany: a website launched to fight racism in the workplace
On 21 March, International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Germany’s Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs together with the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) launched a website (“”) to help employees and employers fight racism, extreme right-wing ideas and conspiracy theories in the workplace, and to promote democracy. Sandro Witt, head of the DGB’s project group, told Planet Labor about the genesis and goals of the initiative.
11 March 2022
EU: four European rail companies receive awards for their commitment to equality and inclusion
The very first European Women in Rail Awards were held on 8 March, on International Women’s Day. The initiative, launched as part of the European Year of Rail 2021, is supported by the European Commission’s Women in Transport Platform in partnership with the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER). It seeks to highlight individuals and companies who have made a significant contribution to improving gender balance, equality, diversity and inclusion within the rail industry.
11 March 2022
France: employment and disability barometer launched to show firms’ commitment to inclusivity
The French government launched a new tool on 10 March that allows businesses in the private and public sectors to exhibit measures they are taking to foster the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market, as well as to assess themselves and gauge their progress in this area each year. Unlike the gender equality index (see article n°12401), the new employment and disability barometer is neither a scoring tool nor a regulatory requirement; companies are free to decide whether to use it. Nor is...
9 March 2022
Great Britain: HR experts call on employers to support employees whose families are affected by the war in Ukraine
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the UK Professional Body for Human Resources and People Development, has called on companies to support employees with family or loved ones in Ukraine and Russia. It advocates permitting personal phone calls during working hours and offering flexible working hours, with extra breaks. ” Managers should be checking in on their colleagues who are more directly affected by the crisis for any reason and signpost wellbeing and mental health support where...
4 March 2022
United Kingdom: business leaders call for term “chairman” to be scrapped
UK business leaders have called on the government to scrap use of the gendered word “chairman” in official documents filed with Companies House, the country’s corporate register. A letter signed by the British Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, and the Confederation of British Industry, as well as the manufacturer’s organisation Make UK, says: “‘Chairman’ is still used by Companies House as its default term in its model articles, and subsequently used as the basis for the articles...