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Managing the fallout of Covid-19

You will find here all the Planet Labor articles covering the initiatives of public authorities and social partners as they seek to manage the economic and social repercussions of the coronavirus outbreak.

9 April 2020
Germany: maximum working time can rise to 12 hours per day in ‘strategic’ sectors until the end of June 2020
On 09 April, Germany’s Federal Employment and Social Affairs and Health Ministries published the details of a new ordinance authorizing companies to raise the daily legal working time limit for employees to 12 hours per day and the weekly limit to 60 hours. The new measures are valid from 0 8 April until the end of June 2020. This ordinance is just one element of a vast economic support programme that was approved on 25 March and as such had the Bundestag’s agreement in principle. However details of the...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
9 April 2020
Great Britain: an agreement allowing Rolls-Royce to return to work
On 08 April amid the coronavirus crisis, the trade union Unite revealed that it had negotiated a series of measures with the engineering giant that manufactures aircraft engines in order to protect the jobs and health of the 20,000 British employees. This landmark deal – that includes a 10% wage cut over the next 12 months, which will be made up and paid back later, enables Rolls-Royce, which ceased all production on 25 March, to reopen its sites gradually from this week.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
9 April 2020
Belgium: various types of compensation for employees in the mass retail market
The mass retail sector has been under pressure since the very start of the health crisis. After an unsuccessful first round of sectoral negotiations that were undertaken at the end of March with the trade and services federation, Comeos, on health safety issues and working hours, and following brief walkout action in the Delhaize and Carrefour stores, Belgium’s trade unions had face into negotiating on a company-by-company basis. Thus, on 6 April, the social partners validated an agreement on hourly compensation...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
9 April 2020
Spain: potentially instigating a minimum income
Spain’s government is preparing to introduce an emergency minimum income measure in an attempt to protect the most vulnerable from the economic impact of the health crisis that continues to relentlessly buffet the nation. On 31 March, the Ministry of Labour approved an extraordinary allowance of €440 for workers who had lost their jobs since the beginning of the pandemic but who lacked the required contributions history in order to access regular unemployment benefits. This aid, which had initially been...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
9 April 2020
EU: Carrefour, Auchan Retail and Uni Global Union to share best practices on preventive measures for workers and consumers regarding the Covid-19 pandemic
On 09 April, the international trade union federation UNI Global Union, together with Auchan Retail and the Carrefour Group signed a joint declaration on the implementation of good business practices in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic health crisis. In it the signatories undertake to exchange and work together to share best practices being implemented to prevent Covid-19 related...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
9 April 2020
Canada: supermarket executives take to shop floor
Managers are rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty. That’s the message being sent out by several supermarket chains. Loblaw, Empire, Longo, and the Canadian subsidiary of WalMart, have all asked head office managers to take the lift down to the shop floors and support their core employees. In this time of Covid-19 related crisis and fear, Anthony Longo, the general manager of the Longo’s deli chain in Ontario, wants to tell its 5,000 employees that they are not alone. He too is taking...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
8 April 2020
France: Société Générale agreement on rest days and remuneration maintenance during the Covid-19 pandemic
An agreement signed on 2 April with the CFTC, CGT, and SNB (specific banking sector organisation) trade unions affirms the principle of maintaining remuneration for all staff during the health crisis period and in return imposes the taking of two weeks’ leave. The company will not make use of any government scheme for partial activity during the first half of 2020.
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
8 April 2020
France: PSA agreement includes a solidarity-based 100% guarantee of salaries for employees on partial activity and a facility for adjusting summer holidays to facilitate business resumption
On 07 April an ‘agreement on social solidarity, and the protection and health of employees and the company’ was signed by the French auto manufacturer along with 4 of the 5 representative trade union organizations. The agreement creates a solidarity fund that guarantees 100% remuneration for all employees in partial activity, enables each site head to impose 6 days of leave, and...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19
8 April 2020
Great Britain: audit firms using sabbatical leave to deal with the coronavirus crisis
In order to lessen the financial impact of the health crisis, audit and consulting firms are looking into the idea of the sabbatical leave option. Thus, professional services firm Grant Thornton has invited its employees to voluntarily choose between one of these two options by April 10, (i) take sabbatical leave until the end of June, during which they will receive 30% of their salary, or (ii) opt for a 40% reduction in their hours and pay until the end of May. Grant Thornton UK said, “These are clearly...
Managing the fallout of Covid-19