22. September 2022
Work/Life – 58 von 57 Insights
Welcome to the latest edition of our international employment news update. Given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, we wanted to direct readers to our practical resources aimed at supporting those who wish to understand and help the circumstances of Ukrainian people who want to be able to live and work. Here is the link led by our CE offices:
An EU ban has been proposed by the European Commission on national agencies where forced labour (ie, labour through violence, intimidation or manipulation) is used to make a product. The ban is set to tackle concerns over human rights and modern slavery. The policy would apply to all levels of production as well as exports and will have no particular focus on specific companies or countries. The International Labour Organisation estimated that in 2021 approximately 27.6 million people were forced to work. Several countries, including the UK , already have employer reporting obligations on modern slavery and forced labour.
The World Cup is due to start soon in Qatar and football fans spanning 15 countries have expressed the view in a commissioned poll that migrant workers who have been helping to prepare for the country's world cup should receive compensation from FIFA. Amnesty International and other rights groups called on FIFA to compensate migrant workers up to a total of $4440m for poor living conditions of workers and withholding salaries for long working hours.
FIFA says that measures had already been put in place to improve the protection of workers in Qatar.
Germany is making plans to boost its workforce with a "green card" that will enable foreign nationals to travel to Germany and seek work. The country only asks for at least three of four requirements to be met: a university degree or professional qualification; professional experience of at least three years; a language skill or previous residence in Germany; and/or the applicant to be aged under 35. The new process aims to remedy the country's skilled labour shortage.
A record number of digitally skilled migrants this year have successfully gained visas to work in the UK. Tech Nation at the Home Office reported endorsing 659 individuals from January to August this year compared to 619 in 2021 as a whole. Fintech companies have been the main source of attraction.
The UK Office of Tax Simplification is set to review remote and hybrid working to catch out those who claim to be working abroad but choose to use it as an opportunity for a holiday instead. This review could see changes to tax rules for Britons working abroad and experts believe that countries within the EU could issue separate tax bills to remote employees working in their countries. Corporation tax may be charged in countries abroad where employees are making executive decisions or entering into contracts.
Deliveroo is set to be challenged by the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) in the Supreme Court over collective bargaining rights. The IWGB wants Deliveroo couriers to be classed as workers rather than as self-employed so they can hold collective bargaining rights such as sick pay and union negotiation rights. Deliveroo's recent partnership with the GMB union allegedly prevents this.
The Living Wage Foundation has found that minority ethnic workers are paid below the "real living wage". The report revealed that 33% of Bangladeshi workers, 29% of Pakistani workers and 25% of black workers were earning below the UK's real living wage, compared with 20% of white British workers.
The UK government has been reported by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to the UN's International Labour Organisation over alleged attacks on workers' right to strike. The TUC claims that government ministers have proposed changes to laws that could lead to the infringement of the right to strike even though it should be considered a "fundamental freedom".
On 16 August 2022, the French government adopted an emergency law to protect French citizens’ purchasing power amidst increasing consumer and energy prices. Some measures concern a reduction of employers' social charges due on overtime compensation, the possibility for the employers to buy back rest-days not taken by employees, an increase by 4% of retirement pensions and other types of social benefits. The measures are said to represent a cost of 20 billion Euros.