27 February 2020
Work/Life – 39 of 39 Insights
Employee voice: it's not just about pay and hours. Big tech companies especially seem to foster cultures where colleagues speak out – about womens' rights, inclusion and sustainability.
Facebook's former Head of Sustainability has created Climate Voice, an organisation staffed by volunteers which aims to provide a platform for employees to lobby their employers to take a more aggressive stance on fighting climate change. The organisation will focus on employers in the tech sector, with Nasdaq reporting that there have already been widespread objections raised by employees about the selling of cloud services to "Big Oil".
According to The Financial Times, new research has shown that the introduction of a minimum wage in Germany in 2015 has resulted in workers moving from smaller businesses to larger and more productive ones, increasing the overall productivity of the economy. The effects were not all positive, though, with some small businesses going out of business as a result.
The debate on President Macron's proposed pension reforms has begun in the French National Assembly. The plans are designed to integrate the 42 different public and private pension regimes in France into one system. The reforms have proved controversial, as they would strip some workers of the right to early retirement, and strike action is expected if the measures are passed.
Speakers at the recent Global Women's Forum in Dubai have called for Arab countries to embrace a better work/life balance for women, in line with the Scandinavian model. The National has touched on the prevailing sentiment that while things are moving in the right direction with regard to women's' place in the workforce, more needs to be done to tackle gender inequality and imbalance.
The Spanish Tribunal Superior de Justicia has ruled that it is lawful for employers to reduce pay for employees who take smoking breaks during work hours. The case was brought against the energy company, Galp, and also allows the company to deduct pay for coffee breaks.
As of 1 January 2020, all employees in Slovakia under 33 who are parents will be entitled to an additional week of paid holiday per calendar year (five weeks of paid holiday per calendar year in total).
Zawya reports that many UAE employees feel they are being left behind in an increasingly digital world of work. 88% of those surveyed said that slow-running and outdated technology was directly impacting the growth of their businesses.
The Guardian has shared the personal accounts of several women in the UK who have defied traditional gender stereotypes to become their household's primary breadwinner, with their male partners adopting more domestic duties. In the article, they describe the myriad challenges they faced and the prejudices they had to overcome after swapping places with their partners.
Employees at Goldman Sachs and EY flying back from China have been told to "self-isolate" for at least 14 days to try and avoid the spread of coronavirus within their organisations. Many leading financial services companies (including EY) have either heavily restricted or imposed an absolute ban on business trips to China, Hong Kong and Macau, as the economic impact of the outbreak on global trade continues to grow.