12 May 2020
Work/Life – 12 of 15 Insights
Employers are using software which allows them to review instant messages sent between colleagues for words associated with depression and fatigue, as well as circulating daily surveys and using apps to track employee mood and frame of mind. This strategy is designed to increase employee wellbeing, but has provoked criticism from HR professionals, who have raised concerns over the use of this personal information.
A US study has found that publicly shaming employers who violate health and safety guidelines improves the conduct of the "shamed" firms and neigbouring businesses within a 5km radius. The study's authors suggest that the regulator would have to conduct 193 extra inspections to gain the same improvements as one negative press release.
France's highest court has ruled that Uber drivers have employee status and are not self-employed. The Cour de Cassation found that drivers were not self-employed contractors because they cannot not build their own client base, set their own prices, or develop their own terms and conditions. When a driver connects to the Uber platform, a "relationship of subordination" is established between the driver and Uber which makes the driver an employee.
Hermes – one of the UK's largest gig economy delivery firms – has set aside £1m to pay its self-employed couriers if they are told to self-isolate because of coronavirus. Trade unions have warned that the public and highly mobile roles undertaken by gig workers could accelerate the spread of the virus if financial concerns compel at-risk gig workers to carry on working due to a lack of sick pay. Uber is also reported to be giving drivers financial support.
Despite increasing salaries and a growing number of jobs, employers in Poland continue to struggle to attract employees. The reason behind this development is a shrinking Polish population, as well as an outflux of workers to Western Europe. The solution for many businesses is to hire employees from distant countries like the Philippines, India or Nepal. Pressure to ease inbound immigration red tape continues, as the current situation prevents companies from achieving their full economic potential. Companies interested in Poland should be aware that there might be a need to hire a foreign workforce and comply with immigration laws.
The Skilled Workers Immigration Act came into force in Germany on 1 March 2020. It aims to regulate selected and controlled immigration of highly skilled workers, as the Federal Government wants to counteract the shortage of skilled workers and fill empty applicant markets in Germany. In light of the Act coming into force, the German Federal Foreign Office has published a FAQ about moving to, and taking up employment in, Germany.
The Guardian reports on a study in England that has shown that millennials from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are at greater risk of being in unstable employment than their white peers.
Among other things, the study found that BAME millennials are more likely to be on zero-hour contracts and are more likely to be doing shift work. The report has recommended more efforts from the government to improve access to good work, and has called for internal audits of race disparity to be conducted by employers.
In a world first, Chile's government is currently developing a measure of employment quality, designed to help inform policy makers. The index will account for income, employment stability and working conditions, and will complement traditional variables used by governments to monitor labour markets, such as wages, participation and unemployment rates.