25 March 2020
Work/Life – 52 of 56 Insights
Expect the coronavirus pandemic to have lasting effects even after the immediate crisis has subsided. When all this is over, there'll be renewed discussions about the workforce, the impact of technology, and greener working practices.
Google employees across Europe will soon be represented by a council which will have the power to challenge the company's decisions. More than 35 European Google offices will be represented, and the council is expected to meet in Dublin. This increased emphasis on employee representation at Google arrives in the wake of several internal protests in the last two years.
Delia Lachance, the founder of online furniture retailer Westwing, has sparked debate around German laws on maternity leave by refusing to give up her board position while on leave. In a recent Instagram post, Lachance drew attention to what she branded an "archaic" policy which means that board members don't benefit from the same protections as other working women in Germany.
Since January 2018, listed companies and large undertakings in Austria with more than 1,000 employees must fill 30% of their supervisory board mandates with women. This has proven to be highly effective, resulting in 31.7% female representation on boards.
However, there's still room for improvement, as almost half of the working population in Austria is female, and there is a high discrepancy between companies operating under the quota and other listed companies (31.7% versus 15.4%). In light of this, the Austrian Chamber of Labour has proposed the introduction of an even higher women's quota (40%), as well as broader applicability encompassing all listed companies in Austria.
Andrei Donisa, a driver for minicab app Bolt, is challenging his 'dismissal' after he was expelled from the platform for not picking up enough passengers.
A report from the Renewable Energy Association has suggested that green jobs in the UK could grow by 85% over the next decade if supported by the right governmental policy. The report calls on the UK Government to deliver policies designed to increase employment in both the renewables and clean technology sectors.
Singapore's Ministry of Manpower has penalised five employers for placing job advertisements that discriminated against age, or showed a preference for a particular age group. For example, Wisdomtree advertised for a senior Chinese teacher stating a preference for candidates under 30 years old.
A record 2.15 million people are expected to make use of Germany's short-time work scheme known as Kurzarbeit this year. The scheme allows employees to work shorter hours while keeping their jobs and receiving a proportion of their pay, which is covered by the State. The scheme was first used in the 2008 financial crisis and has been extended to help cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday evening, the UK Government announced that people should only leave their homes to go to work where it is absolutely necessary, but this has caused confusion among workers. The Government has released a list detailing those individuals who qualify as "key workers" – including health and social care staff, teachers, and food chain workers – and who are therefore permitted to travel to work, but the situation is unclear for those who don't qualify. Employees have been told to check with their employers whether they should come into work.