Authors
Sean Nesbitt

Sean Nesbitt

Partner

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Marc André Gimmy

Marc André Gimmy

Partner

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Authors
Sean Nesbitt

Sean Nesbitt

Partner

Read More
Marc André Gimmy

Marc André Gimmy

Partner

Read More

8 October 2020

Work/Life – 2 of 17 Insights

Work/Life: international employment news update

  • Quick read

Issue 16

During the pandemic employers have turned to real-time monitoring software for comprehensive data-gathering on staff. But do these technologies undermine engagement and productivity? International legal and cultural attitudes to surveillance may differ (as the H&M case below illustrates).

Employers ramp up surveillance on remote workers

There are reports of increasing levels of surveillance of homeworkers. US-based Hubstaff has seen a fourfold increase in UK customers since February for its surveillance software. Privacy International says deploying this kind of software risks turning the remote workplace into a "digital sweatshop".

German data protection authorities fine H&M for illegal worker "surveillance"

The German unit of Swedish fashion retailer H&M has been fined a record €35 million for illegal "surveillance" of staff. The authorities accused H&M of having systematically collected information about the private lives of employees and creating employee profiles used for decisions in the employment relationship. For more, see our article on employee surveillance policies.

Modern workforce trends expedited by COVID-19 crisis

A McKinsey global survey of 800 executives has predicted an increased requirement for independent contractors and gig economy workers and greater adoption of automation and digitisation. The survey suggests the short-term disruption to our working lives caused by the pandemic will fuel the acceleration of workplace changes already in progress.

People with jobs in the fields of health and hygiene, data analytics and cybersecurity are expected to enjoy a greater demand for work.

A survey by the IBM Institute of Business Value concluded that "executives must accept that pandemic-induced changes in strategy, management, operations and budgetary priorities are here to stay".

Slovakia working on implementation of permanent short-time work scheme

Inspired by the largely successful German model of short-time work (Kurzarbeit), the Slovak government is currently working on its own version of a similar permanent job retention tool to be better prepared for future economic crises. A parliamentary vote on the new bill is expected to take place early next year and, if adopted, the new bill should come into effect on 1 January 2022.

Food delivery riders are employees not freelancers, says Spain

The Supreme Court of Spain has ruled that riders for Glovo courier service are employees. Glovo contended it was simply an intermediary between restaurants and self-employed riders. The landmark decision may enable Spanish gig economy workers to demand formal labour contracts and benefits and comes as the Spanish government and EU consider further regulation of the sector.

UAE moves to reduce gender pay gap

The UAE has taken another step towards promoting gender equality by passing a landmark law to ensure equal pay for men and women in the private sector for performance of the same or equal value work. The new legislation has improved the UAE's status on the world's gender equality index, gaining 23 places in the rankings to 26th globally.

All white boards: shareholder activism

Legal & General – which boasts 2-3% ownership of every blue-chip UK company – has demanded that the third of the FTSE 100 and some firms in the US S&P 500 that currently have an all-white board, must hire an ethnic-minority director by 2022 or it will vote against them.

This supports a call by the Confederation of British Industry, who last week urged the largest UK firms to have at least one BAME member at board level by the end of 2021, while FTSE 250 firms should achieve the same by 2024. Research undertaken by global management consultants McKinsey showed that firms with ethnic minority representation at board level are more likely to be profitable. 

California-based public corporations must have at least one executive who is from an underrepresented community by the end of 2021.

In this series

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 17

Quick read

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 16

Quick read

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 15

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 14

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 13

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment law update

Issue 12

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 11

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 10

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 9

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 8

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 7

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 5

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment law update

Issue 4

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 3

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 2

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

Employment, pensions & mobility

Work/Life: international employment news update

Issue 1

QUICK READ

by Sean Nesbitt, Marc André Gimmy

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