23 October 2020
Work/Life – 3 of 19 Insights
Among this week's news stories is a report on the impact of the static labour market. We wonder whether the recessionary environment will result in senior workers holding onto their jobs, creating a lack of career progression for junior workers – in turn leading to generational friction.
Reports that young workers and women are hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis certainly seem to bear this out; for more on different generations' attitudes towards work, see our recently published study on German workplaces.
According to the German Federal Employment Agency, 12% (4.05 million) of employees in Germany work in a job which is below their actual level of qualification.
In September 2020, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a project to extend paternity leave in France from 14 days to 28 days, seven of which would be mandatorily taken without the possibility to work.
Should this project be adopted, it will apply to children born or adopted from 1 July 2021. France would then join the top five most progressive countries in terms of paternity leave.
A survey by the UK Confederation of British Industry and PwC revealed that 74% of London-based banks and insurance firms are assessing their office requirements due to the rise in remote working. More than two-thirds of the firms are looking to invest in their IT and acknowledged plans to cut more jobs.
A fifth of UK business bosses have indicated they will need to reduce their workforce by 10% by the New Year, a YouGov poll has revealed.
Meanwhile, the four companies termed Big Tech – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google – have significantly expanded their office footprint in Manhattan during the pandemic to accommodate the hiring of a further 22,000 employees.
Several of the world's leading financial services firms have called back to the UK staff who took advantage of the possibility to work from abroad at the outset of the pandemic. These workers may be hit by foreign taxes if they do not soon end their temporary relocation. Read our further thoughts on this here.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the pay gap between white and BAME employees is at the smallest level since 2012 in England and Wales. The average hourly pay for white workers in 2019 was £12.40 – 2.3% higher than the £12.11 for BAME people. The gap differs across regions and is largest in London (23.8%) and smallest in Wales (1.4%).
The figures show overall progress, but the ONS stated that "this simple comparison between white and ethnic minority groups does, however, mask a wide variety of experiences among different ethnic minorities".
Starbucks has tied executives' pay to diversity targets. The move supports its bid to become more diverse, with a goal of 30% BIPOC (Black, indigenous and people of colour) employees at the corporate level and 40% in retail and manufacturing.
France is known for its strong privacy laws and its protective attitude towards freedom of speech. However, leading newspaper Le Monde has reported a recent French Supreme Court case where an employer could act following Facebook posts.
To use elements extracted from an employee’s private social media account, the employer will however need to demonstrate that the evidence has been obtained legally and that the breach of the employee's privacy is proportionate to the pursued goal.
The number of British nationals rescued from slavery – 246 in the year to July – has risen for the ninth consecutive year and is now second only to Albanians.
A report by the Salvation Army charity found 46% had been enslaved through forced criminality, 29% were in forced labour, 19% were sexually exploited and 4% were in domestic slavery. The Salvation Army said the fallout from the coronavirus downturn may leave many more people in poverty and at risk of exploitation.
Access our online UK Modern Slavery Act assessment tool to find out whether your business needs to comply with this law.