4 November 2020
Work/Life – 2 of 19 Insights
Welcome to the latest edition of our international employment news update.
French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a second lockdown. Non-essential businesses, such as restaurants and bars are closed, but schools, construction sites, factories as well as most public services remain open.
Wherever possible, employees are required to work from home. If working from home is not an option for the company, staggered work patterns must be encouraged to reduce the number of people both in the workplace and on public transport. As with the initial lockdown in March, people are required to fill in a form to justify leaving their homes.
The government has also announced that it would maintain supportive measures for employers in particularly hard-hit industries such as tourism, the café/bar/restaurant industry, culture, sports and commerce (notably through part-time activity).
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended until December rather than ending on 31 October 2020 as originally planned.
Employees put on leave will receive 80% of their current salary up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, which matches the original rate set in March. Employers will only cover national insurance and pension contributions.
The less generous Job Support Scheme, which was due to be introduced on 1 November, will instead take effect upon the end of extended furlough scheme.
Read our thoughts on the extended CJRS here.
Only one in 10 working men in Germany has a part-time job and four out of five men in Germany are in employment (compared to three in four throughout the wider EU). Women's happiness was also surveyed but is less reported.
A survey by US-based Enterprise Technology Research has suggested that the percentage of workers permanently homeworking will double in 2021 as a result of increased productivity.
Some 1,200 chief information officers across the world expect 34.4% of their companies' workforces to permanently remote work in 2021 compared with 16.4% pre-pandemic.
The telecommunications, financial and insurance sectors have enjoyed the largest productivity gains when remote working, with energy, utilities and education experiencing the least.
Tech giants such as Microsoft and Google are dramatically increasing their data science capabilities and accelerating their digital transformation to deploy smart technologies to improve their talent management systems.
But an article in the Harvard Business Review notes that when used unethically or illegally, new people analytics software enables employers to manipulate their workers and violate their privacy.
To combat this, the authors suggest that there must be vigorous enforcement of laws and regulations to ensure workers remain in control of the data obtained and benefit from the insights derived from it.
For more, see our article on the online harassment of staff.
The latest research by the World Economic Forum – covering 300 of the world's biggest employers (8 million employees between them) – forecasts that by 2025 machines will perform over half of all work tasks in a transformation believed to be likely to worsen inequality in the global labour force.
This robotic revolution would create 97 million jobs in care, big data and the green economy but cost almost as many. Workers in routine or manual jobs in administration and data processing would need to re-skill to avoid being displaced whereas roles that rely on human skills such as advising, decision-making and reasoning will enjoy increased demand.
The salaries of 418,000 retail employees and 15,000 trainees in Austria will be increased by 1.5% by 1 January 2021. This deal is aimed at ensuring purchasing power in a time of adversity without overburdening companies.
A coronavirus-related bonus of at least €150 for employees in retail companies is recommended, should these companies enjoy any financial leeway. The bonus is expected to have a positive impact on Christmas business in Austrian retail.
The Polish branch of international transportation firm Bolt (formerly known as Taxify) is offering an additional three days paid leave to employees who adopt an animal from a shelter. This is motivated by the belief that the long-term benefits of adopting a dog or cat will influence the wellbeing of their staff.
"Pawternity leave" adds to the mandatory annual and other types of leave required under Polish labour law. It is a one-time benefit and applies to staff who decide to adopt a pet now or who have adopted a pet over the past two years.