7 April 2022
Work/Life – 53 of 52 Insights
Welcome to the latest edition of our international employment news update. Given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, we wanted to direct readers to our practical resources aimed at supporting those who wish to understand and help the circumstances of Ukrainian people who want to be able to live and work. Here is the link led by our CE offices:
The riders were not "freelancers" and instead the nature of their relationship with Deliveroo "characterises a situation of almost permanent legal subordination," a key test in France to determine employee status. The company was fined the maximum criminal penalty of €375,000 and two former executives were fined €30,000 each and given a one-year suspended jail sentence. Employees of Deliveroo are now entitled to unemployment benefits, social security and pension contributions. Deliveroo contests the court ruling.
Lawyers for the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) threatened the company with legal action after private discussions with Uber to introduce a sharia-compliant pension were "stonewalled." Three quarters of the workforce are Muslim according to the ADCU who risk being forced out of the pension or compromising their beliefs to opt in. Uber launched the pension scheme after last year's Supreme Court ruling that drivers were not self-employed.
A new ordinance dated April 6, 2022 completes the legal framework existing around mobility platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo, in order to reinforce the autonomy of workers. Platforms must now communicate the destination of the services offered as well as giving the workers a reasonable time to choose whether or not they accept the services. They must also emphasise the worker's ability to work for multiple platforms. The platforms cannot take any measure that penalises workers who exercise the above rights. It also sets out requirements for trades unions and the platform to engage in negotiations at least once annually.
The working conditions in the Netherlands cause significant health risks for migrant workers, expertise center on health disparities Pharos concluded in a report published on Monday. Long working days, high production pressure, low income, physically demanding work, and precarious living conditions have severe consequences on their mental- and physical health.
A new study by Harvard Business School found that one or two days in the office gives workers the flexibility they need without completely isolating them. The findings were based on how much work was output by three groups of workers each working at home to varying degrees. The study is unique in that it studied actual outcomes from workers adhering to certain work patterns rather than through a questionnaire asking their preferences. Another study by Stanford University found that there is a discrepancy between employer and employee desires when it comes to working patterns. Another survey found from asking 200 senior executives that they feel remote workers are disadvantaged and have fewer opportunities compared to in-office workers.
"Super commuting" – taking longer than 90 minutes one-way – is on the rise. More workers are beginning to work remotely at least some of the time and so have taken the decision to move further away from the office. Although this used to be common in the technology sector, especially for those in senior positions, the pandemic has resulted in this becoming a growing phenomenon in all sectors.
A survey carried out on 1,000 workers in the UAE found that 45% of respondents had not started saving for retirement yet. From those that do have savings, over half say these are in the form of general bank deposits. 45% of respondents said they expect to retire by the age of 55. The head of Friends Provident International who carried out the survey said, “There appears to be a strong disconnect between the aspirations of many individuals in this survey in the UAE to retire early and the reality of how much they will need to save for retirement.”
Easter weekend and the widespread lifting of mask requirements in the hospitality industry have recently triggered a boom in German restaurants and hotels. Within the industry, which was badly affected by COVID-19, this should lead to an economic recovery phase, which is, however, slowed down by a persistent shortage of skilled workers. The main reason for the staff shortage is related to the industry's previous pandemic-related staff cuts, mainly in the part-time and low-wage segments. Solutions to the problem could consist in greater recruitment of foreign professionals as well as the use of digital tools.