16 June 2022
Work/Life – 1 of 56 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:
Following the adoption of the Whistleblower Directive at the EU level, member states were to implement the Directive in national law by the end of 2021. However, in Austria, the government have only recently agreed on a transposition law, and the draft is currently under review – a process that will take six weeks after starting on 3 June 2022. For more on the Whistleblower Directive, and how we can help, read here.
Known as the "Climate Law", a recent decree expands the compulsory data collected by French employers to now include information on environmental impact. The purpose is to inform the Economic and Social Committee (the "CSE") on economic and social matters within companies with more than 50 employees. It now includes information such as a company's sustainable use of resources, and companies will consult with their CSE annually on the environmental impact of their organisation and management activities.
The world's largest trial of the four-day work week began in the UK, seeing over 3000 workers across 70 companies offered 100% of their pay for working 80% of their hours. Organisers believe that the shorter working week will increase productivity while improving mental and physical well-being. However, critics question whether the trial will work across all industries and sectors, particularly where staff may already be over-worked such as healthcare.
Most Londoners will never return to the office full-time, the Policy Institute and King's College London reports, mainly due to disliking rush-hour travelling. The latest research highlights that 60% of London staff currently work from home at least one day per week. Only 16% of respondents believe that office workers work harder than home workers.
Microsoft will disclose salary ranges for job openings in the US from no later than January 2023 as an attempt to improve transparency for jobseekers. Recent salary disclosure laws passed in Washington, Colorado, and New York City indicate that companies working across multiple jurisdictions may follow in Microsoft's footsteps by disclosing salary bands to job applicants. The tech giant also announced it will stop enforcing non-compete clauses for all staff (except its most senior leadership) and that it plans to undertake an external civil rights audit in 2023.
Google have agreed an $118 million settlement in a class-action claim alleging the company violated California state law by systematically underpaying women. In addition to the payment, Google will have third-party experts reviewing its hiring policies and pay equity studies. Google stated that, without any admission or findings, the settlement was the best interest of all parties.
The national rail strikes planned for later this month demonstrate the resurgence in industrial action amongst workers in the UK, particularly due to the rise in the cost of living. Despite wage increases of around 4.2%, what workers can buy with their wages has fallen by 1.2%. Unions are gaining confidence following successful strike action and skills shortages across the private sector. More strikes are taking place within the private and public sectors, raising concerns for employers across many industries.
Following an investigation by the Financial Times into comments made to TikTok's London ecommerce team, the head of ecommerce at TikTok Europe has stepped down from his role. The Financial Times' investigation included allegations of an aggressive company culture and staff being expected to frequently work over 12 hours per day. TikTok wrote to employees to explain that it was investing heavily into supporting a positive employee experience.
The European Parliament and European Council have agreed on fair minimum wages, setting a standard that minimum wage must be at least 50 percent of the average gross pay earned in a country and at least 60 percent of the median salary. For the Netherlands this should be €14, state the trade union FNV.
Shareholders in hotel booking website Booking.com have rejected the company’s plans to pay large bonuses to senior management, including a €50 million payment to chief executive Glenn Fogel. The decision is not binding on the board but is a stern rebuke.