8 September 2022
Work/Life – 1 of 57 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:
Newly confirmed UK prime minister Liz Truss may risk a clash with the EU if she goes ahead with the proposed "bonfire" of EU regulations.
Truss is said to be considering the removal of up to 1,500 EU laws by the end of 2023 and workers' rights could be affected as a result. This could include equal pay and holiday pay. At present, the UK's deal with the EU allows for a level playing field but in the opinion of some experts, her plans are likely to affect trade and investment. This could mean the UK is in breach of EU rules and lead to potential tariffs being placed on British exports.
CEOs at finance firms are looking at ways of encouraging office working, such as free meals. The incentives aim to help employees see the benefit of commuting and being back in the office again. Reports by Reuters indicate a lower attendance to offices within the global financial sector than anticipated. The pandemic saw a revised and more relaxed introduction to flexible working with employees realising the benefits of saving on commuting costs and still feeling connected through meetings using platforms such as Zoom and Teams.
TikTok and Reddit are among companies experiencing 'quiet quitting' which displays employees sharing their experiences of leaving their respective organisations, whether by choice or dismissal. Research conducted by Adecco suggests that employees are mostly seeking security within their organisations. Employees want to see future prospects, work within their contracted hours and be recognised for the work that they do.
Statistics Poland has recently reported that employment in Poland has increased by 2.3% year on year. The average remuneration in the enterprise sector in July increased by 15.8%. Currently, the unemployment level in Poland is at a record low - the lowest in over 30 years. According to data provided by Eurostat, Poland is currently the second country (after Germany) with the lowest rate of unemployment in Europe.
A study conducted by Boston Consulting Group and Aspen Institute Central Europe shows that the labour market in the Czech Republic will change significantly in the coming years. One million employees will be at risk of losing their jobs and of these, 330,000 will have to be retrained by 2030. The country could also see around 520,000 new jobs being created for which there has been a shortage of workers or where existing workers do not have the skills needed for such positions.
John Lewis and Waitrose will be giving staff free food over Christmas as a way to aid employees during the cost of living crisis. The meal offerings will be provided from October all the way through to January.
The John Lewis Partnership has announced that it also plans to hire approximately 10,000 new employees over the Christmas period in an attempt to meet demand despite the level of inflation reaching 10.1% in the UK.
On French National Day (14 July 2022), Macron announced that his new government is due to provide the national union representatives with a bill aiming to reform several topics of French labour law. This will include providing French citizens with greater purchasing power, improving professional training amongst employees and promoting collective bargaining for better wages.
Macron has confirmed that reform of the pension systems still remains necessary and discussions with the unions on this will resume in a few weeks.
November 2022 will see some employees of HelloFresh taking the company to the labour courts of Berlin in a claim against the company for allegedly spreading incorrect information concerning employees' ability to set up a works council, amongst other claims. At present, HelloFresh does not have a works council or representatives for its workers in Germany.
HelloFresh has denied all claims made against it.
Wealthy individuals, professionals and those who are newly retired can apply for a 10-year visa, inclusive of tax breaks. The government is looking to increase talent and help its economy post-pandemic at a rate of approximately $27 billion each year by attracting one million high-earning foreigners in a new five-year target for the country. Aspects of the new visa initiative include a renewable option, multiple re-entry and the ability to extend benefits to dependents.
As a result of foreign entrepreneurs having to wait months for a visa to travel to the Netherlands, there are fears of loss of business. These visa problems also affect Dutch entrepreneurs looking for personnel abroad due to the tightness of the Dutch labour market. The government is said to be working hard to process applications “but faces several personnel and technical challenges” that it expects will last at least until the end of the year.
Due to the shortage of skilled workers and demographic change, Germany is once again discussing retirement at 70. This is because there is a desperate search for a solution to prevent the collapse of the pension system.
Cosmetics store Rituals discriminated against female employees by requiring them to wear make-up, according to an opinion given by the Dutch human rights council. The council is responsible for issuing non-binding verdicts on reports of discrimination and received a complaint from a former employee. According to the council, Rituals has now since changed its style guide so that it is no longer compulsory for female staff to wear make-up.