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Human Times helps you stay ahead of the latest news and trends that impact the HR industry. Every weekday, our unique blend of AI and team of expert HR and employment editors and researchers monitor 100,000s of articles, and social posts to create summaries of the most relevant and useful content to help you lead, innovate and grow. The award winning Human Times newsletter has four geographical editions with news tailored to your region.

From HR leadership to diversity and inclusion, hybrid working, organisational data, performance management, and retention strategies, Human Times is the only trusted free online news source dedicated to covering the most up to date headlines, articles, reports and interviews to make sure you’re abreast of changes in the HR industry.

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Human Times
North America
United Auto Workers celebrates victory at Volkswagen plant in Tennessee

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has achieved a significant victory at a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, winning 73% of the vote. The win marks the UAW's first success in a Southern assembly plant owned by a foreign automaker. The UAW hopes to build on the success and expand its presence in the South, which is the least unionized part of the country. However, the union is likely to face a tougher challenge in representing workers at two Mercedes-Benz plants in Alabama. The UAW has accused Mercedes of violating labor laws with anti-union tactics. President Joe Biden congratulated the UAW on its win and praised the role of unions in raising wages and building the middle class. The UAW's win is seen as demonstrating that organizing in the South is possible and challenges negative perceptions about unionization in the region.

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Human Times
PM announces benefit curbs to tackle ‘sicknote culture'

The Prime Minister has unveiled a new five-point plan to tighten the welfare system including removing benefits for unemployed people who refuse to take a job after 12 months. Rishi Sunak said recent rises in spending on sickness benefits were unsustainable, insisting that welfare should not be a “lifestyle choice” or the system exploited. Mr Sunak said mild depression or anxiety were not barriers to work, explaining that the number claiming for these conditions had tripled in the past decade. He said: “This is about making sure that the welfare system doesn’t over-medicalise what are the everyday challenges and anxieties of life.” He rejected the argument that his approach amounted to not being caring enough to people with mental health concerns, explaining: “This is about recognising how central and important work is to people’s lives. It gives you purpose. It gives you hope. It gives you belonging and identity.”

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Human Times
Health-harming heat stress rising in Europe, scientists say

Europe is experiencing increasingly intense heatwaves due to climate change, according to a report by the EU's Copernicus climate monitoring service and the World Meteorological Organization. Last year, southern Europe faced extreme heat stress, with 41% of the region affected. Scientists say this poses significant health risks to outdoor workers, the elderly, and those with existing conditions. Heat-related deaths in Europe have increased by around 30% in the last 20 years. The report highlights the need for governments to prepare healthcare systems for climate change and protect workers from extreme heat. Greenhouse gas emissions and the El Nino weather pattern were identified as major contributors to last year's exceptional heat. The heat also fueled extreme weather events such as flooding.

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Human Times
Middle East
Climate change is affecting workers' mental health

Climate change is driving a crisis in workers' mental health, according to a report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). The report highlights that extreme weather, climate change-induced disasters, and exposure to excessive heat are contributing to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder among workers. The ILO said that workers may experience distress related to financial and workload problems, as well as loss of hope for the future of their community. The report also notes that climate change risks are worsening the financial situations of some workers, particularly farmers and fishermen, while also flagging that climate change will impact seasonal and transient farm workers, leading to increased stress.

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