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European Edition
14th October 2021
Finland salary deal could set a precedent for other sectors
Yle Uutiset reports that salary increases agreed last week between forestry company Stora Enso and staff representatives may determine the level of pay rises in other sectors across the Finnish labour market. Antti Palola, chair of The Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees STTK, told Yle that the agreement sets a benchmark for negotiators in other sectors to strive towards. Under the deal, the forestry firm's employees will receive a 1.9% pay increase in the first two years and 0.9% in the third year. The collective agreement is valid for two years and four months, so wages will increase by 2% annually. The pay rises agreed between Stora Enso and the Paperworkers' Union are higher than those agreed with the wider industry in the previous round of negotiations two years ago. In a surprise move announced last autumn, the Finnish Forest Industries Federation (FFIF) said it would abandon collective bargaining in the Finnish labour market and instead allow companies in the sector to agree directly with their workforces on salaries, shifts and working conditions. Last week's agreement therefore marks the first wage negotiation in the forestry sector since the end of collective bargaining and the move towards a company-specific model.
Care staffing crisis has worsened since start of pandemic
The annual State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England has found that more jobs in the sector are unfilled than before the coronavirus pandemic. Researchers at Skills for Care found that employers were failing to fill 8% of posts before the start of the pandemic, a proportion that had fallen to 6% by June 2021, before rising to 8.2% by August - the equivalent of more than 100,000 jobs. The report found that the care workforce is currently 82% female and 27% aged over 55, with 21% of workers from ethnic minority backgrounds. Skills for Care chief executive Oonagh Smyth said the report "is a stark reminder that our recruitment challenges continue and, to help tackle that, we need to properly reward and value care workers for their high skill levels and dedication". The crisis is having knock-on effects in the NHS, disrupting the discharge of patients back into care and hindering attempts to clear a backlog of 5.6m people awaiting treatment.
Financial services in staff shortage warning
Over a fifth of financial services firms in the UK have warned that staff shortages are limiting investment in the sector, according to a report by the Confederation of British Industry and PwC. Almost three quarters of financial services companies are actively recruiting new staff to tackle the skills shortage gap, while 78% of firms say upskilling existing staff is a high priority for the sector. Claire Tunley, chief executive at the Financial Services Skills Commission, said: “As the adoption of technology and automation accelerates, firms will have to continue to grow and adapt the skills of their workforce to meet changing needs”. Reflecting on the report, Emma Reynolds, managing director of financial services industry body TheCityUK, said: “In such a competitive market, ensuring the UK’s process for attracting global talent is quick, efficient and workable is key – especially where there are domestic skills shortages.”
Romanians motivated by higher pay
A new study has revealed that higher pay is the primary motivator for Romanians when it comes to changing jobs. Six out of ten respondents indicated this as the main reason for a career switch, according to the survey conducted by D&D Research on behalf  of BestJobs. Over 80% of respondents are constantly looking for new opportunities on online recruitment platforms, with BestJobs being among the most popular (73% of white collar employees said that BestJobs is the platform they check the most and the first online site they would use when thinking of changing their job).
EV facility to create jobs in Spain
Spanish energy company Endesa is developing the first electric vehicle battery recovery and recycling facility in the country, in partnership with Urbaser. The first plant on the Iberian mainland will be opened in Cubillos del Sil (León) and will come into operation at the end of 2023. Under the Endesa Futur-e Plan, and with an investment of €13m, the energy company will locate the facility at the Cubillos del Sil thermal power plant which it is already in the process of dismantling. The recycling facility will generate about 50 direct jobs, and an unquantified number of indirect opportunities.
42% of black employees have left a job due to lack of diversity
Analysis by Savanta has found that 42% of black employees have resigned from their job citing a lack of workplace diversity and inclusion, while 28% feel discriminated against by their employer. Among Asian employees, 32% feel discriminated against at work. When quizzed on the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, 30% of all staff said their employer had made them aware that their organisation supported the cause, with 22% saying their employer released a statement addressing the matter. However, 28% said their employer took no measures at all to address the BLM movement. Meanwhile, Business in the Community’s Race at Work survey found that black candidates are less likely to believe that they are being treated fairly by recruitment agencies. Just three in 10 black, Asian, mixed race and ethnically diverse employees believe they are treated fairly when working with a recruitment agency, compared to five in 10 white workers.
DFMs still woefully behind fund groups on closing gender pay gaps
Britain’s wealth managers are still woefully behind asset managers when it comes to paying their female employees as much as their male counterparts, with the worst offender reporting a 60% pay gap. Wealth managers accounted for six of the 10 worst companies on gender pay, along with two investment banks, one stockbroker and one fund group. 
Call for mandatory disclosure of net-zero plans
Companies including  BT, Kingfisher, Tesco, Aviva and Santander have written to the UK Chancellor and the Business Secretary ahead of the climate Cop26 summit in Glasgow demanding the Government make the disclosure of net-zero plans mandatory for large companies, with a clear time line for rolling out this policy by 2025.
Founders step down at KKR
Henry Kravis and George Roberts have stepped down after nearly half a century in charge of KKR, the private equity firm they founded with their mentor Jerome Kohlberg in 1976. They will stay on as co-executive chairmen and Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall, who have served as the co-presidents of KKR since 2017, will become co-chief executives, effective immediately, the firm said. 
Lights, camera, strike action!
The biggest strike action since the 1940s is to be launched by Hollywood film set crews next week unless studios meet their demands for better working conditions, their largest union said Wednesday in a move that could bring the multi-billion dollar industry to a halt. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), which represents 60,000 film and TV workers from camera operators to set builders and costume designers, has been in months of talks with the top industry organization representing the likes of Disney, Warner and Netflix. IATSE says that despite months of negotiations, Hollywood studios have ignored their demands for shorter working hours, longer breaks between shifts, and improved pay for the lowest earners. With film and TV production attempting to ramp up again after enforced Covid shutdowns, IATSE wants stiffer penalties for productions that force members to work through lunch breaks. It has also criticized Hollywood's failure to update the often lower salaries for crew members working on projects for streaming platforms, which today have budgets comparable to traditional Hollywood blockbusters.

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