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European Edition
20th October 2021
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Brussels' top HR executive backs Luxembourg for EU jobs
Johannes Hahn, the EU Commissioner responsible for the bloc's human resources budget, says it is important that EU institutions can attract enough staff to Luxembourg. EU institutions have historically had difficulty bringing staff to Luxembourg because workers receive the same salary in the Grand Duchy as they would in Brussels, where the cost of living is cheaper. “It is always high on the agenda to have well-equipped and trained people,” Hahn said. Luxembourg hosts the European Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the European Investment Bank and parts of the European Parliament and the Commission. All must contend with a reluctance among workers to move to Luxembourg for employment.  The European Court of Auditors described the problem as “palpable” in a recent letter to Hahn, and noted that  some workers in lower-grade jobs earn “below the level of the minimum salary in Luxembourg.”
Future of work: How HR Tech can enable transformation

The last 2 years have had a huge impact on how organisations have looked at and changed their HR tech, and HR led digital transformation. According to Capgemini, leaders in enterprise technology innovation, the future of HR is a digitalized function powered by insight and digital technology, envisioning and enabling the fluid and augmented workforce of the future.

But does the industry believe their tech is up to standard to drive this change and to deliver performance over the coming years?

Capgemini invites you to compare your opinion with your HR peers in this live industry benchmark: Does your HR tech enable transformation?

France to invest €4bn to regain EV leadership in Europe and boost jobs
President Emmanuel Macron has announced an investment of €4bn in the French car industry as part of his country’s  €30bn plan to revive its industrial economy – but the funds must be spent on electric vehicles and public transport. Mr. Macron last week announced the France 2030 plan to steer domestic industries into areas including  green energy, semiconductors, robotics and EVs, and has set a target of two million French-built EVs and plug-in hybrids by 2030 and a transition to full electrification. "I want us to look ahead and see our weaknesses and strengths,” he said. “We need the country to produce more. We need an industrial response to the challenge of the new mode of transport. We need to focus on disruptive innovation technologies on new vehicles.”
Foreign investment deals to create 30k UK jobs
Foreign investment deals in low-carbon sectors in the UK announced yesterday will create about 30,000 jobs, the government has said. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced 18 new deals worth £9.7bn (nearly €12bn), including investments in sectors such as wind and hydrogen energy, sustainable homes and carbon capture. The prime minister said investors had recognised "the massive potential in the UK for growth and innovation," and such investments would power the economic recovery and help to achieve the government's levelling-up agenda for UK regions. The biggest pledge is from Spanish energy company Iberdrola, which plans to invest £6bn in offshore wind farms as part of a project that will create 7,000 jobs.
Handelsbanken to exit Denmark and Finland
Sweden's Handelsbanken is to exit Denmark and Finland. The lender said the two markets offer little growth opportunity without major investment. Together, Denmark and Finland account for 10% of the income, 13% of the costs, and 8% of Handelsbanken's operating profit.
Payroll firm Deel raises $425m
Global payroll solution company Deel has completed a $425m Series D financing round which values the business at $5.5bn. The Times of Israel notes that Deel was founded three years ago by CEO Alex Bouaziz, a French Jew who immigrated to Israel, and chief revenue officer Shuo Wang. The company’s platform enables employers to draft contracts for workers in over 150 countries and pay salaried staff and freelancers in local currency and according to local laws. Customers worldwide include Coinbase and Shopify. Bouaziz said: "The way people work is fundamentally changing. And it's never going back. We founded Deel because we didn't want hiring or payments to prevent businesses from building the best global teams and finding the best global talent. We're going to keep challenging the norms of how companies operate and continue building tools that shape the future of work." The company’s rapidly growing value comes amid fast-increasing salaries for human resources, notes The Times.
Facebook plans to rebrand with a new name
The Verge reports that Facebook is planning to change its company name next week to reflect a focus on building the so-called “metaverse.” The report, which cited a source with direct knowledge of the matter, said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg intends to discuss the rebranding at the company's annual Connect conference on October 28th, but the name could be revealed sooner. Facebook told Reuters that it "does not comment on rumour or speculation." Facebook describes its metaverse project as "a new phase of interconnected virtual experiences" that makes use of virtual and augmented reality.
€20m for remote working spaces in Portugal
A total of €20m is to be provided for investment in remote working spaces in the interior regions of Portugal. Ana Abrunhosa, the minister of Territorial Cohesion, told journalists about the funding while in the mountain village of Videmonte, in the municipality of Guarda, on the occasion of the inauguration of a 'co-working' space promoted by ADIRAM – Association for the Integrated Development of the Network of Mountain Villages. The investment is being provided by the PT2030 community support framework, and the minister said that in the next community framework, the government will continue “to give priority” to the creation of telework spaces, especially in areas where “today do not have the characteristic” of only “farmers living there,” but are instead areas where “computer engineers, writers and designers live and work, who coexist with the farmers.”
European Commission vows to punish Poland for challenging supremacy of EU law
The European Commission says it will take steps to punish Poland for challenging the supremacy of EU law. Ursula von der Leyen, commission president, condemned Warsaw for “calling into question the foundations of the European Union.” Poland's Constitutional Tribunal has recently ruled that parts of EU law are incompatible with the Polish constitution. “We cannot and we will not allow our common values to be put at risk. The Commission will act,” von der Leyen told the European parliament, adding “This ruling . . . is a direct challenge to the unity of the European legal order.” Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki responded by insisting that European integration had been a “civilisational and strategic choice” for his country, and that his government was part of the “pro-European majority in Poland.” But he told MEPs that EU institutions had overstepped their powers in seeking to compel Poland to roll back reforms. “It is not acceptable to force on others decisions which have no legal basis. And it is even less acceptable to use the language of financial blackmail, talk of fines . . . I reject the language of threats,” he said.
One in two UK mothers is turned down for flexible working
A poll by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the campaign group Mother Pukka has found that one in two working mothers in the UK is not granted flexible working when they request it. The survey of 13,000 mothers also found that 86% of women with a flexible working pattern faced discrimination at work, while 42% said they feared being discriminated against if they asked about flexible working in a job interview. With the legal right to request flexible working having been in place since 2003, TUC secretary general Frances O’Grady said: “The current system is broken . . . Employers still have free rein to turn down requests for flexible working.” The poll saw 96% of respondents say they believe ministers should give all employees the right to flexible working from day one. Ms O’Grady commented: “They need to change the law so that all jobs are advertised with flexible options clearly stated, and all workers have the legal right to work flexibly from their first day in a job.”
German firms seek new ways to attract skilled foreign workers
A Deutsche Welle video takes a look at how a state-funded recruitment company in Germany is seeking to make matches between foreign students and small and medium sized businesses in the country’s Lausitz region.
Employer put unvaccinated staff in dirty storeroom – claim
An employer in northern Italy put unvaccinated workers in a dirty storeroom "full of animal excrement and with makeshift workstations surrounded by various bits of wreckage," according to a video posted on social media Tuesday. The staff who published the video said they had been wrongly discriminated against because they only had the Green Pass COVID pass after taking a virus test and not after being vaccinated. The pass, which indicates that an individual is vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from it in the last six months or has tested negative in the last few days, became mandatory for private and public sector workers in Italy on Friday.
Mars appoints HR Manager for Central Europe
US pet food, confectionery products, food products and beverages producer Mars has appointed Daria Maslovskaya to the position of People and Organisation Director within Mars Central Europe.
Microsoft leaders warned Bill Gates over ‘inappropriate' emails
Bill Gates was asked by Microsoft executives to stop sending “flirtatious” and “inappropriate” emails to a female employee before the company founder left the business a decade ago, it has been claimed. Microsoft was aware that Gates had sent messages to the employee in 2007, Microsoft spokesman Frank Shaw told the Wall Street Journal. In the “flirtatious” emails, which Shaw described as “not overtly sexual, but were deemed to be inappropriate,” Gates proposed meeting the woman outside work and away from the Microsoft campus. She did not file a complaint. Bridgitt Arnold, a spokeswoman for Gates, said in a written statement: “These claims are false, recycled rumors from sources who have no direct knowledge, and in some cases have significant conflicts of interest.”
Acer confirms second cyberattack in less than a week
Computer hardware company Acer has been hit by a cyberattack on its servers in Taiwan after its offices in India were targeted less than a week ago by the same hacker group. The Desorden Group said in a statement that part of why they instigated the latest attack was to prove "that Acer is way behind in its cybersecurity effects on protecting its data and is a global network of vulnerable servers." The group said it hacked the company's Taiwan servers that stored data on employees and product information. "We did not steal all data, and only took data pertaining to their employee details. Right after the breach, we informed Acer management of the Taiwan server breach and Acer has since taken the affected server offline," the group said, adding  "Also, a few other of its global networks including Malaysia and Indonesia servers are vulnerable too."
Hong Kong broadcaster takes cyberbullying claims to police
Hong Kong broadcaster TVB has filed a report with local police alleging cyberbullying by netizens who the company claims have launched an online smear campaign against the station, its advertisers and artists. The city-state’s biggest free-to-air television broadcaster described what it called the “harassment, molestation, pestering, threats and intimidation” employed by netizens attempting a boycott of the business and those buying advertising time on it. “This cyberbullying behaviour may cause psychological or property damage to these parties and subsequently lead to social unrest,” the company said, adding “To protect TVB and our advertisers, as well as to stop indiscriminate cyberbullying, TVB filed a report to the police in the morning.”

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