The latest business Intelligence for HR professionals and people managers everywhere
Sign UpOnline Version
European Edition
8th February 2023
Together with

McDonald's pledges to better protect workers in the UK
McDonald's has signed a legally binding agreement with the UK's Equalities and Human Rights Commission which requires the company to deal with what is thought to be more than 1,000 complaints from staff about workplace behaviour. The UK’s Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU)  has previously raised the alarm over a “toxic culture” in McDonald’s restaurants. Ian Hodson, national president of the BFAWU, said: “It’s shameful that one of the richest corporations on the planet doesn’t take sexual harassment seriously until we raise it . . . I pay tribute to all our members who have spoken out on this issue and encourage McDonald’s to work with us in ending sexual harassment.” The agreement commits the group to a number of measures to better protect workers in the UK, including communicating a “zero tolerance” approach to sexual harassment, providing anti-harassment training for employees, and improving policies to better respond to complaints.
We Want to Hear From You

We are proud to have been a trusted source of information for the HR community for seven years. At The Human Times we are dedicated to staying ahead of the trends and challenges facing HR today. Our goal is to keep our growing community of HR leaders informed on the latest developments, innovations, and solutions that can help improve their HR functions.

As we look ahead to 2023, we want to hear from you. What are the functional challenges you are facing in your workforce and HR software ecosystems? And what are your dream solutions? We value your insights and would love to hear from you. Please drop us an email here

If you have a cutting-edge HR product, service or solution that you believe would benefit our community, we would love to hear from you too. Request our Media Pack to learn more about the impact you can make by partnering with us. Thank you for being a part of The Human Times community. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Finnish supermarket strikes to start on Thursday
Workers in more than 160 grocery shops in Finland, mostly large supermarkets, are to go on strike for 48 hours at 5am on Thursday. Service Union United (PAM) said workers will stage the first in a series of strikes following the collapse of talks over a new collective bargaining agreement. The trade union is calling for a roughly €200 increase in pay. “PAM and the Finnish Commerce Federation remain far apart in their views – also on other questions than remuneration,” Annika Rönni-Sällinen, chairperson at PAM, said. “Reforms require firm common willingness, mutual commitment and trust, and those cannot be built by striking,” said Anna Lavikkala, the head of labour market affairs at the Finnish Commerce Federation, which says it has presented several proposals to settle the dispute. “Companies will surely try to keep their doors open with managerial staff, on-demand workers and by pressuring staff to work. Employees are ready to fight for better wages, though. So I can’t estimate how many shops will be closed, how many will limit their opening hours and so on,” Risto Kalliorinne, the organisation director at PAM, told Helsingin Sanomat.
Third wave of French pension protests
Trade unions in France on Tuesday led a third wave of nationwide strikes against President Emmanuel Macron's plans to make French people work longer before retirement. The multi-sector walkouts in public transport, schools and refinery supplies came a day after pension reform legislation began its passage through parliament. The government says people must work two years longer in order to keep the budget of France’s pension system in the black. Philippe Martinez of the hardleft CGT union said: "This reform will upend the lives of several generations. If the government stubbornly forges ahead, we will step up our protest with longer and harder actions." Laurent Berger of the moderate CFDT union said: "These concessions are just patches. Increasing the legal retirement to 64 is the core of this reform and it is deeply unfair. It is a democratic folly for the government to turn a deaf ear to the protest."
Ford works council to update staff in Germany on job cut talks
Ford’s works council in Germany has invited workers to a meeting on February 14th to update them on talks with management over planned job cuts at the automaker's European plants, a union representative has said. Ford said late last month it would decide by mid-February on how many jobs would be lost after the works council at its Cologne plant informed staff that up to 3,200 roles may be lost in the worst-case scenario. The plant in Cologne employs about 14,000 people.
Boeing to axe 2,000 finance and HR jobs
Boeing plans to cut about 2,000 jobs in finance and human resources this year, as it focuses on engineering and manufacturing. The move comes as the company puts more of its resources into "products, services and technology development." It will outsource some of the roles to Tata Consulting Services, a unit of one of India's largest conglomerates.  "We have and will continue to communicate transparently with our teams that we expect lower staffing within some corporate support functions," the company told the BBC. "As always, we will support affected teammates and provide assistance and resources to support their transition," it added.
Zoom cuts 1,300 jobs as demand slows
Video conferencing company Zoom is laying off 1,300 staff as the pandemic-driven boom in online meetings slows. The layoffs will hit nearly 15% of its workforce. CEO Eric Yuan said: "We worked tirelessly . . . but we also made mistakes. We didn't take as much time as we should have to thoroughly analyse our teams or assess if we were growing sustainably, toward the highest priorities.” Mr Yuan said he would also reduce his salary in the coming fiscal year by 98% and forego his bonus. Other members of the executive leadership team will see their base salaries fall by 20% and lose bonuses, he added.
RTL Group to cut 500 jobs
German media company RTL Group, a subsidiary of German media and publishing business Bertelsmann, is cutting 500 jobs. The jobs will be lost in the northern city of Hamburg, said the company, which currently employs 7,500 people in Germany. Thomas Rabe, RTL Group CEO, cited a “rapidly changing media landscape and the challenging overall economic situation” for the move.
Latvian employer organisation urges revision of tax policy
The Latvian Employers' Confederation (LDDK) is urging the country’s government to start work on a revision of tax policy, focusing on labour taxes. LDDK acting general director Ilona Kiukucane said the move is essential to ensure Latvia's competitiveness in the Baltic region, adding that only by taking into account the proposals of social partners is it possible to achieve higher activity in tax payment.
Ladies in waiting need to hustle more
The Telegraph talks to the new head of the 30% Club, Hanneke Smits, about her career and why she has taken up such a high-profile campaigning role. The 30% Club, launched in 2010, aims to secure 30% representation of women on all major company boards globally. Since its inception, the proportion of women on FTSE 100 boards has risen from 12% to 40%. Although there is near-parity when it comes to women on FTSE boards, Smits says this is not good enough because just 16% of the top roles - CEO, CFO, Chair - are filled by women. Smits questions whether enough women want to have leadership roles. “Women need to speak up more, not every month, but there is a time and place for it and you have to know your value and you have to ask for it; you can’t just wait for it to happen. I call them corporate ladies in waiting, there is a lot of that.”
Kering recruits Estée Lauder executive
French luxury goods group Kering has recruited experienced Estée Lauder executive Raffaella Cornaggia to helm its newly-announced push into the cosmetics business. "We are building this new area of expertise within our Group to ensure that our brands can fulfill their potential in this category," Kering managing director Jean-Francois Palus said.  Cornaggia has been appointed chief executive officer of Kering Beaute, a company statement said. Kering said it would develop beauty products for Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Pomellato and Qeelin.
US bosses are reasserting their authority
The Wall Street Journal reports that chief executive officers are reasserting their authority as workers worry about job security amid rising layoffs. Bosses who enjoyed less leverage in the recent tight labour market are now saying they have more power in negotiations with staff. Some are enforcing in-office attendance mandates that had previously been ignored by some employees. Christian Ulbrich, CEO of real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle, observes: “This whole concept of working from anywhere went too far . . . I’m all into flexibility and all supportive that work and life has to find a flexible kind of partnership . . . but that doesn’t translate into, ‘Mondays and Fridays, I always work from home.’ ” He added: “I think the recent trends, the layoffs, will help to bring a little bit of balance into that.”
Crypto exchange Kraken shuts Abu Dhabi office
US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has shut its Abu Dhabi office less than a year after securing a license in the region. The company had said last year it would reduce its workforce by 30%, or about 1,100 employees, as rising interest rates and worries of an economic downturn soured the sentiment on crypto. Kraken laid off the majority of its team focused on the Middle East and North Africa, affecting about eight roles, a spokesperson said. Kraken plans to keep several employees based in MENA.

The Human Times is designed to help you stay ahead, spark ideas and support innovation, learning and development in your organisation.

The links under articles indicate original news sources. Some links lead directly to the source material. Others lead to paywalls where you may need a subscription. A third category are restricted by copyright rules.

For reaction and insights on any stories covered in the Human Times, join the discussion by becoming a member of our LinkedIn Group or Business Page, or follow us on Twitter.

This e-mail has been sent to [[EMAIL_TO]]

Click here to unsubscribe