Global Daily News

  • Staffing firm can sue buyer for discrimination, court rules

    The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a staffing firm could sue its client in a racial bias case, overturning a previous court ruling that the provider had no standing.Temporary agency White Glove Staffing Inc. had been in contract negotiations with Methodist Hospitals of Dallas and was asked to supply kitchen staff while negotiations were taking place. A Methodist representative allegedly told White Glove that the chef preferred Hispanics, according to court documents.The staffing firm sent Carolyn Clay, an African American, who worked in the kitchen as a prep cook May 19-21 and May 23, 2016, without incident. A hospital representative on May 23 asked White Glove to send an Hispanic worker the next day instead, allegedly citing the chef’s preference. On May 24, White Glove again sent Clay because she was the only prep cook available on short notice, but the hospital asked her to leave. The hospital called off contract negotiations, saying the chef did not want to work with the staffing provider because it failed to send Hispanic workers, according to court documents.The case was dismissed in September 2017, by district court Judge Ed Kinkeade, who ruled the staffing firm did not have standing to sue for employment discrimination because it did not have an employment relationship and because the company, itself, does not have a racial identity.White Glove appealed. Citing a prior court ruling that “the determination whether a corporation has a racial identity is not determinative of whether that corporation has standing to bring a discrimination claim,” the 5th Circuit ruled the staffing firm does have standing.“The court’s decision in this case seems the logical conclusion of what the statute was trying to protect,” said Fiona Coombe, director of legal and regulatory research for Staffing Industry Analysts. “It cannot be right for a client to issue discriminatory instructions to a staffing firm which then, in turn, discriminates against an employee on racial grounds, and in the process opens itself up to a claim while at the same time losing business.&rdquo […]

  • US workers’ wages rise 3.2% in fourth quarter

    US workers’ wages rose 3.2% to $28.93 per hour in the fourth quarter, according to the ADP Research Institute’s Workforce Vitality Report released today. On the other hand, job growth decelerated.By industry, the highest wage growth was in leisure and hospitality where wages rose 5.5% year over year in the fourth quarter to $18.11 per hour. Wages fell in only one industry, resources and mining, where they were down 0.9% year over year to $34.82 per hour. In addition, education and health services showed slow wage growth of 1.8% to $27.54 per hour.Wages in manufacturing rose 4.0% to $30.33 per hour while wages in the information industry rose 2.2% to $41.97 per hour.Looking at all industries, wages for “job holders” — those who were employed at the same company over the last 12 months — rose 4.6% year over year. Meanwhile, wages for “job switchers” rose 5.0%; job switchers are those who changed jobs over the last 12 months.Wages for job entrants rose 4.9% year over year in the fourth quarter.By region, the fastest wage growth was in the Midwest where wages rose 3.9% to $27.00 per hour. Slowest growth was in the Northeast, where wages rose 2.7% to $32.43 per hour. […]

  • ShiftPixy revenue up 51% in fiscal Q1, but net loss edges higher

    ShiftPixy Inc. (NASDAQ: PIXY) — which earlier this month announced the sales of its PEO business — reported revenue rose 50.8% in its fiscal first quarter ended Nov. 30, according to a filing on Tuesday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.The Irvine, California-based firm reported gross margin narrowed and net loss edged higher. (US$ thousands) Q1 2020 Q1 2019 % change Net revenue $15,866 $10,520 50.8% Gross profit $3,314 $3,386 -2.1% Gross margin  20.9% 32.2%   Net loss ($2,556) ($2,246) nm ShiftPixy’s PEO operations represented 60% of its business, and the sale was announced Jan. 9 after the close of the first quarter. The company said it plans to focus on its staffing/technology model serving the quick-service restaurant and staffing industries. The company had also, in December, conducted a one-for-40 reverse stock split.In Tuesday’s SEC filing, ShiftPixy reported that first-quarter revenue rose because of an increased number of worksite employees. Average billed employees increased 44% over fiscal 2019 and the average revenue per worksite employee rose approximately 6%. Share price and market capShares in ShiftPixy were down 2.14% to $15.17 as of 11:44 a.m. Eastern time; the company had a market cap of $14.18 million, according to […]

  • IAC launches tender offer to acquire human cloud firm

    IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ: IAC) has launched a tender offer to acquire human cloud firm (NYSE CRCM), based in Waltham, Massachusetts, according to an announcement last week. The deal was initially announced in December.IAC, based in New York, owns other human cloud platforms including online staffing platform BlueCrew and Handy Technologies. It also owns dating websites and Tinder as well as video website Vimeo.The deal would pay $15 per common share. Shares of Series A convertible preferred stock of would be acquired at a purchase price equal to 150% of the liquidation preference per preferred share plus accrued and unpaid dividends.The board of has found the offer to be fair. The tender offer expires on Feb. is a B2C-focused firm that provides in-home healthcare workers. It was founded in 2006. […]

  • World Economic Forum launches ‘Reskilling Revolution’ with staffing firms, other businesses

    The World Economic Forum today announced the “Reskilling Revolution” initiative, which is aimed at reskilling a billion people around the globe by 2030. Companies taking part include The Adecco Group, ManpowerGroup, Infosys, LinkedIn, Coursera Inc. and Salesforce.It comes as 75 million jobs are expected to be displaced by automation and technological integration in the coming years.Reskilling Revolution is intended to serve as a platform for connecting and coordinating individual initiatives within specific countries, industries, organizations and schools, according to the World Economic Forum.Examples of initiatives at the country level include the Pledge to America’s Workers in the US, where private-sector companies have pledged more than 14.5 million career-enhancing opportunities for American workers over the next five years.Pledges from business include: The Adecco Group aims to support 5 million workers through upskilling and reskilling globally by 2030, including through use of its General Assembly training business. Through MyPath, ManpowerGroup aims to enable hundreds of thousands of people to access high-growth roles by providing training as well as enabling recruiters to give workers needed guidance to obtain future roles. Infosys is expanding computer science and maker education to K-12 students and teachers across the US, especially among under-represented communities, and will become a founding member of skills consortium of online training and learning providers hosted by Reskilling Revolution. Coursera Inc. will be a data partner and a founding member of the Skills Consortium. LinkedIn will be a data partner for the Reskilling Revolution initiative. Salesforce has committed to help train 1 million people with skills and reach 10 million active users on Trailhead, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, within the next five years. The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2020 is taking place this week in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. […]

  • UK – Employed parents who lose child to be given two weeks’ bereavement leave

    Working parents who suffer the loss of a child will be entitled to two weeks’ statutory leave, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom announced today as she laid new regulations in Parliament.The Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay Regulations, which will be known as Jack’s Law in memory of Jack Herd whose mother Lucy campaigned tirelessly on the issue, will implement a statutory right to a minimum of 2 weeks’ leave for all employed parents if they lose a child under the age of 18, or suffer a stillbirth from 24 weeks of pregnancy, irrespective of how long they have worked for their employer.The UK government says it is the most generous offer on parental bereavement pay and leave in the world, set to take effect from April 2020, subject to Parliamentary approval of the legislation being laid today.Parents employed in a job for six months or more will also be able to claim statutory pay for this period, in line with the approach for other parental entitlements, such as paternity leave and pay.Data from Papaya Global for 2019 showed that these new regulations are indeed the longest with countries such as France offering five days paid leave for a deceased child while other countries offer 1-3 days.The new regulation means parents will be able to take the leave as either a single block of two weeks, or as two separate blocks of one week each taken at different times across the first year after their child’s death. This means they can match their leave to the times they need it most, which could be in the early days or over the first anniversary.This new law arrives ahead of the government’s new Employment Bill, announced in the Queen’s Speech in December, which will introduce a raft of further measures to benefit workers and businesses including carer’s leave and neonatal pay. […]

  • Germany – Temporary workers down 8.4% in 2019, study finds

    The number of temporary workers in Germany saw a decline of 9.2% in 2019 when compared to the previous year, according to a study from the Federal Employment Agency.The study is based on a moving annual average until June 2019. It showed 948,000 temporary workers were employed in Germany. When compared to the same period in the previous year, this number decreased by approximately 87,000 (-9.2%). The share of temporary workers in total employment was 2.5%.The Federal Employment Agency said the decisive factors for the decline in temporary workers was the uncertain order situation of customer companies due to the current economic downturn as well as cross-sector personnel shortages due to demographic change. According to the Agency, the latest legal regulations of the Temporary Employment Act, also impacted the number of temporary workers in Germany.The data also showed that men make up the majority of temporary workers with the annual average until June 2019 showing that 71% of the agency workers employed were men. Meanwhile, approximately half, or 49%, of temporary workers were under 35. The data also found that 35% of temporary workers held a foreign passport. […]

  • UK – Tech sector is fastest-growing for jobs and salary: Reed Recruitment

    Salaries in the UK’s technology industry surged in 2019 with a 13.8% hike in jobs posted and a 4.7% increase in the average salary, according to a report from Reed Specialist Recruitment.Reed’s report, which analysed 7.5 million jobs posted since the start of 2016, showed the new data protection rules and the rising threat of cyber crime in particular has seen demand for some roles soar, which is pushing up salaries.However, the overall number of UK jobs advertised fell in 2019 after two years of growth, according to the figures.Among the roles that saw significant salary hikes over the £40,000 mark, include a 22.4% rise for network security analysts, an 11.5% increase for infrastructure security engineers and 7.5% jump for user interface designers.Tom Lovell, global managing director at Reed Specialist Recruitment, said, “With continued record levels of employment, salaries are rising in response to skills shortages. This is particularly acute in the technology sector as digital transformation continues to be an area of significant investment. An ageing workforce combined with a lack of new talent entering the engineering sector is also a challenge, leading to higher vacancy levels.”The study also showed a 5% fall for recruitment managers and 4.1% drop for digital marketing managers.Lovell said a trend for higher wages in lower level roles looks set to continue throughout 2020, while employers are expected to take a more flexible approach and look to “highly skilled temporary or interim workers to meet customer demands." […]

  • UK – Number of London jobs and jobseekers decrease in Q4, Morgan McKinley finds

    The number of jobs available in London decreased by 42% in the fourth quarter of 2019 when compared to a year ago, according to the London Employment Monitor report by recruitment firm Morgan McKinley. At the same time there was a 31% decrease in professionals seeking jobs.On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the number of available jobs also decreased by 29% in Q4 and the number of professionals seeking jobs fell by 22%.“The decrease aligns with the traditional end-of-year closing out of budgets and slowing of business as organisations put hiring off until the New Year,” Morgan McKinley stated. “Nevertheless, the 42% decrease from Q4 2018 highlights Brexit’s stubborn grip on city jobs.”Meanwhile, December data showed a 6% month-on-month increase in jobs available from November to December and a 38% month-on-month increase in job seekers from November to December. When compared to the previous year, there was a 24% year-on-year increase in job seekers from December 2018.Morgan McKinley added that this movement came on the heels of a 12% increase in jobs available in quarter three, and “after voters delivered a resounding mandate to bring years of Brexit uncertainty to a close in the New Year.”Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said, “2019 was a gruesome year, with historic job losses and the constant economic insecurity that came with Brexit. But 2020 will mark a turnabout for the city. You could hear a collective sigh of relief across London when the election results came in.”“Job seekers are on the front lines of the job market, which is why it is so encouraging to see them aggressively looking for the next opportunity,” Enver said. “Clearly confidence in the economy is rebounding now that EU citizens already in the country have the security of knowing they can stay. We are even seeing more Britons from the EU returning home to look for their next professional opportunity." […]

  • Australia – Contingent job vacancies on the rise: Sunsuper Job Index

    Contingent job vacancies in Australia, which include temporary, contract and casual work, experienced successive quarterly growth in 2019, according to the Sunsuper Australia Job Index.The Sunsuper Australian Job Index measures and tracks digital job advertisements on job boards, employer career portals and recruitment company websites.The index highlighted that the trend from permanent to contingent employment continued in 2019. The Index highlighted that some of this shift is structural, some a response to a more uncertain economic outlook.The report showed that while permanent job opportunities still account for the majority (69.8%) of advertised jobs, that percentage has declined from 72.8% a year ago. Throughout the year traditional permanent employment contracted in the first half of the year but went on to manage a minimal recovery in the third and fourth quarters of 2019.Sunsuper’s Chief Economist, Brian Parker, said that there are two possible reasons behind this longer-term trend.“The first is that employers are responding prudently to tighter business conditions by hiring temporary and contract staff in case conditions deteriorate further,” Parker said.“Secondly, there has been a more general longer-term trend both locally and internationally for employers to shift their balance towards contingent staffing solutions, in search of greater workforce flexibility,” Parker said.Meanwhile, digital job advertisements rose by 0.3% in trend terms in the December quarter. On an annual basis, the index rose by 1.3%.The report also showed fluctuating demand across occupations, as the demand gap between blue-collar occupations (weakness) and white-collar occupations (relative strength) narrows.The Sunsuper Australian Job Index claims that it is the first and only Australian jobs report to split data between permanent and contingent (i.e. temporary, fixed-term contract and casual) job vacancies. […]

  • Australia – Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increases slightly in December

    The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Australia stood at 5.1% in December 2019, an increase of 0.1% when compared to the same period last year, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.The total number of unemployed people stood at 693,100 in December 2019, up 3.2% when compared to the previous year.At the same time, the number of employed persons on a seasonally adjusted basis stood at 12.98 million, an increase of 2.1% when compared to the previous year.In December 2019, the labour force participation rate stood at 66.0%, an increase of 0.3% when compared to the previous year. […]

  • Singapore – Citizen employment increases over last ten years driven by older workers

    The increase in employment rate of Singapore citizens over the last decade (from 60.0% in June 2009 to 63.6% in June 2019) was driven most consistently by those aged 65 & over, according to data from the Ministry of Manpower.This increase in the employment rate reflected efforts to raise the employability of older workers.The employment rate for those aged 25 to 64 rose faster in the earlier part of the decade, but has since slowed as more in this age group became older. The employment rate among citizens aged 15 to 24 declined in recent years because more were engaged in further studies.Singapore citizens consistently formed about 85% of the resident labour force.As a result, their labour market trends track closely to those of resident data.The data found that the number and share of professionals, managers, executives & technicians (PMETs) among employed Singapore citizens have increased steadily from 742,800 (47%) in June 2009 to 1,050,300 (56%) in June 2019.Meanwhile, the Singapore citizen unemployment rate (seasonally adjusted) has been broadly stable, averaging 3.1% from 2010 to 2019 (June periods). It was 3.2% in June 2019, slightly higher than the 3.1% for all residents. The Ministry added that this is to be expected because employability is often a key consideration for granting of permanent residency.The Ministry also showed that Singapore citizens continued to earn higher incomes in the recent five years. The real median income growth for full-time employed Singapore citizens from June 2014 to June 2019 (3.9% per year) was also faster than the growth from June 2009 to June 2014 (2.1% per year). Real income growth at the 20th percentile was also faster in the recent five years (4.6% per year) than the earlier five years (1.5% per year). […]

  • India – HCL Technologies to double recruitment of freshers (Times of India)

    India-based IT firm HCL Technologies plans to nearly double its campus recruits to 15,000 in the financial year 2020-21, from 8,600 this fiscal year, reports Times of India. This will include the hiring of 500 students from premier business schools. "Beginning this fiscal, we have also increased the compensation by 15-20% for all those we take in at the management and technical cadre," Chief Human Resources Officer Varre Appa Rao said. Rao added that the increase in hires is due to a surge in demand. […]

Latest Research

  • The Promise of Platform Work

    Understanding the platform economy has been held back in part by a lack of definitional clarity. A new white paper by the World Economic Forum, The Promise of Platform Work: Understanding the Ecosystem, maps the different categories of digital work/service platform and the business-model-specific and cross-cutting opportunities and challenges they pose for workers.The white paper is designed to help policymakers and other stakeholders be more informed about such platforms and about the people using them to work; to support constructive and balanced debate; to aid the design of effective solutions; and to help digital work/services platforms, labour organisations, and others to build alliances. This initiative is part of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society.The white paper can be downloaded by clicking the link below: WEF_The_Promise_of_Platform_Work - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • SI Report Webinar - January 2019

    In this webinar topics covered include: US Geographic Opportunity Atlas tool Public staffing company results US Pay Rate Rangefinder tool Staffing Industry Outlook in Canada Other notable SIA research And of course the latest updates on the state of the economy, employment trends and developments in the US staffing industry.Download presentation slides 200121 SI Report Webinar Presentation Slides - You do not have permission to view this object.  Select the play button to begin viewing. […]

  • Latin America Legal Update Q4 2019

    In this report, we round up the legal developments affecting the workforce solutions ecosystem across Latin America in Q4 2019:Brazil     Decree clarifies temporary work regulation Social security reform affects contribution rates         Chile      Agency workers may not be used to replace striking employees  Mexico Bill will prohibit outsourcing of core activities              National minimum wage increases by 20%    Peru      Regulations on the prevention of sexual harassment        Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action.To download a pdf copy of this update, click below: Latin America Legal Update Q4 2019 20200110 - You do not have permission to view this object. Brazil 1.   Decree clarifies temporary work regulationThe Federal Government has recently issued Decree 10,060/2019 clarifying the law on outsourcing and temporary work - Law 6.019/1974 - which was recently amended by Law 13,429/2017.The Decree removes the areas of uncertainty that existed within the wording of Law 13,429. For example, it has confirmed that it is permissible to engage temporary workers for seasonal predictable work. In addition: Art. 11. states that temporary service providers’ invoices must separately identify the pay and tax from its administration fee. This was already good business practice but was not always observed due to a lack of clarity in the law. Art. 12 provides that it is permissible for a principal agency provider to subcontract temporary workers from another agency. Arts. 18 and 19 confirm that it is legal to engage temporary workers in any job role, regardless whether it is a core business activity or not. There was no prohibition in the law but the lack of clarity between the law on temporary work and outsourcing was confusing. Art. 20 states that temporary workers shall have the right to compensation equivalent to the permanent workers’ professional category. Again, this was considered best practice but it was often confused with section 1 of art. 4-C of the Law which provides for the temporary services agreement to stipulate equal pay between the temporary workers and the permanent employees. This clarification is welcome for employers and staffing agencies. 2.   Social security reform affects contribution ratesReform of Brazil’s social security system approved by Brazil’s legislature will change the monthly social security contribution rates for employees. The new rates and brackets will take effect starting in February 2020.The new employee monthly contribution rates for the private sector are: 5% for those earning up to the minimum wage (previously 8%) 9% if earnings are between minimum wage and BRL 2,000 (USD 490) 12% for earnings more than BRL 2,000 and up to BRL 3,000 (USD 490 to 736) 14% for earnings for earnings between BRL 3,000 and BRL 5,839.45 (USD 736 to 1,433) Public-sector employees currently are generally assessed a flat social tax rate of 11%.The new monthly contribution rates in the public sector include the four new private sector rates, as well as the following four additional brackets: 5% for earnings of BRL 5,839.46 and up to BRL 10,000 (USD 1,433 to 2,454) 5% for earnings of more than BRL 10,000 and up to BRL 20,000 (USD 2,454 to 4,908) 19% for earnings of more than BRL 20,000 and up to BRL 39,000 (USD 4,908 to 9,570) 22% for earnings of more than BRL 39,000 (USD 9,570) Changes to retirement are also part of the reform, with the retirement age of men set to 65, and 62 for women. Both men and women need a minimum 15 years of contributions toward the National Social Insurance Institute (INSS). Those who have not yet entered the labor force will need to contribute at least 20 years.   Chile Agency workers may not be used to replace striking employeesDuring a strike, the union’s negotiating committee must enable personnel to deliver the minimum level of service necessary to protect the assets and operations of the company, prevent accidents, ensure the provision of public utility services, meet the basic needs of the public (including those relating to public health and safety) and ensure the prevention of damage to the environment or to public health according to article 183-Ñ of the Labour Code.The definition of ‘minimum level of service’ should be agreed upon by the parties in preliminary negotiations. If no agreement can be reached, the matter should be resolved by the Labour Inspectorate, and the decision will be appealable before a labour court.In a recent case, the Chilean Labour Inspectorate ruled that contracts for a supply of personnel from a provider can only be entered into when the main company meets any of the circumstances expressly described in article 183-Ñ. In addition, Article 183 (P) (b) of the Labour Code, states:‘Notwithstanding the provisions set forth in article 183-ñ, provisional service employees may not be hired in the following cases:(b) to replace employees who have declared a legal strike as part of the relevant collective bargaining process.’The Labour Court stated ‘It is not appropriate for a provisional service company to provide a main company with employees who are necessary for the execution of work or services interrupted as a result of a strike of the main company’s workers, since such a measure would imply replacing the latter, which is expressly prohibited’.Absent the need to maintain a level of service to protect the assets and operations of the company, prevent accidents, ensure the provision of public utility services, meet the basic needs of the public (including those relating to public health and safety) and ensure the prevention of damage to the environment or to public health,   the use of employees from a service company provider in strike situations is not permitted. Mexico 1.   Bill will prohibit outsourcing of core activitiesOn October 23, 2019, a new Bill was introduced to modify the subcontracting provisions currently in force under Mexico's Federal Labor Law and Social Security Law.Under the Bill, subcontracting is only permissible where the activities contracted out require specialization that is outside the scope of, or are accessory to, the company's trade or business. The scope of the company's business activity is determined by reference to the particular industry or sector to which the company belongs.The Bill also enumerates the circumstances in which subcontracting is prohibited and may be deemed a sham operation, including when: The company's primary or essential activities are subcontracted; Employees are transferred from the company to the contractor via employer substitution or by any other means, whereby the contractor takes them on as its own employees; All of the company's activities are subcontracted; Employees provided by the contractor perform tasks that are essential to the company's primary activity; and The contractor has a direct professional, employment or economic relationship with the company or forms part of the same enterprise, entity or economic group, and engages in any of the above-mentioned conduct. In circumstances where the subcontracting is deemed a sham operation, the company would be required to pay profit shares to its employees for the entire period when the prohibited sham subcontracting was in place. In addition, if the Bill is enacted, sham subcontracting arrangements will be treated as tax fraud, and may be subject to criminal penalties including imprisonment and may even be deemed to constitute organized crime.Transitional arrangements provide that sham subcontracting agreed prior to the Amendment's entry into force may be subject to investigation, prosecution and judgment according to the criminal rules in effect when the facts constituting the fraud occurred.The parties under subcontracting arrangements that are deemed to have sham operations will have 180 calendar days to voluntarily share the profits with the affected employees during the period of the unlawful subcontracting, and to voluntarily pay any unpaid taxes. The company may agree with its employees to pay the profit share in installments (in the case of operations with unrelated parties), while unpaid taxes may qualify for abatement.Companies should take legal advice in relation to any existing or proposed outsourcing arrangements where they receive services from third-party entities and/or related entities for the possible labor, social security, tax and criminal law implications under the Bill. Employers should have an action plan in place to make alternative, legal, arrangements in the event that the Bill is enacted. 2.   National minimum wage increases by 20%On December 16, 2019, the National Minimum Wage Commission (“CONASAMI” for its acronym in Spanish) announced that the minimum wage would increase to $123.22 Mexican pesos per day, effective January 1, 2020.The new minimum wage was determined by adding $14.67 Mexican pesos through the so-called Independent Recovery Amount and applying a 5% percentage increase. The minimum wage that will apply in 2020 will therefore constitute a general 20% increase over the rate used in 2019.The CONASAMI also agreed to increase the minimum wage for workers in the Free Economic Zone of the Northern Border to $185.56 Mexican pesos, effective January 1, 2020, representing a 5% increase. The municipalities included in the Free Economic Zone of the Northern Border are: (i) Baja California Norte: Ensenada, Playas de Rosarito, Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali; (ii) Sonora: San Luis Rio Colorado, Puerto Peñasco, General Plutarco Elias Calles, Caborca, Altar, Saric, Nogales, Santa Cruz, Cananea, Naco and Agua Prieta; (iii) Chihuahua: Janos, Ascension, Juarez, Praxedis G. Guerrero, Guadalupe, Coyame del Sotol, Ojinagua and Manuel Benavides; (iv) Coahuila: Ocampo, Acuña, Zaragoza, Jimenez, Piedras Negras, Nava, Guerrero and Hidalgo; (v) Nuevo Leon: Anahuac; and (vi) Tamaulipas: Nuevo Laredo, Guerrero, Mier, Miguel Aleman, Camargo, Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, Reynosa, Río Bravo, Valle Hermoso and Matamoros.Employers should review and adjust their payroll practices to comply with this new increase to the minimum wage. Peru Regulations on the prevention of sexual harassmentOn 22 July 2019, Supreme Decree No 014-2019-MIMP approving the Regulations of Law No 27942 on the Prevention and Punishment of Sexual Harassment was published in the Peruvian Official Gazette ‘El Peruano’. The main aspects of the Decree are set out below.  Organisations must guarantee the rights of all individuals who report acts of sexual harassment and adopt other measures that will prevent new cases of harassment and further incidents.  Organisations must carry out annual evaluations to identify possible situations of sexual harassment or where there are risks of sexual harassment occurring that are within their scope of intervention.  Organisations should train their employees to prevent situations of sexual harassment. Workplaces with 20 or more employees must ensure they introduce an Intervention against Sexual Harassment Committee. In workplaces with fewer than 20 employees, an anti-sexual harassment Delegate will assume the role of the Intervention Committee. These provisions apply to all employment relationships subject to the private labour regime, including individuals hired through training contracts, contractors, employees of special services and outsourcing companies. If an incident of sexual harassment involves an outsourcing or intermediation company, the complaint should be filed with the main company or user, which must carry out the investigation procedure through its Intervention against Sexual Harassment Committee. The investigation procedure can be initiated by an involved party, at the request of the victim or a third party, or ex officio. Organisations with 20 or more employees must approve internal policies to prevent and punish sexual harassment, within a maximum period of 90 calendar days following the entry into validity of the Regulation. Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action. […]

  • US Jobs Report: January 2020

    Event- On a seasonally adjusted basis, total nonfarm employment rose by 145,000 in December, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its monthly jobs report. Temporary help services gained 6,400 jobs for the month. The temporary staffing penetration rate was 2.00%, and the national unemployment rate was 3.5%.Background and Analysis- On a year-over-year (y/y) basis (December 2019 over December 2018), total nonfarm employment was up 1.4%, and monthly job gains have averaged approximately 176,000 over the past 12 months. Temporary help employment was down 0.5% y/y, reflective an average decline of 1,400 jobs per month over the past 12 months.Of the 15 major industry groups, 12 added jobs in December. The three that most drove total nonfarm employment growth (on a seasonally adjusted basis), were retail trade (+41,200), leisure & hospitality (+40,000) and health & social assistance (+33,900). The three decliners for the month were manufacturing (-12,000), transportation & warehousing (-10,400) and natural resources/mining (-9,000).The three biggest gainers in terms of y/y percentage growth were health & social assistance, education and leisure & hospitality (2.8%, 2.4% and 2.3%, respectively). Two groups were down y/y: temporary help and natural resources/mining (down 0.5% and 2.8%, respectively).BLS Revisions- The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised from +266,000 to +256,000. October was revised from +156,000 to +152,000. With these revisions, total nonfarm employment gains were 14,000 lower than previously reported.The change in temporary help services employment for November was revised from +4,800 to +4,000. October was revised from +3,800 to -5,400. With these revisions, temporary help employment growth was lower than previously reported by 10,000 jobs.Staffing Industry Analysts’ Perspective- Given the magnitude of the October revision to employment in the temporary help category, (and the substantial revisions to prior months in this category throughout 2019), perhaps we should not put too much stock in the preliminary temporary help employment data for November and December at this point. (Additionally, with next month’s release, BLS will make its annual adjustment, where revisions can be made going back several years. In other releases, revisions are typically only made to the two prior months).Looking at 2019 through October, after declining in the first half of the year and bottoming in July (amid a softening economic backdrop), temp help employment rose by 14,000 jobs, and the penetration rate inched up from 1.99% in July to 2.00% in October. The mild improvement seen in temporary staffing volume in the second half of the year is consistent with the sentiment that the worst of the economic slowdown is now behind us, as a result of recent stimulatory monetary actions by the federal reserve. Members may download our jobs report tool by selecting the link below:  Monthly Employment Situation January 2020 - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • The Promise of Platform Work

    Understanding the platform economy has been held back in part by a lack of definitional clarity. A new white paper by the World Economic Forum, The Promise of Platform Work: Understanding the Ecosystem, maps the different categories of digital work/service platform and the business-model-specific and cross-cutting opportunities and challenges they pose for workers.The white paper is designed to help policymakers and other stakeholders be more informed about such platforms and about the people using them to work; to support constructive and balanced debate; to aid the design of effective solutions; and to help digital work/services platforms, labour organisations, and others to build alliances. This initiative is part of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society.The white paper can be downloaded by clicking the link below: WEF_The_Promise_of_Platform_Work - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • Middle East and Africa Legal Update Q4 2019

    In this report, we round up the legal developments affecting the workforce solutions ecosystem across the Middle East & Africa in Q4 2019:Nigeria  Updated guidelines on the dismissal of workers in the oil and gas sector South Africa       New parental leave rights introduced     Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action.To download a pdf copy of this update, click below: Middle East Africa Legal Update Q4 2019 20200110 - You do not have permission to view this object. Nigeria Updated guidelines on the dismissal of workers in the oil and gas sectorOn 17 October 2019 the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) issued the Guidelines and Procedures for the Release of Staff in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry 2019 in order to establish procedures for obtaining the consent of the minister of petroleum resources before releasing Nigerian workers in the oil and gas industry. The guidelines were issued pursuant to Regulation 15A of the Petroleum (Drilling and Production) Regulations 1969 (as amended), which states as follows:“The holder of an oil mining lease, license or permit issued under the Petroleum Act 1969 or under regulations made thereunder or any other person registered to provide any services in relation thereto, shall not remove any worker from his employment except in accordance with guidelines that may be specified from time to time by the Minister”.Previous guidelines issued in 1997 and 2015 mandated all oil producing, marketing and servicing companies to obtain the minister's consent before releasing any Nigerian worker from their employment.The 2019 guidelines define a 'worker' as any Nigerian national who is employed by the holder of an oil prospecting licence, oil mining lease or any licence or permit issued under the Petroleum Act or regulations made thereunder. 'Release' is also defined in Paragraph 3.1 of the guidelines as the removal of a worker which permanently separates them from the employer through: dismissal; retirement; termination; redundancy; release on medical grounds; resignation; death; and abandonment of duty post. Pursuant to the 2019 guidelines, holders of oil mining leases, oil prospecting leases or any other licence or permit issued by the DPR or any person or company registered to provide any services thereto must apply in writing to the director of petroleum resources for the minister's consent to terminate the employment contract of a worker. Among other obligations, employers must file returns containing the name and designation of all of their workers and the numbers of workers employed and released during the period ending on 31 March.The individual circumstances of a case will determine whether the minister must be notified or grant their approval before a worker may be released. Paragraph 4.3 of the guidelines provides for instances where the minister must merely be notified of the release of workers. These include instances where the worker's release occurs by way of: voluntary retirement; resignation; death; or abandonment of duty post. According to Bloomfield Law, critics of the guidelines have questioned the DPR's legal right to issue regulations which interfere with the sanctity of employer-employee contractual relationships. It is a longstanding principle, established by the courts, that employment contracts are personal in nature and principle and subject to the contractual rules of common law. As a result, the guidelines may be subject to legal challenge, but for the moment employer’s in the oil and gas sector must observe these rules. South Africa New parental leave rights introducedOn 1 November 2019, provisions of the Labour Law Amendment Act 10 of 2018 ("the Act") dealing with parental, adoption, and commissioning of parental leave and related benefits came into effect. Section 26A of the Act, provides new fathers, adoptive parents and couples who are parents through surrogacy motherhood agreements with leave days and parental benefits which they were not previously entitled to.Paternity Leave. The Act entitles new fathers to ten consecutive days of unpaid paternity leave commencing on the day the employee's child is born. This means that fathers can finally take leave to bond with their children.Adoption Leave. The Act also entitles employees who are adoptive parents of a child who is two years old or younger to either ten consecutive weeks or ten consecutive days leave per parent. The leave will commence on the date that a competent court grants the adoption order. Accordingly, if an adoption order is made in respect of two adoptive parents, one of the adoptive parents may apply for adoption leave of ten consecutive weeks and the other adoptive parent may apply for the ten consecutive days parental leave.Surrogacy Leave. In addition, the Act entitles employees who are parents to a child born as a result of surrogacy to either ten consecutive weeks or ten consecutive days per parent. The commencement of the leave will be the date a child is born to the surrogate. If the arrangement involves two commissioning parents, one of the commissioning parents may apply for ten consecutive weeks leave and the other commissioning parent may apply for ten consecutive days.In all cases, the employee is not entitled to the aforesaid benefits unless he or she was in the employment "for at least thirteen weeks before the date of application for parental benefit."Employers should amend their leave policies and contracts of employment in order for employees to exercise these benefits.Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action. […]

  • The Staffing Company Tech Stack

    Business processes unique to the staffing industry are commonly organized into three main categories: Front, Middle and Back Office supported by enabling processes. These three components are often referred to as the “Applications” or “Tech Stack.” Any modern staffing firm, however, will tap into a broader Tech Stack which will additionally comprise:    A reporting solution  Office automation, messaging and communication services E-Interface for web-based transactional and information services including the company Content Management System (CMS) for company website and e-enablement    Security services This comprehensive report will take you through each part of the Tech Stack and introduce you to the main challenges and opportunities they present to your business in a confusing and rapidly evolving environment. You can download the entire report here:  The Staffing Company Tech Stack - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • Europe Legal Update Q4 2019

    In this report, we round up the legal developments affecting the workforce solutions ecosystem across Europe in Q4 2019:European Union  Advocate General approves validity of Standard Contractual Clauses for data transfers Four-week limit on carrying forward holiday in case of sickness               AustriaCollective bargaining agreement for bike couriers      Germany  Collective agreement on temporary work must apply fully for deviation from equal pay principle Wage increases for temporary workers               Ireland Paid leave for parents introduced       Italy  New law extends rights to gig economy riders Impact of technology on subordinate relationships             Netherlands  Draft legislation on ZZP status is published Financial incentive offered for permanent employment relationships              Poland Significant minimum wage rise for employees and contractors   Portugal  Labour Code reform restricts the use of fixed term and temporary contracts New parental rights for employees           Spain Court clarifies gig economy riders’ status  Switzerland  Fathers are entitled to two weeks paid paternity leave Revised Federal Act on Gender Equality   United Kingdom  Further consultation on IR35 announced TUPE also protects workers     Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action.To download a pdf copy of this update, click below: Europe Legal Update Q4 2019 20200109 - You do not have permission to view this object. European Union 1.   Advocate General approves validity of Standard Contractual Clauses for data transfersThe Advocate General has advised the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-311/18, Data Protection Commissioner v Facebook Ireland and Maximillian Schrems (“Schrems II”), to hold that the Adequacy Decision, which underpins the use of EC Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) as providing adequate protection for transfers of personal data outside the EU, is valid.The GDPR restricts the transfer of personal data to countries outside the European Union unless there are certain safeguards in place. One of these is if the country to which the data is being transferred is covered by an EU Commission “Adequacy Decision”. If there is no Adequacy Decision about the country, territory or sector for the restricted transfer, the transfer may be permitted subject to “appropriate safeguards”.  These include transfers between two parties who have entered into a contract incorporating standard data protection clauses or “Standard Contractual Clauses” (SCC) which are model clauses adopted by the European Commission.This opinion of the Advocate General is not binding, but the CJEU follows the AG’s opinion in the majority of cases. If the CJEU’s judgment in the matter confirms this, it will mean that SCCs can continue, in general, to be used as a mechanism to enable the lawful export of personal data from the EEA to the USA and, of course, to other third countries around the world. 2.   Four-week limit on carrying forward holiday in case of sicknessIn accordance with the European Working Time Directive, workers are entitled to at least four weeks’ annual holiday. Many EU countries provide additional paid annual leave under their national laws.In TSN v Hyvinvointialan liitto ry (C‑609/17) the Advocate General gave an opinion that the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, read together with the Working Time Directive, allowed member states to limit carry-over of holiday in the event of sickness to the four weeks’ leave under the Directive. In his opinion, provided the “hardcore of minimum protection” (the four weeks’ paid leave laid down in Article 7(1) of the Directive) is not affected, member states can set their own rules on the grant, carry-over and extinction of paid annual leave over and above that minimum.If the ECJ chooses to follow the Advocate General’s opinion, this case should confirm that the domestic position in Great Britain as stated by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Sood Enterprises Ltd v Healy UKEATS/0015/12 is correct. Employers in other EU countries would also be able to limit the carrying forward of holiday in excess of four weeks. Austria Collective bargaining agreement for bike couriersFrom 1 January 2020, bike couriers' employment relationships will be governed by a newly enacted collective bargaining agreement. The agreement was concluded between the Chamber of Commerce and the Austrian Union of Service Workers as the respective representative bodies for all employers and employees of this specific service sector. It applies to each employment relationship affected, regardless of workers' affiliation with a union. Bike couriers in Austria now enjoy similar rights and benefits as employees in other sectors.The new collective bargaining agreement does not touch on the issue of whether bike couriers should be qualified as workers or contractors, but the fact that it has been concluded shows that employer organisations and unions agree that bike couriers, in many cases, should be classified as employees rather than self-employed contractors. The Austrian courts tend to define narrowly the scope of self-employment and in most cases will conclude that bike couriers are controlled, managed and disciplined by their engagers.The scope of collective bargaining agreements in Austria is determined by the mandatory membership of employers with the respective branch of the Chamber of Commerce; when obtaining a business licence, employers, by operation of law, become members of the Chamber of Commerce. If the competent branch of the chamber concludes a collective bargaining agreement for a specific business sector with the labour union covering that sector, all employers who are members of this branch must comply with the terms of the respective collective bargaining agreement and afford their employees the rights and benefits granted thereunder.Austria is the first country to introduce a collective bargaining agreement for a whole sector of the gig economy; however, Italy (see below) has just introduced a new law dealing with riders and last year, the GMB union in the UK negotiated an agreement with a courier company, Hermes. This allowed its workers to opt in to a “self-employment plus” status which offers union representation, minimum wage guarantees and holiday pay. Germany 1.   Collective agreement on temporary work must apply fully for deviation from equal pay principleThe Federal Labour Court in a judgement dated 16 October 2019, docket number 4 AZR 66/18 has said that a temporary work agency that leases agency workers to a third-party client can only deviate from the principle of equal treatment (Section 8(2) Act on Temporary Employment) according to the contract of employment if, for the period of the assignment, the relevant collective bargaining agreement for temporary work applies in full for the entire period of the assignment.The complaint was brought by a temporary worker against his employer, a temporary employment agency, which had hired him as a driver and leased him out to third parties. The employment contract contained a reference to the collective agreements on temporary work concluded between the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and the German Association of Temporary Employment Agencies (VGZ). In addition, the employment contract contained deviations from the collective bargaining agreement’s provisions to the detriment of the employee.From April 2016 to August 2018, the defendant employer leased the temporary worker to a customer (lessee) for an agreed gross hourly wage of EUR 11.25. The regular employees working as drivers in the lessee company received significantly higher pay. In his complaint, the temporary worker claimed the difference in pay between the remuneration paid during the period of hiring out and the remuneration which the regular workers received from the lessee.On appeal, the Federal Labor Court ruled that any permissible derogation would require the full application of the collective agreement relevant to the provision of temporary workers. In the present case, the deviations from the collective bargaining provisions in the employment contract were not exclusively for the benefit of the temporary employee.If employee leasing agencies want to assign a temporary employee to a third party and if they want to deviate from the requirement of equality, the relevant collective bargaining agreement on temporary employment must be referred to in its entirety in the employment contract. Individual contractual deviations from the collective bargaining provisions are only permissible to the extent that they benefit the employee. 2.   Wage increases for temporary workersA new collective bargaining agreement for temporary agency workers has been negotiated between the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB) and the employers' negotiation group for temporary employment (VGZ). The DGB collective agreements regulate minimum conditions for temporary workers in Germany.As of October 1, 2019, the minimum temporary wage rose to 9.96 euros in the western federal states and to 9.66 euros in the eastern federal states.In accordance with the new collective bargaining agreement, temporary agency workers’ wages will increase in three stages. The first increase will be due on April 1, 2020, in the amount of 1.9%. The other increases will take place on April 1, 2021 (+ 3.0%) and April 1, 2022 (+ 4.1%) in the west of Germany. In the east, the first increase will also take place on 1 April 2020, by 2.31% in remuneration level 1 and 3% in all other remuneration groups. The further increases are 1 October 2020 (+ 2.2%) and an adjustment level as of April 1, 2021, of 7.1% on average. In this way, the east wages in temporary work are aligned with the west wages. The agreed fee increase as of 1 April 2022 (+ 4.1%) will, therefore, take place uniformly in both previously separate tariff areas. The months from January to March 2020 run as zero months.From January 1, 2021, there will also be increases in vacation entitlements and vacation and Christmas bonuses for employees.The 2020 collective bargaining agreement and the applicable tariff table will be published by the Federal Employers' Association of Personnel Service Providers (BAP). Ireland Paid leave for parents introducedFollowing the extension of unpaid parental leave for employees in September 2019, the Parents' Leave and Benefit Act, which came into force on 1 November 2019, provides each parent of a child under 12 months with the right to two weeks parent’s leave and payment of a corresponding social insurance benefit, called Parent’s Benefit.The Parental Leave (Amendment) Act, 2019 extended unpaid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks with a further extension to 26 weeks' parental leave in 2020.The main provisions of the Parents' Leave and Benefit Act are: The new law will apply to parents of a child born or adopted from 1 November 2019. Employees will be required to give six weeks’ notice to their employer, setting out the expected start date and the duration of the planned leave. An employer may postpone the commencement of parent’s leave for up to 12 weeks, where it would have a substantial adverse effect on the business. The Parents’ Benefit will be paid at the same rate as Maternity and Paternity Benefits. All employment rights are protected while an employee is on parent’s leave. Absence on parent’s leave does not affect the employee’s rights other than to remuneration. The Bill does not oblige employers to pay employees while on parent's leave. It will be up to each employer to decide whether they wish to top up an employee's parent's benefit and, if so, by how much. A period of absence on parent’s leave cannot be treated as part of any other leave.It should also be noted that parent's leave is separate and distinct to the two weeks' paid paternity leave entitlement introduced via the Paternity Leave and Benefit Act 2016.Employers should update their maternity, paternity and adoptive leave policies or introduce a new policy to reference or incorporate parent’s leave entitlements. Where a salary top-up is provided during some or all the period of paid maternity, paternity and adoptive leave, employers should assess the options and implications of extending the top-up for the extra two weeks parent’s leave. Italy 1.   New law extends rights to gig economy ridersThe Italian Government has recently passed a new piece of legislation, Legislative Decree n. 101/2019, which will improve riders’ working conditions, give them more guarantees and move towards approximating their status to that of employees.The change follows Italian tribunal decisions, which, although falling short of giving riders full employment status, started to state that riders are entitled to some of the guarantees directly attributable to delivery men working in the same industry but employed under the Italian collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for the logistic sector.Further details are provided by Ogletree Deakins. 2.   Impact of technology on subordinate relationshipsA recent Padua Labour Court decision has highlighted the impact of technology and equipment being provided by an end-user employer to workers supplied by a third party on the employment status of those workers.  In this case, a provider's employees were engaged to perform picking activities in the principal's warehouse. The employees brought a claim in the Labour Court to be recognised as employees of the principal. The claim was based on an allegation that the provider's employees had been equipped by the principal with optical readers and headsets with microphones that used voice software to communicate and receive the identification data of the goods that were to be picked. The voice software also recorded any task individually performed by the employees, which enabled the system belonging to the principal, to associate an employee's name code with the goods that were picked.According to the Padua Labour Court judge, the pickers were the provider's employees only from a formal perspective. In reality, the pickers were subordinate to the principal, who provided them with equipment and gave them direction and work instructions through dedicated software that was able to record data generated by their working activity as part of the organisation's information flow.This case turns on the traditional concepts of subordination and control in the relationship between an employer and employees, but it is interesting to see the role technology played in providing evidence of control in this case. The trend towards automation means that technology and data generation will play a greater part in terms of the relationship between employers and the workforce. Netherlands 1.   Draft legislation on ZZP status is publishedThe draft Minimum Remuneration for the Self-employed and Self-employed Status Statement Act [Wet Minimumbeloning Zelfstandigen en Zelfstandigenverklaring] setting the minimum hourly pay rate for the self-employed (with no employees) or ZZP, and the requirements for self-employed status statements, was published on 28 October 2019. This covers two of the set of proposals that the government has announced to replace the Assessment of Employment Relationships Deregulation Act (Wet DBA)The minimum hourly rate of EUR 16 to be categorized as self-employed is designed to prevent self-employed people from working at a rate that makes it impossible to make ends meet. The minimum tariff applies to both business and private customers. It applies to all the time spent by a self-employed individual on a project. It also takes into account that on average, a third of a contractor’s time is spent on other work (such as bookkeeping). The tariff excludes the direct costs incurred in delivering a job (e.g. materials).At the other end of the scale, the self-employed status statement is intended for those self-employed individuals who work for more than EUR 75 per hour. ZZP earning over this amount have the option to use a self-employed status statement which, subject to certain conditions, offers an assurance that the contractor can undertake the job in a self-employed capacity. This also means that their principal employer for the job is exempt from paying wages tax and does not have to comply with certain obligations of labour law, pension obligations and collective labour agreement (CAO) provisions for employees. This exemption will also remain in force if the circumstances later indicate that the contractor should be deemed an employee.Registration with the Chamber of Commerce is a prerequisite for using the self-employed status statement.Interested parties had until 9 December 2019 to respond to the Ministry of Social Affairs & Employment consultation. The measures should come into force with effect from 1 January 2021. 2.   Financial incentive offered for permanent employment relationshipsUnder the new Balanced Labour Market Act (Wet arbeidsmarkt in balans (WAB)), since 1 January 2020, employers are able to save 5% on their unemployment insurance contributions (WW-premiedifferentiatie) for every employee working under an open-ended employment contract instead of a fixed-term contract.Employers seeking to take advantage of this incentive must comply with administrative obligations including the requirement for both parties to enter into a written and signed employment contract held on file and to include certain information on the salary payment slip.The Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment has clarified the requirements in an update to the Information Document on Contribution Differentiation for Unemployment Insurance (in Dutch: Kennisdocument Premiedifferentiatie WW). This addendum states that to qualify, employees must be engaged on an open-ended contract by 31 December 2019 at the latest. In addition, evidence of this may be submitted using a digital signature, by email, or by inputting the information into an HR system.Under this scheme, the administrative requirements for lower unemployment contributions have to be met by 1 April 2020.This will enable large companies, in particular, to make considerable savings on their employment costs. Further details of the scheme are provided by Littler. Poland Significant minimum wage rise for employees and contractorsIn 2020, employers will be obliged to pay full-time employees at least PLN 2,600 gross (EUR 613) per month. This increase in the minimum wage will have an impact on other financial benefits received by employees in connection with their employment, i.e. there will be an increase in severance pay in the case of collective dismissals or in the special allowance for working at night.The minimum wage is set to grow to PLN4000 (EUR 943) in 2024. This means that the minimum wage will increase by about 15% in 2020 and 2021 and by 10% for the following three years.According to the new provisions, the minimum wage for performing services on the basis of some civil law agreements such as service agreements will also increase – to PLN 17 (approx. EUR 4) for each hour performing the services.For many employers, this means a need to increase salaries to match the national minimum pay threshold. In addition, there are certain statutory benefits / rights that depend on the value of the national minimum pay, even if the employees actually earn more. Portugal 1.   Labour Code reform restricts the use of fixed-term and temporary contractsLaw no. 93/2019 of 4 September 2019 introduced important changes to the Portuguese Labour Code and Social Security Code.Temporary Work. The use of a temporary agency worker by a user company, without the corresponding temporary employment contract or indefinite term employment contract having been executed by the agency, will mean the temporary employee is included in the user’s headcount (and not in the temporary work agency headcount) on an open-ended employment contract.Any contract for the use of temporary workers which does not expressly include the mandatory legal requirements (including the identification of the parties, the reason for using temporary workers, job description, place of work, working hours, salary and start and end date) is null.A maximum limit of six renewals is introduced for fixed-term temporary work contracts. This limit does not apply to contracts executed for the replacement of an absent employee, for reasons not attributable to the employer (sickness, accident, parental leave and similar situations).The CBA applicable to the user company will now automatically apply to temporary workers, instead of only applying after 60 days of work having lapsed.Fixed Term Contracts. By law, fixed-term contracts can only be used in order to satisfy the temporary needs of a company, but there was an exception whereby companies could hire the young or long-term unemployed for permanent jobs without there being a temporary motive.Since 1 October 2019, first-time jobseekers or the long-term unemployed can no longer be hired on a fixed-term contract for permanent positions. The maximum limit for a trial period for fixed-term employment contracts entered into with employees seeking a first job or in a long-term unemployment situation is now 180 days, including any period of training.In addition, fixed-term employment contracts will have a maximum duration of two years (instead of three), and the total duration of renewals, up to a limit of three, must not exceed the initial term. Employment contracts without a fixed term but for a temporary purpose will have a maximum duration of four years (instead of six).The duration of very short-term contracts has been increased from 15 to 35 days.This regime is now applicable to all sectors that register an exceptional and substantial increase in activity. 2.   New parental rights for employeesOn 4 September 2019, Laws no. 90/2019 and 93/2019 were published in Diário da República, introducing various amendments to the existing rights for employees who are parents. These included the creation of two new periods of leave for: Travel to a hospital located away from the island of residence (Portuguese territory includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira), for childbirth. This leave lasts for any period deemed necessary and appropriate for the travel. Providing assistance to children with cancer disease (for a period of 6 months, extendable up to 4 years). The law also extends parental and adoption leave and creates three new allowances for parenting protection under the social security system in relation to these new periods of leave.Garrigues provides further information and detail of these new rights. Spain Court clarifies gig economy riders’ statusOn 27 November 2019, the Madrid High Court of Justice ruled that riders for Glovo (a competitor of Deliveroo with a similar business model) are employees and are not self-employed. This ruling reversed a decision on 19 September 2019 that Glovo riders were self-employed and had no employment relationship with the company.The 27 November 2019 decision was taken in a plenary session to provide legal certainty and aimed to provide unified criteria for the Madrid High Court of Justice on the nature of relationships in the gig economy. The Madrid High Court of Justice stated that Glovo riders are employees because: their invoices are drafted by Glovo, which reveals riders' lack of infrastructure to organise themselves with their own means; their remuneration for each service is unilaterally fixed by Glovo – riders cannot negotiate it; they are unable to decide the price that clients should pay for the service; Glovo benefits from the result of the riders' work; the app, as the main means of production, is owned by Glovo and without it, riders cannot provide their services. Mobile phones and bicycles, which are owned by the riders, are secondary means of production; riders must deliver products to clients following Glovo's instructions within 60 minutes; riders are geolocated, and thus their activity is controlled; and they are subject to Glovo's disciplinary power because, if they reject orders, the algorithm automatically excludes them from the most advantageous timeframes. Likewise, their contracts include termination clauses which are, in practice, disciplinary offences. Although the circumstances of each case will be different, and the decision is not binding on other employment courts, this judgment will likely be considered as a relevant precedent in Spain on the gig economy. However, it is also likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court in an attempt to unify the case law on the nature of such relationships. Switzerland 1.   Fathers are entitled to two weeks paid paternity leaveOn September 27, 2019, the Swiss parliament adopted a new law extending the right of fathers to paid paternity leave from one day to two weeks.Under the new legislation, any employee who becomes a father can, within the first six months after the child's birth, take two weeks either as a block or in the form of individual days off. During the paternity leave, the father does not receive his normal salary but can claim a daily allowance equal to 80% of his daily salary against the governmental insurance that currently insures mothers on maternity leave and those providing military service. However, this daily allowance is capped at CHF 196 (EUR 180.72). This means that employees with a salary exceeding a monthly salary of CHF 5,880 (EUR 5421) will get less than 80% of their salary reimbursed. Employers can agree to make up for the difference but are under no legal obligation to do so. However, they must not treat employees on maternity leave, and those on paternity leave differently.The costs of the new legislation will be financed through social security contribution rates that will increase by 0.06% of the salary for both employers and employees.At this time, it is not yet clear when the new law will enter into force. The federal government will first have to wait for the expiry of the 90-day period during which a referendum against the new law can be filed. If no referendum is filed, the government will have to set the date on which this new piece of legislation enters into force, which might be as early as July 1, 2020. 2.   Revised Federal Act on Gender EqualityThe revised Federal Act on Gender Equality, which enters into force on 1 July 2020, aims to remedy pay disparity between genders. The rationale behind the revision is for companies to eliminate gender inequalities voluntarily.Under the new regime, companies with 100 or more employees will be obliged to carry out an internal wage equality analysis every four years until 1 July 2032 when the Revised Act and associated ordinance will automatically expire.The Federal Government will provide all employers with a free standard analysis tool based on a scientific and legally recognised methodology. Wage equality analyses will be checked by an independent body (i.e., an auditing company or employee representative body). After the audit, the auditing body will generate a wage equality analysis report. However, the revised Federal Act on Gender Equality is silent on the penalties for employers that fail to conduct a wage equality analysis (in violation of the law) or fail to respond if a gender pay gap is identified. In the latter case, the employer will have their wage structure reviewed every four years until the wage inequality is remedied. Employees who commence legal proceedings against their employer for wage discrimination will be able to submit the results of wage equality analyses to the courts as evidence to substantiate any claim of discrimination. United Kingdom 1.   Further consultation on IR35 announcedIn November 2019, HMRC revamped its Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool ahead of the introduction of private sector IR35 later this year. However, concerns remain around the timescale as the legislation is unlikely to be finalised until March 2020.On 7 January 2020, the Treasury announced a review of the legislation which will run until mid-February and will consider whether any further steps are needed to ensure they are implemented smoothly.Financial secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman said: “We recognise that concerns have been raised about the forthcoming reforms to the off-payroll working rules. The purpose of this consultation is to make sure that the implementation of these changes in April is as smooth as possible.”A series of roundtable discussions with contractor groups and medium and large-sized businesses will be held to consider whether the government needs to do more to tackle organisations’ concerns. The government will also carry out further internal analysis, including an evaluation of the revamped Check Employment Status for Tax tool.Also, on 20 December 2019, the government announced it will make a package of changes to the loan charge which was introduced in 2016 as a measure designed to tackle a form of tax avoidance by contractors receiving remuneration disguised as loans. Draft legislation and more detailed guidance will be published in early 2020, alongside a timetable for implementing the changes.Although the review into IR35 is welcome, employers and staffing suppliers should continue to prepare for the legislation to come into force on 6 April 2020. 2.   TUPE also protects workersIn a surprise decision, which could lead to significant ramifications for employers and staffing agencies, an employment tribunal has found that workers, as well as traditional employees, transfer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE).In Dewhurst v Revisecatch Ltd t/a eCourier and City Sprint (UK) Limited (ET2201909/18) the Tribunal found that workers falling within the definition in section 230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (known as “limb (b) workers”) are protected under TUPE 2006. The case concerned cycle couriers who claimed that they had automatically transferred from City Sprint to Revisecatch when the client cancelled its contract for courier services with City Sprint and engaged Revisecatch instead.Regulation 2(1) of TUPE 2006 defines “employee” as any individual working under a contract of service or apprenticeship “or otherwise” but excludes the genuinely self-employed. The employment tribunal noted that the EU Acquired Rights Directive (77/187/EC), the EU law, which is implemented in the United Kingdom by TUPE, is intended to protect anyone in an employment relationship.The employment tribunal concluded that the words “or otherwise” in the TUPE definition are to be construed as embracing Limb (b) workers. The exclusion for those providing services under contracts for services is intended to catch only independent contractors who are genuinely in business on their own account and have no employment or labour law rights to be preserved in the event of a transfer.The decision is not a binding precedent on other courts or tribunals and may be appealed. But, if this decision is right, end-users changing staffing agency suppliers would have to ensure that workers engaged on contracts for services, as opposed to employees, are included in elections for employee representatives. The incoming staffing agency may also have to abide by the restrictions on making changes to terms and conditions, thereby inheriting the terms of the previous employer given to the agency workers and ensure there are no automatic dismissals as a result of the transfer. Although this typically will not be a big issue with agency workers, it adds a layer of complexity to the staffing supply chain.Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action. […]

  • The Promise of Platform Work

    Understanding the platform economy has been held back in part by a lack of definitional clarity. A new white paper by the World Economic Forum, The Promise of Platform Work: Understanding the Ecosystem, maps the different categories of digital work/service platform and the business-model-specific and cross-cutting opportunities and challenges they pose for workers.The white paper is designed to help policymakers and other stakeholders be more informed about such platforms and about the people using them to work; to support constructive and balanced debate; to aid the design of effective solutions; and to help digital work/services platforms, labour organisations, and others to build alliances. This initiative is part of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Shaping the Future of the New Economy and Society.The white paper can be downloaded by clicking the link below: WEF_The_Promise_of_Platform_Work - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • Asia Pacific Legal Update Q4 2019

    In this report, we round up the legal developments affecting the workforce solutions ecosystem across the Asia Pacific region in Q4 2019:Australia              Western Australia commits to labour hire licensing    Victoria introduces significant penalties for industrial manslaughter   Indonesia            Government simplifies manpower outsourcing requirements       India      Social Security Code introduces the concept of gig work         Updated draft data protection bill introduced to parliament  New Zealand     Government consultation on protection for contractors Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action.To download a pdf copy of this update, click below: Asia Pacific Legal Update Q4 2019 20200110 - You do not have permission to view this object. Australia 1. Western Australia commits to labour hire licensingOn 9 December 2019, the Western Australian (WA) Government gave support to introducing a State-based labour hire licensing scheme as part of its response to a major report on wage theft. The announcement indicated that it was committed, in principle, to introducing a labour hire licensing scheme in WA and consulting with the Commonwealth government about its commitment to a national labour hire registration scheme for the horticulture, meat processing, cleaning and security industries.Details of the scheme have not yet been announced but the report can be accessed here. 2. Victoria introduces significant penalties for industrial manslaughterThe Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2019 was introduced into the Victorian Parliament in October 2019 to amend the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.The Bill introduces the offence of workplace manslaughter. Under section 39G, a person must not engage in negligent conduct that breaches an applicable duty owed to another person and causes the death of that person. An applicable duty refers to a duty imposed by Part 3 of the Act, such as the duty to provide and maintain a safe working environment. ‘Conduct’ under section 39G includes both an act OR a failure to perform an act.The maximum penalty for corporate employers that negligently cause a workplace death includes fines of up to 100,000 penalty units, currently equating to AUD 16,522,000 (USD 11,337,700). An individual or officer who negligently causes a work-related death in Victoria could be jailed for up to 20 years, as in Queensland.Employers have a duty of care towards their employees and workers within the workplace in any event, but this provides an added incentive to ensure that processes and procedures are in place and the physical environment is safe. Indonesia Government simplifies manpower outsourcing requirementsIn August 2019, amendments (“MOMR 11/2019”) were issued to the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Regulation on the Requirements for Outsourcing (MOMR 19/2012). MOMR 11/2019 aims to simplify manpower outsourcing requirements.The Manpower Law (13/2003) and Regulation MOMR 19/2012 recognise two types of outsourcing: business activities outsourcing; and manpower outsourcing. In principle, under Article 66(1) of the Manpower Law (13/2003), work which is to be outsourced should be considered 'supplemental work' and should be unrelated to the provider's core business activities. Under MOMR 19/2012, manpower outsourcing was limited to: cleaning services; catering services; security services; mining and oil industry support services; and employee transportation services. These restrictions on outsourcing activities remain unchanged.Approval from the Manpower Office is required before manpower outsourcing can take place. The main highlight of MOMR 11/2019 is that Manpower Office approval can now be obtained online and transferred using the online single submission (OSS) system. Manpower outsourcing business licenses are now issued by the OSS Agency on behalf of the minister of manpower and cover all of Indonesia. In addition, licenses are now valid for as long as the provider continues its business activities. The OSS system is a web-based business licensing system which was introduced to reduce administrative red tape and make obtaining business permits in Indonesia faster and more efficient.MOMR 19/2012 required manpower outsourcing agreements to be registered with the Manpower Office within 30 days of the date on which they were signed. MOMR 11/2019 has eliminated this time limit. MOMR 11/2019 has also simplified the requirements for registering a manpower outsourcing agreement, and the timeframe for issuing a registration certificate has been reduced from seven to three business days from completion of the required documents.Under MOMR 19/2012, a provider's licence could be revoked if it performed outsourcing work without registering its manpower outsourcing agreement. Under MOMR 11/2019, a provider will face only the following administrative penalties: a written warning from their provincial manpower office; and a suspension of business activities, which will be ordered by the minister of manpower based on a recommendation from the provincial manpower office. Providers and their outsourced employees must enter into a fixed-term employment agreement or a permanent employment agreement and register it with the provincial manpower office where the work is performed. However, providers will not be penalised for failing to register their employment agreements. Under MOMR 19/2012, if an employment agreement was not registered with the relevant manpower office, the provider's license would be revoked.The general principles of the outsourcing regulations remain largely unchanged and, as mentioned above, MOMR 11/2019 does not apply to business activities outsourcing. Although MOMR 11/2019 has simplified a number of requirements and reduced the penalties for non-compliance, it does not radically change the underlying structure of Indonesia's outsourcing regime. India 1. Social Security Code introduces the concept of gig workThe Ministry of Labour and Employment recently published the draft Code on Social Security 2019 in an attempt to amalgamate, simplify and rationalise the laws on social security. Notably, the code has introduced the concept of gig and platform workers to Indian labour law and contemplates social security schemes for gig and platform workers with regard to: life and disability cover; health and maternity benefits; old age protection; and any other benefits as may be determined by the government. Under the Code, the term 'gig worker' has been defined as "a person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement and earns from such activities outside of traditional employer-employee relationship". 'Platform work' is defined as "an employment form in which organisations or individuals use an online platform to access other organisations or individuals to solve specific problems or to provide specific services in exchange for payment".Although the Code envisages social security schemes for gig and platform workers, it does not classify gig and platform workers as employees. Further, as the provisions relating to gig and platform workers are set out in the chapter relating to ‘unorganised’ workers, they are thereby excluded from social security benefits which are available to regular employees (e.g., the employees' provident fund and employees state insurance and gratuity).In its current form, the Code does not specify the extent of employers' obligations but merely sets out a framework. The government is expected to formulate detailed rules and regulations relating to gig and platform workers who are covered by the Code once it enters into force. 2. Updated draft data protection bill introduced to parliamentAn updated draft of the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 (“Updated Draft Bill”) was introduced before the parliament on 11 December 2019. The first draft was released in July 2018 (“Draft Bill”) following which the government held a public consultation.One of the most significant amendments to the Draft Bill is the mandatory requirement to store a copy of personal data in India has been removed. Instead, only a copy of any sensitive personal data that is to be transferred outside India must be retained in India.The Updated Draft Bill has been referred to a select committee of parliament which is to submit its report on the Bill before the end of the Budget Session in 2020, which usually takes place in February.The Bill may undergo changes based on the feedback provided by the select committee. After that, the Bill would be placed before both houses of the parliament and becomes law once it has been passed by both houses when it will replace the existing data privacy regulations issued under the Information Technology Act, 2000.The Updated Draft Bill makes some significant changes to the 2018 draft. Some of these are set out in an article issued by BTG Legal, a partner firm to Osborne Clarke in India.separator   New Zealand Government consultation on protection for contractorsThe New Zealand government has stated it is committed to taking action to ensure that businesses treat contractors fairly and has issued a discussion document outlining an initial set of options designed to improve rights and protections for vulnerable contractors in New Zealand. These options aim to: Ensure all employees receive their statutory minimum rights and entitlements. Reduce the imbalance of bargaining power between firms and vulnerable contractors. Ensure system settings encourage inclusive economic growth and competition. The closing date for submissions is 14 February 2020. After the consultation period closes, the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety will consider final options for change and may then seek Cabinet agreement to his preferred options.Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action. […]

  • The Staffing Company Tech Stack

    Business processes unique to the staffing industry are commonly organized into three main categories: Front, Middle and Back Office supported by enabling processes. These three components are often referred to as the “Applications” or “Tech Stack.” Any modern staffing firm, however, will tap into a broader Tech Stack which will additionally comprise:    A reporting solution  Office automation, messaging and communication services E-Interface for web-based transactional and information services including the company Content Management System (CMS) for company website and e-enablement    Security services This comprehensive report will take you through each part of the Tech Stack and introduce you to the main challenges and opportunities they present to your business in a confusing and rapidly evolving environment. You can download the entire report here:  The Staffing Company Tech Stack - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • Total Talent Acquisition Developments 2019

    The SIA lexicon defines Total Talent Management (TTM) as a model that seeks to integrate the respective management of “permanent hire” and the “contingent” workforce by HR and Procurement functions. Such management would include activities that take place after talent has been sourced such as engagement and retention for example. At its greatest maturity level, an employer that practices Total Talent Management (TTM) will always consider every talent acquisition option such as hiring an employee, using a contingent worker, crowdsourcing a task, or even deploying a robot. And when thinking about “engaging” talent, an employer that practices TTM will design programs/approaches that engage ALL Talent, not just employee talent.The benefit of adopting this approach is that by optimizing multiple channels of human capital engagement, an organization can create a competitive advantage in their market. This is of particular benefit in industries where specific skills shortages exist. Total Talent is a broad concept and remains an emerging model with no providers yet showing evidence of offering a TTM service in its widest sense as defined by SIA. Alongside the comprehensive definition of TTM, there is a spectrum of solutions that are rather less than “total” and only partially meet the definition such as a program that includes permanently hired workers and some types of contingent workers (i.e. temporary agency workers). Nevertheless, such programs may be described as TTM by those supplying and using them.  Despite this, there is certainly a market for Total Talent Acquisition (TTA) services where a total talent approach is brought to bear in the sourcing of talent. Across the 30 providers that took part in SIA’s MSP and RPO studies during 2019, there are an estimated 375 organizations who have an existing TTA solution in place with a workforce solutions provider. Whilst this represents less than 10% of all reported contracts, 23 out of 30 providers are delivering at least one blended contract, indicating that, while adoption levels by volume of contracts remain stubbornly low, the model is being delivered to buyers of multiple sizes across multiple industries, and is not only the preserve of the largest global providers.SIA’s 2019 Buyer Survey shows that while less than 10% of buyers currently manage a TTA program, 64% plan to seriously explore TTA in the next two years, an increase of 11% since 2016. The survey results further indicate that low adoption levels are more likely to be as a result of inhibitors such as organizational siloes, with 44% of respondents to this survey citing this as a barrier, than a lack of interest or appetite. In fact, just 3% of respondents stated that there would not be sufficient value in adopting a total talent approach to their program.Providers are increasingly investing in consulting teams to deliver workforce strategy, analytics tools to provide total workforce visibility and predict hiring success, and are applying some of the arguably more sophisticated talent acquisition tools and techniques found in RPO to the acquisition of all worker types. To download the report click below: Total Talent Acquisition Developments 2019 20191218 - You do not have permission to view this object. […]