Ten steps to prioritise the planet in 2023

With every organisation having a key role to play in the collective corporate effort to reach net zero, now is a prime opportunity for HR to step up and take the lead. Climate remains a top concern for Gen Z and Millennials, with one recent survey showing nearly half saying that they are pushing their employers to do more. Tackling climate change should arguably be on the…

New year, new mechanism for US-EU data transfers?

Last October, President Joe Biden’s administration published an executive order regarding a new EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework – the replacement of the so-called Privacy Shield mechanism that previously allowed transfers of personal data from the EU to the United States. The executive order immediately sparked the European Commission’s process to assess the new U.S. regime and prepare a respective adequacy decision, which would bring considerable…

Is it time to review your vacation policy?

The new year should prompt employers to review (and re-think) their annual leave policies for employees in Israel. As 2022 has just ended and a new (vacation) year begins, it is good timing for reviewing your vacation policy and whether it is enforced in practice. If changes to the policy are planned, make sure to determine and adopt the lawful process for making those changes.  Social Benefit Entitlement to annual leave is treated in Israel as a social…

Employers cannot prevent men having a hairstyle allowed for women

The French Court of Cassation has ruled that an airline dress code that allowed women cabin crew members but not men to wear their hair braided is discriminatory. Background The Air France cabin crew dress code permitted women who had braided hair to wear it tied up in a chignon. This option was not offered for men, who were required to wear their hair neatly…

The four-day week trial results are in: what happened?

A final report into a multi-national four-day week trial has been published. It declares the trial ‘a resounding success on virtually every dimension’, with the vast majority of participating employers pledging to continue. Background In early 2022, 33 employers signed up to test out four-day working weeks for a six-month period. The trial, organised by the organisation 4 Day Week Global in collaboration with researchers at Cambridge…

Unreported sexual harassment: do employers have duties?

The Luxembourg Court of Appeal has ruled that an employer did not breach its obligations by failing to act on sexual harassment when an employee did not report alleged incidents until she resigned. At a time when victims of sexual violence are speaking out, and making significant waves in the media and beyond (the Weinstein affair, #Metoo, Balance ton porc, etc.), the Luxembourg Court of…

Neurodiversity, harassment and misconduct

Employers are becoming more aware of neurodiversity and the benefits of more inclusive hiring strategies. At the same time, neurodiversity-based discrimination claims are on the rise. Cases where employees have committed misconduct linked to their neurodivergence can be particularly difficult, as a recent UK ruling illustrates. Neurodiversity can include a range of neurological differences including autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or…

Temporary support during the energy crisis

Belgium has introduced a state-supported temporary unemployment scheme for ‘energy intensive’ companies and other employment-related measures to help businesses and individuals facing the current energy crisis. Today a new law setting out temporary support measures in response to the energy crisis was published in the Belgian State Gazette. This law seeks to provide both citizens and organisations with various measures to face the current energy…

Making mental health a priority in the workplace

In Spain, both employers and public authorities are taking initiatives to improve workers’ mental health. In general, in Spain people have a positive perception of their state of health, both physically and psychologically. In 2020, 75.51% of the population aged 15 and over rated their state of health positively, and this positive perception among Spaniards has remained virtually unchanged over the last 33 years (see here)….

A negative attitude at work: grounds for termination?

Can an employee’s poor attitude and communication style be a reason to terminate their employment? A court in the Netherlands has ruled it can. Culpable behaviour by employees is clear if there is evidence of theft, fraud or (sexual) harassment, for example. Professional underperformance also constitutes grounds for dismissal if there is sufficient documentation. But what if the employee substantively performs well, but his or…