Global HR headlines: Canada continues to deal with “she-cession”, while UK unions look to create a permanent short-term working scheme

Apple puts a stop to some employee surveys looking at pay equality and gender.

Hybrid working is still in vogue for employees in the US and Apple’s HR team reportedly puts an end to some surveys dealing with gender and pay. While unions in the UK look to protect workers against recession, Canada is still dealing with a “she-cession” as female labour force participation reaches a 30-year low.

Apple takes the hard-line on some internal surveys
A report by The Verge says that Apple is prohibiting employees from conducting some internal surveys, with the main issue being the surveys that are related to pay equality within the firm.

Apple employees had conducted a survey where it asked employees to “volunteer salary information in addition to how they identify in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and disability”.

However, Apple’s HR team asked the employees to take down the survey as certain questions didn’t meet the norm. The report says that last week Apple took down another survey on pay equity as it had a question on gender. The employees then removed the gender question but Apple’s HR team shut it down as it was “hosted on the company’s corporate Box account”.

UK unions drives wage subsidy
The umbrella body for UK unions, the TUC, is urging the government to abandon plans to scrap the furlough scheme at the end of next month and instead build on the wage subsidy experiment to create a permanent short-time working scheme.

Plans drawn up by the TUC would protect workers against recessions, a new wave of the pandemic or the transition to a green economy by having 80 percent of their wages guaranteed by the state, according to a report by The Guardian.

The TUC said 23 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – including Germany, Japan and individual US states – already had permanent schemes that shielded workers during tough periods.
“She-cession” continues in Canada

The Covid-19 pandemic has set working women in Canada back significantly as the female labour-force participation rate is at its lowest level in 30 years, according to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

According to a March 2021 report by RBC, nearly half a million Canadian women who left the workforce during the pandemic have not returned to work, while more than 200,000 women slipped into the ranks of the long-term unemployed.

Armine Yalnizyan, an economist with the Atkinson Foundation in Toronto, coined the term “she-cession” in 2020 to describe the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on women in the Canadian workforce, according to a report on Society for Human Resource Management.

Employee sentiment in favour of hybrid working model
Employees who are working remotely as well as from the office have a stronger connection and a positive approach towards the workplace environment, according to the ADP Research Institute's recently released study, “On-site, Remote or Hybrid: Employee Sentiment on The Workplace”.

The study surveyed more than 9,000 full-time US workers who work in a team and have not changed jobs during the pandemic to gather data on their perception with regard to work location and its evaluation.

0Overall, the report shows that both the work models have their benefits and drawbacks, with the majority of employees preferring the hybrid model as it brings about stronger connections, collaboration, affirmative work approach, positive workplace environment, positive outlook on managers and employers, and better career opportunities, according to a report on People Matters.