Global HR headlines: EU to address gender pay gap and Italy lifts layoff and dismissal freeze

EU draft directive puts the gender pay gap in the spotlight, while Taiwan plans to reskill this year.

Italy starts to lift layoffs-and-dismissals freezes due to the pandemic, but unions believe the move is premature. Meanwhile, Taiwanese companies plan to invest in upskilling and reskilling this year.

EU draft directive gives courts power over gender pay gap
According to statistics from the European Union (EU), the gender pay gap remains a problem. The EU Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, promised to eliminate the pay gap with the Equal Pay for Equal Work or Work of Equal Value directive proposal issued in March, reports the Society For Human Resource Management.

The draft directive gives courts the power to order an employer to take the structural or organisational measures necessary to comply with the principle of equal pay, and mandates member states to adopt penalties for noncompliance, including fines, the revocation of public benefits and funds, or exclusion from public procurements, among others.

Italy lifts layoffs-and-dismissal freeze, unions express concern
A layoffs-and-dismissals freeze enacted in Italy when the pandemic started in March 2020 is coming to an end for certain industries. However, according to SHRM, some unions fear there will be a flood of dismissals as a result.

As of 1 July 2021, some companies are no longer limited by Covid-19-related emergency laws, with a few exceptions in place until the end of December 2021. Unions are now campaigning for a uniform extension of the dismissal freeze until the end of October, for all employers.

Return of the workforce
In Taiwan, seven in 10 companies are in the process of increasing their investments for the upskilling and reskilling of their workforce in 2021. The reason behind this decision, according to Mercer’s 2021 Global Talents Trends survey, is that 52 percent of Taiwanese organisations noted a conspicuous dearth of workforce capabilities and future skills, which created obstructions in business progress and transformation, reports People Matters.

The survey found that 68 percent of the respondents were more inclined towards targeted reskilling and upskilling of critical talent pools and 40 percent of the organisations have improved or made plans to improve their HR analytics.