Global HR headlines: Extra health charge for anti-vaxxers, HR tech solutions attract investors

Chinese authorities take the hard-line on 996 culture: working 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week.

Corporate America’s pro-vaccination stance drives an increase in company sponsored healthcare costs for anti-vaxxers, and Ericsson focuses on digital upskilling to assist employees to adapt to new ways of working. Meanwhile, China issues a stern warning against labour violations and unreasonable overtime, with HR tech solutions attracting unexpected investor interest.

Surcharge for anti-Covid vaxxers
Employees at Delta Air Lines will have to pay $200 (R2,946) more every month for their company-sponsored healthcare plan if they choose to not vaccinate against Covid-19.

The move to add a surcharge to health insurance contributions is the latest tactic by corporate America to push employees to get the shots to fight the pandemic, reports Reuters.

A number of US companies have mandated shots for their employees to protect their operations from the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, which has hit parts of the country with lower vaccination levels especially hard.
President Joe Biden has also urged private businesses to require employees to be vaccinated.

Investors bet on HR tech
Covid-19 has led to a paradigm shift in the way HR functions are performed. Be it hiring, induction, training, grooming, assessment or any other people-related function, the massive shift to remote or hybrid working models has transformed the role of HR. This is giving a push to HR technology – an area that has mostly been untapped so far.

Tech companies offering human resource solutions have raised around $200 million (R2.946 million) from investors since January, data compiled by Economic Times shows.

Experts believe that a rise in the gig economy will further accelerate the trend, with the realignment leading to more funding. Employee fulfilment and upskilling are also turning out to be an emerging theme within the HR tech space.

China warns against 996 culture
China has issued a comprehensive warning against the excessive-work culture that pervades the country’s largest corporations, using real and richly detailed court disputes to address a growing backlash against the punishing demands of the private sector.

The Supreme People’s Court and ministry of human resources and social security provided a hefty document about labour violations and unreasonable overtime, labelled ‘996’ because of the common practice of working 9 am to 9 pm, six days a week.

China’s increasingly profitable tech giants are grappling with public outrage over their gruelling schedules, a backlash fuelled by a growing chorus of complaints on social media and even deaths, reports Bloomberg.

Ericsson focuses on employee upskilling
Networking and telecommunications company Ericsson has launched a slew of initiatives to help employees adapt to the new ways of working in an efficient and productive manner.

The digital academy aims to empower employees to build their digital skills to drive technologies like AI/automation through digitalisation and data science competence building. In addition, a virtual leadership platform provides a targeted development approach to strengthening employee power skills and learning business strategy, storytelling, negotiation, and ethics, reports the Economic Times.