Global HR headlines: Microsoft to help US employees with abortion travel expense, Uber halts hiring

Dubai food delivery workers strike for the second time in as many weeks.

Microsoft is among a number of companies in the US that announces its support for employees who seek abortions, while Uber plans to cut back on spending and will treat hiring as a “privilege”. Meanwhile, the Australian prime minister signals that wages would remain low as inflation pushes up the cost of living and foreign workers at a food delivery service in Dubai organise a walkout via social media.

High inflation, low wages for Australia

Strong pay rewards could feed into inflation and push up the cost of living even further, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, signalling wages would remain low under his government.

Morrison’s statement could prove expensive at a time when consumer price gains, of 5.1 percent, are at their highest since 2007 but wages growth has yet to materially pick up, adding to pressures on household balance sheets, reports Bloomberg.

Australia’s Fair Work Commission is expected to soon announce its annual wage review. The current national minimum wage is $14.06 (~R225) per hour.

Dubai food delivery workers strike

Food delivery workers protesting paltry pay and insufficient protections have walked off the job across Dubai, marking the second strike in as many weeks.

Strikes and unions remain illegal in the United Arab Emirates, where the subject of labour standards has grown contentious in recent years, reports AP.

The foreign workers contracted by Talabat, the Middle East unit of Delivery Hero, began their walkout after organising on social media, crippling the application’s services.

As fuel prices surge, many said they were pressing for a modest pay increase from their current rate of $2.04 (~R33) per delivery.

Uber to treat hiring as a ‘privilege’

Uber will cut back on spending and focus on becoming a leaner business to address a “seismic shift” in investor sentiment, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told employees in an email obtained by CNBC.

To address the shift in economic sentiment, the ride-hailing firm will slash spending on marketing and incentives and treat hiring as a “privilege”, Khosrowshahi said.

Tech stocks have taken a hit recently, with the Nasdaq Composite last week recording its fifth consecutive weekly decline, its longest such losing streak since 2012.

Microsoft to help with abortion travel expense
Microsoft will extend its abortion and gender affirming care services for employees in the US to include travel expense assistance.

Several companies, including Yelp, Citigroup, Levi Strauss & Co, and Amazon, have already pledged to cover costs for American employees who need to travel out of state for an abortion, reports Reuters.

This follows reports that the US Supreme Court may overturn its 1973 decision legalising abortion.