Global HR headlines: Portugal now has laws for WFH, Meta seen as ‘opportunistic’

The US and Canada both record positive job indicators.

Portugal approves labour laws for work-from-home, while the US and Canada statistics bureaus register a decline in unemployment rates. Meanwhile, a Facebook investor says the social media giant’s rebranding to Meta is opportunistic and aimed to deflect negative media coverage following a now ex-employee’s testimony that user safety was disregarded in the pursuit of profit.

US jobs growth
US jobs growth picked up after two straight months of slower gains as pandemic-related concerns that have kept workers on the sidelines eased.

This took the unemployment rate another leg lower in October, falling to 4.6 percent. That is down from 4.8 percent in September and well below June’s level of 5.9 percent, reports the Financial Times.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs growth was “widespread” with “notable” gains across a number of sectors.

Canada jobless rate hits 20-month low
Canada’s run of monthly blockbuster job gains ended in October, as the economy added fewer jobs than expected, though the jobless rate hit a 20-month low and hours worked edged closer to their pre-pandemic levels, according to Reuters.

Statistics Canada data showed that the economy added a net 31,200 jobs in October, below analyst expectations of 50,000, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, slightly ahead of a consensus estimate of 6.8 percent and its lowest point since February 2020.

Strong gains for private-sector employees were offset by a sharp decline in the self-employed.

Facebook rebrand seen as opportunistic
Facebook was rushed into the Meta rebrand to deflect press from whistleblower Frances Haugen’s testimony that the social media giant disregarded user safety in the pursuit of profit, early Facebook investor Roger McNamee said.

He calls the timing of the announcement opportunistic and says it was something Facebook’s leaders were forced into by Haugen’s claims in “an attempt to change the subject”, reports Fortune.

“It did not work,” he added.

Portugal now has WFH laws
Portugal’s parliament has approved new labour laws on working from home, introducing additional protection for employees who do their job away from company premises.

The new rules are a response to the trend of more staff working from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The regulations bring new penalties for companies that disturb the privacy of staff or their families, and obligate employers to compensate staff for work-related expenses incurred at home, reports AP.

Companies should avoid contacting workers outside office hours, except under exceptional circumstances, the new rules say.