Global HR headlines: Thousands of Saudi women apply for jobs as train drivers.


Belgian workers are given the option of a four-day week.

Demand for driving jobs is high among Saudi women. Belgium allows a four-day week. Chinese programme predicts whether workers will quit. Adidas drops vaccination requirement. KPMG Canada workers are to enjoy long weekends all summer.

Women apply in their thousands to drive trains in Saudi Arabia
A job advert to recruit 30 female train drivers in Saudi Arabia has attracted 28,000 applicants, highlighting the scale of pent-up demand as the conservative kingdom loosens some restrictions on women’s employment.

The Guardian reports that job opportunities for Saudi women have until recently been limited to roles such as teachers and medical workers, as they had to observe strict gender segregation rules. Women were not even allowed to drive in the kingdom until 2018.

Workers in Belgium can now request a four-day week
Belgium is the latest country to allow its residents to work a four-day week in a bid to provide greater flexibility options for employees.

According to Euronews, the government’s new reforms allow people to request working 10-hour days across four days in order to have an additional day off in the week, without a reduction in salary. The laws also give employees the right to turn off work devices and ignore messages after hours without reprisals from bosses.

Chinese platform can predict whether employees intend to resign
A monitoring system created by a Shenzhen-based technology firm can predict if employees are inclined to quit their jobs by spying on their online activities.

Insider says the system, built by Sangfor Technologies, monitors online activity and based on activity such as workers visiting job search sites and how much time they spent on them, predicts their likelihood to quit. The incident has since prompted a social media storm over staff privacy concerns.

Adidas drops vaccine mandate for US employees
Adidas will no longer require that US employees get vaccinated against Covid-19, Insider reports.
Adidas’s decision follows similar decisions by others who have lifted mandates. Adidas’s competitor, Nike, still requires office workers to get vaccinated or get a medical or religious exemption.

In the US and Canada, Adidas office workers still have the option to work remotely. Adidas said it will eventually deploy a hybrid work model where staff are required to work three days a week in the office most of the year.

KPMG in Canada takes long weekends all summer long
To recognise the contributions of KPMG’s Canada employees, as well as reduce stress and support employee wellness, the firm is implementing a programme where every weekend is a long weekend during the months of July and August, rewarding employees with seven additional paid days off through the summer.

In a statement released on its website, KPMG Canada’s managing director, firm operations, talent and culture Emily Brine says, "Our people have told us that having time off matters to them and their well-being. We are wellness-focused when it comes to our people, and this is a reflection of that."

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