Global HR headlines: UK companies provide cost-of-living payments, airplane mechanics in short supply

Spain finds that height requirement for female police officers is discriminatory.

Well-known UK companies like Virgin Money, Barclays and Santander are offering staff once-off payments to help with the increase in the cost of living, while Australia recommends work-from-home as the latest Omicron wave of Covid-19 takes its toll on hospitals. A Spanish court finds that the national police have no justification in refusing job access to women based on their height.

Australia urges WFH as Covid-19 numbers increase

Australian authorities have urged businesses to let staff work from home, as it deals with high infection rates of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Australians have been advised to get booster shots urgently, with only about 71 percent of the eligible population having received their boosters, reports Reuters.

The latest Omicron wave is pushing the number of people with Covid-19 in Australian hospitals close to the peak hit in January. About 5,350 patients are in hospitals, and several states are battling record admissions.

Spain finds minimum height condition discriminatory

Shorter women will be able to join Spain's police forces after the country’s top court ruled that a minimum height requirement for female officers is discriminatory.

The court scrapped the 1.6m height requirement in a ruling on a case filed by a young woman who was barred from taking her selection tests in 2017 because she was 4cm shorter than the required minimum, reports Reuters.

The court said the national police provided no justification for limiting access to job seekers based on their height.

UK companies step up with once-off cost of living payment

Financial services providers Santander and Virgin Money are offering staff financial help as the cost of living crisis ramps up across Britain.

Virgin Money employees will receive a one-off cost of living payment of £1000 (R20,418) with 78 percent of current staff eligible, while Santander will award around 11,000 UK-based employees a four percent pay rise.

Engineering company Rolls-Royce also offered more than 14,000 staff a £2,000 (R40,836) extra payment to help them through the cost of living crisis, but this was rejected by 11,000 unionised workers as not enough to meet their economic challenges.

Barclays bank also announced it was to hand its UK staff £1,200 (R24,502) to help with the current cost crisis.

Airplane mechanics in short supply

While a shortage of plane cabin staff has dominated headlines due to recent flight cancellations, finding mechanics also has executives sweating, reports Reuters.

“We are struggling in a big way. We can’t get enough [workers],” said Abdol Moabery, chief executive of commercial aerospace company GA Telesis LLC.

In 2021, the US planemaker Boeing forecast the global industry’s need for 626,000 new maintenance technicians over the next two decades compared with 612,000 pilots.