Global HR headlines: Work from anywhere with AmEx, Apple’s stricter workplace virus protocols

Apple tightens virus protocols to meet Biden vaccination target date.

Lyft unveils sexual assault data during rides, while the Taliban in Afghanistan offers wheat in exchange for labour. American Express extends a work-from-anywhere option for employees, while UNI Global Union calls for an antitrust probe into Amazon. Meanwhile, Apple introduces new requirements for workplace virus protocols.

AmEx sets work from anywhere options
American Express will allow employees to work from anywhere for up to four weeks a year.

Adopting a more relaxed stance on work-from-home than most of the big US banks, AmEx has divided staffers into hybrid, onsite and fully virtual categories.

Most of the hybrid model staffers must work from office two days a week, it said, while onsite workers will come in for four to five days, reports Reuters.

Lyft reveals sexual assault data
The ride-hailing app Lyft received more than 4,000 reports of sexual assaults during rides from 2017 to 2019, the company revealed, after undertaking to provide the data two years ago.

More than half of the incidents in 2019 were reported as “non-consensual touching of a sexual body part”, while another 156 reports involved non-consensual sexual penetration, according to the report. It also listed 10 fatal assaults from 2017 through 2019, including four in 2019, reports The Guardian.

Rival Uber has previously put out a similar report that showed more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported on rides within the US in 2018.

Global trade union seeks probe into Amazon
A global trade union for the services sector has urged European authorities to widen their antitrust investigation of Amazon to assess if the company engaged in creating knockoff goods and rigging search results on its platform.

The demand by the UNI Global Union was triggered by a Reuters report last week based on internal Amazon documents that showed the e-commerce company ran a systematic campaign of copying products and manipulating search results to boost its own private brands such as AmazonBasics in India, a key growth market.

Wheat for labour
Afghanistan’s Taliban government has launched a programme to offer thousands of people wheat in exchange for labour, reports AFP.

The scheme will be rolled out around Afghanistan’s major towns and cities and employ 40,000 men, according to the Taliban's chief spokesman.

“This is an important step for fighting unemployment,” Zabihullah Mujahid said, adding that the labourers must “work hard”.

Apple tightens virus protocols
Apple will begin to force unvaccinated corporate employees to test for Covid-19 each time they want to enter an office, a move that tightens its virus protocols while still stopping short of a vaccine mandate, reports Bloomberg.

The new requirement will also apply to employees who decline to report their vaccination status, while vaccinated staff will be required to take rapid tests once per week.

The Biden administration has set an 8 December target for federal contractors to require employees to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.