On Monday, Dec. 5, the U.K. government gifted an early Christmas present to millions of workers by proposing a new law that will grant the right to ask for part-time hours or home-working arrangements from the first day of a new job.
Additionally, approximately 1.5 million low-paid workers — such as those operating in the gig economy, plus students and carers — would be free to supplement their incomes by taking on second jobs and be protected against restrictive “exclusivity clauses.”
Ministers said the plan was “to make flexible working the default.” But will U.K. employers be muttering “humbug” at the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill?
Reactions to the prospective bill have been mixed. Some groups — including trade unions — have applauded it as a critical evolution to ways of working. Others have complained it doesn’t go far enough or has too much wiggle room for employers.
The full version of this article was first published on DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in December 2022 – to read the complete piece, please click HERE.
Societal, political, and ethical forces are reshaping the world of work.
To get a handle on some of the changes, a slew of laws have been introduced. Some of them have been passed to tackle cultural trends that have arisen since – or been expedited by – the pandemic. Others are more freestanding.
When considering how the laws that have come into force – or are due to be passed soon – since the start of the pandemic will shape the future of work, a quotation attributed to American-Canadian writer William Gibson, father of the cyberpunk sub-genre of science-fiction, comes to mind. “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.”
Here are five new laws that will affect how work is done in the specific nations in which they have been inked:
This article was first published on DigiDay’s future-of-work platform, WorkLife, in July 2022 – to read the complete piece please click HERE.
When disgraced U.K. Conservative politician Neil Parish was caught red-handed watching pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons last week, his defense was messy. He claimed to have inadvertently stumbled across the explicit content after searching for farming equipment — specifically Claas Dominator combine harvesters.
But, as the late U.K. Labour politician and former chancellor Denis Healey famously said: “It’s a good thing to follow the first law of holes; if you are in one, stop digging.”
At the end of April, the unseemly incident quickly escalated. Parish bowed to public pressure and announced his resignation admitting a “moment of madness.” The scandal, however, brought into sharp focus the similarities — and contrasts — between employment law in the U.K. and the U.S., and what is deemed to be inappropriate in the workplace. In this case, it was telling that Parish, who represents the Devon, England constituency Tiverton and Honiton resigned but was not fired.
This article was first published on DigiDay’s WorkLife platform in May 2022 – to continue reading please click here.