Free coronavirus screening app, New Zealand nudging towards a 4-day working week, US jobless claims rising and the green revolution in transport creating 15 million jobs. These are the topics dominating the TOP 5 news from the world of work.

#1. Microsoft and UnitedHealth offer companies free app to screen employees for coronavirus

Microsoft and UnitedHealth Group have joined forced and developed an app called ProtectWell to allow for screening of employees for coronavirus. The app that goes beyond the mere temperature checks is designed to help protect the safety of workers returning to work as well as to entice customers to return to restaurants and stores by ensuring wait staff and clerks are infection-free. Microsoft and UnitedHealth have been using the app to screen their own employees but have now decided to offer the programme to other companies for free. CNBC reports that the ProtectWell app provides the worker with their test results and notifies the employer when a worker tests positive for coronavirus.

UnitedHealth Group and Microsoft

#2. New Zealand Prime Minister opens door to 4-day working week

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has recently floated the idea of shifting to a four-day working week to boost domestic tourism that has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Speaking on a Facebook Live video the Prime Minister hinted that COVID-19 may be an opportunity to rethink the way we work to help the local economy. She said: “I encourage people, if they’re an employer and in a position to do so, to think about whether or not [a four-day week] is something that would work for their workplace, because it certainly would help tourism all around the country”. The World Economic Forum explains that a four-day working week that would not lead to a reduction of people’s income would boost tourism as workers would have more leisure time to explore their own country at the time when travel aboard remains limited.

Watch the video here.

#3. Here’s what CEOs see coming after the pandemic

What will the world look like once the pandemic has passed? In the Fortune 500’s annual survey, CEOs have shared their insights on what they expect to change in the post-COVID-19 era. Here are some of the key takeaways: 91% of them agreed that business travel will become less frequent, replaced by video conferencing. 82% agreed that nationalism will rise, and global supply chains will become less common. 55% are of the opinion that trust in government will not rise as a result of their response to the crisis and CEOs were split on the issue of China strengthening as a power in the world (42% agreed the country will become more powerful while 38% were of the opposite opinion). Earlier this week our CEO Alain Dehaze outlined five key trends that will define the new world of work. Among those he foresees that state involvement in labour markets will remain strong and that the world will experience a potential wave of de-globalization.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

#4. US jobless claims keep climbing to hit 38.6m since lockdowns began

While the level of unemployment fillings has shown a declining pace, last week saw another 2.4 million Americans apply for unemployment benefits. This brings the total number of first-time applications to 38.6 million since the pandemic hit the world’s largest economy nine weeks ago, Financial Times reports. The figures showed, however, the level of weekly applications dropping by almost 250,000, marking the seventh consecutive fall and a review from last week brought the number down substantially, from 2.98 million to 2.69 million. However, experts warn that unless the federal and state governments tackle the issue of unemployment head-on, the US might experience a jobless recovery that will lead to permanently high unemployment levels.

#5. Post-pandemic ‘green shift’ in transport could create up to 15 million jobs

Greening the transport sector in the post-COVID-19 recovery could create up to 15 million jobs worldwide. That’s according to a UN-backed report published earlier this week. The report has been co-authored by the International Labor Organization which claims that a structural transformation of the economy, including the transport sector, has the “potential to create decent work and protect workers and their families, if it is accompanied by sustainable policies”. The report examines the employment implications of four “green transport” scenarios in nearly 60 countries. These scenarios envisage an accelerated expansion of public transport as well as the overall electrification of transport and are compared with a “business-as-usual” approach. It concludes that if half of all vehicles manufactured going forward were electric, an estimated 10 million more jobs could be created worldwide. Further 5 million jobs could be created through investment in public transport.


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