Blog

August 1, 2012The more you work, the less you get done. Studies show that working more than 40 hours per week can decrease employee health and productivity. Find out how some innovative companies have tackled the counterproductive culture of “presenteeism” head-on, plus read about the latest news on women and work across the globe, in today’s C This.

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Know Your Rights

The Ontario Human Rights Code aims to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment in Canada along 15 grounds, including race, religion, sexual orientation, and sex (including pregnancy and gender identity). This handy guide for employers and employees outlines five specific areas related to the Code, including how to file a complaint, information about the types of damages that can be awarded in human rights cases, and a cautionary tale about a business that failed to follow up a claim.

READ: “5 Ways Workplace Discrimination Can Be Costly,” Toronto Star, 7/31/12

Take a Break. Right Now.

Despite the known benefits of taking a break, new research shows that 57 percent of salaried workers don’t take all of their allotted time off. Some companies have taken the lead in encouraging vacation time. At Evernote, for example, employees can take off as much time as they want, and are only held responsible for their performance. “We don’t pay people hourly,” said Phil Libin, chief executive of Evernote. “We’re paying you for your mind. What makes you more productive is what you should do.”

READ: “The Vacation Paradox: Why Some Companies Are Paying Workers To Go Away,” Forbes, 7/31/12

Moving the Needle

Women now make up 16.7 percent of all board posts in the FTSE 100, up from 12.5 percent a year ago. What’s the source of this significant boost? Many credit the 2011 introduction of voluntary targets by Lord Davies to increase the number of women on top. “FTSE companies are moving in the right direction and now need to maintain the momentum they have built up,” noted Audrey Williams, partner at law firm Eversheds.

READ: “Number of Women on Boards Rises by a Third,” The Telegraph, 7/24/12

EU Progress—for Some

Eleven members of the European Union do not recognize gay marriage or registered partnerships, while Poland, Latvia, and Bulgaria have constitutional bans. “People think Europe is so far ahead, and I guess in some ways it is. But it’s not quite there yet,” said Brad Brubaker, an American who lives with his British partner in Italy, a country that does not legally recognize their UK civil partnership.

READ: “On Gay Marriage, Europe Strains to Square 27 Interests,” The New York Times, 7/25/12

Act Now for Equality

In this op-ed, Susan Segal, President and CEO of Americas Society/Council of the Americas, argues that the time is now to tackle workplace inequality head-on, especially in Latin America where progress remains slow. “Role models, networks and mentors are crucial to female economic empowerment, as is the incentivizing and availability of entrepreneurship training and financing for small businesses,” she writes. “We need more platforms for women to discuss their successes and—yes—their challenges at every level in schools, communities and companies.” READ: “Latin America Still an Unfair World for Women,” The Miami Herald, 7/26/12