April 5, 2017
From April 2017, employers with over 250 employees will be required to reveal specific information about the difference in net pay and bonuses between male and female employees explain the legal experts from Berg. The Office for National Statistics revealed that, in the financial industry, male managers and directors are earning on average 32.4% more than women in the same role. Whilst the statistic will vary from industry to industry, it’s important to highlight the divide and work together to accomplish equality in the workplace. The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 comes into force on 6th April 2017, and will require businesses to be transparent about the gender equality in their workplaces. It is hoped that this important move will encourage any business with less than positive statistics to make the move towards creating an equal workplace. For businesses that will need to report on their net pay, it’s a big task that needs to be executed properly. In fact, a survey by NGA Human Resources found that 20% of respondents won’t be ready to disclose the information by the deadline. With that in mind, here’s a look into what the regulations require you to do, and how these changes could impact your business.
April 4, 2017
Nearly half (46 percent) of employees questioned in a new survey feel more stressed at work than they did a year ago and 17 percent feel their work stress levels are ‘much higher,’ new research has claimed. The data, from Specialists4Protection.co.uk also suggests that 16 percent of people in work claim to have taken medical advice to help them cope with work-related stress, and 13 percent are on medication partly because of this. Just 12 percent say they feel less stressed than they were 12 months ago. The impact of this is not just felt at work. Fifty five percent of those suffering from work related stress say it has adversely affected their sleep, and 19 percent claim it’s contributed towards a decline in their relationship with their partner. Four out of ten (40 percent) say work-related stress means they are not eating properly and 42 percent are doing less exercise.
April 4, 2017
UK employers are unprepared for gender pay gap reporting legislation, with more than a third (32 percent) failing to review salaries across genders to safeguard against pay discrimination. This is despite the fact that the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 come into force later this week (6th April) which will require UK companies with more than 250 staff to keep records of gender pay and bonuses. Totaljobs’ survey of 4,700 employees and 145 employers found that 82 percent of companies are not reviewing their gender equality/equal pay policy and 58 percent don’t have salary information available across roles and genders. Little more than half (53.1 percent) of employers feel “very confident” that salaries are equal across the genders. While employers will be required to keep salary records, the research showed men are currently more likely to receive a bonus than women and typically receive more. In the past year, 43 percent of men received a bonus of £2,059, on average, versus 38 percent of women, who, on average, received £1,128.
April 3, 2017
Exploitative employment contracts continue to receive widespread media attention – from shaming the businesses who use them, to prompting questions regarding workers’ rights in Parliament. In light of the Prime Minister officially signing Article 50, to trigger the formal start of the Brexit negotiation period, now is a good time to consider how this will affect the UK’s tarnished relationship with zero-hours contracts? Zero-hours contracts, and their equivalents, are demeaning policies, often backed-up by capricious management practices. They are non-negotiable, offering draconian flexibility in numerical, temporal and spatial terms and conditions. But would continuing with EU membership have made a difference? The evidence reveals otherwise.
April 3, 2017
One of the ideas we’re going to hear about a lot over the next few years is the Turing Test. It describes the point at which a machine’s behaviour becomes indistinguishable from a human’s, so that a typical person is unable to work out if he or she is interacting with a machine or an individual. This matters for lots of reasons; functional, philosophical and ethical. While it is the kicking off point for dramas such as Westworld (pictured) and Humans that explore our new relationship with machines, we’re most likely to encounter it at first with the automation of mundane things like customer service and information. Indeed, its creator Alan Turing first defined it as an issue of language and communication. Of course, somebody getting annoyed at an automated help desk won’t make drama as appealing as the idea of a robot theme park, but that’s life.
April 1, 2017
The overwhelming majority of UK workers don’t do anything productive at all, according to a new report published today. The study of available research into the illnesses, injuries, distractions, wastes of time, procrastinations, productivity drains and paralyses that afflict British workers found that the annual cost to the British economy is around £1.8 trillion, equivalent to 98.9 percent of GDP. The analysis was carried out by a team at the University of Salford led by Dr April Fullstay and Dr Juan Bjorn Avery-Minid drawing on five years of research and surveys across a range of issues to create the ‘most comprehensive overview of UK absenteeism and unproductive behaviours, their causes and consequences yet published’. The researchers suggest that the era of robotic workers can’t come soon enough although the recent example of Microsoft’s Twitterbot Tay that was taught to be a bigot suggests even that may prove to be a complete waste of everybody’s time.
March 31, 2017
While talent continues to reign supreme on the list of top concerns for US companies a growing number of respondents to CBRE’s annual Americas Occupier Survey cited economic uncertainty as a top challenge, up from 36 percent in 2016 to 52 percent. As a result, 87 percent of corporate occupiers report that they are managing to this uncertainty by disposing of surplus space and/or implementing more efficient workplace designs to prepare their portfolios for the future. Only 26 percent of respondents expect to expand their portfolios over the next two years, down from 38 percent in the 2016 survey. Approximately one-half of the 2017 survey’s respondents indicated that the size of their portfolios would remain stable with 2016 levels. However, while uncertainty is driving many real estate decisions, creating a workplace experience focused on talent remains top of mind for the majority of occupiers surveyed.
March 30, 2017
As the UK triggers Article 50 to leave the EU, France goes through what could be a game changing Presidential election and the United States continues to struggle with an increasingly divisive administration it’s perhaps not surprising that global uncertainty appears to be pushing up levels of employee scepticism. Globally, employee engagement declined for the first time since 2012, according to a report from Aon Hewitt. According to an analysis of more than five million employees at more than 1,000 organisations around the world, levels dropped from 65 percent in 2015 to 63 percent in 2016. Less than one quarter (24 percent) of employees are highly engaged and 39 percent are moderately engaged. “The rise in populist movements like those in the U.S., the U.K. and other regions is creating angst within organisations as they anticipate the potential for a decrease in free labour flow,” explained Ken Oehler, Global Culture & Engagement Practice leader at Aon Hewitt.
March 30, 2017
Social technology can, and should, make the workplace more humane. That’s because it has the potential and ability to shift the power dynamic from the few to the many. It gives more people a voice: one that they’re not afraid to use. You’ve only got to look at the uprisings, and the overthrowing of governments, in Egypt and Tunisia, to see the power of greater connectivity enabled by platforms such as Facebook. What was dubbed the Arab Spring was change on a grand scale. But, as Seth Godin points out in his book Tribes, it’s “tribes, not money, not factories,” that will change the world. The consequences of this are not lost on the people and cultural practices within organisations. The functions of how we recruit, how we learn, and how we communicate are all under pressure to bring greater humanity into the approach.
March 29, 2017
Today (29 March) the Prime Minister triggers Article 50 to begin the UK’s exit from the European Union, and a new piece of research claims that almost two thirds (62 percent) of HR professionals expect this to impact their HR strategy and more worryingly, over a third (35 percent) say that the leave vote will impact the profits of their business. According to the research from employee benefits specialist Secondsight, 37 percent have opted not to hire over the coming year, and 39 percent agreed that recruiting the right people into their business will now be more difficult than before the decision to leave was made. However, on a more encouraging note, 95 percent of the HR professionals surveyed will see their budget rise in 2017, and 18 percent plan to introduce new benefits in the year ahead.
March 29, 2017
Flexible working can increase employee job satisfaction and organisational commitment, but staff who work flexibly under an ad hoc arrangement appear to perform better than those who go through a more formal process, according to research from Cass Business School and Cranfield School of Management. The research focused on the relationship between flexible working arrangements designed to accommodate employees’ needs (e.g. remote working, flexitime, compressed working) and performance appraisals and considered the indirect effects of employee performance via job satisfaction and organisational commitment. An analysis of whether the associations varied according to whether the flexible working arrangement was set up via a formal policy or informal negotiation between the employee and line manager revealed that employees who established flexible working arrangements through informal discussion with their line manager were judged to perform much better than those who use formal flexible working arrangements.
March 28, 2017
The number of British people working past 70 years old has increased markedly over the past four years. Poor pensions, personal choice, greater life expectancy and changes to pension laws have all been highlighted as factors behind the increase in the latest report on demographic trends from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). The largest increase was seen amongst women, with the proportion of women working into their seventies doubling from 5.6 percent in 2012 to 11.3 percent last year. Around 150,000 women over seventy are now thought to be working. Meanwhile, the number of men working past the official state pension age has also increased, but at a slower rate, from 10 percent in 2012 to 15.5 percent last year.