March 1, 2017
Workplace wellbeing strategies are being implemented by employers at an unprecedented rate, with 45 percent of UK companies now having a clearly-defined wellbeing strategy in place, compared to less than a third (30 percent) in 2016, claims a new report. According to ‘Employee Wellbeing Research 2017: The evolution of workplace wellbeing in the UK’ from Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA), in association with Punter Southall Health & Protection, of those that don’t, virtually all plan or wish to implement one – with 46 percent planning on implementing one this year, 24 percent in the next few years and a quarter (25 percent) having it on their ‘wish list’. Over a third (37 percent) launched their wellbeing strategy to improve employee engagement, and just over a quarter (26 percent) to improve organisational culture. Other drivers included improving productivity levels (11 percent), reducing long and short-term sickness absence (6 percent & 5 percent) and retaining talent (5 percent).
February 28, 2017
New and updated guidance s being published today by Acas to help employers and their staff understand the many different types of employment arrangements that exist in the modern workplace and their legal entitlements. The revised guidance is released against the backdrop of Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society of the Arts) review which considers the implications of new forms of work driven by digital platforms, for employee rights and responsibilities, employer freedoms and obligations, and the existing regulatory framework surrounding employment. The new Acas guidance reflects these changes to the way in which people work, are expected to work in the future, and follows recent legal cases about employment status; including the Pimlico Plumber and Uber decisions.
February 28, 2017
The rise of the gig economy and social media platforms have pushed creative and design jobs up the salary ranks, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk. In January, average salaries in this sector saw an annual increase of 2.2 percent to £31,828, with its popularity being driven by factors such as the new digital age coupled with the expertise of graduates who step into the jobs market with a fresh outlook on social media channels such as Snapchat and Instagram, which are highly valuable to employees. Across the job market, the employment rate stands at 74.6 percent, the highest since comparable records began in 1971 according to the ONS. This has been helped by a record proportion of women in work, with so-called ‘returnships’ – a type of later-life work experience helping older people, predominantly women back into the workplace – boosting the figures. Immigration may have tailed off in the wake of Brexit, but this also previously helped stimulate the jobs market.
February 28, 2017
A majority of older workers (55+) in the UK are bracing themselves to continue working until they are 70 years old, but three quarters of employees don’t think employers are doing enough to support them, according to new research by the CIPD. In a survey of more than 1,600 UK employees, more than a third (37 percent) believed that they will have to work past the widely accepted retirement age of 65, a figure which jumps to 49 percent among workers over 55 years old. Among those who predict they will work past 65, the average age they expect to actually retire is 70. The most common reasons for employees wanting to work past 65 the belief it will keep them mentally fit (32 percent), followed by a desire to be able to earn enough money to continue to enjoy themselves. However, the research has also found that many employers aren’t doing enough to support older workers in the workplace. Just one in four (25 percent) employees believe that their employer is prepared to meet the needs of workers aged 65 and over, demonstrating how much work organisations need to do in order to prepare for the increased numbers of older workers in the workplace.
February 23, 2017
The Centre for Ageing Better at the Institute for Employment Studies has produced a new report which sets out the workplace and job-related factors that make employment fulfilling for older workers, offering insights into both the attitudes of older workers and the implications for employers. The report offers guidance on what employers can do to support older workers, asserting that understanding what they want is the first step in helping employers, policy-makers and others to create age-friendly workplace. The report is split into three sections covering older workers’ attitudes towards different aspects of work: work content – what older workers value about their job roles and tasks; work culture – outlines how older workers consider work fulfilling if certain behaviours, management styles and values are presented by employers; workplace adjustments – offers practical steps that employers can take to make their workplaces more age-friendly.
February 23, 2017
Implementing new technologies over the next 12 months is of primary importance for senior managers, with nearly two-fifths of finance directors saying digital transformation is one of their greatest priorities. Against a backdrop of economic uncertainty, chief financial officers (CFOs) are focusing on increasing profitability (41 percent) and driving overall company growth (39 percent) in the year ahead, according to research from, Robert Half Management Resources which claims that CFOs and finance directors (FDs) will assume more responsibility for balancing traditional financial responsibilities with developing business strategy. The use of temporary and interim professionals also looks set to continue with a third of CFOs and FDs planning to use temporary staff for business transformation projects to either fill vacated positions or support active expansion. In the long-term, 31 percent of finance executives plan to actively add new permanent positions to implement the company’s digitisation and automation efforts over the next 12 months.
February 22, 2017
If the Government will fail to achieve its goal of eliminating the gender pay gap in a generation if it continues to ignore the evidence which it is being given, a cross-party committee of MPs has said. The Women and Equalities Committee is disappointed with the Government’s response to a series of recommendations it put forward last March, which it says shows that the Government is not effectively tackling the structural causes of the gender pay gap. While the Government’s recognises the business case for reducing the gender pay gap and acknowledges structural factors contributing to the pay gap, including women doing jobs for which they are overqualified, concentration in part-time work, and being penalised for taking time out of work to raise children; it rejects most of the Committee’s seventeen evidence-based recommendations for addressing these issues. Instead it highlights gender pay gap reporting, as “key to accelerating progress,” and maintains that current policies on Shared Parental Leave, flexible working, and supporting women back into work are adequate.
February 21, 2017
Leaders would have and even greater incentive to improve health and safety if their performance was more transparent and executive pay and bonuses were linked to it, suggests the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). This is one of nine summary recommendations made by IOSH in its response to the UK Government’s Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper proposals, which follow public concern about serious failures, such as those at Sports Direct. IOSH agrees with the Prime Minister’s views, expressed in her foreword to the green paper published last November, where she said: “…big business must earn and keep the trust and confidence of their customers, employees and the wider public”. The suggestions IOSH makes contribute constructively to those aims.
February 17, 2017
A new report commissioned by Samsung claims that by 2020, the impact that changes in society and technology will have upon the future of the workplace will elevate Human Resources (HR) to a powerful new role. The arrival of what Samsung calls the open economy will create a new environment in which a breed of ultra-flexible freelancers will prosper. Their arrival will present great opportunities for those organisations that embrace them but there will be significant challenges as well. Automation will be increasingly prevalent, but human skills will also rise in value as whole new job categories will be created around creativity, human judgement and intuition capabilities –positioning HR at the forefront of dealing with the significant industry changes. Emerging technology and artificial intelligence will undoubtedly create great change in many industries but it will also release human workers from mundane and repetitive tasks, liberating a workforce where human judgement and expertise becomes the centre of any organisation’s human resources.
February 17, 2017
The CIPD and the High Pay Centre have launched a formal partnership to advocate fairer and more ethical approaches to pay and reward. Together they are calling for a major re-think of corporate governance to improve CEO pay transparency and ensure boards recognise their broader responsibility towards the workforce when decisions on executive pay and business investment are made. In their joint response to the Government’s green paper on corporate governance, which seeks views on how to curb excessive CEO pay and boost employee voice at board level, the CIPD and High Pay Centre point out that if FTSE 100 CEO pay continues to increase at the same rate for the next 20 years as it has for the last two decades, the average ratio between a CEO and average pay would increase from about 129:1 to more than 400:1. The CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese argues in the report that current levels of executive pay undermine both trust and sustainability and making small adjustments to current system isn’t the right approach.
February 17, 2017
Employees would like more freedom and flexibility at work with over half believing that the structure and culture of their workplaces are holding them back from doing their job more effectively (55 percent and 53 percent respectively). That’s according to new research from ILM, which has launched a new report calling for workplaces across the UK to foster a more collaborative culture in order to boost business success. The research found that more than a third (34 percent) of UK employees felt they worked in a regulated and controlled structure. When asked how they’d like to change their company culture, the top answer was more freedom and flexibility (35 percent) followed by more innovation and creativity (32 percent). Three quarters (74 percent) of employees say they would like more freedom at work. Although employers tend to agree with the need for teams to have more freedom, with two in five (40 percent) saying they’d like a more flexible culture, more would prefer to champion innovation and creativity (46 percent), indicating a disconnect between the way that businesses and their people are keen to work.
February 16, 2017
The majority (79 percent) of workers say reliable and modern technology is more important to them than office aesthetics, while accessories such as ping pong tables, slides, hammocks and wacky office designs may look good in pictures, but they don’t necessarily make employees any happier or productive. The is according to a survey, conducted by storage firm Kiwi Movers, which found that 86 percent of UK adults who work in an office said fun features were of no specific value to their working life, 11 percent said they were nice-to-have and of some value and 3 percent said they were very valuable. The most popular office perks are those offer an immediate tangible benefit to the employee, but even so, as many as 23 percent don’t take advantage every day; while 71 percent overall said they’d like more space in their office and of those, 58 percent believe that could be achieved by removing non-essential items. The research also found that younger workers were more likely on average to take advantage of ‘environmental’ perks like chill out areas and recreational equipment.