Legislation and regulation
April 7, 2017
Sick of hearing about Brexit? Of course you are. Nevertheless, things have only just begin and we’d better get used to it so consultancy XpertHR has launched a new guide for UK employers on how to prepare for Brexit, after Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article beginning the ‘divorce proceedings’. The guide, which the authors claim will be updated as negotiations between the UK and EU progress, focuses on how employers can prepare for potential changes to the right of free movement. It outlines the practical steps employers can take and suggests how they could support their European workforce in the UK. The report suggests that, while the Free Movement Directive, which allows European Economic Area (EEA) citizens and their dependants to live, work and study in any country within the EEA, will remain in force for the next two years, free movement is set to be a thing of the past with EEA nationals expected to become subject to an immigration regime under UK law.
April 5, 2017
The rise of robots and automation in the workplace will lead to drastic changes to laws across the world, a new report suggests. The present wave of automation, driven by artificial intelligence (AI) – the development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence – is creating a gap between current legislation and new laws necessary for an emerging workplace reality, states a report published by the International Bar Association Global Employment Institute (IBA GEI). Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Their Impact on the Workplace focuses on potential future trends in AI, and the likely impact intelligent systems will have on the labour market, companies, employees’ working time, remuneration and the workplace environment.
April 5, 2017
It is two years since the introduction of Shared Parental Leave (SPL), where couples were given the ability to share leave surrounding the arrival of a new addition to their family; and while sharing leave is seen to have a profound beneficial impact for the family, there are still plenty of barriers. According to research from My Family Care, one of the largest is that there is a sense that it involves a big risk with real concerns around the impact on a father’s career if they were to take more than two or three months off. A second report from the charity Working Families found that despite the initial slow take up of new rights, more than half of fathers would use Shared Parental Leave. However, snapshot figures for the first three months of 2016 showed that 3,000 new parents were taking up the new right. If the maternity leave figure is taken as indicative of the number of couples with new babies at the time the new figures are in line with the bottom of the government’s 2013 estimated take-up range – between two and eight per cent of fathers.
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
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.
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 24, 2017
A survey was published a couple of years ago to coincide with ‘National Stress Awareness Day’. Conducted by Robertson Cooper, the consultancy co-founded by media friendly academic Cary Cooper, the report made some fairly modest and believable claims about the impacts of stress. Especially if you compare them to the more startling findings of other surveys on the same subject such as those from the HSE and the mental health charity Mind, including the famously headline-grabbing figure which suggested that work related stress costs the UK no less than 10 per cent of its annual gross national product.If we were to be cynical, we might suggest that one of the the findings of the Robertson Cooper report – that nearly half of people had felt significantly stressed in the previous six months with a third of those claiming the stress was work related – simply begs the question why over 80 per cent of people seem to have it so cushy.
March 24, 2017
A review of the state pension age (SPA) led by former Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director general John Cridland has recommended that the State Pension age shouldn’t rise to 68 until between 2037 and 2039 and should not increase more than 1 year in any 10 year period. The report has also advised that all employers should have elder care policies in place which set out a basic care offer and that people should be able to access a mid-life career MOT and review which should be facilitated by employers and by the government using online support and through the National Careers Service. Commenting on the report, which will be considered before any decision is made on changes to the State Pension age timetable after 2028, the Centre for Ageing Better has welcomed its recommendations on wider actions to mitigate the impact of bringing the timetable forward for increases to the State Pension Age.
March 23, 2017
Over a quarter (29 percent) of senior managers within UK enterprises do not see the gender pay gap as an issue for businesses and many believe the gap is partly due to women’s personal career decisions, a new survey claims. Research by NGA Human Resources (NGA HR) found that despite the UK gender pay gap sitting at 13.9 percent, only 17 percent of decision makers surveyed believe that regulations on gender splits will reduce the divide. Nearly half (49 percent) of senior leaders in businesses blame the disparity on the fact that women are more likely to take career breaks or work part-time (42 percent) as the main factors for pay disparities. Other reasons given for the gender pay gap are the lack of representation of women in the overall workforce (20 percent) and fewer women in senior management positions (27 percent).
March 17, 2017
Gig economy workers are as likely to be satisfied with their work as workers in traditional employment, according to a major new survey published today by the CIPD which provides the first robust estimate of the size of the gig economy. Currently, 4 percent of UK working adults aged between 18 and 70 are working in the ‘gig economy’, which means approximately 1.3 million people are engaged in ‘gig work’ according to ‘To gig or not to gig: Stories from the modern. The report, which is based on a survey of 400 gig economy workers and more than 2,000 other workers, as well as 15 in-depth interviews with gig economy workers found that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) believe the Government should regulate to guarantee them basic employment rights and benefits such as holiday pay. But the research also found that, contrary to much of the rhetoric, just 14 percent of respondents said they did gig work because they could not find alternative employment.
March 13, 2017
Only 10 percent of Executive Directors on FTSE 100 boards are female compared with 35 percent of Non-Executive Directors and it seems that those who reach this level require a stronger academic pedigree than their male counterparts. According to preliminary findings from The Leadership 10k1 report from Green Park, women leaders in the UK’s biggest firms are three times more likely than male counterparts to have degrees from either Russell Group or Ivy League universities. The research finds that 76 percent of the total employees in top 20 positions across the FTSE 100 who graduated from a Russell Group university are female while 70 percent of leaders who graduated from an Ivy League university are female. Overall, this suggests that women are three times more likely to need a qualification from a prestigious university to gain a board position in the UK than men.