Legislation and regulation
January 10, 2017
Prime Minister Theresa May has announced a package of measures to address mental health support in schools, workplaces and communities. The plans, which aim to help ensure that no one affected by mental ill-health goes unattended also includes a new partnership with employers to improve mental health support in the workplace. The Prime Minister has appointed Lord Dennis Stevenson, the long-time campaigner for greater understanding and treatment of mental illness, and Paul Farmer CBE, CEO of Mind and Chair of the NHS Mental Health Taskforce, to drive work with business and the public sector to support mental health in the workplace. These experts will lead a review on how best to ensure employees with mental health problems are enabled to thrive in the workplace and perform at their best. This will involve practical help including promoting best practice and learning from trailblazer employers, as well as offering tools to organisations, whatever size they are, to assist with employee well-being and mental health. It will review recommendations around discrimination in the workplace on the grounds of mental health
January 9, 2017
Gender inequality remains high around the world – despite the fact that new research suggests how female leadership increases companies’ performance. A new report published by IZA World of Labor looks at the reasons for the persistence of wage and leadership gender gaps and their causes and consequences and emphasizes the beneficial role of female leaders in reducing gender inequality. The report claims that gender wage gaps and women’s under representation in leadership positions exist at remarkably similar magnitudes across countries at all levels of income per capita. In a new IZA World of Labor report the economist Mario Macis of Johns Hopkins University, USA summarizes recent research which shows that although women in many developed countries have reached parity with men in terms of formal educational attainment and employment, earning disparities between the genders are actually greater in richer countries.
January 4, 2017
It has been suggested before that the gender pay gap is a reflection of what happens to women when they become parents – and a new piece of research backs up this theory by revealing an enduring pay penalty associated with having children; which, unless tackled this will mean that current and future generations of working women will continue to face a significant life earnings penalty. According to a new analysis published today (Wednesday) by the Resolution Foundation as part of its Intergenerational Commission, while the gender pay gap for millennials in their 20s has halved in a generation to just 5 percent, much of that progress looks set to be undone with early signs showing that the gender pay gap continues to escalate as women enter their 30s and 40s. This suggests that millennial women will still earn significantly less than their male counterparts over their careers.
December 22, 2016
Companies with 250 or more employees will soon be required to give overall statistics about levels of pay for each gender. But experts say real change will only come about if employers were required to present this data in a more expansive way, accompanied by a reflective report explaining any gender pay gap alongside an action plan of how they intend to close them. Unless this happens, the new regulations requiring companies to report pay gaps between men and women are potentially “superficial” and will not necessarily tackle the complex reasons why females still have lower salaries on average, new research shows. Employers told researchers from the University of Exeter, University of Bath and Cardiff University that the Government’s proposals would over-simplify issues, just advertise pay rates without giving context and may not benefit all female staff. The study has been undertaken as part of a research collaboration facilitated by the GW4 Alliance, which brings together four of the most research-intensive and innovative universities in the UK; the universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter.
December 16, 2016
Millennials have widely divergent experiences and attitudes toward diversity and inclusion within the workplace than older generations, claims a new US-based report. In the research from the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and Weber Shandwick into the importance that people place on diversity and inclusion (D&I) when considering a new job found that 47 percent of Millennials consider it an important criterion in their job search compared to 33 percent of Gen Xers and 37 percent of Boomers. Nearly six in 10 of all employed Americans (58 percent) report that they see or hear about some form of discrimination and/or bias at their workplace, most frequently racial or ethnic in nature (22 percent). Millennials are significantly more likely than older generations to be attuned to such behaviour at work, and also much more comfortable discussing these issues at work than their older colleagues. The survey also asked respondents why they believe employers emphasise diversity and inclusion in the workplace. All three generations cited “To make it a better place to work” among their top three reasons. Millennials also recognize increased opportunities while reputational benefits and outside pressures are noticed by Gen Xers and Boomers.
December 15, 2016
The first business in the UK has published detailed workforce data outlining the socio-economic make-up of the firm as a way of understanding its workforce diversity. KPMG has published data, which measures employees’ parental occupation and education and the type of school employees attended along with graduate and school leaver socio-economic data from the past three years. It reveals that the vast majority of the workforce – 74 percent of respondents – received a state school education: 60 percent attended a non-selective state school and 14 percent attended a selective state school, with 23 percent receiving private education. Additional detail on parental education shows that 48 percent have a parent or guardian with a university degree, while 43 percent do not. On parental occupation, 58 percent have parents in a higher managerial, administrative and professional occupation, 16 percent have parents employed in a manual occupation and 11 percent have parents in intermediate occupations. KPMG is the first business in the UK to share details of the parental occupation of its workforce, which is recognised by social mobility experts as a strong indicator of socio-economic background.
December 14, 2016
Just 5 percent of new fathers and 8 percent of new mothers have opted for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) since its introduction in April 2015 a new report claims. Just one organisation in five (21 percent) said they had received requests from male employees to take up SPL since April 2015 and in two-thirds (67 percent) of organisations with mothers eligible for SPL, none have opted in. This low take-up of (SPL) and the lack of affordable childcare options for parents with 0-2 year-olds are both major problems that need to be addressed to support working parents more effectively, according to ‘Labour Market Outlook: Focus on Working Parents’ from the CIPD. The survey of over 1,000 HR professionals also suggests that the lack of free childcare for 0-2 year-olds could be having a negative impact on women returning to work after maternity leave.
December 8, 2016
We’re entering the office party season now so it’s time for the usual flurry of Christmas related research. We kick off the season with this from XpertHR which claims that the majority of companies it has polled will host company-wide parties (50.8 percent) or departmental Christmas lunches (47.2 percent), but there will be fewer Christmas gifts, bonuses awarded or additional time off for employees this year. Employers plan to spend an average of £93.33 and a median of £50 per employee on their Christmas celebrations – a figure which hasn’t changed significantly since the last time XpertHR conducted this survey in 2012/13, when the median spend was £42.82. However, fewer than one in five organisations (17.9 percent) will be offering employee gifts this year compared to 21.1 percent in 2012/2013 and just 18 employers will award Christmas bonuses, with no increases planned compared with last year.
December 7, 2016
On 24 June 2016 Britain voted for Brexit. The shock (and narrow) victory caused country-wide concern among the 48 percent of the voting public that favoured remain – apprehension seemingly justified by the immediate weakening of the pound, Cameron’s resignation and the start of ongoing political in-fighting. Speculation over job losses and potential hiring freezes added to a general sense of uncertainty, leaving some UK workers fearing their job security. Since then however, recruitment experts have somewhat softened their predictions for the UK job market as recent reports of month-on-month vacancy growth and record high employment rates have served to inspire confidence. Five months on, how has job applicant sentiment changed in the UK since the EU referendum vote? And what does this mean for businesses hiring in post-Brexit vote Britain? As part of our ongoing tracking of candidate confidence levels in the job market and their career prospects we analysed the responses of almost 28,000 job applicants across the UK and Republic of Ireland – from all ages, experiences and sector disciplines – to gauge how perspectives might have changed pre- and post-Brexit.
December 6, 2016
Record number of major companies and law firms are advancing vital policies and practices to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workers around the world. This is according to the 2017 Corporate Equality Index released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the US’ largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. This year, a record-breaking 517 businesses earned the CEI’s top score of 100, up from 407 last year. That’s a single-year increase of more than 25 percent — the largest jump in the 15-year history of the United State’s premiere benchmarking tool for LGBT workplace equality. Leadership demonstrated by these businesses, reflect more than a decade of work inside these companies to expand LGBT, and particularly transgender, workplace equality. The Corporate Equality Index (CEI), launched in 2002 to assess LGBT-inclusive policies and practices at Fortune 500 companies, also highlights how corporate leaders are increasingly stepping up to play a leading role in opposing anti-equality legislation. Through their actions, taken as LGBTQ workers and customers have been facing a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills in state legislatures across the US, business leaders are building on their longstanding commitment to expanding workplace equality for LGBTQ people.
December 5, 2016
In this week’s Newsletter; Mark Eltringham dissects the current obsession with engagement and motivation; and from the Winter 2016 issue of Work&Place which is now available to view online; discusses the future of work and place in the 21st century. We discover why creativity in the workplace is a prime engagement tool; that 85 percent of employers believe workplace automation will create more jobs than it will replace; however, in the now, technology issues cause the most lost time for SMEs. One in three lawyers would not feel comfortable even beginning the conversation about flexible working with their employer; a fifth of employees are distressed by political discussions in the workplace and employers urged to develop strategies to help retain older workers. Download our new Briefing, produced in partnership with Boss Design on the link between culture and workplace strategy and design; visit our new events page, follow us on Twitter and join our LinkedIn Group to discuss these and other stories.
November 29, 2016
Flexible working may be gaining ground across the professions but it remains so rare in the legal industry that more than one in three (35 percent) lawyers say they would not feel comfortable even beginning the conversation about flexible working with their employer. The reason for this, suggests new research from My Family Care and recruiters Hydrogen, is down to a rigid culture which encourages working anti-social hours; as almost a third (29 percent) of the 140 of lawyers asked, saying that the majority of their colleagues think that people who work flexibly are simply “having an easy life.” Yet despite this, over two thirds (67 percent) would rather choose flexible working over a 5 percent salary increase. The research also found a large gender divide when it comes to flexible working. While significantly more female lawyers work part time (34 percent of women compared with 10 percent of men), female lawyers say they work considerably more than their contracted hours: 35 percent compared to just 28 percent of males.