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 21, 2017
Junior members of the workforce are most likely to be disengaged, demotivated and lacklustre about work according to a survey on happiness in the UK workplace from HR consultancy Personal Group. Based on a survey of 800 people benchmarked against a larger database of 41,000 from the University of Warwick, the survey claims that 48 percent of employees are not often happy at work and that almost one in five are rarely or never happy at work. The report suggests that it is more junior employees who are not only less keen to get to work in the morning but are also unhappier at work when compared to senior managers, directors and those who are self-employed. Similarly, when asked whether they feel enthusiastic about their job, directors and self-employed are the most passionate, reporting 70 percent and 76 percent respectively. Team leaders and frontline employees are significantly less enthusiastic, with 30 percent of the latter saying that they never feel enthusiastic at work.
March 20, 2017
Losing a job creates a ‘new normal’ for personal wellbeing that never goes back to previous levels, a new international study claims. Unemployment is damaging to people’s wellbeing regardless of their age, gender, level of education, ethnicity or region. The new study, co-authored by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and the University of East Anglia, looked at the impact of unemployment across a number of countries and found that joblessness tops even divorce or widowhood in its impact on our life satisfaction. The evidence also suggests people never adapt fully to unemployment. The longitudinal study of 24,000 people found on average that individuals had lower life satisfaction following unemployment and this never recovered to the pre-unemployment levels. These results applied to men and women, but the effects were found to be stronger for men. Men also were found to be happier than women once in a new job. The type of work is also important with temporary jobs proving worse than permanent work.
March 20, 2017
Nearly two thirds (63 percent) of UK employees experience stress in their jobs, according to a new study of workplace wellbeing by Happiness Works on behalf of Robert Half UK. Of those who find their roles demanding, nearly one in 10 said their job was very stressful. To address the high-levels of stress and other issues among employees, organisations are introducing wellbeing initiatives to support the physical and mental health of employees at work. Nearly half (48 percent) of businesses offer tools designed to promote wellbeing in the workplace, with one in seven providing stress management seminars or training and annual leave for personal and mental wellbeing. Other initiatives being introduced include counselling (17 percent), leaving work early on a Friday (17 percent) and limiting the amount of overtime that employees can do (11 percent).
March 8, 2017
Employees aged 35 and under lose the highest average amount of productive time due to absenteeism and presenteeism, are the least physically active in the workforce, have a high proportion of smokers and eat the least fruit and vegetables each day. This is according to data from Britain’s Healthiest Workplace (BHW) which claims that these same employees, many of whom entered the workforce following the recent global financial crisis, already suffer from social mobility challenges and tough economic conditions, which is having a considerable impact on their health and wellbeing. Data from BHW shows that high stress levels can have major impacts on employee productivity at work, which in turn has cost implications for the employer. Almost 35 percent of 26-30 year old employees are physically inactive, completing less than 150 minutes of exercise a week, and on top of this nearly 14 percent of this age group smoke. Comparatively, the same data shows that older employees have healthier habits, with 22.5 percent of 56-60 year olds being physically inactive and only a small proportion (6.1 percent) smoking.
March 7, 2017
A survey of more than 423,000 NHS staff has shown their experience of the workplace is improving, despite the huge financial pressures and public demand on healthcare in the UK. Responding anonymously to the annual NHS Staff Survey, staff reported small but measurable improvements in 26 of the 32 key workplace categories, including having confidence to raise concerns about clinical practice, feeling supported by managers and recommending their workplace for employment or receiving care. The report is published by the national NHS Staff Survey Co-ordination Centre on behalf of NHS England and was carried out in October and November 2016.
March 7, 2017
In his book The Greatest Show on Earth, the evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins devotes a section to the biological rationale for pain. Although this is an ethical issue as far as humans are concerned, and most of us might think it’s one thing we could easily do without thank you very much, Nature is not particularly bothered about whether something is good or bad, just whether it serves a useful purpose as a way of perpetuating a particular genome. So the answer to the question of why we don’t just have some sort of a red flag rather than pain to warn us when we are doing something harmful is that we would find it very easy to ignore whatever non-distressing signal we’ve been given, given that we are also capable of ignoring pain. But at least with pain, we are never in any doubt that we should try to stop whatever is happening to us and we have a strong incentive to stop it as soon as possible.
March 3, 2017
The average amount of overtime workers put in equates to around 68 working days a year and the fact that only one third are paid for this means the majority of people are essentially working for free until the 9th of March each year, claims a new study. The research by TotallyMoney.com with OnePoll, which looked into overtime in the UK in 2017 found that unsurprisingly 60 percent of British workers say they don’t have a good work-life balance. Common reasons given for working overtime were pressures from colleague and excessive workloads; with almost 65 percent of people surveyed not being paid for overtime worked. Only a third of British workers say they typically leave work on time; which ties in with recent TUC analysis which revealed that the number of employees working longer hours grew by 15 percent over the last five years. Working longer hours, warns the union, not only has negative impacts on health, but can actually lead to workers being less productive.
March 2, 2017
Fostering behavioural change among employees to encourage them to make healthier lifestyle choices could deliver both productivity gains and economic growth, a new report claims. According to Human-Centric Health: Behaviour Change and the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Willis Towers Watson, behavioural economics will be critical to encourage healthier lifestyles and reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases (cardiovascular disease, mental illness, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes) that account for approximately 16 million premature deaths annually and will cost an estimated cumulative loss of $47 trillion in economic activity worldwide over the next two decades. According to the analysis, technology such as mobile phones with accelerometers that make activity challenges easier and engage individuals in a community of supportive peers will improve people’s understanding of health-related knowledge and encourage them to reshape their behaviour. Linking individuals to ‘commitment contracts’ to exercise, quit smoking, or adhere to medicine prescription schedules will also be easier to monitor using sensors and mobile technology.
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
Levels of job satisfaction vary significantly across Europe, with Dutch, Polish and Swiss employees being the most satisfied, according to research by HR software firm ADP. The new study of nearly 10,000 European working adults explores how employees across Europe feel about the future of work. According to the research, Dutch, Polish and Swiss employees are the most satisfied, whilst the UK comes joint fifth. In the UK, satisfaction levels also differ greatly across regions; three quarters of those based in the East are satisfied (75 percent), whilst only 59 percent of employees in Northern Ireland are satisfied. In the UK, those working in Architecture, Engineering and Building are the most satisfied (84 percent), whilst IT & Telecoms workers fare well across Europe and the UK. In the UK, those working in financial services are the least satisfied (57 percent) – the lowest level of job satisfaction overall. In contrast, 71 percent of financial services employees in other European countries are satisfied.
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.