Legislation and regulation
January 16, 2019
Flexible working is supposed to be a boon to working parents, but it seems it’s not without its disadvantages, as a new academic study has found that part-time working mothers who have the ability to control their own schedule often end up working an increased amount of unpaid overtime. The research from the University of Kent found that for those who gained schedule control over their work there was an increase in the amount of unpaid overtime worked, as on average in the UK men work an extra 2.2 hours a week in unpaid overtime while for women it is about 1.9 hours.
December 21, 2018
Over half (52 percent) of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnics (BAME) believe that Brexit will negatively impact their career progression compared to only 16 percent of non-BAME. This is according to a new survey commissioned by the Equality Group, an organisation that helps companies attract, retain and develop diverse talent that focuses on diversity and equality within business. Following the referendum in 2016 and the UK’s consequent departure from the European Union, tensions surrounding ‘Britishness’ and what it means to be British reached unprecedented lengths. In May this year, experts from the United Nations expressed concerns regarding the fact that racism and religious intolerance has, in the wake of Brexit, become increasingly acceptable in Britain. Whilst it is possible to statistically monitor the rise in racially motivated hate crimes, of which there was a 40 percent rise (July 2015- 16) succeeding the UK’s decision to leave the EU, monitoring racial discrimination within businesses is a lot more difficult. With this societal and political shift, the report looks at the impact Brexit, with its focus on immigration and the rights to work within the UK, has had on the workers from the BAME community.
December 19, 2018
The Government has agreed to work with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to introduce a statutory code of practice to tackle sexual harassment at work. It also agreed that non-disclosure agreements require better regulation and a clearer explanation of the rights that a worker cannot abrogate by signing one and will consult on how best to achieve this and enforce any new provisions. It also agrees that regulators should make it clear that workplace sexual harassment is unacceptable, and that sexual harassment should be taken into account when considering the fitness and propriety of the individuals and employers they regulate.
December 6, 2018
The ongoing uncertainty around Brexit has had little impact on both workers’ desire for job stability, and businesses’ assessments of their economic prospects according to Gartner’s latest Global Talent Monitor report. In fact, the UK reported the highest business confidence rating of all European countries surveyed at 60, and above the global average of 57. For employers this has the knock effect that the number of UK employees looking to stay in their current job has fallen sharply over the past 12 months, as 23 percent of employees indicated a low intent to stay with their current employer, a 13per cent increase from the same period last year and 10 percent higher than the current global average (13 percent). While fewer UK workers are committed to staying with their current employers, the number of workers who reported a higher willingness to go above and beyond at work remained flat.
December 5, 2018
All the chatter around the growth of flexible working might suggest it has now become the norm, but an academic paper refutes that view by revealing a third of all UK workers believe those who work flexibly create more work for others. A similar proportion believe their career will suffer if they use flexible working arrangements. This is the main finding from Dr Heejung Chung from the University of Kent who set out to analyse data from the 2011 Work-Life Balance Survey conducted by the government. Specifically, she wanted to examine whether stigma against flexible workers exists, who is most likely to hold such beliefs and who is most likely to suffer from it. The research also found that the majority of respondents that held negative views against flexible workers were male, while women and especially mothers were the ones who were most likely to suffer from such stereotypes.
December 4, 2018
Over a third (35 percent) of UK workers continue to work when then get home from the office, claims research from Insurance2go into whether British workers are struggling to stick to working within their designated office hours. The survey found that a third (35 percent) of continue to answer work email or conduct work tasks on their personal mobile phones when they get home from work, a quarter (25 percent) do the same during their lunch break, and just under a quarter (23 percent) have said they work on their personal handsets on their commute. Meanwhile, across the channel, French employees have been given the legal right to ignore work emails outside of working hours, with companies of over 50 workers providing a charter of good conduct, setting out the hours when staff are not supposed to send or answer emails. When asked if the UK should follow-suit, 65 percent of workers were in favour, implying a strain on British staff and an expectation to be ‘always on’ even in non-working hours.
December 3, 2018
From gender pay gap reporting to widespread claims of workplace sexual harassment, 2018 has been a busy year in employment law. Although employers may hope for a quieter 2019, it’s looking likely that there will be a number of issues that are prevalent throughout the year, amid the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit. Below are just ten changes employers need to look out for. Whilst there are sure to be other new developments introduced throughout next year, employers would do well to keep a close eye on these particular topics and put plans in place to ensure their business complies with any new requirements.
November 29, 2018
More than half (55 percent) of ethnic minority workers have been advised to be ‘more realistic’ about their career aspirations, according to The Equality Group, which commissioned a nationally representative study that delves into UK ethnic minority citizens, their career aspirations, and the inequalities that still challenge the nation’s BAME community in the world of work It found that while 59 percent of the ethnic minority workforce aspire to be on the board, just 2 percent make it and with 46 percent of ethnic minorities being advised to commence a career NOT relevant to their skills or interests it’s hardly surprising that half do not have any ethnic minority leadership role models. The research is launched amidst industry data that shows only 84 of the 1,048 directors in the FTSE100, originate from an ethnic minority. more…
November 28, 2018
Leaked government plans to protect the working rights of people operating in the gig economy will help to stop unscrupulous employers from exploiting low-paid workers by stamping out false self-employment. But it is questionable whether this goes far enough. more…
November 23, 2018
One year on from #MeToo – just one in four workers agree that international media coverage has helped to improve their workplace culture, according to new research on sexual harassment from Acas. The workplace experts commissioned the study from YouGov to find out whether media reporting on #MeToo and high-profile celebrity cases have had any effect on British workplaces. Only a third (30 percent) of survey respondents believe that incidents of sexual harassment in workplaces have decreased in the last five years. more…
November 19, 2018
Business leaders have called today for the Government to update health and safety legislation to protect mental health in the workplace. In an Open Letter to the Prime Minister signed by more than 50 leaders of some of Britain’s biggest employers including PwC, Royal Mail, WHSmith, Mace, Ford and Thames Water calls on the Government to prioritise its manifesto pledge to amend health and safety legislation to put mental and physical first aid on an equal footing. With mental health issues estimated to cost the UK economy almost £35 billion every year as 15.4 million working days are lost to work-related stress, depression or anxiety the letter, signed by the Chairman of Mental Health First Aid England and the CEO of Bauer Media Group, along with leaders of some of the UK’s biggest employers, are asking that workplaces are required to make provision for mental as well as physical first aid.
November 9, 2018
A new survey of professional, mainly management-level women has revealed a lack of support for maternity returners by employers. According to the survey by working parents website MMB, more than four fifths of pregnant women begin their maternity leave unhappy and lacking in confidence about work – and over a third feel so isolated when they return that they want to hand their notice in. The survey of more than 1,000 mothers, 72 percent of whom were in jobs at management level or above found that only 18 percent of maternity returners felt happy and confident about work – having seen the way previous maternity returners had been dealt with by their employer. Over a third (37 percent) felt so unsupported and isolated on their return that they wanted to leave and just 17 percent felt they received good communication and support through the maternity process.