Legislation and regulation
September 30, 2018
The majority (86 percent) of UK office workers claim they are more likely to be told off for forgetting to do menial tasks, like emptying or loading the dishwater and keeping their workplace tidy, than complying with GDPR policies, according to a new poll which assessed whether GDPR is being taken seriously by UK office workers since its introduction in May of this year. The study from Fellowes found that only 14 percent of workers have been given a ticking off about careless handling of confidential data, while 25 percent claim office chores, like emptying or filling the dishwasher, has landed them in the hottest water. The data, collected from over 1,000 UK office workers in July 2018, also reveals that many are more likely to be challenged about missing deadlines and being late (17 percent) than ensuring they are compliant with GDPR.
September 25, 2018
Last year John Cridland published his Review of the State Pension age, and one of his recommendations was for a ‘Mid-Life MOT’ for people’s late 50s and early 60s. Now a joint report, ‘Developing the mid-life MOT’, published today by the Centre for Ageing Better, outlines the response by industry to the review’s call for a better way of supporting people in their 40s, 50s and 60s to think about their careers and future lives. The report presents case studies of different approaches to the ‘mid-life MOT’ being tried out by Aviva, Legal and General, The Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Mercer and offers insights to other employers thinking about introducing similar support for their own workers. The report suggests it is important that a mid-life MOT is the start of an engagement process, with participants signposted and encouraged to take up further support. Mid-life MOTs need a clear purpose that is understood by all stakeholders and participants.
September 25, 2018
Almost two thirds (64 percent) of SME employees believe that companies should make a positive contribution to society, while half of all UK workers (50 percent) would be discouraged from working for an organisation with no interest in community or ethical goals. According to The Future Workforce from Unum and independent researcher The Future Laboratory this emphasis on a company’s ethical credentials comes in the wake of a movement towards greater awareness of global issues, which has led to demands for more transparency in how organisations do business and less tolerance of unethical corporate behaviour. As a result, an ethical employer can be an important factor when it comes to deciding whether to join or stay with an organisation –In addition, The Future Workforce report found that just under a third (30 percent) of UK workers believe that companies who are not participating in any civic or ethical contributions should be fined.
September 19, 2018
New mandatory requirements that will ensure service charges to commercial tenants are transparent, upfront and fair, and that any costs incurred are in accordance with the terms of the occupational leases, have been announced by RICS. The Institute, which has long called for a fairer and more professional approach to property management to help outlaw “rogue” landlords and managing agents says ‘Service charges in commercial property’ will help regulate the activities of landlords and their agents, whilst protecting tenants from having to pay for unscrupulous repair or maintenance costs. It has worked with major property bodies representing owners, occupiers and managing agents – including BPF, BRC, BCO, PMA, CoreNet, REVO, PMA alongside ICAEW and Law Society, the professional bodies for accountants and lawyers – to produce the recommendations that reflect the needs and opinions of landlords and tenants and the specific considerations of different sectors.
September 14, 2018
Employers considering new flexible working options for their employees are concerned about the security and management implications, according to a recent poll, despite the fact that staff now have the legal right to request flexible arrangements. The survey of medium sized businesses, carried out for RSM by YouGov, found that over the next five years, three quarters of respondents were considering introducing flexible terms of employment, allowing workers to work outside 9 to 5 or increasing the use of remote working.
August 31, 2018
A call for employers to pay staff for the time they spend emailing while commuting has opened up the debate on what constitutes working time for employees. Researchers from the University of the West of England who found that commuters used free Wi-Fi provision on their journey to and from work to ‘catch up’ with work emails, have argued this supported the argument that the commute be counted as work. Until now, there has been little research to evaluate the impact free Wi-Fi provision has had in the UK, despite government encouragement for companies to provide access on transport networks. Traditionally, the government has been more concerned about the benefits of free Wi-Fi for business travellers, but the research team believe that the impact on commuters may be more important. When the researchers looked to Scandinavia to see how commuting time could be measured differently, they found that in Norway some commuters are able to count travel time as part of their working day.
August 28, 2018
The new corporate governance code that comes into play early next year includes directives on how companies engage with their staff, but it is a voluntary code which will allow businesses to opt out if they wish. Now a new report suggests there is currently is a high level of mistrust towards senior UK managers, with just 16 percent trusting this group, according to the study. This is despite the fact that according to the research, carried out by Virtual College the majority (95 percent) of senior managers in UK businesses believe that their employees trust them. Employees rated their trust in different roles in the following order; co-workers – 57 percent, managers – 45 percent, team members – 42 percent and senior management – 16 percent. Trust in senior management was found to be considerably lower than trust in other positions such as middle management. The sectors that trusted senior management the least included; utilities (3 percent), legal (8 percent) and government services (8.7 percent).
August 22, 2018
More SMEs than larger businesses offer flexible working as a way of reducing absences, research from industry body Group Risk Development (GRiD), suggests. The research showed that 35 percent of SMEs with up to 249 employees are actively using flexible working strategies to combat absence compared to just 23 percent of organisations with over 250 employees. Drilling down further into the detail, 38 percent of micro businesses with between 1 and 9 employees use flexible working as a means to reduce absence. Flexible working now means a lot more than allowing an employee to work from home when they are feeling under the weather, and following changes in the law in 2014, it is now an option for everyone with at least 26 weeks continuous employment to request it – not just those with children or carer responsibilities. It also includes part-time working, term-time working, job sharing, compressed hours and flexitime. A greater degree of flexibility can increase productivity and reduce burn out, particularly in stressful occupations.
August 20, 2018
Most organisations already offer some sort of flexible working and over half of employees now ask to work flexibly, a new survey from XpertHR research has claimed. One in 12 organisations (8.1 percent) reported that all employees worked flexibly, with employers attributing the rise to a more supportive workplace culture and the impact of recent legal changes. The survey found that more than half (55.9 percent) had seen an increase in flexible working requests over the past two years. Three out of four believed that this was due to changes in workplace culture in recent years, attributable in part to a change in the law in 2014 that extended the right to request flexible working to all employees with at least 26 weeks’ service. Flexible working goes across the board, and includes part-time working, variable start and finish times, home-working and other options.
August 9, 2018
The already low number of fathers claiming paternity leave has fallen for the first time in five years, to 213,500, down 3 percent from 221,000 last year an analysis by law firm EMW has revealed. To help encourage more men to take paternity leave, the Government launched the shared parental leave scheme in 2015. However, take up of the scheme has also been slow, with less than 2 percent of all UK fathers participating. These latest figures suggest that hundreds of thousands of men are not taking up their entitlement to paternity leave. In comparison with low rates of paternity leave, nearly treble the number of mothers (662,700) took maternity leave in 2017-2018, up from 661,000 in 2016/17. more…
August 8, 2018
A quarter (25 percent) of businesses currently employ staff from the EU but half (50 percent) of business leaders say they would be put off employing someone from the EU after the immigration laws change a new survey has claimed. A quarter (25 percent) are also concerned the recruitment process will become lengthier, and almost a fifth (19 percent) believe it will become more costly. The study by Blacks Solicitors also found business leaders in the UK don’t feel confident in communicating the forthcoming changes to employees’ rights during Brexit. A quarter (23 percent) revealed they feel underprepared, and a further 61 percent say they are worried about leaving the EU. more…
August 2, 2018
Employers should be required to publish a narrative and action plan under Gender Pay Gap reporting requirements, the inquiry on executive pay and the gender-pay gap by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee has recommended today. It has found that the requirements to publish data which came into force in April this year represents a ‘small but welcome step towards ensuring that women can make their fullest possible contribution in the workplace and to the economy’, but it calls for the Government to be more ambitious. Detailed statistics should be provided to aid analysis and organisations should explain what they are doing to tackle their gender pay gaps. Under the new rules employers would have to provide some narrative reporting alongside their gender pay statistics, with an action plan setting out how pay gaps are being and will be addressed, including objectives and targets. Subsequent reports would include progress against this action plan, including targets set. more…
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