Legislation and regulation
March 27, 2018
The Australian Fair Work Commission has ruled that all employees, including part time and temporary staff, will be entitled to five days of unpaid leave if they are affected by family or domestic violence, if they “need to do something to deal with the impact of family and domestic violence and it is impractical for them to do this outside of their ordinary hours of work”. The Fair Work Commission said that over the past year it had held a number of consultations to help it consider the most appropriate and balanced term for the new domestic violence leave entitlement. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) had suggested a number of possible models to the Commission, including the provision of 10 days of paid domestic violence leave for all employees. However, the Commission confirmed this week that a standard of five days leave is a “fair and relevant safety net entitlement”, adding that it has taken a “cautious regulatory response to this issue.”
March 26, 2018
A new survey that confirms the ongoing gender pay gap with stats that show men are paid 42 percent more than women after ten years in workforce, goes on to suggest that the reason is not just to do with a lack of diversity but the attitude of women moving up the corporate ladder. The report from Adzuna claims that British men are significantly more confident than women in furthering their career. The career progression confidence gap between the genders widens greatest with those who have more than ten years’ experience in the workplace, with men twice more likely than women to hold a top job. The research analysed 500,000 CVs submitted through Adzuna’s ValueMyCV tool, comparing the gender and estimated pay grade with number of years’ experience in each respective industry. The research also highlights a disparity in the average salary commanded by men and women for the same position with the same number of years in experience.
March 16, 2018
The challenge to achieve gender equality at work isn’t made any easier by the attitudes of some employers. Although men increasingly want to be more present at home, currently fathers are twice as likely as mothers to have their requests for flexible working turned down. This means their work-life balance is increasingly a source of stress. For this reason a new survey is being launched to look at men’s roles at home and work with the hope that the results will support employers to help men take up more equal caring roles.The Equal Lives project, launched by Business in the Community in partnership with Santander UK, aims to highlight the issues men face when managing responsibilities at work and home and identify workplace practices and policies to help employers retain skilled male and female employees. The study is open to all men in work over 18, regardless of whether they have people who depend on them for their wellbeing. It is also open to women in work, but only those with care responsibilities.
March 9, 2018
The built environment still has some way to go to achieve gender parity a new report suggests, as women in construction are paid up to 45 percent less than men and are three times more likely to miss out on promotion than men due to perceived gender discrimination. According to the survey by Randstad of more than 5,500 construction workers and 540 employers across all job functions and levels – 75 percent of those passed over for a more senior role were women compared to 25 percent men. The findings suggests women in the industry typically are not being given the same opportunities to progress as their male counterparts even though almost every respondent (93 percent) said having a female manager either wouldn’t affect their way of working or would in fact have a positive impact. More →
March 2, 2018
Anyone who works in employment law or HR is certainly living through interesting times. With the removal of employment tribunal fees, litigation over the correct calculation of holiday pay and Brexit planning there is much to keep us busy. In addition, In addition, the impending GDPR is highly topical. However, for me, the most intellectually stimulating but also practically difficult area to advise on often remains employment status. Put simply, the law is out of date. Legislation drafted in the 1990s, and to some extent based on cases from much earlier, simply does not cut it in an increasingly flexible and developing work place.
March 1, 2018
Over a third of UK employees (37 percent) have felt discriminated against in the workplace, more than one in ten (12 percent) believe they have suffered age discrimination and 8 percent feel they’ve been discriminated against due to their gender. This rises to 11 percent amongst women, claims a new study of 1,300 working adults by ADP. The study also suggests that standards and perceptions of behaviour have shifted across the generations, with those in so-called ‘Generation Snowflake’ more sensitive to unfair treatment than their more mature colleagues. According to the findings, half (50 percent) of those under 35 say they have felt discriminated against, compared to just a quarter (26 percent) of those over the age of 45. The contrast is visible across both age (15 percent vs 14 percent), gender (11 percent vs 5 percent) and other types of discrimination.
February 12, 2018
A new government campaigned launched today encourages more parents to take up the offer of Shared Parental Leave in their child’s first year. The workplace right for eligible parents allows them to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after having a baby. They can take time off separately or they can be at home together for up to 6 months. Around 285,000 couples every year are eligible but take up could be as low as 2 percent, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and around half of the general public are unaware that the option exists for parents.
January 30, 2018
Over 2.5 million UK workers are unaware of their employer’s policy on statutory sick pay and would face a significant salary shortfall if they were unwell and unable to work, claims new research from Direct Line. Just 4 percent of employees know how much they would be paid in statutory sick pay if they fell ill and many mistakenly believe that on average they would receive full salary for three and a half months if they were unable to work due to illness. In fact, 43 percent of firms reduce an employee’s wages to statutory sick pay after two weeks of an employee being off sick and one in six firms reduce wages to statutory sick pay after just four days. It is not only salaries people lose out on if they are off sick; one in five (21 percent) firms that pay bonuses withhold these if an employee has been off work on long term sick leave. More than a third of firms (33 percent) will pay bonuses based on pro-rata analysis of days worked and 14 per cent will pay a discretionary reduced rate.
January 25, 2018
More than four in five (85 percent) of women and 80 percent of men report that they have witnessed gender-discriminatory acts at work suggests the results of new research by the Chartered Management Institute. The CMI’s latest report ‘A Blueprint for Balance: time to fix the broken windows’ looks into gender diversity best practices, and found patchy results. Despite some leading exemplars, the majority of organisations are still struggling to make a meaningful difference to achieving a gender balanced workplace. According to the report’s survey of 856 managers, just one in four (25 percent) say that their peers and senior leaders ‘actively and visibly champion gender initiatives’. The lack of action cascades down the ranks, with only 19 percent of junior and middle managers believing their senior leaders are committed to the target of gender balance in their organisations. This is in spite of a recent study by management consultants McKinsey that found globally the most gender diverse businesses are 21 percent more likely to financially over-perform than their peers.
January 23, 2018
The UK has been ranked as the eighth best country in the world for the ability to attract, retain, train and educate skilled workers, but while its ability to leverage diversity for talent competitiveness is boosted by its global knowledge skills – the UK is undermined by its weaker performance on tolerance and gender equality. According to the Global Talent Competitiveness Index GTCI) produced by the Adecco Group, with international business school INSEAD and Tata Communications, the UK has a particularly strong pool of global knowledge skills, a variable for which it is ranked third in the index boosted further by its strong regulatory, market and business landscape. But this is undermined by its internal openness, where it still lags behind, especially when it comes to gender equality. The report also suggests that although Article 50 was triggered in 2017, the ongoing negotiations and continuing lack of clarity over the UK’s position once it leaves the European Union in 2019, means the impact of Brexit is not yet clear.
December 20, 2017
There is little evidence that the pay squeeze will end soon, with only falling inflation likely to lead to meaningful wage increases next year. This is according to a CIPD analysis, which predicts that 2018 will see pay, productivity and migration top the agenda as the UK looks ahead to its exit from the European Union. It adds that the UK workforce could tighten, and with increased constraints on labour supply, 2018 could be the year that the UK finally runs out of people to fill jobs, despite unemployment levels being unlikely to see much change. There are also indications there will be no improvement in productivity, with continued stagnation in UK productivity, which will remain well below pre-crash levels. In the CIPD’s annual labour market predictions, Ian Brinkley, Acting Chief Economist, anticipates a flattening of employment growth and weak pay growth as the UK continues to struggle with its productivity problem.
December 19, 2017
Just over half (51 percent) of firms across the UK will grow their workforce in the year ahead, with confidence highest amongst small and mid-sized firms (58 percent) according to the latest CBI/Pertemps Network Group Employment Trends Survey. But the survey warns that delivering further jobs growth depends on businesses being confident they can remain competitive if they choose to base staff in the UK. Nearly two thirds (63 percent) currently believe that changes in the UK labour market will contribute to Britain becoming a less attractive place to invest and do business over the next five years – up from 50 percent last year and 25 percent in 2015. Skills gaps were the single most prominent worry facing firms, with nearly four in five (79 percent) respondents highlighting this as a worry – up from 64 percent in 2016. Access to overseas workers is a big contributor to this, with nearly half of respondents (49 percent) identifying uncertain access to labour supply – up from 35 percent in 2016 as a concern.