Search Results for: childcare

Belief in a corporate wellness narrative is more important than action

Belief in a corporate wellness narrative is more important than action 0

Millais_Boyhood_of_RaleighThe complexities of wellness at work are laid bare in a new report from the US based pressure group Global Wellness Institute. The most eye-catching conclusion from The Future of Wellness at Work study is that it’s not actual wellness programmes that do most to boost worker health and productivity, but whether employees identify that company as ‘caring’. The report claims that ‘unwellness’ now costs the US around $2.2 trillion each year, equivalent to 12 percent of GDP.  The report is published alongside a white paper which lays out the findings from a survey of American employees. Unlocking the Power of Company Caring gauges how employees feel about their work culture and wellness programmes. The main finding of the two reports is that to understand what has the most powerful impact on employee wellness ‘you must look well beyond the wellness programme’ itself. Instead, the pivotal factor is whether an employee identifies their company as caring about their health and wellness.

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Families struggle for work life balance despite changing gender roles

Families struggle for work life balance despite changing gender roles 0

Flexible working fatherA new report published today by the charity Working Families and nursery provider Bright Horizons suggests that parents are at greater risk of burn out as they strive for work life balance, with fathers at increasing risk as a result of their changing roles and expectations. The Modern Families Index is an annual study that explores how working families manage their work-life balance. This year’s report claims that nearly half (42 percent) of Generation Y fathers (born after 1980) feel burnt out most or all of the time, compared to just 22 percent of Gen Xers aged 36 to 45 and 17 percent of baby boomers aged over 45. The report claims that a growing number of fathers are now facing the same challenges and life choices most commonly ascribed to mothers. The study found that in half (49 percent) of the 1,000 couples surveyed, both parents were working full time. The figure rose to 78 percent for those in their twenties or thirties.

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Dog-friendly offices more appealing to Millennials than play rooms

Dog-friendly offices more appealing to Millennials than play rooms 0

Dog in officeOnly a third of US workers believe that promotion offers the potential to advance their career with more than a third of all workers and 44 percent of Millennials preferring to jump ship if the right opportunity arises. Addison Group’s second annual generational workplace survey found that regardless of generation, healthcare benefits was most important benefit (70 percent), followed by a high salary (59 percent). However, Millennials would choose one company over another that paid a higher salary if free meals, beverages and snacks (40 percent) and tuition reimbursement (36 percent) were provided. Millennials also rank a dog-friendly office (14 percent) higher than a napping room, concierge services and a play room with ping pong, billiards and video games. They also value the social aspect of the workplace highly, with nearly twice as many (15 percent) marking work-sponsored happy hours as important compared to Baby Boomers (8 percent).

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Flexible working plea to support parents of younger school age children

Flexible working plea to support parents of younger school age children 0

Little Children Hands doing FingerpaintingAlthough workers with school age children may find things easier now that the summer holidays are drawing to a close, according to the TUC, there are new challenges ahead for the work-life balance of the estimated 400,000 working mothers whose children start primary school across England and Wales this September. Most primary schools in the UK operate a staggered start for children entering reception classes, with youngsters required to attend just for morning or afternoon sessions for the first few weeks and the union is calling on employers to be supportive of working parents and allow them to work flexibly to help manage their childcare over this period. Over half of the working mothers who took part in a joint poll by the Guardian and Netmums earlier this year had decided to take time out from work or go part time when their children started school.

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Flexible working key to counteracting female workers’ ‘baby shame’

Flexible working key to counteracting female workers’ ‘baby shame’ 0

Flexible working key to counteracting female workers' 'baby shame'Whether the gender pay gap is more of a motherhood gap is an ongoing debate, but now a new survey has found that when even planning to have children, one in five (18 percent) working women hide their family plans from their employers. In an interview with the BBC yesterday, Labour Party leader candidate Yvette Cooper revealed that when she took maternity leave from her ministerial job in 2001, there was no procedure in place and when she sought maternity leave a couple of years later, things were made very difficult for her. If that’s how a high powered government minister is treated then it is no wonder over half (58 percent) of women feel they would have to alter their career in order to have a child, and why three quarters feel flexible working which doesn’t leave women feeling ‘baby shame’ for working child friendly hours is essential.

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Majority of women do not feel they are discriminated against at work

Majority of women do not feel they are discriminated against at work

majority of womenThe overwhelming majority of women do not feel they face discrimination at work, according to a new report based on data from 170,000 UK workers. However, the study from the Great Place to Work Institute does identify a number of challenges that women face at work. The report – Women at work. Is it still a man’s world? – highlights the need for employers to pay closer attention to the specific differences between men and women’s experiences at work, rather than just focusing on overall results. The authors suggest that ‘this will help to identify and address any inequalities such as making pay and promotions more transparent and ensuring policies and practices are gender and age relevant’. The study makes clear that it is the combination of age and gender that presents the greatest challenges, especially in ensuring diversity in senior roles.

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Employee benefits policies still not family friendly, claims new report

Employee benefits fathersFewer than half (48 percent) of UK employers offer enhanced maternity pay to staff, claims a new study by Croner. According to the Croner reward employee benefits report, based on a survey of 127 employers, the most commonly offered enhanced scheme was 3 months leave at full pay. The research also found that fathers fare even worse with less than a third of firms offering paternity leave above the statutory minimum, with 62 percent offering full pay for a period of two weeks. Commenting on the findings, Viv Copeland of Croner says: “While some family friendly benefits such as flexible working and childcare vouchers have really grown in the last few years, the offer of enhanced maternity and paternity leave and pay still has a long way to go. The recent legislation around shared maternity/ paternity leave should bring some fresh thinking to this area from parents and employers alike.”

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Female empowerment within UK workforce on rise but too few in full time jobs

Women in work indexA strengthening economy has helped the UK to rise up to 14th position out of 27 OECD countries in PwC’s annual Women in Work Index, but it still lags well behind many other countries in overall female economic empowerment. The Nordic countries continue to lead the Index, with Norway maintaining pole position, followed by Denmark and Sweden. These three countries have consistently occupied the top three positions in the Index since 2000 and the reason is that they all have a much fairer balance between genders on managing work and family life. By comparison, although the UK is in the top 10 performing OECD countries on female participation in the labour force, this is negatively impacted due to the low proportion of women in full-time employment; suggesting that flexible working  is having a negative impact on many women’s career prospects.

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Employers and fathers increasingly keen on shared parental leave

shared parental leaveOver three quarters of employers welcome shared parental leave despite concerns about its complexity and implementation and many are considering adapting their policies in light of new legislation set to be introduced in April, according to a report from Workingmums.co.uk. The survey of over 400 employers found that 81 percent welcomed shared parental leave, with 19 percent saying they would find it difficult to implement. The report coincides with new data from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which found that more than half of Britons (53 percent) believe that childcare should be divided equally between mothers and fathers with men more likely than women to back shared parenting with 56 per cent in favour, compared to 50 per cent of women.

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Focus on the wellbeing of the occupants of the office, not that of the building

The design of the office has a big impact on health and wellbeingIf you ask a typical corporation about their real estate strategy you will most probably hear a lot about rationalisation, minimising cost and synergy. Real estate strategy should include all these but a cost-cutting approach can be very short-sighted. Staff costs usually account to about 90 per cent of the business operating cost, while any improvement in staff’s productivity will have a stronger and more positive outcome than any cost saving on a building. The recently released World Green Building Council (WGBC) report Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices developed with the support of JLL, Lend Lease and Skanska, clearly shows that the design of an office has a strong impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of its occupants. It describes the impact of acoustics, interior layout, look & feel, amenities, air quality, thermal comfort, location, daylight and user control on occupants. But it doesn’t stop there.

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Unions and employers call for greater uptake of flexible working

Flexible WorkingThe release of two new sets of employment data has prompted the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to issue separate rallying calls for the greater uptake of flexible working. Responding to a YouGov survey, which found that over two-fifths (42 percent) of UK workers would not feel comfortable asking their employer for more flexible working practices, the CBI called on firms to encourage and respond positively to such requests in both their own interests and those of employees. Meanwhile, the TUC used the publication of new figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed that under-employment remains at pre-recession levels and there remains a shortfall in the number of full-time job opportunities, to suggest that part of the solution to both problems lies in the promotion of flexible working rights.

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Employers unprepared for employee take-up of new flexible work rights

Employers unprepared for new flexible working rightsThe new Shared Parental Leave legislation comes into force next week (1 December), but according to a new report, employers are unprepared for the changes. The Workforce View 2014/15 – an annual barometer of the views and attitudes of UK workers and employers by ADP,  also indicates that employers have underestimated the likely level of interest amongst employees. More than one in five (21 per cent) HR Directors admitted they are not ready for the requirements of the legislation, while 70 per cent say they predict little or no interest from employees in the first 12 months. Yet when employees were asked their views, a third (33 per cent) of 16- to 34-year-olds said they anticipate taking advantage of it within the next five years. Shared parental leave is a new right that will enable eligible mothers, fathers, partners and adopters to choose how to share time off work after their child is born or placed. It will be an option for parents with a child due to be born on or after 5 April 2015. More →

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