Search Results for: childcare

Queen’s Speech was light on employment legislation, but don’t forget flexible work changes

Queen's Speech light on legislation, with flexible working biggest change aheadThis year’s Queen’s Speech was the last before the 2015 general election and included a relatively light legislative programme of just 11 new bills. Some of the key employment changes being proposed include changes to childcare, the national minimum wage, and zero-hours contracts. But in fact a key development which was not included in the Queen’s Speech, and yet could have the most pronounced effect on employers is the extension of the right to request flexible working. From 30 June 2014, employees with at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment will be able to make a request for flexible working for any reason under the new statutory scheme. The procedure to be followed will be far less prescriptive than that currently in force and will place more onuson the employer to consider the request and any alternatives to the proposed request. More →

Flexible working mothers often resented by colleagues and worry about career

TightropeWorking women who are offered flexibility to help them balance their jobs and childcare are often resented by their colleagues, according to a new report from  campaign group Opportunity Now. The survey of 25,000 working women aged between 28 and 40 found that two thirds of those surveyed believe they are expected to work longer hours than mothers. Conversely, working mothers are often perceived by their colleagues as less committed according to around half of respondents and there was a general feeling across all those surveyed that flexible working can be detrimental to careers. The report is the latest which highlights the problems many people encounter in working flexibly as a way of achieving a work-life balance.

More →

After the deluge: wading through the floods of employment issues

The Deluge by John MartinThe recent downpours have resulted in the flooding of many businesses. At the same time, employees are struggling to get into work due to their own homes being flooded or the closure of transport links. The problems which arise due to the closure of the workplace are rather different from the challenges of dealing with employees who can’t get to work, but both should be handled carefully.  Where the business itself has closed due to adverse weather an employer can ask its employees to work from home or, if alternative premises are available employees may be asked to transfer to the different premises until their place of work is restored. Where the employer has an express clause in the contracts of employment entitling it to make such requests, the employer can insist on the employee’s co-operation. More →

Why do we bother going to work? Good question.

CommutingWhile the UK Government continues to explore new ways of getting people back to work more quickly following (or even during) illness, there are a number of counterpart questions that they continue to fastidiously ignore, one of which is ‘why bother?’. We might all ask ourselves that from time to time, whether petulantly or as a pressure-relieving alternative to ramming a co-worker’s head through a window or a laptop in a dumpster. But there are also reasons to raise the question coldly, rationally and with full awareness of all the facts, not least when it comes to assessing the increasing cost of going to work in the first place. Put simply, for many people it makes little or no financial sense to go to work.

More →

New data suggests parents are frustrated at lack of flexible working

No entryFollowing last week’s revelation that the planned extension of Flexible Working Rights to all UK employees would be delayed beyond the proposed implementation date in April, new statistics released by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and a new report from the Working Families charity have revealed some of the disparities that exist in flexible working arrangements across the country. The Working Families survey of a little over 1,000 adults with dependent children, found that almost a third claim there are no flexible arrangements on offer where they work, leading many to feel resentful against their employers, with young fathers twice as likely to strongly resent the lack of flexible working affects their lives.

More →

Zero hours contracts: Are they really such bad news?

Zero hours contracts

Zero hours contracts have hardly been out of the news in recent weeks. The overwhelming majority of the media coverage has been negative, suggesting that zero hours contracts are exploitative of workers and should be outlawed. The pressure gauge has risen to such an extent that, in September, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced that there would be a consultation process to tackle any abuse discovered. The Labour Party has also announced it will be conducting its own review. But why all this sudden interest? Zero hours contracts are not a new phenomenon… and, on the face of it, they provide employers with the type of flexibility which the Government has been so keen to introduce, allowing employers to maintain a flexible workforce capable of meeting short-term staffing needs.  More →

Time to apply flexible working to harness women’s untapped potential

Recommendations made on how to harness women's untapped potential in the workplace

Encouraging flexible working and understanding how best to support working parents in the second stage of their career is just one of the findings of a major report published today by the Women’s Business Council (WBC) on improving women’s contribution to economic growth. The WBC, which is chaired by Ruby McGregor Smith CBE, chief executive of MITIE, is an independent working group established by the government in 2012 to explore the untapped potential of the female workforce. Maximising women’s contribution to future economic growth looks into addressing the obstacles at all stages of women’s careers, such as broadening career choices, helping to access childcare and providing the necessary skills to start new businesses. More →

Survey into UK culture of overwork highlights need for better worklife balance

UK culture of overwork highlights need for better worklife balance

A new study is published today which reveals how the UK’s long hour-culture is damaging family life, causing high stress levels, cutting time spent with loved ones and creating an inability to switch off from work. A survey of more than 1,000 working parents throughout the UK, commissioned by health cash plan provider Medicash, found that 83 per cent of working parents feel guilty about the amount of time they spend working, with 50 per cent saying it has a negative impact on relationships with their children, and almost half (45.9%), saying it caused problems in their relationship with their partner and caused them to neglect friends (25%).

More →

Translate >>