Search Results for: self employed

Considerable minority of working women report gender discrimination

Considerable minority of working women report gender discrimination 0

Female equalityWhether the new Shadow Cabinet is or isn’t representative of women (there are no women in senior roles on the Labour front bench, but half of the total posts went to women) was a major talking point about the new Labour Party line-up yesterday. Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, despite numerous policy and cultural efforts in recent decades to break corporate glass ceilings, integrate women in traditionally male-dominated fields and shine a spotlight on pay equity and advancement, a considerable minority of working women report feeling they have been discriminated against at some point in their career. Gallup’s Work and Education survey found 17 percent of working women believed they had been denied a raise at work because of their gender and 12 percent of women say they have been passed over for a promotion or other opportunity because of their gender at some point in their life.

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Quarter of workers want flexible contracts when they reach retirement age

Quarter of workers want flexible contracts when they reach retirement age

Quarter of UK workers expect flexible contracts past traditional retirement age A quarter (28 percent) of UK workers expect their employer to create a part-time or flexible role for them once they reach the state pension age, according to new research from Aegon. Workers in healthcare (40 percent) administrative (31 percent) and engineering and manufacturing sectors (32 percent) are most likely to expect their employer to create a flexible role for them, while those in the creative arts and design sector (32 percent) are more likely to become self-employed and start up their own business. Nearly two thirds (61 percent) are planning to carry on working if they haven’t saved enough by the time they hit their target retirement age; with more than one in three (36 percent) planning to continue working in their current role until they have enough saved; while one in ten (9 percent) expect to become self-employed.

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Three reasons why National Work From Home Day has it all wrong

Three reasons why National Work From Home Day has it all wrong

Last Friday was National Work From Home Day in the UK. Each year, the TUC and organisers Work Wise seem to take this as an opportunity to analyse data about the uptake of flexible working and arrive at the wrong conclusions. This year, its analysis of the ONS Labour Force Survey found that the number of people regularly working from home had increased by more than 800,000 since 2005, taking the total to over 4.2 million. These are solid enough data, but what are we to make of TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady’s conclusion that: “these figures show millions of British workers have adopted homeworking and are enjoying a better work-life balance, while saving time and money on costly commuting that benefits no-one”? There are several reasons to suggest that he’s got that wrong to a large extent.

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Flexible working and recognition linked to happiness at work

happiness at workThe eternal quest for happiness is the subject of two new reports which conclude that if you want to feel more satisfied with your working life, it’s important to feel as if you are in control of it. New research from Professor Andy Charlwood at Loughborough University claims that government and employer policies that give people greater flexibility to choose the hours they work helps to foster their wellbeing and that overworked people are less satisfied with their lives and experience lower levels of psychological wellbeing overall. A second, less scientific study commissioned by US software provider InLoox claims that one of the most important determinants of happiness at work is an ability to work unsupervised or not to report to anybody at all so, if you must have a job, make sure you’re in charge.

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Multi generational workplace could boost economy by £25 billion

mult generational workplaceThe Government has published a new report which describes the challenges faced by the UK’s over 50s in the workplace and sets out ways in which more of them can stay or move into work. The report is the culmination of eight months’ work by a team led by the Government’s ‘ageism tsar’ Ros Altmann and highlights why action is needed based primarily on the twin issues of demographic change and increasing life expectancy. The report, Retain, Retrain, Recruit, recommends action that would help older workers thrive and ensure individuals, industry and the economy can reap the financial and social benefits of a multi generational workplace. The report outlines how businesses could recruit more older workers, retrain existing staff and provide greater flexibility to retain them as well as setting out measures that should be taken to reflect the multi generational workforce in the media and policy making.

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Two new reports highlight potential benefits of flexible working for women

flexible working womenTwo new reports published this week highlight the potential benefits of flexible working for both employers and staff, especially women. According to a Workingmums.co.uk Best Practice Report, only 36 percent of employers have a flexible working policy despite over half thinking it improves retention, particularly of women, and over a third saying it makes people more efficient. Meanwhile, a study from the TUC claims that around half of the net growth in female employment in 2014 came from women moving in to lower-paid part-time jobs. The analysis claims that while full-time employment accounted for all of the net growth in male employment last year, for women full-time employment accounted for just 47 per cent of net female jobs growth. The TUC also claims that women who moved into part-time jobs during 2014 were typically employed on much lower rates of pay than those in full-time work.

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Majority of UK workers concerned about their ability to retire

Man-with-empty-pockets-006A new report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development claims that the majority of UK workers are concerned that their current pension arrangements won’t allow them to retire. It found that the average employee pension contribution to a workplace-defined contribution pension scheme is currently 5 percent, but most employees think they should be saving almost double that (9 percent). Four in ten (43 percent) think they should be contributing more than 10 percent of their salary to their retirement savings and almost a quarter (22 percent) admitted they didn’t know how much they should be contributing. The shortfall between what employees are paying in and what they think they should be paying is highlighted by the fact that over half of UK workers have considered how they might work past state pension age and one in ten people (13 percent) are worried that they will never be able to afford to leave paid employment.

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This isn’t a golden era for small business; it’s more interesting than that

small businessesYesterday, the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Advisor Lord Young produced a report into the key trends experienced by the UK’s small businesses over the past five years. According to the headline figures presented by the report, this is a ‘golden era’ for small businesses in the UK, with a record number of small firms in the country. The reported 5.2 million small firms represents an increase of 760,000 over the five year period covered by the study. The report concludes that the main drivers of this upsurge are the growing belief people have in their own ideas and abilities coupled with the technological wherewithal to make them a commercial reality. Lord Young also claims the Government deserves some credit for providing the business landscape for this to happen. But is it really that simple?

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Regus opens first dedicated drop-in office on the M6 motorway

New dedicated drop-in office on M6 motorwayA new dedicated drop-in office has been opened by Regus at Sandbach South motorway service area on the M6 motorway this week. With previous research commissioned by the serviced workspace provider revealing that two fifths of mobile workers had dialled into conference calls whilst driving; dedicated workplaces at motorway service areas are intended to help combat the problem by offering a convenient place to stop off and work, for a few minutes or a few hours. The new drop-in offices will be followed by further Regus Express launches before Christmas at Strensham North (M5), Watford Gap (M1), Chester (M56) and Norton Canes (M6 Toll). The facilities will each feature a drop-in business lounge and high-specification meeting rooms available by the hour and are aimed at attracting those wanting to hold out-of-town meetings and self-employed people seeking an occasional alternative to the home office.

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EU institutions are not implementing their own green building policies

Green building at the EUAccording to a report on EU news site euractiv.com, the various institutions of the European Union have been ‘unambitious’ in terms of delivering energy efficiency as part of their own buildings strategies. That is the key finding of a new study from the European Court of Auditors. which claims that green building standards and initiatives developed and promoted by the EU are not consistently employed for new buildings or as part of major renovation projects carried out by bodies such as the European Commission, European Parliament, EU Council and other institutions. The special report reveals shortcomings in the approach of these bodies, calls on the EU Commission to propose a common policy for reducing the carbon footprint of EU institutions and bodies and proposes the setting of an overall reduction target for greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030. The report claims that it is through the design processes of a new building, or for a major renovation, that the greatest impact can be made on its energy performance and this should be the focus of its proposed new approach.

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Yet another report into the Future of Work that is really about the present

Future of WorkJust a few days ago, a survey from Morgan Lovell and the British Council for Offices highlighted the value British workers placed on having somewhere to work, regardless of its drawbacks, privations and distractions. Now a new report from consultants PwC seems to draw the opposite conclusion. Heralded by predictably tedious headlines declaring the office to be dead or dying, The Future of Work: A Journey to 2022 claims that a quarter of the 10,000 people surveyed believe the traditional job will disappear and around a fifth claim to have already had enough of the 9 to 5 in a fixed physical space and would prefer to work in a ‘virtual place’ – which seems to mean anywhere with WiFi.  As ever, any report addressing ‘The Future of Work’ is primarily and perhaps unwittingly about the present.

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Three ways in which politicians display their ignorance of the workplace

Workplace bubbleThe recent Cabinet reshuffle in the UK Government won’t alter one fact; politicians simply don’t get it when it comes to technology, the workplace, the way people work and the needs of small businesses. Once you dismiss the paranoid idea that they DO get it but don’t care because they’re too busy looking out for The Man, you have to conclude that one of the big problems they have (this won’t go where you think) is that they don’t understand anything about technology and work, especially when it comes to emerging technology, the working lives of individuals, the needs and functions of small businesses and the fact the self-employed exist at all. These things exist outside the bubble. This is obviously a problem because they are implementing policies and making big, uninformed and anachronistic decisions about the things that shape every aspect of our lives, help to define us as people and determine how companies and individuals function. Here are just three examples.

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