Search Results for: diversity

Legal update – Employment Law changes ahead in 2014

Employment Law changes ahead in 2014

Some of the most hotly debated employment law issues from last year; including flexible working, workplace wellbeing and the contractual rights of employees look set to make more headlines this year, because 2014 is shaping up to be another year of significant change in UK employment law. While the timetable is subject to amendment, currently the Government is intending to introduce a number of revisions. The key employment law events and cases to watch out for in 2014 will include changes to TUPE, flexible working, flexible parental leave, employment tribunal procedures, redundancy consultation, Acas conciliation, calculation of holiday pay and post-employment victimisation;  which we list below in the date order in which they are proposed. More →

Commercial property sector must take a city scale view of retrofit projects

Commercial property needs to 'up its game' on urban retrofit

Some 70 per cent of commercial properties will still be standing in 2050, which is why retrofitting, or re-engineering, a city’s built environment and infrastructure is so essential. However, research led by Professor Tim Dixon of the University or Reading’s School of Construction Management and Engineering  has found that despite examples of ‘light touch’ retrofit (such as LED lighting, improved building services and building management systems), the rate of retrofit in the sector is low; being hampered by complexity, fragmentation and conservatism. And crucially, the commercial property sector does not take a city scale view of retrofit projects and so is ‘city-blind’ to retrofit opportunities, which is also slowing progress. More →

RIBA announces practices shortlisted for design of new HQ

66 Portland PlaceThe names of the six architectural practices shortlisted by RIBA to design the organisation’s new headquarters in London have been revealed. They are Ben Adams, Moxon, Piercy & Company, shedkm, Spacelab and Theis & Khan.  The new £2.7 million building will be located at 76 Portland Place just a few doors down from its current home (above). However it wouldn’t be normal for a trade association  to make this announcement without some sort of controversy or squabbling and sure enough the Architects Journal today makes reference in a report on the fuss that surrounded the minimum turnover requirements that led many to accuse RIBA of excluding smaller practices as well as accusations of a lack of diversity in the selection panel.

More law firms introducing flexible working, but progress remains slow

SisyphusWhen it comes to the adoption of flexible working, law firms have proved to be one of the more intransigent sectors in the UK. But there are signs of change with news that more firms in Scotland are embracing new working practices. A survey of 3,400 solicitors carried out by the Law Society of Scotland found an increasing number were making use of flexible working. The research shows that while the majority of respondents (77 percent) continue to work full time, two thirds are now allowed to work away from their main place of work although take-up remains sluggish with only a quarter doing so at least once a week. In marked contrast to other professions, around two thirds of respondents did not access emails and work files while away from the office.

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More women on UK boards welcomed, but business leaders urged to do more

More women on UK boards welcomed, but business leaders urged to do moreFemale representation on the UK’s top companies’ boards continues to increase according to new figures published today by the Professional Boards Forum (PBF). The statistics show that 19 per cent of directors are now female (up from 17.4% in May) and 24 per cent of board appointments since 1 March 2013 have been women. To meet the target of 25 per cent of board positions being held by women by 2015, as set out in the original report by Lord Davies published in February 2011, FTSE100 companies need to appoint 66 more female directors in the next two years. The news has been welcomed by business leaders and politicians who have resisted efforts by the EU to impose mandatory female quotas. More →

Winners announced for outstanding leadership in sustainable buildings awards

City Green Court

City Green Court building in Prague

British Land, Spanish city Vitoria-Gasteiz and the City Green Court building in Prague, Czech Republic, have clinched the top spots in the inaugural World Green Building Council Leadership Awards – Europe Region. The awards, which were announced to coincide with World Green Building Week 2013 – honour leadership and best practice in green building policy, construction projects and corporate initiatives. British Land won the category for Business Leadership in Sustainability; Vitoria-Gasteiz picked up the award for Leadership in City Policy for Green Building award; and office building City Green Court, topped the Leadership in Building Design and Performance category for its sustainability features. More →

EU Governments urged to maximise the potential of older workers

EU Governments urged to maximise the potential of older workers

The rise in the number of older workers in the UK has been well documented, and the reason is clear, they are a much needed resource. Over the next ten years there are 13.5 million job vacancies which need to be filled, but only seven million young people predicted to join the job market in that time. And the UK is not alone; the EU faces significant skills gaps due to demographic change. But according to a new International Longevity Centre –UK (ILC-UK) report, Working Longer: An EU perspective, supported by Prudential, EU countries urgently need to skill up the older workforce, support more older women in work and address the particular health issues associated with employing older workers. More →

BIFM publishes renewed guidance on creating an inclusive workplace

BIFM publishes renewed guidance on creating an inclusive workplace

The recent revelation that there are 2 million more over-50s in jobs than there were 15 years ago means that creating an inclusive workplace is more critical than ever. Access and inclusive design impacts on every aspect of facilities management, from strategic procurement and design of space, to appropriate selection of lighting, finishes and fittings, which is why the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) has now updated its Good Practice Guide (GPG) providing practical guidance for facilities management professionals on the issue. Inclusive Access, Disability and the Equality Act gives a summary of all the relevant legislative and regulatory changes and gives practical tips on achieving reasonable access for all. More →

London’s living wall designed to reduce flood risk and improve air quality

London's living wall designed to reduce flood risk and improve breathing

The UK’s largest living wall, designed to reduce urban flooding, has been unveiled in London’s Victoria district. Standing at 350 square metres with over 10,000 ferns, herbaceous plants and 16 tons of soil, the wall, at the Rubens at the Palace Hotel near Buckingham Palace reaches over 21 metres high. The wall’s unique design enables it to capture rainwater from the roof of the building in dedicated storage tanks. Flooding is a key environmental challenge in Victoria during periods of heavy rain, due to the low absorbency of urban surfaces. According to the Environment Agency, there are now around 534,000 properties in London on the Thames floodplain, and one in four in London are at risk of flooding. More →

UKIP quip that women not competitive enough for business obscures real debate

UKIP comment on women not competitive enough for business obscures real debate

The comment by UKIP treasurer Stuart Wheeler that women are not competitive enough to merit a place in the boardroom grabbed all of the headlines from an important debate on the introduction of gender quotas on City boards. The news broke on the same day that employment body the CIPD issued a warning that businesses will continue to lose talented female workers if they don’t offer them a better work-life balance.  With research showing that around half of female managers choose not to return to work following maternity leave, how far should employers be going to retain female talent and encourage workplace diversity, and does gender equality really require a legislative stick? More →

BIFM and DWP announce facilities management partnership agreement

LinkThe British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is building on its recent track record of building new alliances with the announcement that it has signed a partnership agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The partners claim the new agreement will see the BIFM and DWP working in unison to support future growth in the facilities and workplace management sector.  The agreement was signed at the end of last week by Mark Hoban MP, Minister of State for Employment, Gareth Tancred, CEO of BIFM and Martin Brown, Work Services Director for Wales and Employers, Department for Work and Pensions. The joint statement from the BIFM and DWP claims that the partnership agreement will drive ‘a shared agenda on increasing routes into and raising skills and professionalism of all those working in the facilities and workplace management industry’.

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British Land on track to meet targets on green building efficiency

British Land on track to meet sustainability targets

British Land says it is on track to meet many of its 2015 targets on managing buildings efficiently, developing sustainable buildings and reducing carbon emissions. In its Corporate Responsibility Report for 2013, the real estate investment trust, which owns and manages a portfolio of commercial property worth £16.4 billion reiterates its commitment to sustainable property management: “There are increasing indications to support our view that sustainability, and particularly energy efficiency, grow income and grow value in the longer term. We are convinced this will be proven over time. Green buildings are also less at risk of obsolescence, thus further protecting and growing capital value over the medium to long term.” More →