Search Results for: benefits

Self-employed would value receiving sick pay above other benefits

Self-employed would value receiving sick pay above other benefits 0

UK micro-business owners and freelancers would be more interested in receiving sick pay than any other statutory benefit, according to new research carried out in collaboration between cloud accounting software firm FreeAgent and The Freelancer & Contractor Services Association (FCSA). A poll of nearly 900 UK micro-business owners conducted by FreeAgent and FCSA claims that sick pay provision is the benefit that self-employed workers would most welcome, coming way ahead of other benefits such as maternity pay, job seekers allowance and pension auto-enrolment. The survey claims that 76 percent of respondents currently do not have any method of providing sick pay, maternity/paternity leave, holiday or redundancy pay in their business. Projected across the country’s 5.2 million-strong micro-business sector, this potentially equates to millions of people working without the same kind of basic entitlements that employed workers have. Notably, people’s appetites for additional benefits varied depending on the structure of their business with sole traders more likely to value benefits (rating sickness provision 8.7 out of 10) compared to those working through their own limited companies who gave a score of 6.4 out of 10 for sickness provision.

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Global lack of female leadership, despite benefits to companies’ performance

Global lack of female leadership, despite benefits to companies’ performance 0

Female leadership still not high around the world

Gender inequality remains high around the world – despite the fact that new research suggests how female leadership increases companies’ performance. A new report published by IZA World of Labor looks at the reasons for the persistence of wage and leadership gender gaps and their causes and consequences and emphasizes the beneficial role of female leaders in reducing gender inequality. The report claims that gender wage gaps and women’s under representation in leadership positions exist at remarkably similar magnitudes across countries at all levels of income per capita. In a new IZA World of Labor report the economist Mario Macis of Johns Hopkins University, USA summarizes recent research which shows that although women in many developed countries have reached parity with men in terms of formal educational attainment and employment, earning disparities between the genders are actually greater in richer countries.

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Small businesses failing to reap full benefits of digital skills

Small businesses failing to reap full benefits of digital skills 0

DigitalSmall businesses in the UK are failing to invest enough in digital skills even though there is clear link between digital orientation and commercial success, according to Lloyds Bank’s third annual Business Digital Index. The reports key finding is that firms with a string digital focus are twice as likely to see an increase in turnover than those that aren’t. The report also found that 65 percent of small business owners in the UK have already used digital tools to cut costs. On the down side, the study also found that 38 percent of small firms lack “basic digital skills”. The report claims that independent sole traders have the lowest levels of digital skills with around half having just basic levels of expertise. Despite this, over three quarters (78 percent) of these had no plans to invest to increase the levels of expertise in their business. The study gauged five factors that contribute to a firm’s digital skills score including managing information, communicating, transacting, creating and problem solving, with 62 percent of small businesses were found to have all five skills.

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Staff engagement boosted by learning opportunities over benefits

Staff engagement boosted by learning opportunities over benefits 0

Staff engagement

It is often assumed that salary, bonuses and office perks are essential to staff engagement as the most important criteria valued by employees, but a new survey suggests otherwise. Instead, the survey by totaljobs found that across all age groups and industries what people value far more than anything else is learning on the job, selected by almost all (97 percent) of 6,829 people questioned. Loyalty and variety in a role, valued by 93 percent of respondents, also came out strong, emphasising that for most people work is about a lot more than a pay check. The need to feel they are progressing, learning new things and the company appreciates their contribution were all important factors in how much people enjoy their jobs. The other things valued most by employees were  variety in a role (93 percent); working autonomously (68 percent); perks and benefits (67 percent) and structured teams (64 percent).

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Employees increasingly value health and wellbeing benefits

Employees increasingly value health and wellbeing benefits 0

wellbeing-packageEmployee benefits that help promote a healthy workforce are increasingly important when you consider that (perhaps unsurprisingly) 69.8 percent of employees say they felt less productive if they come into work whilst ill. But these benefits are increasingly as important to employees as an aide to productivity. A range of employee benefits are still a crucial recruitment and retention tool, with almost three quarters (69 percent) of employees saying they are more likely to stay with an employer that offers a good employee package compared with 66 percent in 2015. New research from the fourth annual Capita Employee Benefits Insight Report also reveals that 44.8 percent of respondents would judge an employer based on the quality of the health and wellbeing packages they offer. This is particularly valued by higher earners where nearly half (48.8) percent of employees earning over £45,000 a year said they would evaluate their employer or potential employer on the strength of their commitment to employee wellbeing.

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A well executed wellness strategy benefits staff and employers

A well executed wellness strategy benefits staff and employers 0

Wellbeing at workEmployee health and wellbeing is moving up the agenda of many companies. A recent report from the Reward and Employee Benefits Association (Reba) and Punter Southall Health & Protection found that a third of companies have a wellness strategy in place, with 80 per cent having introduced one in the last three years. Of the 70 per cent that don’t yet have a strategy, a third plan to implement one this year, a third plan to implement a plan in the next few years and the final third have it firmly on their wish list. This is driven by the fact that the UK is experiencing a major demographic change – in 2014 the average age of the population exceeded 40 for the first time. With the percentage of the total population over 60 predicted in a report from AgeUK to rise from 24.2 percent at present to over 29 percent in 2035, employers are beginning to wake up to the fact that wellness is good for staff and good for business.

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Many UK workers don’t think current employee benefits meet their needs

Many UK workers don’t think current employee benefits meet their needs 0

Flexible working guideA new study published to coincide with Smarter Working Day (today, apparently) claims that almost half of UK workers (48 percent) don’t think their current employee benefits package is tailored to their needs. The study of 1,000 UK workers published by payroll lending provider SalaryFinance claims that 38 percent of UK workers currently have access to flexible working although only 26 percent say they prefer the chance of flexible working to financial and psychological wellbeing benefits. Fewer than one in five (19 percent) currently have access to benefits designed to support mental wellbeing, such as counselling services, and only one in four (26 percent) receive financial wellbeing support from their employer. In contrast, one in three (32 percent) receive ad hoc incentives such as free lunches, birthday cakes and duvet days. With 58 percent of people saying that their employer has never asked for feedback on their benefits programme, employers could be falling out of touch with the needs of staff, claims the research.

Women (and men) don’t enjoy the full wellbeing benefits of flexible working

Women (and men) don’t enjoy the full wellbeing benefits of flexible working 0

WellbeingThere has been significant expansion of flexible working arrangements (FWAs) in the last two decades, driven to some degree by the work-life balance agenda. However, in practice work-life balance and flexible working continue to be viewed as a ‘women’s issue’, as women more often reduce hours or work part-time. But recent research conducted by my own department suggests that women working flexibly are not experiencing the potential wellbeing benefits when compared to men. Flexible working arrangements include part-time, flexi-time, job share and homeworking. Part-time accounts for approximately 40 percent of female employment and is the most common FWA used by women. Term-time working is also used predominantly by women, reflecting the typical gender roles regarding caring for school-aged children. Meanwhile, flexi-time remains the most common arrangement used by men, at around 19 percent.

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Women not reaping full wellbeing benefits of flexible working

Women not reaping full wellbeing benefits of flexible working 0

flexible working womanWorking flexible hours is associated with lower job satisfaction among women, but greater satisfaction among men, a new study claims. The research explores the impact of flexible working on job, leisure and life satisfaction and suggests that women are not experiencing the full benefits. According to Dr Daniel Wheatley, lecturer in Economics at Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University; the research suggests that while flexible working generates a number of benefits, working part-time or reduced hours has significant negative impacts on job satisfaction. He explains: “While some women are able to use reduced hours optimally, such as those working part-time following maternity leave, those using reduced hours for lengthier periods because of commitments such as childcare may feel trapped in ‘restrictive’ flexible employment. They may only be able to gain low skilled employment and may experience limitations in career progression.”

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UK in bottom four of European countries for workplace benefits

UK in bottom four of European countries for workplace benefits 0

UK economySocial benefits for people in the workplace in Europe are generally far more generous than in the US, but the UK is in the bottom four overall taking into account factors such as maternity and paternity leave, general parental leave, paid holiday allowance, paid sick leave and unemployment benefits. Only the Swiss, the Irish and the Americans have a more frugal government policy. According to a report by Glassdoor of 14 key European neighbouring economies, conducted in cooperation with Llewellyn Consulting, the countries offering the most generous workplace and welfare benefits overall are Denmark, France and Spain. In terms of paid annual leave, Sweden, France and Denmark all offer 25 working days a year as minimum –the highest entitlement. The UK is bunched towards the bottom again with the likes of Italy, Greece, Germany, Portugal and Switzerland – all offering the minimum 20 days.

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Active building design may have positive health benefits, claims study

Active building design may have positive health benefits, claims study 0

A study published this month in the journal Occupational Medicine suggests that buildings designed to promote active workstyles have a positive effect on the health of occupants. The research, led by Dr Lina Engelen of the University of Sydney, set out to explore whether an ‘active design’ office increased the physical activity, productivity and mindset of occupants. Although a small scale study with just 34 employees working in four locations at the University, the results suggested that people responded to the active design of the spaces by spending less time sitting and more standing and consequently reported lower levels of back pain. However, there was no improvement in productivity or physical activity. The research was based on 60 percent of people working in open plan areas, compared to just 16 percent before. Other studies have shown that sedentary work is linked to a wide range of ailments including heart disease.

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The benefits of peeling back the layers of the workplace onion

The benefits of peeling back the layers of the workplace onion 0

onionThe onion metaphor is normally used to describe the layers which must be peeled away to get to the all-important “core” of a problem or issue. The biggest question that is normally asked with respect to choosing office space based on the promise of improved productivity, is quantifying the value of the various initiatives that might be contemplated or proposed. I can’t help but think of how complex that question is due to the many “layers” there are to work through to get to a final quantifiable answer. In its most simple form the question of productivity in the workplace, is confined to how staff utilise their time to undertake the tasks or duties that correspond to expected output. But of course it is not only their use of time, but the environmental influences associated their environment, both in the workplace, its surroundings (the actual building and the precinct in which it is located) and their method of travel to the office.

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