Search Results for: employment

We need to stop talking about self-employment as a monocultural phenomenon

We need to stop talking about self-employment as a monocultural phenomenon

Self-employment has grown considerably in the UK over the past 15 years, now totalling around 4.8 million workers, or 15 per cent of the workforce. There is a debate about the extent to which this growth in self-employment is a positive development: some believe that it is a positive feature of an entrepreneurial and flexible economy, while others fear that it is increasing levels of precariousness. This is a difficult issue to address as there is great heterogeneity among the self-employed workforce. In order to shed light on this, IES undertook research for the Centre for Research on Self-Employment (CRSE) to divide the self-employed workforce into segments. The policy debate on self-employment has often been carried out on the assumption that there is some homogeneity among the self-employed workforce. However, this is far from the case, and it could be argued that diversity is increasing due to the growth of the so-called gig economy. In order to help clarify the debate, IES undertook research for the CRSE that aimed to achieve greater clarity in terms of the size and nature of the different segments of the self-employed workforce. The aim is that if the sector is better segmented, this will help policymakers to avoid taking a broad-brush approach to the treatment of self-employed workers.

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Five employment law milestones from the past year we need to remember in 2018

Five employment law milestones from the past year we need to remember in 2018

employment lawThe past twelve months have been an eventful period for employment law; from the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the rights of EU Nationals working in the UK, to the mounting attention on employee data protection as the GDPR edges ever closer. Issues of Employment Tribunal fees, holiday pay and the gig economy have similarly captivated headlines, and these significant milestones from the past 12 months are set to have a big impact on the challenges facing the sector into 2018. More →

New Government plan to address employment barriers for disabled people

New Government plan to address employment barriers for disabled people

New Government plan to address employment barriers for disabled people

The Government has announced a new 10-year strategy to address employment prospects for disabled people and people with health conditions. In response to its Work, Health & Disability Green Paper consultation which closed earlier this year, the White Paper, Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability sets out how the Government will work with employers, charities, healthcare providers and local authorities to break down employment barriers for disabled people and people with health conditions over the next decade. This will be delivered through in-work programmes, personalised financial and employment support, and specialist healthcare services. Currently, ill health that keeps people out of work costs the economy an estimated £100 billion a year, including £7 billion in costs to the NHS. Two new employment trials will also be launched in the West Midlands and Sheffield City Region combined authorities to provide employment support. The Government is also investing around £39 million to more than double the number of Employment Advisors in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services.

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Astonishing Uber employment case could lead to fresh battles over gig economy

Astonishing Uber employment case could lead to fresh battles over gig economy

The latest decision in an ongoing legal battle involving the ride-hailing app, Uber, could have serious consequences for companies which operate in the ‘gig economy’. The prolonged employment tribunal case first began in 2016 with a case bought by the GMB Union. Uber drivers James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam argued that the employment status they had been assigned by Uber – namely, ‘self-employed’ – was incorrect and that they should instead be classed as ‘workers’. The change in status would mean the pair were entitled to holiday pay, paid rest breaks and the minimum wage.

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Regional office property market benefits from growth in office based employment

Regional office property market benefits from growth in office based employment

GPU New Waverley offices in EdinburghStrong demand and a lack of supply is helping to boast the regional office rental market, according to Savills’ latest Regional Offices Market Watch. The firm anticipates that take-up will reach 9.8 million sq ft (910,450 sq m) by the end of 2017, a 4 percent increase on 2016 and 9 percent up on the 10 year average. This is due to a number of large Government Property Unit (GPU) deals completing in the second half of the year. As a result of strong demand, total availability across the UK fell by 1 percent to 30 million sq ft (2.787 million sq m) in the first half of the year, which equates to just 1.8 years worth of available Grade A supply. What’s more, Savills notes that office based employment across the regional cities is forecast to grow by up to 4.6 percent over the next five years, leading to a net additional 55,000 jobs, representing a need for a further 5 million sq ft (464,616 sq m) of office space.

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Growing numbers of people remain in employment past retirement age

Growing numbers of people remain in employment past retirement age

Both men and women are increasingly staying at work beyond the state pension age, UK government figures show. Data published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveals that the average retirement age for men has now risen to 65.1 and for women 63.6. Over a twenty year period, this marks an increase of around two years for men and nearly three years for women. In both cases the average retirement age is now higher than the state retirement age. Some 10 percent of over-65s are currently in employment, according to the DWP data. However, the data also suggests that men are still retiring at an earlier age than they were in the 1950s, which is the starting point for the study.

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Board buy-in is key to closing employment gap for disabled people in workplace

Board buy-in is key to closing employment gap for disabled people in workplace

Get board buy-in is key to improving disabled people's access to work

There continues to be a significant gap between the employment rate of disabled people and the rest of the population; according to the Office for National Statistics, just 49 percent of disabled people of working age are in employment. This is why getting genuine buy-in from the top is key to improving levels of disability disclosure and helping to facilitate requests for workplace adjustments. That was the conclusion of a recent round table hosted by the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) which also found that while some HR and diversity specialists are sceptical about the level of support available from senior leadership teams, once the topic is brought to the attention of the board, the response is often overwhelmingly positive. Practical ways in which leaders can bolster disability initiatives shared at the event include; identifying disability champions within the business who can communicate their own stories, implementing unconscious bias training, instigating & reverse-mentoring initiatives where senior managers are partnered with disabled colleagues and leading by example by being open about their own disabilities.

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Improved employment rights would boost number of gig workers claims PwC survey

Improved employment rights would boost number of gig workers claims PwC survey 0

While most workers favour full time employment, significant numbers of people would consider gig work and other flexible options such as zero hours contracts, according to a PwC survey of more than 2,000 UK adults. But key concerns remain job security, the ability to earn sufficient income and losing out on workplace benefits. The findings come ahead of the much anticipated Taylor Review into Modern Employment practices, expected this week. While 77 percent of the people surveyed prefer full time employment, 45 percent of the respondents would consider gig work (defined as short-term, casual work, typically organised or facilitated via mobile phone apps) or already work in this way. This number would rise if employment rights improved significantly, with two in five people saying it would make them more likely to take up gig work. Flexible options are most popular with ‘millennials’ – some 58 percent of 18-34 yr olds would consider taking gig work compared with 30 percent of those over 55. Likewise, while zero hours contracts would be considered by 35 percent of respondents overall, 45 percent of millennials say they would take a zero hours contract., falling to  just 24 percent of over 55s.

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Brexit bonfire unnecessary as employers back the UK’s existing employment rights

Brexit bonfire unnecessary as employers back the UK’s existing employment rights 0

No Brexit bonfire

UK employers do not believe a bonfire of employment law is necessary under Brexit, as negotiations over the country’s departure from the EU begin. According to new research by the CIPD and the employment law firm Lewis Silkin, employers back the UK’s existing employment rights framework with all twenty eight areas of employment law rated as necessary by a majority of employers. In the survey of more than 500 employers, organisations were asked whether they viewed more than twenty different aspects of employment law as necessary or not. The list included unfair dismissal laws, rated as necessary by 93 percent of businesses, as well as national minimum wage (87 percent), parental rights at work (82 percent), agency workers laws (75 percent) and the Working Time Regulations (74 percent). The research, which looked at a wide variety of employment laws and practices, also found more than half (52 percent) of employers go beyond the legal minimum requirements when implementing employment law.

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Many workers believe AI and automation will increase employment and flexible working

Many workers believe AI and automation will increase employment and flexible working 0

A new study from Adecco suggests that a large number of employees have a generally positive attitude towards technology in the workplace with many seeing it as increasing employment opportunities and nearly half believing that the advent of artificial intelligence and automation will enable a greater uptake in levels of flexible working. According to the Humans vs Robots report, two-thirds (65 percent) of employees believe that overall, technology has actually increased the number of jobs available to them, 54 percent believe that advances in technology will continue to create more jobs than it destroys over the next decade, 48 percent think AI will positively benefit them, by helping them to work more flexibly and a large majority of workers (87 percent) think that computers will make their role easier within the next ten years

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UK lags behind international competitors in key employment skills, warns CIPD

UK lags behind international competitors in key employment skills, warns CIPD 0

As the country gears up for another general election, the CIPD warns today that the UK lags well behind its competitors in Europe and much of the OECD in literacy and numeracy, learning and development, and digital skills. According to the new analysis, this is largely due to the fact that UK employers train less and invest less in skills than most other EU countries. In its report – From ‘inadequate’ to ‘outstanding’: making the UK’s skills system world class’ – the CIPD warns that the UK is sleepwalking into a low-value, low-skills economy which leaves the nation ill-prepared for its post-Brexit future, particularly if the UK is to face restrictions on accessing talent from outside of the UK. The HR body is urging the Government to make funding available to tackle the problem in the workplace. The analysis, which forms part of the CIPD’s formal response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, highlights multiple failings in the UK.

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Over three quarters of workers prefer traditional employment to the gig economy

Over three quarters of workers prefer traditional employment to the gig economy 0

Much has been written about the inexorable rise of the gig economy. However, a new survey from jobsite Glassdoor, claims that only 13 per cent of workers across all employment types would even consider this route for future employment, and the vast majority of employees (76 percent) feel more secure sticking to permanent employment in 2017. As with any work arrangement, using temporary or “gig” workers has both benefits and drawbacks when set against traditional employment.

The survey suggests that the major perceived benefit is flexibility, both for job seekers and employers. When asked the question, “What do you think would be the biggest advantage of working in the gig economy?”, most (35 percent) of employees selected  “flexible working”, followed by “better work-life balance” (11 per cent) and the ability to “be my own boss” (10 percent). Furthermore, 39 percent of female employees feel that the biggest advantage of working in the gig economy would be the flexible working, compared to just 31 percent of men. However, 73 percent of women also reported they already enjoy a good work-life balance in their current roles.

Salaries and benefits remain the most important workplace factors for both men (56 percent) and women (63 percent), something which is typically less stable in gig or contract work.

Gig employment for task-based jobs like car rides, accommodation rentals, and food deliveries are all now mainstream services. Glassdoor’s previous research for the US labour market suggests a slowdown for gig work in 2017, especially as job seekers weigh the pros and cons of this employment type. This new UK survey finds that only 12 per cent of those already self-employed feel they would earn more if they left a job to take on work which paid “per activity” (rather than an annual salary), with 21 per cent of those in full time work feeling the same. On a wider level, just one in ten of all respondents across all forms of employment believe that the gig economy would become the “future of work,” with double that amount (20 per cent) feeling it actually exploited workers and harmed employees’ rights.

In terms of job generation, only 13 per cent of all respondents predict that the gig economy would be a good way to reduce unemployment and create jobs in the future. When broken down by gender, nearly a third of women (31 per cent) feel that the gig economy would only ever be for a “limited number of workers” and was not accessible across a “wide range of roles”. This was opposed to just a quarter of men.

The millennial generation of employees has been labelled as the group who will structure and shape the way we work in coming years. However, only 10 per cent of 18-24 and 9 per cent of 25-34 year olds are of the opinion that the gig economy will eventually become the “future of work.”

Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s Chief Economist said: “The gig economy may be associated with prodigious growth of app-based taxi rides and food delivery, however, as we’ve already witnessed in the U.S., the impact on the UK workforce could remain minimal in the longer term.

“The main reason is size. Although many ride-sharing and travel platforms have popped up in recent years, they’re still confined to a small corner of the workforce. Further, gig roles only really work for relatively simple jobs that are easy to measure, don’t require deep institutional knowledge, and don’t rely on long-term relationships. The majority of the fastest growing jobs in the labour market today require human creativity, flexibility, judgment, and soft skills. For some jobs, the UK gig economy is here to stay. But don’t expect the majority of the workforce to be part-time contractors any time soon.”

Image: Jack Lemmon finally gets a corner office in The Apartment

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