Search Results for: employment

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

Brexit should be a chance for the UK to enshrine employment rights

Brexit should be a chance for the UK to enshrine employment rights 0

Exploitative employment contracts continue to receive widespread media attention – from shaming the businesses who use them, to prompting questions regarding workers’ rights in Parliament. In light of the Prime Minister officially signing Article 50, to trigger the formal start of the Brexit negotiation period, now is a good time to consider how this will affect the UK’s tarnished relationship with zero-hours contracts? Zero-hours contracts, and their equivalents, are demeaning policies, often backed-up by capricious management practices. They are non-negotiable, offering draconian flexibility in numerical, temporal and spatial terms and conditions.  But would continuing with EU membership have made a difference? The evidence reveals otherwise.

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People’s wellbeing never fully bounces back from unemployment, claims study

People’s wellbeing never fully bounces back from unemployment, claims study 0

unemployment and wellbeingLosing a job creates a ‘new normal’ for personal wellbeing that never goes back to previous levels, a new international study claims. Unemployment is damaging to people’s wellbeing regardless of their age, gender, level of education, ethnicity or region. The new study, co-authored by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing and the University of East Anglia, looked at the impact of unemployment across a number of countries and found that joblessness tops even divorce or widowhood in its impact on our life satisfaction. The evidence also suggests people never adapt fully to unemployment. The longitudinal study of 24,000 people found on average that individuals had lower life satisfaction following unemployment and this never recovered to the pre-unemployment levels. These results applied to men and women, but the effects were found to be stronger for men. Men also were found to be happier than women once in a new job. The type of work is also important with temporary jobs proving worse than permanent work.

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1.3m people mainly choose to work in gig economy, but want basic employment rights

1.3m people mainly choose to work in gig economy, but want basic employment rights 0

Gig economy workers want basic employment rightsGig economy workers are as likely to be satisfied with their work as workers in traditional employment, according to a major new survey published today by the CIPD which provides the first robust estimate of the size of the gig economy. Currently, 4 percent of UK working adults aged between 18 and 70 are working in the ‘gig economy’, which means approximately 1.3 million people are engaged in ‘gig work’ according to ‘To gig or not to gig: Stories from the modern. The report, which is based on a survey of 400 gig economy workers and more than 2,000 other workers, as well as 15 in-depth interviews with gig economy workers found that nearly two-thirds (63 percent) believe the Government should regulate to guarantee them basic employment rights and benefits such as holiday pay. But the research also found that, contrary to much of the rhetoric, just 14 percent of respondents said they did gig work because they could not find alternative employment.

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New Acas guidance on gig economy working and employment status rights

New Acas guidance on gig economy working and employment status rights 0

New guidance published on gig economy workingNew and updated guidance s being published today by Acas to help employers and their staff understand the many different types of employment arrangements that exist in the modern workplace and their legal entitlements. The revised guidance is released against the backdrop of Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society of the Arts) review which considers the implications of new forms of work driven by digital platforms, for employee rights and responsibilities, employer freedoms and obligations, and the existing regulatory framework surrounding employment. The new Acas guidance reflects these changes to the way in which people work, are expected to work in the future, and follows recent legal cases about employment status; including the Pimlico Plumber and Uber decisions.

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We need to rethink everything we know about self-employment and the gig economy

We need to rethink everything we know about self-employment and the gig economy 0

The rise in self-employment is being led by workers in relatively ‘privileged’ high-skilled, higher-paying sectors such as advertising and banking rather than the gig economy. Their considerable tax advantages over employees, rather than new technology and the gig economy, are central to the rapid growth in self-employment, according to a new analysis published by the Resolution Foundation. Self-employed workers in the larger but slower growing ‘precarious’ sectors that have dominated the recent public debate, enjoy a much lower tax advantages over employees but still miss out on important pay and employment rights. The analysis shows that 60 per cent of the growth in self-employment since 2009 has been in ‘privileged’ sectors, despite them making up just 40 per cent of the self-employed. The fastest growing sectors have been advertising (100 per cent growth), public administration (90 per cent), and banking (60 per cent). The remaining 40 per cent of the growth in self-employment has come in more ‘precarious’ sectors, such as construction and cleaning. The Foundation notes that despite the focus on Uber in recent years, the sector that includes taxis is actually only up 7 per cent since 2009, a third of the 22 per cent growth in self-employment up as a whole.

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UK employment rises to record levels (and productivity is up too)

UK employment rises to record levels (and productivity is up too) 0

The UK’s employment rate rose to 74.6 per cent in the final three months of last year, the highest rate recorded since data started being collected in 1971, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics published today. The data also showed that UK productivity grew by 0.3 percent in Quarter 4 of 2016, following an increase of 0.4 percent in Q3, and that average earnings were 2.6 per cent higher over the fourth quarter compared with the same period in 2015. The growth in employment is seen to reflect a decline in the proportion of adults who are inactive but not seeking work. The unemployment rate remained at 4.8 per cent, the lowest level since 2005. The number of people in full-time employment rose by 45,000 in the three months to December. This was partly offset by a 7,000 fall in the number of people working part-time.

The truth about motivation and the employment of motivated idiots

The current obsession with engagement and motivation is evident every time you read the business media these days. This is understandable in many ways, not least because it seems true that firms and employees are often working in an atmosphere of mistrust. But one thing that is often noticeable when a profession such as HR gets itself into a debate of this nature is the gap that can exist between practitioners and everybody else proffering a view. So while academics can talk about definitions and suppliers seek to apply their solutions to the issue, it is often down to those who work at the sharp end to dish up the truth, however unpalatable or cynical that can seem to be. One of the best and funniest quotes on the matter was something that once appeared in a small piece in Human Resources magazine, in which Vance Kearney the HR Director EMEA for Oracle said ‘the only thing worse than employing an idiot is employing an engaged and motivated idiot’.

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Germany slides down rankings as one of world’s top employment talent hotspots

Germany slides down rankings as one of world’s top employment talent hotspots 0

Germany falls down world rankings for talentGermany has slipped down the rankings as one of the world’s top employment talent hotspots, with other established economic powers such as the UK and France playing only minor roles in sustaining Europe’s pre-eminence. According to the World Talent Report by IMD Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands occupy the top five places in the rankings – the first two retaining their standings from last year. Finland, Norway, Austria, Luxembourg and Hong Kong complete the top 10, with Germany 11th, Iceland 16th, Ireland 18th, the UK 20th and France down in 28th. The objective of the World Talent Report is to assess how countries sustain the talent pool necessary for businesses to maximize their performances. Austria was one of the biggest movers over the past 12 months, climbing 11 places to break into the top 10, while Belgium rose by six positions to take third spot. By contrast, Germany slipped out of the elite, dropping from 7th to 11th, after being impacted especially heavily by the economic crisis affecting much of Europe.

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Will Brexit mean business as usual for employment law?

Will Brexit mean business as usual for employment law? 0

BrexitThe decision by the UK electorate to leave the European Union has created widespread uncertainty in almost all areas of law, with employment law particularly affected. A large amount of present UK employment law has its base in EU law, which means a withdrawal from the EU could result in UK employment rights no longer being guaranteed by the EU. This leaves both employees and employers in a state of flux and uncertainty, and the approach that has thus far been taken by the government appears to have been driven, to a very large degree, by a desire to create a sense of continuity. Both the Prime Minister Theresa May and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis, have repeatedly sought to offer reassurances that the rights of workers will remain largely unchanged post-Brexit. Given the political situation, however, it is entirely possible that this may end up being simple rhetoric rather than a deliverable result.

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Majority of freelancers don’t want more employment rights

Majority of freelancers don’t want more employment rights 0

freelancersAlthough British Prime Minister PM Theresa May has recently, announced a Government review into how employment rights can be extended to freelancers, a new survey claims that the vast majority of the self-employed don’t really want them. The admittedly small scale study of 250 freelancers from ContractorCalculator claims that 80 percent aren’t interested in them anyway and a mere 7 percent think they would be of benefit.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 88 percent of freelancers don’t want maternity/paternity rights
  • 82 percent do not want paid sick leave
  • 85 percent say no to holiday rights and pay
  • 80 percent shun extra rights to help with grievances or disciplinary matters
  • 94 percent don’t want restrictions on the amount of hours they can work
  • 74 percent believe more employment rights would compromise their tax status and complicate their tax affairs.
  • More than half of respondents also raised concern that the provision of such rights would both restrict their flexibility and result in lower earnings.

“These results are not surprising,” claims CEO Dave Chaplin. “The Government needs to understand that the negative reports associated with self-employed couriers and drivers are woefully unrepresentative of all of the self-employed. There are several million self-employed businesspeople working on a business to business basis with their customers who are very happy with the way they work and the last thing they want is further legislative burdens.”

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