Search Results for: right to request

Digital economy bill rushed through Parliament ahead of election

Digital economy bill rushed through Parliament ahead of election 0

The government has rushed the Digital Economy Bill through parliament as part of the legislative wash-up ahead of the general election The Bill will introducing provisions for a Universal Service Obligation (USO) that gives people the legal right to request broadband speed of a certain level. The controversial Bill became law at the last possible moment before the dissolution of parliament, but a House of Lords amendment demanding a minimum legal broadband speed requirement of 30Mbps has not made the final cut due to concerns that not enough people have taken up a superfast service on the open market to justify its introduction. However, the government will ask Ofcom to review the minimum download speed once the take-up of superfast has reached 75 percent.

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Lack of free childcare dissuades workers from shared parental leave

Lack of free childcare dissuades workers from shared parental leave 0

parental-leaveJust 5 percent of new fathers and 8 percent of new mothers have opted for Shared Parental Leave (SPL) since its introduction in April 2015 a new report claims. Just one organisation in five (21 percent) said they had received requests from male employees to take up SPL since April 2015 and in two-thirds (67 percent) of organisations with mothers eligible for SPL, none have opted in. This low take-up of (SPL) and the lack of affordable childcare options for parents with 0-2 year-olds are both major problems that need to be addressed to support working parents more effectively, according to ‘Labour Market Outlook: Focus on Working Parents’ from the CIPD. The survey of over 1,000 HR professionals also suggests that the lack of free childcare for 0-2 year-olds could be having a negative impact on women returning to work after maternity leave.

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High earners much more likely to be offered flexible working

High earners much more likely to be offered flexible working 0

flexible working mother

We may all be aware that the way to attract and retain working parents – particularly mothers – is by offering them flexible working options, especially with the growing body of evidence that the gender gap increases among working women with children. But although it’s still a challenge for any working women who aspires to moving up the corporate ladder, they usually have more options than their lower paid colleagues who can’t afford expensive childcare. This is why it’s all the more depressing to learn that it’s only the high earners who are being given the option of flexible working. According to research carried out by charity Working Families to promote National Work Life Week (Oct 3-7), high earning parents who bank more than £70,000 a year are 47 percent more likely to work flexibly than those earning between £10,000 and £40,000. More →

Offering flexible working to mums could boost economy by £62.5 billion

Offering flexible working to mums could boost economy by £62.5 billion 0

flexible-working-mumMore than two thirds of stay-at-home mothers with young children would go back to work if flexible working was an option, a new study from Digital Mums and the Centre for Economics and Business Research claims. The survey of 1,600 mothers also suggests that more than a third of those already in work would put in more hours if they had better childcare arrangements based around flexible working. The WorkThatWorks report claims that women (and presumably some fathers) would contribute billions to the economy if more organisations were to offer parents more flexible work conditions. The report claims that currently, some 2.6 million mothers are out of the labour market although two thirds (68 percent) feel unable to return to work because of the lack of flexible working options. In addition, 60 percent of mothers already in work do not have access to flexible work despite the introduction of legislation in 2014 that offers them the right to request it.

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Scientific management and the enduring love of the open plan office

Scientific management and the enduring love of the open plan office

PanopticonThere are many reasons why organisations like open plan offices. When it comes to making the business case for them however, firms prefer to talk about some more than others. So while they prefer to focus on the argument in terms of how openness can foster better lines of communication, collaboration, teamwork and team spirit, they talk rather less about the fact that the open plan is a lot cheaper than its alternatives and how they like it because it allows them to keep an eye on what people are doing. In theory, a great deal more of this surveillance now happens electronically so the need for physical presence should be less pressing, but the residual desire to see with one’s own eyes what people are doing remains. This is the instinct that constrains the uptake of flexible working and also means that there is a hierarchical divide in who gets to decide where they work.

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While politicians squabble, here’s what the Budget meant for the workplace

While politicians squabble, here’s what the Budget meant for the workplace 0

Bash streetStrange as it may seem now, there was a Budget last week. We’d planned to produce a report on it once the dust had settled but given that whatever dust had originally been kicked up has now been swept away by a political storm, it’s only now we feel able to offer some perspective a few days out. As ever these days, the budget touched on a number of aspects of the workplace, sometimes hitting the mark and sometimes suggesting politicians don’t yet understand how people work. There was the usual stuff about rates and commercial property but also plenty to digest about the freelance economy, productivity, new technology, flexible working legislation and the current, often faltering attempts to develop wealth and infrastructure as well as the 21st Century creative and digital economy in places other than London. There’s plenty to digest here and plenty of people have already had their say, so a chance to grab a coffee and take all or some of it in.

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Employers’ attraction and retention rates rise with flexible working offer

Employers’ attraction and retention rates rise with flexible working offer 0

Flexible workingAlthough a quarter of UK workers now regularly work out of the office, there is a still a significant number (39 percent) who don’t know they have the right to request flexible working. Yet according to new research from UC EXPO, conducted amongst 1,000 UK office workers, job roles offering flexible working are more likely to attract a better candidate, with 82 percent of workers saying they would be more likely to take a job that offered flexible working benefits. An additional 71 percent said that the offer of flexible working would help businesses to attract a greater international talent pool. The research finds that the benefits of flexible working are more widely recognised than a year ago, with a fifth (22 percent) of those surveyed having worked at home or remotely more throughout 2015 than in 2014. Productivity concerns around employees working from home is decreasing, with over two-thirds (67 percent) believing that productivity levels either increase or stay the same when they work remotely.

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Top employers for working families praised for flexible approach

Top employers for working families praised for flexible approach 0

Winners of Flexible-working-parentsThe financial sector is well represented in this year’s annual list of Top Employers for Working Families as announced by charity Working Families. American Express, Barclays Bank, Citibank, Deloitte and Lloyds all made the list, while just two public sector organisations Ministry of Justice and Southdown Housing Association were in the top ten. Employers with up to 250 employees that reached the Small Employer’s Benchmark – ranged from law firm Sacker & Partners LLP to Bristol Students’ Union.  To enter the awards, which are sponsored by Computershare, organisations must complete a benchmark survey which examines in detail their flexible and family friendly working policies and practices. As flexible working becomes embedded in more organisations, Working Families is calling on employers to ‘adopt a ‘flexible by default’ approach, to continue the rise in flexible working and help everyone to achieve a work life balance that works for them.’

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Over a fifth of working mothers denied flexible hours are forced to quit

Over a fifth of working mothers denied flexible hours are forced to quit 0

flexible working womanDiscussions about the gender pay gap and increasing the number of women on Boards need to acknowledge that the greatest obstacle to female empowerment in the UK is balancing home and family. Just last week the TUC revealed that many women felt compelled to take time out of work to care for young children while another survey found over half of working women believe they would need to alter their career in order to have a child. Now the latest figures fromthe  workingmums.co.uk 2015 Annual Survey show that over a fifth of working mums have been forced to leave their jobs because a flexible working request was turned down. Although the right to request flexible working was extended to all employees last year, this new policy has a less rigid timetable for employers and no statutory right to appeal if a request is turned down.

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Employers must support older workers with chronic ill health

Employers must support older workers with chronic ill health 0

Employers must support older workers with chronic ill healthAs a recent profile in the Guardian Magazine of workers in their 70s, 80s and 90s illustrated, people who work well into old age are still viewed as remarkable. Yet by 2020, a third of the UK’s workforce will be more than 50 years old. Following the scrapping of the Default Retirement Age, more than 1.4m people in the UK are working after state retirement age, of whom around 300,000 are aged over 70. Now the Health at Work Policy Unit of Lancaster University’s Work Foundation has issued a White Paper, ‘Living Long, Working Well: Supporting older workers with health conditions to remain active at work’, which warns that 42 per cent of over 50s have often manageable chronic illnesses that – if left unsupported by employers, could undermine their productivity, increase their absence from work or even force them out of work altogether.

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Takeup of flexible working remains sluggish in UK SMEs claims Microsoft study

Takeup of flexible working remains sluggish in UK SMEs claims Microsoft study

flexible working womanIt’s now one year since the UK Government extended the right to request flexible working to nearly all UK permanent employees. Two new surveys have been published to coincide with the anniversary and gauge the effects of the legislation. Both surveys, from EY and Microsoft UK, paint somewhat mixed pictures, with uptake considerably slower than might have been expected. The study by Microsoft, one of the UK’s great champions of flexible working, found that just 22 percent of workers in SMEs have requested flexible working as a direct result of the new legislation. The report also found that over half (55 percent) of British office workers are still required to work from the office during set working hours. A similar proportion (44 percent) claim it is not possible for them to work remotely under any circumstances.

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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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