Search Results for: maternity leave

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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Long term problems predicted for EU businesses if gender pay gap persists

Long term problems predicted for EU businesses if gender pay gap persists 0

As we reported earlier this week, more needs to be done to ensure that female representation in the boardroom increases; and now a new report paints a negative future for European businesses if the pay gap isn’t adequately addressed. Mercer has warned that a failure to address the EU’s substantial gender pension gap (40 percent), could cause long-term problems for businesses and governments alike; as through its analysis, the consultancy has found that the pension gap varies widely from one member state to another, however half have gaps of 30 percent or more. In its white paper The Gender Pension Gap – From Awareness to Action Mercer outlines the key drivers behind the pension gender gap, how it will impact companies and how they can start to address it within their workforce. Women continue to be significantly under-represented at all levels of the work force; in the EU their participation rate is 10 percent lower than men. The European Commission’s recent proposal for a directive on work-life balance for parents and carers, including the introduction of carers’ leave for dependent relatives, aims at addressing this under-representation.

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Workplace reforms become a key element in the election debate

Workplace reforms become a key element in the election debate 0

The workplace has become one of the key battlegrounds in the UK general election debate, as the main political parties seek to court mainstream opinion and with the imminent publication of the Taylor Review into the gig economy. The Labour Party will today announce in its manifesto a commitment to provide 30 hours of free childcare for all two to four-year-olds, covering 1.3 million children. Yesterday, the Conservatives announced that employees will be offered the right to take up to a year off work to care for family members with illness or disability as well as commitments to introducing statutory child bereavement leave and the right to request time off work for training. There are also expected to be other announcements into the workings of the gig economy with new rules to extend maternity and sickness pay to workers who are currently classed as self-employed.

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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.”

Motherhood or livelihood? Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace

Motherhood or livelihood? Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace 0

Maternity discrimination is rife

Recent research by the Commons Women and Equalities Committee suggests that around 54,000 expectant and new mothers have no choice but to leave work due to pregnancy discrimination or concerns over the safety of their children; and shockingly, this figure has doubled in the last decade alone.  Other research carried out by the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills shows that despite 77 percent of working mothers reporting potentially discriminatory or negative experiences, only 28 percent raised the issue with their employer, and less than 1 percent pursued a claim through the tribunal system.  As a mother of two young children, this is a topic very close to my heart. I have worked in HR for over 18 years now, and advised on all manner of employee relations issues and know from personal experience that being pregnant and suffering discrimination or redundancy is not at all unusual.

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Full employment drive can help over a million more UK over-50s into work

Full employment drive can help over a million more UK over-50s into work 0

hands-heroThe UK government should find ways to encourage more than one million more over-50 into work by the end of this parliament, claims the Resolution Foundation think tank. The call comes ahead of a final report this week following a nine-month investigation into the issue full employment. The Chancellor announced a commitment to full employment in last year’s Summer Budget, with the government committing to report annually on progress towards this objective. The Foundation says that support for the over 50s, particularly to keep them from leaving the labour force, should be at the heart of the government’s strategy. Older people have contributed the fastest jobs growth of any age group over the last decade, leaving employment rates for workers aged 50-64 and 65+ are at record highs. The Foundation says that previous progress shows this group can and should be at the centre of plans for realising full employment.

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Government needs to play catch up with needs of the self-employed

Government needs to play catch up with needs of the self-employed 0

self employmentPoliticians and legislators are failing to keep pace with the changing nature of work and as a result many of the UK’s growing army of freelancers feel like second class citizens. That is the key finding of a new report commissioned by the Government and authored by entrepreneur Julie Deane. She claims that the Government should do more to bring the self-employed into line with legislation affecting the wider working population, including access to higher rates of parental leave and pay. The report sets out ten key recommendations, notably that the parental allowance should be brought into line with the rules for employees, who are paid a higher portion of their salary for the first six weeks of statutory maternity pay before the percentage drops. It also suggests that the education system should do more to prepare young people for a changing world of work and that more should be done to offer a choice of workplaces for the self-employed..

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Employee benefits policies still not family friendly, claims new report

Employee benefits fathersFewer than half (48 percent) of UK employers offer enhanced maternity pay to staff, claims a new study by Croner. According to the Croner reward employee benefits report, based on a survey of 127 employers, the most commonly offered enhanced scheme was 3 months leave at full pay. The research also found that fathers fare even worse with less than a third of firms offering paternity leave above the statutory minimum, with 62 percent offering full pay for a period of two weeks. Commenting on the findings, Viv Copeland of Croner says: “While some family friendly benefits such as flexible working and childcare vouchers have really grown in the last few years, the offer of enhanced maternity and paternity leave and pay still has a long way to go. The recent legislation around shared maternity/ paternity leave should bring some fresh thinking to this area from parents and employers alike.”

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