Search Results for: employment

BIFM and DWP announce facilities management partnership agreement

LinkThe British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is building on its recent track record of building new alliances with the announcement that it has signed a partnership agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The partners claim the new agreement will see the BIFM and DWP working in unison to support future growth in the facilities and workplace management sector.  The agreement was signed at the end of last week by Mark Hoban MP, Minister of State for Employment, Gareth Tancred, CEO of BIFM and Martin Brown, Work Services Director for Wales and Employers, Department for Work and Pensions. The joint statement from the BIFM and DWP claims that the partnership agreement will drive ‘a shared agenda on increasing routes into and raising skills and professionalism of all those working in the facilities and workplace management industry’.

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Arup hailed for positive example of employee ownership scheme

Arup hailed for positive example of employee ownership scheme

Arup Global Chairman, Philip Dilley has said that the firm’s employee ownership ethos has played a major part in attracting and motivating staff and high levels of employee engagement. His comments followed a visit by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and Minister for Employment Relations, Jo Swinson, to Arup HQ this week as part of a series of activities to celebrate Employee Ownership Day across the UK. The Government’s scheme has had a rough ride, with critics branding it “company shares for employment rights”. Although this has resulted in some major changes to the scheme, Cable maintains it is a positive alternative to traditional shareholder capitalism which had led to the “persistent problem” of short-term planning. More →

Designs unveiled for new Google London headquarters in King’s Cross

Detailed plans have been submitted for the design of the new Google London headquarters building in King’s Cross. The 1 million sq. ft scheme designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris does not exceed 11 storeys at any point and will be home to up to 4,500 employees, double the company’s current London workforce and potentially making it the largest Google operation outside of New York.  The scheme is part of a wider development of Kings Cross and will incorporate 750,000 sq. ft. of office space with 50,000 sq. ft. of shops and cafes.  Current employees will relocate from three existing buildings in the capital.  Subject to approval for the detailed design from Camden Council, who have already granted planning permission,  work will begin on the site next year with completion set for 2016-2017.

Google is evidently keen to emphasise its investment in the UK, following weeks of criticism of its tax affairs from the media and politicians. Dan Cobley, Google UK’s managing director, in announcing the details of the development said: ‘Building our new headquarters in King’s Cross is good for Google and good for London.’ Certainly the deal is one of the biggest in recent years in the UK property industry, worth around £650 million and is expected by the developers to create 1,500 construction jobs and 35,000 new employment opportunities over all.

Some of the more interesting aspects of the proposed design are:

  • The primary way for workers to move between floors will be stairs rather than lifts as the firm looks to challenge the sedentary workstyles of staff. No news yet on any wretched slides.
  • The building is designed as a ‘groundscraper’ eschewing London’s recent trend for tall buildings, but is larger than the Shard at 1,083 ft long compared with the Shard’s 1,016 ft height.
  • Over two thirds (71 percent) of the office space are designated for workstations with the remainder set aside for meeting and breakout spaces, cafes and lobbies. Nearly half of the roof of the building will be landscaped.
  • The intention is to achieve a BREEAM outstanding accreditation.
  • The architects claims the design is inspired by the Victorian industrial heritage of the area and will act as a theatre in which the drama of Google’s business will unfold, but with stage settings that can change quickly and easily.

Commenting on the development, Simon Allford, of Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, said: ‘This building is underpinned by cutting edge design intelligence and technologies to provide a sophisticated twenty first century working environment for Google’s staff. The architectural approach, which has taken inspiration from King’s Cross and St Pancras International railway stations, complements the local area’s strong industrial heritage and will be a building London can be proud of.’

UK and U.S. workers more likely to experience workplace bullying

The Coalition government has criticised “over-regulated” UK employment law, which it argues makes it difficult for employers to manage employees without risk of being sued for unfair treatment. Yet despite the perception that UK employees are overly-protected by employment regulations, a new global study of white collar bullying has revealed that workers are in fact more likely to experience bullying at the hands of their bosses if they work in the UK or the U.S. The country a company is based in has a direct effect on how much workplace bullying is accepted and the UK and the U.S. were among the countries with a “high performance orientation” valuing accomplishments, a sense of urgency and explicit communication. These countries, say the authors, may tolerate bullying if it is seen as a means to achieve better results. More →

Managing a work-life balance isn’t solely a women’s issue

Maintaining a work-life balance isn't solely a women's issue

Two reports published this week show that a cultural change is needed to stop employers assuming only female workers have families or other personal concerns that could impact on their workplace performance. A report into workplace equality by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BIS) has called on the UK Government to do more to tackle female underrepresentation in sectors of the economy and to dispel the myth that any type of flexible working is a ‘women’s issue,’  problematic and cannot work. In the US a study by employee assistance providers Bensinger, DuPont and Associates (BDA) into stress has found that men are more than twice as likely to receive formal disciplinary action when the stress of a personal problem impacts on their work performance. More →

Land Securities £260m development confirms City office confidence

Land Securities announcement today of a £260 million development of 1 & 2 New Ludgate, EC4, a speculative mixed-use development in the City of London confirms a growing confidence in the City office market. The 379,000 sq ft scheme occupies an island site near St Paul’s Cathedral and comprises two distinct buildings united by a new public piazza, which together aim to offer 346,000 sq ft of office accommodation set around open and green spaces. Colette O’Shea, Head of Development, London said: “Our decision to commence the speculative development of 1 & 2 New Ludgate reflects our confidence both in the City office market, where we believe supply of new space will be constrained in 2015, and in the quality of the attractive and highly efficient office space we are creating.” More →

Gender equality and senior roles where are we now?

Gender equality at senior management and Board level has been and is likely to remain an area of contention. According to recent research by analysts BoardEx into gender inequality in Britain’s top 100 private companies, 73 per cent of companies still have all male teams of executive directors, 51 per cent have only male non-executive directors and there are still 56 per cent of all male Boards. At the end of May a new National Equality Standard was launched by the CBI and the Equality and Human Rights Commission in response to the continued concerns about the issue, which some EU members have argued requires the imposition of mandatory board quotas.

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Real demographic challenge as number of older workers tops one million

The latest employment figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show an interesting demographic trend. Beneath the rather unexceptional news that employment rose by 24,000 and unemployment fell by 5,000 in the three months to April, is what Jim Hillage, Director of Research at the Institute for Employment Studies (IES) describes as “underlying structural changes in the labour market”. The number of employed people over 65 in the UK has now reached more than a million (1,003,000), the highest since records began in 1971. This means that almost one in ten of over-65s are now in work.

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Construction sector is digging its way out of recession

Construction sector is digging its way out of recession

The UK’s Employment Outlook is looking firmly positive, according to ManpowerGroup, and it’s being driven by an upturn in construction and a buoyant London economy. “As we head into the summer months, the UK jobs market is not too hot, but not too cold either. It’s all about the Three ‘C’s:  Construction, the Capital, and Consistency,” said ManpowerGroup UK Managing Director, Mark Cahill. The first ‘C’ is for Construction, the most improved sector this quarter, up by five points, which is positive news as construction has been a huge drag on the whole UK economy, and is one of the main reasons we’ve had a double dip recession. Now ManpowerGroup reports it is starting to see rising demand for skills across the board, particularly in skilled trades and engineers. More →

British Land on track to meet targets on green building efficiency

British Land on track to meet sustainability targets

British Land says it is on track to meet many of its 2015 targets on managing buildings efficiently, developing sustainable buildings and reducing carbon emissions. In its Corporate Responsibility Report for 2013, the real estate investment trust, which owns and manages a portfolio of commercial property worth £16.4 billion reiterates its commitment to sustainable property management: “There are increasing indications to support our view that sustainability, and particularly energy efficiency, grow income and grow value in the longer term. We are convinced this will be proven over time. Green buildings are also less at risk of obsolescence, thus further protecting and growing capital value over the medium to long term.” More →

Roger Sterling of Mad Men’s guide to letting someone go

Roger Sterling of Mad Men’s guide to letting someone go

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One of the least appealing duties of any employer is breaking bad news to an employee, and the worst of this is, of course, the ‘we’ve had to let you go.’ In an attempt to avoid a costly employment tribunal claim, many organisations fall back on frankly horrible phrases like ‘downsizing’ and ‘rationalisation’. On one memorable occasion I heard a group of shell-shocked staff being assured that the company was planning to give them a ‘soft landing’ by bringing in careers counsellors to help them make the most of ‘fresh opportunities’. Personally, in these situations I think a little more honesty is preferable – but perhaps not with such blatant  glee as Roger Sterling of Mad Men when he explains to Burt Peterson just how much pleasure he’s getting from firing him….again. Burt’s response contains some strong language.

Guidance on designing in accessibility for disabled workers

Diversity in the workplace

The government launches a campaign today using TV celebrities and disabled groups to help promote positive role models for disabled people. It’s aimed at building on the latest stats that show 81 per cent of people thought the Paralympics had a positive impact on the way disabled people are perceived. Currently they’re not well represented in the workplace, as according to DTI figures half of all disabled people are unable to find work. This is why the Equality Act 2010 plays such a vital role in promoting diversity in the workplace. Put into practice, understanding and adhering to the Equality Act 2010 requires employers to take positive action to remove certain disadvantages to disabled people posed by working practices and the physical features of premises. More →

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