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UK progress on opportunities for women in the workplace slows

UK progress on opportunities for women in the workplace slows

New PwC research claims that the UK is not making progress fast enough to improve female economic empowerment in the workplace. Despite improvements since 2000, these gains have been outpaced by other countries’ efforts, according to the report. In particular, slow progress in closing the gender pay gap, coupled with a persistent low share of females in full-time employment, has put the brakes on the UK making bigger strides towards gender equality in the workplace. The latest Women in Work Index claims the UK has fallen slightly from 14th to 15th place in a ranking of 33 OECD countries based on five key indicators of female economic empowerment. Although labour market conditions for women improved, the UK was outpaced by better performance from other OECD countries. Since 2000, the UK’s position has improved from 17th place and it compares well to other G7 economies, being second only to Canada. The Nordic countries continue to lead the Index – with Iceland, Sweden and Norway rated as the top three countries for opportunities for women in the workplace.

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Report calls for greater equality and opportunities for over 50s in the workplace

Report calls for greater equality and opportunities for over 50s in the workplace

Report calls for greater equality and opportunities for over 50s in the workplaceA new report a new report by the Centre for Ageing Better has called for government and employers to support older workers to stay in work for longer, help those who have fallen out of work involuntarily to return and to create workplaces that work for all, irrespective of age. The report claims that ensuring older workers are able to stay in good quality employment is essential to the future of the UK economy and will relieve pressure on public finances. It makes some key recommendations that include access to flexible working hours and workplace adaptations to help people manage pressures such as caring responsibilities and health conditions, which become more prevalent with age. It also calls for equality of opportunities in the workplace as older workers in the UK experience age discrimination in recruitment and progression. They are less likely to be offered opportunities for development – across the whole of the OECD only Turkey and Slovenia have lower levels of on-the-job training for older workers than the UK. Research shows they are also the most likely to be stuck on low pay and feel most insecure about their jobs.

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New government campaign sets out to increase take up of shared parental leave

New government campaign sets out to increase take up of shared parental leave

A new government campaigned launched today encourages more parents to take up the offer of Shared Parental Leave in their child’s first year. The workplace right for eligible parents allows them to share up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay after having a baby. They can take time off separately or they can be at home together for up to 6 months. Around 285,000 couples every year are eligible but take up could be as low as 2 percent, according to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and around half of the general public are unaware that the option exists for parents.

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New RSA report highlights increasingly precarious and diverse nature of work

New RSA report highlights increasingly precarious and diverse nature of work

work gig economy flexible workingBritain is dividing into seven new classes of worker as the gig economy grows, according to think-tank the RSA (the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). Striving, Thriving or Just About Surviving has been published to coincide with the launch of the RSA’s Future Work Centre, following RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor’s employment review for Theresa May last year. The report warns of a 30:40:30 society: while around 30 percent live comfortably, economic insecurity is “the new normal” with 40 percent just managing and a bottom 30 percent not managing to get by.

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Full time work has an adverse effect on wellbeing and happiness of mothers, study claims

Full time work has an adverse effect on wellbeing and happiness of mothers, study claims

Mothers of children under the age of three who don’t work full time are generally more happy than those in full-time employment, a new study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies claims. The survey by Dana Hamplová of the Czech Academy of Sciences asked 5,000 mothers from 30 European countries to make a subjective assessment of their levels of wellbeing and happiness. It found that there was a small but significant increase in happiness among mothers who were not working, compared to full-time workers. The report found there were no differences in the self-reported levels of happiness of non-working mothers and those who work part time.

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One in three UK workers unhappy at work and a quarter plan career change

One in three UK workers unhappy at work and a quarter plan career change

One in three UK workers are unhappy in their jobs and a quarter plan to move onThe majority (72 percent) of employees in the UK go to work just to afford to live rather than for job satisfaction and one in four are considering a career change in 2018, claims a new survey. According to  research conducted by Paymentsense, over half of those questioned say money is their biggest motivation, 67 percent say their degree went to waste and they work in an unrelated role, and 25 percent are considering a whole career change in 2018. According to the 2,000 UK participants in the survey, a career peak occurs at 42 years old, which is when you start to lose passion for your work. At this age, opportunities to progress seem to be rare which is why when asking those in their 40’s ‘why do you go to work every day’?  76 percent say to be able to afford to live. 51 percent say they need to just pay the mortgage and 57 percent have responsibilities to support the family.

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Parents asking for flexible working face sanctions from bosses, claims study

Parents asking for flexible working face sanctions from bosses, claims study

Asking for family-friendly flexible working patterns can lead to many people getting fewer hours, worse shifts and in some cases losing their jobs altogether, claims a new report from the TUC. Half (47 percent) of low-paid young mums and dads are struggling to manage work and childcare, according to the Better Jobs for Mums and Dads report. More than two in five (42 percent) said they felt penalised at work when they asked for flexibility – telling the TUC they are subsequently given fewer hours, worse shifts or even losing their job.

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Precarious flexible working lives create toxic relationships between managers and workers, claims study

Precarious flexible working lives create toxic relationships between managers and workers, claims study

Millions of British workers are having their health and home life put at risk and are having to beg for extra work to make ends meet because bosses are not offering them regular work patterns, a new study from Oxford and Cambridge Universities suggests. According to the study, Powerful times: Flexible discipline and schedule gifts at work published in the journal Work, Employment and Society, around 4.6 million people are subject to ‘precarious scheduling’ from employers which means that their hours are so inconsistent and unpredictable that they cannot make plans, leading to stress and problems in their home lives. The researchers said that many workers now find themselves in ‘degrading’ relationships with managers in which they are obliged to constantly ask for more work and changes to allow them to care for children and plan their domestic and recreational lives.
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Shake up of working culture and practices recommended to reduce pay gaps

Shake up of working culture and practices recommended to reduce pay gaps

All jobs should be advertised as available for flexible working, and greater support should be given to fathers to play more of a role in child care, in a shake-up of culture and working practices to reduce pay gaps, the Equality and Human Rights Commission said today. The call comes as the Commission’s strategy for tackling gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps is released. A strategy to reduce pay gaps in Britain makes six recommendations outlining the action needed by government, in society and in our businesses to improve equality in earnings for women, ethnic minorities and disabled people. According to the EHRC, offering all jobs as flexible will remove the barriers faced by women and disabled people, who are more likely to have to negotiate flexible working or accept part-time jobs that are often low-paid. Creating work places with flexible cultures will increase opportunities for everyone, giving people greater choice about the role they play both at work and home. More →

Retaining working mothers in the workforce is a top HR priority this year

Retaining working mothers in the workforce is a top HR priority this year

Nearly three quarters of employers in a recent poll say retaining female talent in the workforce is the most important issue in HR in 2017, as changes to childcare funding could impact on the recruitment and retention of working mothers. The research, which was carried out by My Family Care and recruitment firm Hydrogen, found that most employers thought that flexible working and supporting working parents and carers was important to them but strikingly, nearly three quarters (70 percent) rate the issue of retaining female talent after parental leave as the most important issue. However, 60 percent of HR professionals said their company provided no form of coaching or training support for their employees going through the parental transition. When it comes to the success of their family friendly initiatives, flexible working proved to be the most successful, followed by their Childcare Voucher Scheme and then enhanced maternity or Shared Parental pay.

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The onus is on employers to create working conditions that attract people

The onus is on employers to create working conditions that attract people 0

Staff absenteeism is one of the most costly issues facing employers in the modern workplace. Absenteeism is defined commonly as an unscheduled, deliberate or routine absence from the workplace by employees. According to a new study by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), people who regularly take days off are costing the UK economy billions each year, with the toll set to rise considerably over the next decade and potentially rising to £26bn by 2030.  The report also found that mental health issues are affecting 30-40 year olds who have to juggle various things such as home life, financial constraint and pressures from their day jobs and respective careers. Another recent study by AXA PPP healthcare found that over a third of employees living with a mental health condition (39 percent) are not open about it in the workplace. These findings highlight a clear disconnect between how employees are feeling and what their employers understand to be their state of mind.

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What will the UK General Election mean for the workplace? Some experts respond

What will the UK General Election mean for the workplace? Some experts respond 0

Any residual feelings of certainty that anybody in the UK may have had about the country’s future following last year’s Brexit vote, will have had them pretty much eradicated by last Thursday’s General Election result. However, we must try to make sense of things for society and the wider economy as well as specific facets of it, such as the world of work. The whole thing looks like the pig’s ear that it is, of course. Fortunately, as some experts have already argued, there are some reasons to see some positive outcomes, including a soft (or softer) Brexit and the chance of a more positive approach to workplace rights, now that the Government needs to maintain a broader consensus. The fear or hope that the UK would lighten its already soft touch approach to workplace legislation would seem at least to be less well founded.

 

 

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