Search Results for: employment

Is it time to stamp out e-cigarettes in your workplace?

e-cigarettes at workElectronic cigarettes, love them or hate them, they are here, but are they here to stay? Since 1 July 2007, smoking in enclosed or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces in the UK has been prohibited. E-cigarettes however emit water vapour rather than smoke and therefore could be legally used in public places and workplaces. But there is increasing debate about the use of e-cigarettes in public places, as concern grows about their potential harmful effects. It’s been alleged that e-cigarettes contain chemicals that could make them as harmful as normal tobacco. The World Health Organisation (WHO) calls the devices safety “illusive”, noting that the chemicals they contain are often not disclosed and have not been properly tested, while a report commissioned by Public Health England said e-cigarettes required “appropriate regulation, careful monitoring and risk management” if their benefits were to be maximised. More →

Employers may need to take a disciplined approach to the World Cup

Employers taking a discipline approach to the World CupWith the World Cup now underway, many football fans will be gripped with football fever over the next month, but employers could face HR headaches as a result. Given the time difference in Brazil, games at this year’s World Cup will take place during the late afternoon and evenings in the UK. England’s opening game against Italy at 11pm this Saturday night is unlikely to cause most employers much disruption, but the next England game against Costa Rica which kicks off at 5pm on Tuesday 24 June could result in employees wanting to leave before the end of their working day. Late kick off times also have the potential to result in employees being absent the following day as they recover from the excesses of the night before. On most match days the final whistle of the last game of the day will not be blown until around 1am UK time. More →

Government plans encourage employers to appreciate older workers

Government plans encourage employers to appreciate older workersEmployers must recognise the potential of older workers and help them stay in the workplace. This is the message the Government will stress today at the launch of its new action plan. The new measures set out in Fuller Working Lives – A Framework For Action published today include; the appointment of a new Older Workers’ Employment Champion who will advocate the case for older workers within the business community and wider society; an extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees from the end of this month and the launch of a new Health and Work Service which the Government says will give workers with long-term health problems the support they need to stay in or return to work. Part of the Government’s aim is also to challenge outdated misconceptions and encourage more employers to consider the benefits of older workers.

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Challenge for employers to find right talent as candidate availability falls

Challenge for employers to find right talent as candidate availability dropsThere’s been a record employment rise over the last three months, with nearly 5,500 more people in work every working day and the number of private sector workers up by more than 2 million since 2010, according to official figures published today. The latest Labour Force Survey tallies with the recently published Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs, which revealed the steepest drop in permanent staff availability for 16½ years; fuelling concerns that employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find the talent and skills they need. The report on jobs also suggests that employees want more from their workplace than better pay and better benefits; as though starting salaries continue to rise, job seekers are sending out a very clear message that remuneration is not the only reward they are after. More →

Employers not living up to their commitments to support disabled staff

Employers failing to meet commitment to support disabled staffMany of the employers that boast the Government’s two ticks symbol for equality for disabled workers have been found to be no better than companies who have not achieved it. Research led by Kim Hoque, of Warwick Business School, and Nick Bacon, of Cass Business School, found that just 15 per cent of organisations awarded the two ticks symbol adhered to all five of its commitments, with 18 per cent of those signed up not fulfilling any of them, with most – 38 per cent – only keeping one of the promises. The researchers say the ‘two ticks positive about disability’ symbol, which is awarded by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Jobcentre Plus to help job applicants identify organisations committed to helping disabled workers, is nothing more than an “empty shell” used by companies as PR and “impression management” rather than a true commitment to equal rights for disability workers. More →

Flexible working law change will see a quarter of UK staff make requests

Time business concept.Just over a quarter (26 percent) of British employees will ask their employers for flexible working arrangements when the latest changes to legislation come into effect on 30 June 2014, according to a survey by YouGov and Croner. The survey of 2,328 employees also found that over two-thirds (69 percent) of workers have never applied for flexible working, with nearly a quarter of these believing the request would be denied anyway. The research also found that those employees who already enjoy flexible working arrangements identify a range of benefits. 63 percent think that flexi-work creates a better work-life balance, 42 percent believe it boosts staff morale, 28 percent think it reduces sickness and absence, 27 percent claim that it increases productivity.

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Feeling excluded at work is worse for wellbeing than bullying, claims report

Social exclusionBeing ignored at work is worse for physical and mental wellbeing than harassment or bullying, says a new study from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. Researchers found that while most see ostracism as less harmful than bullying, feeling excluded is significantly more likely to lead to job dissatisfaction and health problems. The study, Is negative attention better than no attention? The comparative effects of ostracism and harassment at work, is to be published in the next issue ofOrganization Science. The researchers found that people rate workplace ostracism as less socially inappropriate, less psychologically harmful and less likely to be prohibited than workplace harassment. Additional research revealed that people who claimed to have experienced ostracism were significantly more likely to report a degraded sense of belonging and commitment, a stronger intention to quit their job, and an increase in health problems.

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Record uptake of flexible working masks what is really changing about the way we work

Flexible workingThis week the Office for National Statistics has released new figures which show that flexible working is at a record high in the UK. The headline figure from the ONS is that 14 percent of the UK workforce now either work at home full time (5 percent) or use their home as a base (8.9 percent). This represents a 1.3 million increase over the six years since the onset of the recession. The report shows that those working from home are typically skilled, older (half between the age of 25 and 49 with 40 percent of over 65s classed as homeworkers) and better paid than the average worker (30 percent higher than the national average). The Government is claiming it as a victory for the promotion of flexible working through legislation and the TUC as a sign of the increasingly enlightened approach of bosses in helping employees find a better work life balance. And they’re both wrong.

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Many UK firms are unaware of new flexible working rules, or unready for them

ostriches-head-in-sandThe UK is introducing new flexible working legislation at the end of this month, but two new surveys highlight a startling lack of awareness of the changes. According to research from Jobsite, more than half of UK firms and three quarters of employees are unaware of the changes and 25 percent of those firms who are aware of the new law hadn’t considered its implications. The second survey, from QualitySolicitors (sic), found an almost identical lack of awareness amongst SMEs, with just under half of the firms unaware of the new rules and just over a quarter admitting to being unprepared for them. The changes mean that from 30 June, all employees who have worked for their employer for at least six months will be entitled to request alternative working patterns.

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Business leaders must do more to address gender inequality says Mitie CEO

Change of mind set need to address gender inequalityThe Chair of the Women’s Business Council, (WBC) Mitie Chief Executive Ruby McGregor-Smith, is calling for a fundamental change in mind-set from business leaders, to help remove the final barriers to women’s equality. In the Council’s ‘One Year On’ report which included discussions with over 500 companies and individuals over the last year, as well as canvassing the views of male Chief Executives; the WBC concludes that male leaders are important, as visible agents of change, to ensure women are not held back in reaching their full potential in the workplace. Back in June 2013, the WBC published a number of recommendations for business and government to improve opportunities for women. Since then things have been moving in the right direction. But despite this progress, the organisation argues that male leaders could do more. More →

Better talent attraction and retention strategies needed as recruitment soars

Talent attraction and retention strategies needed as recruitment needs soarEmployers are increasing their permanent headcount at their fastest rate since before the recession. Consistently positive GDP results, coupled with reports that business optimism is at its highest level since 1998, has driven impressive growth across the entire professional jobs market, according to the latest data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). It reports that the placement of professional talent increased by 29 per cent compared to the same time last year, with particularly strong growth in sectors such as accounting and finance. This mirrors plans by the Big Four accounting firms to substantially increase their graduate level recruitment this year; with KPMG and PwC, for example, both planning to hire 30 per cent more candidates than last year. Although it’s good news for the jobs market – analysts warn that managers must plan ahead to ensure they retain and attract the right talent. More →

Flexible working might help firms to deal with World Cup fever, claims ACAS

Flexible working and the World CupWhile FIFA works out whether it wants to dig itself in deeper or climb out of its own hole in addressing the World Cup bribery scandal, thoughts in the business world about this Summer’s quadrennial festival of football turn, yet again, to the matter of how to deal with it all. One of the first up with suggestions this time is the UK employment conciliation service agency ACAS which thinks the answer no longer lies in turning a blind eye to what people get up to, but instead working around it. They are urging firms to allow staff to work flexibly during the World Cup so they can watch games with minimal disruption to business. ACAS last month issued new guidance on flexible working in advance of a change in the rights of workers to request flexible working at the end of June, and is now suggesting that flexible working will help to reduce absenteeism and disruption during the tournament in Brazil which begins on June 12.

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