At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 13-19 July 2018


Your quick-read round up of the reward and benefits stories appearing in the press in the past seven days.

The headlines you might have missed between 13-19 July.

At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 13-19 July 2018

Fieldfisher offers bonuses to non-fee earners for first time
The Lawyer: Fieldfisher is making bonuses available for business services staff in the UK for the first time, after a string of stand-out financial results from the firm. Read story

Only 22% of pension members actively choose their investments
Employee Benefits: Only 22% of pension members actively choose their own investments, despite the fact that doing so can dramatically boost investment returns, according to research by financial services organisation Hargreaves Lansdown. Read story

Fort Vale Engineering focuses on employee fitness with on-site gym
Employee Benefits: Global engineering organisation Fort Vale Engineering has introduced a new on-site gym at its UK headquarters, available exclusively to the 400 employees based in Burnley, Lancashire. Read story

Court of Appeal rules that carers on ‘sleep-in’ shifts are not entitled to minimum wage
Employee Benefits: The Court of Appeal has today (13 July 2018) ruled that carers working ‘sleep-in’ shifts are to be characterised as available to work, rather than actively working, and are therefore not entitled to the national minimum wage. Read story

Ombudsman investigations surge 26%; Transfer complaints rise
Professional Pensions: The number of investigations by The Pensions Ombudsman's (TPO) increased by over a quarter driven partly by a sharp rise in the number of transfer complaints received during the past financial year. Read story

TPR hits all targets but 'clarity of expectations’
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) missed one of its 19 performance targets over the last year, it confirmed in its annual report and accounts. Read story

Millions of confused savers need support to get the retirement they want
Professional Pensions: Nigel Peaple says the UK should learn from Australia and adopt national retirement income targets. Read story

Health at work: How to support your employees
HR Magazine: Employers can no longer afford to pretend that those working for them are not devoting their lives to their jobs. Read story

“Start small but think big” to achieve recognition success, say Sainsbury’s & Xexec
Incentive and Motivation: The little things can make a big difference and at a macro level, employee recognition initiatives that increase engagement could make a huge difference to operational performance, suggested Meir Adler, Head of Organisational Effectiveness at Sainsbury’s at a recent Xexec event. Read story

Serena Williams Wimbledon return sparks maternity debate
HR Grapevine: As one might imagine, the return of top tennis player Serena Williams to Wimbledon has not been without media brouhaha and comment – from both the press and her colleagues. Read story

How does gender pay gap reporting affect transgender employees?
Personnel Today: The new gender pay gap reporting laws currently make no mention of transgender or non-binary employees – employers can only classify staff as male or female. Could this grey area mask a wider pay gap issue? Alex Christen from Capital Law investigates. Read story

Tesco staff file 1,000 equal pay claims
Personnel Today: One thousand former and current Tesco employees have lodged claims for equal pay, according to the law firm handling the case. Read story

Employers urged to boost annual leave take-up
Health Insurance Daily: Heart attack risk is higher among people who don’t take holidays. Read story 

MPs call for collective defined contribution pensions
Money Marketing: MPs have encouraged the government to seek innovation and the “great potential gains” of collective defined contribution pension schemes, a report published this morning by the work and pensions committee says. Read story

97% of HR decision makers agree that employee happiness boosts productivity
Employee Benefits: The majority (97%) of decision makers agree that employee happiness leads to higher productivity, according to research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of independent actuarial, administration and consultancy service Barnett Waddingham. Read story

Foreign and Commonwealth Office launches new financial tool for 12,500 employees  
Employee Benefits: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has launched an online financial tool as part of an updated financial wellbeing offering to staff. Read story

Preliminary hearing takes place in National Gallery employment status case
Employee Benefits: A preliminary hearing regarding an employment status case against The National Gallery will be heard today (16 July 2018), at The London Central Employment Tribunal. Read story

WPC urges government to kick-start 'next great pensions revolution' with CDC
Professional Pensions: Collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes are the "best means" for achieving the right balance between collective benefit security and individual freedom and choice, the Work and Pensions Committee (WPC) says. Read story

DWP names chief executive of single financial guidance body
Professional Pensions: John Govett has been appointed chief executive of the single financial guidance body (SFGB), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced today. Read story

Mencap wins appeal on back pay for overnight care shifts
HR Magazine: The Court of Appeal has ruled that carers who have to sleep at their workplace will not be paid the National Minimum Wage unless they have to work during that time. Read story

Is it time to rethink your rewards strategy?
Incentive and Motivation: James Malia, Director of Employee Benefits at Sodexo Engage, asks how organisations can make incentives work harder for their business. Read story

Should your company consider incentive travel to boost employee performance?
Incentive and Motivation: A well planned, attractive and rewarding employee recognition and reward program is the best way to boost employee performance. Read story

Somerset County Council launches cycle-to-work scheme
Employee Benefits: Somerset County Council has launched a cycle-to-work scheme, working with social enterprise Green Commute Initiative and employee benefits provider My Staff Shop. The scheme aims to improve the health and wellbeing of staff, while having a positive effect on the environment. Read story

Reward Gateway acquires US employee engagement specialist Brand Integrity
Employee Benefits: Global employee engagement and HR technology provider Reward Gateway announced today (17 July 2018) that it has acquired Brand Integrity, an employee engagement specialist operating from Rochester, New York. Read story

Women and Equalities Committee says government is failing to enforce age discrimination laws
Employee Benefits: Discrimination is the root cause of the fact that more than one million individuals in the UK aged 50-plus are not working, despite being willing to do so, according to a report published today (17 July 2018) by The Women and Equalities Committee. Read story

The best (and worst) sectors for flexible working
HR Grapevine: A new study has found that 84% of employees in the technology sector are offered flexible working, making it the best sector in the UK for flexible working. Read story

Warning as scammers cold-call posing as TPR
Professional Pensions: Scammers may be trying to steal savings from workers by falsely claiming to be calling from The Pensions Regulator (TPR), according to a warning from the watchdog. Read story

McVey preparing to 'kill off' government dashboard support - reports
Professional Pensions: Secretary of state for work and pensions Esther McVey may end the government's involvement in the pensions dashboard project, according to reports. Read story

CMA proposes mandatory tenders for FM mandates but spares investment consultant market from widespread change
Professional Pensions: Investment consultants have been spared a major shake-up in their operations and business models after an investigation by the competition watchdog proposed just a handful of remedies. Read story

Reward strategy temperature check
HR Magazine: There are pros and cons to both performance- and market-based reward systems. Read story

Employers unprepared for ageing workforce
HR Magazine: The Centre for Ageing Better called on UK employers to develop more age-friendly employment policies and practices. Read story

How would a lack of government support affect dashboard progress?
Pensions Expert: Reactions to speculation that the secretary of state for work and pensions wants to scrap the pensions dashboard project have been unsurprisingly negative. Read story

Minimum wage underpayment allegations more than doubled last year
Personnel Today: HMRC received more than 6,000 whistleblower reports about alleged underpayment of the national minimum wage last year – more than double the number it had the year before. Read story 

CMA: We want to help schemes drive competition among consultants
Professional Pensions: John Wotton says the competition watchdog's package of proposals will help trustees get the best deal and be satisfied they are acting in their members' best interests. Read story

Dashboard needs government backing to help and protect savers
Professional Pensions: Andy Tarrant says without government backing, the pensions dashboard cannot become the one-stop shop it's intended to be. Read story

Total pay increased by 0.2% in real terms since May 2017
Employee Benefits: Total pay for employees in Great Britain, including bonuses, increased by 0.2% in real terms between March to May 2017 and March to May 2018, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Read story

52% are not satisfied with their current benefits package
Employee Benefits: Just over half (52%) of respondents are not satisfied with their current benefits package, according to research by Gympass. Read story

Work and Pensions Committee supports legislation for collective defined contribution schemes
Employee Benefits: The Work and Pensions Committee has urged the government to legislate to enable the creation of collective defined contribution (CDC) pension schemes in the UK. Read story

Black male graduates experience £7,000 ‘pay penalty’, report finds
People Management: Employers urged to treat tackling racial discrimination as a priority. Read story

Executive pay ratio reporting: Six issues for employers to consider now
Personnel Today: New legislation will require UK quoted companies with more than 250 employees to publish the pay ratio between their CEO and “average” employees. With the legislation expected to come into force in January 2019 and mandatory executive pay ratio reports appearing from early 2020, what issues should employers should be thinking about now? Read story

Counting the human cost of the British Steel saga six months on…
Money Marketing: Michael Klimes reports from Port Talbot on the legacy of misselling and how steelworkers are coping. Read story

33% of employers provide support for managers on age diversity
Employee Benefits: A third (33%) of employer respondents provide support, training or guidance for managers on dealing with age diversity, according to research by the Centre for Ageing Better. Read story

Barclays, Herbert Smith Freehills and Vodafone recognised as top global employers for LGBT staff
Employee Benefits: Barclays, Herbert Smith Freehills (pictured), the Royal Bank of Scotland, Vodafone and Zurich Insurance Group are among the organisations recognised on the Top Global Employers 2018 list, compiled by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality charity Stonewall. Read story

14,000 people sign petition calling on government to retain dashboard support
Professional Pensions: A petition urging the government to not scrap its support for the pensions dashboard has garnered more than 14,000 signatures in two days. Read story

‘Time to celebrate AE’s 50pc returns’ – Altmann
Corporate Adviser: The pensions industry should be seizing the opportunity to celebrate the 50 per cent returns that the average auto-enrolment default fund has delivered over the last five years, said delegates at a recent Corporate Adviser round table at the House of Lords. Read story

Third of bosses ‘reluctant to hire women in case they have children’
People Management: Huge shift in attitudes needed to support working mothers, lawyers warn. Read story

Military in Scotland to receive back pay following tax hike
Personnel Today: Around 8,000 military personnel in Scotland are to receive back pay to compensate for changes that saw them pay more income tax than their colleagues based elsewhere in the UK. Read story



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