At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 14-20 December 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 14-20 December.

DB schemes to pay out third of a trillion pounds in next three years
Professional Pensions: Defined benefit (DB) schemes are set to shear themselves of over £300bn of liabilities between 2019 and 2021 as they continue to mature, Mercer predicts. Read story

A third of DC members 'expect living standards to decline in retirement’
Professional Pensions: People in their mid-career aged 35-49 are the most likely to struggle with saving for retirement, according to Aon's 2018 defined contribution (DC) and financial wellbeing member survey. Read story

NEST: The end of AE staging heralds a new focus on outcomes
Professional Pensions: NEST's director of business development Helen Dowsey speaks to James Phillips about communications, sidecar savings, and retirement products. Read story

Four-fifths of organisations say Wednesday afternoons off would boost productivity
Employee Benefits: More than half (52%) of employers say a four-day week would not be of benefit to them, but four-fifths (80%) believe giving staff Wednesday afternoons off would boost productivity, according to research commissioned by behaviour change consultancy Kin and Co. Read story

Advertised salaries show 3.9% year-on-year rise for October 2018
Employee Benefits: Advertised salaries have risen year-on-year for the first time in six months, showing a 3.9% increase in October 2018 when compared with the corresponding 2017 figures, according to the latest monthly report from job search engine Adzuna. Read story

TSB signs TUC’s Dying to Work charter in support of terminally ill workers
Employee Benefits: Banking organisation TSB has become a signatory of the Dying to Work charter, developed by trade union body the Trades Union Congress (TUC) as part of a campaign to support employees living with terminal illness. Read story

Boss quits after receiving 'appalling' £2m bonus that 'could have improved lives’
HR Grapevine: Motability Operation’s CEO Mike Betts is set to step down after it was announced that he was in the line to cash in a whopping £2.2million bonus. Read story

How technology is supporting international healthcare delivery
Corporate Adviser: International healthcare providers are catching up with domestic players in using technology to support employees. Sam Barrett reports. Read story

‘Wages worth third less in some areas than decade ago’: TUC
Personnel Today: The TUC has found that the average worker has lost £11,800 in real earnings since 2008 and that the UK has experienced a worse real wage slump than many other leading economies. Read story

Ireland on track to end zero-hour contracts
Personnel Today: The Irish government has said it will end most zero-hour contracts in the country by summer as its Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill completed its final stages in the Seanad (senate) earlier this week. Read story

‘Woeful ignorance’ over worker wellbeing must end, report warns
People Management: New British Safety Council study stresses good intentions could lead to ‘incoherent’ health initiatives. Read story

We must create and advertise more flexible roles
HR Magazine: More widespread and embedded flexible working practices will help solve key challenges for employers. Read story

Workers' rights get "largest upgrade in a generation”
HR Magazine: The government announced plans to give greater protections to gig economy workers today. Read story

HR professionals fail to support financial wellbeing
Corporate Adviser: New report shows that only three out of 10 employers have a wellbeing strategy that encompasses financial resilience alongside pension benefits. Read story

What can HR do to prevent staff exits in the New Year?
HR Grapevine: Every year, workers try to stick to the motto: new year, new me. They use this maxim to empower themselves to take on all of the things that they wanted to achieve but didn't get the chance to last year. Read story

More than a quarter of flexible workers say they are now doing more hours
Employee Benefits: More than a quarter (27%) of flexible workers say they put in more hours than when they were tied to a traditional schedule, according to research on behalf of the Association of Accounting Technicians (ATT). Read story

Mace hosts wellbeing week for 6,300 global staff
Employee Benefits: Construction and facilities management organisation Mace hosted a wellbeing week for its 6,300 worldwide employees in November 2018, to help launch its annual engagement and wellbeing survey, as well as to align with its five-year health and wellbeing plan. Read story

Chappell handed £124,000 penalty for 'deliberate' inaction in BHS probe
Professional Pensions: Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell has been ordered to pay £124,000 after losing an appeal against his conviction for failing to provide information to the regulator. Read story

Reuters Pension Fund agrees £625m buy-in with Canada Life
Professional Pensions: The Reuters Pension Fund has completed a £625m full pensioner buy-in with Canada Life in the insurer's largest ever deal. Read story

No spike in AE opt-outs, despite contribution hike: DWP
Corporate Adviser: Higher auto-enrolment contributions have not led to any significant increase in opt-out rates according to the latest evaluation report from the Department of Work and Pensions. Read story

What should employers consider when publishing parental leave and pay policies?
Personnel Today: The government said in October that it plans to consult on the former employment relations minister Jo Swinson’s bill to oblige large employers to publish their parental leave packages. Harry Abrams looks at what the measures might entail. Read story

PMI is 'most desired' employee benefit
Cover: Survey of 1,894 UK employees to better understand workplace benefits. Read story

Only one in five employers has a plan to fix their gender pay gap
People Management: Government watchdog urges businesses to publish strategies to demonstrate commitment to change. Read story

Firmenich receives Edge certification for gender parity commitment
Employee Benefits: Perfume organisation Firmenich has been awarded certification from assessment body Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (Edge), in recognition of its commitment to gender parity in the workplace. Read story

DWP: Trials to boost pensions for self-employed to be launched ‘imminently'
Professional Pensions: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will develop and test new ways to include 4.8 million self-employed workers in pension savings. Read story

DWP reveals opt-out rates 'remained consistent' with pre-contribution hike levels
Professional Pensions: Opt-out rates at the end of June 2018 "remained consistent" with levels before the April contribution rate increase, according the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Read story

Grid welcomes Government proposals on sick pay
Corporate Adviser: Group Risk Development (Grid) has welcomed proposals that workers receive a written ‘statement of rights’ detailing eligibility to sick leave and pay. Read story

TPR launches investigation into suspected £18m scam
Corporate Adviser: Six people have been questioned as part of this criminal investigation, run with the Essex police. Read story

Early-retiring employee not treated unfavourably by pension scheme, says Supreme Court
Personnel Today: The Supreme Court has ruled that an employee was not treated unfavourably after his early retirement due to ill health meant he received a lower pension. Read story

TalkTalk faces equal pay claim from former manager
Personnel Today: A former manager at TalkTalk has brought a tribunal claim against the telecoms company, claiming she was paid 40% less than male colleagues doing the same job. Read story

Savers unfazed by AE contribution rises
Pensions Expert: Auto-enrolment savers have proved indifferent to a rise in their contribution rates imposed earlier this year, according to research, but the government remains unconvinced by the case for using inertia to tackle low self-employed saving rates. Read story

60% of workers pay for their own office Christmas party
HR Grapevine: The majority of SMEs in the private sector ask staff to contribute financially towards their own Christmas party, despite believing that the event is important for staff morale. Read story

More than half of employees feel psychologically unsafe in the workplace
Employee Benefits: Globally, more than half (52%) of employees have encountered workplace bullying and felt psychologically unsafe at work, according to research by learning organisation City and Guilds Group. Read story

Boundless wins Best employer at Best Business Awards
Employee Benefits: Boundless, an events and experiences club for public sector workers, has won Best employer and Best health and safety at the 2018 Best Business Awards. Read story

75% of employers have had pensions communications in the last year
Employee Benefits: The majority of respondents recognise the importance of sharing pensions information with their staff, with three in four (75%) having undertaken a communication exercise in the last year, according to research by Employee Benefits and Barnett Waddingham. Read story

Midlands-based Two Sisters staff awarded 9.3% pay rise
Employee Benefits: Around 1,500 Midlands-based employees at food manufacturer Two Sisters Food Group, who are members of the trade union Unite, have been awarded a two-year pay deal. Read story

Cold-calling ban receives parliamentary approval and becomes law
Professional Pensions: The long-awaited regulations for a cold-calling ban have been approved by the House of Commons after an onerous journey to becoming law. Read story

Ian McKenna: Pension dashboard needs a savings boost
Money Marketing: The benefits of presenting data from the pension dashboard needs to be put side by side with savers’ bank accounts. Read story

More than a third rely on unpaid leave for parents caring for sick children
Employee Benefits: More than a third (37%) of respondents’ organisations rely on unpaid leave for employees who need to care for their sick children. Read story

Running innovation through the DNA of L’Oréal
HR Magazine: Innovation runs through the whole employee lifecycle; from recruitment to succession planning to transforming ways of working. Read story

Are employers responsible for what happens at Christmas parties?
HR Magazine: Alcohol consumption, coupled with a relaxed social atmosphere, can foster situations that may not occur in the everyday office. Read story

Pay awards drop to pre-2018 levels
Personnel Today: Pay awards have fallen back to the level they were at a year ago, after almost 12 months where they stood at 2.5%. Read story

Firms fail to rate employee absence as major risk
Corporate Adviser: Survey shows larger companies are more likely to see employee sickness as a serious risk to business productivity. Read story

Scrooge firm tried to avoid paying overtime AFTER work was done
HR Grapevine: It could be a scene straight out of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol – workers putting in extra hours before the holiday, only to be told afterwards by their employer that they will not be paid their overtime rate. Read story

Uber loses third battle over drivers' pension rights
Professional Pensions: Uber drivers have had their pension rights confirmed once more after the Court of Appeal ruled they should be classed as workers and entitled to associated rights. Read story

 

 



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