At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 22-28 March 2019

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 22-28 March.

Winter wellbeing worse for under 30s
Corporate Adviser: Workers under 30 are the most likely to suffer from stress and poor mental health in winter, with 55 per cent of this age group more stressed than usual in the season, compared to 49 per cent across all age groups. Read Story.

Employers ‘still taking the wrong approach to diversity’
People Management: HR leaders have been urged to think of diversity as a strategic initiative instead of a policy if they want to address persistent issues such as a lack of social mobility. Read Story.

Employees pay more into DC pension schemes than DB for first time
The Actuary: UK employees paid more into defined contribution (DC) pension schemes than defined benefit (DB) schemes for the first time last year, the Office for National Statistics has revealed. Read Story.

GRID: Employers lack understanding of group critical illness
Cover: Just over a quarter of employers (27%) surveyed by group risk trade body GRiD were able to identify group critical illness as ‘a policy taken out by an employer to provide a tax-free lump sum to an employee on the diagnosis of one of a defined list of serious conditions or on undergoing one of a defined list of surgical procedures'. Read Story.

Misconceptions stopping employees using healthcare benefits
Health Insurance Daily: There are several misconceptions and barriers that are preventing employers and employees from fully using health and wellbeing benefits, according to Brett Hill, managing director at intermediary The Health Insurance Group. Read Story.

A quarter of Brits expect finances to improve over next year
Health Insurance Daily: Despite declining confidence in the economy and property market, more than a quarter (27%) of Brits expect their financial situation to get better over the next 12 months. Read Story.

Four-fifths state that feeling appreciated is important for workplace happiness
Employee Benefits: Four-fifths (80%) of respondents state that feeling appreciated is important for their happiness at work, according to research by workplace consultants Peldon Rose. Read Story.

Almost two-fifths do not feel their employer does enough for new parents
Employee Benefits: Almost two-fifths (36%) of UK employees believe that their employer does not do enough to support staff who have become parents, according to research by professional network website LinkedIn. Read Story.

Only 5 per cent of businesses have considered their ethnicity pay gap
People Management: Only a tiny fraction of UK businesses have carried out any analysis of their ethnicity pay gap (EPG), new research has suggested, with legal concerns around data collection one of the main issues holding them back. Read Story.

Gender parity still a major issue for business
HR Grapevine: Gender parity and advancements for women is still an issue among businesses today, a new study by Korn Ferry and The Conference Board has discovered. Read Story.

Judicious Brexit-related comms key, experts advise
HR Magazine: With a no-deal Brexit still possible, speakers at a recent event​ offered advice for HR on navigating workforce communications and a potential no-deal scenario. Read Story.

Over one million to be hit by LTA ‘timebomb’
Pensions Age: An estimated 1.25 million people are set to breach the current Lifetime Allowance (LTA) limit for pensions tax relief, according to new research from Royal London. Read Story.

Four day working week would still allow people to complete their work
Workplace Insight: Ahead of daylight savings this weekend, The Workforce Institute at Kronos Incorporated has released part two of a global survey examining how employees across eight nations view their relationship with work and life, asking the simple question, “What would you do with more time?” Read Story.

Over one in ten deaths linked to sedentary office life
Workplace Insight: Sedentary office life which involves sitting down for at least six hours a day contributes to tens of thousands of people dying every year and costs the NHS £700 million each year, according to a new study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Read Story.

Europeans searching for UK jobs drops 12.6 per cent YoY since 2016
London Loves Business: Data from global jobs site shows the number of workers from the EU actively searching for jobs in the UK has dropped by 12.6% year on year since the referendum decision in 2016. Over the past three years searches have decreased by nearly a third (31%). Read Story.

Exclusive: Half of employers unaware of DC services they offer to members
Professional Pensions: Some 48% of employers are unaware of the services or help they offer to members of their defined contribution (DC) schemes, according to Aon. Read Story.

Technology key to increasing employee engagement, according to HR professionals
Onrec: New research from global employee engagement company, Reward Gateway, has revealed the top three HR priorities for 2019: increasing workplace productivity, increasing employee engagement and increasing employee retention. Read Story.

Women more stressed than men at work
HR Grapevine: New research has revealed that women feel more stressed than men at work – with one in 10 feeling like their stress levels are unmanageable. According to Cigna, whose research was taken from the Cigna 360 Wellbeing Survey, heavy workloads, personal health and the financial concerns are the top stress triggers for UK women. Read Story.

Menopause support still lacking at UK workplaces
HR Magazine: Three out of five (59%) working women between the ages of 45 and 55 who are going through the menopause say it has a negative impact on them at work, according to the CIPD. Read Story.

More than half of HR admin roles at risk of automation, says ONS
People Management: More than half of HR administrative roles are at risk of automation in the future, official data has suggested. Read Story.

Members urged not to opt-out of incoming AE increases
Pensions Age: A pensions specialist is urging people not to opt out of their workplace pension when their pension contribution increases from 3 per cent to 5 per cent on 6 April. Issuing the warning, Profile Pensions said that by saving just £27 a week from the age of 30 could result in a pension pot of £125,000 by the time you reach retirement. Read Story.

Fit-for-work letters ‘have devastating consequences for ill people’
Health Insurance Daily: The Labour party is calling on the government to scrap fit-for-work letters sent by welfare officials to GPs, arguing they have had devastating consequences for ill and disabled people. Read Story.

1 in 4 workers hunt for jobs during lunch breaks
Incentive & Motivation: Rather than tucking into a salad on their lunch break, one in four UK workers are opting to look for a new job, according to new research commissioned by job site Read Story.

Listen to employees when setting executive pay, say MPs
People Management: Taking the views of workers into account on remuneration committees is an important step in tackling excessive executive pay, experts have said, following criticism of “eye-watering and unjustified” CEO packages by a parliamentary select committee. Read Story.

Over a third of gender pay gap could be down to bias
Personnel Today: More than a third of the overall gender pay gap in the UK could be the result of discrimination and negotiation differences between men and women an in-depth study has revealed. Read Story.

New pension scheme "could deliver improved returns for millions”
Reward Strategy: Millions of workers could eventually benefit from better retirement savings when a new type of pension scheme is introduced to the market, according to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Read Story.

Investor pressure shines light on poor workplace practices
Corporate Adviser: The number of companies disclosing information about their workplace practices — and that of their supply chains — has doubled this year, thanks to co-ordinated action by ShareAction. Ninety global companies, including 21 of the world’s largest corporations, will now provide this data to shareholders via theannual Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI). Read Story.

Gender pensions gap widens: new research
Corporate Adviser: The gap between men’s and women’s pensions continues to widen according to new analysis by Now Pensions. According to their research the average man saving into this master trust had £424 in savings in 2017, while the average women had £334 – a difference of £90. Read Story.

Workers uncomfortable with employers interfering in their lives
HR Magazine: More than half (52%) of UK workers say they are uncomfortable with their employer getting involved in their personal lifestyle choices, according to Willis Towers Watson. Read Story.

25% Of Meetings Delayed By Chaotic Front-Desks
Global Payroll Association: A quarter of people arriving late for business meetings have been delayed by disorganised front-desk experiences, a new survey from Proxyclick finds. Read Story.

Lower AE participation within smaller employers a ‘puzzle’ - IFS
Pensions Age: Lower employee pension participation rates among smaller employers remains a “puzzle”, despite the gap being reduced through auto-enrolment, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found. Read Story.

Pensioner income from occupational schemes falls for first time since 2005
Professional Pensions: The proportion of pensioner income comprised of occupational pension payments fell over the 2017/18 financial year, government statistics reveal. Read Story.

Half of employees quit over jobs not meeting expectations
HR Magazine: Almost half (48%) of employees have left a role because it wasn’t what they expected it to be, according to a ThriveMap survey. Read Story.

Need for employee resistance ‘heightened’
Fresh Business Thinking: Challenges facing businesses in the UK over the next five years have heightened the need for employee resistance, according to recruitment specialist Robert Half UK. Read Story.

5.3 million Brits want to go freelance
Fresh Business Thinking: The entrepreneurial dream is very much alive in the UK according to new figures which suggest 5.3 million people want to become a freelancer and be their own boss. Read Story.

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