At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 23-29 November 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 23-29 November. 

A quarter of organisations use EAPs to manage workplace stress
Employee Benefits: A quarter (24%) of organisations help their workers manage workplace stress through the use of employee assistance programmes (EAPs). Read story

Universal Orlando increases base rate of pay to $12 an hour
Employee Benefits: American theme park and entertainment organisation Universal Orlando (pictured) has increased its base rate of pay to $12 (£9.35) an hour, effective from February 2019. Read story

Two-thirds believe better training is needed to reduce sexual harassment at work
Employee Benefits: Almost two-thirds (60%) of respondents believe that better training is needed in order to reduce sexual harassment at work, according to research by independent workplace organisation the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). Read story

UK employees forecast to receive 0.8% real salary increase in 2019
Employee Benefits: UK employees working within the private sector are forecast to receive a 0.8% real salary increase in 2019, equating to approximately £20 more a month, or £237.35 a year, before tax for the average employee, according to research by data organisation ECA International (ECA). Read story

Aldi, Edward Jones and Populus recognised on 2018’s Top workplaces in Michigan list
Employee Benefits: Retailer Aldi (pictured), financial services firm Edward Jones, bank holding business Monroe Bank and Trust and workforce management organisation Populus Group are among those recognised on 2018’s Top workplaces in Michigan list, compiled by Energage and Deloitte Free Press. Read story

USS to hold new scheme valuation; No changes to cost-sharing arrangement
Professional Pensions: The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) will carry out a new actuarial valuation of its funding position, as at March 2018. Read story

Allow DB scheme rights to be simplified, says industry
Professional Pensions: The government should introduce legislation to allow for defined benefit (DB) scheme rights to be simplified, say this week's Pensions Buzz respondents. Read story

Closing gender gap could add £150 billion to UK economy
HR Magazine: The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) has launched a guide for employers to driving gender diversity. Read story

Half of employers don’t know that many unpaid internships are illegal
Personnel Today: As many as half of employers are not aware that most unpaid internships are likely to be illegal, research has revealed, as MPs prepare to debate a ban on unpaid placements over four weeks in length. Read story

Field and PPF concerned over Johnston Press deal
Pensions Expert: Frank Field and the Pension Protection Fund have raised concerns over the Johnston Press rescue deal, which triggered a PPF assessment period for its defined benefit pension scheme. Read story

Low-paid workers less likely to speak out about mental health
HR Magazine: Workers on lower salaries feel less comfortable talking to their employer about mental health, according to a report from Barnett Waddingham. Read story

Financial problems ‘hidden epidemic’ in workplace wellness
Corporate Adviser: Employers urged to address issue to boost productivity levels and improve employee mental health. Read story

DB transfer numbers up 587% since 2016
Money Marketing: The number of people moving from defined benefit to defined contribution pension schemes has gone up by 587 per cent, according to FCA figures. Read story

Financial services and domestic services employees are the most stressed in the UK
Employee Benefits: Accounting and financial services employees, and those in the cleaning and domestic services sector, are the most stressed in the UK, according to research on behalf of insurance organisation Axa. Read story

Nearly a third of organisations fail to measure long-term sickness absence
Employee Benefits: Although just over half (56%) of organisations record their levels of long-term sickness absence, which refers to leave of 20 working days or more, almost a third (29%) do not, according to research by manufacturers’ organisation EEF. Read story

Street Crane Company offers workers 3% pay increase following strike action
Employee Benefits: Derbyshire-based crane and hoist manufacturer Street Crane Company has offered a 3% pay increase to employees, following eight days of strike action by workers who build and maintain overhead factory cranes. Read story

Industry split on GMP equalisation approach
Professional Pensions: The pensions industry is split on its approach to dealing with the GMP equalisation, Aon says. Read story

Ethnicity pay gap reporting threshold should be 50 employees
Personnel Today: The threshold above which employers should be obliged to report their ethnicity pay gap should be 50 employees, according to a survey of accounting professionals. Read story

Employee engagement tops poll of challenges for HR professionals in 2019
Employee Benefits: Employee engagement is the biggest challenge for HR professionals in 2019, according to a study by software provider Cascade HR. Read story

Leicester University security team achieve victory in dispute over hours and pay
Employee Benefits: Leicester University has dropped plans to cut the hours and pay of its security team, following a campaign coordinated by the trade union Unison. Read story

Prysmian Cables and Systems workers accept two-year pay deal to end dispute
Employee Benefits: Workers at cable manufacturing organisation Prysmian Cables and Systems in Eastleigh, Hampshire, have ended a long-running industrial dispute by voting overwhelmingly for a two-year pay deal. Read story

Industry challenges force DB schemes to switch advisers
Professional Pensions: More than 60% of the largest UK pension funds have already changed or are in the process of switching their actuarial consultant, according to Barnett Waddingham research. Read story

WASPI campaign continues - but to what end?
Professional Pensions: Malcolm McLean says the chances of an equitable solution for Women against State Pensions Inequality campaigners do not seem very likely now. Read story

Opperman paper backs health & wellbeing
Corporate Adviser: Pensions minister Guy Opperman MP has thrown his weight behind the argument that health and wellbeing strategies can improve productivity in a policy paper published by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank. Read story

Engagement surveys failing to provide the full picture
HR Magazine: Engagement surveys are not always an accurate measure of true engagement, according to new research. Read story

Only 39% of young savers confident about retirement prospects
Pensions Expert: Young savers in the UK are in danger of being left in the lurch when it comes to retirement planning, a recent survey has shown, with experts mooting auto-escalation and better financial education as possible solutions to a looming crisis in the decades ahead. Read story

Customers satisfied with Pension Wise, but take-up concerns remain
Pensions Expert: Nine in 10 customers who have had a Pension Wise appointment are satisfied with their experience of the service overall, a recent report has shown, but concerns remain over the take-up of the government-backed guidance service. Read story

Female graduates’ pay much higher than non-graduates’
Personnel Today: Female university graduates’ earnings are almost a third higher by their late twenties than the salaries of those who did not take a higher education course. And the gap is significantly larger than with male graduates at the same age. Read story

Low Pay Commission hails effect of national living wage rises
Personnel Today: Up to five million workers this year saw their pay rise after increases to the national living wage (NLW) were implemented. Read story

Sky, Astrazeneca and Diageo named amongst Women's Business Council winners
HR Grapevine: Sky, AstraZeneca and Diageo were named amongst Women’s Business Council winners at the group’s fifth awards. Read story

The best ways to reward employees (Survey results)
Incentive and Motivation: Annual leave and public recognition are the work-related benefits most likely to make employees feel loved at work, according to a survey of nearly 2,000 employees by Xexec. Read story

Half of employers afraid to approach staff about financial wellbeing, research finds
People Management: Experts warn that lack of clarity over rules is deterring organisations from giving advice, despite consensus on the importance of financial guidance. Read story

New Zealand Employment Relations Bill set to pass second reading in parliament
Employee Benefits: The New Zealand government’s new Employment Relations Bill is expected to pass its second reading in parliament today. Read story

More than a quarter plan to increase investment in health and wellbeing benefits
Employee Benefits: More than a quarter (29%) of employer respondents state that they are likely to increase investment in their health and wellbeing benefits in the next two years, for example around occupational sick pay, employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and flu jabs, according to research by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and LCP. Read story

Singapore government extends workers’ rights with amendment bill
Employee Benefits: The Singapore government’s Employment (Amendment) Bill 2018 has been passed in parliament after a second reading by Josephine Teo, minister for manpower, on 20 November 2018. Read story

'Leave me alone or I will retaliate' - Company chief convicted after refusing TPR information and threatening its staff
Professional Pensions: The chief executive of a packaging company has been convicted of refusing to give information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and lambasted for 'intolerable' behaviour towards the watchdog's staff. Read story

Neil MacGillivray: Pension is best for lifetime allowance excess
Money Marketing: There are many benefits of retaining the excess in a pension over taking it as a lump sum. Read story

Average wages could fall 10% in no-deal Brexit
Personnel Today: Wages could drop by an average of 10% in the event of a no-deal Brexit, though workers will lose out in every scenario, new government analysis has revealed. Read story

Half with money worries believe it's affected their work
HR Magazine: Nearly half of people with money worries believe the quality of their work suffers as a result, according to Aegon. Read story

Employers will keep investing in benefits despite economic uncertainty, finds CIPD poll
People Management: Professional development is biggest area of spending focus for HR departments. Read story

Discovery Flexibles Limited chief executive banned from being a trustee
Employee Benefits: Thomas Christopher Wrigley, chief executive officer and major shareholder at flexible printed packaging manufacturer Discovery Flexibles Limited, has been convicted of refusing to give information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR). Read story

Hymans Robertson to introduce financial education seminars for 850 UK staff
Employee Benefits: Pensions and risk consultancy Hymans Robertson is to introduce a series of financial education seminars from January 2019, in order to broaden the wellbeing offering provided for its 850 UK-based employees. Read story

Google, Microsoft and Netflix recognised as 2018’s most reputable employers
Employee Benefits: Technology organisations Google and Microsoft, media services provider Netflix and The Walt Disney Company are among the organisations that have been recognised in the Employer of Choice RepTrak study, compiled by reputation measurement and management business Reputation Institute. Read story

How will CDC work in the UK?
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Policy Institute has published a report to clarify confusion around collective defined contribution. Kim Kaveh looks at how it could work in the UK. Read story

Government must fulfil promises to keep carers in work
Personnel Today: The government has been urged to act on the Conservative Party’s 2017 pledge to introduce specific employment rights for working carers, such as statutory leave, to help keep them in the workplace. Read story

Only one in 100 members wants paper comms, finds BAA scheme
Pensions Expert: The BAA Pension Scheme’s digital push on communications has led to virtually the entire membership opting to switch to electronic information. Read story





Read the next article

Poll reveals little support for defaults at-retirement without financial guidance

Topic Categories

Sponsored Articles

Editor's Picks

Join our community


Sign up for REBA Professional Membership and join our community

Professional Membership benefits include receiving the REBA regular email alert, gaining access to free research and free opportunities to attend specialist conferences.

Professional Membership is currently complimentary for qualifying reward and benefits practitioners. 

Join REBA today