At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 27 July - 2 August 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 27 July - 2 August.

At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 27 July - 2 August 2018

2.2 million employees missing out on legal holiday entitlement
Employee Benefits: The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has warned today (Friday 27 July 2018) that one in 12 UK workers – an estimated 2.2 million people – are not getting their legal holiday entitlement. Of these employees, 1.2 million have not received any paid leave at all. Read story

TPR launches consultation on draft policy for master trust supervision
Employee Benefits: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched a consultation into the draft policy that will supervise and regulate master trust pension schemes once master trust authorisation is introduced from October 2018. Read story 

Google and Hallmark Cards rank among America’s best employers for women 2018
Employee Benefits: Google (pictured), Hallmark Cards, Harvard University and Principle Financial Group are among the organisations recognised on the America’s best employers for women 2018 list, compiled by business media organisation Forbes and market research firm Statista. Read story

Supreme Court of California rules in favour of Starbucks employee in compensation case
Employee Benefits: The Supreme Court of California has ruled that a Starbucks employee, and a corresponding class of non-managerial staff, must be paid for store-closing tasks that are performed after employees have formally clocked out. Read story

BT pension deficit plummets £1.8bn despite actuary's £500m ‘error'
Professional Pensions: BT has slashed its pension liabilities by £1.8bn in three months through deficit recovery contributions (DRCs) and a change to the scheme's discount rate. Read story

DB surplus hits record high of £382bn on best estimate basis, says First Actuarial
Professional Pensions: The UK's 5,588 defined benefit (DB) schemes had a combined surplus of £382bn at the end of June, according to First Actuarial's best estimate index (FABI). Read story

Brexit logjam ‘holding back pension reforms’
Corporate Adviser: Four out of five people are concerned that the Government is so focused on Brexit that other important policies are downgraded, according to research from Aegon. Read story

New Zealand passes Bill for paid leave for domestic abuse victims
HR Magazine: As New Zealand passes legislation to allow domestic abuse victims 10 days' paid leave, campaigners hope it will prompt UK policymakers and businesses to take action. Read story

Public sector pay rise: What does it mean?
HR Magazine: The end of the 1% pay cap places new obligations on managers in the public sector. Read story

Samuel Smith brewery fined over failure to report to Pensions Regulator
Personnel Today: Brewery Samuel Smith and its chairman, 73-year-old Humphrey Smith, have been fined nearly £28,000 after admitting failure to supply information to The Pensions Regulator (TPR). Read story

Businesses ‘throwing money down the drain’ by not communicating employee benefits
People Management: HR profession urged to be ‘more strategic’ in how it promotes perk packages. Read story

Employers must do more to tackle male ‘stigma’ around shared parental leave
People Management: Trailblazers will help tackle issues of unconscious bias, say speakers at flagship legal event. Read story

Employers 'robbing' staff of their holiday entitlement
HR Grapevine: Around 2.2million UK workers are missing out on their legal holiday entitlement, with over half of this figure (1.2million) not getting any paid leave at all, according to a report from the TUC. Read story

Should the tax-free lump sum be separated from pension decisions?
Money Marketing: The FCA wants the government to explore ‘decoupling’ the 25 per cent tax-free lump sum from decisions about the remaining pension pot. Read story

Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work hosts family fun day at on-site beach
Employee Benefits: Property management organisation Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work, which manages West London business campus Chiswick Park, hosted a family fun day for up to 9,000 employees, at its specially created on-site beach. Read story

46% offer parental leave in excess of local legal requirements
Employee Benefits: Almost half (46%) of top employers worldwide offer parental leave in excess of local legal requirements, according to research by the Top Employers Institute. Read story

New Zealand increases pay for 5,000 mental health employees
Employee Benefits: The New Zealand government has confirmed a pay increase for 5,000 mental health and addiction support employees, which could see eligible staff earn up to $200 (£103.67) more per week. Read story

Pension freedom withdrawals hit record £2.3bn in Q2
Professional Pensions: A record £2.3bn was withdrawn from pensions under Freedom and Choice in the second quarter of this year, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Read story

TPR receives over 100 reports of employers encouraging staff to opt out of pensions
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has received more than 100 allegations of employers inducing their employees to opt out of pensions in the last three years, it has revealed. Read story

Coats edges into pension surplus as schemes consolidated
Professional Pensions: Coats Group has recorded a narrow defined benefit (DB) surplus of $1m (£0.8m) across its three UK schemes. Read story

Centrica's pension deficit falls by £857m in H1
Professional Pensions: Centrica has announced the funding hole across its pension schemes fell by 97% to £29m at the end of June 2018. Read story

Sun Rehabilitation to acquire Workspace Health
Employee Benefits: Occupational health organisation Sun Rehabilitation is to acquire office erognomic business Workspace Health. Read story

The Disneyland Resort awards two-year pay deal to 9,700 staff
Employee Benefits: The Disneyland Resort, California has awarded a two-year pay deal to 9,700 employees covered by the Master Services Council trade union coalition, increasing minimum wage rates by 40%. Read story

The 5 reasons your benefits programme isn’t performing
Incentive and Motivation: Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has identified five of the main challenges employers have with employee benefits in a digital age, and provided advice to support each issue. Read story

Sickness absence dropped to record low in 2017
Personnel Today: The average number of sick days taken fell to an all-time low last year, as the CIPD warns “unhealthy” working practices such as presenteeism continue to be overlooked by employers. Read story

UK workers favour flexible approach to retirement - Aegon
Cover: The concept of retirement is changing, with more people choosing to work past traditional retirement ages or reduce their hours gradually, research by Aegon has found. Read story

John Dean: Developing a global 'paid time off' strategy
Cover: Some companies - including the likes of Netflix, Virgin and LinkedIn - have moved towards offering unlimited paid leave for staff: the workplace is evolving. Read story

 Savers access £17.5 billion through pension freedoms
Employee Benefits: Retirement savers have accessed approximately £17.5 billion through pension freedoms since reforms were introduced in April 2015, according to data from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Read story

Reward and recognition identified as top engagement driver for MENA employees
Employee Benefits: Reward and recognition is the strongest engagement driver for employees based in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), according to research by global professional services firm Aon. Read story

University College Cork gains employee wellbeing accreditation
Employee Benefits: University College Cork (UCC) has been awarded Ireland’s national workplace wellbeing accreditation, the KeepWell Mark, in recognition of a commitment to employee wellbeing for its 3,000 staff. Read story

Over a third of employees unaware they have been auto-enrolled
Professional Pensions: Some 36% of employees do not know that they have been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension, data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed. Read story

Only 2% would consider giving up company cars
HR Magazine: Only one in 50 (2%) UK firms would consider giving up company cars for car and ride sharing, according to Arval’s 2018 Corporate Vehicle Observatory Barometer. Read story

Mastertrust transfers and charges blasted in ‘worst in pensions’ study
Pensions Expert: Two of the UK’s largest mastertrusts have been named the worst performing providers in pensions over high charges and slow transfer processes. Read story

Supermarket Aldi ranks highest for pay transparency
HR Grapevine: Aldi are the company with the most transparent pay process as voted by their own employees, according to analysis from Payscale. Read story

21% of 18 to 35-year-olds do not know how their pension works
Employee Benefits: More than one-fifth (21%) of respondents aged between 18 and 35 do not understand how their pension works, according to research by Read story

50% to increase pay by more than 2% in 2018
Employee Benefits: Half (50%) of employer respondents are planning to increase pay for their employees by more than 2% in the next year, according to research by business organisation British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and online recruitment firm Indeed. Read story

Macuil’s Tire and Service Center ordered to pay $76,648 in back pay
Employee Benefits: The US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas has ordered US-based automotive repair organisation Macuil’s Tire and Service Center and its owner to pay $76,648 (£58,452.53) in back pay after failing to compensate 12 employees for overtime. Read story

Committee recommends organisations with 50 employees report gender pay gap
Employee Benefits: The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has recommended that the qualifying threshold for gender pay gap reporting be widened from organisations with 250 or more employees to include businesses with 50 or more staff, in time for April 2020’s reporting deadline. Read story

BA members warn trustees to appeal judgment to avoid 'breaching trust’
Professional Pensions: Members of the Airways Pension Scheme (APS) have written to trustees demanding a meeting over why they have not yet decided whether to appeal the recent Court of Appeal judgment, PP can reveal. Read story

There is too much red tape in pensions, says industry
Professional Pensions: Nine in ten respondents said around 160,000 pages of legislation is too much. Read story




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