At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 3-9 January 2020


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 3-9 January.

At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 3-9 January 2020

Simpler annual benefit statement proposals get positive response from industry
Professional Pensions: The Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP's) consultation on simpler annual benefit statements, which closed to feedback last month, garnered a range of mostly positive responses. Read story

National living wage set to increase by 6.2% in April 2020
Employee Benefits: The national living wage will rise by 6.2% to £8.72 in 2020, the biggest increase since its introduction in April 2016. Read story

Half of employers reward staff with Christmas parties during the festive season
Employee Benefits: Almost half (48%) of organisations choose to reward their employees with a Christmas party or meal during the festive period. Read story

Four things to expect in workplaces during 2020
Cover: Internal communications, workplace flexibility and ‘employee first’ cultures will 'dominate year ahead'. Read story

Case study: Mental health support led by the individual
HR Magazine: Monzo wanted to ensure a range of help is available to all employees, wherever and whenever they want it. Read story

It takes three days for a CEO to earn the average UK salary
HR Review: Within the first three working days of 2020, a CEO has earned the same amount as the average UK employee’s annual salary (£29,559). Read story

Nest subsidiary receives FCA authorisation
Corporate Adviser: Nest has confirmed its new subsidiary, Nest Invest has received authorisation as an Occupational Pension Scheme. Read story

Authorised master trusts look ahead to supervision
Pensions Expert: The newly authorised master trust sector is bracing itself for a further increase in regulatory scrutiny as the supervision regime takes hold, since one-to-one supervision and annual statement requirements could amount to something approaching a “mini-authorisation” once a year. Read story

Government ‘penny-pinching’ in state pension reductions – Royal London
Pensions Age: Around 11,000 people are set to face a combined cut of approximately £33m to their state pension in April 2020, a freedom of information request from Royal London has revealed. Read story

Most pension schemes have made no ESG portfolio changes
Pensions Age: Nearly all (95 per cent) scheme members have said that the majority pension schemes have made no environmental, governance and social (ESG) changes to their portfolios, despite increased focus and regulations on responsible investing. Read story

Why financial wellbeing starts with improving pay and reward awareness
HR News: According to recent research from the CIPD, a quarter of HR professionals believe poor financial wellbeing is a major cause of workplace stress. This stress damages employee motivation and productivity, as well as – by extension – business output and the customer experience. Read story

Sajid Javid set to answer Treasury questions on future of IR35
HR Review: Today (7/1/20) at 14.30, Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the Exchequer will be asked three questions relating to IR35 from Conservative MPs, with the belief that a Treasury announcement regarding the legislation will be made after. Read story

New Budget date raises prospect of pension reform
Corporate Adviser: The Chancellor, Sajid Javid has confirmed his first Budget will be held on March 11 this year. Read story

Altmann: An 'opportune time' to consider AE compulsion and one-nation tax incentives
Professional Pensions: The government should consider making auto-enrolment (AE) minimum contributions compulsory and removing tax-relief from this sum, Baroness Ros Altmann says. Read story

11,000 retirees to lose £70 of state pension per week from April 2020
Employee Benefits: According to a Freedom of Information request made to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) by Steve Webb, policy director at insurance organisation Royal London, an estimated 11,000 retirees are set to face a significant cut to their state pension from April 2010. Read story

Dutch hospital employees agree to 8% pay increase affecting 200,000 staff
Employee Benefits: Members of the Dutch trade union FNV have agreed to a pay deal reached on December 2019 for 200,000 employees working in hospitals covered by the country’s collective labour agreement (CLA). Read story

Almost nine in 10 informal carers receive no support from their employer
Employee Benefits: Of the 18% of UK employees providing unpaid care for someone close to them, 88% say that they receive no support from their employer, according to research by WeMa Care. Read story

Highlands and Islands air traffic controllers accept 9% pay deal
Employee Benefits: Air traffic controllers, represented by trade union Prospect and working for Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL), have accepted a pay rise amounting to 9% over the period of three years, ending a long-running dispute. Read story

American Golf launches points-based recognition scheme for 825 employees
Employee Benefits: Europe-based golf retailer American Golf has launched a new employee reward and recognition scheme for its 825 members of staff. Read story

How to improve employee retention in 2020
HR News: In 2019, 51% of people had planned to move jobs by the end of the year, resulting in many businesses having to redouble their efforts to look for new talent going into 2020. Read story

UK employees closer to working a six-day week
HR Review: More than half of the UK workforce are currently closer to working a six-day week, never mind the notion of a four-day one. Read story

Nine out of 10 employers to review pension provider in 2020
Corporate Adviser: A shake-up in the workplace pensions market is expected with growing dissatisfaction with existing providers. Read story

Pension providers berated over lack of product innovation
Professional Pensions: The majority of employers in the UK do not believe pension providers are doing enough to offer progressive products for the modern workforce, according to Smarterly. Read story

Local schemes urge Barclays to stop financing fossil fuel companies
Pensions Expert: Several local government pension schemes are asking Barclays to publish a plan to gradually phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies, as the bank has provided more than $85bn (£65bn) to such companies since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015. Read story

Half of UK workers considering moving jobs in 2020
People Management: Accreditation body warns of ‘recruitment crisis’ caused by disillusioned employees. Read story

Working in an office can cost staff £2k per year
HR Grapevine: Working in an office environment can cost employees £1,715 every year on work-related niceties, parties and gifts for colleagues, new research from Nationwide Building Society has found. Read story

Majority of organisations remain unprepared for executive pay gap reporting
Workplace Insight: Three-fifths of UK organisations are still not ready to report their executive pay gap almost twelve months after the legislation came into force, claims a new poll by HR services provider MHR. Read story

Three staff welfare themes to watch out for in 2020
Cover: With a new year upon us, group risk trade body GRiD has outlined three key trends for employers. Read story

Ensure a rewarding 2020
HR Magazine: Let 2020 be the year you review and reinvent your pay framework to ensure it is aligned with your business’ direction and purpose. Read story

Pension Schemes Bill reintroduced to Parliament
Corporate Adviser: The new Pension Schemes Bill will be published today, after being introduced to the House of Lords yesterday. Read story

Government called on to improve minimum wage enforcement
People Management: Think tank estimates one in four low-wage workers are underpaid as employers forced to absorb rising pay costs. Read story

PIB Group acquires employee benefits division of Sanlam Wealth Planning
Employee Benefits: Insurance intermediary organisation PIB Group (PIB) has reinforced its employee benefits package through the acquisition of Sanlam Wealth Planning UK’s employee benefits division. Read story

Half of British employees favour January rewards above Christmas perks
Employee Benefits: Almost half (49%) of British workers would be open to receiving a reward in January instead of Christmas, while one in five (21%) would definitely prefer this arrangement, according to research by staff incentives and reward provider, Virgin Incentives. Read story

Starbucks launches mental wellbeing app for 291,000 employees globally
Employee Benefits: Coffee retailer and cafe chain organisation Starbucks has committed to breaking the stigma around mental health and supporting its 291,000-strong global workforce by launching a wellbeing app, in addition to running training courses centred around mental and emotional resilience. Read story

Firm swaps work drinks for craft days in anti-booze policy
HR Grapevine: With the festive period now firmly behind us, January may well be the ideal time for HR to take a look back over its practices from the past year with an analytical eye. Read story

Five reasons why employee benefits programmes can fail
Cover: A smattering of EBC tips to keeping staff happy at a time when many might be looking elsewhere. Read story

USS talk dates between UUK and UCU confirmed
Pensions Age: Five January dates have now been confirmed for talks on reforming the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS), with representatives from the University and College Union (UCU) and Universities UK (UUK) to attend. Read story

Mineworkers’ and British Coal pension schemes secure £267m settlement
Pensions Age: The UK Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme and the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme have secured a $350m (£267m) settlement in a US securities fraud case. Read story

Off-payroll review launched
HR Magazine: The government has announced it is launching a review of upcoming changes to off-payroll working rules. Read story

Managers reluctant to hire staff who request flexible working
HR Review: Over two-fifths of UK managers are reluctant to hire people who require or demand flexible working. Read story

Claire Ginnelly: The forward march of the corporate cash plan
Corporate Adviser: The wide range of benefits offered and the low price point mean the rise of the corporate cash plan looks set to continue says Premier Choice Group managing director Claire Ginnelly. Read story

Gregg McClymont: Boris’s net pay payback time
Corporate Adviser: The Conservatives must make good on their manifesto pledge to sort out the net pay issue says The People’s Pension director of policy Gregg McClymont. Read story

PPF reaches 1,000 scheme milestone as the Carillion Rail Pension Scheme transfers
Professional Pensions: The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has secured the benefits of 4,000 members of the Carillion Rail Pension Scheme after it became the 1,000th scheme to transfer to the lifeboat fund. Read story

CDC success reliant on 'fairer' balance of priorities
Professional Pensions: Collective defined contribution (CDC) schemes will offer members and employers a more satisfactory balance between affordability and security if they can meet both parties’ needs, according to Unbiased. Read story

‘Quarter-life crisis’ among young workers spurring career changes
People Management: Research warns large numbers of millennials want to start different jobs soon, but experts say concerns may be over-hyped. Read story

Greggs awards bonuses of £300 to 19,000 employees following 2019 profits
Employee Benefits: Approximately 19,000 employees at British bakery retailer Greggs are set to receive £300 bonuses at the end of January 2020, following positive results in the organisation’s fourth quarter trading update. Read story

‘Difficult’ to predict impact of taper on high earning doctors – govt
Pensions Age: The government has said that it is “difficult” to predict the impact of the tapered annual allowance on individual high earning doctors. Read story



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