At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 15-21 September 2017


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 15-21 September

Unprofessional Pensions: Why CMA referral is good news for our industry
Professional Pensions: LCP's Philip Boyle explains why he believes the CMA review will help set the investment consultancy market free. Read story

Pension Awareness Day: Engagement remains a huge challenge
Professional Pensions: Experts have called for improvements surrounding pension communications, on the UK's third annual Pension Awareness Day. Read story

Adidas and Nomura named Britain’s Healthiest Workplaces for 2017
Employee Benefits: Adidas, Forster Communications, and Nomura International have been named Britain’s Healthiest Workplaces for 2017. Read story

53% believe defined benefit pension costs have a negative impact on pay
Employee Benefits: More than half (53%) of employer respondents that operate a defined benefit (DB) pension scheme for their staff feel that the costs associated with this are having a negative impact on pay increases, according to research by the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA). Read story

Google subject to equal pay lawsuit in US
Employee Benefits: Technology organisation Google is subject to a lawsuit that alleges, in the US state of California, female employees are discriminated against under the organisation’s approach to pay and opportunities for promotion. Read story

37% of employers worry staff cannot afford to retire
Employee Benefits: More than a third (37%) of respondents worry that their employees will not be able to afford to retire, according to research by Hargreaves Lansdown. Read story

Tribunal rules in favour of HMRC in national minimum wage penalty cap case
Employee Benefits: An Employment Tribunal (ET) has ruled that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is able to issue multiple national minimum wage penalty notices, which can lead to employer penalty fines exceeding the £20,000 per employee cap. Read story

PLSA publishes pension scheme data protection guide
Corporate Adviser: The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has published a guide to help schemes meet tough new EU data protection regulations ahead of next May’s strict compliance deadline. Read story

Unions call for NHS pay rise
HR Magazine: Since 2010 pay has been frozen and then capped at rises of 1% for public sector workers. Read story

Employee engagement is a two-way street
Incentive and Motivation: P&MM’s John Sylvester asks: “Are your managers and employees walking in different directions?” Read story

Small and often promotions best for motivation
Incentive and Motivation: The latest research shows that smaller but more-frequent promotions are key to minimising the high turnover of IT professionals, according to Alain Pinsonneault of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management. Read story

The hefty price you pay for skipping your lunch break
HR Grapevine: One third of UK employees admit to never leaving their work station after they arrive in the morning, a new report from totaljobs has found. Read story

Wellness perks: Employers will 'never, ever' see an ROI
HR Grapevine: The corporate wellness industry is predicted to be worth circa £5billion, with companies, on average, spending somewhere between £35 and £110 per employee, per year, on wellbeing offerings– Bloomberg & Gallup report. Read story

Nursing unions demand 3.9% pay rise and £800
Personnel Today: Unions representing more than a million nurses and other NHS staff have written to the chancellor to demand a 3.9% pay rise. Read story

Fewer than 9,000 new parents took shared parental leave last year
People Management: HR has a responsibility to make sure staff know their rights, experts warn. Read story

77% of employers do not want a radical reform of pensions tax relief
Pensions Age: Seventy-seven per cent of employers do not want to see any radical reform of the current pensions tax relief system, according to research by the Association of Consulting Actuaries. Read story

Expat pensions may not be paid after Brexit, Treasury committee warns
Professional Pensions: Expat pensioners may not receive their entitlements if no deal is reached in the Brexit negotiations, the Treasury select committee has warned the Chancellor. Read story

DWP consults on increasing FAS cap for long service
Professional Pensions: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is planning to increase the Financial Assistance Scheme's (FAS's) compensation cap for members with more than 20 years' service. Read story

DWP consults on increasing Financial Assistance Scheme long service cap
Employee Benefits: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation into implementing an increased cap on Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) payments for eligible members with long service in a single defined benefit (DB) pension scheme. Read story

PWC reports 12.8% mean ethnicity pay gap
Employee Benefits: Professional services organisation PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has reported a 12.8% mean ethnicity pay gap for its black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) UK staff as at July 2017, according to its 2017 annual report. Read story

Ryanair to change annual leave calendar
Employee Benefits: Ryanair is to change its calendar for annual leave from April to March to January to December from 1 January 2018. Read story

Employers back AE contribution increases but split on who pays
Corporate Adviser: Four out of five employers believe minimum auto-enrolment contributions should rise, but they are divided over who should pay for it, a survey of 400 employers has found. Read story

TPR bans three following £9m Scottish hotel scam
Corporate Adviser: Three men have been banned from acting as trustees of pension schemes for transferring millions of pounds of members’ cash into overpriced land and hotel developments in Scotland. Read story

Appreciation doesn't have to be seasonal
Reward Guide: How can employers keep the Christmas cheer all year round? Kimberley Dondo examines the importance of engaging staff for more than just one season. Read story

Ryanair CEO admits 'c*** up' over staff holiday fiasco
HR Grapevine: Budget airline Ryanair has come under fire after the firm announced that up to 50 flights a day would be cancelled, in order for staff to catch up on their holiday entitlement. Read story

Jobs market lags behind demand for flexible working
Personnel Today: Employees’ desire for flexible working far exceeds companies’ capacity to offer it, a report published today has found. Read story

FCA to force DC transaction and administration cost disclosure from January
Professional Pensions: Firms will have to provide a breakdown of administration and transaction costs when requested by workplace defined contribution (DC) governance bodies from 3 January 2018. Read story

B&CE discloses implicit costs of default; calls for 'soft cap' on such charges
Professional Pensions: B&CE has published a full breakdown of transaction costs for The People's Pension's - revealing both the explicit and implicit costs for its default fund - and has also called for the introduction for a soft cap on such costs. Read story

BA puts forward 'flexible' DC fund to replace DB
Professional Pensions: British Airways (BA) has proposed a 'flexible' company-wide scheme as it continues to consult on closing its defined benefit (DB) New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS). Read story

Euromonitor International holds global health and wellbeing week
Employee Benefits: Business intelligence organisation Euromonitor International held a health and wellbeing week across 10 of its global operating locations for its 1,264 employees. Read story

British Airways i360 gains living wage accreditation
Employee Benefits: Brighton-based attraction British Airways i360 has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation. Read story

Low Pay Commission recommends actions to reduce minimum wage non-compliance
Employee Benefits: The Low Pay Commission (LPC) has recommended that the government publishes details of organisations which do not comply with national minimum wage legislation at regular timed intervals, for example quarterly or every six months, in order to regularly raise awareness of non-compliance. Read story

Cadbury agrees two-year pay deal and enhanced maternity pay for 1,300 UK staff
Employee Benefits: Cadbury has agreed a two-year pay deal and enhanced maternity pay package at three of its UK sites, covering approximately 1,300 employees. Read story

Will these wearables soon be part of your business?
Incentive and Motivation: From tracking our steps on our iPhone or our dog walk, to our health data,  there is an increasing amount of applications of wearable sensors in smart devices such as smart watches, shoes and medical devices which can track patients’ physical activity. Read story

Lack of liquid savings leaves employees at risk of financial shocks
Reward Guide: Nest Insight has published a discussion paper outlining how many people don’t have enough liquid savings to manage financially on a daily basis. Read story

Men and younger workers moving away from full-time roles, finds study 
People Management: Majority of employees now working flexibly but just one in 10 job ads mentions flexibility. Read story

MPs launch inquiry into pension freedoms
Money Marketing: Committee shows particular concern over pension scams. Read story

CMA reveals scope of investment consultancy probe
Professional Pensions: The Competition and Markets Authority has (CMA) set out the coverage of its "thorough and independent" investigation of investment consultants and fiduciary managers, and what action it could decide to take. Read story

TPR defends tough stance on scheme returns
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has rebuffed criticism it is being 'heavy-handed' where trustees fail to submit scheme returns, after issuing a record 45 fines in Q2. Read story

Greensill Capital launches new benefits package for UK staff
Employee Benefits: Financial services organisation Greensill Capital has launched a new package of benefits and online benefits platform for its 72 UK employees. Read story

82% feel they could do more to address mental health at work
Employee Benefits: The majority (82%) of respondents feel they could do more to better address mental health in the workplace, according to research by employee assistance programme provider CIC. Read story

Google, Lego and Microsoft top 2017’s best corporate social responsibility list
Employee Benefits: Google, Lego Group, Microsoft and The Walt Disney Company are among the organisations named as having the best corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance, according to the Reputation Institute. Read story

Point scoring at work
HR Magazine: Points-based recognition is an effective way for businesses to engage employees and encourage positive behaviours. Read story

The health benefits employees want the most
Incentive and Motivation: According to a new Aviva report less than half  of UK businesses (46%) believe the measures they currently have in place to reduce absence have clear benefits. Read story

Ten practical ways to increase motivation in your workplace
Reward Guide: Red Letter Days Motivates outlines ten practical ways to cultivate a motivated workforce. Read story

Health over Wealth
Reward Guide: More than half (52%) of UK employees would choose a company that cared about their wellbeing over a company that pays 10% more. Read story

Why flexible working is not just for working mothers
HR Grapevine: Flexible working is one of the most sought-after benefits for employees globally. The ability to log in at any time and work from anywhere is a selling point on many roles, and a deal breaker for candidates. Read story

Only half of employees think their workplace supports productivity
People Management: Only half (57 per cent) of staff worldwide believe their workplace fosters productivity, a new study has found. Read story



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