At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 6-12 July 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 6-12 July.

At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 6-12 July 2018

Poll: 29% believe financial benefits motivate employees most
Employee Benefits: More than a quarter (29%) of respondents believe that financial benefits, such as employee share schemes, motivate employees the most. Read story

60% prefer employers that support health and wellbeing when aged over 65
Employee Benefits: Almost two-thirds (60%) of respondents would be more inclined to work for an employer that supports their health and wellbeing with benefits and initiatives working past the age of 65, according to research by Canada Life Group Insurance. Read story 

Torus Housing awards 3.1% pay rise for 700 staff
Employee Benefits: Housing group organisation Torus Housing has awarded a 3.1% pay increase to 700 employees. Read story 

Gowling WLG launches blockchain-based peer-to-peer recognition scheme
Employee Benefits: International law firm Gowling WLG has introduced a new blockchain-based peer-to-peer recognition scheme for 1,178 UK employees working at its London and Birmingham offices. Read story 

Card Factory and Home Bargains named on minimum wage non-compliance list
Employee Benefits: Retailers Card Factory and Home Bargains are among the 239 employers named by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for failure to pay employees the national minimum wage and the national living wage. Read story

How national income targets can boost pension saving
Professional Pensions: The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has proposed a number of reforms to boost pensions adequacy. Victoria Ticha looks at the recommendations. Read story

British Airways: How the discretionary increase case unfolded
Professional Pensions: It has been almost five years since British Airways (BA) launched legal action against the trustees of its Airways Pension Scheme (APS) for unilaterally awarding a discretionary benefit to members. Read story

Significant underpayments to apprentices as HMRC ‘names and shames’ errant employers
People Management: Businesses fined record £1.97m for falling short on minimum wages, but experts call for more details on common errors. Read story

Five key steps to enhancing employee wellbeing
People Management: Speakers at the REBA Employee Wellbeing Congress discuss how to future-proof your business through a focus on health. Read story

Govt mulls flat-rate pension tax relief
Money Marketing: The Treasury is considering whether to introduce a flat rate of pension tax relief to help fund the National Health Service. Read story

Nearly half of DB liabilities hedged following surge in new LDI mandates
Professional Pensions: More of the smallest defined benefit (DB) schemes are hedging inflation and interest rate risk using liability-driven investment (LDI) strategies thanks to more accessible and affordable solutions, XPS Pensions Group says. Read story

Advertised salaries for legal jobs increased by 13.1%
Employee Benefits: The average advertised salary for jobs within the legal sector has increased by 13.1% between June 2017 and June 2018, according to research by recruitment website CV Library. Read story

6% of employers provide debt consolidation as part of benefits package
Employee Benefits: Less than one in 10 (6%) of respondents state that their employer provides debt consolidation via workplace lending and counselling services as part of their employee benefits package, according to research by Thomsons Online Benefits. Read story

Sheffield Supertram drivers and conductors strike in pay dispute
Employee Benefits: Around 200 drivers and conductors who work for South Yorkshire Supertram on the Sheffield Supertram network, and who are members of the trade union Unite, are undertaking strike action today (Monday 9 July 2018) in a dispute over pay. Read story

Employees struggle to meet living costs
HR Magazine: Research from Thomsons Online Benefits finds that employers are not providing enough support to employees with financial issues. Read story

Minimum wage laws ‘encourage employers to favour younger workers’
People Management: But legislation to lower national living wage age limit stalls after MPs run out of time. Read story

35% want stress management as an employee benefit
Employee Benefits: More than a third (35%) of respondents want stress management as an employee insurance benefit, according to research by Cigna. Read story

Homes and Communities Agency staff strike in dispute over pay
Employee Benefits: Employees of executive non-departmental public body the Homes and Communities Agency who are members of the trade union Unite are undertaking a three-day strike in a dispute over pay. Read story

DB deficit falls £8bn over June, says PPF
Professional Pensions: The combined deficit of the UK's 5,588 private sector defined benefit (DB) schemes was £85.6bn at the end of June, according to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). Read story

IPT hikes: cushioning the blow
Corporate Adviser: The rate of IPT has doubled to 12 per cent over the last three years. So what is the market doing to help cushion the blow for clients? And has an increase in trust structures materialised? Suzanne Clarkson investigates. Read story

The age of engagement and inclusivity
HR Magazine: Combining an inclusive and engaging culture with complementary policies is key. Read story

UK lags behind on employee wellbeing
HR Magazine: The UK ranks as the fifth-worst country worldwide for unmanageable stress. Read story

Aldi and Lidl employees “coming home” if England make the final
Personnel Today: Budget supermarkets Aldi and Lidl are hoping they haven’t scored an own goal by allowing employees to leave early this Sunday if England make it to the World Cup Final. Read story

Institution of Engineering and Technology completes £50m pensioner buy-in
Employee Benefits: The Institution of Engineering and Technology has completed a £50 million pensioner buy-in transaction for the defined benefit (DB) IET Superannuation and Assurance Scheme. Read story

51% of UK employers check pay arrangements to ensure they meet equal pay obligations
Employee Benefits: Half (51%) of UK employer respondents have recently checked their pay arrangements to ensure they are meeting equal pay obligations, with a further 29% of respondents planning to do this in the near future, according to research by Willis Towers Watson. Read story

AXA, Croydon Council and DWP recognised for equality and inclusion at ENEI Awards
Employee Benefits: AXA, Croydon Council (pictured), and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) were just some of the winners commended at the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) Awards. Read story

Insolvency Service disqualifies four directors following trustee firm probe
Professional Pensions: Four directors of two trustee firms have been banned from running companies for a total of 21 years following an investigation by the Insolvency Service. Read story

TPR fines Rentokil Initial trustees £25,000 for failing to submit pension scheme valuations
Professional Pensions: A trustee board has been fined £25,000 by The Pensions Regulator (TPR) for failing to complete 2012 and 2015 valuations for one of its schemes. Read story

30% admit that financial worries are their biggest concern
Employee Benefits: Financial worries are rife among UK employees, with 30% admitting this is their greatest concern. However, most employers believe that workers are more worried about work-life balance (44%) or workload (33%), according to research by financial wellbeing provider Neyber. Read story

TMW Unlimited launches employer-paid cycling scheme
Employee Benefits: Brand engagement agency TMW Unlimited has launched an employer-paid cycling scheme for 900 employees nationwide. Read story

Leigh Day announces first 1,000 equal pay claims against Tesco
Employee Benefits: Following the announcement of legal action in February 2018, law firm Leigh Day has now lodged 1,000 equal pay claims against supermarket chain Tesco, and reports that it expects that number to rise because it has received thousands more enquiries. Read story

PMI president Branagh steps down; Carline elected
Professional Pensions: Robert Branagh is stepping down as president of the Pensions Management Institute (PMI), and is replaced by Lesley Carline who becomes its third female president. Read story

HMRC urged to extend GMP reconciliation deadline by a year
Professional Pensions: The government should extend its support for schemes seeking to reconcile guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) records until October 2019, Willis Towers Watson has said. Read story

Men still dominate BBC's top-paid stars list
HR Magazine: In response to the news HR magazine asked experts what the latest figures say about the progress of gender pay equality, and what this means for other employers. Read story

Improved engagement more urgent than product innovation, says PPI
Pensions Expert: Savers can achieve positive outcomes with the range of products already available to them, according to a Pensions Policy Institute report emphasising the importance of engagement in helping people make more informed decisions. Read story

Staff feel ‘cynical’ about employers’ approach to shared parental leave
People Management: Certain employers also ‘obstructed’ fathers’ attempts to exercise rights, researcher told. Read story

Employers who supplied ‘dodgy’ gender pay data face action by EHRC
People Management: ‘Limited resources’ could leave organisations slipping through the net, experts warn. Read story

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