At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 27 October - 2 November 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 27 October - 2 November

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Workplace mental health interventions can boost productivity – Farmer/Stevenson review
Corporate Adviser: Investing in supporting mental health at work is good for business and productivity, helping to cut the £99bn it costs the UK economy each year, a review commissioned by the Prime Minister has found. Read story

Sodexo reports a 14.9% mean gender pay gap
Employee Benefits: Facilities management service organisation Sodexo has reported a mean gender pay gap of 14.9% for hourly fixed pay as at April 2017 across its five legal entitles with more than 250 staff in the UK. Read story

Manchester City Council signs charter to provide pay protections for care staff
Employee Benefits: Manchester City Council has committed to delivering pay protections to its employees working in the care sector, including paying staff the voluntary living wage and providing occupational sick pay. Read story 

Admiral Group and Hilton among world’s best multinational workplaces
Employee Benefits: Admiral Group, EY, Hilton, Mars and Salesforce are among the 25 global organisations recognised on the 2017 world’s best multinational workplaces list, compiled by Great Place to Work. Read story

Government consults on draft regulations for the publication of pension costs and charges
Employee Benefits: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on proposed policies and draft regulations that would require occupational pension schemes that offer money purchase benefits to publish transaction costs and charges information. Read story

Police staff and community support officers to receive additional pay rise
Employee BenefitsPolice staff and community support officers (PCSOs) across England and Wales are to receive a total 2% pay increase. Read story

Government consults on draft regulations for bulk DC pension transfers without member consent
Employee Benefits: The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has launched a consultation on draft regulations to simplify procedures around the bulk transfer of defined contribution (DC) pension arrangements without member consent. Read story

Arriva North West employees strike over pay
Employee Benefits: Arriva North West bus drivers and engineering employees are taking part in a 24-hour strike in a dispute over pay. Read story

41% of employees want their employer to provide childcare vouchers 
Incentive and Motivation: New research from Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services has revealed that 41% of employees in the UK want their employer to provide childcare vouchers as part of their benefits scheme. Read story

Seven tips to build trust in British workplaces
Reward Guide: A substantial amount of businesses have a high level of mistrust amounts workers and senior leaders. A Blueprint for Better Business has compiled seven tips to develop a healthier and more trusting culture in the workforce. Read story 

PMI second-most valued employee benefit
Health Insurance Daily: Private medical insurance (PMI) is the second-most valued employee benefit, a poll suggests. Read story

How TPR is becoming quicker, clearer and tougher
Professional Pensions: The regulator is cracking down on unacceptable levels of non-compliance and using some of its powers for the first time. Its chief executive Lesley Titcomb tells Stephanie Baxter what trustees can expect. Read story

Half of workers fear retirement shortfall prompting calls for 'career MOT’
Professional Pensions: Nearly eight million people fear they will not have enough money to retire when they reach state pension age (SPA), Age UK research has revealed. Read story

Pensions 'roulette' leaves savers '£5,000 a year worse off’
Professional Pensions: Pot luck on investment returns leaves savers playing "pensions roulette" in the years just before retirement, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said. Read story

23% of millennials do not know how much their employer pays into their workplace pension
Employee Benefits: Under a quarter (23%) of respondents aged between 18 and 34 with a workplace pension do not know how much their employer is paying into their occupational pension, according to research by Aegon. Read story

Velux launches employee-led mental health counselling
Employee Benefits: Roof window manufacturing organisation Velux has launched an employee-led mental health counselling service for its 250 UK and Ireland-based employees. Read story

EDF Energy agrees pay deal for 1,000 employees
Employee Benefits: Members of the trade unions Unite and GMB who are working on the construction of Hinkley Point, an EDF Energy-led nuclear power station, have voted in favour of a new pay deal. Read story

Ombudsman: Better communication could help resolve disputes quicker
Professional Pensions: Schemes should consider more modern ways of engaging with complaining members as this could solve conflicts more quickly, Anthony Arter says. Read story

Total annual pensions income forecast to hit £106bn by 2022
Professional Pensions: Pensioners retiring in 2022 will receive £9bn a year more from their private pensions and annuities than those retiring this year, an Experian analysis reveals. Read story

Clearing the hurdles facing the pensions dashboard
Money Marketing: Making the pensions dashboard a reality has thrown up various problems, many of which were highlighted in the Pensions Dashboard Project report “Reconnecting people with their pensions”, recently published by the Association of British Insurers. Read story

Staff switch jobs for 10% rise
HR Magazine: Employers underestimate the number of their employees who are open to new positions. Read story

What can we expect from the Autumn Budget?
Pensions Expert: The chancellor’s Autumn Budget is fast approaching, but the industry should not expect any radical pension changes from a weak government bogged down by Brexit, experts say. Read story

Just 36% of employers have benefits engagement communication strategy
Incentive and Motivation: Aon Benefit & Trends survey shows 90% of employers want to increase engagement in benefits, but only 36% have a communications strategy. Read story

Building the business case for: Flexible Benefits
Reward Guide: Employees like the opportunity to be able to pick the perks that best suit their lifestyles, writes Kimberley Dondo. Read story

Pilot flexible working programmes for teachers announced
Personnel Today: Justine Greening has announced new pilot programmes to look at ways of supporting and employing teachers flexibly, and enhancing coaching schemes for women working in education. Read story 

Why some employers must provide extra holiday in 2018
Personnel Today: As a result of the way in which the Easter bank holidays fall in 2018 and 2019, some employers will breach their employees’ annual leave rights unless they furnish them with an extra day’s annual leave. Read story

HMRC repays £36m in overcharged pension tax
Money Marketing: HM Revenue and Customs has repaid just over £36m to people who withdrew part of their pension but were overcharged on their tax bills in the last quarter. Read story

15% have access to a return-to-work programme at their organisation
Employee Benefits: More than one in 10 (15%) of respondents state that their organisation currently has a return-to-work programme in place, according to research by Hays. Read story

24% of divorced women are unable to save into a pension
Employee Benefits: Under a quarter (24%) of respondents who are divorced women are unable to save into a pension, compared with 12% of divorced men who are not able to save in their pension pot, according to research by Scottish Widows. Read story

MEPC holds wellbeing month for 4,000 staff
Employee Benefits: Landlord and development organisation MEPC is holding a wellbeing month for 4,000 employees based at its Wellington Place business community. Read story

Terminal illness tax lottery fails to deter excepted group life boom
Corporate Adviser: Increasing numbers of employers face a terminal illness tax lottery because of HMRC rules that levy tax on life cover where employees are struck by conditions that give them 12 months to live but do not tax those who die suddenly. Read story

We must tackle workplace stress
HR Magazine: Whether you’re a manager or an employee it’s clear that managing workplace stress is a vital issue. Read story

Fujitsu could see more strikes in jobs and pensions dispute
Pensions Expert: Union Unite is preparing to reballot employees at ICT company Fujitsu on strike action, in a long-running dispute that – among other things – involves a change to the ICL defined benefit section’s late retirement factor. Read story

1 in 5 Employees Prefer Shared Experiences As Rewards
Incentive and Motivation: New research from Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services reveals that nearly 1 in 5 of these employees would like to share an experience with their team, and an even greater number (25%) said they would like to share their rewards with family or friends. Read story

Workplace pressure causes fifth of workers to take time off
People Management: As a third of employees admit to regularly considering quitting, experts urge employers to offer holistic health and wellbeing support. Read story

A quarter of Britons ‘unretire’ after leaving workforce
Money Marketing: Older Britons are frequently ‘unretiring’ and re-entering the workforce after leaving it, new research suggests. Read story

Google and Nokia recognised for employee share schemes
Employee Benefits: Google, Nokia, Telefonica and Valero Energy were among the organisations recognised for best practice in employee share schemes at the Employee Share Ownership Centre’s (Esop) Employee Ownership Awards 2017 on Tuesday 31 October 2017. Read story

Deliveroo to face legal action over holiday pay and minimum wage
Employee Benefits: Online food ordering organisation Deliveroo is to face legal action over the status of its riders and their entitlement to employment rights, such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage. Read story

Bank of England raises rates for first time in over a decade to 0.5%
Professional Pensions: The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has hiked interest rates from 0.25% to 0.5%, the first interest rate rise since July 2007. Read story

BT to consult on DB future 'shortly' as deficit expected to double
Professional Pensions: BT will launch a consultation with members over the future of its defined benefit (DB) scheme "shortly", potentially including plans to close the plan to future accrual. Read story

Back to work support ‘key to GIP image revamp’
Corporate Adviser: The scale of the challenge facing the group risk sector’s efforts to grow into new markets has been highlighted by research showing just 9 per cent of employees say they would value income protection and just 11 per cent of employers thinking their staff would value it. Read story

Parents held back by poor pay and opportunities
HR Magazine: Working Families and Child Poverty Action Group call on the chancellor to act. Read story

Divorced women lose out on £5bn in pension payments each year
Pensions Expert: Scottish Widows research has found that divorced women are missing out on £5bn in pension payments each year, as experts highlight the need for women to take professional advice on pensions during the divorce process. Read story

Harrods increase their benefits offering with Tusker’s scheme
Reward Guide: Harrods, the world’s most famous department store, has increased its benefits offering with the Car Benefit Scheme from market leaders, Tusker. Read story

Sleep-in payback scheme described as “suicide note” for social care employers
Personnel Today: A government scheme designed to help social care providers comply with minimum wage legislation has been described as a “suicide note”. Read story



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