At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 3-9 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 3-9 November. 

At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 3-9 November 2017

Govt delays NICs changes for self-employed
Money Marketing: The Government has decided to delay its planned increase in national insurance contributions for the self-employed in a move welcomed by campaigners. Read story

Average UK charity sector pay is 32% less than other sectors
Employee Benefits: Pay for UK employees working in the charity sector is 32% lower than pay in other sectors nationally and up to 50% less than London-based employees working in other sectors, according to research by Croner and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). Read story

Impression launches table tennis coaching programme
Employee Benefits: Digital marketing agency Impression has launched a table tennis coaching programme for its 30 Nottingham-based employees. Read story

Mitie Cleaning and Environmental Services agrees pay deal for 200 staff
Employee Benefits: Cleaners who are working for Mitie Cleaning and Environmental Services at Manchester Airport and who are members of the trade union Unite, are to receive an annual £850 pay rise and increased rates of pay for the festive season. Read story

Asda adds e-vouchers to recognition scheme
Employee Benefits: Retail organisation Asda has added e-vouchers to its employee reward and recognition programme for 150,000 UK employees. Read story

Rate hike just 'symbolic' gesture for DB schemes
Professional Pensions: The Bank of England's (BoE) decision to increase interest rates for the first time in over a decade has been welcomed by the industry, yet the move will only be "symbolic" for most defined benefit (DB) schemes. Read story

Remove minimum wage salary sacrifice bar to the low paid: Webb
Corporate Adviser: Employers should be allowed to pay employees less than the minimum wage to allow them to be included within salary sacrifice arrangements, say Royal London policy director Steve Webb. Read story

Flexible working will be the most wanted employee benefit by 2025
Incentive and Motivation: Research reveals that by 2025 the most coveted employee benefit will be flexible working, as workers consider work/life balance as the most important perk the workplace can offer them. Read story

Discussion Point: Equal Pay
Reward Guide: In September, an estimated 15,000 current and former workers at Asda won the right to claim for equal pay in a row that could have plenty of other employers worried. Read story

5.5 million British workers trapped in working poverty
Reward Guide: One in five UK workers are still earning below the national Living Wage according to new research. Read story

Living Wage increases to £8.75 per hour
Personnel Today: Living Wage employers will pay their staff at least £8.75 per hour across the UK and £10.20 in London, it was announced today. Read story

33% believe their overall wellbeing is not important to their employer
Employee Benefits: A third (33%) of respondents believe their overall wellbeing is not important to their employer, according to research by Barnett Waddingham. Read story

Heathrow Airport gains living wage accreditation
Employee Benefits: Heathrow Airport has been accredited as a living wage employer by The Living Wage Foundation, becoming the first airport to pay the voluntary living wage at its new increased rates. Read story

TPR launches probe into trustee assessment of DC costs and charges
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has launched a review into whether trustees are carrying out adequate assessments of the costs and charges paid by members. Read story

Govt urged to extend salary exchange arrangements to low-paid
Professional Pensions: Employees on low wages should be allowed to share in the benefits of a salary exchange for pensions, according to Royal London and Radcliffe & Co. Read story

A quarter of millennials are clueless about their pensions
Reward Guide: While millennials may be considered the tech-savvy generation the same cannot be said when it comes to managing their finances. Read story

Steve Webb: Hammond won’t keep his hands off pension tax honey pot
Money Marketing: With his balance sheet under serious pressure, the prospect of raiding pension tax relief again in the Budget will be too hard to resist. Read story

35% of employers implement financial support as a global wellbeing initiative
Employee Benefits: More than a third (35%) of global employer respondents have implemented financial support, outside of pensions, as a global wellbeing initiative, according to research by Thomsons Online Benefits. Read story

Aer Lingus employees vote in favour of 8.5% pay rise
Employee Benefits: Employees who work for Irish airline organisation Aer Lingus and are trade union members, have voted to accept an 8.5% pay rise recommended by the Labour Court. Read story

Workplace pensions robo paraplanner for AE switches launches
Corporate Adviser: F&TRC is launching what it describes as the first ‘workplace pensions robo paraplanner’, designed to make it easier for advisers to help employers review auto-enrolment schemes. Read story

Wellbeing not considered essential
HR Magazine: Firms are failing to see employee wellbeing as a key business imperative. Read story

Pregnant women and new mothers need more legal protection
Personnel Today: A charity has called for greater legal protections for new mothers, claiming the Government has failed to act on the recommendations of the Women and Equalities Committee inquiry into pregnancy and maternity discrimination. Read story

British Airways repays APS trustees £12m for litigation expenses
Professional Pensions: British Airways (BA) has reimbursed the trustees of its Airways Pension Scheme (APS) for nearly £12m in litigation costs over the last two years. Read story

HMRC issues internal guidance on DB VAT but fails to update schemes
Professional Pensions: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has published an internal manual on how value-added tax (VAT) should be calculated for defined benefit (DB) occupational pension schemes. Read story

36% of employers think pension freedoms have impacted on how employees retire
Employee Benefits: More than a third (36%) of employer respondents think that the pension freedoms have had an impact on how employees are choosing to exit the workplace, according to research by Barnett Waddingham and Standard Life. Read story

48% cite a good work-life balance as their top workplace priority
Employee Benefits: More than half (48%) of respondents cite a good work-life balance as the top priority they look for in a workplace, according to research by Sodexo Engage. Read story

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce gains living wage accreditation
Employee Benefits: Independent business network Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation. Read story

Ian McKenna: ABI must be removed from pension dashboard project
Money Marketing: The ABI’s proposal to deny advisers access to dashboards proves it is not a fit, impartial or reliable party to progress the project. Read story

James Whelan: Time for benefits to get personal
Corporate Adviser: Existing employee benefit data points can be cross-referenced with other data to create a profoundly personalised worker experience says Avantus Systems managing director James Whelan. Read story

How to motivate in a start up
Incentive and Motivation: Studies have shown that employee engagement is one of the top three workplace priorities for UK businesses, but the challenge is magnified for start-ups expanding into SMEs. How can they get the engagement key to a great work environment? The key could be understanding the journey. Read story

The impact of rewards and benefits; measuring employee engagement
Reward Guide: There are numerous ways to find out how engaged your employees are such as surveys or an anonymous suggestion box. Granted, these two methods alone are slightly old school, but classic ways in providing a quick wealth of insight. Read story

TUC calls for overhaul of minimum wage rates
Personnel Today: The TUC is calling on the Government to raise the national living wage to £10 “as quickly as possible” and to make national minimum wage rates fairer for younger workers and apprentices. Read story

DC pooling could 'boost retirement pots by 62%’
Professional Pensions: Pooling traditional defined contribution (DC) fund assets could lead to significantly larger retirement funds through better diversification and governance, Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) and Schroders research has suggested. Read story

AE could 'give gig economy workers £75,000 pots’
Professional Pensions: Extending auto-enrolment (AE) to workers in the gig economy could grant them a lump sum of £75,600 at retirement, Zurich and Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) research suggests. Read story

51% of women feel financially unprepared for retirement
Employee Benefits: More than half (51%) of female employee respondents feel financially unprepared for their retirement, compared to 35% of male respondents, according to research by Close Brothers Asset Management and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA). Read story

Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality UK to introduce benefits for parents and carers
Employee Benefits: Corporate and speciality insurance organisation Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality UK (AGCS) is to launch an online portal and back-up care benefit designed to help any of its its 400 UK-based employees who are parents or carers. Read story 

Lloyds Banking Group and McDonald’s among 2017’s top employers for gender diversity
Employee Benefits: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Lloyds Banking Group and McDonald’s are among the organisations recognised at 2017’s Top Employers Awards, hosted by Read story

Communicating your benefits offering
HR Magazine: Staff can take their benefits package for granted. Here's how to best communicate what's on offer. Read story

Taking a Risk
Reward Guide: Sam Barrett discusses the opportunities for growth and challenges on the horizon for the group risk market. Read story 

Cold-calling ban to enter parliament 'early 2018’
Professional Pensions: The much-anticipated ban on pensions cold-calling will be presented to parliament in "early 2018", the government has confirmed. Read story

Women accrue average pension less than half that of men, research finds
Professional Pensions: The average workplace pension pot for women is just £53,000, far below the £120,000 average for men, according to a study which highlights the clear gender gap in pensions. Read story

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