At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 10-16 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 10-16 November.

At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 10-16 November 2017

FTSE 350 defined benefit pension deficit falls to £67bn
Employee Benefits: The accounting deficit for defined benefit (DB) pension schemes for the UK’s 350 largest organisations decreased from £68 billion at the end of September 2017 to £67 billion on 31 October 2017, according to research by Mercer. Read story

49% of employers have no reward or recognition programme in place
Employee Benefits: Under half (49%) of employer respondents do not have a formal reward or recognition programme in place, according to research by Perkbox. Read story

Broadstone Group acquires Mitchell Consulting and 2020 Trustees
Employee Benefits: Employee benefits and pensions consultancy organisation Broadstone Group has acquired Manchester-based independent actuarial consulting business Mitchell Consulting, and independent trustee organisation 2020 Trustees. Read story

32% of employers communicate about benefits at least once a month
Employee Benefits: Under a third (32%) of employer respondents communicate to their staff about employee benefits at least once a month, according to research by Ellipse. Read story

Tribunal rejects Uber appeal in employment-status case
Employee Benefits: The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has upheld the ruling against taxi organisation Uber, stating that its drivers are employed as workers and are entitled to employment rights such as the national minimum wage and holiday pay. Read story

Lessons from the Paradise Papers
Professional Pensions: Catherine Howarth says the tax avoidance revelations show transparent investment systems are in the public interest and must be applied to pensions. Read story

Employers considering alternatives to pension spend – research
Corporate Adviser: Employer concern that DC pensions will not be used for retirement income is growing amongst employers, with some considering diverting cash to employee financial advice, education or Lifetime Isas, new research shows. Read story

Pay Fairness Perception 5 x As Impactful on Engagement
Incentive and Motivation: You might think that money is more of a driver than transaparency, but recent findings from PayScale who surveyed more than 500,000 employees for its Employee Engagement research on various aspects of their job which could potentially contribute to both their satisfaction and intent to leave has revealed some interesting points. Read story

Most public sector organisations facing pressure to raise wages
People Management: The majority (59 per cent) of public sector organisations say they are under pressure to raise wages across the board, according to the latest Labour Market Outlook survey published by the CIPD. Read story

Blindly selecting drawdown products putting employees at huge risk of making costly mistakes
Reward: Latest findings from the FCA indicate that since the pension changes, twice as many pension pots have moved into drawdown than annuities. Read story

Teachers’ Pensions gets slammed over admin
Pensions Expert: Teachers’ Pensions, which runs the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, has been criticised by its members over its perceived poor service delivery, as experts highlight the limitations of relying on online servicing. Read story

Eversheds litigation warning against ‘just the minimum’ approach to AE
Corporate Adviser: Global legal giant Eversheds Sutherland is warning employers who do the bare minimum to comply with auto-enrolment regulations could face litigation claims or fines from regulators in future. Read story

David Walker: Why employee wellbeing gives competitive advantage
Corporate Adviser: Employee wellbeing is a secret weapon for companies looking to gain a competitive advantage says Personal Group chief commercial officer David Walker. Read story

31% of employers predict a basic pay increase of between 2% and 2.99%
Employee Benefits: Under a third (31%) of employer respondents anticipate a basic pay increase of between 2% and 2.99% in the next 12 months, according to research by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and The Adecco Group. Read story

Stotts Tours Oldham guilty of pensions auto-enrolment non-compliance
Employee Benefits: Bus services organisation Stotts Tours Oldham and its managing director have been found guilty of failing to automatically enrol 36 employees into a workplace pension. Read story

Amazon investigates delivery drivers paid below minimum wage
Employee Benefits: Online retail organisation Amazon is investigating allegations that drivers working for an independent delivery business that provides some of Amazon’s delivery services are being paid less than the national minimum wage. Read story

TPR fines 2020 Trustees £4,000 for chair statement failures
Professional Pensions: Professional trustee firm 2020 Trustees was fined £4,000 for failing to produce two chair's statements between July and September 2017, The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has revealed. Read story

Private sector employees in the UK predicted to receive 0.2% real pay increase
Employee Benefits: UK employees working in the private sector are expected to receive a real salary increase of 0.2% in 2018, according to research by ECA International. Read story

96% of employers feel responsible for improving employee health behaviours
Employee Benefits: The majority (96%) of employer respondents agree or strongly agree that they are responsible for improving employee health behaviours, according to research by Aon Employee Benefits. Read story

Cardiff Airport commits to pay living wage by 2020
Employee Benefits: Cardiff Airport has committed to paying its employees the voluntary living wage rate of £8.75 an hour by 2020. Read story

Trustees must push for greater social impact investing, says govt review
Professional Pensions: A government review has told trustees they must engage better with their members to build a nationwide "culture of social impact investment”. Read story

Why schemes should avoid gender bias in communications
Professional Pensions: Methods should be the same for both men and women as, contrary to popular belief, research shows there are few disparities between how they respond, writes Kim Kaveh. Read story

AXA PPP hires Punter Southall's Soraya Chamberlain
Cover: In her new role Soraya will be responsible for broker relations as well as for intermediated and direct corporate new business at AXA PPP healthcare. Read story

HR salaries rise steadily
HR Magazine: The highest salary rises were seen for HR directors in SME organisations. Read story

A third of employers ‘communicate benefits at least monthly’
HR Insurance Daily: A third (32%) of employers speak to their staff at least once a month about benefits, a poll shows. Read story

A million older workers fall into unemployment trap
Pensions Expert: An “unemployment trap” preventing older people from finding jobs requires a rethink of pensions and benefits policy, a new report claimed on Tuesday, as state pension age increases threaten to harm those left out of the labour market. Read story

SGS Launch Employee Long Service Awards to Say Thank You
Incentive and Motivation: SGS United Kingdom Ltd, part of the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company, has launched a recognition of service programme to thank employees that have been with the organisation for five years or more. Read story

Steps to implementing a new flexible benefits platform
Reward: Barnett Waddingham shares insightful tips on implementing an effective and engaging flexible benefits platform. Read story

Pay: Why companies need to figure out what’s “fair”
Personnel Today: The introduction of pay ratio disclosures, further likely regulation on the remit of remuneration committees, and stakeholder voice within the boardroom are all part of a wider Government push for a fairer capitalism. Read story

61% of respondents did not receive a Christmas reward
Employee Benefits: Over one half (61%) of respondents did not receive a Christmas reward from their employer last year, according to research by Edenred. Read story

Aviva introduces cancer support service for 16,000 UK staff
Employee Benefits: Insurance organisation Aviva has introduced a cancer support service for its 16,000 UK based employees. Read story

Independent body rules Deliveroo riders are not entitled to holiday pay and minimum wage
Employee Benefits: The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) has ruled that motorbike and bicycle riders at online food ordering and delivery organisation Deliveroo are self-employed and are not entitled to be represented by a trade union, receive holiday pay or be paid the national minimum wage. Read story 

Cold-calling ban will be in place by 2020, minister confirms
Professional Pensions: A ban on pensions cold-calling will be in place before the start of the next decade, a Treasury minister has told the Work and Pensions Committee (WPC). Read story

Union brands BT pension overhaul plans 'slap in the face' as consultation begins
Professional Pensions: The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has said it will urge its members to reject BT's proposals for its pension funds, which includes closing the defined benefit (DB) scheme. Read story

Total pay falls by 0.4% in real terms
Employee Benefits: Total pay for employees in Great Britain, including bonuses, fell by 0.4% in real terms between July to September 2016 and July to September 2017, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Read story

Manchester-based Mears employees to strike in a dispute over pay
Employee Benefits: Housing maintenance employees who work for repair and maintenance organisation Mears in Manchester and who are members of the trade union Unite are undertaking strike action in a dispute over pay. Read story

British Steel offers 4% pay rise to 4,800 staff
Employee Benefits: Steel manufacturing organisation British Steel has offered a 4% pay increase to 4,800 employees based in the UK and France. Read story

Govt confirms auto-enrolment charge cap will stay
Money Marketing: The 0.75 per cent charge cap on auto-enrolment pension schemes is working “broadly as intended” and will not be changed, the Government has confirmed. Read story

UK employees set to receive lowest salary increases in Europe in 2018
Reward: Private sector workers in the UK anticipate to see a real salary increase of just 0.2% in 2018, only employees in Hungary, Portugal, and Ukraine are likely to be worse off. Read story

£199m last year: The UK's highest-paid boss revealed
HR Grapevine: The Chief Executive and co-Founder of gambling firm Bet365 paid herself a record £199million last year, making her the highest-paid boss in Britain. Read story

Govt against introducing mandatory pensions guidance
Pensions Age: Pensions Minister Guy Opperman has said the government is not in favour of introducing mandatory pensions guidance. Read story

Berkshire fund confirms plans to pool £1bn with LPP
Professional Pensions: The Royal County of Berkshire Pension Fund has confirmed it will pool some of its assets with the Local Pensions Partnership (LPP). Read story

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