At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week: 24-30 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 24-30 November.

At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week: 24-30 November 2017

Should salary sacrifice be extended to lower-paid workers?
Professional Pensions: There have been calls to extend salary exchange rules to lower-paid earners. However, Kim Kaveh finds it would be very complicated and could cause problems for members. Read story 

Arriva North West employees plan further strike action over pay
Employee Benefits: Arriva North West bus drivers and engineering employees are planning a further 10 24-hour strikes in their continued dispute over pay. Read story

Bank of England reports a 21% mean gender pay gap
Employee Benefits: The Bank of England has reported a mean gender pay gap of 21% and a median gender pay gap of 24.2% for the year to 30 March 2017. Read story

Stealth tax on whole of life and endowment savers revealed
Corporate Adviser: Millions of savers with endowment and whole of life policies are to be taxed in a move that will raise over £500m for the Treasury, an analysis of the Budget small print has revealed. Read story

Employee Motivation: Creating Purpose
Incentive and Motivation: In a recent study conducted by TimesJobs,  35% of employees say they don’t feel they have clear job responsibilities. Read story

If your people perform well, so does your business
Reward: It makes sense for employers to take a proactive approach to staff wellbeing.

Optical Express CEO shines a lens on competitive new benefits
HR Grapevine: Until now, the value of experienced specialist optometrists hasn’t been recognised or rewarded in a consistent way across the industry. Read story

University staff eye pension strike action over plans to cut DB rights
Money Marketing: A seven-week ballot is beginning this week which could see professors and lecturers strike over plans to move university staff out of their defined benefit pension schemes. Read story

London has the largest regional gender pay gap
Employee Benefits: London is the UK region with the biggest gender pay gap on average for full-time employees, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Read story

Just Recruitment to launch employee ownership trust
Employee Benefits: Just Recruitment is to launch an employee ownership trust from December 2017. Read story 

Government launches inquiry into collective defined contribution schemes
Employee Benefits: The Work and Pension Committee has launched an inquiry into the possibility of introducing collective defined contribution (DC) pension schemes to the UK pensions market. Read story

Recognition scheme mistakes
Incentive and Motivation: We still meet companies who have implemented recognition programmes but found that they simply didn’t have any impact, so they stopped them. Read story

New statutory pay rates for maternity, paternity, shared parental leave, adoption and sickness
Personnel Today: The Government has published the statutory rates for maternity pay, paternity pay, shared parental pay, adoption pay and sick pay from April 2018. Read story

FirstGroup consolidates £700m in Greater Manchester LGPS
Professional Pensions: Transport operator FirstGroup has consolidated its pension scheme assets within the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) in what is believed to be the first move of its kind. Read story

Average advertised UK salaries increase by 0.8%
Employee Benefits: The average advertised salary in the UK increased by 0.8% from £31,929 in September 2017 to £32,174 in October 2017, according to research by Adzuna. Read story

University of Strathclyde to pilot sustainability and wellbeing scheme
Employee Benefits: The University of Strathclyde is to pilot a sustainability and wellbeing scheme for 250 employees from January 2018. Read story

Average pension scheme could save £700,000 on active costs
Professional Pensions: A typical defined benefit (DB) pension fund could cut costs by around a third per year by centralising and standardising their investment, administration and trading functions, according to the Asset Management Exchange (AMX). Read story

Employers demanding predictive analytics of benefits – research
Corporate Adviser: More than half of reward and employee benefit professionals see predictive analytics as a game-changer, but 90 per cent are still using spreadsheets to manage data, research from the Reward & Employee Benefits Association shows. Read story

Firms calculating but not publishing pay gaps
HR Magazine: Only 6% of the estimated 4,000 employers covered by the new gender pay gap legislation have made their data public so far. Read story

EasyJet blames lack of female pilots for 52% pay gap
Personnel Today: EasyJet has pointed to a dearth in the number of female pilots as the main reason for its huge 52% gender pay gap, which it published this week. Read story

Sash Windows decision leaves employers wide open to holiday pay claims
Personnel Today: Anyone deemed to have “worker” status must be able to carry over paid annual leave, even if they have not had the opportunity to take it, the European Court of Justice has ruled. Read story

44% of employers do not know what GDPR is
Employee Benefits: More than two-fifths (44%) of employer respondents do not know what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is, according to research by SD Worx. Read story

43% want flexible working as part of their benefits package
Employee Benefits: More than two-fifths (43%) of employee respondents want access to flexible working arrangements as part of their employee benefits package, according to research by Hibob. Read story

West End theatre employees accept three-year pay deal
Employee Benefits: Employees who work in London’s West End theatres and are members of the Bectu trade union have voted to accept a three-year pay deal. Read story

Warwick vice-chancellor attacks DB closure plans for USS
Professional Pensions: Closing the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) to future accrual would have "serious consequences" and alternative approaches should be explored, the University of Warwick's vice-chancellor has said. Read story

Group IP omitted as DWP releases details of 'Improving Lives' roadmap
Cover Magazine: The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has released details of its roadmap to improve working lives for sick and disabled people, following the publication of the 'Improving Lives' green paper. Read story

Kingston Smith reports a 7% mean gender pay gap
Employee Benefits: Accountancy organisation Kingston Smith has reported a mean gender pay gap of 7% for fixed hourly pay as at 5 April 2017. Read story

The ACCA launches online financial education programme
Employee Benefits: Global professional accountancy body the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) has launched an online financial education programme for its 900 UK employees. Read story

Master trusts to pay up to £67,000 for authorisation under new regime
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) will authorise and supervise defined contribution (DC) master trusts under a planned regime which will "strike the right balance" between member security and scheme burdens. Read story

Less than half of employers support gradual AE contribution increases, finds survey
Professional Pensions: Fewer than half (44%) of employers oppose increases in minimum automatic enrollment (AE) contributions above 8%, according to an Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) study. Read story

Zizzi slammed by leading MP for 'taking money from staff’
HR Grapevine: Popular restaurant chain Zizzi has been slammed by leading MPs after employees claimed that the firm charges waiters if the company is ‘robbed’ or they make a mistake. Read story

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