At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 7-13 September 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 7-13 September 

At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week 7-13 September 2018

Private sector defined contribution pension schemes have 7.7m active members
Employee Benefits: Defined contribution (DC) pension schemes at private sector organisations had 7.7 million active members in 2017, compared with 6.4 million active members in 2016 and 1 million active members in 2012, according to research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Read story

63% of employers have strategies in place to support employees’ mental health
Employee Benefits: There has been a small drop in organisations providing specific benefits and strategies to support employees’ mental health, from 67% in 2017 to 63% in 2018, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield. Read story

EU upholds that employees are entitled to 50% of pension if employer is insolvent
Employee Benefits: The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has upheld a ruling by its Advocate General, confirming that all employees are entitled to at least 50% of the total value of their accrued workplace pension savings in the event that their employer becomes insolvent. Read story

Average regular pension withdrawal rate jumps from 4.7% to 5.9% - FCA
Professional Pension: The average annual pension withdrawal rate jumped more than one percentage point between 2016/17 and 2017/18, according to the latest data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Read story

Report sets out how work quality should be measured
HR Magazine: Job security and workplace mental health should be monitored by government, according to the Measuring Job Quality Working Group. Read story

Forget work/life balance
HR Magazine: Let’s ditch this work/life balance stuff. You can’t build a wall between work and life. Read story

Are your employees spending over £2,000 a year just to work for you?
HR Grapevine: Workers are losing up to £2,460 a year on work-related expenses, according to a new study from CV-Library. Read story

Employee benefit consultants more optimistic about the year ahead
Health Insurance Daily: Employee benefit consultants (EBCs) are increasingly optimistic about their business prospects for the year ahead, with more than half expecting growth, according to a survey from MetLife UK. Read story

UK pensions lifeboat’s cap on payouts ruled unlawful by ECJ
People Management: A cap on compensation payable by the pensions lifeboat was ruled unlawful yesterday, in a Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) decision that will be likely welcomed by senior employees. Read story

Glenn Elliott: “Don’t base employee perks on hierarchy. Here’s why.”
Incentive and Motivation: We all want to be appreciated at work for our skills and effort. Many of us see promotions and progress as critical markers of that appreciation. Read story

One-fifth of FTSE 350 companies do not declare DB funding positions
Pensions Expert: Employers should be legally required to disclose their defined benefit scheme deficits on a technical provisions basis, along with details of the associated recovery plan durations and contributions agreed, Lincoln Pensions has said. Read story

Age discrimination is ‘holding workers back’
Personnel Today: Almost half of workers believe their age would hold them back when applying for a job – and nearly one in seven think they have been turned down for work due to their age. Read story

UK employers pay more for skilled workers
HR Magazine: Companies are having to pay more for staff as they struggle to find skilled workers, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC). Read story

Steve Webb: The trouble with triage and pension transfers
Money Marketing: There is huge variation in what clients can expect when approaching advisers to talk about pension transfers. But is standardisation the answer? Read story

Liebherr Sunderland Works awards 3.3% pay rise to crane assemblers
Employee Benefits: Manufacturing organisation Liebherr Sunderland Works has awarded a 3.3% pay rise to 30 crane assemblers who are members of the trade union Unite. Read story

Three-quarters say higher pay would improve their working lives
Employee Benefits: Three-quarters (75%) of respondents believe that receiving higher pay would improve their working lives the most, according to research by national trade union centre the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Read story

Nottingham and Derbyshire-based Trentbarton bus drivers strike in pay dispute
Employee Benefits: Around 160 bus drivers at transport organisation Trentbarton in Nottingham and Derbyshire, who are members of the trade union Unite, are undertaking strike action today (Monday 10 September 2018) in a dispute over pay. Read story

TPR unveils tougher approach to single-employer DC trust oversight
Professional Pensions: The Pensions Regulator (TPR) is set to toughen its approach to single-employer defined contribution (DC) trusts and will pilot two initiatives to boost governance over the coming months. Read story

Talent strategy is the main focus for 82% of benefits professionals
Employee Benefits: Attracting and retaining talent is the top objective for four in five (82%) global benefits professionals, according to research by Thomsons Online Benefits. Read story

77% use EAPs to assist employees with long-term health issues
Employee Benefits: Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and flexible working practices rank highest among employers’ methods of helping staff with long-term health problems, with 77% and 71% respectively, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield. Read story

Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland reduces organisational health age by 3,030 years
Employee Benefits: Manufacturing organisation Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland has reduced its organisational health age by a total of 3,030 years between September 2013 and June 2018, thanks to the implementation of its health and wellbeing programme Fit4Work, Fit4Life. Read story

DWP U-turns on plans to aggregate PPF benefits after ECJ ruling
Professional Pensions: The government will not proceed with plans to aggregate pensions from multiple employers in a single defined benefit (DB) scheme when it is absorbed into the Pension Protection Fund (PPF). Read story

TPR: Small DB schemes 'lagging behind' well-run larger counterparts
Professional Pensions: The majority of defined benefit (DB) savers may sit in "well-run, larger schemes", according to The Pensions Regulator (TPR), but the watchdog has warned it will act on smaller schemes that are "lagging behind”. Read story

Ros Altmann: Good pension not always enough for a good later life
Money Marketing: With the first baby-boomers now reaching their 70s, what will they need for their future? Read story

Half have experienced poor mental health in current job
HR Magazine: Mind launches Mental Health at Work gateway for employees and employers as research finds poor mental health at work is widespread. Read story

Labour pledges to give gig workers the same rights as employees
Personnel Today: The Labour party would give gig economy workers the same rights as employees – including sick pay, parental leave and protections against unfair dismissal – shadow chancellor John McDonnell will pledge. Read story

UK job satisfaction and worker wellbeing could be monitored annually
HR Grapevine: A new report has recommended that the Government should survey workers annually about their job security, wellbeing and employer support. Read story

Love your pension and avoid working like a dog in later life, ABI tells millennials
Professional Pensions: The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has launched a campaign targeted at younger workers to "love your pension" and appreciate the value of auto-enrolment (AE). Read story

More than half of working men want more involvement in caring responsibilities
Employee Benefits: More than half (56%) of working men with children or other family responsibilities would prefer to be more involved as carers, according to a study commissioned by Business in the Community (BITC), in partnership with Santander UK. Read story

Regular pay growth rate of 2.9% between May and July 2018 outstrips inflation
Employee Benefits: Average regular pay excluding bonuses in Great Britain increased by 2.9% between May to July 2018, up from 2.7% in the three months to June 2018, according to the latest UK labour market bulletin from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Read story

DAS achieves nearly 90% engagement in its digital rewards programme
Employee Benefits: Legal expenses insurance organisation DAS has seen almost 90% of its 700 employees in the UK and Ireland actively log in to its RIGHT Here RIGHT Now recognition and rewards programme in the year since its launch. Read story

UK’s most family-friendly workplaces unveiled 
HR Magazine: The Top Employers for Working Families have been announced by the work/life balance charity Working Families. Read story

Case study: Off-peak staff swapping at Grace Hotels
HR Magazine: The hotel group’s Strategic Labour Partnership with other luxury brands provides employees with a sea of opportunities. Read story

TPR figures show rising numbers excluded from AE
Corporate Adviser: The number of employees excluded from auto-enrolment is growing at a faster rate than those joining, according to new figures. Read story

Think tank calls for wider roll-out of salary-linked lending
Corporate Adviser: Large employers in both the private and public sector should offer salary-linked lending to cut debt costs. Read story

Morrisons faces £1bn equal pay claim
Personnel Today: Morrisons has become the latest supermarket to face an equal pay claim from its shop floor workers, which if successful could see it pay out £1bn in compensation. Read story

Labour announces promise to ban zero-hour contracts
HR Grapevine: Labour’s Shadow Chancellor has outlined how a Labour Government would ban zero-hours contracts, repeat the Trade Union Act and set up a department for employment to enforce new policies. Read story

Lord Hall: BBC pay disclosure ‘a good thing’ despite talent retention worries
People Management: Corporation’s director-general tells MPs he is happy to defend pay packets. Read story

Airways Pension Scheme lands £4.4bn pensioner buy-in with Legal and General
Professional Pensions: The British Airways sponsored Airways Pension Scheme (APS) has completed a £4.4bn pensioner bulk annuity buy-in with Legal & General. Read story

Bereaved parents given day-one right to two weeks’ leave
Employee Benefits: The workplace right to paid leave for bereaved parents has been officially enshrined in law, with the Parental Leave and Pay Bill achieving Royal Assent. Read story

APS trustees to take discretionary increase battle to Supreme Court
Professional Pensions: Trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme (APS) have confirmed they will appeal to the Supreme Court over a recent Court of Appeal judgment striking down their ability to award discretionary increases. Read story

NHS needs to better engage employees
HR Magazine: Performance at individual NHS Trusts should be measured by the issues that matter most to employees, according to a report from the Work Foundation. Read story

Third of young women still don't know how to report harassment
HR Magazine: Despite gender pay gap reporting and #MeToo, women still face inequality in pay and significant mental health concerns at work, finds the Young Women’s Trust. Read story

Willetts: Tax pensioners more to stem potential opt-out rise
Pensions Expert: National insurance contributions from pensioners’ income could be used to stem opt-outs resulting from increased contributions under auto-enrolment, an influential Conservative peer has suggested. Read story



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