At a glance: reward and benefits headlines this week

Your quick-read round up of the reward and benefits stories appearing in the press from 17-23 April.

The headines you might have missed.

Industry trends suggest pay will rise by 3 per cent in 2015
People Management: Wages for workers across the UK are set to rise by an average of three per cent this year, according to Towers Watson’s latest Salary Budget Panning report. Full story

Childcare vouchers better than government scheme for 80% of parents
Workplace Savings & Benefits: The assessments of more than 300 parents were carried out by Busy Bees Benefits and illustrated the extent to which parents could be missing out.

Britain's best employers to work for revealed
HR Grapevine: A recent poll listing the best places to work in Britain has been released with department store John Lewis topping the list ahead of BMW and British Airways. Full story

How to make employee wellbeing count
City AM: Follow successful firms in offering exercise, expert speakers and even calling staff 'guests'. Full story

Four unconventional ways to tell if your workplace culture is toxic
Forbes: If you want to assess whether your company culture is healthy or ailing, it pays to examine a few unconventional metrics. Full story

Employee benefits ‘wasted’ if not tailored to gender and age
People Management: Employers could be wasting thousands of pounds on benefits that are not valued by every employee, PwC has warned. Full story

Charles Stanley employee benefits arm poised for MBO
Wealth Manager: The management team of Charles Stanley's employee benefits arm is poised to buy out the business. Full story

Younger employees more willing to take risks with pay
HR magazine: Younger employees are more willing to take risks with pay and show greater interest in variable remuneration, according to research by PwC. Full story

The best job perks at UK startups
The Telegraph: Free coffee no longer cuts it when you want to attract top talent to your startup. Full story

Fox's Biscuits strike suspended as new pay offer is made
Unite: The strike at Fox’s Biscuits has been suspended for a vote on a new pay offer to take place.

Hampshire firms risk £5,000 fines for failing to publish gender wage gap figures
Hampshire Chronicle: Scores of Hampshire businesses need to comply with new gender pay gap transparency rules or risk fines of up to £5,000, a leading solicitors firm has warned. Full story

Treat employees well to prove you're a good business, say public
BITC: Treating employees well is ranked higher by the public than how companies treat customers or whether they give to charity according to a new survey carried out on behalf of Business in the Community.

HSBC to face investors' anger over scandals and bumper executive payouts
This is Money: HSBC will this week face shareholders angered by bumper executive payouts as the lender is mired in scandal and streamlining its global operations. Full story

Labour Market Statistics, April 2015
ONS: The main findings of this release are that employment continued to rise and unemployment continued to fall. Full story

Tesco staff pensions under threat as bosses post warning
Independent: Tesco has written to its 300,000 staff outlining plans for the future of the supermarket’s pension scheme as it looks for ways to plug the estimated £5bn black hole. Full story

Half of managers are stressed all or most of the time
Employee Benefits: Almost half (48%) of senior managers say they are stressed all or most of the time, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare.

DHL Express and Marriott Hotels best employers in India
Employee Benefits: DHL Express and Marriott Hotels are among some of the best employers to work for in India, according to Aon Hewitt. Full story

Scottish Power increases benefits engagement
Employee Benefits: Scottish Power has increased employee engagement with benefits after switching from online to paper-based total reward statements. Full story

National Gallery enduring week-long strike over privatisation
HR Grapevine: Workers at the National Gallery are going on strike this week after disagreements over a proposed privatisation plan were left unresolved. Full story

Graduate salaries rise in gaming sector
Pay & Benefits: Fierce competition to attract and retain young talent in the gaming industry has been revealed in a survey conducted by TIGA.

Personal Group acquires Shebang to launch mobile phone benefit
Employee Benefits: Personal Group has acquired Shebang Technologies to launch a mobile virtual network operator business branded Personal Group Mobile. Full story

NHS bosses receive £35m in pay rises
HR Grapevine: A comprehensive audit of trust accounts and NHS pension schemes by The Daily Mail has discovered that the 6% senior level wage increases were not in line with the 1% increase that nurses received. Full story

Manx Telecom calls time on DB, offers suite of DC options
Pensions Expert: Manx Telecom eased the closure of its defined benefit scheme last year by providing members with a range of alternative defined contribution options, alongside a new sharesave scheme. Full story

John Lewis appoints L&G to run pension scheme
Workplace Savings & Benefits: John Lewis Partnership has appointed Legal and General (L&G) as administrator of the defined contribution (DC) section of its pension scheme.

Next pledges 5% pay rise for employees
Employee Benefits: Retailer Next’s chief executive Lord Wolfson has pledged to give shopfloor staff a pay rise of at least 5%, offering to share his bonus among employees. Full story

Workers with tailored benefits a boon for employers
The Scotsman: Scottish workers prefer the option of tailored benefits from their employers, with a growing appetite for help with the cost of living, research by PwC rev­eals. Full story

Tesco planes go in executive bonus shake-up
HR Grapevine: And in a bonus revamp the supermarket giant is now set to sell the last of their fleet of jets used to fly bosses across the globe in style. Full story

Pension freedoms spark flood of cheap buy-to-let mortgages
The Telegraph: The number of cheap deals on the market has risen more than three-fold in a year, with the average two-year rate dropping from 3.7pc to 3.45pc in just six months. Full story

Londoners accept the longest working days in the UK
HR Director:  NGA Human Resources finds London based workers demand non-monetary benefits and company culture in exchange for longer working hours. Full story

The living wage is a matter of dignity
The Independent: Billions are spent from the public purse each year to top up the incomes of low-paid workers, yet 1m people could be lifted out of poverty by paying them the living wage. Full story

Pension freedoms to create fresh wave of 'later-life entrepreneurs’
The Telegraph: Britain's boom in self-employment among the over-55s is predicted to gather pace. Opening a tea shop is high on the list for those in the South West, research shows. Full story

Public servants, don't hold your breath on that pay rise with Nick Clegg
The Guardian: A last minute Liberal Democrat pledge to end pay cuts for public sector workers? It’s as transparent as it is pathetic. Full story

Top 6 qualities of exceptional employee benefits consultants
Employee Benefits News: The right employee benefits consultant partners with you to remove obstacles and help simplify today’s complex benefit issues so that you can focus your core business objectives. Full story

In defense of Walmart: Why corporations shouldn't be responsible for preventing poverty
The Week: Fast food chains and low-wage retailers are as poorly regarded in pop culture as they are popular among the buying public. Full story

Half of senior managers ‘stressed all or most of the time’
Corporate Adviser:  Britons workplaces are full of stressed workers, with 48 per cent of senior managers saying they are stressed all or most of the time, and 23 per cent of all workers suffering. Full story

Minimum wage and living wage “can co-exist”, says top economist
Personnel Today: The national minimum wage and living wage complement each other and both have an important role, according to Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation. Full story

Study says women ask for lower salary when applying for jobs
The Recruiting Times: A study has found that women generally ask for a fifth less salary than their male counterparts when applying for a new job. Full story

Caterpillar hikes CEO pay to $17.1 million
Chicago Business: Caterpillar lifted CEO Douglas Oberhelman's compensation package in 2014 14.3 percent to $17.1 million, a partial reversal of the hefty 2013 pay cut he took. Full story

Work in retirement? Don’t bet on it
Wall Street Journal: As an annual EBRI survey makes clear, working longer often proves an elusive goal. Full story

Unless wages grow, America’s economic blip could become a trend
The Economist: Although America has chugged along far better than other rich countries, the world’s largest economy still fails to instil confidence in its workers. Full story

California equal pay bill shields women from retaliation for discussing wages
The Guardian: The bill also known as the Fair Pay Act would fix outdated protections for women in the workplace who seek to close wage gap between themselves and men. Full story

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