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04 Mar 2022
by Elizabeth Howlett

Top 10 stories from this week: Women’s pay packets aren’t paying out

Despite the reems of data provided by mandatory gender pay gap reporting and news that women are getting a seat at the executive table, many are still working for free. 

 

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Ahead of next week’s International Women’s Day, the Trades Union Congress’ (TUC) analysis of Office for National Statistics data has found that women effectively “work for free” for almost two months of the year. This amounts to a 15.4% gender pay gap on average and sees women waiting 54 days each year before they make a living. 

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said at the current rate of progress, it will take 30 years to achieve pay parity and called for organisations to take immediate action. While the overarching issue of pay is systemic, mandatory reporting is yet to make any real strides in closing the gap.

As such, organisations should consider how their benefits package aligns with supporting women in whatever way possible. Re-evaluation of benefits such as making flexible working a day one right, menopause awareness and support for affordable childcare can all help to improve pay for women. 

While the pay gap is an entrenched challenge, reward and benefits professionals should have their finger on the pulse of strategies that can support and elevate women and their pay. 

For more reward and employee benefits news you might have missed this week, read our top 10 snippets below.

Average woman works for free for two months of the year

Employee Benefits: The average woman effectively works for free for nearly two months of the year compared to the average man, resulting in a 15% gender pay gap on average, according to new analysis published by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Read more

Employers must act urgently on future skills needs

Personnel Today: Employers need to take “urgent action” to ensure workers have skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking in the future, a research study claims. A review of recent research and thought leadership on the skills required in future workplaces, conducted by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the Nuffield Foundation, considered skills employees need to acquire in the next 10 to 15 years. Read more

Third of women have missed work because of menopause symptoms, parliamentary committee finds

People Management: Nearly a third of women have missed work because of menopause symptoms, a parliamentary committee has said, calling for more support to be given to those going through this “normal life transition”. Research released by the Women and Equalities Committee (WEC), which polled 2,161 women all experiencing at least one symptom of the menopause, foud that 31 per cent had missed work because of their symptoms. Read more

Four-day week needs careful planning to succeed

HR Magazine: Nine in 10 UK employees reportedly support a four-day week, yet experts warn that HR needs to take a measured approach to reap its benefits. New data from experience management software firm Qualtrics has shown that over four in five (83%) UK workers believe a four-day week would improve their mental health, and 90% say their work/life balance would be better. A further 84% said they would be more productive under the policy. Read more

Lack of essential skills training leads to lower wages, study finds

People Management: Workers who missed out on learning leadership, communication and problem-solving skills could earn almost £280,000 less over their lifetime than those who developed these key skills at school, research has suggested. A poll of 2,262 working-age adults in the UK, conducted by Skills Builder, found that those who had access to these and other essential skills training at school were 81 per cent more likely to have above average abilities in these areas – which equated to an annual salary boost of around £5,900. Read more

Half of employees say their job is main source of mental health challenges

Workplace Insight: More than half of employed people in the UK (58 percent) say their job is the main source of their mental health challenges according to new research from Qualtrics which also claims that more employees in the UK would prioritise the ability to choose which hours of the day they work (55 percent) and what days of the week they work (22 percent) over the ability to work remotely from any location (14 percent). Read more

Employee wellbeing more important to workers post-Covid

HR Review: Since the pandemic, more and more businesses feel responsible for their employees’ wellbeing – including their financial and physical welfare. According to research from GRiD, which is the industry body for the group risk protection sector, employers feel a greater responsibility for supporting staff across the four key areas. Read more

Are high workloads stopping HR from tackling staff burnout?

HR Grapevine: Tackling burnout and wellbeing has been at the top of the HR agenda since the start of the pandemic in 2020. But new research has revealed that many within the people function are struggling to look after their staff due to tackling burnout among themselves. The research, from Wellbeing Partners, showed that the most cited issue preventing HR from providing better burnout support to employees is their own workload, with 32% of HR managers saying this is a problem. Read more

46% of UK employers prioritise positive DC pension scheme outcomes

Employee Benefits: Nearly half (46%) of UK employers with defined contribution (DC) pension schemes say that delivering positive outcomes for members in this scheme is now their top priority, according to research by global professional services firm Aon. Read more

Majority of UK businesses failing to offer employees adequate workplace pension support

HR News: The majority of UK businesses are failing to offer employees adequate support to help them better understand their workplace pensions, new research from Mintago has revealed. The financial platform surveyed 365 decision-makers within UK-based organisations. It found that over two fifths (43%) of organisations regularly review and evaluate their employee benefits strategy. Read more

 

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