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14 Oct 2022
by Dawn Lewis

Top 10 stories this week: Unemployment at record low as squeeze on pay continues

The latest Office for National Statistics figures reveal unemployment is at a record low of 3.5%, highlighting just how tight the labour market currently is. However, with high levels of inflation, pay levels are continuing to be suppressed.

Read on for more reward and employee benefits news you might have missed this week.

Top 10 stories this week: Unemployment at record low, as squeeze on pay continues.jpg


Real wages drop 3% as jobless falls to 1973 levels

Personnel Today The value of regular pay, excluding bonuses but adjusted for inflation, fell 2.9% in the three months to August 2022, as the squeeze on workers’ pay continues.

According to official labour market figures from the Office for National Statistics, unemployment fell to 3.5%, its lowest rate since December 1973. Read more

TPR: DB funds 'were not and are not' at risk of collapse

Professional Pensions The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has moved to reassure savers that defined benefit (DB) pension schemes are safe after a number of media sources reported of their imminent collapse in the run-up to the Bank of England’s gilt market intervention. Read more

Covid not to blame for older employees leaving the workforce, study reveals

People Management More older workers are leaving employment because of ill-health, but Covid-19 isn’t to blame, analysis has found. 

A study by The Health Foundation found that the percentage of older employees who are inactive because of long-term health conditions had increased by just one percentage point this year, totalling 64 per cent compared to 63 per cent pre-pandemic. Read more

Paid pregnancy loss leave offered to just a quarter of employees

HR Magazine Only a quarter (25%) of employees who experienced pregnancy or baby loss in the past five years received paid compassionate leave from their employer, according to research from the CIPD.

Just 37% of employers had policies in place to support pregnancy and baby loss, despite 46% of employees thinking such policy would be beneficial. Read more

Government urged to reform UK pensions system

HR Magazine The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has called on government to reform the UK pensions system through recommendations that could see median earners’ savings boosted by 25%.

Under the current system the association has warned that more than 50% of savers will fail to meet pensions saving targets set by the Pensions Commission in 2005. Read more

State pension age could rise to 69 despite static life expectancy

Personnel Today A further rise in the state pension age is likely according to a new study of future trends.

Current legislation specifies a gradual rise to 67 for those born on or after April 5, 1960, and a gradual rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 5, 1977. Since October 2020 the retirement age for both men and women is 66. Read more

59% disagree with regulation to reduce strike action

Employee Benefits More than half (59%) of respondents disagreed with the government’s move to curtail strike disruption, through regulation that unions have to bring all pay proposals to a vote. Read more

Half of working parents would consider leaving job for better flexibility, study finds

People Management More than half (55 per cent) of working parents in the UK would think about leaving their current role if they found another with better flexibility, a study has found. 

The research by Working Families and SF Recruitment, which polled 992 parents in August this year, found that only a third (31 per cent) would apply for a role that did not list flexible working options in the advert. Read more

MPs call for new campaign to tackle workplace menopause taboo

People Management Ahead of World Menopause Day on 18 October, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Menopause inquiry has called for more workplace policies to help women’s health.

The APPG, which is currently lobbying for NHS-funded menopause health checks and for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) prescriptions to be made free in England in line with the rest of the UK, found that menopause in the workplace “attracted the most interest” during the inquiry. Read more

Royal Mail to axe up to 6,000 jobs as losses rise

BBC Royal Mail has announced plans to make up to 6,000 people redundant by next August, blaming ongoing strike action and rising losses at the business.

The postal company said it will begin notifying workers of its plan, which aims to reduce its overall headcount by a total of 10,000. Read more


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