6 stories we liked today.

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Tesco Bank Creates 100+ Customer-Centric Roles

Tesco Bank is to create 120 new technology and change roles across its Edinburgh and Newcastle offices. In a statement, the firm revealed the move was part of a wider investment in customer-centric solutions aimed at helping to better meet the needs of Tesco shoppers. 

This is in addition to the 20 roles created when Tesco Bank announced that Newcastle was to be the home of a technology hub, which launched in November 2019. 

Tesco Bank adds while the roles will command a competitive salary, successful candidates will also benefit from the chance to work flexibly to suit lifestyles and take advantage of a range of discounts in Tesco stores.



Bear Robotics, A Company Making Robot Waiters, Just Raised A $32 Million Round Led By SoftBank – TechCrunch

The round was led by SoftBank Group, whose other recent robotics bets include the currently beleaguered food truck company Zume and, as we reported yesterday, Berkshire Grey, a seven-year-old, Lexington, Mass.-based company that makes pick, pack and sorting robots for fulfillment centers and that just raised a whopping $263 million in Series B funding led by SoftBank.  Ha — a former Intel research scientist turned technical lead at Google who in recent years opened and closed his own restaurant —  was asked to share more about the company and its robot servers.

Bear Robotics, a company making robot waiters, just raised a $32 million round led by SoftBank


Pay Growth Likely To Slow In 2020

Based on its analysis of pay awards made in the final quarter of 2019 and a few early awards in 2020, XpertHR anticipates the rate of pay growth to slow in the coming months. 

In the three months to the end of December 2019, the median pay settlement fell to 2.2% – slightly below the 2.5% seen across the whole year. 

Almost half (48.8%) of awards were worth less than the settlement received by the same group of employees a year ago. 

Sheila Attwood: “The first pay deals of 2020 suggest that employers are taking a cautious approach, leading us to believe that there will be no jump in pay award levels in 2020.”



Don’t Leave Retiring Employees To Fend For Themselves

So it’s vital that HR plays its part in planning the post-work future for employees. The responsibility of helping many people to make the transition from full-time employment, perhaps through part-time working, to a full retirement will be your responsibility.

 Employees need help with navigating the new complexities of the pension world such as drawdown, and if you’re not part of that solution you should be asking yourself why not. Until human nature – and pension regulation – changes the onus is on employers to provide help to their employees and the necessary support to allow them to make informed choices about their future retirement needs.



4 Ways You Can Benefit From Schmoozing At Industry Events

There can be a temptation to go down the path of becoming a “celebrity founder,” where every week you might be talking at a different event. New sales leads should mostly come from a healthy sales org, not the CEO attending dozens of events.

Maynard Webb saya “If you’re extroverted, the thought of attending an event may energize you—and that’s terrific. I make sure that attending an event will enable me to make at least twice the impact I would have had in the office, and I define what that looks like so I know how to focus my time at the event.”

Read the full article here



The Role Of The CFO In An Organisation

The role of the CFO differs greatly between businesses and industries. Operating as an effective CFO requires different skills and experiences to drive the business forward in an efficient manner. 

The CFO role is undergoing perhaps its greatest change in recent history, where operating as a highly effective CFO requires a more business-wide leadership approach and the adaptability to keep up with the pace of digital disruption. With the importance of digital innovation ringing in the ears of the C-Suite, this whitepaper conducted by NetSuite highlights the challenges and path to achieving organisational goals, looking at fundamental areas in which CFOs must focus to be effective.

The role of the CFO in an organisation

4 stories that caught our attention today

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Managers Sweep Harassment Under The Carpet, Says CIPD Report

The CIPD surveyed both employers and employees about their views on harassment, and a significant proportion of employees said managers often made the situation worse.

Four in 10 of those who’d experienced bullying or harassment said their manager was responsible, while 34% said managers’ lack of confidence to deal with harassment meant conflict was not being dealt with effectively.

“The number of managers who are being blamed for harassment and bullying should serve as a wake-up call to employers to put training managers at the heart of efforts to prevent inappropriate workplace behaviour,” Rachel Suff, senior employment relations adviser at the CIPD said. “And when conflict does occur, they can help to resolve the issue more quickly and effectively.”

Managers sweep harassment under the carpet, says CIPD report


Half Of UK Workers Plan To Ask For A Pay Rise

The average UK worker is reportedly preparing to ask their employer for a 6% pay rise.

 “Making pay and packages more transparent, telling women what their males peers are asking for, and not agreeing pay deals that distort the gap are the only ways to level the playing field,” said Lorna Fitzsimons. 

“When it comes to pay rises and asking for what they want women are much more likely to ask for what they think they need.” Matt Weston, UK managing director at Robert Half, suggested that employers need to be more open to employees’ salary requests and to consider their options when they’re trying to retain top talent.



These Are The Most Sustainable Corporations In The World

An annual ranking from Canadian research firm Corporate Knights, revealed January 21 at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, scrutinized more than 7,000 companies to identify the 100 most sustainable corporations in the world. 

Though the U.K. didn’t account for a large share of the list, one company got into the top 50. This ranking also looks at financial performance and corporate longevity, and Corporate Knights says this is linked to sustainability efforts, because investors are becoming more assertive in calling for companies to deal with these issues.

(view the companies here)




Microsoft’s CEO Looks To A Future Beyond Windows, IOS, And Android

“What do you think is the biggest hardware business at Microsoft?” asked Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella last week during a private media event. “Xbox,” answered a reporter who had been quizzing Nadella on how the company’s hardware products like Surface and Xbox fit into the broader ambitions of Microsoft. “No, it’s our cloud,” fired back Nadella, explaining how Microsoft is building everything from the data centers to the servers and network stack that fit inside.

 You don’t need to decipher his language here to understand that Microsoft is looking far beyond iOS, Android, and Windows to build Azure into what the company calls “the world’s computer.” 

It’s an obvious acknowledgment of how mobile computing has shifted the way we communicate and work, and it’s a nod that Microsoft is looking far more broadly to get back to its roots as a software company — not just the maker of Windows and Office — and try not to miss the next big thing.



Stories we found interesting today

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Technology’s Workforce Engagement Potential Remains Untapped

Three-quarters (76%) of HR professionals still use annual employee surveys to measure workforce engagement, according to real-time audience engagement app Vevox. 

With annual surveys being criticised as ‘outdated’, Vevox’s survey highlighted technology as an area of untapped potential for measuring employee engagement. 

Pete Eyre, managing director at Vevox, said: “With all the technology available [an annual survey] is such an outdated method of measuring engagement. Pete Eyre: “Still, 55% of HR professionals noted that workforce engagement now features either ‘high’ or ‘very high’ in their boardroom.” These are providing real-time data on people matters that is immensely valuable for engagement planning, performance management and bench marking,” she added.


Collaboration Chasm Between HR And Finance

There is a lack of collaboration and co-ordination between finance, HR and the leaders of UK businesses, according to OrgVue research. 

According to the report, 84% of British business leaders, from 400 UK organisations with more than 1,000 employees, agree that better collaboration between finance and HR would improve their ability to plan and execute business strategy. 

Kay Neufeld, head of macroeconomics at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), suggested this lack of cohesion could be affecting productivity and the UK’s economic performance. “And only 38% have a complete view of how fast they could quickly re-organise, suggesting a lack of agility.”



Flexible Working: Are We Moving In The Right Direction?

The benefits of flexible working are well recognised, but employees, on being asked to single out one primary benefit, most commonly said “improved staff wellbeing” (43%), followed by “reduced time/spend on commuting” (30%).

 Rightly, if an organisation gives its employees a mobile phone or laptop and allows them the flexibility to spend fewer hours in the office, there’s a reasonable expectation that they will be contactable. More than one third of the respondents perceived that their organisation had not improved flexible working offerings in the past two years.

Flexible working: are we moving in the right direction?

News we are interested in

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Minimum Wage Underpayment Growing

Employee underpayment is rising and fines for those underpaying are low, according to research by the Resolution Foundation. 

Its report, Under the wage floor, states that minimum wage non-compliance fell consistently between 1999 and 2015. Lindsay Judge, senior policy analyst at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The minimum wage has been one of the UK’s biggest policy successes in recent decades, delivering much-needed pay rises to millions of low-paid workers. “The welcome introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016 has led to a worrying rise in minimum wage underpayment.”



5 Ways To Create More Positive Workplace Changes

Our recent Change Lab 2019 Workplace Survey asked 1,000 Americans how they were navigating the pace of change in their workplace. The Change Lab 2019 Workplace Survey findings suggested trying to be:. Powered by opportunities for purposeful self-organization – People who are encouraged by their leaders to use their strengths and talents to make the best change ideas happen, in ways that have a positive impact on others, are significantly more likely to successfully create these changes and to have higher levels of wellbeing. Click here to download your free copy of The Change Lab 2019 Workplace Survey.



TSB Creates IT Jobs In Edinburgh Thanks To IBM Link-Up

Retail and commercial bank TSB is to create 100 IT jobs at a new technology centre in Edinburgh. The Herald reports the move forms part of a new link-up with IBM and jobs such as technical specialists, data engineers and analysts, and IT run specialists will be included. TSB has selected IBM Services as its strategic partner to accelerate digital business with IBM cloud capabilities and has pledged to invest £120m in a bid to transform digital channels over the next three years. You can also tweet us to tell us your thoughts or share this story with a friend.

Spotify Launches Playlists For Dogs Left Home Alone

London ( Reuters) – Spotify has made playlists and a podcast for dogs to listen to in their owners’ absence, after finding that nearly 74% of UK pet-owners play music for their animals. The Swedish audio-streaming business company said it has launched a podcast featuring soothing music, “dog-directed praise”, stories, and messages of affirmation and reassurance narrated by actors to alleviate stress for dogs who are home alone. Spotify said it found in a survey that one in four pet-owners play music for their pets to listen to for company when they are away from home, with 42% of owners saying their pets have a favorite type of music.





Employment and HR update 6/01/2020

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Employers cautious over steep 2020 minimum wage rises

From the start of April 2020 low paid workers will benefit from a rise in the minimum wage that is four times the rate of inflation, in what the prime minister has called the “the biggest ever cash boost” to the legal pay floor. 

Johnny Runge, senior social researcher at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, warned against the national minimum wage becoming a political tool:

“It’s vital that the Low Pay Commission has the full range of tools at its disposal to judge the evidence base, pace and affordability for any future rises to ensure the UK’s successful job creation story continues into the coming decade.”

Workers aged 21 to 24 will receive 50p an hour more with their hourly rate rising from £7.70 to £8.20 (a 6.5% rise) while the national living wage, which applies to those aged 25 and over, will gain a rise from £8.21 to £8.72 (a 6.2% rise).



Health conscious – does a fit workforce mean a happy workplace?

With the average employee spending a third of their lives at work, employers – helped by occupational health – have a pivotal role to play in communicating, facilitating and enabling lifestyle change that will stick, as Iain Thomson explains. And it’s not just the physical; an unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet has also been shown to increase mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and poor self-esteem. To help tackle obesity and create a happier, fitter and more productive workforce, business leaders should listen to the advice they get from OH and throw their weight behind promoting healthy habits and behaviours.


FTSE 100 bosses will have earned an average annual wage by 5pm TONIGHT, study reveals

The report said high pay will be a key issue in 2020 as this is the first year that publicly listed firms with more than 250 UK employees must disclose the ratio between chief executive pay and that of their average worker, and explain the reasons for their executive pay ratios.

 Top bosses will have earned the average annual wage by 5pm tonight.

Tim Roache, GMB General Secretary, said: ‘It should be a source of national shame that in just a handful of days, company fat cats will have made more money than the typical UK full-time worker will earn in the entire year.’

Peter Cheese, chief executive at the CIPD, said: ‘This is the first year where businesses are really being held to account on executive pay. Pay ratio reporting will rightly increase scrutiny on pay and reward practices, but reporting the numbers is just the start.

‘We need businesses to step up and justify very high levels of pay for top executives, particularly in relation to how the rest of the workforce is being rewarded.

‘Greater fairness and openness in pay is essential in building trust, amongst employees as well as external stakeholders and investors.’


Executive pay ratio reporting an ‘opportunity’ to win employees’ trust

Executive pay ratio reporting an ‘opportunity’ to win employees’ trust. The CIPD and thinktank the High Pay Centre said the pay ratio regulations, which came into force on 1 January and apply to UK-listed companies with more than 250 employees, should be treated as an opportunity for organisations to explain their senior executives’ pay levels and showcase what they are doing to ensure pay practices are fair. 

Luke Hildyard: “New reporting requirements mean that publicly listed firms will have to be more transparent over how and why they reward their CEOs relative to the wider workforce.”

The new regulations make it a statutory requirement for the UK’s largest employers to disclose how their chief executives’ pay compares to the median, lower quartile and upper quartile pay of their UK employees. Their annual reports must also include reasons for any year-to-year reductions or increases in ratios, how they have calculated their ratio and whether or not the organisation believes the median ratio is consistent with the organisation’s wider policies on pay, reward and progression.

Companies must also explain how their directors take employee and other stakeholder interests into account when setting pay scales, while large private sector firms need to report on their corporate governance arrangements.


Monday Recruitment and Employment update

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89-year-old wins £200,000 in compensation for age discrimination

An 89-year-old former medical secretary who was unfairly dismissed from her post at Royal Berkshire Hospital has won £200,000 in compensation.

Eileen Jolly was dismissed from the NHS trust in 2017, when she was 86, after she failed to upload details of cancer patients awaiting non-urgent breast reconstruction surgery into a new database. “Instead of the respondent addressing that issue directly and either training her and then requiring her to do the role as directed the claimant was dismissed.”

In a remedy judgment made last month, the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust was ordered to pay Jolly £200,000 in compensation (£129,375 net of tax) within 14 days.

Scammed employee will not have to repay £108,000 to employer

The importance of up-to-date training around email scams has been highlighted in a case at Scotland’s Court of Sessions where a woman who fell for a £193,000 email scam was judged not to be liable for her employer’s loss.

In his judgment at Scotland’s highest court, Lord Summers described the case as “tragic” and said the fraudster is the “real culprit”. Because fraudsters do not require extensive technical knowledge, the National Cyber Security Centre has described whaling as one of the “biggest risks facing businesses”.

Lord Summers ruled he was unable to say whether Reilly was in breach over the bank warnings but that it would not have “altered the outcome”.

Staff think employers aren’t doing enough on climate change

As employers face mounting pressure to tackle the climate emergency, workers think organisations should be doing more.

Almost half (45%) of employees believe their workplaces aren’t doing enough to combat climate change, according to research from Savoy Stewart. When asked how their employers could help to tackle climate change, employees felt that the design and architecture of the office would have most impact (37%), followed by a change in mindset and attitude (28%).

Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community (BITC), said employers must rise to the challenge of tackling climate change and record their progress.

Action on gender pay gap has accelerated across Europe

More action is taking place on pay equality in Europe compared with the US, according to a recent survey, although US firms are more proactive when it comes to sexual harassment.

Littler’s 2019 European Employer Survey, which looked at the HR and legal issues having the biggest impact on the Continent‘s employers, found that 85% of organisations were taking steps to address the gender pay gap and equal pay, up from 80% in 2018.

Although new laws have been introduced across Europe on gender pay gap reporting, the report’s authors noted that “employers appear to be taking actions beyond those required by law, perhaps driven by a desire to protect themselves from liability, negative publicity, worker actions and other risks”.

Staff think employers aren’t doing enough on climate change

As employers face mounting pressure to tackle the climate emergency, workers think organisations should be doing more. Almost half (45%) of employees believe their workplaces aren’t doing enough to combat climate change, according to research from Savoy Stewart.

When asked how their employers could help to tackle climate change, employees felt that the design and architecture of the office would have most impact (37%), followed by a change in mindset and attitude (28%).

Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community (BITC), said employers must rise to the challenge of tackling climate change and record their progress.


Friday update

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image of colorful blocks with people icons over wooden table ,human resources and management concept.IR35 will lead to temporary talent drain, survey claims

Three-fifths of employers are concerned they will miss out on temporary talent when the IR35 off-payroll rules are extended to the private sector next year.

According to recruitment company Robert Half, 62% of medium and large employers in the private sector worry that they will not be able to attract skilled contractors and temporary workers after the rules come in on 6 April 2020.

Robert Half also found that two-fifths (42%) of medium and large private sector organisations are concerned about losing current temporary workers to the new IR35 rules if they cannot renegotiate employment contracts in time.

Jobseekers ‘cheating’ recruitment platforms

Jobseekers are increasingly looking for ways to game or ‘cheat’ recruitment systems, according to TribePad research.

Hiring Humans vs. Recruitment Robots surveyed 1,041 employees and job seekers in the UK, and found that two-thirds (67%) of job seekers admit to using ‘optimisation strategies,’ such as using particular phrases likely to be picked up by recruitment algorithms, to improve their chances of getting a job.

Dean Sadler, CEO of TribePad, said there are clear advantages for both employers and candidates to using technology in the recruitment process. “There’s no doubt that recruitment technology systems provide huge benefits to employers and the candidates who use them.”

Recruiters step in to provide benefits to ‘extended workforce’ says Pennel

Recruiters have a key role to play in helping industry meet the talent management challenges posed by an increasingly consumer-led economy.

This is according to Denis Pennel, managing director of the World Employment Confederation, as he opened the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s ‘Future of Jobs Summit’ at the REC’s offices in London yesterday.

Pennel’s speech addressed the challenges of managing an “extended workforce” made of up of permanent and flexible labour – whether they are core…


How degree apprenticeships could win the battle to boost diversity in UK tech

“We have so many technology vacancies that we cannot recruit quickly enough,” says Dara Kirton, a champion for diversity and inclusion at PwC – including in tech consulting, for data analytics, artificial intelligence and blockchain-related roles.

To help achieve this, in 2018 PwC launched the technology degree apprenticeship program in partnership with five leading universities across the UK.

But Patel expects a high proportion of BAME people to feature in PwC’s apprenticeships, since the programmers tear down the educational attainment barrier to tech. PwC has partnered with UKBlackTech, which aims to increase BAME representation in the industry and make the UK tech sector the most diverse globally.


Why are your new employees leaving so quickly?

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colleagues applauding to new female office worker

This happens far more than it should. American studies suggest that up to 33% of new hires leave within the first three months and based on anecdotal evidence I would think that in the UK it is pretty close to that.

If you are recruiting a new member of staff, it is going to cost you a fair whack to find and hire a new employee and the last thing you want is to have to do it all again in three months time. You really should have a good think about the role and the person you need to fill it before you start.

The biggest reason that candidates give is that the day to day duties are different from those outlined in the interview.  Now, we know that you did not lie to the candidate at the interview but have you taken the time to really make sure that the job spec is correct.

If the reason you are recruiting is that someone has left, have you made sure that you know what they were doing. If Pete or Jane have been in the role for more than a couple of years, they may well have ended up picking up additional tasks without you realising it and not all necessarily related to the role you recruiting for. They may be happy to swing by a supplier or customer on the way home to drop or pick something up but the newby may live in the opposite direction.

Do you regularly review what your employees are actually doing, if not then you should? You may be why Jane or Pete left in the first place, they felt undervalued and/or overworked.

When they hand in their notice, it would be good to sit down with them and review the duties and tasks they perform. Talk to them about the parts of the role they most enjoyed and the challenges they found as this will help you understand better the personal profile of the person that will take over.

The second biggest reason is the company’s culture.  If you are constantly recruiting then you have a culture issue. In general, though, you need to make sure that any future employee gets it, whatever it is.

Is it OK to come into work in shorts or do you insist of on smart dress, can they decorate their desk,  are they allowed to take personal calls at work or check emails, social media etc.

You need to let them know, maybe let them meet their team or have a tour of the company before they start.

Take the time to get it right first time and it will save you a lot of time and money




Recruitment and HR roundup 22/10/2019

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Young people increasingly struggle to move out of insecure work

It is becoming harder for younger workers in insecure or temporary jobs to move into “good quality” permanent work, a report has claimed.

It’s Young People’s Future Health inquiry report found that although temporary employment suited some young people as it enabled them to fit work around education or childcare.
There was evidence of “one-sided” flexibility in employment contracts, where employers can set and vary terms and conditions and workers have only limited redress.

Around a third of routine and manual 18 to 24 year old workers are working shifts most of the time, whereas less than 17% of those in higher managerial jobs worked shifts.


Thirty leading companies sign up to mental health commitment

Thirty organisations including Barclays, Royal Mail, and John Lewis have signed a commitment to recognise the importance of promoting staff wellbeing and good mental health.

The Mental Health at Work Commitment provides a framework of six core standards to create working environments where employees feel they can thrive.

“With one in four people experiencing a mental health problem in any given year, it’s likely that many of your colleagues may be struggling, and you have a responsibility to take action.”

They are encouraging all businesses to challenge themselves on what more they can do to protect and support the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.

Most construction firms would fail or ‘scrape through’ HSE inspections

Two thirds of construction companies say they would fail or might only “scrape through” an on-the-spot site inspection by the Health and Safety Executive, a survey has found.

Asked why they would fail or scrape through, the most common answers were a shortage of correctly skilled workers (40%) and a lack of accurate recording of matters including staff training, equipment testing, site compliance, accidents at work (36%).

The Health & Safety at Work Act requires building firms to keep an accurate, up-to-date record of all health and safety matters from personnel training and qualifications to equipment maintenance, to site safety and incident reports.


Companies should be wary about snooping through staff emails

Companies have been urged to have effective communications at work policies in place to guard against breaching staff privacy or data protection rights. Commenting on the implications of the findings for recruiters. Andrea London, a partner and head of employment at city law firm Fletcher Day, said that companies do not have a “snooper’s licence” and while they can look at staff emails, there remains legal considerations as the legal position is not always clear cut.

The warning follows research, released this week by job board CV-Library, which shows nearly 45% of 300 employers surveyed had busted their employees for having unacceptable messages in their work inbox.

Almost three quarters (72.1%) had uncovered inappropriate images, while 56.4% had found messages talking negatively about colleagues and 48.5% job applications to other employers.
















Recruitment and HR update 15/10/2019

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ONS figures show recruitment contributed to services sector growth

The recruitment sector helped contribute to a 9.3% annual increase in services sector turnover, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics. 

The data reveals total UK turnover generated by the service industries increased from £2,414.3bn in 2016 to £2,639.1bn in 2017. 

The administrative and support services sector, which includes recruitment agencies, saw turnover increase from £161.4bn in 2016 to £180.5bn in 2017. 

Factory workers who make Lululemon leggings say they’re beaten, humiliated, and earn as little as $106 per month, a new report says

Factory workers making Lululemon clothes in Bangladesh say they’re routinely beaten and humiliated while working, according to a new report from The Guardian’s Sarah Marsh and Redwan Ahmed. 

Some workers also told the outlet they’re underpaid, earning as little as $106 per month — less than the price of a single pair of Lululemon leggings. 

Lululemon reportedly said it will investigate the factory, which is owned by Youngone Corporation, and “take appropriate action based upon the findings.” 

“We believe all workers should be treated fairly and welcome Lululemon’s investigation,” a representative for the United Nations Foundation told The Guardian.


GLAA interviews agency workers in unannounced visits

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) has carried out unannounced visits to 10 labour providers and labour users in Lincolnshire. 

As part of its ongoing efforts to check on agency workers’ welfare and to tackle unlicensed activity, staff from the GLAA interviewed 24 agency workers in the South Holland and East Lindsey districts last week. 

Lincolnshire and the East of England more widely is a key region for the GLAA due to its high levels of agricultural, food processing and packaging work, all of which requires licensed labour providers. Following the unannounced visits, all 10 labour providers and labour users were given a clean bill of health.