CIPD Update

Post added: may 31, 2013 11:39am

CIPD Update
Top economists reveal ‘dramatic rise in underemployment’
Claire Churchard
2 May 2013

Hidden phenomenon ‘likely to be driven by fall in real wages’
Traditional employment measures are hiding the “dramatic” rise of ‘underemployment’ in the UK economy, meaning that more staff want to work more hours than employers can offer.
In the past four years, the rate of workers making do on the hours available rose to 9.9 per cent in 2012 from 6.2 per cent in 2008, according to a new labour market index.
The measure, designed by economists David Bell and David Blanchflower, reveals that the phenomenon of underemployment “has become increasingly important during the current recession”.

The underemployment rate is now outstripping unemployment, which reached 8 per cent in 2012 up from 5.8 per cent in 2008.

Bell and Blanchflower suggest that employee demands for more hours is likely to be driven by the fall in real pay as average wage increases continue to lag rises in the cost of living.

Younger workers have been particularly hard hit by underemployment with 30 per cent affected, while unemployment rates for this group stands at 20 per cent.
Explaining the new index in a report for the National Institute for Economic and Social Review, Bell and Blanchflower said: “It is now our view that there has been such a dramatic increase in underemployment that the unemployment rate is now a poorer indicator of the degree of slack in the labour market than it has been in the recent past. Further, estimates of the ‘output gap’ that rely on the unemployment rate may be giving a seriously misleading estimate of the degree of excess capacity in the UK labour market.”

The economists also expressed concerns that when the UK’s economic recovery comes, the number of hours people work will rise but unemployment rates will not fall. Bell and Blanchflower explained that employees working fewer hour than they’d like are equivalent to an estimated half a million unemployed.


Post added: february 25, 2013 10:33am

In the UK there are laws prohibiting discrimination on grounds of:

• Sex
• Marital status/civil partnership
• Race
• Disability
• Religions and beliefs
• Sexual orientation
• Gender reassignment
• Age

By 2010, only 20% of the British labour market will consist of white non-disabled men under the age of 45. As well as an increasingly diverse labour market, the UK is facing short, medium and long-term skills shortages across a multitude of industries. With these factors in mind it is becoming increasingly vital for employers to recruit from every possible source.

Diverse recruitment is a business priority, and embedding its principles not only means having the edge in attracting the best people, and gaining more business, but also ensures that vacancies are accessible to untapped reserves of talent. Diverse workforces are proven to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, lower turnover, and enhance business reputation and brand.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and Jobcentre Plus have teamed up to introduce a Diversity Pledge and Toolkit which for the first time will help both private and public sector recruiters tackle discrimination. These products have been designed to enable all agencies better access to the right support to raise UK recruitment standards, based on the business need to recruit a diverse workforce.

Source: REC Website

Working Time Regulations

Post added: february 20, 2013 02:46pm

The Working Time Regulations WTR are concerned with health and safety regulations.
The WTR regulate the amount of time that a worker can be required to work, and the breaks and rests they are entitled to.

A good employment business will want to ensure that temporary staff receive the protection that the Regulations offer. In order to ensure this they require the ongoing cooperation of their clients.
Paid Annual Leave

All individual workers are entitled to 4 weeks paid annual leave, including temporary staff, from the first day of employment or from the first day of working through an employment business. All workers are required to give notice before taking paid annual leave. Wherever possible periods of annual leave requested during the course of an assignment will be agreed with the client.

48 Hour Limit on Working Week

On average, adult workers should not work for more than 48 hours in a week. However, they may agree in writing to work for longer.
Temporary workers will need to agree to work longer than the 48-hour working week in writing with the employment business. The 48-hour limit is averaged out over 17 weeks (26 weeks in the case of some specified situations or types of activity - generally where continuity of production is necessary or where the work is unpredictable; and 52 weeks by collective or workforce agreement), so there is some flexibility in the legislation.

You should nevertheless make sure your employment business knows in advance if temporary staff are likely to work for more than 48 hours particularly if those staff are new. In the first 17 weeks of a worker’s employment or assignment, the average working hours are calculated over the actual period that the worker has worked.
For example, if a worker works 46 hours in week one and 50 hours in week two (making an average of 48 hours in the two weeks) and the assignment with the client terminates, this will be within the law. But, if a new worker works three 50-hour weeks in his/her first assignment, and that assignment then terminates, the law will have been broken unless he/she has agreed to work more than 48 hours.

Young workers (those aged between 15 and 17 inclusive) may not work for more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. These hours cannot be averaged out and there is no opt-out available.
However, they may work longer hours where it is necessary to either:
Maintain continuity of service or production
Respond to a surge in demand for a service or product
Provided that:
There is no adult available to perform that task
The employer ensures that the training needs of the young worker are not adversely affected

Rest Breaks

All adult workers whose working day is 6 hours or more are entitled to a rest break of 20 minutes. For young workers the rest break should be 30 minutes in a day lasting 41/2 hours or more. Ideally all workers should be able to take this break away from their workstation.

Recruitment agencies will need to discuss the provision of rest breaks with their clients - especially where there is an agreement with trade unions or the workforce that governs this. The regulations do not require that the rest breaks be paid and generally an employment business will not charge for these unless it is agreed with you.

Night work

On average, adult workers who work at least three hours of their normal working day between 11pm and 6am should not work for more than 8 hours in any period of 24 during a rolling 17 week reference period. So you would need to let the recruitment agency know if night workers are likely to exceed these limits. If night work involves heavy mental or physical strain, there is an absolute limit of 8 hours’ night work in every 24.

Young workers may not work between midnight and 4am with very limited exceptions where there is a need to provide continuity of service or respond to a surge in demand for a service or product and no adult worker is available:
• Hospitals or similar establishments
• Cultural
• Artistic
• Sporting
• Advertising

Young workers may work between 10 or 11pm to midnight and between 4am to 6 or 7am if they are in the following sectors:
• Agriculture
• Retail trading
• Postal or newspaper deliveries
• Catering
• Bakery

Employment businesses require the cooperation of their clients in assessing whether work involves working at night and whether it entails heavy mental or physical strain. If the client’s own risk assessment indicates this, they should then make their recruitment consultancy aware.

Daily Rest

All adult workers are entitled to 11 hours daily rest in 24 (12 hours for young workers)
Weekly Rest

All adult workers are entitled to a minimum of 1 complete day of rest per week or 2 days every 2 weeks (2 days a week for young workers).

Source: REC Website


Post added: february 15, 2013 09:09am

We traditionally think of Shrove Tuesday (this year 12th February) as a day for 'using up' ingredients in the house to remember how Christians may choose to abstain from various types of food during Lent - but there is a lot more to Lent than making pancakes.
• Lent in 2013 starts on Ash Wednesday (13th February) and ends on Easter Eve (30th March) in the Western Churches.
• Many Christians focus with a fast on Ash Wednesday and again on Good Friday (29th March).
• Some will fast for the time between Ash Wednesday and up to Easter, others don't fast on Sundays as Sunday can be considered to be a feast day.
• There are various ways of fasting, some people will choose to give up bad habits or certain foods and drinks or meals, where as others prefer to see Lent as a way to help others, pray for others, focus on praying for others or take up something new. There are many Christians who attempt to do both.
• The concept of fasting for 40 days is to reflect the 40 days Jesus' fasted in the desert. Christians treat this time as a way of preparation to Easter and fasting is a recognised way of helping people to focus on their spiritual life and prayer.
• There are other Biblical references to the importance of the number 40. The flood in the book of Genesis was 40 days. The Hebrews were in the wilderness for 40 years before reaching the promised land. Moses fasted for 40 days prior to receiving the 10 Commandments.

Liquidations at four-year low

Post added: february 05, 2013 10:18am

Liquidations at four-year low

The number of UK companies going in to liquidation in the final three months of 2012 was the lowest at any time since the second quarter of 2008, figures from the government’s Insolvency Service released today show.

In fact, the provisional total of companies going under in England and Wales in Q4 2012 was 3,689, the exact same total as was seen in Q2 2008.

This most recent round of liquidations represented 0.7% of all UK companies, a lower rate than had been seen throughout 2009 to 2011.

However, the total number of firms going under across the year was, at 16,138, still higher than the figure for 2008 (15,535) and marginally above 2010’s total of 16,045, but much reduced from the 19,077.

The number of compulsory liquidations in Q4 2012 was 949, the only time the figure has been below 1,000 since 2003, with the year-long compulsory liquidations total also at a 10-year low.

Source: Daily News at