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HR News Round-Up June 2019

Posted On: 02/07/2019

This month, Matthew Taylor called for a change in the way businesses track learning and progression and highlighted the need for human skills to be recorded. Taylor was asked by the government in 2017 to develop proposals to form the basis of the government’s Good Work Plan.  He says: “We talk about coding – we won’t need coding in 20 years’ time, but we are going to need empathy, we’re going to need teamwork, we’re going to need resilience.”

The Good Work Plan is the government’s official review of working practices based on a single overriding ambition – for all work to be fair and decent with realistic scope for development and fulfilment.  The report says that every employee should have a portfolio recording their formal and informal skills and development such as leadership, communication and empathy to meet the diverse requirements of the modern economy [1].

With Taylor highlighting the need for soft skills the landscape of the business world may be changing for the better.  Let’s see what is happening in the world of business today which benefit from great leadership, communication and empathy.

Employees with disabilities still feel victimised

The Am I Your Problem? Campaign launched by the charity United Responses has revealed the latest data.  The charity’s findings show that only 77% of people would be happy for their company to employ someone with a learning disability or autism.  10% of individuals asked in the London area said that they would feel uncomfortable [2].

In addition to speaking to employers across the UK, the charity spoke to 150 people with learning disabilities and autism. The June 2019 report showed that roughly one in four of the people interviewed had been treated unfairly in shops, restaurants and on public transport.  One individual stated: “I feel I have to hide my disability at work because I don’t have a choice.”

United Response chief executive said: “Highlighting this lack of understanding is the starting point to transforming public behaviours and empowering people with learning disabilities to be fully included in their communities. Non-disabled people need to become the solution, not the problem.”

‘Mind The Gap’

Rail Union, Aslef, has highlighted the gaps in train driver diversity.  The union has published a report revealing the lack of female, BAME and younger drivers in Britain [3].

Only 6.5% of train drivers are female, 8% are from an ethnic minority and 15% are under the age of 35.

Mike Whelan, Aslef General Secretary said: “These percentage figures do not represent the communities we serve because 51% of the people in this country are female, 20% in the last census identified as ethnic minority and 23% are aged 18 to 35.

“Because while the trade union movement, historically, has not always been at the progressive cutting edge on some of these issues, this trade union is absolutely committed to equality and diversity in the rail industry.”

Positive impact of flexible working 

Vitality’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace is a study of nearly 26,500 employees.  The latest data proves that long commutes negatively impact the health of individuals and cost UK businesses an estimated £5.3 billion [4].  This cost represents 20 million days’ worth of staff productivity every year.

Many of the employers who were part of the study were making positive adjustments and putting in place measures and initiatives to support their employees.  The introduction of flexible working has been proved to improve physical and mental health and increase productivity. 

Shaun Subel, Director of Corporate Wellness Strategy at Vitality said: “Businesses need to wake up to the importance of offering flexible working. Our research shows that allowing employees the flexibility to avoid the rush-hour commute where possible or fit their routine around other commitments can help reduce stress and promote healthier lifestyle choices and, importantly, this is shown to actually impact positively on productivity.

“Vitality is calling on businesses to implement workplace wellbeing initiatives to support employees, including increased access to flexible working. Not only can this bring about a competitive advantage for companies, but it will ultimately build a stronger and healthier society for us all.”

We’re here to help 

If you need our experienced team of HR professionals to support you implementing new policies and processes for a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace culture please call us on 0161 941 2426.

[1] People Management

[2] HR News

[3] Personnel Today

[4] HR Review


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