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Here’s the latest stories from the world of HR that have caught our eye this week:
The HR director of sandwich shop chain Pret a Manger has publicly spoken out against the ramifications that Brexit will have on employees within the hospitality industry. Andrea Wareham told the House of Lords economic affairs select committee that the high-street chain employs 110 different nationalities and only one in 50 of Pret’s applicants are British. Wareham continued to say that if the company had to fill its positions with only British candidates, it would be unable to do so due to lack of applications.
The HR director also went on to say that she doubted higher wages would entice more British applicants, as Pret already pays well above the National Living Wage and offers its employees attractive benefits. However, Wareham admitted that the hospitality sector is generally not seen as a desirable industry, therefore it is reliant upon applicants who are non-UK nationals.
New research has discovered that the growth of people in zero hours contracts has slowed down significantly. While the number has continued to grow, and has in fact reached a record high of 910,000, in the second half of 2016 it grew by only 0.8 per cent, which was a great decrease in the YoY figure of 12.3 per cent in 2015. This is the first time that the growth in zero hours contracts has slowed since the subject first entered public debate in 2013. Zero hours contracts are still extremely common across the UK, but the fact that this controversial approach is being adopted by businesses at a slower rate is great news for UK employees.
Conor D’Arcy, a policy analyst at Resolution, has attributed this slow down to the ongoing negative publicity around zero hours contracts, suggesting that more businesses are reconsidering their use. The research also revealed that 46 per cent of the net increase in zero hours contracts in 2016 was attributed to those aged between 55 and 64, suggesting that many of these contracts are now being utilised by this age group to transition into retirement. This is in stark contrast to the stereotype of young people and students struggling to get real employment because of zero hours contracts.
We think that the slowdown in zero hours contracts is fantastic news for the UK workforce, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, and stay tuned to our blog for more of the latest news from the world of HR.
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