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Employers should implement a 4-day work week – and staff should be paid more too

TUC argues that employees – not just bosses and shareholders – should benefit from technological advances in the workplace.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady is urging that the working week should be cut to four days as new technology continues to make our jobs more efficient. O’Grady says employees across the country are deserving of a longer weekend and higher pay because too many firms are using technological advances to treat people unfairly. She stresses that bosses and shareholders “must not be allowed to hoover up all the gains from new tech”, and that the benefits should instead allow companies to increase wages and give workers more time with their families.

Research by the TUC, which represents most UK trade unions, shows that most workers expect managers and shareholders will reap the benefits of new technology.

Ms O’Grady will tell the TUC Congress in Manchester today that the results of the survey show that change is needed to ensure workers remain motivated.

“In the 19th century, unions campaigned for an eight-hour day. In the 20th century, we won the right to a two-day weekend and paid holidays,” she will say.

“So, for the 21st century, let’s lift our ambition again. I believe that in this century we can win a four-day working week, with decent pay for everyone.

“It’s time to share the wealth from new technology. Not allow those at the top to grab it for themselves. We need strong unions with the right to go into every workplace – starting with Amazon’s warehouses here in the UK.”

Amazon – which recently became only the second company to reach a market value of $1trn (£779.3bn) – is among the firms to have been accused by the TUC of using technology to take advantage of employees.

The ‘always on’ culture is partly to blame as employers are alleged to be making staff work unpredictable hours. Over 1.4 million people are working on seven days of the week and 3.3 million working more than 45 hours a week.

Stress and long hours were identified by the TUC as workers’ biggest concerns after pay, although more and more jobs are feared to be at risk as artificial intelligence improves.

Experts are worried about a “big bang” moment, where a large number of jobs are automated within a short space of time, with manufacturing, transportation, retail and wholesale the industries thought to be most at risk.

Read More – www.recruitingtimes.com

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UK wage growth picks up to 2.6%

UK wage growth picked up by more than expected in July, official statistics showed on Tuesday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that average total pay in the three months to July rose by 2.6 per cent on the same period a year earlier.

That was up from the previous reading of 2.4 per cent and higher than the 2.4 per cent City of London analysts had expected.

Excluding volatile bonuses, pay was up 2.9 per cent.

In the single month of July regular pay was up 3.1 per cent, the most rapid in three years.

The rise in wages will likely reassure the Bank of England that its key judgement about the UK economy – that slack is almost gone and that this will result in inflationary wage pressure – is correct.

The Bank raised interest rates to 0.75 per cent in August, forecasting that wage growth this year would be 2.5 per cent, rising to 3.25 per cent in 2019.

“The labour market figures suggest that competition for workers is finally starting to provide greater support to wages,” said Andrew Wishart of Capital Economics.

“Surveys of wage growth suggest that it will sustain a pace of about 3 per cent over the remainder of the year.”

The ONS also reported on Tuesday that the UK’s strong employment growth this year is levelling off, with a quarterly rise in the numbers in work of just 3,000.

However, the employment rate remained at 75.5 per cent, close to a record high.

And the jobless rate was steady at 4.1 per cent.

“With the number of people in work little changed, employment growth has weakened. However, the labour market remains robust, with the number of people working still at historically high levels, unemployment down on the year and a record number of vacancies,” said David Freeman of the ONS.


Read More – www.independent.co.uk

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Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent Remains Biggest HR Challenge

In an environment plagued by skills shortages, finding and retaining talent remains the biggest HR challenge in 2018: half (51%) of HR managers say they struggle to find people with the right skills to do the job, according to a new survey by AXELOS, custodian of some of the world’s most sought-after certifications.

Adding to the pressure is an awareness that hiring the wrong external candidate now costs in the region of £17,000* (£16,843, to be precise), according to the 500 HR managers questioned by AXELOS. That sum covers recruitment fees, advertising, assessment of applications, interviews, induction and training (onboarding), and the first three months of salary (£7810); it also factors in such negatives as poor work outputs, loss of productivity, disruption to projects and then the cost of putting things right by recruiting someone new (£9033).

To address the skills gap and prepare their workforce for the digital economy, 41% of businesses now favour training and up-skilling existing employees for new roles, while a similar proportion (41%) say they will recruit entry-level candidates who will receive training once they are in place.

But one-fifth (21%) of businesses say they find it difficult to find the budget to train and up-skill existing employees to meet their needs, and 22% say that it is a struggle to get employees to participate in continued professional development (CPD). Bearing these challenges in mind, 42% of businesses say that promotions for existing employees with relevant skills will be conditional upon no need for further training, while just over a third (36%) of businesses will continue to recruit talent externally.

While these measures might seem expedient, AXELOS warns that organisations that fail to invest in training and CPD for their staff could be damaging their employee brands and even their human capital. This assertion is supported by a separate survey of 1,000 employees, also conducted by AXELOS: over half (55%) of respondents say they would prefer to remain with their current employer, but only if new career and training opportunities are on offer.

Fortunately, digital badges for qualifications and CPD provide some new hope when it comes to both recruitment and retention. In fact, their growing adoption is bringing multiple benefits on both sides of the employer/employee equation.

By engaging in CPD and adopting digital badging for new certifications, employees are demonstrating a commitment to growth and development that will favour their internal mobility. At the same time, digital badges can showcase an individual to existing and potential employers, emphasising the credibility and currency of their professional qualifications. 55% of employees will take a more favourable view of businesses offering CPD and digital badges, saying that they are more likely to remain loyal to an employer that invests in CPD; if it comes to finding a new job, they are likely to see an organisation offering CPD as more attractive.

For the employer, digital badges represent a proven and effective way for HR departments, hiring managers and recruiters to ensure that candidates have up-to-date skills which are relevant to the job in question. At the same time, digital badges enhance employee satisfaction, since they demonstrate the employer’s commitment to investing in improving the skills of its workforce and encouraging loyalty among its employees. 30% of HR managers agree that digital badges motivate employees to participate in CPD.


Read More – www.recruitmentbuzz.co.uk