Only a third of employees see a clear link between their pay and performance, according to research.

Only a third of employees see a clear link between their pay and performance, according to research.

The study, which gathered responses from more than 36,000 employees across a range of industries, also revealed that only two in five employees felt their managers made fair decisions linking performance to pay. Less than half said their organisation clearly explained its reward programmes.

Only 58% of UK companies thought employee performance was being fairly reflected in pay decisions.

The findings follow various warnings that wages are becoming increasingly squeezed. The CIPD revealed in August that pay growth was anticipated to be just 1% over the next 12 months -the lowest expectations have been, in three-and-a-half years.

Employers face a challenging balancing act to manage or deal with poor salary budgets and few incentives, but also to retain and attract talent. Managers must become more strategic in rewarding good performance – Linking pay to performance and rewarding correct behaviours.

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Employees hide their grief

One in four employees took no time off work following the death of a loved one, while a further one in 10 took just one day, new research has found.

The survey of 2,000 UK employees who have experienced the death of a loved one revealed that half of employees who did take time off felt under pressure to conceal their grief when they returned to work.

Despite this, the research found that 98% of employees believed some time off after a death is reasonable.

The findings come less than three months after a private member’s bill was introduced into parliament to give employed parents a statutory right to paid time off to grieve in the event of the death of a child. Such a right does not exist in law currently although the Employment Rights Act entitles staff to a ‘reasonable’ amount of unpaid time off to handle an emergency involving a dependant.

Apparently, almost half of employers did not have any formal policies in place to cover staff bereavement, although 92% regularly provided flexible-working options for employees dealing with a death.

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Tribunal claim from foster worker claiming holiday pay

An employment tribunal claim has been lodged on behalf of a foster carer, arguing that she is a worker and entitled to rights such as holiday pay.

The trade union representing her believes that, if successful, the case could open the doors for thousands of similar claims by foster carers. Although foster carers in the UK are paid by local councils, agencies or charities to look after children, they are not currently classified as either workers or employees.

The trade union said that foster care workers are exploited, have no rights whatsoever and are treated as a disposable workforce, when society needs carers more than ever.

A previous case heard by the Court of Appeal decided that foster carers could not be classified as workers, as the relationship between carers and their organisation is not based on a legal contract. According to figures cited by charity The Fostering Network, there are almost 55,000 foster families across the UK, caring for nearly 64,000 children.

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“Me Too” campaign forces employers to examine their dignity at work policies

The recent publicity surrounding sexual harassment and the “Me Too” campaign has forced employers to examine their strategies in dealing with harassment in the workplace.

Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. The law defines sexual harassment as behaviour that is either meant to, or has the effect of:

• violating dignity, or
• creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment

It is also worth bearing in mind that many people respond to situations in different ways. What may seem like an innocent action or remark to one person may be deemed offensive by another and the law sides with the ‘victim’ not the ‘perpetrator’. Since there is no single definition, the test is how the recipient feels about the behaviour. Whilst men can also be subject to sexual harassment, the vast majority of cases have been by women against men. It is estimated that 50% of women in employment are, or have been, subject to sexual harassment of some form or other.

Employers must take any complaints seriously – complaints must not be dismissed as “office banter” and employers should be seen to condemn inappropriate behaviour and to provide a safe environment in which employees of any gender can complain about harassment and breaches of their dignity at work.

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Can you manage difficult situations at work? We can help!

Managing Difficult Situations

2nd November 2017 in Dundee

Feedback from previous delegates:

“Walked away today feeling so much more confident in a management way”

“Very useful training – to the point but personable”

Many employers will find that during some point of their careers, they will be involved in handling a difficult situation which has led to or could lead to conflict – whether it’s a dispute over salary, tension between employees, or having to deliver bad news; unfortunately conflict at work is inevitable.
We will guide you in a step-by step way through these situations leaving you with confidence to proceed.

This workshop will cover:
• Understanding conflict and its impact on the workplace
• Establishing techniques to build effective workplace relationships
• Building skills and techniques to confidently manage difficult situations
• Understanding what is a difficult conversation
• Understanding body language and rapport
• Guidance on how to respond to and manage conflict and internal tension
• Coping strategies for dealing with difficult people and difficult situations
• Support to reduce the effects of disputes in your team

Who is it For?
Any line manager, or anyone who wishes to develop their communication skills.

Price: £160 + VAT, per person. Maximum of 4 delegates per organisation. Contact us to find out about multiple booking discount available
Time: 10.00am – 16.00pm.

Book now: click here to book your place or contact us at
Cancellation: Minimum 7 days cancellation notice applies or full cost will be charged.

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Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace

With this week’s focus on mental health awareness, it is worth remembering that just one in four people who have had a mental health problem for more than a year are in work. In contrast, four out of five non-disabled people are working, as are half of all disabled people as defined by the Equality Act.

Research by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) discovered that those with depression or anxiety are least likely to find work or to stay in meaningful jobs, with just 45% of those suffering with either of these conditions for more than a year, being in work.

Mental Health awareness charities have called on employers to take action to support staff with mental health problems, including making reasonable accommodations to help them carry out their job, and to consult with affected employees to find out what changes would most benefit them. Often it’s relatively small adjustments, such as flexible working or counselling, that are needed to make a difference to people managing mental health issues at work.

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Do you worry about equal pay in your organisation?

After years of legal wrangling, mass equal pay claims in the public sector are finally being settled and many have proved costly to the employer. Much of the litigation so far has arisen from bonus structures, which benefited jobs predominately carried out by men rather than women. Terms and conditions in the public sector are generally the subject of collective agreements between the employer and trades unions, and it is reasonably straightforward to identify those responsible for negotiating such agreements.

In the private sector, equal pay claims have generally been limited to individual claims, which have been brought where a particular comparator is thought to be paid more than the claimant. But that is now changing, and the recent case of Asda Stores Limited v Brierley and others illustrates the much larger risks represented by mass claims brought about by occupational segregation.

In that case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal upheld the decision of the employment tribunal that female employees working in Asda supermarkets could compare themselves with predominately male distribution workers based at depots, who were paid more. The claimants argued that their work was of equal value to that of their comparators. Similar claims have been brought against other supermarkets.
Equal pay claims can take many years to resolve, and the consequences can be very costly for employers.

Tips for employers

• Where one gender is under-represented in a particular role, an employer can take positive action to improve the gender balance; for example, by reconsidering where it advertises roles or providing particular training courses for the under-represented gender.

• The business may wish to carry out an equal pay audit to identify whether there is any potential risk.

• Another option is to undertake a valid job evaluation of all roles. This is likely to ensure that any discrimination built into pay practices over the years is eradicated, by properly evaluating the various tasks carried out by staff. It should also provide a defence to any subsequent claims.

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Tax and Contractors – HMRC update

Too many contractors who should be abiding by the employment intermediary rules (IR35) have been paying less tax than they owe. Many have been working alongside public sector employees for years, working on the same projects, but have been paid differently because they have been providing their services through their own limited company and applying the employment intermediary rules incorrectly.

The rules are designed to ensure that when a contractor who is engaged through their own limited company has a “permanent” relationship with the, the same tax should be paid as if they were an employee. However his has rarely happened. HMRC estimates that contractors were wrongly classifying themselves as outside the rules in around 90% of cases. That is why, in April, new rules shifted responsibility for making the decision from contractors to the public body or agency employing them. No longer do contractors working in the public sector decide whether the rules apply to them. Since then, more jobs have been classified as within the intermediary rules, ensuring that many more people are complying with the law and, importantly, paying the right amount of tax.

There has been a great deal of misinformation in some sections of the media about the changes to the employment intermediary rules, including suggestions that there would be a mass exodus of contractors from the public sector. Apparently, this has not happened, according to HMRC, which has been monitoring this.

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Do you lack presentation skills?

Do you lack confidence at work? Do you feel that you or your team need a bit of help to improve your presentation style and have more confidence to deal with formal situations with clients?

This workshop covers how to use verbal and non-verbal communication to your advantage. Learn how to control your voice and tone and learn techniques for increasing confidence. Improve your presence and ultimately feel great about presenting your products and services in the best way.

This workshop will cover:
• Verbal and non-verbal communication styles and skills
• Effective breathing techniques to help with confidence
• Presentation styles and delivery techniques
• Handling questions during a presentation
Who is it For?
Anyone, in any role feels they need confidence in their presentation style.

Book your place to attend on 1st November 2017 in Glasgow from 10 am to 4 pm. Cost is £160 plus VAT. To book your place contact

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Managers feel biased when interviewing

Just a third of managers report feeling confident they are not prejudiced when hiring staff, according to a controversial new study. Close to half admitted bias affects their candidate choice, while a further 20% said they could not be sure they acted without bias when recruiting.

Around three-quarters of respondents reported witnessing discrimination during the course of a recruitment process, while a quarter said they observed discrimination during recruitment on a regular basis.

We all have personal preferences so it’s no surprise that bias creeps into the interview but this research shows that an alarming number of managers are actively ruling out candidates based on factors that are discriminatory – education, accent or gender.

One in 10 respondents admitted they would avoid hiring a woman applying for a male-dominated role, and a similar proportion said they would be reluctant to recruit a recently married woman, as they were more likely to go on maternity leave soon. A fifth of managers said they would overlook a pregnant candidate.

Employers need to be as effective as possible at attracting talent from all parts of society, and recruiters have an important role to play in challenging old-fashioned practices, and should promote open and transparent selection. Recruiters are uniquely placed to guide employers on how to attract and retain talent, as well as offer support to diverse candidates.

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