Changing patterns of work, lifestyle and technology mean employees aren’t as loyal to their employer as they once were. With the average UK worker spending five years in one role — compared to 50 years by older generations — companies have had to change the way the treat their employees in a bid to keep them content. As well as this, the well-being of staff is a much bigger deal. Change management specialists Impact International, explain exactly how businesses have changed the way they treat their employees.
In April 2018, private sector employers were made to publish their reports regarding gender pay and gender equality. This was brought in to show transparency and to try to bring the mean gender pay gap closer. Reports found that the mean pay gap in 2018 was 18.4% in favour of men. This did however fall 8.6% between full-time employees in the same year.
Some of the biggest establishments in the UK have been found to have astonishing gender pay gaps. Recent studies uncovered that more than nine out of 10 universities in the UK pay their male employees more than their female employees on average.
This trend has also emerged within the NHS, as it has been found that male doctors are said to earn an average of 17% more than their female colleagues. This is a negative precedent for 2019, and it has caused regular disruption as well as damaged morale in employees. The field is levelling out, but progress is slow.
National living wage
In 1998, the National Minimum Wage Act meant adults 22 years old and over must be paid at least £3.60. Before it was introduced, it was estimated that 1.9 million workers were working beneath this pay cap.
As of 1 April this year, the minimum wage will rise to £8.21 for those over 25; £7.70 for 21-24-year-olds; £6.15 for 18-20-year-olds; £4.35 for 16 and 17 years olds; and £3.90 for apprentices.
The increase in rates has been matched by the rising cost of household bills, including council tax and the television licence fee.
These increases are predicted to benefit women the most, with 60% of the female workforce feeling the rise in hourly rates. The retail and hospitality sectors are notoriously low paid, and an estimated 200,000 employees in these industries will benefit from the increase.
There has been a backlash from those who question the variation in age categories. The introduction by UK charity the Living Wage Foundation of a ‘real living wage’ has highlighted the downsides of the government’s national living wage, and it encourages employers to follow an independently-calculated rate.
The rigid nine-to-five Monday-Friday shift pattern is gradually disappearing. More workers are putting a bigger emphasis on getting the right work-life balance, meaning that flexibility is a necessity to keep the workforce happy.
Not only does it boost morale, it can also boost productivity levels. Many offices choose to operate a flexible time policy, whereby employees work a core day, but they can determine the time this covers. This allows them to fulfil the required weekly hours in a way that suits them best, including working from home.
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