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The European Court of Human Rights’ judgment on the right of a Romanian worker to privacy in his email accounts clarifies the boundary for UK employers on rights to privacy in the workplace.

In this case, the employer asked Bărbulescu to set up an email account for work purposes. He was subsequently dismissed after his employer checked his messages and found he had been sending personal messages to his brother and fiancée during working times.

The original ECtHR judgment found that Bărbulescu ‘s right to respect for private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had not been breached. They judged that it was reasonable for employers to check whether employees were carrying out work during working hours.

The decision of the Grand Chamber, however, overturns this decision. They found the employer had not struck a fair balance between the right to privacy and the employer’s right to ensure the effective running of the company.

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All of the UK's listed companies will be required to annually publish and justify their CEO to worker pay ratios

Under government reforms to boardroom accountability, all listed companies will have to publish pay ratios between chief executives and their average UK worker.

The government announced on August 29th 2017 that the new laws requiring all listed companies to publicly explain how their directors take employees’ and shareholders’ interests into account will be introduced in the coming months. Around 900 listed companies must annually publish and justify the pay ratio between CEOs and their average UK worker.

The Financial Reporting Council, which sets standards of governance through the UK Corporate Governance Code, will be asked to include a new requirement in the code to ensure employees’ interests are better represented at board level.

Under the code’s 'comply or explain' basis firms would have to assign a non-executive director to represent employees, create an employee advisory council, or nominate a director from the workforce.

Business, energy and industrial strategy secretary Greg Clark said that these reforms will ensure Britain's reputation as a transparent business environment will continue. (more…)




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The Adecco Group UK&I has joined forces with the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) to produce the CIPD/The Adecco Group Labour Market Outlook (LMO). The LMO is a quarterly report providing analysis and commentary on key employment trends.

The LMO is one of the most authoritative employment indicators in the UK. The report is based on a survey of more than 1,000 HR professionals and senior decision makers. Further information about the survey methodology can be found in the report.

The headline finding in this report is the UK’s buoyant labour market. The net employment balance (the difference between hiring and redundancy intentions) is up for all sectors: private, public and voluntary. The report cautions readers of the report to keep these findings in context with the wider political environment. Brexit still presents a number of unknowns for the UK labour market. We also feel that training provisions, to safeguard future talent, should be addressed by the Government via both apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship courses.

The other key finding from the report is that employers’ expectations for raising pay have not really changed since the last LMO (spring 2017), and is at 1%. A piece of the (more…)




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The correlation between staff and managers both citing bad management suggests firms need to address management styles

One in three (32%) blue-collar managers think their business is very productive but nearly three-quarters (71%) don’t measure productivity, according to a report from  Capita Workforce Management Solutions.

Blue Collar Productivity 2017 surveyed 250 managers and 250 workers across industries such as retail, logistics and construction, where employees work to set shift patterns rather than contracted hours. It found that 23% of employees thought bad management stalled productivity, and 25% of managers agreed with this.

Four in 10 (40%) workers said that their organisation has no way of motivating them, despite 60% of managers stating verbal recognition (saying ‘thank you’) has a motivational effect.

Jason Stokes, sales and marketing director of Capita Workforce Management Solutions, said that employers need to consider how bad management affects productivity.

“Given that the UK regularly falls behind its European and G7 counterparts when it comes to studies in productivity, it is vital our businesses are doing all they can to ensure their employees are as happy and productive as possible if we are to make a success of Brexit,” he said. “The correlation between employees and managers citing bad management suggests organisations need to address management styles and ensure that employees are receiving the support they need to carry out their jobs efficiently and to the highest quality.”

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A recent ECA survey on the value of corporate social responsibility (CSR) found that half of electrotechnical businesses said that having a CSR policy in place meant they were more likely to retain and recruit staff.

Over three in four electrotechnical workers (76 per cent) say they prefer working for a direct employer rather than a labour agency, according to new survey findings commissioned by the Joint Industry Board.

Of those who say they preferred direct employment, almost two in three respondents (62 per cent) said it was to ‘enjoy their full employment rights’. A similar number say they preferred ‘steady employment’ (63 per cent) and ‘valued the holidays and additional benefits available’ (59 per cent).

Just one in six respondents (16 per cent) say they favour agency labour work over direct employment. Over four in 10 of those who preferred agency work (43 per cent) said it was due to the flexibility, while nearly three in 10 (29 per cent) said it was because they could earn more.

ECA Director of Employment Alex Meikle commented: “These findings overwhelmingly show that electrotechnical workers are more content and likely to be more productive working directly for an employer. While agency workers can be a necessary source of flexible labour for businesses, the industry should take a hard look at the value of temporary employment. It’s now time for a rebalancing that ensures worker productivity is maximised moving forward.”

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The latest study of UK productivity has found that most workers admit to wasting at least an hour a day.

Capita Workforce Management Solutions surveyed 250 managers and 250 workers across industries including retail, logistics and construction. Researchers found that only 32% of managers say their business is very productive and 71% don't measure employee productivity at all.

The report found a significant disconnect between the views of workers and managers.

Two-thirds of all employees say they waste at least an hour a day at work; more than three-quarters of

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A global study from Walking the Talk, titled Managing Behaviours in the Workplace, surveyed 745 people including 189 leaders, and found that only 34% of those in leadership roles believe they are able to influence or alter the behaviour of employees.

This is despite the fact that 78% of leaders thought their organisation had adequately equipped them with the skills needed to have a positive influence on others. And despite 86% feeling confident in creating the right atmosphere to allow workers to behave appropriately. The research suggested this contradiction is due to leaders being more comfortable operating at a macro level – for example putting in place frameworks and policies – rather than dealing with the more human element of individuals’ behaviour.

When it came to who should be held responsible for employee behaviour, 76% thought leaders should always be aware of what their employees are doing, and 69% agreed that leaders should be held accountable for the behaviour of people working for them.Walking the Talk - Managing Behaviours Report

When asked at what point leaders become responsible for employee behaviour, 19% said they should always be accountable no matter what the situation. One in five (21%) thought it should start when a group of employees have behaved poorly at least once before, and 27% saw the responsibility starting when employees have behaved badly on more than one occasion.

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