2018年6月20日

Law at Work June 2018 - Hot Topics

Treasury Committee's report on reform of bonus negotiations and promotion of flexible working in financial sector

Treasury Committee has published a unanimously-agreed report calling for the reform of bonus negotiations and promotion of flexible working to abolish 'alpha-male' culture in finance and encourage the progression of women to senior levels. Its key recommendations are that organisations should:

  • Assess bonuses against clear criteria to abolish 'alpha-male' culture
  • Remove stigma of flexible working by senior men leading by example
  • Encourage firms to publish strategies for closing gender pay gaps
  • Partners and subsidiaries should not be exempt from gender pay gap reporting
  • Firms should re-examine recruitment and promotion policies to eliminate unconscious bias, which will avoid potential applicants being deterred and avoid groupthink

The report flags the high gender pay gap of both pay and bonuses at UK banks, building and in the wider financial sector and that firms should now be required to publish their strategies for overcoming their gap and supporting the progression of women. It also recommend that company subsidiaries that have fewer than 250 employees, and partners who are remunerated differently to employees should also be included in gender pay gap reporting.

Government publishes two year action plan to support carers

On 5 June the Department for Health and Social Care published The Carers Action Plan 2018-20 - Supporting Carers today which includes addressing the support for those carers who are also working. It addresses a number of themes including initiatives to support employers to improve working practices and flexible working to help carers to stay in work, as well as to support carers returning to work and improving advice on financial support to carers.

Tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse toolkit launched to help employers

Public Health England, together with Business in the Community, has published a toolkit for employers tackling substance abuse in the workforce. This suggests that in order to prevent abuse of drugs, alcohol and tobacco by workers, employers should:

  • Ensure leaders commit to tackle substance abuse, and receive training to help them to do so
  • Make reasonable adjustments for staff required to take time off to deal with substance abuse
  • Encourage workers to consider their true consumption of such substances, and whether it is a risk to health.

Recent government research found that absenteeism and low productivity related to substance misuse costs employers £5.3 billion, while the results of a Home Office survey found that nearly 9% of 16-59 year olds took a drug in the year before the survey was undertaken.

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