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The Brutal Truth #15, in a slow news week, other than the Autumn Statement! Will it kick-start the economy? Will it lead to a Spring election? Why not join Neil Carberry and the Jump Advisory Group team next Wednesday when we discuss that live (sign up here https://jumpadvisory.com/webinar-registration/). In this edition, we focus on why UK Employers waste 15 Billion pounds a year on unwanted Employee Benefits. We take a look at the changes in the UK Law and what you should know. And we have a light-hearted look at why recruiters spend more than 50% of their day doing mundane tasks.
UK employers may be overspending up to a staggering £15 billion annually on employee benefits that do not align with the preferences and needs of their staff, according to a comprehensive study conducted by Isio and YouGov and reported in Employee Benefits. The research, surveying more than 7,000 private sector employees, revealed that only 23% of respondents believed their current benefits package adequately met all their needs.
Satisfaction levels varied significantly across demographics, with older, married white homeowners expressing the highest contentment at 23%. In contrast, satisfaction dropped to 16% for Asian respondents and 15% for Black respondents. This disparity in happiness is a critical insight, suggesting that there may be a considerable disconnect between the benefits offered and the diverse needs of employees, potentially impacting overall workplace satisfaction and employee retention.
The study also unveiled compelling correlations between employee satisfaction with benefits and various behaviours. Employees who felt their benefits adequately met their needs were 62% less likely to have made cutbacks to their spending on shopping essentials and utility bills over the first half of 2023 compared to their less satisfied colleagues. Moreover, this group was 45% less likely to consider changing jobs, highlighting the significant impact of a well-aligned benefits package on financial stability and job loyalty.
Conversely, those who believed their benefits package met none or very few of their requirements were found to be a staggering 60% more likely to consider leaving their current job. This underscores the critical role benefits play not only in attracting talent but also in retaining it.
Looking ahead, the research painted a picture of potential job movement in the coming year, with 26% of respondents expressing a likelihood of changing jobs within the next 12 months. Interestingly, ethnic minorities emerged as more likely to switch, with 42% of Black employees indicating plans to move, compared to 34% of Asian and 23% of white staff.
The study also delved into the types of benefits that employees are seeking. Employer-provided financial education emerged as a critical demand, with 82% expressing interest in help with pensions, 73% desiring assistance in understanding their rights, 61% seeking guidance on saving, and 56% wanting support in tax planning. Notably, ethnic minorities expressed a higher inclination toward financial education, with pensions education requested by 86% of Asian and 87% of Black respondents.
Flexible working options took the lead regarding benefits that could have a tangible impact on staff retention. Seventy per cent of respondents with hybrid working options and 65% with flexible working arrangements indicated that this would persuade them to stay in their current role.
Additionally, 50% highlighted the importance of pension contributions, and 45% emphasized the value of support for home purchases as an influential factor in their decision to stay with their current employer.
Will Aitken, Director at Isio Reward and Benefits, commented on the findings, saying, “There is an opportunity now for employers to reshape benefits packages so that they resonate not just with their current workforce but future employees.” He stressed the importance of tailoring benefits to employee preferences, citing the potential to enhance inclusivity, reduce wastage, and benefit from greater talent retention. The study, therefore, serves as a call to action for employers to reassess their benefits offerings and ensure they align with their workforce’s diverse needs and aspirations.
In a recent article in HR Magazine, the UK government took a stance to reinstate crucial EU equality and discrimination laws before expiration at the year’s end. This decision follows concerns unions and legal representatives raised about the potential erosion of workers’ rights under the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act, which had slated specific EU laws, including the single source test for equal pay claims, for abolition or dilution.
The government’s commitment to retaining key equality elements, such as maternity law protections and the single source test, has been met with approval from employment lawyers and HR practitioners. Sayeem Ahmed, Managing Director of Neathouse Partners, notes that this choice reflects the government’s preference for stability over sweeping legislative changes post-Brexit. Preserving well-established EU principles around discrimination and equal pay is seen as a positive step in maintaining a continuity that benefits employers and employees.
Jim Moore, an employee relations expert at HR consultancy Hamilton Nash, highlights an often-overlooked aspect: the potential loss of 50 years of valuable case law if EU laws were erased en masse. This legal continuity is crucial for tribunals and ensures a stable foundation for addressing workplace disputes.
However, amidst the commitment to equality protections, the government has also signalled its intent to reduce regulatory burdens derived from what it deems “burdensome” EU rules. The plan is to amend retained EU laws to cut £1 billion of red tape. Specific details of these amendments, including changes to annual leave and holiday pay calculations under the Working Time Regulations and alterations to Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) consultation requirements, are yet to be unveiled.
Alex Mizzi, Legal Director at Howard Kennedy, suggests that the government’s decision to maintain stability in employment law indicates a likely limited divergence from EU standards in this domain. However, questions arise about the government’s broader commitment to the stated aims of Brexit, as the proposed amendments aim to simplify regulations rather than completely realign with domestic priorities.
There is speculation, particularly from Moore, that amendments to holiday pay calculations could revisit the percentage method pro-rata calculation, raising questions about aligning these changes with recent legal precedents, such as the Brazel v Harper case in 2022.
While the decision to preserve EU equality and discrimination laws brings a sense of continuity and legal stability, the forthcoming amendments aimed at reducing regulatory burdens leave room for scrutiny. Recruitment leaders must stay vigilant for further details on these amendments and assess their potential impact on HR practices and compliance in the evolving post-Brexit landscape.
In the wild world of recruitment, our beloved recruiters often find themselves in a daily drama filled with quirky characters, like Mr. Spreadsheet and Madame Email Inbox Overflow. They say laughter is the best medicine, so let’s take a light-hearted look at why recruiters spend a whopping 50% of their day on tasks that make them question their life choices. But fear not! We’ve got some comedy gold to help our recruitment leaders refocus their teams on tasks that matter – and maybe share a chuckle or two along the way.
The Comedy Routine: Unpacking the 50% Stand-Up Act
Why do recruiters spend half their day on mundane tasks, you ask? It’s like being stuck in a sitcom where the laugh track never stops. Picture this:
But we do; we love a routine, irrespective of the repetitiveness or the fact that it should be on autocue and not a constant adlib of the same routine.
The Stand-Up Villains: Manual Processes and Outdated Tech
Our protagonists are often held captive by the villains of the recruitment comedy – Manual Manny and Outdated Ollie. These villains keep our recruiters in a never-ending loop of copy-pasting and calendar juggling, leaving them with more paperwork than a BBC after the various scandals. There are better ways, but some old shows are still hilarious today. Some are very outdated, and if redeveloped, they would be very different.
The Punchline: A Strategic Comedy Special for Recruitment Leaders
But fear not, dear leaders, comic relief is here! Here are some tips to turn the recruitment sitcom into a strategic comedy special:
A Standing Ovation for Recruitment Leaders
In the grand finale, let’s imagine a future where our recruiters spend less time chasing paperwork and more time chasing dreams – where every day feels like a comedy show with a touch of strategic brilliance. Here’s to a recruitment routine that’s a comedy masterpiece, leaving the audience (and the talent) in stitches of laughter and amazement.
Cheers to a recruitment world where the only drama is intentional, and the only thing routine is the nightly comedy show!
Please leave a comment or join Neil and the Jump next Wednesday as we discuss the Autumn Statement. If you are stuck and need a Jump-start to help streamline your business, why not look at our services and book a free 60-minute Mentoring Session (https://jumpadvisory.com/our-services/). We would like to hear your comments and views; we might even write about them in the next edition of the Brutal Truth.