• 27 Apr 2016

    Health and safety at work: a British success story?

    Today is World Day for Safety and Health at Work . Too many people leave home each day to go to work, never to return. Looking at the ILO website, the period between 2010 and 2012 saw around 20,000 fatal occupational injuries each year &nd...
    • 15 Apr 2016

    Employee productivity is about working smarter, not harder, faster or for longer

    Last week’s ONS statistics for labour productivity for the final quarter of 2015 provided proof, if still needed, that the UK’s productivity malaise continues. The strength of job creation meant that output per hour worked fell by o...
    • 20 Mar 2016

    Does work make us happy?

    Today is the International Day of Happiness . It was declared by the United Nations at the instigation of Bhutan, the small Himalayan kingdom where the stated aim of government is maximising Gross National Happiness . But it reminds us that...
    • 10 Mar 2016

    Ten types of gender gap

    Last Tuesday was International Women’s Day and the theme was “Pledge for Parity”, which encouraged all of us to take concrete steps towards achieving gender parity. It was backed up by a report from Ernst and Young that update...
    • 3 Mar 2016

    Raising productivity in low-paid industries will be crucial if the National Living Wage is to be a success

    Last week, CIPD and the Resolution Foundation launched our new report on how employers expect to respond to the National Living Wage (NLW). To recap, the NLW comes into force on 1 April. It sets a new, higher minimum wage rate for workers aged ...
    • 17 Feb 2016

    Over-qualification: who is affected and what are the consequences? [reissue from 2 September 2015]

    By Mark Beatson, Chief Economist, CIPD - originally issued 2 September 2015, now with graphics restored Our recent report on over-qualification and skills mismatch , written by Craig Holmes and Ken Mayhew , has generated a vigorous debate - which is wh...
    • 17 Feb 2016

    Why pay growth won’t be increasing anytime soon

    Optimism about prospects for pay this year seems already to have dissipated. The latest CIPD Labour Market Outlook survey , published on Monday, reported a downward move in employers’ forward-looking pay expectations, with the median pay c...
    • 4 Feb 2016

    Is there really a skills crisis?

    Hardly a week goes by without at least one news headline about the ‘skills crisis’. This week’s example is a Financial Times article on the skills crisis said to be looming in the heritage renovations sector as older experts a...
    • 16 Dec 2015

    Productivity: time to ask employees?

    There’s been a lot of discussion about productivity during the last few years: both trying to explain why labour productivity has hardly increased since 2008 and working out what can be done to increase the UK’s productivity. CIPD asked ...
    • 12 Nov 2015

    Is work good for our well-being?

    Most people regularly feeling under excessive pressure at work say it has a negative effect on their individual performance Health and well-being at work were hot topics at last week’s CIPD annual conference and exhibition , especially on the We...
    • 13 Aug 2015

    Why do many employees think they are not progressing?

    By Mark Beatson, Chief Economist, CIPD Last week our contribution to the Great Business Debate was published. It is part of the jobs, pay and progression thread, which is asking whether business does enough to help people into work and help them get on at work. We looked at what employees thought, using questions in recent Employee Outlook surveys. The strapline is in the final paragraph “… between a half...
    • 22 Jul 2015

    Government productivity plan is built on sand

    By Mark Beatson, CIPD Chief Economist, @MarkBeatson1 The government's productivity plan was published the Friday after the Budget. Its title, “Fixing the foundations: creating a more prosperous nation”, is presumably a nod to the Chancellor’s insistence on “ fixing the roof while the sun is shining ”. Rather worryingly, though, the productivity plan itself seems to have been...
    • 26 Jun 2015

    We want family...?

    For the first time, the CIPD’s spring 2015 Employee Outlook survey included questions on organisational culture, what it feels like to work in a particular organisation. People who didn’t work on their own were asked ‘How would you describe the culture prevailing in your organisation at the moment?’ They were then asked to choose one of the following descriptions: • An organisation with...
    • 11 Jun 2015

    Has employment regulation become less burdensome?

    Last week I took part in an ESRC-sponsored seminar at Newcastle University on the regulation of work . The seminar explored a number of different perspectives on regulation in the workplace. My own talk focused on how regulation affects firms and whether it was a stimulant (creating the conditions for modernisation of the workplace and the employment relationship) or an irritant (placing unnecessary and unwanted demands...
    • 15 May 2015

    Out of office, out of mind?

    Last week’s remarks by Professor Sir Cary Cooper at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference re-ignited debate about the impact on our lives of work-related emails and other forms of contact outside office hours, and whether employers should choose (or be compelled) to impose limits on such forms of contact. This issue hit the news last year when the German Labour Minister announced plans to restrict...
    • 21 Apr 2015

    Has voice lost its value?

    Yesterday, I attended the annual Voice and Value conference , co-hosted by CIPD and the London School of Economics. The conference heard a range of perspectives from academics and practitioners, including a debate on whether legal rights to employee voice should be strengthened. I don't recall anybody at the conference arguing that employees having a voice was a bad thing. Nevertheless, if you regard the highest...
    • 20 Mar 2015

    The Zero Productivity Budget

    The economic forecast prepared by the Office for Budget Responsibility that accompanied the Budget has not changed greatly from that published alongside the Autumn Statement just over 3 months ago. A bit more pessimism about world trade growth and the Euro area have been offset by reduced expectations for oil and commodity prices and thus for inflation as a whole, with the result that expected growth in 2015 is now 2...
    • 26 Feb 2015

    Gender equality: organisations will need to change from top to bottom

    Yesterday CIPD launched its new research report on gender diversity in the boardroom at an event in the West End. There was a lively and thoughtful discussion, especially around the issue of whether some form of statutory quota should be introduced, compelling big companies to appoint a minimum proportion of women to their boards. This might seem like a bit of a diversion. As Jo Swinson, Minister for Women and Equalities...
    • 16 Feb 2015

    Time to tackle training tedium

    In my last blog , I presented recent CIPD survey data which showed that over a third of employees (35%) said they rarely find time for training and development - slightly higher than the 33% who disagreed with this statement. The 2010 National Adult Learner Survey for England asked respondents to make choices between (hypothetical) learning activities and this data was used to work out the factors that employees think...
    • 30 Jan 2015

    Are employees too busy for training?

    My last blog talked about the UK's weaknesses in basic skills - literacy, numeracy and problem-solving - and how population ageing will make it more important for us to learn throughout life. Our Manifesto for Work said that future governments will need to take the lead in building a culture and infrastructure that supports lifelong learning. We talk about culture because changes to the content of education...
    • 20 Jan 2015

    Are the 3Rs still relevant today? Discuss...

    Last Tuesday, I attended two meetings in different Government Departments where I was able to brief stakeholders on the work CIPD was doing to tackle important problems, but which also showed just how much there is for all of us to do in turning population ageing from a challenge into a spur for better, richer, more fulfilling – and, yes, longer – working lives. In the morning, at the Department for Education...
    • 10 Dec 2014

    A day to celebrate and protect human rights – including at work

    Today is International Human Rights Day , and it is 66 years to the day since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly. The original declaration has since been supplemented by numerous conventions that extend and amplify the original statement, taking account of changing views on what those rights should be and tackling specific forms of human rights violation. Articles 23 and 24...
    • 18 Nov 2014

    Was it HR (or The Hoff) that brought the wall down?

    I'm back in the office after spending some of last week at the CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE) in Manchester followed by a weekend in Berlin which happened to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was at ACE to co-present a session entitled 'Megatrends: what the changing economy means for HR'. I set out some of the short term and long term trends affecting the economy...
    • 8 Oct 2014

    Is a temporary job a bad job?

    Putting together some material recently for a conference presentation on temporary and contract workers made me ask whether it is time to rethink some of the assumptions made about temporary jobs, the people who take these jobs, and the employers that provide them. Temporary work has often been bracketed – alongside self-employment and part-time work – as a form of ‘atypical work’, that is, anything...
    • 30 Jul 2014

    Are public sector employees disengaged?

    A report published last week by PwC and Demos drew attention to the fragile state of employee morale in the public sector. Quoting data from CIPD’s Employee Outlook survey, the report contrasted employee engagement in the public and private sectors. According to the spring 2014 survey, 52% of employees in the voluntary sector were engaged (using CIPD’s index measure), 36% of private sector employees were engaged...