Interested in HR and Governance? Here’s our round-up for this month, including our thoughts on PwC’s Golden Age Index and The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices. We’d love to know what you think of our headlines this month – feel free to get in touch!

PWC’s Golden Age Index: Are You Missing an Opportunity to Optimise Your Older Workforce?

 

Given the proposed increases in the UK in pensionable age, not to mention shortages in recruitment beginning since the Brexit vote, the PwC Golden Age Index is worth a visit.

The Golden Age Index is a weighted average of seven indicators which reflect the labour market impact of workers aged over 55 in OECD countries, including employment, earnings and training.

Over the last year, the UK has fallen one place to a pretty mediocre 19th place out of all OECD countries.

PwC suggests that if the employment of people 55 to 64 Britain’s matched Sweden, GDP could be boosted by £80bn (4.2%).

So, what are you doing in your workplace to get the best from working with the over 55s?

For more information on this topic, take a look at our blog post on the benefits of employing older people

 

Employee Engagement in The Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices

 

Running to 116 pages, the Taylor Review on Modern Working Practices has received a mixed reception.

Some trade unions have criticised the review as offering little to change working practices across the UK. Unite said of the review that it “spectacularly failed to deliver” on its promise to tackle the problem of insecure work and the GMB said it was a “disappointing missed opportunity”.

Meanwhile, the IOD said it “strikes the right balance”.

Our response? Whether or not the report is implemented remains to be seen, but we felt it acted as a reminder for good employee engagement and highlighted a few useful messages worth restating:

 

A Core Principle

 

  • “Good Work is shaped by working practices that benefit employees through good reward schemes and terms and conditions, having a secure position, better training and development, good communication and ways of working that support task discretion and involve employees in securing business improvements.”

 

Responsible Business

 

  • “The Review believes firmly that the tone for fair and decent work is set at the top of an organisation, reflecting the demands of shareholders and consumers and extending out into the workforce and the wider supply chain. If more employers behaved as the best do, the long tail of lower productivity in the UK could be considerably shorter.”

 

  • “Drawing on expertise in bodies such as Investors in People and Acas, there should be a renewed focus on good employee engagement, especially in low-paying sectors.”

 

  • “Businesses should be more transparent about the structure of their workforces, so that consumers, shareholders and workers can take informed decisions.”

We believe that the informed and conscientious stakeholder will be a key theme of the coming decade.

 

Good Employment Relations

 

  • “Well-run companies recognise the importance of the people who work for them. They invest time and effort in good management relationships, both between individuals and at a collective level.”

The Review believes that for work to be fair and decent, workers must have a voice. On the negative side, the Review highlighted the unfortunate position of culture in many organisations.

  • “But there is a broader issue of engagement; only half of employees say that their manager is good at seeking their views, while just one in three managers say that they allow employees to influence decision making.”

 

  • “Some employers seem to be unwilling to permit employees to exercise any meaningful control over their work. It must be a matter of concern that the proportion of ‘routine and semi-routine’ workers who say that they have no freedom to decide the organisation of their work increased from 42% in 2005 to 57% in 2015.”

No one can predict whether the Review will lead to meaningful regulation, but we suggest investing in the above areas will be time well spent.