Good afternoon everyone, here’s your round-up of HR and employment law news from today and over the weekend. Click on an article title to see the full story.
The average pay packet in Britain in five years’ time will still be more than £20 lower than it was before the start of the financial crisis as the biggest squeeze on wages since the end of the Napoleonic Wars extends well into a second decade, a leading thinktank has warned.
The Resolution Foundation said that the downgrade to Britain’s future productivity performance expected in next week’s budget would have a negative impact on wage growth between now and 2022 and also limit the room for manoeuvre of the chancellor, Philip Hammond.
In its pre-budget report, the thinktank said it believed the independent Office for Budget Responsibility would cut its long-term estimate of productivity growth to 1% – half its level before the financial crisis broke in 2007.
UK companies could be sued for hundreds of millions of pounds if they continue to provide the bare minimum in pensions for employees, former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb has warned.
Sounding an alert on the government’s auto-enrolment pension scheme before contributions rise next year, Sir Steve said a laissez-faire approach to the change – which makes it compulsory for companies to enrol staff on to a pension scheme – could land boards in deep water and even in court.
“This is not hole in the corner stuff – if thousands of people get a poor outcome you could be talking serious money,” Sir Steve said of potential payouts, pointing to the US where employers have coughed up more than $350m in legal settlements since 2009.
The majority (59%) of public sector organisations say they are under pressure to raise wages across the board, according to the latest Labour Market Outlook survey published by the CIPD.
The report, published today, found that a quarter (25%) of public sector organisations were additionally under either ‘some’ or ‘significant’ pressure to raise wages for particular roles. By contrast, just 24% of employers in the private sector reported facing pressure to increase wages, while almost four in 10 (38%) said they faced no pressure at all.
Employee wins sex discrimination case against UK Power Networks – Energy Live News
A procurement specialist has won a sex discrimination case against her employer UK Power Networks over pay and promotion.
According to Prospect union, Amy Arnold became aware she was being paid “substantially less” than male graduate trainees, who were doing the same work as her.
The union adds over 18 months, she was “consistently refused” equal pay and management told her she needed more professional qualifications, had to hit certain performance criteria and finally that the pay wasn’t in their remit.
UKPN is responsible for delivering electricity to more than 18 million people in London, East and South East England.
A Norwich employment tribunal heard Ms Arnold was denied equal pay and overlooked for a promotion – a man who was less qualified and less experienced was given the job she applied for. The judge said UKPN “had consistently moved the goalposts” on Ms Arnold’s pay and that she “never stood a change of an equal playing field”.