It’s time to round-up the main stories from today relating to HR and employment law.
Sainsbury’s to cut 2,000 jobs across UK – The Guardian
Sainsbury’s is axing 2,000 store and back office roles as the supermarket chain looks to slash costs by £500m amid an intensifying price war with Aldi and Lidl.
The retailer is restructuring its HR departments, getting rid of 1,400 store-based clerks and another 600 staff based in the back offices that serve the chain as well as Argos and Sainsbury’s bank.
“The UK grocery market is changing at a rapid pace and it’s crucial that we transform the way we operate to meet future challenges and continue to provide customers with best in class service,” said a Sainsbury’s spokesman.
All the big supermarket chains have announced recent job cuts as they seek to compete with the fast-growing German discounters Aldi and Lidl.
UK unemployment fell by 52,000 in the three months to August to 1.4 million, leaving the jobless rate unchanged at 4.3% from the previous quarter.
However, pay still failed to keep pace with inflation, with the real value of earnings down 0.3% over the past year.
Total earnings, excluding bonuses, rose by 2.1% from June to August, said the Office for National Statistics.
The news will increase expectations that the Bank of England will raise interest rates on 2 November.
Lack of skills means 42% of businesses have cancelled digital projects – Personnel Today
More than four in 10 (42%) UK businesses have cancelled digital projects in the past two years, losing on average £483,690 each time, a study by Fujitsu has found.
Its global Digital Transformation PACT study revealed that 73% of UK leaders felt there was a clear lack of digital skills, and 87% believed attracting “digitally native staff” would be vital to their success in the next three years.
A lack of digital skills was the biggest hindrance to cyber security efforts for 82% of respondents, while two-thirds worry that this will hamper their ability to adapt to artificial intelligence as it becomes more important for businesses in the coming years.
Delegates at the World of Learning Conference and Exhibition yesterday took the opportunity to air their grievances and challenge the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) over one of the apprenticeship levy’s more restrictive requirements.
At a fringe talk discussing the six months following the implementation of the levy, learning and development professionals questioned Greg Dean, head of large employer engagement strategy at ESFA, on the levy’s mandatory 20% off-the-job training provision.
Only a tenth (11 per cent) of UK employees feel engaged at work, according to new research from Gallup, while a fifth (21 per cent) are actively disengaged.
In its 2017 State of the Global Workplace report, the management consultancy also found that just 10 per cent of Western European workers generally were engaged, compared with 33 per cent of those in the US.
Although Gallup said the current economic and political landscape in Western Europe was doing little to lift workers’ spirits, it added that management practices in the US were also helping to keep staff across the pond better engaged.
The report also stressed that UK businesses needed to do more to account for the preferences of millennials. “To some extent, knowing what millennials want as customers and as employees will determine whether a company succeeds over the next 20 years,” read the report. “However, many British businesses currently neglect motivational considerations when it comes to younger employees – or those of any age.”