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14th October 2021
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Care staffing crisis has worsened since start of pandemic
The annual State of the Adult Social Care Sector and Workforce in England has found that more jobs in the sector are unfilled than before the coronavirus pandemic. Researchers at Skills for Care found that employers were failing to fill 8% of posts before the start of the pandemic, a proportion that had fallen to 6% by June 2021, before rising to 8.2% by August - the equivalent of more than 100,000 jobs. The report found that the care workforce is currently 82% female and 27% aged over 55, with 21% of workers from ethnic minority backgrounds. Skills for Care chief executive Oonagh Smyth said the report "is a stark reminder that our recruitment challenges continue and, to help tackle that, we need to properly reward and value care workers for their high skill levels and dedication". The crisis is having knock-on effects in the NHS, disrupting the discharge of patients back into care and hindering attempts to clear a backlog of 5.6m people awaiting treatment.
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42% of black employees have left a job due to lack of diversity
Analysis by Savanta has found that 42% of black employees have resigned from their job citing a lack of workplace diversity and inclusion, while 28% feel discriminated against by their employer. Among Asian employees, 32% feel discriminated against at work. When quizzed on the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, 30% of all staff said their employer had made them aware that their organisation supported the cause, with 22% saying their employer released a statement addressing the matter. However, 28% said their employer took no measures at all to address the BLM movement. Meanwhile, Business in the Community’s Race at Work survey found that black candidates are less likely to believe that they are being treated fairly by recruitment agencies. Just three in 10 black, Asian, mixed race and ethnically diverse employees believe they are treated fairly when working with a recruitment agency, compared to five in 10 white workers.
Financial services in staff shortage warning
Over a fifth of financial services firms have warned that staff shortages are limiting investment in the sector, according to a report by the Confederation of British Industry and PwC. Almost three quarters of financial services companies are actively recruiting new staff to tackle the skills shortage gap, while 78% of firms say upskilling existing staff is a high priority for the sector. Claire Tunley, chief executive at the Financial Services Skills Commission, said: “As the adoption of technology and automation accelerates, firms will have to continue to grow and adapt the skills of their workforce to meet changing needs”. Reflecting on the report, Emma Reynolds, managing director of financial services industry body TheCityUK, said: “In such a competitive market, ensuring the UK’s process for attracting global talent is quick, efficient and workable is key – especially where there are domestic skills shortages.”
Pubs forced to cut menus amid driver shortage
The i reports that pubs are being forced to reduce their food menus as the HGV driver crisis has caused shortages of beer, wine and cheese. Industry experts have also warned that the supply chain issues could also last beyond the Christmas period and well into next year. The British Beer and Pub Association said the issue was impacting the "entirety" of the sector, while a poll by the Society of Independent Brewers found that two-thirds of members were impacted by the lack of drivers. Meanwhile, hospitality bosses have warned that a return of pre-pandemic VAT levels will push pubs and restaurants to breaking point, as the sector struggles with soaring costs and labour shortages.
DFMs still woefully behind fund groups on closing gender pay gaps
Britain’s wealth managers are still woefully behind asset managers when it comes to paying their female employees as much as their male counterparts, with the worst offender reporting a 60% pay gap. Wealth managers accounted for six of the 10 worst companies on gender pay, along with two investment banks, one stockbroker and one fund group.
Top City firms join forces to launch legal ops grad scheme
The University of Law (ULaw) will deliver a novel Legal Operations graduate programme created to accelerate the development of a pipeline of junior talent in legal operations for a consortium of international law firms, CMS UK, Dentons, Norton Rose Fulbright, Herbert Smith Freehills, Linklaters and Slaughter and May. The four-week course, commencing in January 2022, will bring together graduates in the Legal Operations teams at the Consortium firms. 
Founders step down at KKR
Henry Kravis and George Roberts have stepped down after nearly half a century in charge of KKR, the private equity firm they founded with their mentor Jerome Kohlberg in 1976. They will stay on as co-executive chairmen and Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall, who have served as the co-presidents of KKR since 2017, will become co-chief executives, effective immediately, the firm said.
Lord Hammond joins London crypto firm
Philip Hammond, the former Conservative chancellor, has been hired as a senior adviser to London-based crypto trading firm Copper, which was founded in 2018 and is backed by Brevan Howard's billionaire co-founder Alan Howard.
HSBC Bank Pension Scheme commits to net zero by 2050
The HSBC Bank (UK) Pension Scheme has committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its £36bn of defined benefit (DB) and open defined contribution (DC) assets by 2050. The scheme has also committed to halving its carbon emissions by 2030 for its equity and corporate bond mandates, and to enhancing its engagement and stewardship efforts through its asset managers.
Watson wins accountancy role
Jenny Watson, former chairwoman of the Electoral Commission, is to become chairwoman of the regulatory board of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Watson will replace Michael Caplan QC, who has acted as chair since the regulatory board was founded in 2015 following an independent review of the ICAEW regulatory governance. City AM notes that Watson has previously held non-executive roles at the Financial Reporting Counciland Financial Ombudsman Service. “We already know that there is much change to come for those working in the fields of accountancy, audit and insolvency services in the future,” said Watson. “I look forward to ensuring that the Board plays a key part in responding to this change and that, whatever the future brings, its work always keeps the public interest firmly at its heart,” she added.
Gulf states try to increase private employment
The Economist reports on the “largely unsuccessful” attempts by Gulf states to persuade their citizens to renounce their “cushy, lucrative” government employment to work for privately owned firms. Wage subsidies for citizens who take private jobs have so far proved costly and ineffective, and The Economist concludes that governments in the region could make their own staff work more for less. “That would certainly be a cheaper way to shrink the wage gap.”
Medical interns in Israel resign en masse
More than 2,500 medical interns in Israel have resigned in a dispute over 26-hour shifts that they are forced to work. In letter to Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, the Mirsham organisation of medical interns explained that it is in everyone's interest that patients in hospitals are not treated by "exhausted" and "unfocused" doctors who are too tired to provide proper care. The letter signed off by 2,590 doctors-in-training was delivered to the Tel Aviv District Health office by Mirsham head Dr. Ray Bitton. “To my regret, we have gathered here for a very sad day that has befallen Israel in which we are painfully forced to take a drastic step and present the resignation letters of more than 2,500 interns,” Dr. Bitton said outside the office. Interns recently rejected a government proposal to gradually reduce shifts to 18 hours by 2026, but only in 10 hospitals in outlying areas. The interns say they have been “abandoned” and accused Horowitz of failing in his assurances of a reduction in hours for all interns.
PwC staff required to be fully vaccinated to return to office
PwC said in a memo to staff on Monday that all workers at its Australian offices will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when they reopen from early November. PwC said from early November its offices will reopen in Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney, Parramatta and Newcastle. “Partners, staff and contractors located across the country will also need to be fully vaccinated to undertake any work-related travel, visit any client sites or attend work-related events,” PwC said in the staff memo. The move comes in the wake of big employers from BHP to Deloitte to mandate full COVID-19 vaccination policy for staff and contractors.

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