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UK Edition
5th August 2022
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UK employers become more cautious about hiring
The latest KPMG and Recruitment & Employment Confederation UK Report on Jobs, compiled by S&P Global, found that hiring in the UK has slowed amidst uncertainty over the economy, with July seeing the slowest increase in the number of permanent jobs filled for 17 months. Ongoing skills shortages, a drop in foreign workers and hesitancy from candidates to move jobs had all led to a tighter supply of suitable staff, the report said. "The trend of uncertainty in the UK jobs market of the last few months continues," said KPMG's Claire Warnes. "Employers are rightly hesitant about their hiring plans . . . So, a focus on up-skilling existing workers and attracting talent remains absolutely essential for UK business to play its part in driving forward the economy."
How To Beat HR Burnout, According to an Expert

Work-life balance is a term we’re all familiar with – and never has it been more important than right now. The issue of burnout across the workforce is a hugely worrying problem. But for HR professionals, the battle against burnout is uniquely challenging. They have to focus on keeping people safe, providing psychological safety and mental health support and handling the complexities of remote and hybrid workplaces, amongst many other things.

According to expert Trevor Merriden, for HR, the challenge is twofold: HR professionals are not only expected to manage employee burnout but to mitigate their own risk of burnout, too. So, what can your HR teams do to protect themselves in the process?

Read the full article here.

The era of the kinder CEO is fading
Chief executive officers are ditching a softer approach as the economy shows signs of difficulty, reports the Wall Street Journal. As the economic outlook worsens, corporate bosses are bringing back blunt demands, performance reviews and telling employees to reconsider spending on trips. The CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, told staff last month to work with “greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.” Meanwhile, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in late July that the Facebook owner needs to operate with greater intensity “and I expect us to get more done with fewer resources.” Ellen Kullman, chairwoman of 3-D printing company Carbon Inc. and former CEO of DuPont, observes: “In the good times, we want to focus people on the growth aspects . . . But when the economy appears to have the potential for that downturn, it’s fundamentals 101. It’s: How do I conserve cash? How do I focus the team to emerge from whatever this is stronger?” Now, “I hear from different CEOs that it is a little bit of a tougher talk,” Ms. Kullman said.
Employers are rescinding job offers
BBC Worklife takes a look at the growing number of job offers that are being revoked by companies before new hires’ start dates. US data from company review website Glassdoor indicates an increase in posts on the site mentioning the rescinding of job offers: a 217% rise between January and July 2022. “Many companies that staffed up quickly are having to reduce size very quickly,” explains Charley Cooper, the chief communications officer at New York-based enterprise technology provider and blockchain software company R3. “That turns into layoffs, hiring freezes and, in the most extreme cases, rescinded offers.”
Amazon warehouse workers walk out over 35p an hour pay increase offer
Staff at an Amazon warehouse have walked off the job over a 35p an hour pay increase offer. Workers left the depot in Tilbury, Essex, on Wednesday and Thursday as they sought a rise of £2 an hour. The GMB union said the rise requested would better match the demands of the role and help meet the cost of living crisis. Amazon said its pay was "competitive" and staff were also offered a benefits package worth thousands annually. Steve Garelick, GMB regional organiser, said: "Amazon is one of the most profitable companies on the planet. With household costs spiralling, the least they can do is offer decent pay. Amazon continues to reject working with trade unions to deliver better working conditions and fair pay. Their repeated use of short-term contracts is designed to undermine worker's rights. The image the company likes to project and the reality for their workers could not be more different. They need to drastically improve pay and working conditions."
Economists’ models miss the gains from more women in the workforce
Data suggest that male and female employees are not perfect substitutes in production and gains from gender inclusion are likely to be far larger than standard models estimate, writes Jonathan Ostry.
Banned Russian oligarchs exploited UK secrecy loophole
Sanctioned Russian oligarchs from President Vladimir Putin's inner circle exploited a UK secrecy loophole left open by the government, reports the BBC. Arkady Rotenberg and Boris Rotenberg used a type of company that was not required to identify its real owners. Government ministers have acknowledged concerns that these companies, known as English Limited Partnerships (ELPs), have also been abused by criminals. A joint investigation by the BBC and Finance Uncovered has discovered evidence linking a number of ELPs to fraud, terrorism and money laundering. In 2016 and 2017, the government introduced measures that forced almost all UK companies to identify their real owners. ELPs were not covered by these new transparency laws. Since then, more than 4,500 of them have been set up.
Bain & Co mulls legal action against UK over state contract ban
Bain & Co is considering legal action against the UK government after a three-year ban on bidding for state contracts was imposed on the firm for its “misconduct” in a corruption scandal in South Africa.
More staff needed to stop fraud
Britain is the card fraud capital of Europe, with European Central Bank data showing that the UK sees 134 card frauds per 1,000 population. This is more than other major economies, exceeding the levels seen in France (115), Spain (37), Italy (19) and Germany (15). Britons also suffer the highest value card fraud, with the cost of fraud per 1,000 people in the UK at £8,833.20, compared to France (£6,069), Spain (£2,377.45), Germany (£1,885.09) and Italy (£965.60). The Social Market Foundation (SMF), which analysed the data, is calling on the UK government to recruit more staff to stop fraud. SMF senior researcher Richard Hyde described Britain’s record on card fraud as “shocking,” adding: “Policymakers need to reflect further on why we're at this stage. Solving the crisis will take more than just increased police staff.” He said that while specialist staff “will certainly play a crucial role, the entire fraud law enforcement landscape needs an overhaul - with reforms that will transform the system and enact lasting change.”
Warning over remote desk-based social work
Ofsted has warned that remote working arrangements introduced during the pandemic are putting the quality of social work practice at risk. The inspectorate said it was concerned about what could be lost through remote working. In a report, the watchdog said: “For good social work practice to thrive, staff need to be in face-to-face contact to build meaningful relationships that provide support and supervision. This is essential for calibration and moderation of judgments and decisions among peers. Additionally, working together face to face creates opportunities for informal support and learning, and helps to maintain and boost morale. Social workers often encounter challenging and emotional situations, and it is important that they are able to talk through these with colleagues.”
Returning office workers rediscover pet annoyances
Employees who are returning to their offices are rediscovering the pet peeves that come with working alongside colleagues, reports the Wall Street Journal. Coming back to the workplace after so much time away can be a bit of a culture shock for many professionals, observes Katie Burke, chief people officer at Cambridge, Mass.-based software firm HubSpot. “There was this romanticising of the office experience,” she said. “Now we’re seeing a return to normalcy.” Workers may need a little time to readjust to a challenging commute or a new one for those who changed jobs, added Ms. Burke. “Everyone can benefit from taking a deep breath before going in and approaching things with a little bit of kindness,” she said. “When in transition everyone tends to forget what the expected rules of the road are.”
Wolt delivery workers are split over Israeli court ruling
Israel’s labour court has ruled that delivery people working for the Wolt platform are considered employees of the company. Until the court’s ruling, Wolt delivery workers had not been considered employees of the Helsinki, Finland headquartered company and did not enjoy rights such as vacation days and insurance. Dr. Lilach Lori, a senior lecturer in labour studies at Tel Aviv University, said the court’s ruling is one of the "most important decisions in Israel and the world." Nevertheless, The Jerusalem Post observes that Wolt delivery people are split over court ruling making them employees. "I think it can be a blessed step," said one delivery man from Tel Aviv. But another delivery worker from the city of Ramat Gan doesn't agree. "It's a disaster," he said. "Now we'll have to work shifts. We can forget about working whenever we want and for however long we want.”
Muslim women in India allege hiring bias
Al Jazeera reports on alleged discrimination against Muslim women in India in hiring for jobs in the wake of a study published in June by LedBy Foundation, a leadership incubator that focuses on the professional development of Muslims, that revealed bias against Muslim women in the recruitment process for entry-level roles in various sectors. The study highlighted such biases against Muslim women even in instances where they were equally qualified for the job. Another study, “Being a Muslim at the Workplace,” by Mumbai-based feminist collective Parcham, identified similar prejudices. “Our study notes the different ways in which discrimination occurs to exclude Muslims from the workforce. Women were doubly marginalised. Unchecked bullying, suspecting the nationalism of Muslims, and making assumptions based on bigoted notions of Muslims were so common,” said the report.
Most female workers in Italy experience bias and harassment
More than half of female workers in Italy have experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace, according to a new survey by the Libellula Foundation based on interviews with 4,300 women workers all over the country.  The survey said the harassment – experienced by around 55% of respondents – included sexual blackmail, unwanted massages, and suggestive comments.  Other examples of discrimination included in the LEI (Labour, Equality, Inclusion) report included male colleagues being promoted over women on maternity leave.
A WeWork for the .01%
Collette is a New York co-working space for the super-rich that is set to occupy the entire 37th floor of the city’s GM building, which overlooks Central Park and the Plaza Hotel. Developed by Edmond Safra, a member of the billionaire Safra family, and restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz, the club is aimed at the globetrotting rich who have second homes in New York, or perhaps even live in the city, but don’t need a full-time office. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while,” says Santa Cruz. “The world has been evolving for quite some time, and the pandemic has made it more evident that people do not use their offices as much as they think they do, or wish they did.” When it opens in March 2023, Colette will have 23 private offices – each measuring approximately 400 square feet - with conferencing desks, a seating area, videoconferencing hook-up, and individual temperature and light controls.

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