Women’s Work/life Balance Stalled due to Coronavirus
December 16, 2020

COVID-19 and national lockdowns have stalled progress for working women as they have had to adapt their working lives more than men. 

Research by the Women’s Budget Group (WBG) and Nottingham University Business School found that working class women and female small employers and self-employed workers are doing more unpaid work throughout the coronavirus pandemic. 

Thirty-three per cent of employed women with children at home adapted their working patterns, while 16% reduced their hours in order to spend time on childcare and home-schooling during the first lockdown. 

This compares with 25% of similar men who adapted working patterns and 9% who reduced hours. 

The research also found that small employers and self-employed women were more likely to do most routine housework than any other social group. 

Clare Lyonette, professor at Warwick Institute for Employment Research presented the new report, Carrying the work burden of Covid-19 : working class women in the UK, at a WBG webinar (14 December). 

She said: “We found that 19% of working-class women carried out over 21 hours a week worth of household chores such as ironing, washing up and cleaning.” 

The findings are part of a new report which looks at the difficulties experienced by working class women throughout the pandemic. 

A further 23% of small employers/self-employed women carried out household chores, compared to 9% of managerial/professional women. 

“We found that 73% were always or usually doing the cooking, 76% the laundry, 68% the grocery shopping and 71% the cleaning,” added Lyonette. 

In September, employed women in a couple were always or usually responsible for laundry in 68% of couples, cleaning in 62%, cooking in 57% and food shopping in 54%. 

Report co-author Tracey Warren added: “It has been working-class women who have had to become adaptable during times of crisis. Very few working-class women had access to good quality flexible working arrangements.” 

Angela O’Hagan, senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences in the Glasgow School for Business and Society WBG member said inequality in unpaid work is at the heart of the inequality that women face in the labour market. 

She said: “This reduces the amount of time that women have for paid work which means that women work fewer hours and as a result, earn less.” 

The research surveyed employed women in heterosexual relationships aged between 18 and 65.

Free Webinar: The Government Economic Service Degree Apprenticeship Programme
December 11, 2020
Join an exclusive webinar on Monday 14th December from 4pm-5pm with the Government Economic Service to find out about their Economist Degree Apprenticeship Programme, opening for applications the very same day.

With 70+ vacancies available, this is the chance for your students,
colleagues and parents & carers to find out how to apply
Book your place
Can’t attend on the day?
Don’t worry if you can’t attend on the day, please book a place using the button above and we will ensure you receive a copy of the recording and slides.
Vacancies information
Applications will be opening on 14th December 2020 for the Degree Economist Apprenticeship Programme with the Government Economic Service. 

With 70+ vacancies available, this is a brilliant opportunity to work in a central government department or agency on some of the most important social, environmental and economic issues our country faces.

You can also visit the GES Vacancy Snapshot profile for a deeper look into the scheme and to begin preparing for the application process.
Workers Delaying Retirement Plans
December 9, 2020

One in eight UK adults over the age of 55 who expected to retire in the near future now plan to delay their retirement due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New research conducted by YouGov on behalf of retirement advisor Smart Retire found that the turbulent financial year caused by the COVID-19 has led to one in eight adults (13%) over the age of 55 altering their retirement plans.

The research also found that just a fifth (20%) of UK adults see retirement as a one-off event; they will only do it once.

Additionally, over a third (35%) of UK adults who expect to retire or are already retired would prefer to manage all their retirement finances themselves.

The pandemic has caused many workers to re-think their finances.

A report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that a third of UK employees are worse off financially and one in 10 are planning on working for longer than they had originally intended to.

Steve Herbert, head of benefits strategy at Howden Employee Benefits and Wellbeing told HR magazine: “Like so many other elements of our daily and work life, pension savings and personal retirement planning has been impacted by the turbulence of the pandemic in recent months.

“It follows that many employees will currently have some very valid concerns and questions that need to be addressed by their employer’s chosen pension experts.”

Smart Retirement’s research found that people aged 55 and over want control and flexibility over their retirement funds.

Forty-seven per cent who expect to retire or are retired, said they would prefer to manage all of their retirement finances themselves.

However, 37% said they want some support; 7% want someone else to manage their retirement finances entirely, and 30% want some assistance but want to remain involved.

The YouGov survey of 2114 UK adults was conducted on behalf of Smart in November 2020.

By Emma Greedy HRMagazine.

How to Work With Different Personality Types
December 8, 2020

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator defines 16 personality types, which can be useful to know when working with others to see their strengths and weaknesses.

This story walks through how to work effectively with each of the personality types, particularly while working remotely. 

Full Story: Fast Company online

Women Hired at a Slower Rate than Men During Coronavirus
December 8, 2020

Women have had a tougher time getting hired than men due to the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses.

Exacerbating existing workplace inequalities in the UK, new data from LinkedIn has revealed women over the age of 30, and people working in jobs that typically do not require a university degree, have had a tougher time starting new jobs since the start of the pandemic.

The hiring rate for women over 30 reportedly sank to its lowest point in May 2020 during the first lockdown amidst school closures and picked up significantly once schools reopened in September.

In May 65% of men applying for jobs were hired, compared to 35% of women.

In September, once the schools had opened again, the rate of hiring increased to 45% for women.

Janine Chamberlin, senior director at LinkedIn, said that this trend threatens to send society backwards in its pursuit of equality if employers don’t respond quickly.

She said: “If employers act now, they will have access to a breadth of diverse talent which can bring fresh thinking to their businesses, while also ensuring a fair recovery.

“Giving people the opportunity to develop new skills or retrain entirely, regardless of their background, and offering women and working parents the flexibility they need to manage their work and family commitments is crucial to building diverse workforces where everyone has opportunity and can thrive.”

A decrease in hiring rates for industries that typically employ a high proportion of women has further magnified the problem.

In October 2020 the hiring in recreation and travel was down 43% and retail was down 20% year-on-year.

As a prior report from the Work Foundation found, gender inequality in retail roles has put women’s livelihoods at risk as the sector navigates its coronavirus recovery.

The study reported that women are particularly at risk of job displacement in the future as retail work is moving out of stores and into warehouses and logistics centres.

Women’s share of overall hiring hit its lowest point in April for retail and in May for recreation and travel, further underlining the impact of school closures on job prospects.

Richard Lim, CEO of industry analysts Retail Economics, said: “For many retailers, the immediate challenge is cutting costs, preserving working capital and trading through Christmas to strengthen balance sheets.”

Lim said that a cut back on employment due to cost and uncertainty was understandable for businesses trying to survive the recession.

She added: “With a greater proportion of shopping moving online and vacancy rates on our high streets expected to rise further, it’s inevitable that there will be fewer retail jobs in the future, but those that remain are likely to be more skilled and higher paid.”

By Emma Greedy HRMagazine

NCW: The Future of Work Guide 2021
December 2, 2020

Navigating the future of work can be daunting and overwhelming, especially when there is so much uncertainty about it, and there are several resources out there.

This guide has mainly been created to help careers advisers and teachers to better navigate and understand the future of work, so in turn, they can help students to better prepare for it. It can also be used by anyone else interested in understanding the future of work.

The guide will focus on the changes to the world of work which are expected to happen due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and resulting automation.

The guide has been created by Mark Preen, who has ten years of experience as an A-Level Economics teacher, and a strong interest in careers and the future of work. If you have any questions or feedback, then you can contact him at mark_preen@hotmail.com.

Apprenticeships Register Reopening April 2021 At The Earliest

The Education and Skills Funding Agency closed the register to new bids on April 15 to “review our future approach” and a digital apprenticeship service “road map” (shown below) was tweeted on Thursday and reveals their current timeline.

Under a column for April to June 2021, the road map says there will be a “new service for providers to apply to join the register online”.

Number of Unemployed People in UK Over 50 Rises by Third?
November 25, 2020

There are now 91,000 more unemployed older people than there were 12 months ago.

The number of unemployed people aged over 50 in the UK has increased by a third in the past year, according to analysis of official figures.

There are 91,000 more unemployed older people than there were 12 months ago, the biggest percentage increase of all age groups and significantly more than the national average increase of 24%.

While the unemployment rateis significantly higher for those aged under 24, analysis shows that it is among older workers that there has been the greatest percentage increase.

Lawrence Wragg, 54, from Sutton Coldfield, was made redundant from his role as a project manager in March this year. Since then, he has applied for dozens of jobs but has only had a handful of interviews.

“My salary and age have definitely been a barrier to me finding a new job during the pandemic,” he said. “I find Zoom interviews challenging because I find it hard to convey a sense of personality.”

The data from the Office for National Statistics, analysed by the over-50s job site Rest Less, shows that unemployment levels for people aged 18-24 increased by 104,000 in the past year – or 25%. For those aged 25-34, the increase was 74,000, or 28%, and for those aged 35-49 years old, the increase was 51,000, or 19%.

Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, said that while the unemployment rate was significantly higher for those aged under 24, the youth unemployment rate was high a year ago before the pandemic arrived.

“There is no doubt that we are facing a youth employment crisis right now but less well documented is the fact that we are also facing a long-term unemployment disaster amongolder workers,” he said.

“Not only have we seen a rapid rise in unemployment in the over-50s since this time last year but our previous research has shown that once unemployed, this group is significantly more likely to remain in long-term unemployment than their younger counterparts,” he added.

Caroline Abrahams, the charity director at Age UK, urged the government to increase back-to-work support for older workers. “It’s of great concern that many older workers appear to have been losing their jobs at such a difficult time, especially as they may face additional barriers returning to work compared to younger workers,” she said.

Earlier research by the Centre for Ageing Better and the Learning and Work Institute found that about 377,000 extra older workers – one in 10 male, and eight in 10 female workers in their 50s and 60s – face a significant risk of losing their jobs when the government’s furlough scheme is wound down next year.

Additional analysis of Department for Work and Pensions data by the Centre for Ageing Better found that over-50s were less likely to bounce back from unemployment than any other age group: just 35% who lose their job return to work “quickly”, with 29% remaining unemployed for more than 12 months.

​Dr John Philpott, a labour market economist, social commentator and former director of the Employment Policy Institute, an independent public policy thinktank, said: “The popular view that the Covid-19 pandemic has … hurt the young far harder when it comes to jobs [but that] does not tell the entire story.

“With the level of job vacancies far below the pre-pandemic high, jobseekers of every age are struggling to find work and endemic age discrimination is making it doubly difficult for unemployed people aged over 50 whose number is climbing fast,” he added.

Employees Becoming ‘Emotionally Remote’ During Coronavirus

More than half (52%) of UK employees have said that the boundaries between their work and home life are becoming increasingly blurred due to working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to insurance provider Aviva’s new Embracing the Age of Ambiguity report, employees said they are becoming emotionally remote whilst working from home. 

Just 15% agreed that their employer is trying hard to understand what motivates them, and a quarter (26%) said their employer is genuinely concerned about their wellbeing. 

Speaking to HR magazine, Paul Wilson, chief marketing officer at Aviva UK Life, Savings and Retirement said that employees’ needs and expectations have evolved while remote working. 

He said: “Our evidence suggests that employees are increasingly ‘plodding’ through work. 

“They seek work-life balance, control over career progression and help with wellbeing and retirement planning. Understanding employee motivations is a key opportunity for HR teams to strengthen engagement and combat the sense of ‘employee drift’ in the workplace.” 

The majority (73%) of employees surveyed said where they work hasn’t changed since the start of the March lockdown. This has reportedly had an impact on employee mental health. 

Two in five (43%) employees described their wellbeing as being less than good, and more than a third (34%) said they did carry on working even when they felt unwell. 

Heightened anxiety has also led to employees working longer hours and taking fewer sick days over a three-month period (67% in February vs. 84% in August). 

While the report suggested responsibility is on employers to ensure they provide the right environment for employee work-life balance and wellbeing to thrive, it stated it is “a two-way street” and employees need to play their part too. 

Fifty-four per cent of UK employees said that their employer has worked hard to create a sense of ‘company togetherness’. They are predominantly doing this by embracing an open dialogue and communicating future working arrangements, according to 60% of employees. 

In the report, Laura Stewart Smith, workplace savings manager at Aviva said: “A new ‘psychological contract’ will only work if it’s based on the same unambiguous outcome – better mental health and financial and physical wellbeing – and each party should play their respective roles to uphold this.” 

In response to the report’s findings, Aviva made a series of recommendations it believes will help employers reset relationships with employees. 

It advised that employers should personalise mental health and wellbeing support; maintain a sense of purpose, clarity and autonomy in the workplace; prepare workers for fuller working lives and the transition from work to retirement and create more targeted interventions by understanding personality types.

By Emma Greedy HRMagazine

CAEHRS Opportunity: Shaw Trust
November 18, 2020

Shaw Trust has been selected as a Tier 1 supplier for the DWP CAEHRS in London and the Home Counties and are seeking Expressions of Interests from organisations who we can partner with in one or more of the below capacities:

  • Employability Partners
  • Skills Providers
  • Employers & Employer Representative bodies

Shaw Trust’s CAEHRS London and Home Counties EoI Opportunity

Shaw Trust is running the procurement of partners through Proactis as an open EoI. This EoI will remain open throughout the bidding period, however a deadline of the 26 November 2020 at 5:00pm has been set for the first phase of partner selection.

Registering your interest
All providers interested in working with us on any CAEHRS call offs should register through the following link:

Once registered search for “The Shaw Trust CAEHRS Expression of interest”.