Hey! It’s a new week so I’m here to bring you your next round-up of news and resources! Enjoy!

National Minimum Wage Set to Increase

David Cameron has announced that he will be increasing the national minimum wage rate and it’s to come into effect from October 2016. The minimum wage is set to increase by 3.7% to £6.95 per hour for 21-24 year olds. Workers aged between 18 and 20 will see a 4.7% rise to £5.55 an hour, and 16-17 year olds will now be paid £4.00 per hour (a 3.4% increase). Apprentice rates will increase by 3% to £3.40.

This has been introduced by the Government as part of its new ‘Help to Save’ initiative. This wage increase means that for the first time the minimum wage for 21-24 year olds will be at its highest since the recession began.

On the 1st of April 2016, the national living wage was introduced – the minimum wage rate for workers aged 25 and over. There is wide conflict surrounding this. TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady says, “We do not see the logic or fairness in treating 21-24 year olds differently from other adults. They should be on the same hourly pay as over 25s.”


Hiring Talent for the Long Haul

Too often companies fall into the trap of hiring a candidate just to fill a position quickly if they have the basic requirements. In the short term that’s all very well and good, but if they turn out to be terrible, then it’s a costly mistake. So what can businesses do to make sure they hire the right candidate every time?

1. Find a Strategic Fit – First and foremost organisations must define clearly why they’re hiring the person. Every role needs a purpose. Ask yourself, where will they fit into the organisational strategy and direction? Not only does this ensure the long term value of the candidate, but it ensures the employee feels a sense of purpose every time they come into work. Win win!

2. Cultural Fit – No matter how talented someone is at what they do, if they don’t fit into the company or their team, it’s not going to work out. If they don’t feel like they belong then they’re going to feel disassociated and produce lower quality work.

3. Competent Fit – The most common deciding factor is if a candidate has the experience and skills for the job. Companies can be too hasty in hiring if a candidate has most of the requirements they seek. The easiest ways to sort this out is to list the position’s “must-haves” and “nice-to-haves”. You can easily disqualify a candidate if they don’t possess the “must-haves”.


A Quarter of the UK Workforce Are Unhappy at Work and Looking for New Jobs

NGA Human Resources has reported that 23% of people in the UK are unhappy at work and 36% do not feel appreciated. The survey was published on Employee Appreciation Day and also revealed that 28% of workers are actively looking for a new job. Not good!

So what can we do about it? Around 37% of the workers claimed regular praise makes them feel more appreciated at work. Additionally, research has shown that 67% of organisations don’t have a formal employee appreciation scheme in place according to those questioned.

At this time, the most common ways for employers to show appreciation are financial recognition for their hard work, regular praise and financial rewards.

TIP: You don’t need to throw money around all the time. A quick, “thank you” can work wonders on improving staff morale.

3 Things We Wish We’d Known Before Graduating

I think we all look back pretty fondly on our university days. Cheap rent, more noodles than you can shake a stick at, and a “give ‘em hell kid” attitude. But if only we’d known what going into the adult world was going to be like…

1. You’re Not Going to Get Your Dream Job – The most heartbreaking realisation for all of us. So many students breeze through university thinking their dream job will be dropped into their lap. Nepotism aside, we all need to start at the bottom and work up.

2. Every Day is an Interview – University was full to the brim with random opportunities. You never knew who you were going to meet next. Students often miss out on so much that they don’t think is going to be useful, so next time you’re invited out for drinks – go! (Any excuse really, right?)

3. Work Experience is Everything – Uni was the best time for a lot of us to indulge in some unpaid work experience. After all, we’ve got our whole life to get paid for it. Whilst you might have the theoretical knowledge, work experience is a real deal breaker for a lot of jobs. Don’t use your holidays sitting at home being fed by your parents – get out there and get that experience! You’ll thank yourself later.

Women Have Less Than Half the Pension Savings of Men

Yes, you read me correctly. A TUC-sponsored report has revealed that women have on average £7,500 in savings in defined contribution schemes compared to the £14,500 for men. And women typically have about £32,000 in pension savings defined by benefit schemes, but men have £62,900. What’s up with that?!

The ‘Under-pensioned 2016’ report reveals the massive disadvantages in pensions for women, carers, the self-employed and ethnic minority workers. Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary noted: “Today’s report is a sobering reminder of Britain’s stark pension divide. Everyone should have the chance of a decent retirement income, not just men in full-time employment.”

It doesn’t stop there though. Women don’t just have half the pension savings of men, they also receive a far smaller state pension. They get 13% a year less than the average state pension and 25% a year less than men get.

Why is this happening? It is reported that the reason behind these stark divisions includes workplace discrimination, the lack of flexible working and job segregation.


Shared Parental Leave: One Year On

Equality is a long and complex journey in employment. If we had true equality then we’d be $12 trillion better, but it doesn’t only involve recognising female talent, since businesses are already doing their best to help women fulfil their full potential. One of the keys to unlocking the vast pool of female talent available to us is getting more men into shared parental leave.

There’s been three distinct stages of SPL:
1. Putting legislative frameworks in place.
2. Convincing employers to get on board.
3. Convincing men it’s actually fine to take it up and, more importantly, illustrating that shared parental leave is not career limiting for anyone.

The idea of allowing workers to just take time off here and there is a major concern of employers, as well as the certain financial cost of equalising and facilitating shared parental leave. Another challenge that still remains is convincing men to actually take it, and persuading women to share it.


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About the author…

Nicole Debson
Director & Founder

With 30 years in recruitment, a genuine interest in people and a desire to help forge careers, Nicole has built ABL on the principle of making businesses better and that little bit more international. Seeking to help candidates navigate their career path; to help clients find the ideal employee, her hands on approach is what has moulded our company. Fluent in French, with good Spanish, and a Masters in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management, you’ll find Nicole thumbing through her well-worn copy of Jack London’s White Fang, her all-time favourite book.