Eloise’s March 2024 News – Employment Law, Recruitment Market, Workplace Wellness

Workplace Wellness

Hello and welcome to March

March, aptly named, as it comes marching in following all 100 weeks of January and all 2 days of February. I feel like I’ve blinked and missed February, it was over so quickly, yet we got an extra day. Is it just me, or are you feeling the same?

Catch up: February’s HRHuddle looking at neurodiversity

We hosted a fantastic HRHuddle in February, with Mo Bury, looking at neurodiversity.

The number of people diagnosed with neurodivergent brains is skyrocketing. As well as the number of people identifying the traits of being neurodivergent within themselves but being undiagnosed or on a diagnosis pathway.

It has been reported that as many as 1 in 7 people are neuro-distinct in some way, but that as many as 1 in 5 might be neurodivergent with many having no idea. 36% of people with a diagnosis don’t feel comfortable discussing this with their employer and have kept it a secret.

This all means it’s never been more important to understand Workplace Wellness and how workplaces can fully support all types of brains to allow everyone to flourish.

Neurodiversity includes dyslexia, ADHD, autism, anxiety, stammering, Tourette’s, tics, bipolar, OCD, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, and many more.

The power is that all types of brains bring so many different things to a business. So being a workplace that works for all, will be a huge business benefit. Bear in mind that around 40% of self-made millionaires are dyslexic.

Mo Bury spoke about how to achieve a neuro-inclusive workplace, what to consider, and what to put in place.

We have added her HRHuddle session to our YouTube channel and it is worth 45 minutes of your time to listen to it. I also urge you to share the link with your team managers and leaders to help improve everyone’s understanding. This is how we all become part of the change.

Visit our YouTube channel to watch or listen

Next: HRHuddle – Keeley Baigent, Employment Law Update March 2024 – New Carer’s Leave rights

Workplace Wellness & Employment Law

Our next HRHuddle online event is on Wednesday 20th March 2024 with regular Huddle guest speaker Keeley Baigent.

She will be exploring an Employment Law Update with a focus on the new Carer’s Leave Rights that come into place on 6th April 2024.

Plus, other family-friendly rights that come into effect at the same time, including changes to the right to make flexible working requests, and paternity leave, as well as enhanced redundancy protection rights for those returning from maternity leave and other statutory leave.

Join us for the free webinar so you can update your understanding of the latest policies, and in turn, update your business policies and procedures. And get the chance to ask Keeley questions to make sure your business is compliant.

Click here to book your FREE place

Reminder: National Minimum Wage increase

This is your reminder that the National Minimum Wage/Living Wage increases from April 2024.

For those aged 21 and over it rises to £11.44 per hour from the current rate of £10.42. For 18–20-year-olds, it will increase from £7.49 to £8.60. And, for under 18s, it will increase from £5.28 to £6.40.

Commentary on LinkedIn about the rise in minimum wage has been very positive. With one saying ‘… the minimum wage for an employee over 21 will be £11.44 per hour, which equates to around £23,795.20 per annum. This increase represents a significant change for many workers and could lead to improved financial stability … As a result, this change may lead to a boost in consumer spending, which could in turn support economic growth.”.

There have been more than 500 well-known companies named and shamed for failing to pay minimum wage. The government has backed the ‘naming and shaming’ to highlight the seriousness of non-compliance.

Some of the companies involved have said they ‘never intentionally’ paid less than minimum wage and that guidance from HMRC had been misinterpreted.

The report and the full list of companies can be seen here.

Recruitment Market

The REC and KPMG Report On Jobs for February is a familiar story, emulating that of January and December. Salary growth has softened, the number of available permanent and temporary jobs has softened, and the number of available candidates has grown.

It seems businesses are awaiting the spring budget on Wednesday, 6th March. This will determine economic confidence ahead of the general election later this year.

The main topics to look out for will be if economic recovery is likely to pick up pace, and if any tax cuts are coming our way.

I expect there to be a distinct pick up in recruitment over the next few months, as the government make some big promises and gestures to help businesses ahead of the general election. We will see.

Growing trend: Workplace wellness

Workplace wellbeing has been a buzz term for a few years, but it’s now less about ticking boxes and more about making real wellness commitments for people.

The impact of the pandemic is still very much with us. Some struggled with the isolation, some thrived with the flexibility. But either way, workplaces have needed to change, to offer something meaningful and to make a real difference for employees.

In 2014, Richard Branson said, “If you look after your staff well, they will look after your customers. Simple.”. Ten years on, we’re still working out how this looks.

Businesses that provide wellness packages and commit to employee well-being find it easier to hire talent, and they also have fewer issues with retention. Plus, a team of people who feel valued and cared for will be more productive. And people who have their well-being prioritised will be happier and need fewer days off. So, the business benefits are a no-brainer.

But what should you be offering?

According to a recent global well-being survey, employee well-being is a top priority for companies. These employee wellbeing initiatives have the potential to make a significant long-term positive difference for employees:

  1. Access to a mental health support service and counselling opportunities
  2. Sleep workshops
  3. Access to trained suicide first-aiders
  4. Fertility assistance
  5. Four-day work week
  6. Volunteering opportunities
  7. Gym memberships and physical activity
  8. Ergonomic workstations
  9. Online doctor service access
  10. Access to cancer care
  11. Diversity, equality, and inclusion training
  12. Menopause support
  13. Financial planning advice
  14. Private health and dental insurance
  15. Right to disconnect policy
  16. Cooking classes
  17. Caregivers extended leave

It’s not just onsite yoga classes, it’s deeper than that. Not all of these will be possible for all businesses, but they are options that could be put to employees to see what individuals would value most. Or maybe there is the option for each employee to have an annual budget they can access for a personalised package.

All food for thought.

Jobs for life: are they a thing of the past?

My parents’ generation often spoke about ‘jobs for life’. Things like teaching, law, or with companies like British Gas, or BT. People either started at the bottom at a young age and worked their way up, or they trained to do a specific role and just got better and better at it. They went in, and they stayed there.

I’ve also recently watched a few TV documentaries about jobs people expected to be in for their whole working lives. One which has stuck with me was mining. A boy living in a mining village whose father was a miner didn’t need to contemplate what they would go into, they were going to be a miner. It was all mapped out for them, and it’s just what happened.

Working lives were often 35 years, with final salary or defined benefit pensions.

Obviously, lots of those businesses and situations have changed. But it seems that people have changed too.

An article shared on LinkedIn states that Gen-Z workers expect to change careers three times more than any previous generation. The goal is to seek better pay, improved work-life balance, and to find companies that align with their personal values.

And with working lives now at around 50 years, no final salary pensions, and longer life expectancy, I’m sure very few people would imagine doing the same thing at 70 that they were doing at 20.

Skills are also now far more transferable than ever before and ‘career pivots’ are encouraged rather than frowned upon.

I find this all an interesting discussion. How do you judge people applying for a job who are career pivoting, or have done in the past? Do you worry about people leaving your business for a career pivot? Have you had a ‘career pivot’?

Are some career pivots imposed on us? People who have a change in circumstances, illness, have children, carer responsibilities etc. Do we get to a certain age/stage where we feel the need to do something different with our lives?

I would love to hear from you with your thoughts.

And that’s it for another month.

As I’ve said, I’d love to hear from you and get your thoughts, or even ideas of things you’d like me to write about or explore.

Wishing you all a gentle March.


Meeting room hire

Vanilla Recruitment News Jobs MarketWe have opened up our recently refurbished boardroom for hire. It’s a great modern space in the heart of Market Harborough, full of light and colour.

For just £15 per hour, you can comfortably seat 8 people, with the use of a large TV screen, and with free tea and coffee.

This is a fantastic space ideal for meetings, collaborative working and planning sessions, and presentations. It also lends itself to interviews or as a great-looking backdrop to an important Teams meeting.

With free Wi-Fi and within walking distance of Market Harborough town centre, and car parks, it’s a great choice to elevate your next gathering.

To find out more or to enquire about booking, please call us on 01858 898 058, or email us: [email protected]

Our temps do an amazing job for a wide range of clients in the area. They are some of the most flexible and hardworking people and we want to recognise that every month.

So, if you have a Vanilla temporary worker on assignment, or who has just completed an assignment, who you think has gone above and beyond or exceeded expectations in any way. You can nominate them to receive our Temp of the Month Award.

We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our four specialisms – MarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office

Gain a new skill and a verifiable qualification

Study in your own time and at your own pace to get a verifiable qualification with New Skills Academy. With over 880 courses to choose from you’re sure to find a course that interests you. All of the online courses can be studied from your PC, MacBook, tablet or smartphone device. Click here for more info.

Vanilla Recruitment Consultant – Accounting Staff Recruitment Agency