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Ian Brinkley

The future of work is a degree

Authors: Ian Brinkley

14 April 2016

The latest projections of labour market change from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) sets out expected changes by sector and occupation over the ten years between 2014 and 2024.

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Dr Zofia Bajorek

Take part in our research - calling all HR professionals

Authors: Dr Zofia Bajorek

24 March 2016

The issues that have the potential to affect an employee’s performance at work are varied and diverse and alongside an increasingly competitive and demanding work environment employees may be experiencing difficulties with managers, financial concerns, depression, anxiety or another mental or physical health condition, as well as personal and family relationship issues. With the health and wellbeing of the working age population now regarded as important for organisational productivity, it is becoming ever more crucial employers have interventions available to improve and maintain the health and productivity of their employees.

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Ian Brinkley

What might restore Sports Direct's reputation

Authors: Ian Brinkley

23 March 2016

The troubled firm Sports Direct seems to be able to do nothing right. Held up as giving capitalism a bad name by, of all people, the Institute of Directors, and widely criticised for alleged poor employment practices the firm is now engaged in a public row with the House of Commons on giving evidence on how the firm treats its workers. Sales and share price have suffered as a result. This is a timely reminder that good employment practice is not a nice to have.

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Ian Brinkley

Underemployment in the UK -the latest figures

Authors: Ian Brinkley

22 March 2016

Policy makers often monitor progress in the labour market by the unemployment rate. It is a key indicator for the Bank of England as the lower the rate of unemployment goes the greater the chance that inflationary pressures will start to build up. For much the same reason it is also watched closely by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) as it may influence what the OBR thinks will happen to inflation and productivity and that in turn will impact on their judgement on whether the Government’s spending plans are credible.

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Ian Brinkley

The budget and the labour market

Authors: Ian Brinkley

16 March 2016

Employment – still growing but we are at the peak The OBR forecast tells us that employment growth will continue, but a reduced rate compared with the previous five years. The economy is expected to create about 900,000 jobs between 2015 and 2020, with most of the growth coming from employee employment. This is rather less than the 2 million jobs that were being suggested might be achievable before the last Election. Average earnings growth also picks up slowly, from around 2.3 per cent to 3.6 per cent over the same period.

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Dr Zofia Bajorek

Unequal Opportunities – trying to balance apprenticeships and long-term health conditions

Authors: Dr Zofia Bajorek Researcher

16 March 2016

Apprenticeships provide a much needed opportunity to support young people to develop skills and build careers – but are those who could most benefit from them being locked out? Find out more...

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Ian Brinkley

The rise of zero hours contracts?

Authors: Ian Brinkley Senior Economic Advisor

10 March 2016

The new figures on zero hours contracts show yet another increase, up from just under 700,000 in 2014Q4 to just over 800,000 in 2015Q4 or from 2.3 per cent to 2.5 per cent of total employment. One of the big problems in interpreting the rise in zero hours contracts has been how much is due to increased awareness among people in work leading to higher reporting and how much is due to a genuine increase in the use of such contracts. Between 2000 and 2012 the number on zero hours showed no clear upward trend, varying between 0.4 and 0.8 per cent of total employment. But in 2013 the numbers more than doubled and have continued to rise ever since. As there was no obvious trigger and it is very unlikely organisations spontaneously switched to zero hours overnight on a big scale, it is more plausible to say that the estimates prior to 2013 seriously understated the level of zero hours working. Increased awareness must have played a big part in the rise in reported zero hours work from 2013

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Dr Richard Heron

Responding to the diagnosis of a long-term health condition - a view from an occupational physician

Authors: Dr Richard Heron President, Faculty of Occupational Medicine; Vice-president of Health and Chief Medical Officer, BP

08 March 2016

One of the great achievements of modern medicine has been the incredible increases in life expectancy which citizens in most countries now enjoy. Yet, as we know, one of the consequences of living longer is an increased susceptibility to a number chronic illnesses which can erode our quality of life and compromise our ability to live independently or continue to have full and fulfilling working lives... Read more...

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Ian Brinkley

Retail jobs, the living wage and technology

Authors: Ian Brinkley

29 February 2016

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has recently published the startling prediction that nearly 1 million employee jobs will go from retailing over the next ten years, representing about 30 per cent of employee employment. This would be an unprecedented change for a major service industry, either in the UK or across the OECD and will be seen by some as a stark warning about the future of work. In this blog I look in more detail at how credible such a dramatic prediction might be.

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Ian Brinkley

New Labour Market Statistics - February

Authors: Ian Brinkley

17 February 2016

These figure cover the last quarter of 2015, so will not reflect recent concerns over the state of the world economy and the financial sector. Wage increases remain modest, but with inflation still very low real wages will continue to recover for many. But it would not take much of an increase in prices for us to return to the days of zero or close to zero real wage increases.

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Liz Sayce OBE

Peer support should be a central plank of employment support

Authors: Liz Sayce OBE

15 February 2016

When we think of public services we tend to think of an interaction between a ‘provider’ of support and its recipient. In health and social care, for instance, a health professional or care worker gives their expertise/support to the ‘patient’ (a word redolent of passivity – its original meanings include to suffer without complaint or be ‘under’ a medical practitioner). Usually these interactions are one to one; and every time cost reductions come, they get shorter (witness 15 minute care visits), less frequent – or disappear altogether. In employment support, too, the dominant model is one to one support from an advisor. This is out of tune with wider trends.

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Antonella Cardone

The economic and social cost of ignoring MSDs

Authors: Antonella Cardone Executive Director, Fit for Work

08 February 2016

Musculoskeletal diseases (MSDs) are the leading cause of sickness absence in Europe, accounting for half of all absences and 60% of permanent work incapacity. In addition, MSDs can affect annual European GDP by up to 2%, representing around €240bn in costs... Read more...

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Ian Brinkley

Night tubes and seven day working in the NHS - part of the 24 hour society?

Authors: Ian Brinkley

02 February 2016

Is there a trend towards the 24/7 society where we want and need access to an increasing range of services at anytime, day or night? There is good reason to think that unsocial hour working is on the rise enabled by demand and new technologies that means people never quite leave their desks - but is this really the case?

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Paul Barrett

Financial wellbeing ….the missing piece in the employee wellbeing picture

Authors: Paul Barrett

20 January 2016

Financial concerns remain a major issue for millions of people in the UK, while the knock-on effect for the health of people in debt, is serious. Greater awareness is needed, particularly from employers as increasing numbers of employees face in-work poverty.

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Ian Brinkley

New Labour Market Statistics

Authors: Ian Brinkley

20 January 2016

Overall, these are another very positive set of labour market statistics. There has been a big increase in employment, with resumed strong growth in self-employment. There has also been a significant rise in employee jobs, mostly full time and all of them permanent.

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