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Peninsula Working Nation 2017

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Working Nation is a data driven report formed on HR and Employment Law issues facing UK employers throughout 2016/17, with key chapters including insights on Brexit, Equality in the workplace, Gig economy, and absenteeism. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Peninsula Working Nation 2017


1
Working Nation 2017
Primary employment challenges facing the UKs
small and medium-sized businesses

WORKING NATION 2017 2

1
2
Contents

WORKING NATION 2017 4
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • 11. Chapter 1
  • Brexit Navigating risk and opportunity
  • 21. Chapter 2
  • Equality at work
  • 29. Chapter 3
  • Employment Status Is the gig economy working?
  • 37. Chapter 4
  • Changing Cultures Rethinking the modern
    workplace
  • 47. Chapter 5
  • Absenteeism Solving the productivity puzzle

3
4
3
Foreword
  • Welcome to Working Nation 2017, our inaugural
    publication that explores the primary employment
    challenges facing the UKs small and
    medium-sized businesses.
  • ftriving in the commercial world of 2017 presents
    an unprecedented set of issues and opportunities
    for SMEs across the country. We live and work in
    times of geopolitical upheaval, economic
    uncertainty and rapid technological development.
    As a working nation, now is an essential time to
    take stock of our situation and prioritise our
    areas of focus for the coming years.
  • At Peninsula, we are passionate about providing
    ambitious organisations with a solid foundation
    to grow and achieve their potential as quickly as
    possible. fte success of small businesses is
    ultimately one of the most integral factors in
    the state of the UKs local communities and
    wider economy.
  • fte nature of our services puts us in direct
    contact with thousands of small business owners
    every single day, across all sectors and
    industries. Never before has the HR industry
    been able to dig into such a large dataset to
    produce insights on this scale and in this
    detail.
  • As an organisation, this puts us in a unique
    position when painting the current landscape of
    HR for British SMEs and the people who run them.
    fte journey starts by shining a spotlight on the
    foremost employment issues facing businesses
    across the country, and mapping out prospects for
    future success.
  • By understanding the challenges we face as a
    nation, we are able to support better ways of
    working and, as a result, better lives.

Peninsula is the UKs leading HR and employment
law consultancy firm. Since 1983, we have worked
with over 100,000 small and medium-sized
enterprises, enabling them to navigate the vast
range of employment challenges that running an
SME presents. In the past three years alone, we
have logged over four million advice requests
from small business owners seeking HR and
employment law support.
Peter Done Group Managing Director and Founder,
Peninsula
5
6
4
Introduction
  • Ambitious businesses are vital for the long-term
    health and performance of our national economy.
    These organisations are also the beating heart
    of many local communities, creating jobs and
    driving collaborative work across the country.
  • To ensure the UKs entrepreneurial spirit
    continues to grow and thrive in the coming
    years, we must first dig into the HR and
    employment issues that small businesses
    currently face and the context in which they
    operate.
  • fte way we work has undergone a significant
    transformation during the past five years. As a
    firm and, more widely, as an industry weve
    adapted to changing legislations, regulations
    and working cultures, and helped usher in a new
    norm for employers and employees alike. fte next
    five years are set to deliver even greater
    change.
  • With the UKs departure from the European Union
    now firmly fixed on the horizon, we find
    ourselves in a period of assured transition. It
    remains to be seen how our new working
    relationship with Europe will impact the average
    British SMEs access to resources and talent,
    though it is certain that few businesses will
    remain unaffected in one way or another.
  • ftere are also many employment challenges to
    consider beyond Brexit, such as organisational
    design and culture. fte way businesses manage
    people is evolving, and will continue to do so
    in line with the rapid progression of new
    legislation, social attitudes and technology.
  • Landmark updates in flexible working and shared
    parental leave legislation offer us more
    sophisticated approaches towards people
    management and productivity. Were seeing more
    employers addressing the issues of equality and
    absenteeism than ever before. fte modern
    workplace is currently in a state of flux, and
    theres no doubt that change is coming as we get
    to grips with this generations approach to
    working culture.

The data at a glance Our data-driven approach
enables us to impart unique insights from a
database of over four million calls from the
past three years, all of which have been
received by a member of our expert advice
team. At the core of Working Nation 2017 is a
detailed overview of the most prevalent areas of
HR and employment law that small businesses have
requested support on during the past three years.
7
WWOORRKKIINNGG NNAATTIIOONN 22001177
8
5
2016 advice requests by category
HIRING END OF CONTRACT29
30.410.287.424.812.18.1G
CAPABILITY PERFORMANCE 10 DISPUTES
GRIEVANCES 8 EMPLOYMENT CONTACT 7
This chart shows a percentage of our total
number of advice requests for each area of HR
and employment law.
Hiring End of Contract (29) covers matters
such as recruitment, working visas and
redundancy. Employee Conduct (26) relates to
general conduct at work and suspension of
employees. Leave Absence (12) is composed of
matters such as maternity leave, absenteeism and
sickness leave.
LEAVE ABSENCE 12 PAY BENEFITS 8 EMPLOYEE
CONDUCT 26
Across all areas there are a wealth of
significant trends, correlations and annual
rates of growth that we will be analysing
throughout this report. From here, we are able
to dig deeper into specific challenges facing
small business owners across the country. In
doing so, we can then start to paint a detailed
picture of the state of HR within British SMEs
and the employment challenges that small
business owners are currently facing.
9
10
6
Brexit
Navigating risk and opportunity

WORKING NATION 2017 12

11
Chapter 1
11
12
7

13 WORKING NATION 2017 14
However you view it, the result of the
referendum on June 23rd 2016 sent a huge
shockwave across the nation and remains a
divisive topic at the centre of societal
debate. Now that Article 50 (the formal
notification of a countrys intention to leave
the EU) has been triggered, the UK faces one of
the most testing periods of political negotiation
and commercial uncertainty in recent memory. It
is impossible to forecast the long-term impact of
Brexit for British SMEs and the people who keep
them running. What we do know is that,
regardless of industry, business model or supply
chain, very few businesses will be left
unaffected. Nowhere is this more apparent than
among small business owners looking to ensure
stability across their operations, staff and
resources. We find ourselves at the heart of the
Brexit debate by working with SMEs on a daily
basis to resolve the immediate issues that the
referendum has raised though what exactly are
these businesses seeking support on? Our data
from the past few years reveals that there are
three emerging trends to consider.
  • The decision to leave the European Union
    presents UK businesses with unprecedented
    levels of risk and opportunity.

13
14
8
Is racism at work a returning problem?
Tackling race issues in the workplace
Such a notable spike indicates that social
tension around the Brexit vote was spilling over
into the workplace prior to and following the
referendum. Our data correlates with recent
regional police reports that document a similar
surge in allegations of racial discrimination,
harassment, hostile threats and public hate
crimes around the time of the Brexit referendum.
During June 2016, the month of the
Brexitreferendum,Peninsulareceived approximately
triple our average volume of advice requests on
issues relating to racial discrimination in the
workplace a 270 month-on- month increase from
May. It was also the highest volume of requests
we have received on this particular issue
within any single month for the past five years.
The annual change in advice requests relating to
racial discrimination reveals another distinct
insight. Between 2014 and 2015, the total number
of requests fell significantly by 15, a
sizeable decrease over the course of one year.
However, the data for 2016 shows an overall
upturn of 6 in advice requests, a clear
reversal of the fall in the previous two years.
ftis suggests racism at work is an issue that is
again growing in scale for small business owners,
particularly in the aftermath of Brexit. Now
more than ever, employers must promote tolerance
of different beliefs and attitudes between work
colleagues. Communication is crucial to ensure
that personal opinion does not devolve into
workplace discrimination or harassment against
another employee. Left unchecked, this can cause
significant harm to a businesss reputation,
productivity and the wellbeing of staff.
DISCRIMINATION RACE / ETHNIC ORIGIN (BY YEAR)
6 increase in advice relating to racial
discrimination in 2016
DISCRIMINATION RACE / ETHNIC ORIGIN (BY
MONTH) 105
2016
2015
600
70
500
ADVICE REQUESTS
ADVICE REQUESTS
35
400
0
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
MONTH
300
2016
2015
2014
15
16
9
Recruitment and talent sourcing

17
The climate of uncertainty surrounding Brexit
feeds directly into the hiring capabilities of
many small businesses in the UK, and employers
are unsure whether it will bring new recruitment
restrictions.
fte graph below shows the total volume of advice
requests for foreign workers and visa issues from
the past three years.
Year-on-year, there has been a 179 overall
increase in advice requests of this nature
between 2014 and 2016. ftis exponential growth
shows that more SMEs than ever are seeking
support on the issue of right to work for
foreign workers.
FOREIGN WORKERS / VISA 8000 94
increase in advice requests between
6000
ADVICE REQUESTS
2015 and 2016
4000
2000
2016
2015
2014
17
18
10
The next steps for

19 WORKING NATION 2017 20
British business
It remains to be seen how any forthcoming
commercial agreements between the UK and the
European Union will bode for the average small
business owner, but its clear that Brexit has
already begun to present a unique set of
challenges. Employers are now monitoring the
tone of office discussions, seeking clarity on
the mobility of foreign workers, and looking to
address instances of racial discrimination
between employees as soon as possible. Now is
an ideal time for small businesses to strengthen
their policies around racial harassment and
equal opportunities at work, both of which are
crucial to safeguard against further disharmony,
grievances and legal action within any British
workplace.
19
20
11
Equality at work

WORKING NATION 2017 22

21
Chapter 2
21
22
12
The United Kingdom boasts one of the most
diverse workforces in the world.
54.3G
DISCRIMINATION
ADVICE REQUESTS BY CATEGORY 2016
fte ability of our businesses to attract and
retain talented individuals from all cultural
backgrounds is testament to the strength and
flexibility of our labour market. Our employment
legislation is a hallmark of British society,
promoting equality for all and protecting people
from discrimination and prejudice in the
workplace.
By developing an inclusive culture from the
outset, employers set a solid foundation for
their people to collaborate and thrive at work.
Equality underpins internal relationships by
ensuring the door is always open to different
perspectives, skillsets and opportunities to
learn. Many consider diverse teams better able
to anticipate a wider range of customer needs,
particularly in the long term.
There is no one-size-fits- all solution to the
diversity challenge that can be readily applied
to any business.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all
solution to the diversity challenge that can be
readily applied to any business. fte process of
embedding an inclusive working environment free
from discrimination often takes time and
requires long-term strategic investment.
137 YOY
DISABILITY
Regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual
orientation, disability or any other protected
characteristic, employees must have access to
the same resources, rewards and opportunities at
work. ftis isnt solely an ethical or legal
consideration it also makes sound business
sense for any growing organisation.
We receive thousands of advice requests from
SMEs every year that are looking to address
instances of discrimination among their staff.
fte graph on the adjacent page shows a breakdown
of the most prevalent equality issues we helped
to resolve in 2016, as well as the year-on-year
percentage change from 2015. ftis allows us to
identify issues that are becoming either more or
less of an issue.
-3 YOY
SEXUAL ORIENTATION
61 YOY
RELIGION
6 YOY
RACE / ETHIC ORIGIN
84 YOY
GENDER
YOY Year-on-year
23
24
13
Equal access for
Stamping out gender inequality
disabled staff
Disability represented more than half (54) of
the total number of advice requests relating to
discrimination that we received from small
business owners in 2016. Looking at the year-on-
year growth (137) its clear that disability
has become a far more pressing issue over the
previous 12 months.
As with disability, gender discrimination (up by
83 from 2015) is an issue that more and more
businesses are looking to address. We hear from
many employers, usually in light of instances
between staff,who are unsure about how to
tailor preventative measures to suit the
specific needs of their business, particularly
harassment policies and staff training.
Bringing these issues to light is an important
step towards stamping out gender discrimination
in the workplace. A prime example of this is the
recent press coverage surrounding the treatment
of a female receptionist who was sent home on
her first day of work for PwC for not wearing
high heels. Such reports are strong reminders of
the duty of care employers have towards staff,
and the pressing need to avoid harassment of any
kind.
Most employers understand that it is illegal to
discriminate against disabled people. However,
many still require guidance on making reasonable
adjustments within the workplace to reduce
disadvantages faced by disabled employees. ftese
adjustments aim to afford disabled people equal
chances of accessing and staying in work.
Failing to consider every reasonable adjustment
to remove disadvantages will be considered an act
of discrimination by the employer. Its
important to bear in mind that this duty is
proportional to the size and resources of the
company, so smaller businesses will not be
expected to make the same level of adjustments
as larger companies.
fte ongoing gender pay gap discussion is another
prevalent issue that remains highly relevant for
all businesses. As detailed in the Equality Act
2010, pay inequality based on gender is a direct
form of discrimination that can have severe
repercussions for the owner of a business. fte
UK Government is taking steps to achieve
complete transparency on the issue by requiring
companies to accurately report on their gender
pay gap. For culpable businesses, the resulting
published reports may cause significant
reputational damage for their brand.
DISCRIMINATION DISABILITY
DISCRIMINATION GENDER
2000
750
137 Year-on-year growth in disability
discrimination advice requests
83
ADVICE REQUESTS
ADVICE REQUESTS
1000
500
increase in gender discrimination advice requests
250
0
2016
2015
2014
2016
2015
2014
25
26
14
Why diversity

27 WORKING NATION 2017 28
matters
An inclusive culture that commits to avoiding
discrimination is essential for any business to
maximise the working potential of its
people. Employers should therefore scrutinise
every aspect of their onboarding, promotion and
training practices to guarantee equal
opportunities for all employees across each
stage of their employment within the company. By
committing to the progression of equality in the
workplace, employers are better able to attract
and retain talent, mitigate the risk of costly
tribunals and protect the reputation of their
brand.
27
28
15
Employment Status
Is the gig economy working?

WORKING NATION 2017 30

29
Chapter 3
29
30
16
Britains so-called gig economy is growing
rapidly, though the extent to which it benefits
workers remains a point of contention.
On the one hand, we have a modern model of
working that affords people greater freedom and
flexibility to manage their lives outside of
standard working hours. On the other, we have
what some view as a form of workplace
new structure of on-demand working are becoming
increasingly blurred. Following a string of
high-profile tribunal cases involving
organisations such as Deliveroo, CitySprint and
Uber, the UK Government is now intent on
clarifying the parameters around the gig
economy, zero hour contracts and other forms of
casual employment.
employee national
exploitation that dismisses basic rights such as
entitlement to minimum wage and holiday pay.
In October 2016, Prime Minister fteresa May
commissioned a national inquiry into new ways of
working in the UK. fte goal of this inquiry is
to ensure employment law and HR legislation is
up to date with todays world of work, builds a
stronger framework for casual working and
safeguards employees from exploitation.
The UK Government is now intent on clarifying
the parameters around the gig economy.
In some instances, the lines between our
traditional idea of self-employment and this
31
32
17
Understanding the scope of the gig economy
Advances in technology and the mobility of
services mean it is easier than ever to connect
employers with skilled workers at short notice.
For small businesses in particular, this makes
the casual labour market a vital resource for
recruiting talent as and when it is needed.
ftis national review is a milestone in the
progression of Britains employment landscape.
However, such widespread publicity around the
negative aspects of casual working also makes it
easy to demonise the concept outright.
The minimum wage debate
A 63 increase in advice requests between 2014
and 2016 indicates that more and more small
business owners are looking to clarify the
employment status of their workforce, whether
that be workers, employees or self-employed
contractors.
National minimum wage forms a major part of the
discussion on the gig economy, particularly
regarding the rights of workers who are classed
as self-employed. It can often prove to be a
complicated area of employment law, but one that
is vital for employers to get right.
Although there are certainly issues to resolve,
we cannot validate the success of the entire gig
economy solely on disputes between a select few
companies and their staff. In addition to taxi
drivers and fast-food delivery services, there is
a far wider network of freelancers, consultants
and professional service providers looking to
capitalise on the flexibility and control that
self- employment offers.
Getting employment status right
An individuals employment status determines the
nature of their working relationship with an
employer and their entitlement to specific
employment rights. As part of any working
arrangement, it is vital to ensure that both
parties are fully aware of their rights and
responsibilities before they engage in work as
this is the only way to prevent disputes further
down the line.
A growing gig economy presents an evolving set
of employment challenges for small business
owners, several of which are reflected in our
data. fte graph below shows the total amount of
advice requests relating to employment status
that we have received from SMEs in the past
three years.
ftroughout the previous two years weve witnessed
a significant rise in advice requests relating
to minimum wage an increase of 152 between
2015 and 2016. Such rapid growth indicates that
an increasingnumberofsmallbusinessesarelookingfor
guidance on any upcoming changes to
legislation, and to clarify any grey areas
around the rights of external workers.
NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE
EMPLOYMENT STATUS 8000
80000
152 increase in advice requests between 2015
and 2016
63 increase in advice requests between
2014 and 2016
60000
6000
ADVICE REQUESTS
ADVICE REQUESTS
40000
4000
20000
2000
0
2016
2015
2014
2016
2015
2014
33
34
18
A model for

35 WORKING NATION 2017 36
the future Although public perception of the gig
economy is ostensibly informed by press coverage
of individual companies, it should not mask the
long-term potential for this alternative model
of working.
Now that a national inquiry is looking into the
state of casual employment in the UK, we can
expect changes to the legal framework around
this type of working in the coming years. ftis
will provide both employers and casual workers
with clarity from the very start of their working
relationship. For individuals, it will breed
even more confidence to pursue the freedom and
flexibility that the gig economy affords. For
small businesses, having access to a large pool
of skilled workers whenever they need it is a
major factor in their growth and success.
35
36
19
Changing Cultures
Rethinking the modern workplace

WORKING NATION 2017 38

37
Chapter 4
37
38
20
Over the past decade, our concept of the modern
workplace has been transformed by rapid social
and technological progression.
Landmark updates in employment legislation and
HR developments are helping to shape a new
definition of work for businesses and individuals
alike. Flexible and remote forms of working are
now supported by law, as is shared parental leave
and more sophisticated approaches to settling
workplace grievances.
constantly looking for new ways to maximise the
psychological wellbeing and performance of their
people. Businesses of all sizes must adapt to
meet the needs of the modern generation and
retain the best talent.
ftis means that todays workplace is evolving,
perhaps more quickly than ever. Our data
indicates a number of trends that allow us to see
just how significant certain aspects of modern
workplace culture have become.
Beyond legal developments, employers across all
industries are revising their approach to
business infrastructure, localisation and culture,
40
21
Enhancing
Greater control for families Shared Parental
Leave Regulations (SPL) came into effect in
December 2014.
flexibility Since the UK Government issued the
Flexible Working Regulations in 2014, there has
been clear year-on-year growth in advice
queries on this topic a 120 increase in the
past two years.
workplace relationships and instil a culture of
trust between business and staff. ftere are
countless ways in which flexible working may
benefit a company, though in every case its
important to define the parameters as part of a
clear policy to ensure all members of staff
adhere to the rules.
When SPL was first introduced in 2014, we
immediately saw a sharp increase (146) in
advice requests on this topic in the following
year. ftis indicates that employers were dealing
with requests from employees looking to make use
of their right to take SPL from an early stage.
ftis revolutionary update was designed to give
working parents greater control of their time off
work following the birth or adoption of their
child, whether they prefer to split their
entitled leave or take leave simultaneously.
fte rise in flexible working must also be
attributed to the progression of technology,
particularly cloud computing and collaborative
channels of communication. fte idea that an
employee must work strictly at their allotted
desk at all times is considered by some as
increasingly outmoded, with a growing number of
potential new recruits now viewing flexible work
as a powerful incentive to accept a job offer.
Many people value the freedom and control that
flexible working affords just as highly as an
incremental pay increase.
fte rate of increase in requests eased off
between 2015 and 2016, although we expect the
general upward trend to continue in the coming
years as more employees seek to clarify their
eligibility and submit SPL requests to their
employer. It was always going to take time for
any widespread impact of the legislation to be
realised, but the fact that we have already seen
more discussion around the shared parental
scheme every year following its introduction is
a promising sign.
ftis indicates that more than double the number
of small businesses in 2016 are evaluating the
case for flexible working as part of their
operations compared with 2014.
However, since this legislation was first
introduced it has proven challenging to track
the overall uptake among eligible employees. Our
data reveals some interesting insights on the
topic, particularly if we compare the rate of
growth in advice requests across the past three
years.
fte benefits work two ways for the employee,
more control over their work/life balance,
working hours that benefit them, and a greater
ability to meet personal commitments for the
employer, flexible working can strengthen
SHARED PARENTAL LEAVE
FLEXIBLE WORKING 60000
2000
120 increase in advice requests in the last
two years
146
1500
45000
ADVICE REQUESTS
ADVICE REQUESTS
increase in advice requests between 2014 and
2016
1000
30000
500
15000
2016
2015
2014
2016
2015
2014
42
22
A new approach to resolving disputes

43
The way employers are seeking to resolve
grievances in the workplace has changed
considerably in the past three years.
methods of dispute resolution to avoid the
possibility of a tribunal claim, a trend that is
further reinforced by our data on grievance
appeals within the same timeframe.
fte downward trend in grievance appeals across
the past three years further reinforces the
notion that more employers are offering
mediation as a way of addressing grievances and
resolving the matter before tribunal. Achieving
a settlement outside of the tribunal process is
often a cost- effective option. However,
approaching the issue before this stage will
allow employers to address matters that have
traditionally been difficult to resolve, and
that can lead to severe problems in the future,
such as bullying.
During this time weve seen an increasing number
of businesses turning towards mediation to
reduce the risk of disputes being taken to
tribunal.
Between 2015 and 2016, advice requests relating
to mediation more than doubled. ftis shows that
more small businesses are seeking alternative
MEDIATION
GRIEVANCE APPEALS
1500
8000
7000
1250
ADVICE REQUESTS
1000
6000
5000
750
500
4000
2016
2015
2014
2016
2015
2014
43
44
23
Our future world of work

45 WORKING NATION 2017 46
Its clear that todays working environment is
anything but static. Workplace cultures across
the nation will continue to evolve alongside the
capabilities that technology affords us,
progressive employment legislation, and new
alternative working practices that are gradually
incorporated into everyday life. And although
the workplace itself is changing rapidly to suit
the needs of the modern generation, top
employers realise their duty remains the same as
it ever was to foster a culture that allows
people to be healthy, happy and realise their
potential.
45
46
24
Absenteeism
Solving the productivity puzzle

WORKING NATION 2017 48

47
Chapter 5
47
48
25
Advice requests for employee absence have risen
by 52 in the past two years.
Taking time off work due to illness is an
inevitability of commercial life. However,
without a robust policy in place, sickness
absence can have a severe impact on any
companys long- term performance.
Putting employee health and happiness at the
centre of workplace culture is not only an
important factor in building a resilient and
productive workforce, it also makes sound
business sense. For SMEs in particular, the
direct cost of both short-term and long-term
absenteeism is even more apparent because it can
greatly affect day-to-day operations.
Replacing skilled staff at short notice is not
an enticing prospect.
Replacing skilled staff at short notice is not
an enticing prospect for some smaller businesses
as the available talent pool may be limited, and
may involve a high relative cost of replacement.
ftis is why more small business owners than ever
are seeking advice for how best to deal with
sickness absence and ensure the productivity of
their business. To safeguard against any
long-term risk, employers must seek to
understand the prevalent types and patterns of
absence affecting their workforce, and the wider
scope of ways in which they can support their
resilience.
We wanted to know whether UK small businesses
are actively seeking support on absenteeism and,
if so, how many? Our annual data reveals a few
interesting trends.
50
26
Seasonal insights
In 2016 we received approximately 42,000 more
advice requests relating to sickness absence
than in 2014, which confirms that the rate at
which small business owners are seeking support
on this issue is growing rapidly every year.
uplift during the winter months. However, there
is generally a high volume of advice requests
from September through to November, followed by
a considerable drop-off in the build-up to
Christmas.
Its a common suspicion that high levels of
sickness absence tend to be more apparent during
particular times of the year. By segmenting our
data on absence management for the past three
years into individual months, we are able to dig
into any specific seasonal trends that emerge.
Stress and psychological health issues are among
the main causes of both short and long- term
absence, and we work with an increasing number
of SMEs that are taking steps to prevent
stress-related illnesses before they begin to
have a negative impact on productivity. An
essential
part of this is encouraging a better balance
between the pressures of work and home life
among staff. ftis would also explain why weve
seen a notable uplift in employer queries
regarding flexible working options (120) and
health risk assessments (93) within the same
timeframe.
Many SMEs we speak to are intent on mitigating
the damaging effect that absence can cause at
these peak times, as well as seeking support on
implementing an absence policy that is tailored
to their business.
fte line graph below shows a regular upturn in
advice requests for sickness absence as
businesses reach June and July, followed by a
fall in advice requests as we head into August.
ftis trend in summer is far more consistent
than any sharp
SICKNESS ABSENCE
2016
2015
2014
SICKNESS ABSENCE
120000
12500
52
10000
ADVICE REQUESTS
90000
ADVICE REQUESTS
increase in advice requests between 2014 and 2016
7500
60000 5000
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
MONTH 30000
2016
2015
2014
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27
Getting absence

53 WORKING NATION 2017 54
policy right
The first step for any business is to ensure
they have a solid absence management policy in
place that all employees understand and adhere
to. Without a clear policy that informs
employees when they have to report an absence
and who to report it to, it is far more
difficult to deter unauthorised leave. Once a
business has a clear policy in place, it is
important to maintain an ongoing dialogue with
staff, as well as monitoring and recording all
periods of employee absence in order to spot
recurring internal trends. A holistic approach
to wellbeing culture can have a positive impact
on levels of absenteeism, but it must be endorsed
by senior members of the business and
communicated to staff at all organisational
levels. Whenpeopleunderstandthattheircompanyispri
oritising their health and happiness, they are
far more likely to align their own interests
with those of the business.
53
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28
An eye
to the future
Working Nation 2017 uncovers the main employment
challenges facing small businesses in the UK, but
it also illustrates the entrepreneurial spirit
that spurs the progression of people management,
HR best practice and working cultures across the
country. We are privileged to be able to work
with thousands of ambitious businesses every
single day, enabling them to thrive in their
respective industries and lending expert advice
when they need it most. By analysing the
employment challenges that these businesses are
facing and sharing significant trends, we are
better able to support their long-term
growth. Ourwork environmentis evolving at a
faster rate thanever before. Its inspiring to
see that so many of todays employers are intent
on adapting to meet the demands of modern society
in the digital age. Not only does their
commitment to fostering a healthy and happy
workforce benefit staff and improve work/life
balance, it also flows directly into and
high performance and profit. Our passion is to
support the ambition of forward-thinking
businesses with concrete employment advice
because we know how integral this is to the
success of both local communities and the UK
economy as a whole. Together, we will continue to
strive towards a fairer and more rewarding
concept of work for all.
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Peninsula 0808 145 3578 www.peninsulagrouplimited
.com
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