• Closing the gender pay gap requires a focus on female progression

    Now the gender pay gap figures are laid bare, attention switches to the action needed to address the gap. An underrepresentation of women at the top of organisations is a heavily cited explanation for the difference in the average hourly earnings between all men and women in an organisation.

    Government focus on women on boards of FTSE companies has already begun to focus the attention on equality of career opportunities…

    • 9 Apr 2018
  • The employer action needed to address the significant lack of racial equality in career progression

    New CIPD research aims to help employers address the stark racial inequalities in career progression evident in UK organisations. The report, Addressing the barriers to BAME employee career progression to the top, examines black, Asian and minority ethnic representation in the workplace.

    A panel discussion marked the launch of this research, chaired by former Labour MP and chair of the BEIS Select Committee, Iain Wright…

    • 8 Jan 2018
  • Workplaces must be more trans inclusive

    The UK has made considerable advancements on sexuality inclusion at work over recent years, but we’re a lot further behind with trans awareness and inclusion. The next two weeks are UK Transgender Awareness Weeks, and, although this should definitely not be the only weeks of the year we act on trans inclusion, they are a reminder to kick-start action and to review how inclusive our organisations are, regardless of people…

    • 6 Nov 2017
  • Tackling gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps

    Today the Equality and Human Rights Commission published a new strategy for tackling gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps. Their recommendations on the changes needed to address pay gaps in Britain are timely for many businesses who are preparing to report on their gender pay gaps. The breadth of their new strategy, Fair opportunities for all, will help employers think more holistically about inclusion and various…

    • 15 Aug 2017
  • It’s late – why are you still here?

    Is that a question asked in your organisation when someone is consistently working late? Or is being seen to work late a sign of commitment? Alternatively, is working late recognised as not ideal, but nothing gets done about it as it’s ‘unfortunately part and parcel of working here’? With 21 June, the longest day of the year, being 2017’s ‘Go home on time day’, it’s time to question whether a work-life balance is valued…

    • 20 Jun 2017
  • Do you know how many carers you employ?


    It’s unlikely that any organisation in the UK will know exactly how many carers it has in its workforce. Some people don’t see themselves as carers despite having caring responsibilities, some people won’t want their employer to know, and others may not be aware of any support or flexibility they can get from work so don’t say anything. But what is certain is that the number of working carers in the UK is increasing and…

    • 12 Jun 2017
  • We need to be focusing on retention as much as recruitment to meet older workers target

    This week, Andy Briggs, the Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers, called on UK employers to commit to his previously announced target of one million more older workers into the labour market by 2022. Briggs has called on UK businesses to publish the number and percentage of older workers in their workforce, and the target means employers will need to aim to recruit 12% more workers over 50 years old in the…

    • 25 May 2017
  • Levelling the playing field requires bold action

    Taking bold action to speed up gender equality is the theme for International Women’s Day 2017. This is yet another wake-up call to employers about the lack of gender balance that still exists in UK workplaces. We all know it’s a problem, but there’s still a stubborn implementation gap that needs to be addressed.

    The extent of the problem became incredibly apparent to me when I put my details into the…

    • 7 Mar 2017
  • It’s national sickie day

    If you’re thinking of calling in sick today, some statistics suggest you may not be alone. In 2011, 1 February was earmarked as national sickie day by business support company ELAS who saw an upsurge in people calling in sick on that day. Since then, the first Monday in February has carried this title.

    What we’ll see this week are many articles on the top 10 most bizarre reasons employees have given for not coming…

    • 6 Feb 2017
  • Tackling the top 3 causes of stress at work

    Today we launch our 2016 CIPD/Simplyhealth Absence management survey findings which coincide with National Stress Awareness Day. Our survey found that stress is now the most common cause of long-term absence and the second most common cause of short-term absence, after minor illness. 

    Almost a third of organisations say they have seen an increase in stress-related absence over the past 12 months. In the 2015 Absence m…

    • 2 Nov 2016
  • Working 9 to 5… 6, 7, 8… is not the way to make a living

    An article a few days ago on potential strike action was focused around whether work-life balance promises were being compromised. The article made me stop and think about how much the term ‘work-life balance’ has grown in complexity over recent years. The term is ingrained in our lexicon and as a concept gets much attention in the well-being and sustainability debate. But given the vast changes in how, when and where…

    • 17 Aug 2016
  • Free pizza just won’t cut it

    I love pizza, and who doesn’t like free stuff? Providing a free dinner can be a default option to try to compensate for a culture of long working hours. For me that just won’t cut it - I opted to work for an organisation that cares about my well-being.

    Some great organisations think the same, genuinely putting employee well-being at the heart of how they do business, but in many companies our research shows…

    • 3 Mar 2016
  • Are THAT many people really skiving off?

    Non-genuine absence is under the spotlight again this year as organisations are under increasing pressure to cut costs and increase productivity. After seeing this year’s Absence Management survey results I’ve got a strong suspicion that what’s classified as ‘illegitimate absence’  or ‘pulling a sickie’ isn’t always what we traditionally think of as hangover days, daytime TV days and general…

    • 20 Oct 2015
  • Rolling with the punches

    What’s your default reaction when change is announced? Are we so used to it now that we go with it more easily than we may have done 5 years ago, or is there a natural period of entrenchment and regrouping while we work out what it means for us and the rest of our team? In short, how resilient are we to roll with the punches?

    It’s easy to say ‘we need to be more resilient’ and the phrases we so often hear of ‘man…

    • 19 Aug 2015
  • The chocolate approach to well-being

    Were the chocolate manufacturers the original best companies to work for? I’m not talking about the fact I could repeatedly eat my bodyweight in their product – but their pioneering support for staff health and welfare.

    The first name that comes to mind for me when I think of welfare pioneers is George Cadbury. Still one of Birmingham’s main employers, Cadbury saw real benefit in providing good working conditions…

    • 6 Jul 2015
  • Can every meeting be a walk in the park?

    We need to come together to plan a project or take decisions – we send a calendar invite and book a meeting room. It’s our robotic default for decision making, and our calendars look like a meeting treadmill. Often we’re going from sitting at our desks to sitting in a meeting room and back again.

    Should we be spurred on to think differently by new research published this week in the British Journal…

    • 3 Jun 2015
  • CIPD is opening up the conversation on mental health

    The figures around mental health still astonish me. It’s estimated that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives. If we’re not struggling ourselves, it’s likely that a colleague or a friend will be. One of the key questions we ask organisations is the extent to which your well-being activity supports good mental as well as physical health.

    Do we really still need…

    • 12 May 2015
  • Let’s Stand Out for Autism

    Today is World Autism Awareness Day. The aim of today is not just to shine a light on autism and increase awareness, but crucially it’s about celebrating the skills and talents that people with autism have to offer. It’s also about shifting often rigid mind-sets from focusing on what people can’t do, to making the most of their strengths, and this is particularly key in the workplace.

    This strengths…

    • 2 Apr 2015
  • How much importance do we attach to our happiness?

    Today is #InternationalDayOfHappiness, championed by the United Nations’ General Assembly. It’s certainly an opportunity to pause for thought about what we value in life. When we think about our life goals, how strongly does happiness feature as an aim in itself rather than a bi-product of other achievements? And to what extent are we prepared to sacrifice our happiness in pursuit of other ventures? 
    The…
    • 20 Mar 2015
  • Who has been the most positive influence on your career?

    Throughout our lives there are a few key people who influence our career choices - debate the options, shorten the shortlists and help us decide the path that’s right for us. Of course, not everything always works out as planned, but those people help us evaluate our choices, prioritise what’s important and give meaningful advice that really sticks. Who’s your go-to person when you reach a career crossroads? Who challenges…

    • 13 Mar 2015
  • Do we all need a best friend at work for our well-being?

    Seeing yesterday’s ONS research on Measuring National Well-being reminded me how important our working relationships are to our well-being. Eight hours a day, five days a week is a long time with our colleagues – I know that’s more time than I spend with my family and friends!

    A study by Relate in 2014 found that employees are about as likely to have as much daily contact with work colleagues (62%)…

    • 13 Feb 2015
  • It’s #TimetoTalk

    Thursday 5 February is #TimetoTalk day. Here at the CIPD, we’ll be encouraging people to take five minutes to have a conversation about mental health, in particular the myths and facts around it. We want to help break the silence as we know that having a mental health problem is hard enough, without feeling you can’t speak up when things are difficult. Just a short conversation can make a big difference to someone and…

    • 29 Jan 2015
  • How many of Britain’s secret carers do you employ?

    The issue of how we support people who are juggling caring responsibilities and work is firmly back on the agenda with the launch of the new Labour pledge last week. Liz Kendall MP, Shadow Minister for Care and Older People, has outlined Labour’s promises to provide more support for carers.

    And the importance of an employer response is steadily rising up HR’s agenda. Over the past few months I’ve seen more HR…

    • 19 Jan 2015
  • The number of reported mental health problems remains worryingly high – how can you best support your employees?

    The number of reported mental health problems remains worryingly high – how can you best support your employees?

    Since 2009 we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of reported mental health problems. Two-fifths of employers in this year’s Absence Management Survey, which we run in partnership with Simplyhealth, said they’d seen an increase in mental health issues reported by staff. This compares to 21% in…

    • 10 Oct 2014
  • How is your absence level affected by employee caring responsibilities?

    Our annual Absence Management survey, in partnership with Simplyhealth, has revealed a rise in the number of employees taking time off due to caring responsibilities. So what should you be doing to support your workforce?

    Recent research from UKCES has predicted that there will be four generations working side-by-side by 2030. With this 4G UK workforce, employers are having to manage an increasingly diverse range of…

    • 6 Oct 2014