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CIPD in the news: calling for mandatory ethnicity pay reporting and a boost to the #FlexFrom1st campaign
A round-up of some of the CIPD’s latest work to champion better work and working lives
Throughout September the CIPD had a strong voice on key issues relating to inclusion and diversity at work.
This included publishing new research on ethnicity pay data within the FTSE 100, as well as new guidance on ethnicity pay reporting, responding to the Government’s long-awaited consultation on flexible working, and providing insight into the current state of the UK labour market.
Calling for mandatory ethnicity pay reporting
Despite the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 prompting many organisations to speak up about the importance of equality and inclusion, new CIPD research found just 13 FTSE 100 companies report their ethnicity pay data. The CIPD believes much more can and should be done to improve equality in the workplace and is therefore calling for mandatory ethnicity pay reporting to apply to all large employers from April 2023.
In addition to the call for mandatory ethnicity pay reporting, the CIPD is supporting employers to report voluntarily with the launch of its new ethnicity pay reporting guide. The guide aims to help organisations start collecting and reporting their ethnicity pay data and to provide a narrative with action plans to drive change.
The CIPD’s call was picked up extensively across the UK’s national, regional and HR media, with coverage appearing in The Guardian, The Times, iNews, Metro.co.uk, The Herald and The Scotsman. There was also good pick up across TV and radio, with CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese appearing on BBC World News and LBC radio, and policy adviser Charles Cotton on Times Radio. HR media, including the CIPD’s People Management, also covered the story, with Personnel Today and HR Magazine publishing opinion pieces from Peter.
The CIPD’s research and guidance was also referenced during the Parliamentary debate on mandatory ethnicity pay reporting, which was a result of a 130,000+ strong petition on the subject.
Welcoming the Government’s consultation on making flexible working requests a day-one right
Towards the end of September, the Government announced its long-awaited flexible working consultation, looking at giving employees the right to request flexible working from day one in their role. The CIPD has been actively campaigning for this change through its #FlexFrom1st campaign this year and this is a welcome step forward in driving change on flexible working.
The Government consultation will run for ten weeks and the CIPD will submit a full response, which it will publish on the CIPD website.
The consultation also invites views on whether the current business reasons for rejecting a request still stand, as well as ways employers might be able to offer other arrangements if they’re not able to accommodate a request. The CIPD will canvass its members’ views as part of this process, so do look out for ways to get involved.
In response to the consultation announcement, CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese highlighted how the pandemic has accelerated the shift to hybrid and more flexible ways of working but cautioned that there is more to be done for those whose roles require them to be in a workplace:
‘An enhanced right to request flexible working from day one could help boost both the provision and uptake of a broader range of flexible working arrangements. Employees may not be able to change where they work, but they could have more choice and a say in when and how they work’.
The flexible working conversation continued when the BBC published its finding that half of women said working from home can help advance their careers. CIPD senior policy adviser Claire McCartney was quoted and also discussed the issue on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Wake Up to Money (starts at 43.48). Claire stressed the need for better access to all forms of flexible working – not just working from home – for all employees and reiterated the CIPD’s call for a day-one right to request.
The CIPD has also had a strong voice in the UK’s regions this month, with Head of CIPD Northern England Daphne Doody-Green authoring a piece in the Yorkshire Post covering flexible working, wellbeing and ethnicity pay reporting.
More to be done to address rising labour shortages
The latest monthly jobs figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found employment levels have further increased, while unemployment is down and there are record-breaking job vacancies. However, the majority of the extra jobs since the onset of the pandemic have been for temporary staff.
In the CIPD’s response to the figures, it cautioned that employers could be doing more to address rising labour shortages, such as providing more security with permanent hires where possible, as well as improved pay and working conditions such as flexible working and investment in training.
The CIPD’s statement was picked up by The Financial Times and the Daily Express.