CIPD in the news: from calling for reform on Statutory Sick Pay to encouraging best practice on handling difficult decisions such as job cuts

A round-up of some of the CIPD’s latest work to champion better work and working lives 

Throughout the month of December, the CIPD has shared its insights and expertise on a range of workplace issues.

This included publishing a new report on the UK’s Statutory Sick Pay system, providing commentary on how to act with empathy during a redundancy process and continuing to have a strong voice on the future of flexible working. 

Calling for reforms to the UK’s Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) system

The CIPD published a new report, ‘What does an effective sick pay system look like?’, setting out its recommendations for ensuring a financial safety net for workers when they can’t work due to illness.

The report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed how financially inadequate SSP is, with many people forced to rely on SSP or not able to access it at all. The CIPD is calling for the Government to raise the rate of SSP to be at least equivalent to someone earning the National Minimum Wage/National Living Wage, as well as further consultation looking at wider reform of SSP.

The CIPD’s report was picked up by national media including the Financial Times, The Times, City A.M. and HR titles including HR Magazine and Personnel Today. CIPD’s senior policy adviser Rachel Suff also appeared on LBC Radio to discuss the findings.

Reacting to news of US employees being fired over Zoom

News of Better.com chief executive Vishal Garg firing 900 employees on a Zoom call hit the headlines this month. The mass firing was met with widespread criticism, and Garg later apologised for failing to show ‘respect and appreciation’ for his employees.

The CIPD was asked to provide expert insight on how to handle the dismissal process correctly. Speaking to BBC Online, senior policy adviser Rachel Suff acknowledged that organisations sometimes have to make difficult decisions and job cuts, however, she stressed “how they go about it and the humanity they approach it with can have a fundamental impact on how people deal with that shocking news." Rachel also discussed this with BBC World Service’s Business Weekly programme (scroll to 23:00). 

CIPD’s membership director David D’Souza was also interviewed by Times Radio (scroll to 03:54:18), BBC’s Newscast podcast and Channel 5 News

Responding to the Government’s flexible working consultation

On 1 December the Government’s consultation on making flexible working a day-one right closed. The CIPD has been calling for flexible working requests to be a day-one right through its #FlexFrom1st campaign this year.

The CIPD surveyed employers as part of its consultation response and found the majority (57%) agreed flexible working requests should be a day-one right. Encouragingly, over a third (36%) of organisations already accept requests for flexible working from day one of employment.

CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese commented: “Flexible working is good for inclusion and providing opportunities for people who want or need to be able to work more flexibly, as well as being good for their overall wellbeing and performance. A day-one right to request will require employers to think about how jobs can be done flexibly, and encourage them to promote jobs and roles as open to flexible working.”

The CIPD’s findings were covered by titles including People Management, HR News and Wales 247

Encouraging flexibility for employees as the pandemic continues

The CIPD issued a response to the Prime Ministers updated working from home guidance in England, encouraging employers to be flexible over the coming weeks with the expected rise in COVID-19 Omicron variant cases. CIPD chief executive Peter Cheese said:

“Many businesses and their people have learned how to work remotely at scale and at speed during the pandemic so will be well placed to respond to this change in guidance. Reducing the number of people in workplaces when they can work from home is the sensible thing to do while infections are climbing and we’re still learning about Omicron, keeping individuals safe and businesses staffed.”

The CIPD’s statement was covered by the Financial Times and HR Magazine. 

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