CIPD in the news: tackling racism, promoting fair pay and supporting working carers

A round-up of the CIPD's work to raise the voice of the people profession and champion better work and working lives

The CIPD has continued to share its expertise and insights with media, policy makers and its worldwide community of people professionals over the past two weeks, to help ensure work is a force for good that benefits everyone. This article shares a few highlights. 

Promoting good work and fair pay

Good and fair work is a central theme across everything the CIPD does. On 16 June we published our Working Lives Scotland report, calling on employers to increase their focus on job quality and workplace wellbeing. The report was well publicised across a number of influential publications in Scotland, including The Scotsman, The Herald, Aberdeen Evening Express, Edinburgh Evening News and Heart radio.

And today we published further analysis of UK-wide data from our recently launched Good Work Index, in a blog post asking ‘Can we achieve ‘good work’ for everyone, or are some jobs inherently better than others?’ Jonny Gifford, the CIPD’s senior adviser for oganisational behaviour, concluded that ‘Good work is worth working for in any occupation’ and employers have a ‘moral duty’ to improve job quality.  

Meanwhile, analysis published by the High Pay Centre, reported in the Financial Times this week, brought the fairness of the UK’s largest publicly listed companies’ pay practices under scrutiny once again. It found that the chief executives of FTSE 100 companies that have benefited from government support schemes during the COVID-19 pandemic received higher than average multiples of staff pay. 

Commenting on the report, the CIPD’s Charles Cotton, senior research adviser on pay and reward, told FT readers: ‘It’s reasonable to expect that firms receiving [government support] are seen to manage their employees in a way that is fair and that they open themselves to public scrutiny over their people management practices.’

Tackling racism in the workplace

Recent tragic events and the growing global strength of the Black Lives Matter movement have sadly reminded us of just how deeply rooted racism is in our societies.  As the professional body for HR and people development, we have a clear role to play in addressing racism and we know we need to do more. Over the past few weeks we’ve published a number of statements setting out our commitment to ending racism at work and a range of resources to help the people profession tackle racism in their organisations.   

The resources have proven very popular amongst our social media audiences and more than 2,000 people signed up to our series of webinars on racism and the challenges for HR. Our next issue of People Management magazine, distributed to our community of more than 150,000 members, will also offer a wealth of insights and advice for organisations looking to develop their anti-racism strategies.

We’ve also been continuing our conversations with government on this matter, pressing for the introduction of ethnicity pay gap reporting, in particular. We worked closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on its initial consultation and would like to see this brought into force as soon as possible. More widely we are considering steps to ensure organisations address the issue of bias and racism, as well as progression for those from a minority ethnic background. For example, one proposal could be to introduce targets for racial diversity in the boardroom, as suggested in the 2017 Parker Review.   

Support for working carers

Last week we called on both businesses and government to offer working carers more support, after our new working carers report found that around 1.6 million people in England and Wales are struggling to balance their work and caring responsibilities. A quarter of working carers have considered giving up their job entirely due to the difficulties they face.  

The report highlights the benefits both employees and their employers can reap when carers get the support they need from employers, and we’re asking the Government to introduce five days’ statutory paid carers’ leave. Our findings and recommendations were publicised across a range of HR titles, including Personnel Today, People Management, HR Magazine, Office Insight, and HR News

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