Category Archives: Legislation

Survey finds job changes for many after maternity leave

Posted on March 18, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

A recent survey carried out by Slater & Gordon found that many women experience a change to their job of some kind during maternity leave and even when returning to the workplace.

Around 1000 women took part in a poll which found that nearly 50% had a change to their jobs upon returning to work. 15% even found that their role had been removed completely whilst on maternity leave. The results go on to reveal that nearly 40% felt that their role had some degree of change when they returned and sadly 4% had their job ended through redundancy.

Surprisingly, many of the women questioned did not make an issue of any changes as they either didn't want to damage their career and future progression, some were actually unsure of their legal rights and unfortunately, some didn't know who to speak to.

Over 25% of the candidates in the poll declared that any flexible arrangements were declined and two fifths had applications blocked for part-time requests.

Samantha Mangwana, an employment lawyer at Slater & Gordon described the survey findings as “sad and shocking”.

“New mothers are especially vulnerable since it is often the first time they are wholly responsible for another life,” she said. “Yet, mothers continue to suffer unfairly when returning to work.

“It is against the law to be sacked or treated unfairly because you are pregnant or taking maternity leave. Be reassured that these legal protections are there – and they are strong.”

Posted in Legislation

Nursery costs 'double' in decade..

Posted on March 6, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

The rising cost of childcare has doubled in parts of Britain over the last decade.

Full-time nursery fees for a family can cost up to around £11,000. This figure has been compared to private school fees. Parents have raised concerns that it is almost similar to paying a second mortgage.

Many families are finding it a strain to manage with the demand of such increasing costs alongside living expenses too. Costs for a child under 2 has risen above an inflation rate of 4.2 percent, which is just under £110 per week for 25 hours. Even after school clubs fees are rising and would now cost around £50 for a 15 hour a week support mechanism.

Anand Shukla, chief executive of Daycare Trust and the Family and Parenting Institute said: 'The survey makes clear that, from a parent's perspective, costs are increasingly difficult to manage which is a finding that should concern us all.
'Families are being expected to pay more for their child's nursery place - an average of £14,000 per year in London - than the fees for many private schools - and this cannot continue.'
The survey regularly asks local authorities to report the price that parents pay for different forms of childcare in their area.

The government is still tackling the problem which is stalled by the coalition not agreeing on reforms. There still needs more support from the coalition.

Posted in Legislation

Government go ahead with plans for men to share maternity leave

Posted on February 6, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

The Coalition have just yesterday published an overhaul in the law which plans to change the rights of men which will enable the sharing of maternity leave.

The maternity rules currently allow the mother to take up to 52 weeks maternity leave. 39 weeks can be paid at varying rates. Basically the mother must take up to two weeks leave, however after this timeframe, they can openly nominate that their husband or partner to take some or all of the remaining time off. The liability of confirming arrangements will fall with the employers of both parents to ensure there is no doubling up. There has already been major concerns from small businesses who believe they will be largely effected, mainly by large costs.

The illusion of mothers staying at home will begin to shift even further, as more women may opt to return to work earlier and a higher percentage of men will decide to take time off to be with their children. There is already estimated to be between two and eight percent of eligible fathers to take up the offer of extra leave, purely as they earn more money in the household.

Posted in Legislation

Cable gives one last push for boardroom equality

Posted on January 31, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary has given a final push to several FTSE 100 companies who still have only male boardroom members.

Yesterday, 30th January, the Business Secretary urged some of the remaining businesses to seriously consider equality on their boards.

He individually has written to each of the companies - Antofagasta, Glencore, Croda, Kazakhmys, Xstrata, Vedanta and Melrose pressing them to increase their female representation.

This move by Vince Cable was considered a final government push to these FTSE 100 companies to take responsibility of their position on gender equality.

Since 2010 there has been significant improvement across some of UK's largest companies where the number of "male only" boards has fallen from 21 to 7, which has been described as "real progress"

The government still believes there is room for further improvement in pushing more diverse executive environments. He went on to add "Diverse boards are better boards benefiting from fresh perspectives, opinions and new ideas which ultimately serve the company's long term interest,"

Posted in Legislation

Hike in childcare costs over last quarter

Posted on January 22, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (1)

The steep rises in childcare and in particular over the past three months are affecting parents returning to the workplace.

The research for the report conducted by leading childcare search website, found that the cost of childcare had risen by 6% in the last quarter. The impact of such findings resulted in more parents not being able to return to the workplace as they simply cannot afford it.

Interestingly the main increases to hit families was by parents living in London were they saw an increase in childcare costs rise to around 40%. Over half the parents who took part in the research felt that the government are simply not doing enough to support parents back to the workplace.

Over 1000 parents took part in the questionnaire they were asked to rank barriers to getting childcare from 1 to 5 and cost was the main concern, followed by safety, location and availability. Overall, a clear conscience was the least concern, but mums are still feeling guiltier about leaving their children than dads are with 7.2% of mothers and 4.5% of fathers ranking conscience as their number one childcare concern.

Other findings were that eight out of 10 parents said digital technology enhanced their child's early years' development although fewer childcare professionals agreed at 78%.

Posted in Legislation

Working mums to be given support towards child care

Posted on January 7, 2013 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

The coalition has published it's mid-term programme today which includes good news for working mums wishing to return to the workplace.
Working mothers will be given thousands of pounds-worth of support for child care to help them to return to work, under plans being considered by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

The news may ease some financial pressure from families as the government plans to allow parents to claim up to nearly £2,000 from tax paid which will contribute towards nursery day care and child minding fees.

The new proposal which should be confirmed by next week has been set-up to replace the inherited complex voucher and allowance scheme. This should ease the estimated £1 million women back into the workplace who are missing out because of extortionate childcare costs. Britain is the most expensive country in Europe for childcare costs which deters many women returning to work when they pay out a huge proportion of their salaries.

In the joint foreword to the review, which sets out the policy direction of the Coalition over the next two and a half years, Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg insist that the Tory/Liberal Democrat government is “steadfast and united”.
They say: “We will support working families with their childcare costs. We will build more houses and make the dream of home ownership a reality for more people. We will set out plans for long-term investment in Britain’s transport infrastructure.
“We will set out two big reforms to provide dignity in old age: an improved state pension that rewards saving and more help with the costs of long-term care.
“And as we take these steps to reshape the British state for the 21st century, we will take further steps to limit its scope and extend our freedoms.”

Posted in Legislation

Consultation period for redundancies halved

Posted on December 22, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

The government has recently made an announcement that changes to employment legislation will include reducing the consultation period for large-scale redundancies from ninety to forty five days. The changes are suggested to "minimise uncertainty and boost flexibility".

The thinking behind this change in legislation is that companies making 100 people or more redundant would enhance "certainty and flexibility" for workers and employers, said ministers.

The government has listened to organisations and felt that there was a strong case for reducing the minimum consultation which is supported by strong evidence.

Employment relations minister Jo Swinson says “The process is usually completed well within the existing 90-day minimum period, which can cause unnecessary delays for restructuring, and make it difficult for those affected to get new jobs quickly.”

“Our reforms will strike an appropriate balance between making sure employees are engaged in decisions about their future, and allowing employers greater certainty and flexibility to take necessary steps to restructure.”

The proposals were supported by business groups and the CIPD who felt that the longer period of consultation had no benefit to companies and employees.

Mike Emmott, the CIPD’s employee relations adviser, said that the new 45-day consultation period would still offer reasonable statutory protection for employees.

The TUC was quick to criticise the decision by the government and said it would not boost employers' hiring confidence or support job creation. They felt the government have now made it easier to sack people.

The new legislation will be effective from April 2013.

Posted in Legislation

Business Secretary urges search co's to produce gender data

Posted on December 3, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (0)

The Business secretary Vince Cable, has applied pressure on search firms to demonstrate their placement of women by supplying gender data.
The imbalance in the UK is still a major concern and therefore, by presenting such data would highlight which companies are taking the gender equality seriously and are prepared to conform.

Vince Cable was clear in his statement which would provide the transparency the UK needs. 
“Headhunters have a crucial role to play in making sure there is a diverse pool of talent for business to choose from,” said Cable. “So we are urging them to fish in a bigger pond, to identify new talent and to shine a spotlight on the selection and appointments.”

Speaking at a recent City event, Cable urged many search companies to start creating development plans around talent to ensure there was a healthy pipeline of highly experienced female executives available over an continuous period. This would be expected to factored into their working practices.

The acceptance from business leaders to place gender equality at the top of their agenda has been recognised by many business leaders to increase the number of females on boards. This view has improved only very recently which is great starting point.

A recent report published by Cranfield School of Management found that women account for 17.4 per cent of FTSE 100 companies and 12 per cent of FTSE 250 board positions. Interestingly, over the past year, new appointments going to women in FTSE 100 companies rose to just under 45 per cent and 37 per cent in FTSE 250 businesses.

Posted in Legislation

Companies must show number of female staff

Posted on October 21, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (1)

Only just last week the Department for Business has announced that listed companies must reveal the number of women they employ to identify any inequality in the workplace.

From the end of 2013, businesses will be forced to produce gender audits highlighting a clear number of men and women they employ to offer transparency.
Currently, women just make up 16% of UK board roles and the recommendation has been pushed along by Lord Davies. He continues to urge companies to hire more talented women into senior management roles.

The real focus of the Department for Business is to highlight gender inequality in companies and they won't be able to hide.

Business minister Jo Swinson said: “It’s widely acknowledged that the UK leads the world in standards of annual reporting, and that those standards are rising every year. However, over a period of years reports have become longer, more complex and increasingly difficult for shareholders to navigate.

In addition to revealing the gender numbers, in 2013 businesses will also have to reveal the levels of pay.
Many equality campaigners have backed to move including Helen Wells, Director of the Charity - Opportunity Now. She goes on to say" “These amends show just how effective the Lord Davies review has been for addressing the progression of women on boards in the UK. Intent is being converted into action, without the need for quotas.
“Together, they not only encourage long-term organisational change and the development of talent pipe-lines, but make it easier for shareholders to hold companies to account. We encourage shareholders and investors in these companies to deliver on this task.
“We fully support these changes as they will enable investors and shareholders to identify gender imbalances and better understand where the barriers to progression for women are in the organisation."
She added there is "absolutely" a need for greater transparency in how organisations report on "workforce metrics and gender equality and diversity".

Posted in Legislation

Companies achieve target of more women on boards

Posted on July 4, 2012 by allmumkind | Comments (175)

Some of Britain’s leading companies have achieved the government’s target of having at least a quarter of their boards being female. This is represented by one in five FTSE 100 companies.

The Professional Boards Forum has revealed that 16.7% of FTSE 100 companies are now held by women, which has increased by 12.5% since 2010. This is a positive achievement as the target has been set for 2015 by the government, so it demonstrates businesses are taking action.

The former Trade Minister Lord Davis had indicated in his report of 2011 that just over 90 seat must go to females by this target date of 2015.

Some of the FTSE 100 businesses which are highlighted as making the changes are Diageo, Marks and Spencer, Pearson and GlaxoSmithKline. These companies have already successfully achieved their target well ahead of this date.

Posted in Legislation