Category: Employers

56% of companies will increase average base pay by 3%

According to research by Payscale, fewer organizations plan to give pay increases this year. It found that only 80% of companies plan to give pay increases this year compared to 92% who planned to do so last year.

However, 56% of organizations say they will increase average base pay by more than 3%, up from 53% of firms last year who planned similarly sized increases.

Payscale also found that the percent of organizations planning to give formal pay increase twice annually has more doubled since last year, and 86% of firms will give raises out of cycle due to inflation, the rising cost of living and in preparation for pay transparency.

The report also found that with pay transparency on the rise, 45% of organizations currently include pay ranges in job postings, up from 22% last year. Additionally, 48% of organizations say pay transparency legislation is driving changes to improve compensation strategy.

Ruth Thomas, Chief Product Evangelist at Payscale commented: “Pay transparency is likely to continue expanding, with new legislation being proposed in more locations to ensure fair pay for employees. This is great news as pay transparency has been shown to help close the gender pay gap. In order to publish pay ranges with confidence, organizations first need to take on internal pay equity.”

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57% of candidates said no feedback from interview was their greatest demotivator

SRG, a UK scientific recruitment organisation surveyed 754 candidates on their biggest blockers to motivation in their job-search. 

According to the survey results, over half (57%) of candidates cited no feedback from a job interview as their biggest blocker. 24% of candidates cited burnout and 10% said staying on top of managing job applications was their biggest blocker as a candidate. Meanwhile 9% said not knowing where to find jobs posed the greatest challenge to maintaining motivation. 

Hannah Mason, Principal Resourcer at Search by SRG said: “In this candidate driven market, businesses often forget the ‘two-way street’ and their interview processes are like interrogations. It is key that businesses are selling themselves to candidates throughout the process as well as highlighting their Employee Value Proposition and culture accurately. Senior and executive candidates are more selective than ever in the opportunities they pursue, and the current model of one-way interviews seldom meets the expectations of high-level candidates.” 

As economic uncertainty in the UK continues, access to best-in-industry talent is more critical than ever to maintain business continuity and futureproof organisational success. 

However, 70% of senior leaders report a lack of confidence in their organisational agility, and just 29% have enough employees to meet current performance requirements. As digitalisation continues to impact industries across STEM and beyond, skills gaps are widening, heightening the competition for talent. 7 in 10 leaders are experiencing major staff shortages and finding recruitment challenging. 

In this climate of scarcity and competitivity, a strong talent attraction strategy is vital. 

Alison Jones, Operations Director at SRG also commented: “Businesses need to hire people, not CVs. Companies need to move beyond approaching CV screening with a tick-box to strategically assessing capability. If a person’s CV meets most of the technical remit, interviewing that individual will extend and improve your talent base. I’ve lost count of the number of applicants rejected on something innocuous, who our consultants have persuaded the client to reconsider, only to go on to be successful for the very role they were rejected for. Our talent pool is diverse; therefore, CVs will be.” 

SRG is the UK’s leading scientific recruitment organisation. SRG provides market-leading services

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Will the popularity of the four-day working week increase the number?

More than 58% of UK workers plan to take on a side hustle in 2023. This is according to the latest findings from CV-Library.

According to the research, side hustle plans are driven by job security (62%) and earning more money (38%). With the increasing cost of living continuing to take its toll, 76.6% of those considering taking on a side hustle this year said they are doing so because they want/need more money. A further 23.4% said they are looking for additional job security in these unpredictable times.

Following the world’s biggest trial of a four-day working week, more companies are predicted to move in this direction. The trial was hailed as a massive success, with 56 out of 61 companies saying they would continue offering a shorter week.

Employees following this working arrangement will gain an extra day per week, which could see people turning their hobbies into side hustles. This allows people to enjoy the security of a main job while pursuing their personal passions and supplementing their incomes.

Lee Biggins, Founder and CEO of CV-Library, comments: “As the economic uncertainty looks set to continue, it’s understandable that so many employees are considering new ways to supplement their income while prioritising their job security.” 

“With unemployment levels at record lows, supporting employees’ side hustles could boost staff loyalty and help retain key talent. However, there are grey areas that businesses need to be mindful of, particularly for those operating a four-day week. The benefits of increased motivation, productivity levels, and mental health along with reduced sickness levels could be counterproductive if staff are dedicating their downtime and attention to a side hustle.”

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Senior managers under more stress than their teams realise, survey reveals

A new survey by HR software provider Ciphr has revealed that the cost-of-living crisis, high inflation and rising prices, and burnout are the biggest causes of stress at work for senior managers.

The survey polled 265 people in senior management and leadership roles at medium and large businesses in the UK. The respondents were asked what issues were causing them the biggest concern or most stress in their job. They were also asked whether they ever felt stressed or anxious before starting a new work week – also known as the ‘Sunday scaries’ or ‘Sunday blues’.

With 47% of the respondents saying that their job is causing them to suffer the ‘Sunday scaries’, it would appear that many senior managers are more overwhelmed by on-the-job stress than their colleagues and direct reports realise.

Of the 47% who admitted to dreading Mondays, 29% said they had experienced this feeling multiple times over the past year. A further 13% said the ‘Sunday scaries’ struck multiple times every month. For 5%, this experience happens every week.

Only 22% of the senior managers claimed not to have experienced the ‘Sunday blues’ while working at their current job or organisation.

The results also revealed that the bigger the workforce size, the greater the occurrence of the ‘Sunday scaries’, with senior leaders at bigger enterprises being more than twice as likely to experience the ‘Sunday scaries’ multiple times a month than those at SMEs (24% vs. 11%).

Survey results suggest that challenges relating to remote employment – and reduced social interaction exacerbate the stress of 18% of senior managers at remote-first organisations. However, with senior managers who have more in-person time in their role, the number falls to 10%.

Even if people don’t experience the ‘Sunday scaries’, they may still be stressed. Ciphr’s research found that 98% of people in senior management and leadership roles – regardless of whether they suffer from the ‘Sunday scaries’ or not feel stressed by at least one thing at work. Eighty-three percent could name three or more work-related stressors.

Interestingly, despite the stress, only 4% of senior managers said that they don’t like their jobs.

The top 15 causes of workplace stress for senior managers:

  • Cost of living crisis (30% of senior managers)
  • High inflation and rising prices (29%)
  • Exhaustion/burnout (22%)
  • Economic downturn (20%)
  • Workload and to-do lists (20%)
  • Unfinished work tasks (20%)
  • Employee retention and staff turnover (17%)
  • Rising interest rates (17%)
  • Business viability and profitability concerns (16%)
  • Wage inflation (16%)
  • Productivity problems (15%)
  • Pressure to perform well / expectations of others (15%)
  • Job security / losing my job (15%)
  • Growing the business / generating new revenue (15%)
  • Leadership responsibilities (14%)
  • Managing other people / the people I manage (14%)
  • Long working hours (14%)
  • Ongoing impact of Covid (14%)

Some common stressors noticeably affect the senior managers that frequently experience the ‘Sunday scaries’ compared to those who don’t:

  • Burnout (27% compared to 18%)
  • Pressure to perform well (20% compared to 10%)
  • Fear of losing their job (20% compared to 10%)
  • Long working hours (19% compared to 9%)
  • Their boss (16% compared to 7%)
  • Conflicts at work (15% compared to 8%)

Claire Williams, Chief People Officer at Ciphr, commented: “Since the pandemic, and with the ongoing impact of the cost-of-living crisis, there has been a lot of focus on the importance of alleviating workplace stress and what employers can do to safeguard their employees’ mental health. But less is said, perhaps, about the huge pressures that people in senior management and leadership roles feel and how stress impacts them.

 “The biggest stressors identified by the senior managers taking Ciphr’s survey can be grouped into three key themes, which orientate around workload, company performance, and their team. This is understandable, as it is expected, to a degree, that senior managers in any organisation will take on the ownership of those responsibilities in managing or leading an organisation. It shows they care, and that they care about the right things.

 “It is, however, important for organisations to be really mindful of the influence that work has on an individual’s stress levels – especially if they are senior management or the CEO – as they may be less likely to discuss how they are feeling. The best way to support them is for organisations to work proactively with their senior managers to either help relieve those stresses, where possible, or give them tools and strategies to cope with those stresses in a more targeted and positive way.

 “Stress, in general, doesn’t always need to be perceived as a negative – lots of people really thrive under stress and high-pressure situations – and produce some of their best work. But when high levels of stress cause anxiety or the Sunday scaries, that’s when increased risks to the business can start presenting themselves, through ill health, higher turnover of senior managers, ineffective leadership, or poor performance. It’s definitely in an employer’s interest to understand how their managers are feeling and what they can do to help, if there’s a problem, before it impacts the wider business.”

The full results are available at

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Adidas, is one of the largest employers in Ho Chi Minh City, with 50,500 workers

Reports by the Straits Times have stated that Taiwan’s Pou Chen Corp, the world’s largest manufacturer of branded sports footwear, plans to cut around 6,000 jobs at its Ho Chi Minh City factory in Vietnam in several phases this year due to weak demand, citing two local officials familiar with the company’s plans. The firm’s PouYuen Vietnam factory will cut 3,000 jobs this month and will not extend the labour contracts for 3,000 other workers later this year, the officials said, who declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to media.

The PouYuen Vietnam factory, which supplies goods to global companies such as Nike and Adidas, is one of the largest employers in Ho Chi Minh City, with 50,500 workers. “The company will prudently respond to the dynamic changes in the business environment,” Pou Chen said in a filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

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Permanent job postings slipped by 27.2%

According to The Jobs Report by the Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association, job postings across New Zealand decreased by 26.7% in the 2022 December quarter when compared to the same time last year.

On a quarterly basis, the number of job postings fell by 22.4% in the last three months of 2022. The decline was driven by a significant decrease in business confidence. Demand remained strong until August but has declined month-on-month since then.

The report found that both permanent (-23.3%) and flexible job postings (-18.4%) fell in the last three months. On a year-on-year basis, permanent job postings slipped by 27.2% while flexible job postings declined by 24.4%.

“Traditionally, when business confidence falls, we see a transition from permanent to flexible arrangements to give employers greater flexibility should conditions deteriorate,” the RCSA stated. “This is not evident currently because many employers are still short staffed and need to build long term capacity.”

Ian McPherson, RCSA Councillor commented, “Both our government and the reserve bank have been talking about belt tightening. In some cases candidates and employers are holding off to see what happens over the next few months. People are moving away from job boards, particularly medium or small businesses. They don’t see the point in advertising when they can use their own channels or utilise their own referral schemes.

“To add to this, the media has been talking about a candidate shortage and the reliance on migrant labour. I think many businesses don’t see the value in advertising at the moment.”

“Christmas can be notoriously slow when it comes to hiring. With a lot of public holidays and downtime, it’s not uncommon for employers to wait out the period before seeking staff but Industry leaders admit, this year was particularly slow,” McPherson said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the next quarter’s data is similar or even quieter.”

The New Zealand Jobs Index is a measure of where job opportunities exist in the New Zealand employment market. Data is collected from employer, recruiter and niche job boards across New Zealand. Repeat advertisements on one site or across multiple sites are de-duplicated to avoid double counting. Artificial intelligence is used to code every job advertisement into a wide range of key fields from which detailed analysis is possible.

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Number of unemployed decreased by around 7,600

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Hong Kong stood at 3.4% in the period from November – January 2022, down from 3.9% during the same period a year ago, according to the latest labour force statistics published by the Census and Statistics Department.

When compared to the previous three-month period ended December 2022, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased from 3.5% in October to December 2022 to 3.4% in November 2022 to January 2023. The underemployment rate also decreased from 1.5% in October to December 2022 to 1.4% in November 2022 to January 2023.

Comparing November 2022 ­– January 2023 with October – December 2022, the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) decreased across almost all the major economic sectors, with more distinct decreases observed in the construction sector and retail sector.

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) decreased by around 7,600 from 126 000 in October – December 2022 to 118,400 in November 2022 to January 2023. Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons also decreased by around 3,200 from 55,300 to 52,100.

Total employment decreased by around 3,100 from 3,665,300 in October to December 2022 to 3,662,200 in November 2022 to January 2023. Over the same period, the labour force also decreased by around 10,700 from 3,791,300 to 3,780,600.

Mr Chris Sun, Secretary for Labour and Welfare, commented: “The unemployment and underemployment situation continued to improve. With the economic activities gradually returned from the epidemic to normalcy, coupled with a rebound in inbound tourism alongside the full resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland, the labour market conditions in the coming months should be further improved.”

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The number of unemployed persons stood at 523,200

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 3.7% last month, the highest it’s been since May of last year but still a decline of 0.5% from the same month last year.

The increase in the unemployment rate is 0.2% higher than the previous month’s rate of 3.5%.

The number of unemployed persons stood at 523,200, down 56,400 compared to the same period last year, but up by 21,900 from the previous month.

The state with the highest unemployment was Tasmania at 4.1%. Victoria, South Australia, and Northern Territory all recorded unemployment rates at 4%. The remaining states were below 4%.

Meanwhile the number of employed persons increased over the year by 394,100 at a rate of 3%. The number, however, declined by 11,500 persons, from 13.73 million to 13.72 million when compared to December 2022.

The number of monthly hours worked in all jobs was at 1.8 billion, up by 9.2% year-over-year, but down by 2.1% from the previous month.

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Or is it rather a four-day work gimmick?  

News agencies have reported on the results of the four-day work week trial and apparently it’s been a resounding success.  

A total of 61 British companies adopted a four-day week for the second half of 2022, with almost 3,000 staff involved and has been trialled for six months.  

The landmark research project run in by the University of Cambridge and Boston College has found that, on average, businesses adopting a four-day working pattern increased their revenues by more than a third. It’s also been said that it improved happiness and lower stress levels among the participating staff. 

 At least 56 businesses said they would continue with the programme, with 18 saying they will adopt the new policy permanently. Only three opted to scrap the scheme at the end of the pilot. 

 It comes amid a fierce debate about how to solve Britain’s long-running productivity crisis. 

Supporters of the four-day week have claimed that has incentivised staff to do more in a shorter period of time but a previous study has suggested that it can in fact make employees less productive and could tip staff towards burnout.  

 According to the Cambridge study, businesses generated 1.4pc more revenue at the end of a six-month trial than they did at the start. 

But when scientists compared the six-month window with a distinct and comparable half-year span they found the four-day work week saw an increase in revenue of 34.5pc. 

Campaigners and academics will present the findings to MPs at an event in the House of Commons today as they claim this is a “major breakthrough” for productivity and the way we work.  

The event is being chaired by Labour MP and former shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd, who introduced the 32-Hour Working Week Bill in October. 

The bill which would reduce the maximum working week from 48 hours to 32 hours, paving the way for a four-day week. 

Employers had to make sure there was no reduction in wages for staff who took part in trialling a 32-hour week. 

At least 56 out of the 61 firms which took part said they plan to continue with the four-day working week, including based in London. 


The research carried out based on the trial has revealed that the number of sick days taken by the 2,900 staff fell by about two-thirds, with 39% of employees saying they were less stressed. 

Marcus Beaver, UKI Country Leader at Alight Solutions commented: “We knew that the four-day work week would increase employee happiness and reduce burnout – now we have the proof that it has tangible business benefits. It’s clear that it’s not about cramming more work in fewer days. It’s about producing better results with the days we’re given. Companies depend on their staff, and with boosted productivity and profits, the system clearly benefits employees and employers.  

“The workforce landscape is changing, and companies must now implement what works best moving forward, or risk being in the past.” 

 Laura Baldwin, President at O’Reilly commented: “When it comes to work schedules, what people really care about is flexibility. It’s not about fourdays or five. Either is still very prescriptive and doesn’t account for the varied reasons many employees want flexibility – for example, to manage five-day-a-week school pick up hours. For the burnt out, overworked employees who went above and beyond during the pandemic, fewer hours, worked flexibly across five days is likely to mean more than a fourday slog.  

“For businesses, the fourdayweek can also create complicated scheduling nightmares – especially for smaller organisations. There needs to be more effort invested in creating real cultures of flexibility, which can best serve employees without forgetting the needs of customers. 

“Quite simply, customers expect (at least) a five-day-a-week service and until every organisation moves to fourdays as standard there will be a very hard balancing act to cut to four. Dropping the ball on customer experience to pay lip service to flexibility is a losing strategy for all. 

“If you’re thinking about a fourdayworkweek, use it as a prompt to ask, what is it that you are really trying to solve? Are you trying to create a shortcut to flexibility? Will this rather drastic move really create the flexibility your employees want? Will it enable work-life balance, but also get the work done? Could it be you are looking for a sticking plaster to bigger issues? Rather than embracing trust and flexibility for your teams, are you just seeking another way to exert control behind a facade of a fourday gimmick?” 

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Absence reported by employees has increased by 29% 

Fruitful Insights, a data and analytics business that quantifies the impact of wellbeing on workforce productivity, has announced the release of its latest research report entitled: Rethinking the future of workplace wellbeing – Managing change in the post-pandemic era. The data, which was collected in the period between May 2021 and November 2022, has shown that absence reported by employees has increased by 29% and presenteeism has increased by 18% during that period.  

The increased volume of absences highlights the uptick in episodes of COVID-19 and in short term illness such as coughs, colds and flu following the end of lockdown and a move back to onsite working, for at least some of the working week. The data also denotes a change in the type of illness being reported with the percentage of mental health issues decreasing slightly. 

These findings come against the backdrop of less than 0.9% improvement in productivity since 2020 and the highest sickness absence rate for a decade. The UK was also set to be the only industrialised country with employment below its pre-pandemic levels at the start of 2023, according to recent analysis by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). 

 Intention to quit suggests new ways of working might not be the employee wellbeing panacea 

Fruitful Insights said the research findings indicate that the new ways of working challenge for office-based employees is still a conundrum, with no clear picture as to preferred working patterns. The findings show that there has been a slight improvement in working relationships, which reflects a return to more normal working patterns, but this is accompanied by a slight increase in the intention to quit which, at 41% overall, remains stubbornly high; staff attrition representing a primary driver of impaired workplace wellbeing. The trend is apparently evident in the Generation X group; with 40% of the group indicating they are now very likely or definitely inclined to leave, compared with 34% previously. Gen X is a key cohort in the working population, representing some of the most experienced and highly skilled in the UK workforce and are costly to replace, says Fruitful. 

Mike Tyler, Chairman and Co-founder of Fruitful Insights, said: “These numbers should represent a wake-up call for employers. Despite everyone’s great sigh of relief as we returned to business as usual, there are still fundamental challenges around workplace wellbeing.”  

The report confirmed the increasing challenge of financial stresses, which was starting to increase at the time the data was collected in Q3, 2022. Again, this signifies another area that will impact on business performance and could be alleviated to some degree with help from employers, claimed Fruitful Insights. 

The determinants of employee wellbeing are complex and necessitate joined-up thinking and measures 

The study findings highlighted differences across the generations. A feeling of social disconnection was felt most keenly by Gen Z and Millennials, respectively. The data indicated they are less able to depend on friends and family, with Gen Zs indicating that they are feeling 17% more disconnected from their local communities than they did during the pandemic.  Respondents also indicated they felt local services (health, transport, social services) had declined. 

Dr Michelle O’Sullivan, Clinical Psychology Advisor at Fruitful Insights also commented: “Despite having been stuck in lockdown, often within their local communities, younger generations continue to show a worrying lack of connection to the people around them, and a reduced reliance on friends and families. Our increasing disconnection from the people we live with, work with, and connect with in our communities is not how we were designed to function as human beings. We are social animals and our mental wellbeing is strongly linked to the quality of our relationships. It’s critical that businesses support great social interactions as part of positive workplace environments and that we make spending time with friends and family easy.” 


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