Tag: Employer

10% of women experiencing menopause have left the workforce

A new standard for businesses on menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace has been published by the UK’s national standards body, The British Standard Institution (BSI).

The free standard offers guidance to workplaces on how to accommodate and support employees experiencing menstruation, perimenopause and menopause.

It was developed with input from large businesses, government health bodies, charities and public consultation.

Anne Hayes, Director of Sectors at the BSI said the guidance will help employers support and retain female employees.

According to HR Magazine, Anne she said: “Working practices have changed and we now live in a time where more women are having long and successful careers. At the same time, some employees and stakeholders are becoming more aware of the importance of wellbeing at work.

“Developing workplaces in which menopause and menstruation are destigmatised and supported can enable organisations to better retain workers that experience severe symptoms and who might otherwise have considered leaving the workforce.”

Research from gender equality charity the Fawcett Society found 10% of women experiencing menopause have left the workforce due to their symptoms rising to 25% for those with more severe symptoms. Symptoms can include hot flushes, dizziness, insomnia, muscle and joint stiffness.

Hayes said the first step employers should take to support staff going through menopause is to break down the taboo around it.

She added: “A business can start by considering the existing workplace culture to determine whether there is a general awareness of menstruation and menopause, and whether employees are given appropriate opportunities for open conversation or to request support.

“In workplace cultures where menstrual health is openly discussed and employees and organisations work collaboratively to identify appropriate support or adjustments, employees perform at their best.”

The BSI guidelines ask businesses to consider whether there is a general awareness of menstruation and menopause, and whether employees are given opportunities for open conversations or to request support in the workplace.

It also gives guidance on training for line managers and how to create a comfortable environment for employees who are menstruating or going through menopause.

Other topics covered include considering menstrual health in relevant policies like sickness absence and flexible working.

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Unemployment rates showing positive trends

The most recent data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia reveals that Malaysia’s unemployment rate in March stood at 3.5%, reflecting a decrease of 0.6% compared to the previous year.

When compared to February 2023, the unemployment rate remained stable in March.

Throughout March, the number of individuals without employment continued to decline, registering a 0.5% drop to 588,700 persons. This represents a substantial decrease of 12.0% compared to the same period last year.

On a positive note, the number of individuals with employment displayed an upward trajectory, experiencing a 0.2% increase (+33,700 persons) in March. The total number of employed persons reached 16.22 million, compared to 16.19 million in February. Over the course of the year, this figure grew by 2.9%.

Moreover, the labor force expanded in March, witnessing a 0.2% growth (+30,500 persons) to reach 16.81 million individuals. In February, the labor force stood at 16.78 million persons. Comparatively, this represents a 2.3% increase over the year.

Conversely, March’s labor force participation rate remained steady at 69.9% compared to the previous month, but demonstrated a positive growth of 0.7% over the year.

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Japanese firms embrace ChatGPT for recruitment process

According to a report by The Mainichi, approximately 70% of recruitment staff at private firms in Japan have stated that their desire to hire candidates would not be influenced by the use of the ChatGPT chatbot for creating CVs, coversheets, and other screening materials. This information comes from a survey conducted by staffing firm Workport, which involved 139 human resource officers from companies across the country between May 9th and 16th.

Out of the respondents, 75.5% stated that the use of interactive artificial intelligence software by mid-career job applicants would not impact their hiring decision, while only 22.3% mentioned it would discourage them from considering such candidates. Some of those who expressed indifference towards the use of ChatGPT stated that they focused more on assessing work experience and achievements rather than the candidates’ writing skills.

When asked about the possibility of banning ChatGPT in the recruitment process, 71% of respondents said they had no plans to do so. The survey added that even if a ban were implemented, distinguishing between the chatbot’s writing and that produced by humans would be challenging, and some firms might be skeptical about establishing strict rules regarding the use of this technology.

Workport also conducted a survey in April, involving 480 individuals aged between their 20s and 40s, regarding ChatGPT. Nearly a third of the respondents (31%) confirmed that they had used a chatbot when attempting to change jobs. Many of them utilized the chatbot for composing and revising their written materials for job applications and other recruitment-related documents.

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UK employees spend less time in the office than global counterparts

Flexible-working is the new battleground for talent – with a number of employers and employees at odds with ways of working. The battle lines have been drawn up; one side UK workers, are spending less time in the office than any other country, while on the other is the UK’s Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, strongly urging employees to get back into the office to boost productivity. The clash of the cultures continues.

The conflict between flexible working vs working in the office rages on with no signs of abating. Last month Jeremy Hunt called for working in the office to be the new “default” contradicting the UK worker’s drive to work from home. He believes workers who permanently work from home are missing out on building team spirit and the “water cooler moments,” adding: “There’s nothing like sitting around a table, seeing people face to face.”  While admitting hybrid working had its benefits – especially for those with caring commitments and mobility issues – he worries long term about the “loss of creativity.”


This is backed up by research from Right Management UK arguing 38% of senior business leaders believe remote workers are less likely to spend any time with their senior managers and 26% of senior leaders say hybrid workers are less likely to be considered for promotion.

However, this isn’t a view echoed by all industry leaders, with some believing flexi-working is critical to businesses retaining the best talent and maintaining a competitive edge, Paul Devoy, CEO of Investors in People, said the chancellor was looking at remote and flexible working through a: “Very narrow lens – especially as his opinions on office work bestows some mythical magic on the office.”

According to a recent study; Returning for Good, a Unispace Global Workplace Insights report,  it appears UK employees are firmly in the driving seat when it comes to knowing where and how they want to work – with only 34% of UK employees currently in the office four or more days a week – below the global average of 50%. Despite these comparatively low attendance levels, employees want to reduce the number of days spent in the workplace even further, with just 21% of workers in the UK currently happy to spend four or more days per week in the office.

This data highlights a gaping misalignment between the expectations of employers and employees, with 74% of UK firms expecting increased office attendance compared to only 53% of UK workers expecting to eventually be in the office at least four days a week. In the war for talent, enforcing working from home policies could be greatly damaging for employers with career progression at risk with 75% of businesses stating this is limited for hybrid workers. Some believe hybrid working has a negative impact on not only career progression, but also; pay rises, promotions and bonuses.

With the increasing demand for flexi-working, it appears, the mindset of employees keen to balance their personal and professional lives is unlikely to change – especially during the cost-of-living crisis driving up transport costs, for this reason alone, it makes economic sense to work from home.

Aside from recognising that many frontline workers are unable to work from home – no one can deny that hybrid working is here to stay in the UK – employers can’t push the genie back into the bottle! For working harmony, employers need to adapt and find a compromise which supports both business productivity and staff wellbeing. It comes down to a balancing act between meeting the needs of the business as well as the expectations of the current staff, as well as attracting and retaining the best talent. Rolling back on the flexibility gains seems counter intuitive and a huge step backwards and will certainly hinder an employer’s fight for hard-won talent.

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Education and healthcare industries make the top five

According to a report by The Business Standard, the staffing industry in India is experiencing significant demand for fresh graduates. Data from foundit, a company formerly known as Monster India, reveals that the staffing industry currently represents 22% of the overall demand for fresh graduates with less than two years of work experience. Following closely behind are the IT software and software services sector, accounting for 19%, and the business process outsourcing sector, accounting for 10%. The education and healthcare industries also make the top five list, with market shares of 5% and 4% respectively.

Foundit also highlights Bengaluru as the city with the highest demand for freshers, holding a substantial market share of 12.4%. Bengaluru also offers the most competitive salaries for fresh graduates. Interestingly, recent trends indicate a growing preference for in-office work. As of May, a significant majority of job postings (92%) across various industries were for in-office roles, with 4.2% of job postings for hybrid models and 3.8% for work-from-home roles. This suggests a shift away from remote work arrangements among companies.

It is important to note that the staffing industry has emerged as the top sector for fresh graduates in India, as per the latest data. Bengaluru stands out as the city with the highest demand and best remuneration opportunities for newcomers. Additionally, the prevailing preference for in-office roles among employers reflects a noticeable shift from remote work practices.

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The rise of ESG as a business imperative

Employers are currently confronting a crucial moment when it comes to focusing on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, driven by the societal, geopolitical, and economic challenges of recent years. With workplace flexibility, equity and diversity, and the pressing climate crisis at the forefront, companies are under increasing pressure to take meaningful action. ESG has become not just a moral imperative but also a business necessity. While sustainability initiatives have dominated the ESG conversation, attention is now shifting towards the social aspect, encompassing the goals companies establish, monitor, and share.

In the year 2023 and beyond, there are three key social areas that companies should prioritize. The past couple of years have blurred the boundaries between personal and professional lives for many of the 160 million individuals in the U.S. workforce, leading to feelings of isolation and widespread burnout. Disturbingly, in 2022, 2 out of 5 workers reported that their mental health had been negatively affected by their work environment. High levels of stress among employees can result in increased absenteeism and reduced engagement, ultimately impacting a company’s bottom line.

Fortunately, by prioritizing mental health and personal development, employers can foster a positive cultural shift. Implementing initiatives like “mental health” or “no meeting” days, wellness breaks, and short-term disability coverage can significantly boost company morale. Particularly during uncertain times, building a culture of trust and flexibility has been proven to enhance employee engagement, productivity, talent retention, and overall satisfaction.

Equality, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility have long been essential targets for most companies’ social goals. It has become customary for companies to collect and disclose data on how they ensure equality across racial, cultural, generational, gender, and other dimensions, including intersectionality. Astonishingly, 76% of job seekers consider a diverse workforce when evaluating potential employers. Diverse companies experience 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee, and those that prioritize gender diversity are 15% more likely to surpass their industry’s median financial returns.

Mentorship and sponsorship are powerful tools to bolster employee morale and engagement. Recent research indicates that inclusive mentorship programs play a pivotal role in attracting and retaining diverse talent, with women and minority groups recognizing the value of mentorship and sponsorship in their career development. It comes as no surprise that companies aiming to “make a difference” will continue to play a significant role in 2023 and beyond. Employees and consumers expect the companies they support to stand for something, with 70% stating that their sense of purpose is derived from their work.

Companies must leverage employees’ sense of purpose to guide executive decisions and track the progress of their commitments. Employees need to see their leaders not only talk about these values but also act upon them. Initiatives that are easy to implement, such as volunteer days, fundraisers, donation-matching, and environmental pledges to combat the climate crisis, exemplify mutual aid and can greatly benefit a company’s workforce as well as the planet.

In many ways, the tumultuous early 2020s accelerated progress in addressing long-overdue issues. Employees, shareholders, and consumers have clearly expressed the values they prioritize, and companies must listen and respond accordingly. The companies that invest in, measure, and transparently communicate progress on their social programs will thrive. Will your company be among them?

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Families face challenges in child care

According to a report from child care provider Bright Horizons on May 15, working parents are facing challenges in achieving work-life balance, child care, and combating loneliness, despite the flexibility offered by remote work arrangements.

Approximately 58% of working parents expressed relief and fulfillment from increased schedule flexibility. However, remote or hybrid work settings can lead to feelings of isolation. Around 47% of respondents reported only interacting with individuals in their household, while 41% said they went days without stepping foot outside their homes. Gen Z and Millennial parents appeared to be particularly impacted by these difficulties.

Bright Horizons CEO, Stephen Kramer, stated, “Many working parents are facing personal and professional struggles. While they have embraced a more flexible work environment, unintended consequences have emerged, affecting their mental well-being and ability to manage their responsibilities.”

Kramer emphasized the need for employers to step in and address these challenges, calling for well-defined benefit programs, mental and professional support services, and access to high-quality child and adult care.

A survey involving over 2,000 U.S. working parents revealed that 40% lacked access to the necessary child care, with 41% citing cost as a major barrier. This shortage of child care also affected work productivity, as half of the parents stated that their job performance suffered due to stress related to child care concerns.

The report discovered that many working parents are seeking assistance from their employers. Roughly half expressed a desire for more support, such as financial assistance for child care, on-site child care facilities, or the establishment of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) specifically for child care expenses. Emergency child care and regular child care services were among the top five benefits that employees believed would incentivize them to stay with their current company.

Nationally, the absence of reliable child care is resulting in a loss of approximately $122 billion in earnings, productivity, and revenue annually for parents, employers, and taxpayers, as revealed by a recent report. For employers, this translates to over $1,600 in reduced revenue per working parent.

To address this issue, the Biden administration has proposed a budget that includes measures for affordable child care, universal preschool, and up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. While it is uncertain whether these provisions will pass Congress in their entirety, certain aspects may gain bipartisan support and become more popular among employers.

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42% report higher attrition since implementing those policies

According to a new study by global workplace creation company, Unispace, employers across the globe report losing key employees due to return-to-office mandates, with recruitment also being impacted by enforced returns. However, companies are failing to recognise the drivers of workers’ reluctance to return to the workplace, and likewise, the opportunities and value that the physical workplace provides. That is according to a new study by global workplace creation experts Unispace.

Returning for Good, a Unispace Global Workplace Insights report – which combined the results of a survey of 9,500 employees and 6,650 employers from 17 countries worldwide – found that, of the 72% of companies globally that say they have mandated office returns, 42% now report a higher level of employee attrition than anticipated, while almost a third (29%) are struggling to recruit altogether.

The study found that employees are less reluctant to return to the office (51%) than they were in 2021 (64%). With a current reluctance of one in two employees however, there is still much to be done to engage the workforce.

Employers indicate notably higher levels of confidence around talent attraction activities carried out in the office when compared to remote, particularly for recruitment (89% versus 73%) and training new staff (84% versus 70%).

An overwhelming majority of employers (84%) also indicated that career prospects would be limited to those who work exclusively from home.

Three in four business leaders surveyed (75%) indicated that they have increased their real estate portfolio in the last two years, with companies across APAC reporting the highest rates of growth. This expansion includes talent attraction and revenue-generating trends such as creating hospitality spaces by 44% of firms.

Employers currently failing to recognise what employees need and value most

The study also revealed that employers have not recognised the challenges that employees have with their current workplace set up. The majority (58%) of workers indicated that they struggle to carry out their core job in the office due to distractions. Meanwhile, 83% of employers say they believe that the office is set up to allow their employees to be productive.

Employers also underestimate key workplace dislikes. Employees put a premium on productivity and personal space – citing missing the privacy they can access at home (31%), the ability to be more effective in a quiet environment away from the office (27%) and feeling more productive at home (23%) as top dislikes. In comparison, employers suggested that the commute was the biggest barrier to getting workers back into the workplace.

Joanna Fagbadegun, Sales Director at Lorien commented: “The results of the Unispace study don’t come as a huge shock – the culture clash between employees and employers in relation to returning to the office has been brewing for several months now. When I talk to clients, contacts, colleagues, friends and family about work, the discussion inevitably turns to remote vs hybrid, but more importantly – choice. Choice around which days and/or how many days you work from home vs the office. As prospective candidates and employees emerge into post-pandemic life it’s not one size fits all, and I think the increased desire to see staff return to the office comes at an incredibly tricky time; in the UK we’re dealing with record interest rates, unreliable public transport due to strikes, high costs of commuting… and to top it all off, your lunchtime sandwich and drink rarely leave you with much change from a tenner anymore.

The Unispace study reflects findings from Lorien’s recent UK candidate sentiment research survey, “What Tech Candidates Want”. We discovered that no under 25s surveyed want to work in the office full time, and that 61% of 35–44-year-old candidates surveyed wanted to work remotely all of the time.

It’s hard to say which way it will go as the market shifts away from being so dominantly candidate-led. I suspect there is a mental game of ‘chicken’ being played between employers and employees in relation to the return to the office, and it’s now a case now of who will blink first!”

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42% of intermediate and junior staff struggle with “boring and unengaging” training

In the face of skills gaps and fierce competition for enhanced services and products, CYPHER Learning, a modern learning platform provider, has conducted research shedding light on the disparity between employers and employees regarding workplace development.

The study’s key findings expose a significant contrast in training opportunities. It reveals that a staggering 88% of business owners and C-level executives enjoy the freedom to choose when, where, and how they undergo training. In stark contrast, only 37% of entry-level employees have the same privilege. Additionally, 42% of owners and C-suite executives who received training in the past year reported having more training compared to the previous year, while just 17% of intermediate or entry-level workers experienced a similar increase.

Moreover, business owners and C-level executives are nearly three times more likely to describe their training as “enjoyable” and at least twice as likely to find it “inspiring” compared to junior employees. Conversely, 42% of intermediate and junior staff struggle with “boring and unengaging” training, with over a third (36%) agreeing that workplace learning and development (L&D) has become synonymous with “death by PowerPoint.”

Graham Glass, CEO of CYPHER Learning, commented: “When someone is starting out their career, that’s usually when they’re most in need of training. Too often, they don’t get it, which can hinder teams and individuals from reaching their full potential. For higher performance, businesses can reset the balance by delivering quality, ‘executive-style’ training to staff at all levels.”

Recognized as a crucial factor in achieving business growth, employee satisfaction, and successful recruitment, learning and development (L&D) holds immense importance. Analyzing the survey responses of 4,000 general workers in US and UK companies with over 500 employees, the survey findings indicate that 98% of all workers consider training important for their roles, with 64% acknowledging that professional development has provided them with a competitive edge. Furthermore, 76% of employees are more likely to remain with employers who prioritize training, as 71% believe that a lack of investment in training reflects a lack of concern for employees. Despite these positive attitudes towards training, a concerning portion of the workforce has not received any training in the past year, with 17% reporting no training.

Among those who have undergone training, a portion has failed to perceive its benefits, including 5% who believe they received no benefit, 31% who feel unprepared for future skills challenges, and 34% who forgot their training within a month of completing it. Notably, 26% of respondents view current training programs as wasteful, offering no business value.

Glass, continued: “Employees clearly place high value on training, which is why it can help to attract top talent. In fact, employees rank training as high a priority as healthcare. But not all training programs are created equal! A system that delivers forgettable, generalised content, or doesn’t keep workers competitive, is less valuable to them and the organisation alike.

It’s crucial that businesses modernise their development programs. But that’s harder with outdated infrastructure, content, and resources. Greater personalisation at scale takes a more agile platform – something that supports competency-based skills development one employee at a time. Such a platform can foster a culture of habitual reskilling that unlocks more potential organisation-wide and keeps the innovation engine purring.”

The research features within CYPHER’s The State of Corporate Learning and Development in 2023: Stuck in the Middle report, which can be downloaded https://www.cypherlearning.com/the-state-of-corporate-learning-and-developement-2023.

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Innova Solutions settles immigration bias claims

Georgia-based IT staffing firm Innova Solutions, formerly known as American CyberSystems Inc., has reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice following allegations of immigration-related bias. The Department of Justice revealed that the company had advertised two positions in a manner that discriminated against certain applicants based on their citizenship statuses.

According to the Department, one of the allegations against Innova Solutions involved a discriminatory advertisement that exclusively targeted US citizens and lawful permanent residents while excluding US nationals, refugees, and individuals seeking asylum. The department further noted that the advertised position required access to materials subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and Export Administration Regulations.

The Department explained that employers are required by law to obtain special authorization from the US government for certain workers if their roles involve accessing export-controlled items. However, under these regulations, US nationals, asylees, and refugees possess the same privileges as US citizens and lawful permanent residents, and no authorization is necessary for employers to share export-controlled items with these workers. Consequently, the Department concluded that Innova Solutions had no justifiable reason to exclude these individuals from the hiring process.

The company faced another allegation for posting a separate job advertisement that specifically targeted workers with temporary work visas, according to the Department.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division emphasized that employers must not engage in unlawful discrimination based on an individual’s citizenship status during the job advertising process. The Department expressed this sentiment in a press release.

As part of the settlement, Innova Solutions has agreed to provide training to its recruiting and human resources staff regarding the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provision. The company will also conduct a comprehensive review of its policies to ensure compliance with relevant laws and will be subject to monitoring and reporting requirements imposed by the Department. Additionally, Innova Solutions will be required to pay a civil penalty.

In response to the settlement, Innova Solutions released a statement to Staffing Industry Analysts, asserting its commitment to inclusive hiring practices and denying any unlawful discrimination or violation of the law. The company, identified as a Minority Business Enterprise, confirmed that it is collaborating with the IER (Immigrant and Employee Rights) to ensure ongoing compliance with the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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