Pay, productivity, tribunal claims and employee voice: Acas key workplace issues in 2018

 

Sir Brendan Barber of Acas predicts that 2018’s key workplace issues will be pay, productivity, tribunal claims and employee voice in the boardroom.

The chair of Britain’s top employment relations service has published a blog outlining key areas for 2018 that include fresh focus on people in the industrial strategy and the challenge of improving UK productivity.

Sir Brendan says “Right across the economy, living standards are facing a squeeze. As was recognised in the new industrial strategy recently, improving the UK’s productivity is the key challenge that can deliver higher living standards.

“I welcome the focus on people in the industrial strategy, as the quality of workplace relations is crucial to business performance and innovation. The year ahead may see elements of the strategy being put into practice and Acas stands ready to play its part.”

Sir Brendan also comments on the upcoming end of the consultation period for the Financial Reporting Council’s new Corporate Governance Code. This will provide guidance around how companies can ensure workers have a greater voice in boardrooms and has the potential to enable a new recognition of the importance of workplace relations in economic performance.

He also notes that demand for Acas’ Early Conciliation service increased by more than 20% in the two months following last July’s Supreme Court ruling abolishing tribunal fees and that there has been a 60% increase in tribunal claims on the same period for the previous year. 

Given that all large employers must publish the differences between men’s and women’s pay in April, Sir Brendan predicts that pay will be high on the agenda throughout 2018, with potential for challenging disputes in the public sector created by tensions around pay not rising in line with inflation. 

Sir Brendan concludes by saying “Whatever the challenges in the year ahead Acas will continue to encourage good workplace relations through its advice and helping to resolve disputes when they arise.”

Thursday, 4 January 2018

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