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  • HR Heartbeat: Workplace absence at a 10-year high, three-day working week for over 50s, and…

HR Heartbeat: Workplace absence at a 10-year high, three-day working week for over 50s, and…

Get your employment insights in a hurry. Learn the latest absence trends, the rising national living wage, and find out whether the over 50s are in for a 3-day working week.

Thursday, Oct 05, 2023
2 min read

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

Have you heard the latest news?

Welcome to HR Heartbeat, where we give you a rundown of the week's top employment law stories. Stay on the pulse of current trends impacting your business, plus get up-to-the-minute commentaries on all things HR and legal.

Over 50s could get a three-day working week

Baroness Altmann has called for a three-day working week for the over 50s to help tackle rising unemployment in this age bracket.

Altmann coined the term “preretirement” to describe a phase of life when staff want to cut down their working hours but aren’t quite ready to give up work.

She said there should be more flexible options so we can take steps to normalise a shorter working week for the over 50s.

Ask BrightLightning: Is a flexible working request a permanent change to contract?

Workplace absence at a 10-year high

According to research by CIPD in partnership with Simplyhealth, staff took an average of 7.8 days off work in the past year, up from 5.8 days before the pandemic.

63% of respondents cited health as the primary reason for their absence from work. But did you know that our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) Bright Wellbeing & Counselling has been proven to reduce stress and lower staff absence levels by as much as 45%?

Having an assistance programme in place to support employees is crucial — but there are also lots of other ways you can boost your team’s wellbeing and lower absenteeism. Check out BrightHR’s ultimate guide to workplace wellbeing.

National living wage to rise to £11 hourly

The Chancellor has confirmed that the national living wage rate, payable to those age 23+, will increase to at least £11 by April 2024.

The exact figure is still TBC, but we should have a final confirmed amount before the end of the year.

For more information in the meantime, ask BrightLightning: What’s the difference between the real living wage and the national living wage?

Labour pledges menopause guidance for small businesses

Speaking at the Women in Work Summit, Anneliese Dodds (Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary) announced that, if Labour is elected at the next general election, they would publish menopause guidance specifically aimed at small businesses.

It would outline how smaller employers can support employees going through menopause, such as offering alternatives to uniforms, access to temperature-controlled areas, and allowing flexible working.

October is menopause awareness month so it’s a great time for businesses to review the support that they currently provide and consider whether there is more they can do to support staff.

As part of our Protect package, BrightHR offers access to hundreds of employment policies including an expertly written menopause policy.

You can learn more about our extensive document and template library here.

And that’s a wrap. Tune in next week for more headlines and make sure you stay ahead of major employment law changes!


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