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The survey continues to monitor market trends regarding employee recruitment, retention, pay and bonus levels alongside our customers’ ongoing concerns, on areas such as the gender pay gap reporting requirements and the apprenticeship levy. Initial trends are emerging from the responses received so far that we wanted to share with you.


Business activity projections for 2018

The survey captures the usual pay and bonus outlook for the year. We have noted that growth has been cautious over the last few years but business activity headlines so far project an overall positive growth story even amidst the Brexit negotiations, with just over half of our respondents expecting business activity to increase over the next twelve months. Similarly, the initial picture of anticipated turnover remains stable.


How UK organisations are managing gender pay reporting

Planning is generally underway, with 48 per cent of respondents having completed their overall planning but 18 per cent are still at the initial planning stage.The question for many organisations is when they will be in a position to publish their data. Seven per cent of respondents are not required to publish their data on the gender pay gap, as these organisations have less than 250 employees. For those required to publish their gender pay statistics, the majority said that it was too early to tell when they would publish data. The remaining respondents were split over the next few months until the cut-off date of April 2018. The most popular month amongst respondents planning to publish was December 2017, followed by January 2018.

Concerns about the reporting continue to centre on how employers meet the requirements when they operate in a male-dominated industry; effectively communicating what it means to employees; and the negative perception of results.


The effect of the apprenticeship levy

Over one third of respondents had a positive reaction to the introduction of the levy. 40 per cent anticipate the number of apprentices will increase as a result of the levy’s introduction.

Our survey report will also detail the average salaries of apprentices and the percentage increase in the number of apprentices that the levy has promoted. It will also capture how organisations have used the levy, for instance to expand the range of jobs offered via apprenticeships or convert other forms of training into apprenticeships.

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