Champion diversity and inclusion
Employers are increasingly scrutinising their record when it comes to embedding diversity into their practices and wider culture. The business case is unrelenting. In 2020 Goldman Sachs refused to allow companies to go public unless they had one diverse board member and Nasdaq is setting gender and diversity targets for listed companies with binding targets demonstrating how diversity data is no longer a luxury. Ethnicity pay gap reporting is set to be the next corporate governance measure that comes into effect to monitor the steps that companies are taking to be more reflective of the societies they operate in.
31 March for the public sector and 5 April for the private and voluntary sectors – these are the dates for the mandatory publication of gender pay gap figures in the UK in 2022. Organisations will publish reports on their websites and on the gender pay gap reporting portal this year, with no leeway provided to account for a later date of October being allowed in 2021 to account for the upheaval of the pandemic. The narrative will therefore be even more important this year, to set any figures in the context of the pandemic and account for the potential impact of furlough.
Communicate a clear plan around new ways of working
Our UK Reward Management Survey revealed that only 57 per cent had implemented a concrete ‘new way of working’ policy. For many, they will still be defining what this looks like. As the hospitality sector was affected at its busiest time of the year, the Chancellor announced further funds for the sector which by this point will hopefully have helped many businesses to weather the winter storm and thrive throughout the summer in trading opportunities. For others who have enjoyed flexible working throughout the pandemic, a YouGov survey has revealed that half would consider leaving their company if this flexibility was removed. Therefore, agreeing a pattern of work that is fair to all and balances individual preferences will be important for many employers as they head towards a summer where fewer restrictions will be required.
Respondents to our UK Reward Management Survey predicted that by the end of 2021, one in three employers expected to have all employees return to the office but this is likely to have been affected by rising cases and working from home advice in the lead up to Christmas. To date, the expectation was for employees to be in the office around one to two days a week, which is anticipated to increase to two to three days by August 2022.
Future-proof your business
September is always in step with the opportunities that a new school year presents – there is plenty of scope and opportunity to be setting goals that teams wish to achieve ahead of Christmas. Many take the recruitment drive opportunities that careers fairs and university fairs offer. Now, more often than not, they have been held virtually, but they pose an important opportunity to recruit candidates. Having discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion in 2022, employers that offer careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are particularly active in sourcing talent and challenging gender stereotypes in these fields. This can encourage new talent into the industry, sourcing relevant skills and resources.
Agree your New Year Resolutions
As the end of the year will be in sight, the focus turns to objectives for next year and what will be the trends that define 2023. Keeping track of market fluctuations throughout the year and long-term plans will help with setting the priorities for the year ahead – whether this will be the year that you widen your Equal Pay Audit from a targeted sense check to a comprehensive audit that gives you full peace of mind or whether you examine the foundations of your framework of pay through a full job evaluation system, now is the time that many HR professionals look ahead to the budget they need to ring-fence.
Get in touch
As the market takes shape for 2022, things are evolving quickly. Salary pressures are being fuelled by media reporting and will factor into recruitment and retention challenges for the year. There is value in accessing accurate data which reflects the market to benchmark against role type and sector – ensuring you remain competitive in your reward packages to retain the talent you need to plan ahead and remain agile.
There is also value in sharing and getting a live view on how companies are planning ahead and adapting to the challenges they face, so consider joining us for our sector-specific HR Groups in 2022. We’d welcome the opportunity to discuss your plans for meeting the challenges 2022 has in store.