Clearview National September 2016 - Issue 178 - Page 86

BUSINESSNEWS Record employment rates »»ACCORDING TO FIGURES FROM THE Office for National Statistics (ONS) release in July, between the three months to February 2016 and March to May 2016, the number of people in work increased with 31.70 million people in work, 176,000 more than for the 3 months to February 2016 and 624,000 more than for a year earlier. There were 23.19 million people working full-time, 401,000 more than for a year earlier and 8.52 million people working part-time, 223,000 more than for a year earlier. The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.4%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971. UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN The unemployment rate was 4.9%, down from 5.6% for a year earlier. The last time it was lower was for July to September 2005. There were 1.65 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 54,000 fewer than for the 3 months to February 2016, 201,000 fewer than for a year earlier and the lowest since March to May 2008. The inactivity rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive) was 21.6%, the lowest since comparable records began in 1971, with 8.87 million people aged from 16 to 64 who were economically inactive (not working and not seeking or available to work), 46,000 fewer than for the 3 months to February 2016 and 181,000 fewer than for a year earlier. ‘self-employed workers in the UK increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million’ AVERAGE EARNINGS INCREASE Average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain in nominal terms (that is, not adjusted for price inflation) increased by 2.3% including bonuses and by 2.2% excluding bonuses compared with a year earlier. RISE IN SELF-EMPLOYMENT A separate article also published in July shows that the level of self-employed workers in the UK increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015. Its share of overall employment rose from 11.9% in 2001 to 13.0% just before the economic downturn of 2008-09 and 14.6% in 2015 – a rise of 1.6 percentage points. Of this, 1.2 percentage points came from the part-time self-employed workers. The article finds that self-employed older workers are much more likely than their younger colleagues to make the transition from full-time to part-time working, and account for a larger portion of the growth in this employment mode in recent years. This rarely involves a change of industry and occupation, and is consistent with workers managing their retirement in a different manner. A larger number of workers appear to be choosing part-time self-employment rather than retiring directly. Source: www.ons.gov.uk A SCHEDULE FOR EXIT NEGOTIATIONS IS KEY TO WORKERS’ WELLBEING AND SAFETY »»THE BRITISH SAFETY Council and the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM) joined together to urge the government to publish a schedule and structure for exit negotiations so that employers can develop plans that will assure safety, health and wellbeing of their workforce in the short to medium term. In the letter to Prime Minister Theresa May, the advisory and campaigning bodies warned: “Uncertainty over the future work status of EU nationals in the UK is already causing anxiety and stress, which could adversely impact on the mental health of affected individuals. “In sectors with a heavy reliance on skilled labour from other EU countries, such as healthcare, construction, facilities management and hospitality, there is potential for a skills gap to develop as competent workers choose not to work in the UK. Reduced availability of competent staff will increase the pressure on those that remain causing fatigue and potential for an increase in accidents and poor mental health.” Employers in the UK urgently need a firm and clear schedule for exit negotiations to develop plans ensuring safety and wellbeing of their workforce. For over 40 years Britain has been working hard to manage safety and reduce occupational diseases in the workplace, becoming a recognised world leader. Since the UK has voted to 86 » SE P 2016 PTHHHR BX]HHUK]\XH]\H[H[܈[\H\X\Y[Y]ܚقY\][ۋ8'Y\\\]][ۈ[H\]Z\Y›XZ[Z[\[[\[XHX[[Y]Bوܚ\[HR8'H\YH]\Y]H[[[RTK'HؚX]H]\HšYHXX[[Y[وBY\]]H[Y]ܚ›ۈ]ۈY\][YX][\\ۈ]ܚY[[ܙ\]Z[[YX]B[Y]ܚX\۸&]XB[X\\H\[›ۈ\[\˸'B˘]YKܙ‚ZZHؚ[ۋYY^X]]BوH]\Y]H[[