News in Brief September 2015 UK businesses losing out on £84 billion a year due to poor management Research from Investors in People (IIP) found that UK organisations are missing out on £84bn a year from failing to implement good people management practices. The research shows that the social care industry could benefit from an efficiency gain of 8.9 per cent, while the UK economy as a whole could benefit from an efficiency gain of £77bn. The research looked at 8,750 businesses and analysed data from the Office for National Statistics. It identified six factors to boost performance and efficiency: 'having a set of strong values, strong and inspiring leaders, structuring work, recognising and rewarding performance, delivering continuous improvement, and adopting sustainable practices.' Paul Devoy, Head of IIP, said: "This study provides the evidence that focusing on excellence in people management can lead to significant performance gains for the sector and economy as a whole." Productivity gap between UK and other G7 countries 'biggest since records began' Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that the productivity gap between the UK and its G7 peers 'is the biggest' since records began in 1991. Initial results for 2014 show that the UK's productivity - measured as output per hour worked - is 20 percentage points (pp) below that of its G7 counterparts - the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: "The reforms set out in our productivity plan - Fixing the Foundations - will deliver step change that will increase long term investment in people, capital and ideas and help to realise the ambitions of hard working people." However, TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady said: "We need a better economic plan focused on higher public investment in modern infrastructure and workforce skills. A new round of severe public service cuts and pay freezes will keep the UK in the slow lane." Trade union reforms are 'counter-productive' - says CIPD The measures proposed in the Trade Union Bill - which will make it harder for unions to take strike action - have been termed as being 'outdated' by the CIPD. The Bill proposes a minimum 50 per cent ballot turnout for industrial action to have a legal authority. Industrial action in key services like health, education, fire, transport, border security and energy will only be legal if 40 per cent of all members eligible to take part in the ballot vote in favour. The CIPD has urged the government and employers to instead build better social dialogue with their employees and consider alternative approaches - rather than 'focussing on ballot thresholds'. Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, said: "We need to see more consultation and ongoing dialogue, and engagement with the workforce, rather than the introduction of mechanisms that reflect the industrial relations challenges of the 1980s." There has been growing opposition to the Bill with a wide variety of groups expressing concerns.