News & Events News News in Brief February 2020 Senior civil servant resigns claiming culture of bullying Sir Philip Rutnam dramatically resigned last week as Permanent Secretary of the Home Office, accusing Home Secretary Priti Patel of bullying and belittling staff and of orchestrating a "vicious" smear campaign of press leaks against him. While Patel has denied the allegations, Sir Philip said in a written statement read to BBC News "I regret I do not believe her". In an unprecedented move for a civil servant of his seniority, Rutnam is suing the government and Home Secretary Priti Patel for constructive dismissal, claiming he has turned down a financial offer from the Cabinet Office to leave quietly. His statement claimed her treatment of him was "part of a wider pattern of behaviour" which included "shouting and swearing, belittling people, making unreasonable and repeated demands – behaviour that created fear." The Cabinet Office has announced an internal inquiry into the allegations. Only 42% of UK employees rate their experiences at work as positive According to a survey of nearly 2,000 UK employees and leaders, less than half of UK employees – 42% – rate their overall 'employee experience' as positive. Meanwhile, only 53% believe that the 'employee experience' is taken seriously by their organisation, compared with 47% who say their employer treats it as an afterthought. 48% felt that their employer was sacrificing employee experience in their focus to try and please customers. The figures were drawn from the wider survey of 20,000 global employees as part of the O.C. Tanner Institute's 2020 Global Culture Report. Robert Ordever, Managing Director at O.C Tanner Europe, commented that "Many companies are still viewing employees as a means of production and profit but this must change… A great corporate culture is crucial to delivering first-class employee experiences. Failure to act on this will lead to disengagement, mass burnout, high staff turnover and a talent deficit that will see organisational profits nose dive." New Commission launched on future of early years workforce A new Early Years Workforce Commission has been set up to bring together a group of leading sector experts to examine key workforce challenges and develop innovative solutions. Their key goal is to ensure that the sector receives the recognition it deserves and is seen as providing a rewarding and attractive career path to current and prospective employees. It aims to publish a report with recommendations later this year, looking at training, CPD, pay, recruitment and retention, as well as demonstrating the importance of the sector for wider society. Speaking on behalf of the Commission, Julie Hyde, Executive Director of Education and Training at the awarding organisations NCFE and CACHE, commented that "it became clear that whilst the problems facing the sector were well-established, to move the conversation forward, we needed to develop evidence-based solutions. After further discussion we decided to focus on workforce issues. Whilst these are just one part of the puzzle, we believe that an effective workforce strategy is crucial to underpin the long-term sustainability of the sector and quality of provision."