NHS strike called off

UNISON suspended a planned strike action for its members in England after an improved offer from the government. The conciliatory offer made by the government is understood to include – a 1 per cent pay rise for staff up to band 8B which takes in senior nurses, lower paid staff to get an extra £200 a year in their salary, bottom level pay to be increased to £15,100 a year and a commitment from the government that the NHS Pay Review Body will contribute to make future recommendations on pay uplift for NHS staff in 2016/17. Cathy Warwick, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: "I am pleased the government came to the negotiating table to seek a solution” while Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary said that the current offer doesn’t risk frontline jobs at NHS and that “the NHS pay bill will not increase next year”.

Meanwhile, London bus workers are set to stage three days of strikes next month in a dispute over pay. This comes after a recent 24 hour strike to campaign for a single agreement covering their pay, terms and conditions.

Talent shortages and the role of older people at work

New research by MetLife International showed that over a third (34 per cent) of UK companies will be affected by major talent shortages over the next year, while 42 per cent said that recruiting and retaining staff would be a major challenge. However, the role of older employees to address these talent shortages has gained prominence. Research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) showed that businesses need to adjust the way they advertise jobs and provide training opportunities “or miss the best candidates in the over 55-age group.” 34 per cent of companies surveyed admitted that they should be providing more opportunities for older staff to upskill or reskill. Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, said: “The UK is suffering from skills shortages across the economy and at the same time businesses are telling us that they are at capacity and can’t take on more work without more staff".

‘Human Capital Reporting – Investing for sustainable growth’

A new report by CIPD and CMI emphasize the importance of human capital management within companies for sustainable organisational performance. The report suggests a series of recommendations for both increasing the demand among investors for human capital management, and for improving practice among employers. This in turn, they say, “will ensure that more organisations generate, analyse and report on key HCM information to improve decision-making, justify investments in people, and demonstrate to external stakeholder they are led and managed for the long term.” A majority of respondents contacted for the report believed that companies reporting on HCM should be promoted and improved, and that “the materiality of HCM should be discussed in annual reports.”