After what seems like months the Eva Carneiro/Jose Mourhino/Chelsea FC employment tribunal reached its conclusion in June. While the "special one" reportedly failed to apologise his old club issued a statement apologising "unreservedly" to Ms Carneiro for any distress caused. Ms Carneiro had earlier reportedly refused a settlement offer of £1.2 million. Estimates of the final figure have been as high as £5 million however as the settlement terms were confidential this is speculation. It is not necessarily set in stone that settlement offers increase as tribunal proceedings near or indeed begin, however it was reported that the initial evidence for the football club had not gone well. The fact that Ms Carneiro was claiming discrimination meant that there was no statutory cap on the award a tribunal could make, so there was an element of risk for the club in proceeding with the hearing. However, whatever the final settlement was potential claimants should not expect the same - it is a long way from the median settlement figure recently reported by ACAS to be just over £5,000.
The gender pay gap was once again in the news this month, on this occasion reporting on just how early the inequality in income begins. According to a survey carried out by a large high street bank, pocket money has hit a nine year high but the gender gap is growing with sons receiving almost 12% more than daughters. The survey of nearly 1,800 children between the ages of 8 and 15 found that they now receive an average of £6.55 per week. However, if this is broken down into gender, boys received £6.93 per week while girls got only £6.16. Despite this, boys were more likely to complain about not getting enough - a practice which, if statistics in Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In" are to be believed, continues to adulthood with women being less likely to ask for a pay rise.
The backlash against emails in the workplace has also made the news recently. The negative impact of looking at emails first thing in the morning and last thing at night has been known for some time, and the problem of staff being distracted by social media during the working day is not new. However some companies are now taking steps to limit the use of email within the office. Studies suggest that employees are spending 40% of their time checking internal emails, making them less productive and more stressed. A number of companies are now taking steps to limit the use of work email both outside the workplace - by cutting off email access when workers are away from work - and by taking steps to reduce the amount of emails generated internally. Other companies, including Google, have introduced meditation within the workplace with one company reporting that one hour of this activity a week has reduced stress levels by a third.
Performance management measures in China have also hit the headlines. In scenes inconceivable in Britain (and indeed most countries) staff at a Chinese bank were publicly spanked for poor performance at a training session. Reports also emerged of hair cutting punishments being used. The bank in question has started an investigation and two members of senior management have been suspended.