At the end of June the UK Government announced a host of measures aimed at dealing more effectively with the barriers disabled people face in society. Steps include a consultation on new measures to help employers better support disabled people and those with long-term health conditions. This includes consulting on reforming Statutory Sick Pay so it is better enforced, more able to encourage a phased return to work and covers the lowest paid. The Government will also consult on offering small to medium employers a rebate to support those who manage staff on sickness absence and help them get back to work. New rights to request workplace modifications on health grounds are also proposed.
Following the growing trend of giving employees additional leave entitlements, Molson Coors Brewing Company is now offering staff up to two weeks extra paid annual leave - know as "Life Leave" to be used for significant life events such as house moving or preparing for a wedding. The idea behind it is to let staff use the standard holiday entitlement for rest and relaxation rather than planned or unplanned life events.
The rise of the four day working week continues with research from Henley Business School - Four Better or Four Worse - suggesting compressed weeks lead to increased productivity and improved physical and mental wellbeing. However, the research also highlighted that many employers were confused as to whether a four day week meant fewer hours or just compressed hours. Of those not offering four day weeks the majority felt the need for employee availability to clients outweighed any benefits of flexible working and/or thought it was "too complicated to manage".