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Leadership news July 22 to 28

Rhian Morgan

While you are sweltering during the heatwave, do you need to send your staff home? And will you be signing your employees up for flexible working on Monday? Or maybe you would like to donate company shares to your place of worship? Rhian Morgan looks at the leadership news making the headlines this week

Managers need to tap in to potential of older workers

Managers are too busy making generalisations to tap into the potential of older workers, according to a new policy paper from conciliation service Acas.  Older workers are extremely valuable to the economy. Figures from the International Longevity Centre estimate that if the employment rate for older workers matched that of the 30 to 40 age group, the net gain could be as much as £88.4bn. The Government advises businesses retain, retrain and recruit older workers.     

What does the law say on employee rights during a heatwave?

Have you and your staff been suffering during the heatwave? I already know of one council that has sent staff home. Rules around temperatures in the indoor workplace are covered by the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992. The regulations place a legal obligation on employers to provide a "reasonable" temperature in the workplace – but while there is a lower limit, there is, as yet, no upper limit. However, two MPs have tabled an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons to set the limit as 30C.            

120 UK businesses allowing flexible working on Monday

More than 100,000 Brits will work flexibly on July 25, as part of the Smarter Working initiative.  The campaign, set up by conference call company Powwownow, will offer staff the opportunity to work from any location at the hours that suit them best.  The Smarter Working Initiative will allow employees to spend more time with their children, as well as highlight how efficient and effective people can be when not tied to the standard 9-5 working hours or their desk. Research has shown 55% of the UK’s workforce said that being able to work flexibly will be ‘crucial’ in their next job choice, yet just a quarter are currently offered the option. 62% of people state they would be more productive if they could spend time working outside their usual place of work. You can sign your company up to the Smarter Working Initiative at      

Study shows young people cannot deal with office politics

Does anyone like navigating office politics? Well, according to a new study, young recruits are often unprepared for it. The under-25s are unprepared for office politics when they start a new job, a study has shown. In fact, it showed that more than half are not even told about them. Researchers behind the Co-op’s survey revealed young people find it hard to express an opinion or put forward ideas, which could make them feel isolated.          

People estimate their own abilities based on those around them

Mixing with high-performing colleagues can actually make people feel more capable in friendly team settings but less competent when in more competitive situations, according to a new study. What's more, scientists have pinpointed the area of the brain that enables people to process information about themselves and others so that they can work out their own place in any social setting. This may impact on helping those with depression as well. While another study has found that the level of effort being exerted by people nearby can have an influence on the way you perform, especially in regards to posture affecting concentration.    

And finally

A Mumbai temple has set up a bank account so that worshippers can donate company shares instead of money. The Siddhivinayak Temple, which reportedly has many powerful leaders as devotees, has opened the demat account - an electronic facility for passing virtual share certificates between investors - so that people can give offerings to the Hindu deity Ganesh in the form of company stock and securities. There are future plans to allow the market-savvy faithful to give mutual funds, bonds, and gold exchange-traded funds.   The Mumbai place of worship follows another temple in Andhra Pradesh in the electronic securities market.  


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