Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle might not have been as smooth as intended though resulted in a number of changes to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). David Gauke moves to Justice Secretary, replaced by Esther McVey at DWP, with Alok Sharma replacing Damian Hinds as Employment Minister.
Business Secretary, Greg Clark, retained his role as Business Secretary, while Andrew Griffiths has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary at BEIS, likely to take over the small business brief from Margot James who has been appointed Digital Minister.
BCC Quarterly Economic Survey: Skills shortage biggest risk for business
The British Chambers of Commerce quarterly economic survey results for Q4 2017 show skills shortages “reaching critical levels”. 71% of service sector firms recruiting reported difficulties in hiring, an increase from 67% in Q3, though the percentage of firms looking to recruit fell slightly from 52% to 50%, 19% of which were service firms, 23% manufacturers.
Work Foundation report on relationship between productivity, technology and working anywhere
The Work Foundation has published a report titled “Productivity, Technology & Working Anywhere”, which shows an “undeniably positive link” between correctly implemented technology and workplace productivity, however this is often stifled by lack of innovation, poor IT, and “low uptake of flexible working cultures”. The report highlights the benefits of technology, especially improved connectivity, in enhancing more flexible and smarter ways of working.
Parliamentary Question on statutory sick pay
Sarah Newton MP outlined the Government’s work on Statutory Sick Pay in response to a Parliamentary Question regarding the public consultation, ‘Improving Lives: The Future of Work, Health and Disability’. Newton reiterated the Government’s position to see greater support from the Statutory Sick Pay system (SSP) to flexible working, and stated the intention to bring a consultation on these changes. She also cited the recommendations in the Taylor Review relating to SSP and the forthcoming Government response.
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