Credit: Octavio Fossati via

Whistleblowing, lies, cats and cliques: this week at work

I read (and write) a lot about people and work, but often don’t have as much time as I’d like to cover all the interesting stories I come across each week.

So this is my attempt to curate some of the things I’ve been thinking about, and the People Management team have been writing about, to do with workplaces, employment and human behaviour this week.

Things we’ve been writing about

  • It’s less than a week after a number of employment regulation changes came into force on 6 April, and the impact is already being widely felt. Public sector organisations are struggling to hire contractors, who are seemingly turning down work because of the changes to IR35 tax rules. And apprenticeships’ requirement for 20% off the job training is proving unpopular with employers who feel this is too inflexible
  • Research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has found a steep decline in the availability of temporary staff — leaving employers unable to fill vacancies
  • Barclays’ chief executive’s investigation into the identity of an anonymous whistleblower risks undermining confidence in whistleblowing in the financial sector, say legal experts
  • And there’s a timely column from Dr Megan Reitz about her research which suggests many leaders are missing out on important information because employees are too afraid to tell them the truth

Things I’ve been reading about

  • Meet the first employee representative elected to Sports Direct’s board. It’s a great first step for the beleaguered high-street brand, but it’s unlikely that a lone voice is enough to change its problematic attitude towards working conditions
  • ONS figures out this week revealed that UK employment has risen yet again. But The Guardian astutely points out that job creation has come “at cost to take-home pay and job security”, with one in 10 workers now affected by ‘precarious work’, according to the TUC
  • The CBI reports on a survey by Opinium that finds a disconnect between how HR and employees view the fairness of promotions. 94% of HR practitioners surveyed said promotions were handled fairly, compared to only 71% of employees. Age, gender and employment status were all cited as key discriminatory factors
  • Councillors in Gloucestershire are embroiled in a row over whether or not to keep the office cat (yes, really)
  • I’ve been watching the BBC3 thriller Clique, about two university students who are drawn into a circle of high-powered ‘feminist’ interns. The always-on-point culture team at the New Statesman have an interesting dissection of the girls’ take on ‘leaning in’ at work (spoiler alert, of course)
  • And finally, over at Reductress: ‘This woman just got promoted, and all it took was switching bodies with a white guy during a lightning storm’

Find me on Twitter @c_newbery

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