Teachers in England are leaving ‘in droves’
The National Education Union has
reported that 16% of its members plan on quitting teaching within the next two years, and 41% want to leave the profession within five years.
The government revealed that around one-in-three newly qualified teachers leave within the first five years – a pattern that has been going on for around a decade. The government has also failed to meet its
post graduate recruitment targets and the number of vacancies has trebled since 2010. Government survey reveals most teachers and leaders say their workload is unacceptable
According to the Department for Education’s
Working Lives of Teachers and Leaders survey, most teachers and leaders disagreed that their workload was acceptable (72%) and that they had sufficient control over it (62%). Leaders reported working more hours on average (56.8 per week) than teachers (48.7). Two-thirds of teachers (66%) reported that they spent over half of their working time on tasks other than teaching, rising to 77% for secondary school teachers.
Among all teachers, general administrative work was the task most commonly cited as taking up ‘too much’ of their time (75% of teachers reported this). Around half of all teachers also said that data recording, inputting and analysis, behaviour and incident follow up, individual lesson planning, and marking took up ‘too much’ of their time.
The survey was carried out in spring 2022 and involved over 11,000 teachers and leaders.
Government commits to providing guidance for schools on gender identity
The Prime Minister has recently agreed to
publish guidance for schools and colleges on issues around gender identity, after teaching leaders accused the government of dragging its feet and leaving schools ‘in the crossfire’. He indicated that it would be available for the summer term.
During an earlier
debate in the House of Lords, a government spokesperson said the guidance will set out schools’ legal duties and provide clear information to help them respond to transgender issues. The guidance will not create new laws or be able to pre-empt the decision of a court on individual cases. ACAS publishes new guidance on reasonable adjustments for mental ill-health
Acas has published new
guidance for employers and workers on reasonable adjustments for mental health. Acas states that ‘employers should try to make reasonable adjustments even if the issue is not a disability’. New survey on employee loneliness
Glassdoor has published a
blog with insights from its new study which surveyed 2,000 employees to understand the levels of employee loneliness in the UK. Key findings include:
Six-in-ten people with less than five years of work experience are lonely all or most of the time
Only 51% of employees connect socially with colleagues at least once a month
28% of workers under 35 years old would stay in a job they did not like if the workplace social life was good
89% of workers believe feeling a sense of belonging with their company is vital to their overall workplace happiness
Nearly 49% of workers say a good social life has a significant impact on their overall job satisfaction and mental health.
Common reasons for workplace loneliness include: less in-person interaction with co-workers, inflexibility in the workplace, and a lack of focus on creating a sense of belonging or community by an employer.
New review into work prospects of autistic people
The Department for Work and Pensions, supported by the autism charity Autistica, has launched a
review to increase the employment prospects of autistic people. It will consider how the government can support employers to recruit and retain autistic people and enjoy the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce.
It will make recommendations for the government to consider in September 2023.
New report reveals that autistic people have the lowest rates of employment for disabled people
The House of Commons has released a
research briefing on autism, policy and services which reveals that the lowest rates of employment among disabled people are those on the autism spectrum. In the 2020–21 financial year, 26.5% of disabled people on the autism spectrum were in employment, compared to 52.5% of all disabled people and 80.4% of non-disabled people in the same period. In 2016, the National Autistic Society reported that 77% of unemployed people with autism wanted to work. Retained EU Law Bill will not intentionally undermine equality rights
The Minister for Women and Equalities has
said the government does not ‘intend’ to undermine equality rights and protections, employment rights or parental rights as a result of the Retained EU Law Bill.
She said that the government doesn’t propose to amend the Equality Act 2010, change workers’ legal rights and ‘remains committed to ensuring workers are properly protected in the workplace’.
Unison challenge new laws which allow agency staff to cover striking workers
In 2022, the government changed the law to allow employers to recruit temporary agency staff to provide cover for striking workers or colleagues covering for them. You can read our overview
here. Unison have brought a case against the government, challenging this decision, which is being heard in the High Court on 3-4 May 2023. Discrimination: increases to injury to feelings awards 2023
An employee who brings a successful discrimination claim will receive compensation for the upset and hurt they’ve suffered. Injury to feelings awards now range from £1,100 for minor incidents to £56,200 for the most serious. You can read the detail
here. New guidance for employers who want to take positive action to attract a diverse workforce
The Government Equalities Office has published
guidance for employers who want to use positive action in the workplace to broaden opportunities in a manner that is consistent with equalities legislation.
Employers can take positive action:
To improve equality of opportunity
To recruit or promote candidates.
The guidance explains the difference between positive action (which is lawful) and positive discrimination which isn’t. It also provides a checklist to help employers implement positive action in a way that complies with the law.
Low paid workers ‘unlikely to take employers to court’
report commissioned by the Resolution Foundation as found that very few low-paid workers bring employment tribunal claims to enforce their rights. It found widespread evidence of employers ignoring employment protections, leaving workers out of pocket. Specifically:
One third of workers don’t receive the correct NMW for the hours worked
900,000 workers don’t receive any paid holiday
1.8 million workers don’t get a payslip
600,000 workers aren’t automatically enrolled in a pension scheme by their employer
It concludes that the enforcement system is ‘highly fragmented’ and calls on the government to put ‘its money where its mouth is when it comes to enforcing workers’ rights’.
Read more – May 2023
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