From the motherhood penalty to lower redundancy rates for remote workers

This week’s WMPeople HR news round-up covers everything from the motherhood penalty and how it impacts job quality as well as pay to how remote companies are less likely to sack their workers.

Young woman working on laptop and have problem

Motherhood penalty relates to job quality as well as pay

The motherhood penalty not only relates to mothers working in jobs on lower pay, but also in jobs of lower quality, according to new research.

The research by the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership analyses differences in job quality by gender and parenthood status, using data from a nationally representative UK household survey.

It develops a 12-indicator, multi-dimensional measure of job quality and uses this to analyse the combination and distribution of job quality attributes by gender and parenthood status.

The analysis shows that women and mothers are under-represented in high quality jobs and over-represented in poor quality jobs.

It says working part time is a strong driver of job quality differences, suggesting that reduced hours after motherhood impacts on job quality in addition to worsening women’s pay. It adds that job quality gaps are larger for mothers of school-aged children, pointing to the additional constraints of managing work and childcare around the school day.

Read more here.

Gender ethnicity gap highlighted

The average wage gap between women of Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and Mixed White and Black Caribbean heritage is respectively 28.4%, 25.9% and 25% compared to White British men, according to a new study by the Fawcett Society.

The study, based on Office for National Statistics figures, shows that, compared to white British women, the gap was 14.7%, 11.8% and 10.6% respectively. Overall, men earned more than women in most ethnicity groups in 2022, with the exception of Black Caribbean and ‘Other’ Black heritage groups. However, in these two groups, women only earned marginally more than men, and less than men in other ethnic groups.

Research has found that a significant element of the gender pay gap is likely to be the result of bias, including pay discrimination, ie being paid less than other colleagues in the same role and being passed over for promotion.

Read more here.

Calls for older people’s commissioner in England

Ageism is so deeply embedded in our society that we are often not aware of it. A new Centre for Ageing Better campaign launching next week will try to encourage people to be more aware of the everyday ageism that exists in our attitudes and in the words we use.

The campaign was mentioned in a session this week at the Women and Equalities Committee which is conducting an inquiry into the rights of older people. The main focus was on whether England needs an Older People’s Commissioner to challenge ageism and discrimination as Wales has.

Dr Carole Easton, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better, said ageism is the most widespread form of discrimination in the UK and exists both in our actions and in inaction or omission. It can have a hugely damaging impact on a person’s health, wealth and job prospects and on wider society, she added. Speakers, for instance, spoke about the impact on decisions taken during the pandemic relating to older people.

Read more here.

Younger managers need more incentives to attract them back to the office full time

Younger managers are more likely to say they would expect a salary increase to return full time to the office than other managers, according to a Chartered Management Institute poll.

The poll of 1,035 managers found almost half (49%) of managers under 35 years stated that they would want a salary increase compared to 29% of managers aged 35-54 and 19% of managers over 55 years of age. The average salary increase demanded was 12%.

Younger managers were also more likely to expect travel subsidies, office benefits and regular team building and social events than older managers.  Those under 55 were also significantly more likely to expect more flexible hours (44%) compared to those 55 and over (32%).

On average two fifths of managers overall would expect more flexible hours, followed by a salary increase, travel subsidies  and office benefits such as refreshments and free lunches if they were asked to go back to the office full time.

Slightly less than one in five managers (19%) said that they would expect regular team-building and social events, with a quarter saying that they would not expect anything (25%) and one in ten stating they would not agree to more time working in the office/on-site (13%), particularly those working fully remotely or at least two days from home currently.

Read more here.

Job postings fell significantly in December

The number of active job postings in December fell by over 24% in a month and by 32% compared with the year before, according to figures from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.

Job postings which did increase included prison officers, writers, translator and air transport workers.

The REC says demand is still ‘substantial’, that December is always a  quiet month for recruitment and that it is difficult to compare with recent years because they benefited from  ‘the post-pandemic sugar rush of hiring’. However, it said the figures show “the sequential slowing of the market in 2023”.

REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry said: “It is little surprise that jobs postings were muted in December because employers tend to have completed Christmas hiring by November, and then postpone new activity until the new year.

“The labour market weakened across 2023, especially for permanent roles. But it did so from a very high base. Comparing with previous Decembers, we can see a significant fall from the levels of activity in previous post-pandemic festive periods. It is important to remember that activity levels overall remain relatively high by comparison to pre-pandemic norms, and unemployment is low. There remains opportunity out there for jobseekers, especially in growing sectors.

“Anecdote and client survey data suggests there is hope for more growth in the market this year. As the economy grows, businesses will be looking to government to use the Spring Budget to unlock labour supply with action from welfare-to-work programmes to skills reform and a more sensible debate on immigration.”

Senior female firearms officer wins £820k in sex discrimination case

A senior female firearms officer, Detective Inspector Rebecca Kalam, has won more than £820,000 in a sex discrimination and harassment case against West Midlands police. Kalam was subjected to various forms of mistreatment, including being stripped to her underwear during police training and being forced to pose for a photoshoot while five months pregnant.

The court ruled that the police force was guilty of sex discrimination and harassment, because it did not provide her with appropriate personal protective equipment and because making her the “poster girl” for the firearms unit amounted to harassment related to her gender.

The tribunal concluded that Kalam, who has been medically retired, would have reached the rank of superintendent if not for the mistreatment. The judge ordered West Midlands police to pay her £820,720, which includes compensation for lost earnings and pension.

Tribunal backs social worker in discrimination case

An employment tribunal led by Judge Richard Nicolle has found that Westminster City Council and Social Work England discriminated against social worker Rachel Meade over their handling of complaints that Meade had shared and liked social media posts which the regulator believed “could be perceived to be derogatory and potentially discriminatory to members of the transgender community”.

Meade faced disciplinary action from the council as a result, but the tribunal found that the posts fell “within her protected rights for freedom of thought and freedom to manifest her beliefs”.

Pregnant teacher wins pandemic discrimination claim

A teacher who was ordered back to the classroom during the pandemic despite voicing fears for the safety of her unborn child has won a discrimination claim.

Charlotte Parton, who was 34 weeks pregnant, expressed her anxiety about returning to the classroom to her boss, Rossanna Snee, the head of St Peter’s Catholic Academy in Stoke-on-Trent. Snee advised Parton that she should “wash hands regularly” and “wear a mask,” and told her she was expected back at work the following day. Parton did not attend work on the first day of term and was docked a day’s wages.

She sued the school for pregnancy discrimination and has been awarded compensation by Judge Paul Gilroy KC, who ruled that she had taken appropriate steps to avoid perceived danger. A remedy hearing will determine the amount of compensation.

Remote workers ‘less likely to be fired’

Remote businesses seem to be less likely to make redundancies, according to a new survey from

The survey of 546 UK small businesses found that, of the companies that reported laying off employees in 2023, only 16% were fully-remote businesses. This is significantly lower than the 38% layoff rate among fully in-office firms.

Hybrid firms, where employees come into the office for two or three days a week, also showed an improvement on fully in-office counterparts with a layoff rate of 30%. says its findings suggest that introducing a work from home policy is the most cost-effective measure for businesses. It states that, by reducing or losing office space, companies can save on rent, utilities and other related expenses to weather economic downturns while maintaining a stable workforce.

However, a study of 540 SME leaders by Employment Hero found that, when asked about the influence of a candidate requesting two days of work from home per week, 22% indicated it might make them less inclined to hire, and 7% viewed it as a potential deal-breaker.

Read more here.

Your Franchise Selection

Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

Your Franchise Selection

This franchise opportunity has been added to your franchise selection



Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

You may be interested in these similar franchises