Well, here we are, the first day of March – the first day of spring – gripped by Siberian temperatures. Are you, like us, a little tired of hearing the phrase ‘The Beast From The East’? Then warm yourself up with the thought that at least good things are on the way this month – we have Easter and, even better, the clocks change. Yep, those long balmy summer days are on their way – we promise! So, what news have we got for you to get your teeth into? A lot has happened over the last few weeks, so we’ve been spoiled for choice, but here’s our top pics: Retail casualties; To sell or not to sell, that is the question; Tesco equal pay claim hotting up; Gender pay gaps a bit of a shocker; Gig economy coming to a head.

Retail casualties: Although we all probably knew it was coming, it was still sad that yesterday Toys R Us and Maplin went into administration. Both have been struggling for some time, and in the run up to Christmas, Toys R Us kept going by the skin of its teeth. But it’s now over, and the administrators have been called into both companies with job losses estimated at 5500 between them. Although the outlook is better for others, there’s a raft of retailers shedding jobs in order to cut costs and stay competitive – Tesco and Morrisons, 1700 and 1500 job losses respectively; M&S, Topshop, Debenhams, House of Fraser all losing jobs. For most of these it’s about losing head office and management jobs, although for some, such as New Look, it’s also store closures – New Look is closing as many as 60 stores.

And even those who have really strong sales, such as Zara, are seeing their share prices being affected, apparently due in part to the fluctuating euro. We’ve reported several times last year on how well the company was doing, and yes its sales and profits continue to climb, but the 7% slide in its shares is because the brokers don’t think it can continue. We think Zara has cornered the market for stylish women’s fashion so we’re not convinced – we’ll keep an eye on who’s right!

Zara’s shares fall to 3-year low as analysts drop estimates

To sell or not to sell: No doubt you’ve heard about the rumour vehemently denied by Sir Philip Green that he wants to sell his share in Arcadia. And then lo and behold an email was leaked that suggested he’d met with bankers two years ago to start talking about selling. Is that timing relevant? It was around the same time as the BHS debacle, when the company went bust, and it transpired that the assets had been pretty much stripped. Add to that the pension hole at BHS which Sir Philip has had to pay part of, and the pension gap that’s emerged at Arcadia – and perhaps it isn’t surprising he’s thinking of selling up. Arcadia isn’t doing very well, and perhaps with retail looking set to be even more ‘challenging’ in the coming year, Sir Philip could see the writing on the wall. The question still remains, is he selling, or isn’t he? All will be revealed in the fullness of time.

And talking about the pension scandal at BHS, Dominic Chappell, who bought BHS from Sir Philip for £1, a year before it went into administration, has just been fined £87,000 for failing to co-operate with the Pensions Regulator over the BHS pension hole. The judge said Mr Chappell showed ‘no remorse’ – shame on Mr Chappell.

Tesco equal pay claim hotting up: It’s estimated that the equal pay claim by shop floor staff at Tesco could cost the company £4billion. We reported on the case last year, whereby 1000 women workers at Tesco claim they do work of equal value to those in the distribution centres. Shop floor workers are predominantly women, and distribution centre workers predominantly men. The former earn £8 per hour, the latter £11 per hour. If the case is upheld, back pay would be considerable, especially when former workers as well as current female worker, would be entitled to it. And Tesco isn’t the only company with claims against it – Sainsbury’s and Asda are also being taken to Tribunals by staff represented by Leigh-Day, the legal firm that seems to be specialising in this type of potential discrimination. This is certainly a story to keep an eye on.

Gender pay gaps a bit of a shocker: And talking of how supermarkets are allegedly treating women differently to men, the gender pay gap reporting is showing some surprising results. Tesco’s mean gender pay gap has come in at 12%; Marks & Spencer, 12.3%; Aldi 11.5; and John Lewis, really quite a shocking 14%. There’s a lot of news about gender pay gap reporting across our economy at the moment. The BBC debacle about the difference in pay between men and women in senior roles really hit the headlines when Jane Standley, its China Editor, resigned over the difference in pay between her and male peers. The BBC has had PwC consultants in to review its pay, and says it no discrimination has been found. Some male broadcasters have agreed to have their pay cut in the light of the salary discrepancies, but the BBC seems to be saying that it will be adjusting pay upwards to iron out any anomalies. The BBC issue is about equal pay – whereas the gender pay gap reporting is different, although it does shine a light that might expose equal pay problems. It’s quite likely that we’ll be getting surprises over the next month as the 1st April deadline for employers with 250+ employees to publish its gender pay gap stats looms large. An interesting one is the Lawn Tennis Association – Wimbledon in other words! Some years ago, female tennis players fought a long battle to get equal pay for their winnings – men got more prize money than women back then. Well, the LTA’s mean gender pay gap has come out at 31%! So it might have equalised its prize money for tennis players, but this probably raises questions about how it’s doing with paying its own staff. In a lot of the reporting there’s a common theme emerging – employers are saying the reason is because there are more women in the lower paid jobs than in the higher paid jobs. And that they’re looking at how they can support women in rising up the ranks. How well this is done will of course be seen in next year’s figures. We’ll be watching!

Revealed: The retailers with the biggest gender pay gaps

Lawn Tennis Association reports a 31% mean gender pay gap

Gig economy coming to a head: Last year there was much in the news about the gig economy, and whether people were employees or self employed. We reported on this quite widely, quoting the big cases such as Uber, Deliveroo, and Pimlico Plumbers. Well, the latter case has now gone to the highest court in the land – the Supreme Court. The issue at the heart of this case is whether someone is employed or is a worker. It’s a bit complicated, but the first means you have full employment rights, and the second that you have the right to certain benefits, such as annual leave. The ‘gig’ economy consists of about 15% of workers in the UK – so it’s a significant number, and growing. In our next blog, we’ll let you know what the Supreme Court’s decision was. Have a read of this article – it gives the ins and outs of the case very succinctly.

And finally: If you read our blog regularly, you’ll know we’re a dog friendly business – very dog friendly! Jack our office dog is our constant companion and keeps us calm and happy. So this story caught our eye. Morag won the top office dog award – who knew there was such a thing?! – for Northern Monk Brewery Company. The competition is run by Workforce, so if you’ve got an office dog, or dogs, you might want to enter next year. We’ll be looking into it.

So that’s it for this month. A lot to digest – we hope you found something of interest. And be assured, we’ll do the same next time. Until then, keep warm and keep your spirits up – Spring really is on the way.


Happy New Year! This is probably your first Monday back at work after the Christmas & New Year holidays. So you might be feeling a little down – but our monthly blog should catch your interest and distract you from what for some is the most depressing day of the year. Of course, you might be one of those people who’s glad to get back to normal. Here at The Hub Retail Recruitment, we’re somewhere in the middle – we had a great Christmas & New Year, but equally are looking forward to getting 2018 off to a good start. Well, what have we got to tempt you with this first News Round of the year? There’s a lot of information coming out about how the retail sector did over its most lucrative period of the year; and there’s a lot coming out about the world of work. So we’re bringing you the news in two sections: The Ups and Downs of Christmas shoppingand The World of Work.



Poundland became engulfed in an accounting scandal which saw its shares tumbling by 80%, and its future in doubt – despite good sales figures. There does however seem to have been a financial bailout by its investors. But it’s also attracted an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority over its Christmas adverts, featuring a Christmas elf which, for some 80 complainants were of a sexual nature.  See what you think.

ASA to investigate Poundland after swathe of complaints

Debenhams had a really poor Christmas. As you’ll read in this article, there is a view that its really down to Debenhams, and not just the difficult times all retailers are experiencing. Apparently it has too many stores, and didn’t respond quickly enough to the digital age. It bought in a new CEO Sergio Bucher, from Amazon, a year ago, who is implementing a turnaround strategy – which of course takes time, but some progress will need to be seen in 2018 if Debenhams is to survive.

Toys ‘R Us had a really difficult December. We remember when it was the toy retailer, but its definitely fallen behind its competitors. However, although on the brink, it did get an 11th hour reprieve – with creditors supporting its re-structuring plan. But it will still have to close 26 stores, with the loss of 700 jobs. And of course success isn’t guaranteed.

Toys R Us UK rescued from brink of collapse, saving 2500+ jobs

So that’s some of the bad news stories – let’s have a look at some of the good ones.


Next: A big surprise was Next’s sales – up by 1.5% after predicting it would be a negative 0.5%, thanks largely to increased on-line sales of 13.6%. This of course reflects the continued trend across all retailers of lower footfall in-store in favour of on-line shopping – in Next’s case, footfall was down 6.1%. Does this reflect your shopping habits these days? We comment on our own experience, below – see if it reflects yours.

Aldi: Aldi had a great Christmas, and for the first time in the UK, hit £10 billion in sales. Their premium range is certainly helping those figures – and if you haven’t used it yet, give it a try because we’ve certainly been impressed with it. And not only is it confident to deliver its expansion plan of 1000 stores by 2020, it has also committed to paying its staff the living wage of £8.75 per hour (£10.20 in London). Well done Aldi.

Others: It looks as if John Lewis had a good Christmas, and possibly Tesco’s too. This week, these are some of the retailers expected to publish their sales, so it’ll give us a much better picture of what’s happening out there – and therefore a reflection of our consumer confidence in the UK economy. Here’s a taster of what commentators are expecting.

Tesco, M&S, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s & Morrisons to publish Christmas results next week

Shopping habits: Footfall is definitely down. By nearly 5% on last year. Whilst on-line sales continue to grow at about 10% year on year. What were your shopping habits this Christmas? Ours definitely reflected the trend of on-line shopping. We did more of it this year than ever before, although we did do some in-store too. Why? We like to be able to save time shopping online where we can find the best buys easily. And avoid all the crushes in the shops, and driving round and round to find a car park space. So, less stress. But equally, there’s nowhere better for catching the Christmas atmosphere than on the High Street, with festive windows and magical street lighting. So that’s why we did both. What about you?


Fat cat pay: Although its come down by about 20%, executive pay is still outstripping average pay by 120:1. What that means to you and me is that by last Thursday, the fat cats had already earned what will take us the whole year to make. That’s very sobering.

Wage growth in 2018: Also very sobering is the TUC’s prediction that pay growth will be lower again this coming year, achieving less than 1%. Add that to inflation coming in at 3.1% in December, and that’s not a good picture. Interestingly enough, whilst two thirds of us say that pay, and pay increases, are the most important part of our reward packages, a third of us are also saying that flexible working is really important – so much so that if, for instance, we could work remotely, we’d forfeit a 3% pay increase. Is that how you feel?

Gender pay gap reporting: This is hotting up, with more than 500 businesses having now reported their gender pay gaps, ahead of the April 2018 deadline. There’s some interesting reading here – for instance, EasyJet report a 52% difference, and Virgin Money 33%. Both firms stress that men and women are paid equally for the same work. You might find that a bit confusing, but just to explain, it is illegal to pay men and women differently for the same work. Gender pay gap reporting looks at the whole business, irrespective of pay grade. But it does give a sense of what might be going on. So for instance, only 9% of EasyJet’s pilots are women, but it is working to increase that to 20%, whereas 69% of its cabin crew are women. There are examples of some businesses paying women more than men – for instance at Sweet Dreams, the mattress retailer, women are paid 35% more than men.  Read this BBC article on it, it’s very informative.

GDPR: The big piece of legislation coming up in 2018 is the General Date Protection Regulation. Employers will need to do a stock check to ensure they are complaint under the new regulations – and employees will want to check that the data that’s kept on them is relevant. And don’t forget we will all have the right to be forgotten! That won’t be easy in this digital age. The Information Commissioner has all the information you need at:

Well, that’s our round up for the start of 2018. We hope you found something of interest. And do come back for more in a month’s time. In the meantime, we wish you a very good 2018 from all of us at The Hub Retail Recruitment.




What are you excited about most? A: Tomorrow is 1st December so you can start opening your advent calendar; B: It’s The Hub Retail Recruitment’s monthly news round and you can’t wait to read it; or C: Prince Harry’s engagement? No, you have to choose one! Of course, we’ll go for B. But we’re also very happy about A & C – and a Royal wedding in the Spring will be something nice to look forward to, especially if we get an extra day off!

So let’s turn to our favourite, option B. Our picks of the news throughout November are: The ups and down of retail; Black Friday – how was it for you?; Battle of the Christmas advert – who’s winning?; and Employment news.

The ups and downs of retail: What happens in the retail sector is a good indicator of how the economy is doing. So here we’ve done a bit of a round up of who’s doing well, and who isn’t. On the plus side, we have really strong sales from: Ted Baker; B & M the discount store; Waterstones; Karen Millan; Majestic Wines; and Urban Outfitters, to name but a few. So a real mix of retailers, from fashion to books, from wine to discounters.  Let’s give you an overview of how these are doing: Majestic wine’s profit before tax went from a loss this time last year to £6.77m in the black this year; Urban Outfitters – which includes Anthropology – has recorded a jump in its 3rd quarter sales; and Waterstones is riding so high that it’s opening 5 more stores this side of Christmas with plans to open another 15 new stores in 2018. On the downside, the names we’ve picked out are: Feather & Black which sadly has gone into administration; Mothercare has gone from a £700k profit this time last year to a loss of £5.9m; Booths (the Waitrose of the north) has been doing poorly and the family owned grocer has, after 170 years, put the business up for sale; Multi York, the furniture maker is another retailer that’s fallen into administration; Palmer and Harvey, one of our biggest wholesalers has also gone into administration with the loss of 2,500 jobs; and M&S is due to speed up its store closures after a 5.9% drop in its half year profits. So it’s a very mixed picture. Which also reflects our UK economy – so always worth keeping a close eye on what’s happening.

Majestic Wine’s half-year profit soars

Black Friday – how was it for you? Well, did you find some great bargains? Or, as some reports suggest, you weren’t seduced by Black Friday and instead are looking for bargains more widely? Apparently, we’re not as keen on Black Friday as we were when it first came here from the USA – and that we realise it not only lasts for several days, including Cyber Monday, but the bargains on offer can be found most of the time anyway. In other words, we’ve got a bit savvy. Mind you, here at The Hub Retail Recruitment, we did do some shopping over the last week as there were some good offers to be had, especially in the week running up to Black Friday. And we weren’t the only ones – as retailers started discounting ahead of Black Friday, online buying went up by 11.3%. Which is a very different story to the in-store footfall, which fell by 3.6%. So it was a mixed picture on traffic. But overall the expected total spend of £7.8b over the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend was probably not achieved. We’ll let you know what the final tally is when it’s released.

UK shoppers to splurge £7.8bn on Black Friday & Cyber Monday weekend

Battle of the Christmas advert – who’s winning? The big two ads are M&S with Paddington the bear, and John Lewis with Moz the Monster. Both have had their problems though. There have been some complaints about the M&S ad with some people thinking that when the burglar leans down to Paddington Bear and says ‘thank you little bear’, the ‘thank’ is actually an expletive – we’ll leave you to work out which one! And John Lewis has been accursed of plagiarism by Chris Riddell, who wrote Mr Underbed and has been the children’s laureate. M & S responded to criticism aimed at its advert by saying it was clearly ‘thank’ and wouldn’t be changing anything; and John Lewis said that there were many stories about monsters under beds and therefore was a universal story, rejecting Mr Riddel’s accusation. Which one do you prefer? We think both are great – and we love the Elbow version of Lullaby. But there’s some other great ads out there too. Of course, since John Lewis launched its first ad in 2007, the competition for Christmas ads is now a big part of the start of the season. But which retailer do you think is in the #1 slot? This article talks about how there’s a face recognition tech company called Realeyes who has surveyed consumers’ reaction to the ads and concluded that taking the top slot is…Coke Cola. It is most definitely a heart warming retro ad, loved by us all, which resonates with Christmases past. But what’s your favourite?

Employment news: It was of course the budget last week. And there were some giveaways, such as the removal of stamp duty for first time buyers up to the value of a home at £300k. But of course that doesn’t affect the majority of us. What does of course is our tax allowances. So although it’s not much, it was good to hear that from April 2018 the personal tax allowance will increase by £350 to £11,850 and the threshold at which the higher rate of tax at 40% kicks in will increase from £45k to £46,300. And that will help a little with the continued squeeze on pay. Which isn’t looking too good, with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reporting that pay has fallen in real terms by 0.4% when taking account of the effect of inflation. So that’s disappointing. But interestingly, in the retail sector pay has risen by more than 7%, so around 5% when taking account of inflation. That’s probably due in some part to the increases in the national minimum wage. And of course what’s also good news is that the employment rate – the number of people in work – continues to rise.

Now, let’s get back to Christmas. Because of course this is an opportunity for employers to show their appreciation for the hard work you’ve put in over the year. There’s a real trend for doing this – and one of the most popular is to give gift cards, especially those that can be used anywhere rather than be limited by one particular retailer. We think that giving people £100 gift card rather than putting it into pay packets would go down well. So to all you employers out there, try it. This article talks about other ways of saying ‘thank you’ at Christmas time – have a look and see what resonates with you.

Now, we can’t finish our monthly news round without mentioning the gender pay gap (GPG) reporting. It is of course gathering pace, and attracting some headlines. We raised our eyebrows at the Bank of England having a GPG of 21% – it is after all a government institution so we’d have expected better people practices there. And ditto the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, which has a GPG of 14.5% – now that’s an organisation we’d expect to be setting an example as its the leading body for HR professionals. There’s a further article here that not only tells us that the biggest GPG is in London but also that in some areas of the UK the GPG is in favour of women, rather than men. It makes interesting reading. And if you’re looking to move to a new company in the New Year, you might want to check out its gender pay, because the gender pay gap does say something about an organisation.

Government to increase personal allowance and higher-rate tax threshold

What are the latest trends in Christmas rewards?

London has the largest regional gender pay gap

Phew, there’s a lot there for you to digest. But all of interest we hope. Our next issue will be on New Year’s Eve, so Christmas will be over. That’s why we’re posting our Christmas card with Jack, our lovely office dog, on this issue. Do have a lovely time, and don’t forget to open your first advent window tomorrow!






Happy Halloween! Is your pumpkin carved and ready to light? Have you got stashes of sweets to give the local kids that come trick or treating? Do you ever say ‘trick’? Here at The Hub Retail Recruitment, our answers are yes to everything but the last question – we play it safe just on this one occasion! We hope you’ve had a good October – we’ve gathered a number of stories that have caught our attention. Our tempting headlines are: Who’s for sale?; What a contrary lot we consumers are; Who’s top of the class?; and Some employment news.

Who’s for sale? If you’re looking to invest significant amounts of money, how do you fancy snapping up Waterstones or Jigsaw? Apparently both are up for sale. Waterstones – whose Russian oligarch owner needs to plug some financial gaps back at home – looks a good bet. It was bought in 2011 for £53m and today is worth around £250m. It’s expecting to report a second year of profitability – you might remember the bookstore was moments away from insolvency when it was rescued and turned around. Jigsaw is a similar picture. It’s a strong brand and doing well, with profits up by 11% and sales by 8%. What we like is that the company paid out nearly £500k to its staff as part of a new incentive scheme – it’s always good when a company wants to share its success with those that have made it happen. So here’s to both Waterstones and Jigsaw – we hope you find great new investors who will take your company to even further success.

Jigsaw on the market for new owner

What a contrary lot we consumers are: Or are we? The economic messages are mixed: on the one hand, the consumer confidence index is down slightly from -9 to -10, and let’s not forget that it dipped sharply in the wake of the referendum vote and then rallied. But over the last few months it’s been slipping. And it’s probably that our confidence in the economy is a little shaky – with inflation now at 3% because of the weak pound. But then again, employment is at it’s highest since the ’70s – although as you’ll see from the second article, there are some experts who think this is being under-reported. But perhaps the threat – now an expectation – that the Bank of England is going to raise the base rate, is adding to our concerns. Why is the Bank likely to do this? Apparently, such high employment could push up wage increases – although there’s little evidence to support this hypothesis, especially as the majority of the newly created jobs are low paid ones – pensioners having to do menial jobs to supplement their pensions, immigrants who can only get low paid jobs. And then there’s the FTSE in this mixed picture – it’s at its highest in history  and that’s a good indicator that the markets are strong. So, it’s a ‘on the one hand, on the other hand’ economic situation – it’s certainly been a very strange year economically – let’s hope our Christmas spending brings some cheer to the emerging picture.

Who’s top of the class? There’s certainly no mixed picture for some of our retailers, who are bucking the trend and doing well. Who might they be I hear you cry? Have a guess. No? OK, our top 3 are…All Saints, Selfridges, and Hobbs. All Saints sales jumped by 20%, and is doing very strongly internationally – although because of that expansion its profits aren’t looking as healthy, but then you’ve got to speculate to accumulate; Selfridges just keeps going from strength to strength, reporting increased sales of 18% – and it’s certainly been investing in its stores, not just the flagship on Oxford Street, but in Birmingham and Manchester too. Hobbs has had a difficult time in recent years, and two years ago started a turnaround process to make it more appealing – and with gross profits and revenues both seeing nearly 10% increases, things are looking good. Well done to all 3 – there are more such examples out there on the High Street, so it’s not all bad news.

Some employment news: The first week of October was Mental Health Week, with the emphasis very much on improving mental health in the workplace. One very salient case has just been heard at Leeds Employment Tribunal, where an employee of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has successfully won a case with an award of £75,000. This is a case about someone who was suffering from mental health problems who, because of what might seem to many a small change in their job, the moving of their desk from one floor to another, couldn’t cope with the change and it adversely affected their health. Dismissed by HMRC for poor attendance caused by the change, the Employment Tribunal found for the employee because it judged that HMRC had not made reasonable adjustments. HMRC may of course appeal the decision, but it is a case that employers should look at carefully when handling similar situations.

The government expects to give grieving parents whose child under the age of 18 has died, two weeks paid leave. It is hard to imagine that employers wouldn’t do this as a matter of course as anyone would want to support employees who were dealing with such devastating loss. But perhaps not if the government is having to make it compulsory.

You’ll know from recent blogs of ours that the gender pay gap reporting requirements are in full swing. If you’re wanting to see who’s reported so far and what the gaps are looking like, have a look at:

Well, that’s our round up for October. We hope you found something of interest. And now that the clocks have changed, and we’re fully into winter, no doubt our stories next month will have a Christmas feel to them – including the retailers Christmas adverts which nowadays are hotly anticipated and extremely competitive – who will win the best ad for 2017 we wonder. See you back here on 30 November when the answer might be emerging. Until then, have a good November – and beware those ghouls tonight!


Hello! If you thought you’d missed our weekly news snippets throughout September, don’t worry you haven’t. We’ve now moved to a monthly roundup, so this week we’re bringing you our pick of the stories in September. So, what’s caught our eye over the last month? Much of it amounts to Trouble on the High Street with even John Lewis struggling, and Aldi under pressure too, but there could also be some help with a Royal lifeline. Best in Europe will perhaps give you a lift if you find all of this pretty grim reading. And we also have some stories related to the Workplace.

Trouble on the High Street: It’s really quite shocking to see the headline ‘John Lewis Partnership profits crash by 53.3%’. And that Aldi’s profits have dropped for the third consecutive year. But they’re also reporting increases in sales and customers – and in the case of Aldi, continued increase of market share.  So why the fall in profits? Well, Aldi has been aggressively expanding, and John Lewis has been re-organising which has included redundancy costs. So both say, it’s tough out there – with inflation rising (jumping to 2.9% in August, up from 2.6%), and the devaluation of the pound – and in that environment the squeeze on profits is to be expected. Hmmm, we do keep hearing this don’t we? And yet look at Morrisons – which has just reported a leap in its profits by 40%. Now, to be fair, Morrisons was in dire straits last year, and has been through the tough times to get back on track. And it now seems to be bearing fruit (pun intended!). So if Morrisons is showing strong profits, what does that say about Aldi and John Lewis? There are other retailers in trouble too – such as House of Fraser (a long standing battle to turn the company around), and TX Maxx, to name but a couple. Here’s a number of articles for you to read the details of the ups and down of all 5 retailers.

Aldi profits drop for 3rd consecutive year despite sales increase

Royal lifeline: Yes, another new Royal life is on its way, with the Duchess of Cambridge now expecting a third child. And a positive effect of that for the retail industry is apparently it could spark a baby boom. And with that comes…more spending on not only baby related products and maternity fashion, but apparently…groceries. We’re not convinced by the latter, but anyway, no matter when the estimate is to the tune of £100million. Have a read of this article and see if it resonates with you.

Best is Europe: There’s also some good news – for once, we’re going to be top of a table of our ‘peers’ – for employment levels. According to this article, the UK is actually on course to have the highest employment rate in the Western world, not just Europe, with only Japan ahead of us at the moment. UK employment levels have for some months now been at their highest since records began back in the ’70s. What’s interesting is that despite all the worry about Brexit, we’re creating more and more jobs – nearly 400,000 of them over the last year. The biggest increases were in sectors such as IT, communications, hotel and restaurants.

Workplace news: Apparently, 63% of young parents are unaware of their entitlement to unpaid parental leave. And none more so than in the retail industry. Employers and their managers just aren’t bringing these sorts of benefits to the attention of people who qualify. This research by the TUC is really quite surprising in this day and age, particularly that nearly half of fathers feel stigmatised at work because they need flexibility due to childcare. Not surprising then that other research just out shows that flexible working is the most valued benefit by those surveyed in this report. So, employers take note.

63% of parents are unaware of their right to unpaid parental leave

Employers should also take note of a growing realisation about the detrimental effect the menopause has on women in the workplace. This article will signpost you to a variety of reports recently published from places such as The Government Equality Office, the Tonight programme, and Newsnight. It’s gathering pace, so if your employer is good on well-being at work, but this is a gap, ask them about it. Given that 60% of women aged 50 to 65 are now in work, and nearly 25% of them are going to experience severe effects from the menopause, which will affect them at work, it’s in everyones interest that both employer and employee – including managers – understand what the symptoms and affects are, so that rather than giving up work, this large section of the workforce can continue to be effective for as long as they want to work. As well as dogs in the workplace, this issue is going to be one of our soap boxes, so be warned!

Well, that’ our roundup of September’s news. Did you enjoy it? Is having a monthly, rather than weekly, blog better for you, or not? Let us know your thoughts. We’ll be issuing our next one in early November, so do look out for it. Until then, have a good October – the clocks will go back, our winter wardrobes will come out, the heating will be back on – in other words, all the cosiness of Autumn. Enjoy.