Top Stories

October 27, 2014


Engagement at work is on the rise, says global survey

Employee engagement is improving on a global level, a major survey of multinational employers has found. According to the Great Place to Work Institute, which analysed employee engagement in 40 countries over the past five years, most countries have experienced a rise in trust levels at work, with some experiencing a significant increase. The report entitled ‘The Dawn of the Great Workplace Era’, found that there was increased focus on wellbeing and work-life balance, and greater transparency. The country where employees were found to be most engaged was Poland which scored +18 on Great Place to Work Trust Index, compared to the US, which sat at 0. Engagement scores in the UK have been gradually on the rise, according to the report, with UK employers scoring +6 on the Trust Index. The company to score highest in the list of multinational employers was search giant Google, closely followed by fellow technology companies SAS Institute and NetApp. (Personnel Today)


European Central Bank says most Eurozone banks are healthy

European Central Bank (ECB) regulators said Sunday that all but 13 of the continent’s leading banks have enough capital to ride out another economic storm. The ECB announced the results of a nearly yearlong effort to assess the finances of 150 banks, identifying 13 which still need to come up with a total of €9.5 billion ($12 billion) in extra capital. Overall, 25 banks have failed the so-called stress tests, including nine Italian and three Greek. However, most have already taken steps to solve their problems since the end of 2013, the cut-off date for the exercise. Banks that received failing marks now have two weeks to explain to regulators how they plan to overcome their deficits and nine months to implement these plans. Turning the ECB into the Eurozone’s bank watchdog is a critical step to setting up a so-called Eurozone banking union. The hope is that moving control over important banks out of national hands will prevent the kind of banking crises that rocked Ireland, Spain and Cyprus in recent years. (Wall Street Journal*)

Equal Pay

Asda faces mass legal action over equal pay for women

Asda, the UK’s second largest retailer, is facing mass legal action by women employees in their stores. More than 1000 employment tribunal claims have been lodged so far, on claims that women are not paid the same as their male colleagues – despite their jobs being of ‘equivalent value’. The legal action, believed to be the largest of its kind in the private sector, could lead to some very high pay-outs. If the action taken on behalf of women under equal pay legislation is successful, it could have some serious ramifications for the whole sector. The legal firm managing the case, Leigh Day, says it has already received 19,000 enquiries from current or former Asda staff – increasingly including some male employees – in relation to the group legal action. Lauren Loughheed, the solicitor with Leigh Day who is leading the case, said that the pay difference between shop and warehouse workers could be as much as £4 an hour. Asda has signalled it will vigorously fight the allegations. (BBC)


RB hits zero waste to landfill mark in Europe and North America

Multinational consumer goods firm RB (formerly Reckitt Benckiser) has achieved zero manufacturing waste to landfill across its European and North American factories, thanks to the implementation of various location-specific innovations. The company, which owns Nurofen, Vanish, and Durex, amongst others, has also reduced waste per unit by 7 percent since 2013, as part of its ‘betterbusiness’ sustainability strategy. The strategy includes targets to send zero waste to landfill and reduce waste per unit of production by 10 percent by 2020. Specific RB sites across the world took different strategic steps to cut waste, based on their resources and waste patterns. RB global head of sustainability Victoria Wood said: “Since launching our ‘betterbusiness’ strategy in 2012, we’ve seen a rapid transition towards zero waste. We’ve gone from 4 to 31 factories achieving zero manufacturing waste to landfill status. This is over 60% of our factories globally. I’m proud of what our teams have achieved in such a short time and how they are hitting our targets early.” (Business Green; Edie)


Canon expands bulk toner-cartridge return program

Canon has become the first company to launch a toner cartridge recycling programme, enabling its UK costumers to send 30 different types of cartridges for recycling free of charge. Customers in the UK are able to return their Canon cartridges for recycling using a postal system or a newly introduced bulk system. Canon provides return boxes which can be filled with around 25-30 cartridges and consumers are encouraged to ensure each box is filled to its capacity. To minimise wastage and fully utilise all of the components within the cartridges, each component is reused, recycled or used to generate energy from the waste – with nothing sent to a landfill. Since 1990, Canon has amassed and recycled 324,000 tonnes of cartridges globally, having subsequently saved over 480,000 tonnes worth of CO2 emissions. (2Degrees)


Image source: ‘ASDA, Omagh – – 144599′ by Kenneth Allen / CC BY-SA 2.0