Kavitha’s keynote: Applauding the best in benefits

kavitha's keynote

Hello, and welcome to my first official blog as editor of Employee Benefits!

For those of you who may have missed last week’s announcement, I have temporarily stepped into the shoes of Debbie Lovewell-Tuck, who is now on maternity leave awaiting her little bundle of joy.

While on the topic of special deliveries, Amazon hit the headlines earlier this week. Three organisations that distribute parcels on the online retailer’s behalf are facing legal action over drivers’ employment status and entitlement to employment rights, such as holiday pay and the national minimum wage.

Trade union GMB is arguing that its members, who work as couriers for Prospect Commercials, Box Group and Lloyd Link, should be classified as employees rather than independent, self-employed contractors. This marks yet another high profile recent development surrounding employee classification and the gig economy.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Social Care published Carers action plan 2018-2020: support carers today in a bid to improve the available support for carers in England, including the consideration of dedicated employment rights specifically for them.

The report explores issues that carers might face at work, as well as outlining what the government can do to support them with the help of employers, relevant charities, providers and associations.

Of course, while the plan will take time to implement, any steps that encourage support for working carers will certainly be welcomed.

And finally, on Friday 8 June, the incredible and inspiring achievements of the industry will be celebrated at this year’s Employee Benefits Awards and Summer Party. A total of 22 awards will be presented across categories including Best flexible benefits plan and Best mental health strategy.

As a newbie to this annual afternoon of fun and networking, I’m looking forward to joining the celebrations and seeing many of you there. If you’re unable to come along, you can follow all the action live on Twitter, including details of the winners as they are announced, using #EBAwards18.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
Tweet: @kavithasiva_EB