Debbie Lovewell-Tuck: Get prepared to future proof reward strategies

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck

The speed and frequency of change impacting reward practices and strategy mean keeping on top of all new developments, particularly regulatory and legislative change, can seem like a job in itself. But, as well as meeting mandatory requirements, reward and benefits professionals must also prepare for the impact of legislative change on both broader reward and business strategies.

Over the coming year, a number of incoming pay and benefits-related initiatives are due to come into force, with several more looming in 2018. These will require advance preparation if employers are to successfully future proof their reward strategies against the potential cost impact, without damaging key factors such as employee engagement levels.

With the introduction of gender pay gap reporting, the rise in the national living wage, changes to the tax and employer national insurance contribution efficiencies on some salary sacrifice arrangements and the first increases in minimum contributions under pensions auto-enrolment all fast approaching, employers should take steps now to ensure they have a sustainable plan in place to mitigate the associated costs. Organisations that have already begun to prepare for these changes appear to have taken very different approaches; while some have cut back on perks, others have taken the opposite stance and introduced new options for staff. Read more in How to future proof a reward strategy in light of changing pay regulations.

Changing societal and demographic issues also need to be built into a reward strategy if it is to remain fit for future purpose. An increasing number of employees now have caring responsibilities outside of the workplace, so forward-thinking organisations are looking at how they can support and engage their working carers. Some of the initiatives they have introduced include increased flexibility for carers, family-friendly events, line manager training and peer support networks.

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
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