DOD’s blog: Which was the biggest story this week?

It’s been a particularly busy week for the EB newsdesk this week.

Firstly, it is National Living Wage Week. This has been a crucial time to promote the important concept of paying people enough to live on (after all, why should the taxpayer subsidise low-paying employers’ payrolls via tax credits?). I was thrilled to see the wide coverage this concept got across the media, not just specialist titles such as Employee Benefits. I believe that in a few years’ time all good employers will have signed up to be Living Wage employers.

Secondly, it was National Stress Awareness Day on Wednesday. This is another vital issue that is presenting challenges for employers, but which is increasingly being taken more seriously. Ironically, the day co-incided with both EB’s email and website systems playing up –  so we had a serious shot of stress first hand on Stress Awareness Day, just to get the adrenalin going!

Thirdly, it was Equal Pay Day on Thursday. The stats on the pay gap between men and women made the blood boil among all the EB team – not least because media is one of the worst offenders on pay gaps. There are many causes of the gaps, but we should hang our heads in shame that this problem is still so prevalent in 2013.

But we barely had time to consider this and it was time to get our heads round a fourth major story. That of the government consultation on defined ambition pensions, released on Thursday. At this point, it appears that many pensions experts seem think it is broadly a nice idea, but the jury is out on whether it will appeal to many employers as a product. Once the details are worked out this might become clearer.

Ironically, of the four major news stories mentioned above, it was the last that attracted the most press releases and comments. While it is not completely unimportant, it is the one most affecting an industry with lots of money behind it (and therefore vested interests).

So it is not hard to guess which stories will continue to be covered in the coming weeks, and which might fall from view for another year. If we let them.


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Debi O’Donovan
Employee Benefits

Twitter: @DebiODonovan