Financial planning and analysis tops the list as organisations focus on business transformation
As organisations focus on transforming their businesses and navigating political change in a competitive marketplace, the Robert Half 2017 Salary Guide has revealed the positions set to experience the greatest rise in starting salaries in 2017. Roles in financial planning and analysis are set to experience the largest increase (5.8%) in the year ahead. Mobile application developers, operational risk managers and financial controllers also appear in the list for the second year in the row, as demand for professionals in these fields remains high.
The top 10 roles in full are:
- Financial planning and analysis manager in a large company – 5.8%
£64,000 – £82,000
Organisations are seeking the business partnering skills of financial professionals who can review their financial modelling and offer insights to improve profit performance. As businesses consider their future direction these professionals offer strong commercial benefits on how to create efficiencies and improve the overall productivity of the organisation.
- Senior operational risk managers – 5.2%
£85,000 – £120,500
Regulatory compliance has significantly impacted firms’ internal cultures and governance models, creating a growing demand for experienced risk professionals. As organisations invest more in risk functions, they are seeking professionals who can introduce sophisticated risk management schemes which also provide the strategic insight that inform business decisions – from driving product innovation to gaining commercial advantage.
- Project manager in accounting and finance – 4.9%
£45,000 – £51,500
Finance transformation is set to rise to the top of the agenda and firms are seeking finance professionals with strong project management skills who can take ownership of change as well as the efficiency of digitising the finance function. As improving and upgrading systems becomes a priority for CFOs, there is a growing appetite from firms to use highly skilled professionals on a project basis to benefit from a fresh perspective while still applying best practice standards.
- Developers – 4.5%
£27,500 – £48,000
Businesses are looking for a leaner way of simultaneously supporting applications and driving innovation through DevOps. As a result, those who combine technology expertise and know-how with softer skills –such as the ability to communicate and collaborate with the wider business –are becoming vital to supporting wider business objectives.
- Financial controller – 4.3%
£59,500 – £72,750
Financial analysts with strong problem solving skills and attention to detail play a key role supporting the finance function. With new regulation and reporting standards, such as FRS101/102 and changes to limited company taxable benefits, there will be a premium for qualified accountants who can help organisations remain compliant.
- Operational risk managers – 4.3%
£62,000 – £95,000
As firms increase investment in resources and IT infrastructure to improve conduct risk surveillance and management information, there’s a growing need for skilled professionals who can create risk management frameworks. Operational risk managers are emerging alongside senior ORMs as an in-demand discipline with businesses placing a premium on risk specialists who can embed risk management into business models.
- Mobile applications developer – 4.3%
£36,000 – £62,000
The rising number of smartphone and tablet users means starting salaries are continuing to increase for those responsible for coding, testing and debugging new applications or changing and enhancing existing mobile applications.
- Junior developer – 4.3%
£19,500 – £30,000
Responsible for designing and developing high performing applications through agile methodologies, support and maintenance, starting salaries are increasing at a rate reflective of the skills deficit in the market. Increasingly, candidates with five-plus years’ experience are being offered salary levels on par with those with more than 10 years of experience.
- Financial planning and analysis manager in an SME company – 4.1%
£65,000 – £73,500
With firms from all sectors looking for more commercial and measurable outcomes, the remit of financial and analysis managers is being extended. They are increasingly responsible for exploring new areas of development and making recommendations aligned to the strategic focus of the business.
- Commercial finance controller in a large company – 4.0%
£76,250 – £94,250
Working closely with the financial controller, these qualified accountancy professionals act as business partners to support the revenue growth of an organisation. Using the expertise of management accountants and financial analysis they are able to distill the insights needed for each department within a large company to operate efficiently.
Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director, United Kingdom, South America and the Middle East, Robert Half commented: “The rise in starting salaries is a reflection of organisations taking on business transformation projects, financial planning and risk mitigation which is adding additional strain on the limited supply of professionals with these skills.
“To win the growing war for talent, businesses need to offer competitive salaries, opportunities for development and a supportive company culture to remain an employer of choice.”
Is it legal for an employer force an employee to have the COVID vaccine?
By Amanda Hamilton, CEO, National Association of Licensed Paralegals
Can you force your staff to have the vaccine before they return to work? Quite simply, no, not legally!
Despite the claims of some of the anti-vaxxers, there is no law in the UK which requires mandatory vaccination. The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 devolves powers to Parliament to legislate in order to protect UK Citizens. The law enables Parliament to intervene in an emergency situation, such as the pandemic, and impose lockdowns and restrictions to protect citizens, but it cannot impose mandatory vaccinations.
In other words, there is no power to make vaccinations mandatory. This raises a whole host of issues – from human rights to equality – and balances them against the rights of others to be safe in their workplace. In addition, it raises issues around the possible criminal implications of forcing someone to be vaccinated against their will.
Potential criminal implications: The Offences Against the Persons Act 1861 s20 states that an unlawful wounding would occur if a person were forced to have a vaccination against their will. A wound means ‘a break of the skin’. This statute still remains in force today.
Human Rights and Equality: Compulsory medical treatment or testing is contrary to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights meaning that it is a human right to refuse medical treatment if you wish to do so. Refusing medical treatment could be because of deeply held religious or other beliefs, and this brings into play the Equality Act 2010. This statute states an individual is protected from discrimination from nine possible characteristics including: age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and sex.
So, an employer cannot force an employee to be vaccinated. But can that employer dismiss an employee for refusing the vaccine?
Again, simply no. If they did, then it would amount to an unfair dismissal and the employee could justifiably take the employer to an employment tribunal for discrimination. The case would be brought under the Equality Act 2010 in that the claimant’s refusal to be vaccinated is founded on a fundamental belief or on religious grounds. It would of course, be for the claimant to prove that she/he has such beliefs.
And it would be exactly the same if the claimant felt that they were being victimised, because of their belief, to such an extent that they felt that they could not continue being in the employ of the employer, and consequently, resigned. This would amount to constructive dismissal. The result being the same as if the employer had dismissed the employee – an employment tribunal case could ensue for unfair dismissal.
So how on earth can an employer manage such a situation if there is a statutory duty to provide a safe environment for employees in the workplace? The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 places the responsibility on employers to protect the ‘health, safety and welfare’ at work of all employees and includes others on the premises such as temps, contractors and visitors.
This appears to be in contradiction to the premise that it is an individual’s right to refuse the vaccine. The only way to manage this is to impose certain guidelines on employees such as those we are all asked to follow during the current pandemic, e.g. social distancing, mask wearing and sanitising/hand washing etc.
It may also be prudent to find alternative work for the employee until it is safe for them to return. A reasonable solution such as this should be acceptable to an employee. If not, and the employee brings an unfair dismissal case against the employer for constructive dismissal on the basis of discrimination, then a Tribunal, hearing such a case would weigh up the rights of the claimant to refuse the vaccine, with the nature of the work they do, the alternatives offered to them, and how many others would be put at risk, if they were to continue in their role without vaccination. In other words, they would look at the situation and apply a test of reasonability.
Lastly, can an employer insist that their staff tell them whether or not they have been vaccinated?
If you can demonstrate that asking them to be vaccinated is a reasonable management instruction, then asking them for this information will also be reasonable. However, just as you can’t force them to be vaccinated, you also can’t force them to reveal their vaccination status. Again, equality laws will come into play if there is a risk that revealing their vaccination status will result in discrimination within the workplace.
If they do agree to tell you then this will constitute sensitive personal health data and you’ll need to comply with GDPR. The same applies to information about who has not been vaccinated and why.
Generally, the best policy is one of unambiguous communication. Explain why you’d like staff to be vaccinated and why you’d like the information about their status. Give them an opportunity to discuss this privately with you or your HR department, and look at ways to mitigate the risks and offer alternative working options. This way you have done your best to provide the right working environment, have kept staff informed and engaged in the process and ultimately reduced the chances of a successful Tribunal claim.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Amanda Hamilton is Chief Executive of the National Association of Licensed Paralegals (NALP), a non-profit Membership Body and the only Paralegal body that is recognised as an awarding organisation by Ofqual (the regulator of qualifications in England). Through its Centres, accredited recognised professional paralegal qualifications are offered for a career as a paralegal professional.
UK’s Taylor Wimpey sees recovery building in 2021 after good start
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
(Reuters) – Britain’s third-largest homebuilder Taylor Wimpey reported a strong start to the year on Tuesday and forecast a recovery in sales and margins in 2021 after a slump in 2020.
The group also earmarked 125 million pounds ($174 million) for fire safety work on its developments amid a nationwide drive to improve building safety following a deadly tower block fire in London in 2017.
The FTSE 100 firm said it expected to develop fewer affordable homes than usual this year, with a higher proportion of more profitable private homes, which would help improve its operating margin.
Its shares were trading 2.2% higher at 1000 GMT.
“The key news is that they are talking better on the operating margin for 2021, recent trade has been resilient … and all looks in pretty good shape,” said Canaccord Genuity analyst Aynsley Lammin.
Taylor Wimpey said it expected 2021 operating margin to rise to between 18.5% and 19% after it tumbled to 10.8% in 2020 from 19.6% a year earlier.
Britain is expected to extend a tax break on home purchases by three months and unveil a mortgage guarantee scheme in Wednesday’s budget, moves that could bolster the housebuilding sector after Prime Minister Boris Johnson unveiled an exit plan from coronavirus lockdowns.
Taylor Wimpey, which has operations in Britain and Spain, joined rivals Barratt and Persimmon in setting aside funds to meet new fire safety regulations introduced after a deadly fire at London’s Grenfell Tower in 2017.
The group made pretax profit of 264.4 million pounds ($367 million) last year, down 68.4% from a year earlier and just below analysts’ average forecast of 267 million in a company-provided poll. Revenue fell about 37% to 2.79 billion pounds.
It resumed dividend payments, with a final payout of 4.14 pence per share.
($1 = 0.7202 pounds)
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru. Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Mark Potter)
Boohoo defends supplier practices after report of possible U.S. import ban
LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Boohoo defended its supplier practices again on Tuesday after a Sky News report said the online fashion retailer faced the possibility of a U.S. import ban due to allegations over the use of slave labour in supplier factories.
Sky News said U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has seen sufficient evidence to launch an investigation after petitions from lawyer Duncan Jepson, who runs Liberty Shared, a campaign group against modern-day slavery.
It quotes Jepson as saying Boohoo is not doing enough to stop forced labour in the factories in Leicester, central England, which supply many of its clothes.
Shares in Boohoo were down 5.7% at 0907 GMT.
Last September Boohoo accepted all the recommendations of an independent review which found major failings in its supply chain in England after newspaper allegations about working conditions and low pay, and set out steps to tackle the problems.
The group, which sells own-brand clothing, shoes, accessories and beauty products targeted at 16- to 40-year-olds, said that over the past eight months it has been working closely with UK enforcement bodies.
“It is important to note that auditors and investigators who are forensically examining suppliers in Leicester have found no evidence of modern day slavery,” it said in a statement.
Boohoo said it has not been notified of any investigation by U.S. CBP.
“We are confident in the actions that we are taking to ensure that all of the group’s products meet and exceed the CBP criteria on preventing the product of forced labour entering the U.S.,” it said.
“We will work with any competent authority to assure them that products from our supply chain meet the required standard.”
In November Boohoo appointed retired judge Brian Leveson to independently check its “Agenda for Change” programme, which implements the recommendations of the independent review.
“The group continues to make excellent progress as it works to implement the review’s recommendations and improve our supply chain in Leicester,” it added.
(Reporting by James Davey)
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