From the controversial Brexit vote, to the Queen celebrating her landmark 90th birthday, to the phenomenal election of Donald Trump as the next American president, the year that was 2016 will go down as one for the books. The world of employment had its own assortment of newsworthy events that made the past 12 months rather interesting.
All the way from the new minimum wage legislation taking effect earlier this year to the controversial Pendleton versus Derbyshire court decision, we certainly weren’t at a loss for inspiring, or not so inspiring, developments in the world of employment. With that said, let’s take a look back at the year that was 2016 and a few events that made news headlines in some more detail.
Brexit: There is no doubt that the Brexit vote was by far one of the most surprising events of the year. While the sun thankfully rose unceremoniously the day after the vote, the employment market also continued fairly unaffected by the UK’s decision to break away from the EU. The country’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9% following the vote, with weekly earnings rising by almost 3%. While some political careers undoubtedly experienced a few setbacks (and others’ a shot in the arm) thanks to Brexit, the employment market thankfully showed remarkable resilience against anticipated effects.
New Minimum Wage: The new National Minimum Wage became law on 1 April 2016, increasing the minimum hourly rate for workers over 25 and who are not in their first year of an apprenticeship, to £7.20. This is will increase to a further £7.50 on 1 April 2017. If you’re an employee or an employer, refer to the National Living Wage’s website to check your eligibility for a wage increase and what your duties as an employer are to ensure qualifying employees are compensated properly.
The Network Rail Case: In October this year, a new father won a tribunal judgement against Network Rail that saw the claimant win £28,000 in compensation from the railway operator. Mr Snell applied for shared parental leave and discovered that he would be paid the statutory amount for the 12 weeks he would be away from work. The statutory amount of £140 per week is significantly less than the full pay granted to his wife. On this basis, Mr. Snell pursued a sexual discrimination case against Network Rail, which he subsequently won. The case sets a precedent for new fathers who feel entitled to equal leave pay-outs to that of new mothers.
The Rising Gig Economy: The numbers are in and 2016 was a great year for digital nomads, interim managers, freelancers, telecommuters and everyone else contributing to an exploding new work culture. The UK has seen a 20% increase in Interim Managers between 2008 and 2014, with more recruiters and employers looking to secure interim talent in the coming years. With cost savings and increased efficiency rated amongst the top benefits for companies, the business case for hiring Interims and contractors is becoming clear. In fact, the UK’s employment market is projected to consist of 50% self-employed professionals in the next five years, with independent workers also being the fastest growing market segment across the European Union.
The InteriMarket Launch: What made 2016 especially exciting for us was the launch of our platform. After months of research, development, debate, design and other pre-launch duties, InteriMarket stepped onto the digital stage as a platform specifically tailored to the demands of maintaining a successful career as an interim professional. Since our launch, we had a tremendous response from independent workers across the UK and have seen some unbelievably rewarding jobs secured on our platform. We have now already expanded our technology to Ireland & we look forward to 2017 where we will scale our technology to many more regions as the demand keeps growing.
It’s been a fantastic year for us and the countless interim professionals who have found great new opportunities on our platform. We’d like to thank all of our valued members who use InteriMarket every day – we hope 2016 was a year of success and rewards and that 2017 will meet you with even better prospects! Have a safe and blessed festive season – from the InteriMarket Team.