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Nov 4, 2022
This article is part of a series called The Most Interesting HR Stories of the Week.

AmEx to publish salary ranges on job ads nationwide

Ahead of new legislation that requires companies in New York City to publish pay ranges, American Express has announced it will be publishing salary bands on all new job advertisements – nationwide. Any company that is located in New York City and employs four or more people must post salary ranges for open roles starting on November 1. But AmEx is one the first companies to announce that it will extend pay transparency beyond New York City. A spokesperson said: “Although the law is only applicable within New York City, we have extended this same level of transparency across the US to ensure a consistent experience for job seekers interested in finding their place on our team.” But, while some say publishing details about pay is a big leap forward for equality, critics argue some published pay bands are now so wide, they are meaningless. Managers at American Express, for example, can make between $80,000 to $155,000. At IBM – which has also started publishing pay ranges – an entry level designer can earn $73,000-$152,000. By next year, it is predicted that up to one-third of workers will be able to see salary ranges in job listings, or at least request them from the companies they are applying to.

Ford gives under-performing staff the option to take severance deal

Long-term under-performing employees at The Ford Motor Company are being given the option to voluntarily leave. Confirmed this week, the new option gives certain employees the ability to leave the company with severance packages rather than go through its internal performance management system, known internally as its Performance Enhancement Plan or PEP, according to company spokesperson Marisa Bradley. Typically, employees on a PEP would have to show (on a weekly basis), that they are improving. The updated policy now allows staff who have reached that point of intervention to leave the company with severance payouts based on length of employment, continuation of benefits and career transition services. Earlier this year, Ford slashed 3,000 positions — 2,000 salaried jobs and 1,000 contract jobs — in a bid to drive efficiencies and cut redundant roles. But this policy is not, it is claimed, part of any plans to meet attrition or cost reduction targets. Ford claims only around 100 staff go through a PEP each year.

US workers have gotten ‘way less productive’

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed that in the first half of 2022, the measure of how much output in goods and services an employee can produce in an hour plunged by its sharpest rate since records began in 1947. As such, experts claim the data raises new questions about the shift to hybrid schedules and remote work, and whether working flexibility really has helped staff work more efficiently. “People are missing their work hours, they’re showing up late for their shifts, but companies can’t do anything about it because they know it is so hard to replace those workers right now,” claimed Sinem Buber, lead economist at ZipRecruiter. She added: “Back in 2019, the policy was one strike and you’re out, and I’ll get a better person to do the job. Right now it’s 10 strikes and maybe you’ll be out.”

Musk wants Twitter staff to work round the clock to meet ‘Blue Tick’ deadline

Fears that Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, will introduce draconian work demands have seemingly come to fruition, after it was reported he has ordered staff to work day and night in order to get his ‘Blue Tick’ (verified account) subscription service up and running within days. Employees at Twitter have been working “24/7″ on delivering Musk’s vision for verification, according to senior staff members. One person added that teams were told it was of the “utmost gravity”. Morale is also claimed to be low, after Musk fired the entire board. Wrote one Twitter employee: “Pumpkin sugar cookie ghosts and Jack-o-lanterns but the spookiest thing of all this Halloween is job insecurity.” Another said: “The revolving door of leadership has hurt the company, while staff are trying to keep going.”

Former Apple employee admits to defrauding company of $17 million

Dhirendra Prasad, a former employee at Apple, has pleaded guilty in a federal court to conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States. Prasad – who worked for Apple between 2008-2018, as a buyer in its Global Service Supply Chain – started taking kickbacks, inflating invoices, stealing parts, and causing Apple to pay for items and services never received, it was revealed. In 2016, for example, Prasad arranged to have Apple components shipped to a warehouse of Hansen’s business, where they were repackaged and sold back to Apple – “thus billing Apple for its own components,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The United States also instituted a civil forfeiture action – requiring Prasad to give over assets he acquired with the fraud profits, including multiple properties. Prasad is set to be sentenced next March. He could face more than 20 years in prison.

Is flexible working coming to an end?

Could the short-lived era of mass flexible working be coming to an end? New data from LinkedIn, reported by CNBC, find that in the US, the number of postings for remote roles has plummeted by five percentage points since April, when they hit a record high of 20%. While this is still much higher than the pre-pandemic average of 2%, the fall is being seen by some as signaling employers’ demands for staff to return to the office. The research shows that countries around the world follow a similar pattern. In the UK, remote jobs now only comprise 14.6% of opportunities. Flexible working is not the only employee perk being hit by the current economic turmoil, the survey found. Some 74% of executives said skills development may have to take a backseat, while 75% said employee wellbeing would likely be less of a priority.

Employers added more than expected jobs in October

New data reveals US employers beat analyst expectations by adding nearly a quarter of a million new jobs last month. Some 239,000 workers were added in October – way above the 190,000 experts had forecast. Gains were strongest in the leisure and hospitality industry, where 210,000 jobs were added last month. Much of the increases came from midsize businesses with 50-249 employees. “This is a really strong number given the maturity of the economic recovery,” commented ADP chief economist, Nela Richardson. Experts suggest the rise in employment is an indicator the labor market still remains strong, even as the economy starts to show evidence of a slowdown. These figures follow news that job openings in September increased to 10.7 million, well above the 9.8 million expected.



This article is part of a series called The Most Interesting HR Stories of the Week.