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The three main business sectors identified in this report are financial, retail and construction sector. These sectors are essential to the economy because they provide jobs, homes and funding for businesses.
The financial sector in the UK comprises financial services to commercial and retail customer, it includes banks, investment funds, insurance companies and real estate. The financial and insurance services alone contributed £126.9 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy in 2015. Trade in financial services makes up a huge amount of the UK’s trade surplus in services, while the banking sector contributed £21.4 billion to UK tax receipts in corporation tax, income tax, national insurance and through the bank levy. In addition, the sector provides one in 14 jobs, and help finance the organisations millions of others work for. According to the Office of National Statistics, the financial services employ more than 1m people in the UK, while almost one million are employed in the professional services organisations.
Almost everyone in the UK has a bank account which they can use to pay bills and carry out other transactions. The UK is one of only three countries where bank customers can make and receive immediate payments 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. UK customers made 930m online card purchases in 2012, to a total value of £69bn. The success of the savings industry in all its forms means that the average pensioner household no longer relies on state benefits for the bulk of its income. The financial services industry has helped millions buy their homes with mortgages. It has also financed the growth of privately rented accommodation, as well as social housing provided by housing associations. The financial services sector which includes banking, insurance, fund management and securities dealing is one of the UK’s largest industries. It contributed £129bn to the UK economy in 2015, 9.6% of that year’s national output. It is sector that is vital for the development of trade and businesses in the UK
Retail Sector Importance to UK Economy
The retail industry is vital to the UK economy; in 2015, the sector generated over £340billion worth of retail sales. It is the largest private sector employer with approximately 290,315 bricks and mortar retail outlets in the UK. Retail sector involves spending by consumers in shops and online. In 2015, UK consumers spent around £378 billion. The sector employs a total of 4.4 million people in 2015, which represent 15.8% of the Great Britain population. This is the largest broad industrial group in Great Britain by the number and proportion of employees. In the combined wholesale and retail industry, the retail sector accounted for 60% of economic output, 71% of employment and 69% of businesses.
The retail sector is one of the most important sector in the UK economy, it contributes 5% to GDP, it also the driving force for industries such as manufacturing, logistics and media. The sector presently employs 1 in 9 working people and accounts for 1 in 12 companies, around 188,000 businesses. The UK is a prime destination amongst international retailers for a large number of reasons, in Britain 60 million consumers makes 320 million transactions per week and it is supported with advanced logistics and infrastructure network across the country. However, the UK’s aging workforce is a problem to the retail sector, in order for the government to keep this sector active and sustainable, it will need to invest on younger generation to take training and courses in retail management for them to become the leaders of tomorrow in the industry. In addition, the sector needs to invest on technological and supply chain innovations and developments.
Construction sector in the UK includes activities like construction of infrastructure and buildings, maintenance, operation and disposal as s well as manufacture and supply of products. The sector output in Britain more than £110 billion per annum and contributes 7% of GDP and approximately a quarter of construction output is public sector and three quarters private sector. Three main sectors that constitutes construction industry are commercial and social (approximately 45%), residential (approximately 40%) and infrastructure (approximately 15%). The industry accounts for approximately 3 million jobs, 10% of total UK employment.
The construction industry of the United Kingdom contributed gross value of £64,747 million to the UK economy in 2004, however by 2014, the industry in the UK contributed £103 billion in economic output, 6.5% of the total. 2.1 million jobs or 6.2% of the UK total were in the construction industry in Q 2015. However, the sector has been facing challenges since the global recession in 2008. The demand for housing as outstrip supply and this is driven housing market beyond average UK citizen income. Infrastructure is investment is still low despite government pledges to stimulate the economy through building. The biggest fall was infrastructure, with a large fall in orders for public projects such as schools and hospitals according to the Office for National Statistics. Construction sector accounts for 6 per cent of British economic output and it vital to the economy growth, stability and communities. The government recently pledged £23bn in infrastructure spending between 2017 and 2022 that will focus on housing and research and development. The three sectors discussed in this report are like the pillar of any economy especially in developed countries and business pour so much funding on research and development.
In United Kingdom, employers must implement some policies and regulations to keep their employees are in their work environment. Business managers that to ensure that people are not discriminated against irrespective of their colour, race or religion. In addition, employers must avoid discrimination during the recruitment and section process, interview and the processes of employing people must be fair, transparency and not discriminatory. In this report, health and safety, equality and diversity will be discussed, and how they protect employees in the work environment.
Equality and Diversity Policy
Equality is about providing equal opportunity for employees regardless of their race, age or religion. Effective implementation of equality in the workplace will help to break down barriers, eliminating discrimination and ensuring equal opportunity and access for all groups both in employment, and to goods and services. On the other hand, diversity is all about appreciating the differences in others. It focuses on celebrating differences and valuing everyone. People make look similar but some differences are non-visible and by respecting this everyone can feel valued for their contributions which is beneficial not only for the individual but for the organisation. Equality and Diversity are not inter-changeable but inter-dependent. There can be no equality of opportunity if difference is not valued and harnessed and taken account of. Fairness in the workplace is an essential part of a successful business organisation and it is supported by the law, the Equality Act 2010.The objective of Equality Act is to improve equal job opportunities and fairness for employees and job applicants. Organisations should have policies in place so these outcomes happen and, just as importantly, to prevent discrimination. Under the Equality Act 2010, it is unlawful to discriminate against people at work. The Act covers nine protected characteristics which are age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. By implementing the Equality and Diversity in the work place, organisations will have access to wider pool of talent, differentiation and sometimes gain competitive advantage. With the Equality Act 2010, employees are protected from discrimination regardless of their protected characteristics at work. For example, employees cannot be discriminated against because of their disability, instead, an organisation should provide people with disability the resources and equipment that will enable them to do their job like any normal person. In addition, existing members of staff, job applicants, or workers should be treated fairly in an environment which is free from any form of discrimination with regardless of their caring responsibilities, part-time employment, membership or non-membership of a trade union or spent convictions. Equality of opportunity should be provided to staff in order for individual to develop and realise their full potential. It is essential to have a diverse workforce at all levels of organisation as well as creating an atmosphere of dignity and respect. For employees to be protected against discrimination and for the organisation to avoid unnecessarily legal action, Equality and Diversity policy should provide a clear framework for translating the policy into action as well as should outlining the responsibilities of individual employees including the CEO, Executive Team and managers.
Health and Safety Policy
Employer have a duty of care towards their employees to ensure that their health and safety at work is respected, managed and provided for. Organisation that do not adhere to the health and safety Act 1974 may face severe consequences. Health and Safety Executive indicated that over 150,000 people sustain injuries in the workplace every year in the UK. It the duty of an employer to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. These mean employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to make their workforce safe. This simply means making sure that workers and others are protected from anything that may cause harm, effectively controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace. Employers under the health and safety law must always assess risks in the workplace. Risk assessments should be carried out that address all risks that might cause harm in their workplace. Managers should give enough information about the risk associated with their work environment and how they are protected and by also providing instruction and training to staff on how to deal with the risks. Consultation is another responsibility of an employer in the workplace in regard to health and safety. Employers must consult employees on health and safety issues. Consultation must be either direct or through a safety representative that is either elected by the workforce or appointed by a trade union. Lastly, employers are required to give employees a HSE booklet an approved poster in a prominent position in each workplace. Employers have a duty of care to employees; however, employees have a duty and a role to play in implementing health and safety in the workplace as well. In the work environment, staff have a duty to take care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions at work. Employees must co-operate with employers and co-workers to help everyone meet their legal requirements. In addition, employees are required to risk that is not known to the employers in their role or workplace. In addition, employees that are concern about the health and safety in their workplace, after reporting the matter to the management and no action is taken, can report the matter to the Health and Safety Executive(HSE).
These policies provide protection for employees in the workplace. The Equality Act 2010 has made it mandatory for employer to provide equal of opportunity for all employees regardless of their race, sexual orientation, age or religion. Employees or people with any of the nine protected characteristics that are subjected to discrimination can take the matter to the employment tribunal. It can be argued that the Equality Act 2010 protect employees in the workplace, created a gate way for employers to have a diverse workforce, make appropriate adjustment for people with disabilities in their workplace and ensure that people are with respect and dignity.
The health and safety Act 1974 makes it compulsory for organisations to have health and safety policy and procedures that have to be communicated to all employees in their workplace. This Act also covers contractors and other stakeholders in the organisation that are always present in the work environment.
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