Construction deaths upOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Figures show the building industry clearly needs to examine its safetyrecordMore workers died on building sites in the past nine months on record thanin the whole of the previous 12 months, leading to serious concerns aboutsafety in the construction trade, the Health and Safety Commission has said. From last March to December 2001, a total of 86 workers were killed onconstruction sites, compared with 85 workers killed between April 1999 andMarch 2000. The 1999/2000 figure also showed a substantial increase on statistics forthe previous year, in which 68 people were killed on construction sites, saidthe commission. But the number of accidents in the sector also increased – although lesssharply, with 5,040 people suffering major injuries in 1999/2000 and 10,292suffering injuries that kept them off work for more than three days. This compared with 5,034 and 9,576 respectively reported the year before. Nevertheless, construction workers were six times more likely to have anaccident at work than the average British worker, said the HSC. The manufacturing sector reported 46 worker deaths in the nine months toDecember 2000, with 39 deaths reported in agriculture and 51 deaths in theservice industries. The sharp rise in the fatalities in the construction sector has led the HSCto challenge the industry to improve its health and safety record. Health and Safety Commission chairman Bill Callaghan called on the industryto commit itself to action, urging those within construction to draw up theirown action plans to meet Government safety targets. “We know what kills people and we know how to prevent accidents, but wecan’t have a health and safety inspector on all of the million or soconstruction sites,” he said. Related posts:No related photos.
Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. … in briefOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today This months news in briefFemale architect settles sex discrimination case A female local authority architect who claimed harassment by two malecolleagues has reached a confidential settlement with her former employees. Thewoman, who had complained about the pictures of nude women kept by her boss andanother colleague, said she was forced to resign from her job. The authoritysaid it had reached a settlement without admission of liability to reduce thelevel of stress and anxiety of the people involved. Government extends parental leave Employees with children aged under five years old can now take more thanthree months off work. The Government has extended the right to unpaid leave toparents of all children who were aged under five when the Parental Leavedirective was first introduced on 15 December 1999, bringing UK legislationinto line with the EU and benefiting an additional three million employees. Right to reduce pension contributions The House of Lords has ruled that an employer was entitled to deal with asurplus that has arisen in a pension scheme by reducing the amount it paid intothe scheme. International Power (formerly National Power) and National Grid Cowere appealing against a decision by the Pensions Ombudsman who had upheldNational Grid members’ objections to their employers using any part of thesurplus to reduce its own payments. Ban on genetic testing The Disability Rights Commission has called for a ban on employers askingpeople for genetic test results. The DRC wants the Disability DiscriminationAct 1995 to be extended to protect anyone with a genetic predisposition tocertain illnesses being forced to take genetic tests. Arbitration scheme The alternative arbitration scheme, proposed by the conciliation serviceAcas will be launched on 20 May. It will enable unfair dismissal claims to beheard by independent arbitrators in a confidential setting, rather than in anemployment tribunal. However, it’s thought that only 1,000 cases will be heardnext year, out of an estimated 53,000 cases.
Half of all firms now recruit via NetOn 22 May 2001 in Personnel Today Morethan half of all employers are using the Internet to recruit potentialcandidates, according to the CIPD’s fifth annual recruitment survey.Morethan 55 per cent of the 250 HR professionals surveyed claim their company uses theNet to recruit employees, a rise of more than 10 per cent on 2000.Butthe survey, launched today at the CIPD’s Recruitment Conference in London, alsoshows that many employers feel they are duplicating work in using both theInternet and traditional recruitment methods to recruit.ImogenDaniels, the CIPD’s resourcing and development adviser, said, “Employersare using the Internet so they do not miss out on potential candidates,especially with the tight labour market.”Afterthe honeymoon period of a couple of years ago, when recruiters thought theInternet would revolutionise recruitment, they are now more wary. Some believethat time is being wasted on sifting through completely unsuitable candidates.”Morethan 62 per cent now use the Web to recruit for professionals. Butthere has been a 13 per cent drop between 1999 and 2000 in the number ofemployers recruiting skilled manual workers, to 35 per cent. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article
Clarke Wetter answer questions on recruitment and retentionQ: With the current emphasis on global recruitment cost cutting, howimportant do you think culture is to maintain cohesion, commitment and moralewithin the workforce? A: Company culture is very important, as cost cutting ultimately putsmore pressure on staff, with increasing challenges and decreasing resources,and it can often be the belief in the corporate values and the culture thathelps keep staff motivated. People need to be able to work together and feel confident enough to be ableto transfer knowledge and to identify ways to achieve shared goals. As headcount reduces, the need for reliable and knowledgeable employees whounderstand the intricacies of cultural intelligence sets the company apart fromthe competition. Q: Globalisation has allowed companies to source work and talent fromoutside their national borders. How can the recruitment issues associated withthis be managed? A: It is important to understand the package being offered,legislation and how workforces should be hired, inducted, managed, motivatedand retained, with a realistic approach to retaining the core company identity,values and vision. Mixed nationality teams need to be managed differently, as there may besignificant variations in approach (the way things are done and how peopleinteract) and in which context and industry they work within. Comparing different national recruiting cultures and the collective activityof the company is a good idea. This allows a company to identify crucialdifferences in the behaviour of potential employees and adjust individual orcorporate beliefs through continual learning and exploration. It is important that HR teams (national, regional and global) do not confusenational behaviour with personality traits of individuals. This needs to becontinually acknowledged and communicated. There is the danger of missing quality potential employees and successorsbecause they don’t speak the ‘Headquarter language’ – it is too narrow to thinkthat one must speak Mandarin or Spanish let alone English to succeed or berecruited. Q: Getting things done within any organisation requires an understandingof the ‘way we do things around here’. How do you advise your clients tonavigate through the obvious pitfalls this entails? A: When working with our clients we share and gather ourunderstanding of the core international/national style before the interviewprocess commences. All too often this is skimmed over due to a lack of insightor knowledge, or simply because another priority has landed on the desk, but itis by far the most important stage of any recruitment programme. We suggest that clients maintain strict measurement guidelines throughoutinterviews that translate globally as much as is practicable. When using international recruitment providers, how critical is it to thesuccess of the relationship that they understand the organisational needs indifferent countries? Consultants need to act as a seamless addition to the company in order togain trust and to deliver successfully. The working relationship is veryimportant; and we find it only succeeds when knowledge is shared. This isparticularly important when looking at things from a local perspective whenrecruiting in countries where there is perhaps little understanding of thecomplexity of local, regional and global issues. Developing an intimate understanding of client needs and building trustultimately leads to an efficient and successful hiring programme and helpsdevelop a true working partnership. Q: How can organisations deal with the key issues which impact onretention of staff? A: We all know that personal and professional development of anindividual is very important to the growth of any organisation, and the focusof this changes from country to country. Training and reward is not the onlyanswer for staff retention. Individuals need to continue to develop all roundcapabilities that encompass self-awareness, self-development and respectingcolleagues from different countries and cultures. Leaders need to be able motivate and inspire the teams and it is essentialthat positive and useful communication is translated accurately – understandinghow to motivate and influence potential employees inevitably leads to lessalienation and helps to build a cohesive team environment as well as a moreastute and understanding workforce. Q: Is it important to carry out competitive analysis when recruiting? A: The prime concern when recruiting is to interview the potentialcandidate and not the organisation the individual has worked for, otherwisethis could lead to a belief that the individual is only a commodity and lessimportant than the company culture they might be leaving. However, competitive analysis aids workforce planning as well as talentmapping and management, and when recruiting internationally it saves time,effort, energy and money – awareness of your competitor is always important andwill gain you respect across the business. Q: How can cultural wisdom be sustained? A: Cultural wisdom can be sustained through being open minded tolearn new ways of working. Take the best from each country, adapt and blend –we are all different and we can all win if we agree a core set of values, understandingand acceptance. If this is not done then exceptional talent may be lost. Q: Is it important to maintain consistency when hiring under differentmarket circumstances globally? A: Global consistency is important because one country or region’s resultsmay be different to those of another. In times of boom companies may lowertheir recruiting standards or indulge in panic hiring – based on pureavailability rather than competencies and experience – and these recruits canbe seen as a weakness in times of rationalisation. However, companies need toconsider the impact of making people redundant as this may be totally againstthe national culture and can have a damaging effect on retaining remainingstaff and potentially have a negative impact on the company’s standing withcustomers in certain countries. There should always be one statement for corporate messages and marketpositioning for potential employees. Consistency helps to uphold core values and standards, and companies can usesuccessful business results in one country as a stepping stone to a positiveposition elsewhere. Clarke Wetter is a new international executive search consultancy whichcombines the vast experience of two successful global recruiters, JacquelineClarke and Derek Wetter.The company’s comprehensive network and in-depth understandingof the roles and behavioural competencies required by potential employees,ensures a successful outcome.Tel: +44 1189 [email protected] has a finance background and was instrumental in setting up CISCO UK,responsible for finance, operations and HR. He then moved into InternationalSearch and gave strategic advice on resourcing strategies that add value to thebusiness. After many years as a consultant, he headed up the Europeanrecruitment team for Exodus before joining forces with Jacqueline to formClarke Wetter. [email protected] Clarke has spent many years living in Asia and across Europe. Hercareer started in the Royal Military Police and she has recruited in Africa,Russia, Australia and all around Europe, giving her a deep understanding of thecultural differentiators of recruiting and resourcing on theinternational circuit. Comments are closed. Q and AOn 1 Feb 2002 in Military, Personnel Today Related posts: Previous Article Next Article Features list 2021 – submitting content to Personnel TodayOn this page you will find details of how to submit content to Personnel Today. We do not publish a…
CIPD doubts over tribunal reformsOn 26 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Claimsby the Government that its plans to reform the tribunal system will reduce thenumber of employment tribunals by up to 40,000 a year have been doubted by theCIPD.TheDepartment for Trade and Industry made the prediction in its document Routes toResolution: Improving Dispute Resolution in Britain, which outlines theproposals (see below).MikeEmmott, head of employment relations for the CIPD, has welcomed the reforms,many of which are included in next year’s Employment Bill. However, he issceptical that they will have such a significant impact in reducing employmenttribunals.”TheDTI’s estimate of the impact of these measures on reducing the number ofemployment tribunals is much more than I would have expected,” he said.”Ithink it is optimistic, but the Government is bound to want to put a gloss onits activities.”Emmottbelieves the number of employment tribunals will continue to increase, at leastin the short term, as new legislation in the Employment Bill on paternityleave, equal pay questionnaires and flexible working requests becomes law fromApril next year.Emmott’sviews are supported by a survey of more than 2,000 employers published lastweek, which shows that more than four in 10 managers report that the number ofunfair dismissal cases has grown over the past year.Thestudy, by the Future of Work programme and the Economic and Social ResearchCouncil, also finds that one in six companies have reported an increased wagebill for legal advice about employment-related issues.By Ben Willmottwww.dti.gov.uk/er/individual/etresponse2.htmThetribunal reforms include:–Plans to make it easier for tribunals to strike out weak claims–The introduction of a fixed period of conciliation–Improved promotion of alternative dispute resolution–The introduction of statutory grievance procedures at work–The introduction of a fast track for straightforward tribunal claims Related posts:No related photos.
Comments are closed. Call centre staff at utility company Npower have agreed to pay cuts andfreezes in a bid to save their jobs. Saudagar Singh, HR director at Npower, said the pay deal involved staff atthree new call centres acquired when the company bought Northern Electric andGas in September 2001. Employees at the call centres in the North East voted by two to one toaccept a deal which will bring their pay in line with the group’s other centresthroughout the country. Singh said Npower had to take action because overall costs at the new siteswere 25 per cent higher than at other customer service centres, largely due towage bills. He explained that the company wanted to keep the centres open, butthe only way to do this was to cut wage bills. Last August, the company started talking to the unions, explaining that itneeded to cut costs. “We are very pleased with the outcome. It shows that if you work hard,common sense prevails. We were not rushed [during negotiations], and weresensible and pragmatic. We now have an economically sustainable and viablebusiness,” said Singh. Throughout the consultation process, staff were kept fully informed viaface-to-face briefings with managers, internal bulletins, question and answersessions, information on the intranet and a feedback e-mail address. Managers were also fully briefed on the status of the process and giveninformation so they could answer staff questions on a one-to-one basis. After negotiations, staff had the option to vote for new starters to starton less, and for other staff to face wage freezes for up to four years, or takea reduction in pay of up to 5 per cent. By Quentin Reade Related posts:No related photos. Call centre staff agress to wage cutsOn 11 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article
Govt dragging feet over equality says EOCOn 7 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. The head of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) says that currentGovernment policy is seriously undermining efforts to reduce inequality andimprove public services. Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC, told the Labour Party conference that theGovernment’s failure to change the law so that public bodies would have toactually promote sex equality themselves, was holding back the drive for parityin the workplace. She argued that true equality would not be achieved unless the legislationwas modernised. More than 247 MPs, including around 200 from the Labour party, backed anearly day motion for changes to the equality laws earlier this year. Mellor said: “Britain’s sex equality laws are almost 30 years old.Individuals can take legal action if they have been discriminated against, but[the laws] do little to ensure everyone is treated fairly. We need institutionsto change. “Reducing inequality is quite rightly a political priority today, butfailure to change the law seriously undermines that commitment,” she said.”It won’t be fulfilled unless public bodies are required to takeequality into account in the way they deliver services, in all aspects ofpolicy and in their employment policies.” The EOC has just published its Vision for UK Equality, in which it claimsthat a more equal society would increase prosperity, strengthen democracy,improve public services and lead to a higher quality of life. Mellor was speaking at a fringe meeting entitled ‘Altogether now: the birth ofthe single equalities commission’, at the Labour Party conference inBournemouth. www.eoc.org.uk
The Employment Appeal Tribunal has rejected a challenge tothe upper age limit of 65 for claiming unfair dismissal and redundancy paymentsthree years ahead of the implementation date for the new law on agediscrimination. Melanie Thomas reportsAmidst the flurry of new employment laws either implemented or announcedthis year, the one that probably stands out more than any other is theprohibition on age discrimination, due to be introduced at the end of 2006. The government is consulting on how to implement the European Commissionprohibition on age discrimination, including how to deal with the concept of acompulsory retirement age…. As the law stands at the moment, employees can beforced to retire either at the retirement age set by their employer, or thedefault age of 65. However, in parallel with the legislative process, there has been along-running piece of litigation about the legality of the age cap of 65 – theargument being that it is already unlawful because it indirectly discriminatesagainst men, as more men than women want to work past the age of 65. The Rutherford decision The case was originally brought by Mr Rutherford, who was 67 when he wasmade redundant. He made a claim against his employer for unfair dismissal and aredundancy payment. In the course of that claim, he argued that the age limitof 65 was contrary to EC law because it discriminated indirectly against men. In August 1999, the Stratford Employment Tribunal agreed that it did. TheEAT, however, disagreed and sent the case back to Stratford to be heard again.The government joined the second round of litigation last year, but failed topersuade the Stratford Tribunal to reach a different decision. It then appealed to the EAT, which again hasjust overruled the Tribunal on the grounds that it did not apply the lawcorrectly. The EAT made the following findings:– The Tribunal had not performed the right statistical analysis First, it had made a mistake in looking only at the statistics for men andwomen aged 55-74 for whom retirement “had real meaning”, as opposedto everyone in the workforce (aged 16-74) who could potentially benefit fromthe employment protection rights in question. Secondly, the Tribunal had incorrectly compared the proportions of menand women who were not protected by the law (the over-65s), rather than thosewho were (the under-65s)– The Tribunal had also been wrong in rejecting the Government’sjustification defence, which was that the age cap was justified by underlyingsocial policy considerations, including the idea that someone who had reachedretirement age did not need the same employment protection rights as a youngerperson because he or she would have a diminished expectation of continuedemploymentThe Tribunal rejected this justification because it was inextricably linkedto the state pension age, which is itself discriminatory. This produced anomalies: for example, womenaged 60-64 are entitled to a state pension and a redundancy payment, while menare not. However, the EAT found that any anomalies were the result of theunequal state pension age (which was still lawful pending the gradualequalisation sanctioned by EC law), and not the design of the employment rightsbeing challenged. As a result, thegovernment’s justification was not itself tainted by sex discrimination – The EAT also accepted the Government’s other social policy arguments: that compulsory retirement allowed employersboth to meet the legitimate expectations of younger employees for advancementand to plan for future recruitment and HR management needs. Importantly, the age limit protected thedignity of older employees because it allowed employers to retire them, ratherthan being forced to dismiss them for performance-related reasons. Impact of the decision UK employers are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief that they are stillable to rely on compulsory retirement ages in planning their human resourceneeds. However, the case is a shotacross the bows for employers that have not already started to think about howthey are going to deal with the changes being mooted in the Government’sconsultation and, in particular, whether they are going to be able to muster anargument that their particular business environment has demands that canjustify setting a compulsory retirement age. Aside from that, the potentially more long-lasting impact of this judgmentlies in its analysis of the law on indirect sex discrimination. In a footnoteto its judgment, the EAT said this was really a claim about age discriminationthat the applicants tried to shoehorn into the contours of a sex discriminationcase. That may be so, but the EAT’sreasons for rejecting that attempt do nothing to remove the impression that thelaw on indirect discrimination is an impenetrable quagmire of legal nuance,pragmatic compromise and statistical gymnastics.Melanie Thomas is a solicitor with Lovells’ Employment Group Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article The dawning of a new ageOn 1 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.
Related posts:No related photos. Armed forces to create new mine clearing qualificationsOn 4 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Mine clearing skills are to be formally recognised with a new vocationalqualification. The armed services has developed the National/Scottish VocationalQualification in conjunction with the skills council SEMTA – the Science,Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance – and hopes thequalification will help armed forces personnel in their post-army careers. Ministry of Defence spokes-man, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Holman, said itmakes sense that the experience gained by servicemen working in explosiveordnance disposal is backed up with qualifications that are recognised beyond theforces. “These new qualifications will also benefit civilian organisations toensure greater recognition of the already high standards in the industry, whileproviding tools for management and individual career development and formalacknowledgement of the work of all practitioners in this dangerous anddemanding field,” he said. Previous Article Next Article
Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Bosses continue ignoring the HSE stress standardsOn 30 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today Most organisations have done nothing to implement stress managementguidelines by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), according to newresearch. Business information provider, Croner, claims that 79 per cent of health andsafety professionals have taken no action to meet the guidelines, which are dueto be finalised by the end of this year. The poll reveals just 7 per cent of organisations have taken any steps toimplement the voluntary management standards, with only 14 per cent saying itis under consideration. More than half (55 per cent) are unaware of the HSE standards, which wereintroduced last year to help employers prevent and manage work-related stress –the UK’s most prevalent occupational health condition. Up to 5 million Britons complain of work-related stress each year. Thisaccounts for 90 million lost working days each year, costing business around£3.7bn. The HSE identified six sources of workplace stress that need to be managedby employers: demands of the job, control over work, support from colleaguesand management, working relationships, clarity of role and organisationalchange. Under the guidelines, a percentage of staff must assess that each standardtarget is being achieved by the employer, else they will fail the assessment.