Blair commits to paid paternity leave

first_imgPrime Minister Tony Blair has confirmed the Government’s commitment toproviding two weeks paid paternity leave, pre-empting the results of theconsultative period on the review of parents working rights. The consultative period on the green paper, Work and Parents:Competitiveness and Choice, wasn’t due to end until 7 March. Speaking at a Labour conference held in Glasgow, Scotland, at the end ofFebruary, Blair promised to, “introduce for the first time the right topaternity leave, paid for by the Government, not the employer”. Although the Prime Minister didn’t go into detail, it’s thought men will beoffered the same rate of pay as women on maternity leave which has just risento £62.20 per week. However, other proposals in the green paper, which include the introductionof rights for mothers to work part-time after having children have yet to bedecided. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Blair commits to paid paternity leaveOn 1 Mar 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more


first_imgThis week’s global newsArgentinian employees part-paid in bonds Staff in Argentina are not receiving all of their salary in cash. From lastmonth 150,000 staff who earn more than $740 (£510) a month are having part oftheir salary paid in one-year bonds, dubbed patacones, because Buenos Airesstate’s coffers are empty. Fast food chain McDonald’s is planning to accept thebonds for a meal deal. The bonds should earn 7 per cent interest and beredeemable in a year, but staff are in a rush to spend them fearing that theywill devalue. Diversity scheme hits back at Toyota’s critics Toyota in the US has launched a diversity initiative to fend off criticismof racism. The car maker has set up a diversity advisory board and also plansto set up a training centre on the east coast to recruit unemployed black andethnic minority people for the vehicle services industry. The policy will havebenchmarks and managers will receive incentives to ensure their commitment.Toyota was criticised earlier this year for an advert which showed an image ofa gold Toyota as a tooth in a close-up of a black man’s mouth. French staff told jobs are safe in Orangina sale Cadbury Schweppes has agreed not to make any French employees redundant forat least a year after last month’s acquisition of Orangina. The drinks andsweet maker made the deal with French unions and work councils after its £443mpurchase of the soft drinks company from Pernod Ricard. Cadburys has alsoguaranteed a year’s salary for any French workers made redundant at the end of2002 as part of the deal, which will be examined by competition officials inBrussels. Recession fears as jobs are cut in Germany Germany is on the brink of a recession, according to figures released inJuly. The German government has twice scaled down its growth forecast, from2.75 to 2 per cent and its present growth rate of between 1.5 and 2 per centalso looks unrealistic. Dresdner Bank, the lorry manufacturer MAN and softwarecompany Infineon were among companies that shed 17,000 jobs in July adding tounemployment, which now stands at 3.86 million, 9.3 per cent of the workforce. GlobalOn 4 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

HR put in the firing line with RUC appointment

first_img Previous Article Next Article It won’t be easy. He will have to bring down absence ratesfrom the current 10 per cent. He will have to restructure the force during aperiod when the RUC will be losing up to 90 officers a month. And thedifficulties are compounded by the fact that every move the RUC makes is donein the full glare of the media. While Joe Stewart is unlikely to find himself the target ofa pipe bomb, he could be in the firing line in other ways. The huge task ofreforming the RUC into an organisation with support from both sides of Ulster’ssectarian divide is predominantly an HR challenge. Successful reform willdepend on making drastic changes to recruitment, training and work culture inan organisation where currently less than 10 per cent of officers are Catholics. HR put in the firing line with RUC appointmentOn 11 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. But Stewart and his colleagues will have the satisfaction ofknowing they are helping to make history. Stewart has an opportunity to showwhat HR is all about and everyone in the profession will want to wish himsuccess. Comments are closed. It sounds like a job from hell. The first civilian head ofHR stepped into the breach at the Royal Ulster Constabulary in the same weekthat the world’s media were dominated by pictures of children caught up inviolent protests over a route to school. A lot of HR chiefs talk about overhauling corporate cultureas if it were a matter of life and death, but in Stewart’s case this is noexaggeration. Stewart acknowledges himself that changes to work culture at theRUC are vital to the success of the peace process. His planned comprehensivereview of HR will have a direct impact on the safety of officers and theirability to protect both sides of the community. If ever there was ademonstration of the crucial role of HR this is it. last_img read more

Hewitt pushes partnership line

first_img Previous Article Next Article Hewitt pushes partnership lineOn 11 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today The Trade and Industry Secretary was due to call for a partnership approachto tackling the productivity gap at the annual Trades Union Congress inBrighton. As Personnel Today went to press, Patricia Hewitt was expected to reassurethe unions that the Government will work with them and business leaders toraise the productivity of the UK workforce. She will also claim that the Government understands the difficulties thatmanufacturers are facing and is listening to unions, representative bodies andemployers on the best ways to support the sector. The 133rd annual Trades Union Congress runs from the 10-13 September. Visit for all the breaking news at the event. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Co-op travel staff agree to four-day week

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Leeds Co-operative Society is introducing a four-day week for staff in itstravel operation over the Christmas period to try and avoid making redundanciesas a result of 11 September. The 19-strong network of Co-ops in Leeds had been showing a 48 per cent risein trading figures before the attacks, but the firm has now been forced to takemeasures to protect its 200 staff from redundancy. Employees have agreed to work a four-day week on their usual pay for sixweeks over Christmas. In the New Year, as business picks up, they will work a six-day week butonly be paid for five, balancing out the wage bill. The company is cutting overheads and suspending recruitment as well asoffering reduced hours and temporary redeployment. “We are only as good as our staff so we don’t want to lose them. We’redoing everythingwe can to keep them together,” said personnel managerAmanda Harrison. Previous Article Next Article Co-op travel staff agree to four-day weekOn 13 Nov 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more


first_imgGuruOn 2 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today This week’s guruSticky-backed plastic addicts need not applyGuru was pleased to learn that the EU wants to introduce a standardisedEuropean CV, which will make it easier for employers to recruit from othercountries. A survey into CVs by recruitment website forum3 shows the introduction of astandard CV format is much overdue. It reveals that some UK jobseekers listirrelevant achievements such as Blue Peter badges among their qualifications. One jobhunter included a picture of his DIY bathroom as evidence of hisinitiative and another sent his half-torn wedding photo to highlight hisdivorced marital status. David Lale, MD of forum3, said: “Many people go into too much depth andhave superficial facts that are simply irrelevant.” Guru agrees but obviously really vital information – like his 1999 TrainSpotter of the Year Award (northern district) – can only help an employer makethe right choice. Skills monopoly which bypass Go The importance of ensuring staff are trained to do all aspects of their jobwas brought home to Guru last week when a flight from Newcastle to a foggyStansted had to be diverted because one of the two pilots was not trained toland when visibility was less than 200 metres. Guru has always been a nervous flyer so sympathises with the passengers whowere understandably unhappy with the situation. A spokesman for Go explained both pilots had to be trained to land in poorvisibility to touch down in fog which was why the plane eventually landed atEast Midlands airport. Guru is not impressed – he would have thought landing in poor visibility isone of the more basic piloting skills for the UK. Teutonic workers caught napping Guru was disappointed to learn that the Nasa research he highlighted lastweek, which claims a 45-minute power nap can significantly boost staffperformance, is already old hat in Germany. Apparently the German Institute for Sleep Research has been arguing thebenefits of siestas for some time. Not only are companies providing quiet areas and sofabeds for staff to laytheir weary heads but apparently Regensburg University has opened a sleepschool to teach employees how to relax. Maybe the German economy is no longer the envy of Europe because ourTeutonic cousins are so busy sleeping or learning how to sleep. Employment rights extend to animalsGuru welcomed plans to extend theWorking Time Regulations to ensure all working animals, excluding police andarmed forces animals, which count as serving officers for the purposes of thelaw, will soon be entitled to regulated work breaks.The current edition of our sister magazine Occupational Healthoutlines the new regulations, which mean keepers and handlers are responsiblefor ensuring their animals receive proper breaks during the working day.All organisations which use working animals will also need tohave an occupational health service or access to one.Under the separate EU Living Animals Directive the word‘mongrel’ should not be used in reference to any cross-bred creature and theterm ‘bitch’ should only be applied to females of certified pedigree.All very sensible Guru thought until the penny dropped and herealised he was reading the 1 April issue of OH magazine. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Pret A Manger staff help choose the new recruits

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Pret A Manger staff help choose the new recruitsOn 23 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. An initiative enabling staff at Pret A Manger to play a role in choosingwhich job candidates are recruited has helped reduce employee turnover. Esther O’Halloran, recruitment and retention manager at Pret A Manger, saidthat as part of the second interview process, candidates work in a shop forpart of a day and the team they have worked with then decide if they get thejob. She believes this approach is one of the reasons why the organisationreduced staff turnover threefold last year to less than 100 per cent, whichcompares well to the industry average of about 150 per cent. O’Halloran said the reduction in staff turnover has paved the way for thefirm’s planned expansion from 118 shops in the UK employing 2,300 staff to163shops employing around 3,400 staff over the next three years. She said: “Getting the team involved and giving them ownership for partof the recruitment process means they [staff] feel responsible for them [thenew employee]. This means staff spend time with them and help them fellcomfortable with the business. Which makes people more likely to stay.” O’Halloran told delegates that when staff get promoted they are given £50vouchers which they pass on to colleagues that have helped them attainpromotion to encourage team building. Pret A Manger has also tried to ensure that managers foster good relationswith their staff by getting their team to audit their performance bonus.Delegates heard that senior managers spend 10 days working in the shops makingsandwiches to ensure they stay in touch with all aspects of the business andthe challenges facing their staff. By Paul Nelson last_img read more

Construction’s record pay deal sparks pay hike fears

first_imgEmployers in the construction industry have agreed a record 23.3 per centbasic pay rise for the industry’s workers. The deal was agreed following talks between construction workers’ unionUCATT and the Construction Industry Joint Council representing main contractorsand smaller builders. The pay increase will only affect workers who are paid at current industryminimum pay levels. It will mean a significant increase in basic pay – up from £7.30 an hour to£9.00 an hour for craftspeople. The deal includes many other improvements toworkers’ conditions including safety and training. It will also deliver an above-inflation increase in subsistence allowancesand introduce a contributory pension scheme. This will see employers putting in£2.50 per week matched by employee contributions with scope to increase thisvoluntarily to a maximum of £10 per week which would also be matched pound forpound by employers. Phil Harris, group HR director at construction company Birse Group, gave theannouncement a cautious welcome. “If this is what it takes to get morepeople into the industry at the entry level, then this is a positive agreement.”But most people working in construction are not on the minimum wageand I would be concerned if it had a knock-on effect of increasing benchmarkpay across the industry,” he said. George Brumwell, general secretary of UCATT, was delighted with the deal.”Employers have been worried about worsening skills shortages, but oursuccess is more than just that. People are beginning to realise bricklayers,carpenters, scaffolders and all our other skills are more valuable to societythan lawyers and bankers, estate agents and politicians.” By Ben Willmott Comments are closed. Construction’s record pay deal sparks pay hike fearsOn 22 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

In brief

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article This week’s Employers’ Law news in briefChristmas Day opening hours under review The Government is considering plans to stop large retailers opening onChristmas Day in a bid to protect shop staff. The news follows a three-year campaignby union USDAW that was concerned some of its 250,000 members could be forcedto work on 25 December. Employers accused of ignoring minimum wage The TUC has accused employers of cheating thousands of workers out of theirrightful pay by ignoring the National Minimum Wage. The policy became law fouryears ago but the TUC estimates that 17,000 workers are still underpaid. Theunion has published new enforcement guidance to help add to the £13m recoveredfrom dishonest firms. Asthmatic woman wins £17,000 unfair dismissal An asthmatic woman has been awarded £17,000 compensation after her employerfailed to protect her from cigarette smoke, despite knowledge of her condition.Karen Whitehead, who is registered as disabled, worked at the firm for only 45days but claimed for unfair dismissal after taking 16 days off sick. EU Agency Workers Directive in the balance The argument over the EU Agency Workers Directive may not be decided untilthe end of 2004. The controversial draft of the rules that would give temporarystaff comparable pay and conditions to full-time workers is causing a riftamong members. New EU member states could be crucial in its future. UK firms consider random drug tests More than half of UK companies have looked at introducing random drug testsfor staff, with one in eight using them to investigate substance abuse. Asurvey by Croner found that 18 per cent of firms are considering introducingtests, and 14 per cent rejected the idea. In briefOn 1 Nov 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

How to become an HR consultant

first_imgHow to become an HR consultantOn 21 Sep 2004 in Personnel Today You also need to gain the attention of the people that havethe power to buy your services. This can be achieved by demonstrating thebenefits that will result if they change their business approach with yourhelp. Where do I start? How do I know if itis right for me? If your preferred route is to join an existing consultancy,it will be seeking proof of your analytical skills, desire to learn,self-motivation as well as your track record in implementation. “You needto have something extra to offer that a company can’t easily get for itself andbe able to demonstrate the value of your work,” says Patel. Should you join acompany or set up on your own? 1 Present a professional image What otherconsiderations are there? What could they bedoing better and how can you help? Related posts:No related photos. What if I want towork with other consultants? Where can I get moreinfo? Managing and growing a business demands a certain kind offlair as well as business management skills. Regular invoicing, paymentchasing, staying abreast of self-employment regulations and professionalindemnity insurance are just a few of the things you will have to becomefamiliar with. If you lack experience, consider attending seminars or a shortcourse to brush up your knowledge of running a business. It is highly likely atsome stage you will experience difficulties with cash flow and have to shouldera few hard knocks. So it is important to have a rainy day fund equal to atleast three months’ salary to see you through leaner times. Fully understand the company you are working for. Study itsfinancial reports and business strategy to pinpoint its needs and where supportis lacking. Having a handle on organisational culture will inform you of how tooperate smartly within the company framework. For the relationship to succeed,you need to establish that the company is strongly committed to the project.Clarify goals and put down clear benchmarks for each stage. Agree on how frequentlyyou will communicate and start out with some short-term, achievable goals toboost the morale of those involved. What key advice wouldyou offer any would-be consultant? 3 Clarify goals and establish ground-rules To remain effective, you need to ensure your knowledge andexpertise is current so keep up-to-date with the latest management and HRthinking by attending key seminars and conferences. Smart consultants will alsoinvest in extra training when necessary. There are a huge variety of options, so be clear about whatit is that you want to achieve. Make sure that any role you consider will allowyou to gain the knowledge and experiences that you want to develop at thisstage of your career before you take the plunge. Compensation and benefits, to ensure existing employees areadequately compensated and less prone to leave the organisation are alsoimportant. To prosper as a consultant, you have to be able to marketyour knowledge and skills. Even if you have highly sought after expertise and asolid record of achievement, if you can’t back it up with a persuasive storyabout your ability to deliver, you will risk losing work to rivals. Use yournetwork to drum up as much work as possible. There are probably two main reasons why you might becontemplating moving into consultancy. The first is if you have a desire towork independently, choose your own hours and experience new and diversechallenges. The other is as a temporary measure to gain new skills to jack upyour career. Regardless of the reasons, consultancy work is likely to provideexperience and learning way beyond anything you will pick up on a trainingprogramme. What’s your personalstrategy for attracting business? What else do I needto know? What HR skills arepresently most in demand? Bookscenter_img 2 Learn how to analyse situations – Be A SuccessfulConsultant, Susan Nash, How To Books, £12.99, ISBN 185703807X If you only do fivethings Institute of Management Consultancy, Comments are closed. How should I managethe project? Principally, you need to have a firm understanding of whyyou want to make the move into consulting. Is it to widen your experience or tocapitalise on particular expertise? Are you keen to vary your work or do youwant to consolidate existing knowledge and experience? Carry out research,attend specialist events and talk to as many consultants as you can to workthis out. The majority of organisations have either been tooconservative in their recruitment or made too many redundancies in recenttimes. With the employment market now buoyant, a key priority for HR is talentacquisition, to re-build the workforce. Lastly, organisational development is keyto ensure employees are coping with change brought about by the rapid growththat many organisations are now going through. – How to Succeed as anIndependent Consultant, Timothy RV Foster, KoganPage, £13.99, ISBN 0749438665 “Good consultants constantly think about the commercialneeds of their clients as well as the day-to-day practicalities. So if youdon’t have an interest in shaping or developing companies, then you’re notsuited to a career in consultancy,” says ParimelPatel, European talent acquisition specialist at Capital Consulting. This means identifying the needs of the companies in thesectors that you want to target. What are they doing wrong? Website – Value-based Humanresource Strategy: Developing Your HR Consultancy Role, Tony Grundy &Laura Brown, Butterworth Heinemann, £21.99, ISBN 0750657693 A consultant’s job is to effect significant business change,and in today’s fast-paced business environments that usually means within shorttime frames. As well as bringing new insight, you will need to be at ease withmaking multiple decisions on the hoof and be able to quickly take stock ofambiguous, sometimes difficult, situations and turn them around. Your clientswill expect to see the results of your solutions in measurable terms. 5 Ensure your knowledge and expertise is up-to-date What if I want tostart my own consultancy? Parimal Patel is the Europeantalent acquisition specialist at Capital Consulting for Dun & Bradstreet.He moved into talent acquisition consulting following a career in investmentbanking and in-house HR roles at Goldman Sachs and Barclays Global. To set up on your own you must be an established expert inyour field and confident that there’s a gap in the market for what you canoffer. Question yourself and your business model to be sure that this is whatyou really want to do. Make sure that there is a genuine opportunity for youand not just a gap in the market because no one wants to buy that particularsolution. Expert’s view: Parimal Patel on becoming an HR consultant Previous Article Next Article 4 Build trust If you have chosen a period of consultancy to boost yourcareer path, ensure it is going to equip you with skills and experience thatcan be leveraged in the future. Finally, if your intention is to return to anin-house HR role, don’t leave it too long before moving back -­ four or fiveyears should be the maximum.last_img read more