Council managers defend position on Best Practice

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Localauthority HR managers have reacted angrily to a union-backed report that claimsthe framework agreement on Best Value has not been adopted by local government.Thereport, Working Together for Best Value, claims that the NJC frameworkagreement on Best Value should be “more widely applied and used inconjunction with local action plans and good practice guidelines”.Theframework, introduced in October 1999, aims to promote union involvement inlocal government decision-making and improve the quality of service provision. TerryGorman, assistant chief executive personnel and corporate services atNottingham County Council, responded, “Authorities wanted to have theunions engaged but it was not always possible because of their [the unions]negative attitude at local level.”Thereport has misunderstood local councils’ implementation of the framework,claimed Rita Simmons, personnel and training officer of Hampshire CountyCouncil. Shesaid, “I believe that local councils have adopted the principles of theframework but not word for word. Here at Hampshire we have used the document asa template and tailored it into our framework.”Althoughit is possible that local councils have overlooked the document as it is justone item in a mountain on Best Value.” Thereport was produced by a number of organisations including the Improvement andDevelopment Agency, the Local Government Information Unit and the trade unionsUnison, GMB and T&G. ByPaul Nelson Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Council managers defend position on Best PracticeOn 30 Jan 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Feedback from the profession

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Feedback from the professionOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Last week the European directive on Information and Consultation was agreedby the council of ministers, and HR professionals are worried. Bruce Warman, HRdirector of Vauxhall, said it would be extremely damaging (News, 30 May). Hereare other experts’ views: Trevor BromelowCorporate personnel director, Siemens “The idea behind it is no more than what we regard as best practice. Wewere hoping it would allow employers to put in place mechanisms that bestsuited their structures and it wasn’t going to be a one-size-fits-allapproach.” Pat MallaghanHead of HR, Clerical Medical Group “It will be interesting to see how unions react and how they positionthemselves, as it clearly has implications for the exclusive relationship someemployers have.” Fiona ColquhounGroup HR director, ICL group “It will have an impact on companies that have a concern with beingopen with employees. Some countries will feel it more than others, and somecompanies will be more concerned than others. A good employer should be doingthese things anyway.” Andrew NewallCorporate HR director, Allied Domecq “Whether the directive will affect employers depends on the culture ofthe organisation. Good employers have nothing to worry about as they shouldalready be consulting their employees, so it will not effect them that much ifat all.” Makbool JavaidPartner at law firm DLA “Managers at board level are not used to sharing sensitive financialinformation with workers’ representatives. It is not part of the UKculture.” last_img read more

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NatWest staff morale on the up after RBS takeover

first_img Previous Article Next Article NatWest staff morale on the up after RBS takeoverOn 12 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The Royal Bank of Scotland has boosted staff morale at recently acquiredNational Westminster Bank, according to an annual staff survey. Neil Roden, RBS group HR director, said the survey shows that efforts toimprove staff satisfaction in the aftermath of the takeover have provedeffective. The survey reveals 58 per cent are satisfied in their jobs, up from 44 percent the previous year – higher than the national average for financialservices of 48 per cent. Roden believes one of the reasons for a rise in morale is an improvedbenefits package and incentive scheme, which the 30,000 NatWest staff haveaccess to. All RBS staff are included in the firm’s bonus plan and have anoption to join an outsourced benefits package, which offers services fromhealth and life insurance, childcare, and car and computer deals. Roden said HR had played a key role in ensuring all staff were kept informedabout developments during and after the takeover process. The company usesvideo briefings to inform staff about announcements, such as its financialresults. Across the company, 75 per cent of its 105,000 employees completed thesurvey compared to a take-up rate at NatWest before the takeover of 35 percent. “In two years we have doubled the amount of NatWest staff respondingto the survey,” he said “The results are very positive, I didn’t expect it [NatWest] toturnaround so easily.” Roden said the group outperforms other UK companiesin its sector and is looking to benchmark itself against the best worldwide. By Quentin Reade Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Staff judged by regional accents

first_imgStaff judged by regional accentsOn 11 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Almost a third of UK directors think a strong regional accent is adisadvantage in business, according to a new survey. The sixth annual Aziz Management Communications Index finds that 31 per centof UK directors consider a strong regional accent to be a disadvantage inbusiness, compared to just 4 per cent who think it is an advantage. Those mostlikely to take affront at strong regional lilt are directors of smallercompanies (57 per cent), those working in the finance sector (50 per cent) andmen (38 per cent). The survey reveals that of all UK business people, those with a HomeCounties accent are judged most likely to be successful. Businessmen who speak with an American accent are considered to behardworking and reliable by 31 per cent of their British peers, a higher ratingthan those with any UK regional accent other than Scottish (also 31 per cent). However, those with a Scottish accent are considered to be the most honestand trustworthy by 28 per cent – in comparison, only 18 per cent believe thisto be the case with their American counterparts. The research reveals that some regional accents convey negative impressions:27 per cent of directors think those with a Liverpudlian accent are leastlikely to be successful, compared to just 11 per cent believing them to befairly or very successful. Khalid Aziz, chairman of The Aziz Corporation, said: “We are slightlyobsessed with accents and what we think they tell other people about us. Theseresults prove preconceptions still exist.” www.azizcorp.com Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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CBI warns of foreign threat

first_img Comments are closed. The Government must prevent further labour market regul-ation from erodingthe UK economy’s major strength – its flexibility, the CBI has warned. The warning followed a report from the Office of Economic Cooperation andDevelopment which showed that the UK’s flexible labour market is one of itsmajor attractions for inward investors. “The threat is not so much that jobs will go to France and Germany butto India, China and Brazil,” said director general Digby Jones. Shoe maker Dr Martens announced last month that it was to shut its Britishfactories and move production to China, with the loss of more than 1,000 jobs. CBI warns of foreign threatOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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NHS cash recovery plan will leave employers with extra liability cost

first_imgNHS cash recovery plan will leave employers with extra liability costOn 6 May 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Plans to allow the NHS to recover the costs of workplace accidents couldleave employers with a £150m bill, the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF)has warned. The union is urging ministers to remove the proposal from the Health andSocial Care Bill because of the cost it would add to employers’ liabilityinsurance. Martin Temple, director general at the EEF, confirmed he had written tohealth secretary Alan Milburn urging him to drop the proposals from the Bill. “The issues around the UK’s compensation system are profound and mayrequire a very different approach or combination of approaches to find along-term solution,” said Temple. “This proposal is premature and likely to be misdirected when taken inthe context of future decisions on compensation for workplace accidents.” The Department of Health hopes the changes will ensure employers that areliable for accidents cover the related NHS costs. But the EEF claims that any costs would be footed by employers through theemployers’ liability insurance system, spreading the burden across allemployers, regardless of safety records and policies. “The measure will not achieve its goals and will simply add furtherpressure to a system already showing incredible strain. Employers who takepositive action to improve the health and safety of employers will besubsidising those who are negligent,” said Temple. The EEF is campaigning for a review of the entire workplace insurancesystem. By Ross Wighamwww.eef.org.uk Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Redundancy fears spark drop in UK worker absence figures

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Increasedfear of redundancy among workers has led to a 10 per cent fall in absencelevels in the past year, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment (CIPD).TheCIPD’s Employee Absence 2003 study of more than 1,300 HR professionals alsofinds that three-quarters of organisations believe minor illnesses such ascolds and flu were the most common causes of absence, up from half in the samesurvey last year.Stressis still the most common cause of long-term sickness absence among non-manualworkers and is alarmingly high in the public sector, the CIPD reported.Almost60 per cent of the public sector organisations polled cited stress as theleading cause of long-term sickness absence, more than double the number in theprivate sector. ACIPD employee attitudes survey in December 2002 also showed that public sectorworkers were more stressed than their private sector counterparts, with 38 percent of NHS workers and 30 per cent of local government workers finding theirwork either stressful or very stressful, compared with an average of 25 percent for all workers. Inthe latest study, absence rates were higher among public sector employees (10.5days a year) than private sector workers, where the average was seven days.Workers from the north-west of England topped the regional absence league withan average of 10.4 days per year, compared with 7.6 days for workers in London.MikeEmmott, CIPD head of employee relations, said: “The biggest singleinfluence on absence levels is management action. However, where employees feelmore insecure, this can also have an effect.Headded: “Job insecurity can undermine morale and commitment and so push upabsence rates. However, the threat of redundancy may also lead to a fall insickness absence.” www.cipd.org.uk Redundancy fears spark drop in UK worker absence figuresOn 1 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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10 year ban for agent who took money and ran

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article 10 year ban for agent who took money and ranOn 25 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today An employment agent who took money from job hunters but failed to find themany work has been banned from operating for 10 years – the maximum possibleprohibition period. Adrian Michael Farmer, who ran three internet-based recruitment agencies,attracted job hunters with promises of opportunities for work overseas and oncruise ships. Recruits were told they had to pay a membership fee to receivedetails of the jobs, but as soon as they paid up, Farmer stopped all contact. The DTI’s Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate took action followingcomplaints from people who had lost money without finding any work. The secretary of state for trade and industry made an application to banFarmer under Section 3A of the Employment Agencies Act 1973. Under the Act, employment tribunals may prohibit individuals, companies orpartnerships, from carrying on an employment agency or an employment businessfor a period of up to 10 years. Employment minister Gerry Sutcliffe said: “The DTI will come down hardon any agency that flouts the law. This maximum 10 year ban serves as a clearmessage to rogue employment agents that they won’t get away with exploitingworkers.” Farmer’s internet-based companies operated from premises near Aberystwythand Carmarthen in Wales. They traded as the Overseas Recruitment ServicesBureau, Recruitment Services International and Amtrak International Services. www.dti.gov.uk/er/agencylast_img read more

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Five guinea pigs required for SHL stress project

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Five guinea pigs required for SHL stress projectOn 25 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. SHL, the psychometric testing consultancy, is looking for five employers towork with its team of occupational psychologists on a research project aboutstress in organisations. The company wants volunteer organisations with a minimum of 70 employees toparticipate in the project, which will use personality questionnaires. The aim of the survey is to identify specific activities, circumstances orconditions that are likely to prove more or less stressful for employees. Employers can then gauge which members of staff are more vulnerable tostress and also spot specific sources of stress that affect team members indifferent ways. Organisations taking part in the SHL research will receive free consultationand help in designing and executing stress-at-work policies. For more information contact Claire Watson on 020 8335 8000. last_img read more

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Jacqui Smith faces contempt of court accusation over refusal of skilled migrant visa extension

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Home secretary Jacqui Smith ended a torrid week with the accusation she was in contempt of court after a skilled migrant was refused a work visa extension on grounds that were recently ruled unlawful.Campaigners wrote to the Home Office last week to express their concern that ‘Mr S’ was denied an extension of his Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) visa.The High Court last month ruled that changes made to the programme in November 2006 should not be applied to extension requests from migrants already in the UK.But on 13 May, Mr S was refused an extension on the basis of the quality of his English – a test only introduced in November 2006.Amit Kapadia, director of the campaign group HSMP Forum, wrote of his “astonishment” to Borders and Immigration Agency chief executive Lin Homer.“This seems to be a serious failure of your system, keeping in mind that more than five weeks has been taken on the pretext of implementing the judgment,” he said.Kapadia called for a firm commitment that no further refusals would be issued in contravention of the High Court judgment.Meanwhile, he revealed plans to launch a fresh judicial review to challenge the April 2006 decision to make HSMP holders complete five years on the programme, rather than four, before gaining permanent residency.A Home Office spokeswoman said: “We have said before that we accept the judge’s ruling as final and we will not waste tax payer’s money by pursuing an appeal. We are working hard to ensure the remedies we put in place are clear and work as smoothly as possible. We will provide details of these arrangements soon.“As with all applications for leave to remain, anyone who feels their application was incorrectly refused can ask the Home Office to reconsider or, where appropriate, appeal to the independent courts to overturn the decision.” Previous Article Next Article Jacqui Smith faces contempt of court accusation over refusal of skilled migrant visa extensionBy Greg Pitcher on 27 May 2008 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

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