first_img Comments are closed. A newweb-based recruitment service, which is to be launched in the next few weeks,aims to help HR managers and recruiters secure top-quality IT staff anddramatically cut the time and cost of finding the right candidate.Intagenis a software-based system that sits either on a corporate website or companyintranet and automatically sorts, ranks and scores candidates’ applications.Itis designed to manage applications from the broad mix of channels that HR andrecruitment managers have to deal with, including job boards, employmentagencies, direct referrals, as well as internal and direct applications. “Intagenenables companies to identify only the most appropriate candidate for theirvacancy. Companies will no longer have to plough through piles of CVs, resum‚sand manually filter and rank the application – only to miss the perfectcandidate,” says Brian Forbes, who co-founded Intagen with GordonDavidson. Thecompany claims it will be possible to cut more than 50 per cent of resourcingcosts, including the direct and indirect costs involved in identifying andinterviewing candidates, and hiring technical professionals.BothDavidson and Forbes have worked in IT for the past 12 years and are mindful ofthe scale of the crisis currently hitting the IT sector. Estimates fromstatistics and research company EITO show that by 2003 there will be 620,000more IT vacancies than candidates in the UK and 3.8 million unfilled vacanciesin Europe. “It’sno exaggeration to argue that there is a global war for IT talent. On aworldwide basis, virtually every private and public sector business isscreaming out for IT professionals and the situation is only going to getworse,” says Davidson.Intagenis based on a bespoke software package developed by Inform Software Solutionsof Glasgow and Infogistics of Edinbirgh, and supported by Oracle, Sun andHostmark technology. Because it is an Application Service Provider, there areno compatibility issues: HR and recruitment staff can access it seamlessly fromtheir own site or intranet. The system’s design and navigation have been keptvery simple, and Intagen could sit comfortably under the IT or vacanciessection of a site. Itsrange of functions includes: l Analysing CVs submitted in digital form andextracting the relevant details–Presenting CVs in a consistent format–Ranking and presenting candidates’ profiles against a firm’s specified criteria–Undertaking skills analysis such as psychometric and technical testing–Scheduling interviews.Companiescan add further testing to the system if they choose. Intagen plans to expandits own staff numbers from 16 to 120 people in the next three years tofacilitate proper client servicing and management. The system is HR-XMLcompliant.Companiespay a “negligible” monthly charge to access Intagen and then astandard rate for each client they recruit. There is no initial set-up cost.Potential candidates can register for free with Intagen.Reactionto date has been positive and the fact that the company managed to securefunding in the middle of last year when the dotcom bubble burst demonstratesits relevance. Itis too early to name clients, says Forbes – the system does not officiallylaunch until they have completed its testing – but he claims to have a numberof “letters of intent” from both UK and international organisations.”Thecompetition for candidates is fierce and no one wants to be left behind,”says Davidson. “Businesses realise that online IT recruitment needs todeliver far more simply than bulletin boards and candidate databases. That’swhy we have already been approached by major organisations in an attempt tohelp them combat the IT skills crisis.” Intagen system promises to bridge the IT skills gapOn 22 May 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_img Comments are closed. Lack of NHS services hinder return to workOn 11 Dec 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Employers’ efforts to reduce the long-term absence of staff are beinghampered by lack of access to rehabilitation, claims research. Delays in access to NHS physiotherapy and other rehabilitation services arethwarting HR’s efforts to get staff back to work. Eight out of 10 employers claim rehabilitation is being taken more seriouslyas a way to cut staff absences, claims the joint research by IRS EmploymentReview and Occupational Health Review. However, lack of support from line managers and staff resistance are alsocited by many of the 160 organisations surveyed as barriers to rehabilitationprovision. Study co-author Sarah Silcox said, “If these responses are anindication of organisational policy trends across the UK, more staff could bereturning to their workplace. They will have a better chance of being offeredproper rehabilitation, but only if they work for the right firm.” Mental health problems and back injuries were blamed for the majority oflong-term absences. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_img Previous Article Next Article How to be upwardly mobileOn 1 Jan 2002 in Auto-enrolment, Personnel Today PipThomas, 35, explains how her brand of emotional intelligence will boost herrole as training and development manager at One 2 One RetailHow long have you been in this role? One month. How long have you been with your organisation? Five months. What does your role involve? – A complete training needs analysis for stores and head office – Introduction of development programmes for employees – Specialist and professional qualifications – Nationwide NVQ programmes – Product and price plan training – Focus on levels of customer service and selling skills – Helping with the cultural change within the business. What’s the best thing about your job? The opportunity to be involved with the evolution of a successful retailbusiness. What is your current major project or strategic push? The rebranding of the company to One 2 One Retail. Preferred terminology: Training, development, learning Favourite buzzwords Visibility, focus, simplicity. Most loathed buzzwords “Why reinvent the wheel?” Are you good at self-development? Yes, learning is for a lifetime. What self-development have you done in the past six months? CIPD enrolment and personal coaching sessions. Where do you want to be in five years’ time? Still developing and facing bigger challenges and opportunities What was the most useful course you ever went on or learning experienceyou ever had? Coaching Skills with David Whitaker. This differentiated between coachingand training, demonstrating how coaching can help individuals identify issuesand work towards there own solution. Which is the best management book you have ever read or would recommend? Ken Blanchard’s The One-Minute Manager. What was the worst course you ever went on? First aid with the Girl Guides! What did you want to do for a living when you were at school? Work as a vet. What was your first job? A paper round at 13, followed by part time position in Richard Shops, thenstraight into a retail traineeship with the John Lewis Partnership. Thisinvolved a two-year training course leading to the position of section manager.I stayed with the John Lewis Partnership for 17 years. What was the best career decision you ever made? To give up my paper round! What was the worst career decision you ever made? I haven’t made one. Which of your qualifications do you most value and why? Qualification of life – personal experience and being worldly wise arevaluable assets when assessing people’s reactions and development issues. Evaluation -…holy grail or impossible dream? Evaluation is essential to identify ways of continued improvement. How do you think your job will have changed in five years’ time? To ensure One 2 One Retail becomes the leading mobile phone retailer, it isessential to recognise and evolve with customers’ needs. My role mustanticipate and grow with this. What do you think the core skills for your job will be in the future? Patience, creativity, good intuition, strong self-awareness and being agood motivator. What advice would you give to someone starting out in training anddevelopment? To become a team member through whatever opportunities available – this maybe through anything from team-working at school and college, to joining thescouts or the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. How do you network? By staying in contact with former colleagues and employers, contributing tobusiness magazines and socialising! If you could have any job in the world, what would it be? Physiotherapist for the British Lions. Do you take your work home with you? In respect that training and development is something that continues in allaspects of one’s life, I find I tend to coach and develop my daughter andhusband, usually when they least want me too. What is your motto? “If you think you can, or you think you cannot, you are probablyright” – actually, it belongs to Henry Ford. How would you like to be remembered by your colleagues? As a proactive person who gets results. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Rail commuters may be too angry to enjoy the irony, but rail privatisationhas created a strong case not only for retaking public control of the railsystem, but for national pay bargaining too. We have learned – with a vengeance – that the fragmented rail system militatesagainst investment and efficiency. It has also created tensions over pay thatmake good industrial relations almost impossible. Passengers have borne delays, cancellations and overcrowded trains withremarkable patience. They now bear the brunt of rail strikes with more actionthreatened. The workforce may have a profound sense of grievance, but it iswrong that in a key public service the public should be pawns in a breakdown ofindustrial relations. And in this, as in all disputes, bad management has asfundamental a role as union militancy. What we are witnessing is as much a failure of good training, recruitment,remuneration and management as of negotiating strategy. At the heart of the payrow is the anger ordinary RMT members feel at the disparity between drivers’wages and their own. Boosting pay by forcing rival companies to match pay levels or lose staff ina tight labour market is not a new negotiating strategy. It was one of theoriginal reasons for collective pay bargaining. ASLEF proposes its return. But is there more than one way out of this maze? Although it is still theexception for employment relations to break down to the point of industrialaction, it highlights the need for a different approach. The Prime Minister has called on South West Trains and the RMT to appoint anindependent arbitrator. Neither side is keen. Meanwhile, the economicconsequences escalate. The Centre for Economics and Business Research reportsthat the South West Trains strike alone is estimated to cost £6.1m a day inlost gross domestic product, and to affect almost one in five of London’scommuters. These figures, combined with a seeming neglect for the public voice in thisdebate, make a case for the Government to review the merit of ‘public interest’mediation by an independent arbitrator to prevent or resolve industrialdisputes on key services. The existence of such a mechanism would force employee relations on to everyboard’s regular agenda. Union leaders may fear the loss of a key negotiatingtool but, in recent years, the modernising unions have proved their ability tobecome creative bargainers. If the union’s case is as strong as it claims, it has nothing to fear and alot to benefit from workplace practices in which industrial relations have a centralrole. It might even be the harbinger of a national bargaining system that wouldeliminate the discrepancies and inequities that have inflamed worker opinion. By Will Hutton, Chief executive, The Industrial Society Creative bargaining gets us back on trackOn 22 Jan 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

first_imgLettersOn 4 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. This week’s lettersDare Kearns take on CIPD debate? I was amused to see you still devote space to self-appointed HR strategyguru Paul Kearns (HR Viewpoint, 21 January), who seems capable of doing littleother than misrepresenting what other people write. I would respectfully suggest that if anyone is stuck in an out-of-date timewarp, it is he. Kearns seems blissfully unaware of the changes that haveoccurred in the profession, which your Delivering HR Strategy series hasillustrated. Everyday HR professionals make a significant contribution to the success oftheir organisations. Rather than “making up for lost time”, the CIPD has actually beenresearching these links for 10 years. As your piece in the same issue entitled‘Handling Accountability’ (Features, 21 January) illustrates, we are taking aleading position on the current issue of reporting on human capital in annualreports. Far from being a ‘black box’, our latest study Sustaining Success inDifficult Times uses a dozen case studies to demonstrate how these linksactually work in practice. The 400 delegates at our Harrogate Conference whoheard a senior nurse in the cardiac ward at Royal United Hospital Bath, and thesales director at Nationwide, describe how HR practices have made a significantdifference to their organisations would not agree with Kearns’ assertion thatour work lacks strategic impact. I accept that not every HR department in this country is at the leadingedge. Wouldn’t it be better if Kearns helped HR professionals in all types oforganisations – as the CIPD and I are doing – to practically improve theircontribution, rather than constantly carping and criticising from thesidelines? I challenge Kearns to debate with me, in public, private, print or person,just whether his backward-looking curmudgeonly pessimism reflects the realityof HR today. I gave up my job in a major consultancy because I believe in contributing atthe CIPD to helping the profession make the shift. What has Kearns ever done tohelp? Duncan Brown Assistant director general, CIPD Editors response: Paul Kearns is keen to have this debate and both heand Duncan Brown will be joining our Forum on Delivering HR Strategy. See boxbelow Firms benefit from private healthcare It is very tempting for employers to cut back on apparently unaffordableprivate healthcare plans schemes (HR Viewpoint, 28 January). The next big thing in the UK – following the US trend – may well be definedliability plans where employees have a capped annual amount to spend on privatehealth treatment. Private healthcare costs are increasing so rapidly because employees arechoosing to use private over NHS treatment. For companies, the benefit of this increased use, if targeted correctly, isthat employee illness is treated more promptly and periods of sickness absenceare consequently reduced, thereby increasing productivity. Therefore, rather than reducing healthcare treatment through definedliability plans, or other means, employers might consider an alternativeapproach – that of strategically investing in employee healthcare and managingthis more effectively as a way of reducing sickness absence. If they don’t, the narrow approach of cutting healthcare benefits willmerely increase employment costs elsewhere. Steve Clements European partner, Mercer Human Resource Consulting EC opt-out law can bring flexibility I read your fascinating report outlining the reaction to the potentialremoval of the UK’s opt-out of Working Time Directive regulations (News, 21January). It was no surprise that UK employers reacted negatively to the latestproposals. In the current climate any additional cost or pressure oncompetitiveness is unwelcome. What is perhaps more surprising is that this report also demonstrates thevalue employees place on flexibility and choice. There is an increasing demandfor systems to facilitate and manage flexible working practices, such as theintroduction of annualised hours and flexitime, and they can have a positiveimpact on recruitment and retention. This is particularly the case in highlyseasonal businesses that would perhaps be hardest hit by the rigidity of thecurrent Working Time Directive (WTD) legislation that averages hours workedover a 17-week period. Customers who have embraced the WTD have found their investment in thedetailed reporting required by the legislation most revealing and would notreturn to their previous staff scheduling practices. However, it is true to say that even where the WTD is in place, staffopt-outs often mean that staff schedules cannot be managed consistently. For apiece of legislation intended to protect the employee, it has received a verynegative reaction from the very people it was designed to protect. Demand for more flexibility in working practices from both employer andemployee is now a fact of corporate life which it seems they would rathermutually agree than receive from on high from Brussels. Keith Statham Managing director, Kronos Systems Delivering HR strategyPersonnel Today is drawing together a forum of experts on Delivering HRStrategy. Don’t miss our coverage over the coming months – we’ll be giving youthe opportunity to tell the forum about the strategic HR challenges you face,as well as providing practical guidance on how to deliver it  last_img read more

first_imgDepartment for Work and Pensions Age Positive at Work AwardOn 16 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Thisaward recognises organisations that can demonstrate commitment to achieving agepositive practices in the workplace. The judge looked for examples of bestpractice in the various stages of the employment process from recruitment andselection, training and development, through to promotion, redundancy andretirement. CategoryjudgeRobertTaylor is a director of Age Concern Cymru and a trustee of Age Concern England.His background includes social and youth work and in 1982 he took the post ofdirector of South Glamorgan Care for the Elderly. Over seven years he built theorganisation from two to 50 staff and established the first Hospital DischargeService, the first Coldline older persons winter helpline and support service,and the first carers information service in Wales. In 1989 he moved to AgeConcern as deputy director, and since 1991 he has held the post of director. Heregularly represents the views of older people in Wales.Inkfishcall centres (Nottingham) HR team 5, total number in HR 12, staff responsible for 552 in NottinghamRuthEbbern-Robinson, Call Centres HR managerAllie Granger, HR adviserDavid Colley, HR assistantIan Smith, Age positive representativeNatalie Coulton, HR recruiterJohn Whittaker, Senior HR adviserSharon Brosnan, HR recruiterInkfishCall Centres HR TeamAboutthe companyInkfishCall Centres is a subsidiary of Domestic & General Group, a provider ofbreakdown cover and services for domestic electrical equipment. It has callcentres in Brighton, Slough, Redhill and Nottingham offering information,sales, internet and technical support lines, market research, lead generationand overflow facilities. Employs 1,400 people.ThechallengeToincrease staff diversity and attract and retain higher numbers of older workerswho bring experience, loyalty, and reliability.Whatthe company did–Asked temporary recruitment agencies to meet and beat a 10 per cent target ofmature workers–Redesigned recruitment material, PR and interview methods to appeal to oldercandidates and reduce levels of age bias at interviews–Provided confidence-building induction training and support prior to callhandling–Designed flexible working packages –Recruited 10 mature advisers, appointed a ‘mature workers ambassador’, andproper mechanisms for older worker feedback–Introduced annual health checksBenefitsand achievements–Regular feedback on staff satisfaction and business performance–Staff can work beyond the state retirement age if they are fit to do so–All Inkfish call centres are now targeting mature workers–Empathy with callers has increased–Older workers bring a positive work ethic and are loyal–They have had a positive influence on younger staff membersRobertTaylor says: “Inkfish has demonstrated a commitment to work-lifebalance and equality of opportunity for all its staff. With non-discriminatorypolicies and practice in place and a clear strategy for achieving anage-diverse workforce already well developed, Inkfish has shown age is nobarrier to finding employment and job progression in its workforce.” HR team 3 plus the HR managers in stores, total number in HR approx 500,Staff responsible for 120,000PhilipHorn, Head of resourcingDuncan Forbes, Resourcing managerAngela Martin, Resourcing managerSally Hopson, Director of resourcing & development Betty-Ann Kiddhunter, GreengrocerLloyd Belle-Nevis, Asda handymanDawn Pitchford, Claire Fuller, Jessica Kellman Resourcing managersResourcingTeamAboutthe companyAsdawas originally formed by a group of farmers from Yorkshire and became part ofthe Wal-Mart family in 1999. It now has 259 stores and 19 depots across the UK,employing 122,000 people in total.  ThechallengeToincrease the number of staff aged over 50 from 15,993 (15.4 per cent of staff)to 20 per cent by the end of 2003. Achieving a diverse workforce would reflectbusiness philosophy and underpin the company’s values. It would also ensurestaff were representative of the customers they serve.Whatthe company did–Introduced Asda Goldies, a store campaign on the benefits of working for Asda –Promoted Grandparent Leave (unpaid week off for birth of a grandchild) andBenidorm Leave (three months unpaid January-March)–Briefed target and initiative to whole company at conference and in-storebriefings–Produced potential recruit toolkit –Appointed greeters for candidates in stores and held events from tea dances toopen days–Rewarded stores that went that extra mileBenefitsand achievements–Increased older staff by 3.5 per cent to 18.9 per cent in just one year–Reduced staff turnover and absence–Built real team spirit in communicating the message into stores–Raised profile of commitment to diversity RobertTaylor says: “Asda has committed time, effort and enthusiasm toachieving a corporate approach to promoting age diversity across the company.The targeted campaign to recruit older workers is supported by age-friendlypolicies and a commitment to diversity from the top down and across all stores.Its success in attracting high numbers of mature staff speaks for itself.” team 5, total number in HR approx 800Staff responsible for approx 74,400CharlotteSweeney, Diversity managerStuart Stephen, Pensions directorAnn Elliott, Resourcing & learning directorKaren Caddick, Head of HR policyDavid Weymouth, Chief information officerEqualityand Diversity TeamAboutthe companyOneof the UK’s largest financial services groups, Barclays operates in 60countries. It has been involved in banking for 300 years and employs 74,700staff globally.ThechallengeIn2001, Barclays put equality and diversity at the heart of its businessstrategy. But, like others, it had lost many older workers in rounds ofredundancies in the 1990s, compounded by a reduction in the number of externalrecruits. Barclays wanted to attract older staff and make HR aware of issuesinvolved, review retirement and recruitment policies, raise age diversityissues among staff and customers, and develop a Modern Apprenticeship scheme toattract younger people.Whatthe company did–Announced right to request flexible work–Reviewed all HR policies to ensure no age bias–Gave staff right to work until the age of 65–Raised age diversity awareness levels–Identified factors that were an issue for different age groups–Introduced long-service awardsBenefitsand achievements–Barclays now employs more people over 55 than under the age of 20–Over 55s up by nearly 400 in two years–More than 170 16 to 19-year-olds participated in Barclays’ ModernApprenticeship scheme–Barclays became an Age Positive Champion for the Government initiativeRobertTaylor says: “Barclays has spent several years reviewing anddeveloping its strategic approach to achieving an age diverse workforce. Aspart of its wider commitment to diversity in the workplace, its age strategy istargeted at both ends of the workforce age spectrum (16-20 and 50+) andincludes targeting of people aged 65 and over.” Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

first_imgCase round upOn 1 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Our residents experts at Pinsents bring you a comprehensive update on allthe latest decisions that could affect your organisation, and advice on what todo about them.Pratley v Surrey County Council, Court of Appeal Another important ruling on liabilities for stress-related illness * * * * Pratley was employed by the council as a care manager. In March andAugust 1996 she complained of stress caused by overwork, warning that herhealth would suffer if her workload was not reduced. Immediately beforePratley’s summer holiday, her line manager promised to introduce a ‘stacking’system whereby cases would be allocated only to those with capacity. WhenPratley returned to work and found that no steps had been taken to implementthis system, she suffered a depressive illness. Key pointsPratley brought a negligence claim. She argued that her case met theguidelines for establishing liability under the Court of Appeal in Hatton inFebruary 2002. She put her employer on notice of a risk of harm to her mentalhealth, the employer acknowledged that steps could be taken to alleviate theproblem, had failed to action these and she therefore suffered mental illness.The High Court and the Court of Appeal rejected her claim. Pratley’s claim failed because there was a key difference between the typeof risk to which Pratley had alerted her employer and the type of injury thatshe suffered. Her complaints had identified a risk of harm in the longer termif her workload was not addressed. It was not foreseeable that she would sufferany mental injury if the employer took no steps to introduce the stackingsystem during her holiday. Pratley failed to establish that the council oughtreasonably to have addressed the problem immediately. It was entirelyreasonable for the manager to see how Pratley felt on her return to work beforetaking specific action. The Court of Appeal drew an interesting distinction between the long-termrisk of psychiatric illness caused by a continuing excessive work overload, andthe risk of an immediate breakdown. For the purposes of establishing liabilityfor negligence, the gravity and imminence of the harm to health will berelevant to issues of foreseeability of harm and breach of duty. The issue is not just what it is reasonable to expect employers to do, butwhen it is reasonable to require it to do it. What you should do – Listen to employees’ complaints about work-related stress and explorepossible solutions – Try to understand the nature of the risk to health: is it long-term orimmediate? Prompt action will generally be the best course of action – Remember that employees can base other types of claims (eg, constructivedismissal) on work-related stress or a failure to take action. These may offer easier routes to recovering damages for psychiatric injury. HSBC plc v Drage, EAT A useful illustration of the factors to be considered when invokingmobility clauses * * * Drage worked at the HSBC bank’s Devizes branch. However, the banktransferred her to a branch nine miles away because of a shortage ofexperienced counter staff there. It invoked a mobility clause in Drage’scontract under which she could be required to work at other branches within areasonable travelling distance of her existing location or home. Drage objected on the grounds that she took her children to school at 8.50ambefore starting work at 9am. A series of meetings followed under the bank’sgrievance procedure and the bank offered a number of alternative arrangements.Dissatisfied with these, Drage resigned. The EAT overturned Drage’s complaintof constructive dismissal, ruling that the employment tribunal’s earlierfinding of a fundamental breach of contract could not be upheld. Key pointsThe EAT emphasised that, in a case regarding the operation of a mobilityclause, it was not for the tribunal to decide what was reasonable or what areasonable employer would do. If the employer had shown some business reasonfor invoking the mobility clause – that the transfer was not arbitrary orcapricious – the tribunal could not judge whether those reasons were reasonableor appropriate. The EAT underscored that an employer invoking a mobility clausemust take into account the employee’s personal and domestic circumstances, butconfirmed that there is no obligation to reimburse an employee for anyadditional expense incurred due to the changed work location. The EAT overruled the tribunal’s decision that a failure to discuss withDrage whether there were any advantages to her in moving to a larger branchamounted to a breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence. The EAT stressedthat in a constructive dismissal claim, the employee had to show a fundamentalbreach of contract on the part of the employer, which had been accepted by theemployee. This was an objective test. It was not enough for the employee tofeel a decision had caused distress or that she had lost confidence in theemployer. Drage had access to the respondent’s grievance procedure, the bankhad modified its position and had sought to implement an acceptable solution. What you should do – Include mobility clauses in employment contracts to increase flexibility – Remember clauses can avoid a redundancy situation arising when place ofwork is changed – Always take account of an employee’s personal circumstances when invokingmobility clauses – Use grievance procedures or consultation to identify agreed solutions. Case of the month by Nick SheppardFull and part-time firefighters are retained under different contractsMatthews & Others v Kent & Medway Towns Fire Authority & Others,EAT The first significant decision under the Part-Time Workers Regulations In this important decision, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has given crucialguidance on the scope of the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less FavourableTreatment) Regulations 2000. Matthews, a retained (or part-time) firefighter, claimed less favourabletreatment compared to a whole-time (or full-time) firefighter. Retainedfirefighters who generally have separate full-time employment, are essentiallyrequired to perform firefighting work. Full-time firefighters carry out abroader range of duties primarily focused on fire safety and prevention. Key pointsUnder the regulations, the part-time worker must be able to compare his/hertreatment to that of a “comparable full-time worker”. That comparatormust, among other things, be employed under the same type of contract andengaged in the same or broadly similar work, having regard where appropriate toqualifications, skills and experience. In Matthews, the EAT upheld the tribunal’s ruling that retained firefighterswere employed under different types of contract to whole-time firefighters andnot engaged in the same or broadly similar work within the meaning of theregulations. The EAT declined to take a restrictive view of the various factors that anemployer could use to show employment on “different contracts”. Thesecould include the contractual working patterns, pay arrangements (including therationale for these), selection procedures and issues of training andpromotion. Furthermore, it was clear that the range of duties carried out by retainedfirefighters was much more restrictive than that of full-time firefighters. This decision is also relevant to the validity of comparators under theFixed Term Contract Regulations 2002. What you should do – Identify potential comparators for part-time workers and fixed-termemployees. Carry out an audit to identify areas of differential treatment – Where there are differences in treatment, consider whether to eliminatethese or, if they are retained, make sure you consider the need for objectivejustification – Remember that arguments that comparators are invalid because they carryout a different kind of work or range of duties should be based on what happensin practice, not just on what the contract says. Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgThe last wordOn 1 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Trainer and writer John Charlton gives his thoughts in skills predictionsfor the year aheadTrend-spotting is a must for 21st century training and HR specialists andmanagers who want to make their mark. And no, this does not involve bodypiercing. It means identifying the skills that your organisation’s workforcemust have to compete in tomorrow’s hard-hitting, take-no-prisoners-only-ordersmarket. Reading, writing and the ability to use cutlery will continue to be mustsfor most, but perhaps the biggest need will be ‘fun workers’. This is no joke – it is a prediction by vocational skills awarding body City& Guilds (C&G). It recently issued a list of skills that will be ‘hot’by and after 2010 and there, on the ‘hottest’ list – alongsidenanotechnologists, longevity consultants and tax advisers – is the ‘funemployee’. Well, I’ve worked with a few in my time, but I admit failing to identifytheir side-splitting wit and antics as a ‘hot skill’. But perhaps it’s time to wise up. C&G says fun employees will boostproductivity, make work a great place to be, and cut staff turnover andabsenteeism. They will make work more enjoyable and productive, and boost thebottom line. That’s the theory. But how will it work in practice? Clearly, organisations must employ a Head of Fun to draw up a fun policy.Then Fun Operatives will be hired to drive this initiative through theorganisation. They will have skills development needs – which is where the trainingmanager comes in. After all, the goalposts of fun do move, and senses of humourand sensitivities do vary. The Head of Fun in a mushroom-packing facility willhave different requirements to one bringing happiness to the workforce on asewage farm. But organisational goals will shape common training themes. These shouldinclude: Introduction to Fun; Advanced Fun; Fun for Fed-up Workers: EmbracingFun and Diversity, Fun and Redundancy Counselling; and so on. Who should run such training? Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson have theprofile, but lack the sensitivity. I can recommend Jongleurs(, a London-wide comedy club which trains comedians. But whatever you do, don’t extend your programme of fun to Germany. Overthere, there is no equivalent to Head of Fun. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_img Previous Article Next Article When you become a leader, your first priority is to build a strong team, says Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive at BT Retail.In this 50Lessons video he talks about his personal experience of creating an unbalanced team, with disastrous consequences. Finding the right combination of people can be a challenge, he says: “How do you find the right combination of skills to make a great team? Critical to that is diversity, and it’s diversity of thinking styles primarily. How do you get people who will look at a problem from a different perspective, bring different experience to bear on the problem and be prepared to debate and open up their mind to different solutions?”“One of the things that distinguishes your effectiveness as a leader is your ability to get results through other people. The key to that is being able to find the best possible people and pull them together in a team and to do that you have to be prepared to forever be on the lookout for talent,” he says.runSyndication(“personneltoday”, 1834); Team building checklist Here’s a practical checklist to help you meet the leadership challenge of building a strong team:When you show favouritism to someone on the team, you sabotage your efforts to build a strong and unified team. It can be especially tempting to show favouritism early on, so be sure to resist this temptationAs you assume a new leadership role, move wisely but quickly to assemble your team. This is a time of change, and the quicker you stabilise things, the better. Just don’t sacrifice good judgment for speed.When assembling a team, look to diversify it in terms of bringing in people with skills that complement one another. It’s important to have people who have different thinking styles and who can assess issues from different perspectives.As you continue your career, build a network of talent. Know that a leader’s effectiveness hinges on the ability to get results through other people. Create the strongest team you can and constantly be on the lookout for new talent.Questions to ask:What are the strengths and weaknesses of your current team?As a group, how diverse are you as thinkers? Do you all come at an issue from the same vantage point or are there differing views?How can a leader best build a teamHow can leaders find new talentIdeas for action:Assess your current team for strengths and weaknesses, including diversity in terms of background, experience, and thinking styles. Determine what areas need shoring up and how that needs to take place, and begin making changes immediately.Meet with other executives within your company to discuss your team. Get their opinions and advice on your current team, and factor that into any decisions that you makeIf you believe your team is not diverse enough in experience and in thinking styles, determine what types of experience and thinking styles are lacking. Then begin a search for talented people that can enhance your team50 Lessons is an online library of more than 1,000 inspiring videos demonstrating memorable and powerful storytelling, from over 200 of the world’s most respected business leaders. Find out more from leadership and management online learning specialists LMMatters at  Smart Buyer is brought to you in association with key providers of leadership training… Essential leadership skills: Building your teamOn 18 Feb 2010 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts: Occupational Health & Wellbeing research round-up: August 2020By Sarah Silcox on 7 Aug 2020 in Cardiac, Coronavirus, OH service delivery, Research, Occupational Health, Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Occupational Health & Wellbeing research round-up: July 2020Sleep disturbance affects Covid-19 medicsAlmost 40% of paediatric healthcare workers in Wuhan experienced sleep disturbance during the Covid-19 pandemic… No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Websitecenter_img Image by Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images Occupational health is “thin line” protecting the Covid-19 frontlineThe workload in healthcare occupational health has increased 20-fold as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a team of OH professionals working in a tertiary NHS trust. This increase is primarily driven by the need to carry out individual risk assessments of staff whose health notifications at recruitment indicated they were at increased risk of complications.Five OH staff completed individualised risk assessments among more than 400 staff working in the most high-risk areas in four days at the beginning of the pandemic. “Telephone consultations with staff required skill, patience and an assessment of psychological factors,” the authors explain, adding that some colleagues with health conditions were willing to remain in their acute role, despite a perceived higher risk of complications if they were to become infected, whilst others with similar conditions were not.The authors conclude that, “our experiences show just how important it is that we retain UK OH workforce, because of our ability to deal with assessment of unknown risk whilst exercising empathy and compassion.”In a separate article published online by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a group of Bronx-based OH professionals reports on how they prepared their hospital-based services for the pandemic. This included reconfiguring space, adding staff and expanding data tracking of staff absences due to the virus.Walker-Bone K et al. “Occupational health: the thin line protecting the front line”, Occupational Medicine, published online 1 June 2020.Sydney E et al. “Preparing occupational health services for pandemic: lessons from the Bronx”, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, published online 4 June 2020.Psychological impact of quarantineProviding healthcare workers with suitable alternative accommodation and personalised monitoring if they are required to quarantine as a result of Covid-19 are useful interventions to prevent them experiencing adverse psychological effects, according to this literature review.Clear public health communication can also help reduce any feelings of uncertainty, guilt or stigma that they might feel. Financial aid should be considered for the more severely affected workers. Mental healthcare should be a priority for healthcare workers as quarantine can be a trigger of mental distress.Gomez-Duran E L et al. “Psychological impact of quarantine on healthcare workers”, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, published online 10 June 2020.Physician suicide and the Covid-19 pandemicThe Covid-19 pandemic presents additional suicide risks in the general population, but physicians (who have a higher suicide risk than the general population) face even more risk factors, including burnout, moral injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. This article highlights the role of one particular risk factor – moral injury to physicians arising from ethical dilemmas generated by the pandemic, for example, decisions on which patients to admit to hospital, or to withdraw life support.This risk of moral injury is increased by professional isolation and burnout. The authors recommend two strategies to reduce the suicide risk facing physicians during the pandemic: every hospital should establish a Covid-19 Clinical Ethics Committee with multidisciplinary input, and peer groups of doctors should prioritise “safe space” meetings using video-conferencing so that colleagues can more easily identify those in their number who might be struggling.In a letter to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, a group of British-based physicians report on a survey of 106 healthcare workers carried out at a cardiac centre in the north west of England to assess the psychological burden of Covid-19 on the workforce.Only 40% of respondents felt fairly or very well prepared mentally to work during the pandemic and the majority (81%) were scared of contracting Covid-19. Only 19% were confident that they would not experience burnout if the pandemic extended into the second half of 2020, a finding the authors describe as “certainly worrying”.Gulati G and Kelly B D. “Physician suicide and the Covid-19 pandemic”, Occupational Medicine, published online 4 June 2020.Choudhury T et al. “Covid-19 pandemic: looking after the mental health of our healthcare workers”, Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, published online 12 May 2020.OH challenges as lockdown liftsThe forecast worldwide economic recession that will follow the pandemic presents its own health problems in addition to those related to the virus, this editorial suggests. Occupational health and safety can play an important role in mitigating the health impacts of recession by providing advice to workers and employers on creating safe employment and new, attractive ways of working, it argues.It is undeniable that recessions have an adverse impact on the health and wellbeing of the population but health improvements are also possible, for example, because people have less money to spend on products associated with unhealthy behaviours there is more time to exercise and sleep (during lockdowns) and air quality improves. However, research on the health impacts of previous recessions also shows that the lockdown may well exacerbate existing health inequalities, as workers in lower socioeconomic groups have less access to protective equipment, fewer options to work from home and a higher risk of losing their job.As we emerge from lockdown, those in occupational health and safety, either at a policy level or in the field, have an opportunity to, “translate their valuable insights on the complex relationship between work and health into workable action. As such, they will be able to reduce the toll of an approaching recession”, the editorial concludes.Godderis L and Luyten J. “Challenges and opportunities for occupational health and safety after the Covid-19 lockdowns”, Occupational & Environmental Medicine, published online 8 June 2020.Cost-effectivness of return-to-work interventions for mental ill healthReturn-to-work interventions for workers with medically certificated mental ill health absence can be cost-effective, according to this literature review. However, the use of economic evaluations to assess the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions is in its infancy, and currently many evaluations are based around healthcare settings, limiting their usefulness in the context of a workplace or non-health organisation, the authors conclude. “This may present the opportunity to introduce newer approaches that include work-related measures of effectiveness and analytical approaches,” they suggest.Dewar C S et al. “Evidence for the cost-effectiveness of return-to-work interventions for mental illness related sickness absences: a systematic literature review”, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, published online 3 June 2020. Five ways OH can make itself indispensable during Covid-19Much as it is causing intense day-to-day challenges, Covid-19 is also offering OH practitioners – nurses and physicians – a… Occupational Health & Wellbeing research round-up: November 2020Work-related allergic symptoms in bakersBakers using multigrain flour are at a high risk of experiencing nasal and asthma-like symptoms,…last_img read more