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Letters

first_img Previous Article Next Article This week’s lettersDTI will try to avoid damaging the job boards As the Minister responsible for the Government’s review of the conduct ofemployment agencies and employment businesses regulations, I can assurePersonnel Today that our aim is not to damage internet jobs boards, but toprotect job-seekers and employers from unscrupulous agencies (News, 15October). To help us get the balance right, I urge your readers to log on towww.dti.gov.uk/er, read our consultation in the publications section and sendconsidered comments and evidence to [email protected] Alan Johnson MP Minister of State for Employment Relations, Industry and the Regions, Departmentof Trade and Industry People, not boards, make strategy happen I have enjoyed your series Delivering HR Strategy, and Jane Lewis’ article(Features, 8 October). But the argument Lewis presents – that the ‘downstream alignment’ school ofJohn Purcell has been superseded by Paul Kearns’ offensive‘HR-in-the-boardroom-driving-the-business-strategy’ camp – itself is anoutmoded distinction. Neither business nor HR strategies are wholly rational, planned andtop-down-implemented phenomena. Early and influential HR involvement iscritical, but as John Purcell points out, there is a danger in our currenttough economic climate of HR strategies becoming ‘an illusion’ in theboardroom. As your series title suggests – delivery is key. Purcell’s latest research for the CIPD focuses on this conundrum ofstrategic delivery. Underneath the statistical correlations between HR policiesand business success, this research unpacks some of the key practicalcomponents of the ‘black box’ of HR strategy. Effective first line managers and fully-skilled employees – supported byappropriate HR practices and processes – are all demonstrated by the researchto be critical to performance and strategic delivery. As one of the employees in a hospital case study explains, “when I camehere a year ago it was very unsettled. Now we have a strong team out there,encouraging you, and in return you want to do the job to the best of yourability”. Boards, or even their HR executives, do not make strategy happen. People do.Duncan Brown Assistant director general, CIPD Have you responded to the records code? The Records Management Code is considered by many to be a bureaucraticburden (News, 8 October). It appears that employers should now seek staff permission to recordsickness details, include confidentiality clauses in HR personnel contracts,provide data handling training for HR operatives, include data protectionrights in staff induction programmes, provide employees with personal detailson an annual basis and introduce a single HR database. Not surprisingly, HR professionals believe this is impractical and willincrease administrative work. We recently sponsored research that shows that 32 per cent of HRprofessionals thought that the code was too complex, while 47 per cent hadnever even heard of it. There must be a considerable number of organisations who cannot be dealingwith the new code of practice adequately. More information on the new codeneeds to be made easily available to employers. Furthermore, HR professionals need to carefully review and upgrade their HRinformation systems in order to ensure compliance. Peter Collinson Director, Midland Software Limited Businesses must stop poor management rot I read with interest Karina Ward’s views on poor training being to blame forbad management and low productivity (Letters, 22 October). While I strongly agree that we need to take a step back and assess theshortcomings of British companies, I am not convinced UK industry is ready forthis level of self-criticism. Following the DTI’s announcement that US business guru, Michael Porter, willlead an inquiry into the failings of British management (News, 22 October), Iwas shocked to hear various business commentators criticising the decision to involvean American. It’s time for UK companies to stop naval-gazing and face reality: withoutworld-class managers and leaders, the British economy will continue to flag,and if businesses don’t shape up soon, they could be committing commercialsuicide. Let’s hope businesses in the UK learn what they can from Michael Porter andstop the rot of poor management. Roy Davis Head of communications, SHL UK Comments are closed. LettersOn 5 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img

Football pay cap could be illegal

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Football pay cap could be illegalOn 3 Dec 2002 in Personnel Today The proposed introduction of a salary cap on Nationwide League footballplayers and the G14 group of Europe’s elite teams may be illegal. The precarious nature of football finances has prompted the NationwideLeague chairman to reconsider the amount it pays top stars by imposing a wagecap. Europe’s top 14 clubs have also agreed to impose a cap by 2005, in which nomore than 70 per cent of turnover could be used on players wages. However, Owen Eastwood, a sports specialist at law firm Lewis Silkin, believesthe salary cap is only enforceable if it has been agreed by the union and isincluded as part of a collective bargaining agreement. “If there is no collective bargaining agreement, it is vulnerable to alegal challenge,” he said. last_img

There’s no need to fear a return of the unions

first_imgThere’s no need to fear a return of the unionsOn 13 May 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The merest hint of industrial unrest always prompts an airing of that oldrock song, Part of the Union. For a time though, the turntables have beensilent. Having peaked with 10 million in the 1970s, union membership slumped tobelow 8 million in the 1980s and 1990s as employment switched away frommanufacturing to services, and legislation curbed union power. Now unions are staging a comeback. High-profile strikes by firefighters andrail workers evoke memories of times past. So much so that Labour governmentministers themselves express public concern at an emerging new generation ofunion militants. The Government’s fairness at work legislation has given added impetus tounion recognition. Today, almost two out of three public sector workers areunionised, compared with less than one in five in private firms. Unions arealso central players in the ongoing reform of public sector service delivery. The next couple of years might witness the most disruptive strike activitysince Mrs Thatcher took on Arthur Scargill in the 1980s. But industrial striferemains far less prevalent than in the 1970s. In 2001, the UK lost 20 workingdays per 1,000 employees to strikes – much lower than the EU (43 days) and OECD(29 days) averages. Even so, it is clear the employment relations environment within which theHR community operates is entering a new phase. Some are understandably wary ofthe possible consequences, yet experience shows that responsible trade unions,working in partnership with employers, should be embraced rather than treatedwith suspicion. Unions serve as an important channel, building shared-interestrelations with employees to help raise productivity and improve workingconditions. True, unions can at times abuse their role. The legitimate right of unionsto be recognised must therefore always be tempered by appropriate restrictionsdesigned to ensure they behave responsibly. In this respect the currenttreatment of unions in UK law, as most recently modified by the EmploymentRelations Act 1999, would seem about right. The Government’s recent conclusion that there is as yet no case forwholesale changes to the legislation seems justified, so long as employersadopt the spirit as well as letter of the current law, and do not attempt toexercise legal loopholes to obstruct recognition. The overriding object for all – government, employers and trade unions –must be to build upon the positive partnerships of recent years. At nationallevel, employers’ organisations should support Brendan Barber’s efforts as hetakes over from John Monks at the TUC’s helm. He faces a tricky task insteering the union movement through interesting times ahead. It is highly unlikely that the high employment, high productivity and highpublic service delivery outcomes that the UK needs can emerge in the absence ofgood relations with the unions. By John Philpott, Chief economist, CIPD Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

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