More hours, less support for UK’s working women

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. British women work more hours than their European counterparts, but are notsupported by such generous social welfare schemes, according to research. The Working Women study shows that UK women in full-time jobs work anaverage of nearly 41 hours per week compared with 39 in France and 36 in Italy.The EU average is 39 hours. The number of UK women who do not work because of family responsibilities ishigher than in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and France. The report suggests that in spite of the extension of maternity andpaternity leave announced this year, the UK still provides less support forworking parents than other EU counties. Hugh Bessant, managing director of research company Key Note, and author ofthe report, said, “New increases in maternity leave, maternity pay andchildren’s and childcare tax credits are signalling a more regulated andsupported social framework for women to balance family and employment duties. “However, these measures still have to take full effect. Our researchshows that working women suffer a real ‘time famine’ and are under far morestress, in particular professional AB women with children.” The number of women in employment in the UK has risen from 11.4 million in1997 to 13.1 million in 2001. The gulf between men and women’s earnings is wider in Britain than anywhereelse in Europe, with British women earning only 80 per cent of the wages oftheir male colleagues, claims the research. More hours, less support for UK’s working womenOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

Employment law and the OH practitioner

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Employment law and the OH practitionerOn 1 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Ina lively presentation, Minding your back – a legal update, employment lawexpert, Joan Lewis, succinctly covered recent case law that may affect theoccupational health professional. Topicsfor discussion included the Court of Appeal’s guidance on stress 2002, wherethe judge defined a risk assessment as “absolutely crucial”. Shealso focused on some recent cases concerning disability and sickness, includinglong-term sick leave and holiday entitlement, disability discrimination afteremployment has ended and medical misinformation given to occupational healthstaff by employees. Lewissummarised the practical effects of the Human Rights Act on employers since itcame into force in 2000 and took delegates through an analysis of part one ofthe eventual four-part information on the Data Protection Code, published inMarch of this year. Thetalk was illustrated with examples of recent cases that underline the importantrole played by occupational health in interpreting employment law.last_img read more

Banks pressure agencies to tow line on diversity

first_img Comments are closed. Banks pressure agencies to tow line on diversityOn 19 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Leading City banks are to put pressure on recruitment agencies to improvethe diversity of candidates they recommend. The Interbank Diversity Forum – a body of diversity professionals at the topbanks – will meet with recruitment agencies in the New Year in a bid tohighlight the business benefits of diversity and improve the variety ofcandidates put forward. The IDF is concerned that recruitment agencies view an increased focus ondiversity as compromising the quality of applicants. IDF member Frank Howell, head of diversity at JP Morgan Chase, told the CityRecruitment Conference that he has already unsuccessfully attempted to changethe behaviour of recruitment agencies. Howell has spoken at, and chaired, workshops for the bank’s top 20recruitment agencies to inform them how a diverse workforce will improve theindustry’s productivity. He also hosted a cocktail party for more than 100 recruitment professionalsfrom 80 agencies in a bid to get the message across. “There is an obvious business case for diversity. As a bank, we attractstereotypical white, middle class, Oxbridge graduates. We have to ask ourselves‘will we be able to understand our customers and get business likethis?’,” asked Howell. He told delegates at Business Forums International’s conference last weekthat agencies are reluctant to adapt their practices. “Agencies have told me they will not change just for JP Morgan Chasewhen the rest of the industry has different criteria,” Howell said. “So, next year the IDF will go to the agencies as a group of 10 largecompanies that pay their wages and say that we want changes,” he said. The IDF are also to meet sister organisation, The Interbank RecruitmentForum – a body of recruitment professionals in the city – to discussinitiatives to improve the diversity of staff. Case study: JP Morgan ChaseNetwork groups focus on diversityJP Morgan Chase is trying to increasethe diversity of its staff by providing more support for ethnic minority employees,gays and lesbians, parents and its older workers.Frank Howell, head of diversity, said that the bank’s diversityfocus is central to its aim of radically overhauling the firm’s hierarchicalculture.The bank has a balanced scorecard based on its staff diversitysurvey, including questions on how diversity-focused managers are and levels ofstaff satisfaction on what has been achieved.The scorecard collates diversity-data and links it to businessperformance. JP Morgan Chase also funds diversity-focused staff networkinggroups including those approaching retirement, parents, and the lesbian and gayorganisations.Howell believes these groups help staff to feel accepted atwork, improve retention and assist individuals with their career development.”We are trying to move away from a situation where seniorstaff are phoning up payroll shouting ‘Why have I not got paid? Do you know whoI am?’,” Howell said. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

EOC urges firms to review pay to stamp out inequality

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has called for at least half of alllarge firms to complete a pay review by the end of the year to ensure they arepaying men and women fairly. The Commission has drawn up a seven-point document, outlining its goals andtargets for improving equality during the next 12 months. And again, it has urged employers to audit pay systems as part of the driverid the workplace of inequality. Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC, said 2003 could be a seminal year forprogress on workplace equality and that the UK is currently facing a turningpoint. “We are at a crossroads – the Government is in the middle of aconsultation on new laws to ensure fair treatment in employment regardless ofage, sexual orientation or belief,” she said. “If Britain achieves the concrete goals for equality for women and menthat we have outlined, 2003 could be a momentous year for equality.” Women working full-time still earn 19 per cent less per hour than men, withthis figure rising to 40 per cent for women working part-time. However the Government has now committed all its central departments toequal pay reviews by the end of March, to help set an example to otheremployers. The EOC has also called on employers to promote the new rights for fatherswhich, from April, allows them two weeks paid paternity leave to spend withtheir child. In addition, Mellor criticised the pensions system and said it should bereformed to provide a decent income for all and take into account thefragmented career path of women. The EOC also wants political parties to boost the number of womenrepresentatives as Britain currently lies in 47th place in the world for womenMPs, with fewer than 18 per cent. Ross WighamEOC goals for 2003– Equality at home: more new dads totake time off– Equality at work: half of large employers to complete a equalpay review– Equality in old age: more provisions for retired women– Equality politics: increased female representation – Equality in education: more work experience opportunities– Equality in public services: bodies given a duty to promoteequality– Equality under the law: Government commitment to newlegislation EOC urges firms to review pay to stamp out inequalityOn 14 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Bupa leads way with absence support scheme

first_img Previous Article Next Article Private healthcare provider Bupa has integrated its OH services into itsemployee income protection scheme, in a move it argues will lead sick employeesto return to work quicker. Once an employee has been absent for more than 15 working days, Bupa isinformed and the OH services becomes involved, rather than, as before, OH beingoffered as a separate provision. The OH teams liaise with the employee directly, discussing any treatment orsupport they may need to help them achieve a full recovery as early aspossible. Bupa membership’s head of sales and business development Martin Noone saidthis might be no more than having a chat with the employee to discuss theirillness and assess how much time they need off work. Bupa has also launched a 24-hour ‘healthline’ for employees, family membersand employers, staffed by qualified nurses. “Reducing the length of time someone is away from work is essential tothe continuity of any business,” said Noone. “By adding OH services,companies can offer an added benefit to employees in a climate when it isincreasingly difficult to find and retain good staff.” Related posts:No related photos. Bupa leads way with absence support schemeOn 1 May 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

BMW set to drive diversity with new programme

first_img Comments are closed. BMWhas launched a new programme to help attract more female technicians to itsdealer service network.Currently,there is only one qualified female technician out of 300 BMW engineers acrossthe country, so the firm is trying to encourage more women to enrol on itstraining course.Thecompany has been sending information on careers within BMW to various girls’schools and advertising in women’s magazines in a bid to improve diversity.Thefirm’s HR department has also surveyed the dealerships to ensure they foster afriendly and equal atmosphere without any barriers to female technicians.RogerWaters, career planning manager at BMW, said he wanted to communicate theincreasing sophistication of the jobs on offer.”Thetraditional image of the greasy car mechanic needs updating. We receive 2,000applications each year for the technician course, but we can only accept 150people. When we’re searching for the best school leavers, it’s crazy to ignorehalf of them,” he said. Related posts:No related photos. BMW set to drive diversity with new programmeOn 13 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Insecure academics feel the pressure

first_imgJob insecurity is the most significant source of stress among universitylecturers, tutors and others working in higher education, a study hasconcluded. The survey of 3,800 academic and non-academic staff in 14 higher educationinstitutions had found the decline of tenure positions and the increasingprevalence of short-term or fixed-contract work had sent stress levels soaring.Whereas the normal population reported a figure of 5.5 out of 10 when itcame to measuring stress, compared with a mean figure for higher education,this rose to nine out of 10. Michelle Tytherleigh, a research fellow at the University of Plymouth, whocarried out the study, said: “Higher education staff were much morestressed by their working relationships, loss of control and lack of resourcesand communication.” “They reported significantly lower levels of commitment both from andto their organisation. Commitment is a good moderator of stress levels. Theywere satisfied with their work environment, but they lacked commitment,”she added. Lecturers and other staff no longer felt valued or respected by theirorganisations and felt they lack autonomy, she argued. Universities needed to work at improving job security, valuing their staffand providing better support where people were reporting they were highlystressed, Tytherleigh suggested. Insecure academics feel the pressureOn 1 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Organisational risk of the Peter Principle

first_img Previous Article Next Article Read full article Organisational risk of the Peter PrincipleShared from missc on 9 Dec 2014 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.center_img The Peter Principle is a concept inwhich the selection of a candidate for a position is based on their performance in their current role rather than on their abilities relevant to the intended role. The business then of course running the risk of promoting someone until they are in a role in which they under-perform. How do we avoid this?From an HR perspective, the risk associated with the Peter Principle can be negated simply taking on-board the direction that an employee wishes to take their career, as opposed to promoting a staff member according to the company organisational structure only. Of course this doesn’t mean that we place less importance on the business objectives, because of course these are very important also – What it does mean that we should be using far more foresight when hiring and aiming to align someone’s key professional growth objectives with the organisational goals as much as possible.When we align an employee’s growth plan with organisational objectives, both parties stand to reap the benefits and in turn minimise risk. The employee is given the opportunity to achieve their professional goals and grow their knowledge and experience in the areas that the business requires that skill/experience which of course limits the likelihood of poor performance.Recruitment needs to become less reactionary (where possible) and more forward thinking and strategic. In doing so, employees will note that you have their best interests in mind along with other commercial interests, and this in turn – in most cases, will be reciprocated in the form of staff being engaged, driven and committed to achievement, all whilst managing potential future risk. Comments are closed.last_img read more

Position Descriptions of Christmas Past

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Are the multi-skilled, or the specialists among us, more future-proof & better equipped for organisational evolution?I believe there are two trains of thought on this. These days with organisations advocating agile or iterative processes, we have witnessed a shift in not just how we meet deadlines and time restraints but in our professional mentalities. Everything is quicker, processes more streamlined and we are always looking for ways to create new efficiencies as we all deal with ever changing goalposts on a day to day basis. With this we of course become more than just what our defined position descriptions would have meant 5 to 10 years ago and instead we must be broader skilled, dynamic, out-of-the-box problem solvers who have to turn our hands daily to tasks which historically wouldn’t have been ours.On the other hand, we have a growing trend of positions being broken up into several roles where in the past they may all have been taken care of by one position. An example of this could be the role of an internal recruiter. In years gone by, a recruiter would be responsible for the end to end process of finding candidates for any given role – engaging them, appropriately screening them, interviewing them, coordinating interviews with relevant hiring managers – and thereafter would also be responsible for “closing” or hiring. However these days, a large number of recruitment roles are broken up more distinctly into sourcing, recruiting and account managing.There is merit in both methods but I will be interested to see moving forward whether it is the specialist or the broader-skilled that demonstrates more staying power. Read full article center_img Previous Article Next Article Position Descriptions of Christmas PastShared from missc on 19 Dec 2014 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Five ways OH can make itself indispensable during Covid-19

first_imgFive ways OH can make itself indispensable during Covid-19On 5 Feb 2021 in Clinical governance, Coronavirus, OH service delivery, Research, Occupational Health, Personnel Today Occupational Health & Wellbeing research round-up: December 2020Fatigue and workplace exercise programmesWork-related fatigue is related to a range of negative consequences, including poor productivity. This study… Related posts: No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Image: Shutterstock Much as it is causing intense day-to-day challenges, Covid-19 is also offering OH practitioners – nurses and physicians – a unique and rare opportunity to review and extend their leadership role. Dr Chow Sze Loon outlines five ways in which OH can make itself indispensable during this ongoing pandemic.Even before the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Covid-19 as a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, workplaces were carrying out various strategies to detect and prevent what was then still a novel viral infection from infecting their workforce.About the authorDr Chow Sze Loon is a practising public health medicine specialist and occupational health doctor under the Public Health Division of the State Health Department of Penang, Ministry of Health, MalaysiaAs hard-pressed occupational health practitioners have become only too aware this year, the new role the profession has had to take on in navigating the pandemic, in advising and guiding employers and employees alike, is unprecedented. As Occupational Health & Wellbeing has also highlighted in recent editions, it is also potentially a golden opportunity for OH to showcase its value to the wider workplace of various industries.Occupational health practitioners – nurses and physicians – must seize the opportunity the pandemic represents to advise employers on the growing demand for preventive and control measures that can reduce absence and/or stop or slow the transmission of Covid-19 within the workplace.Within this, practitioners also have an opportunity to review and extend their current practice and role during this pandemic. Five common key areas are explored in this article which offer all practitioners an insight for reflection and, in turn, enhancing our roles and value we present to the workplace health table.1) Become your organisation’s “resource person”.Covid-19 is not in itself an occupational disease, except for those who are working as on the front line within healthcare facilities.However, that does not remove the risk of exposure among employees, especially where cases have been reported sporadically and community transmission has been established.Thus, it is timely for practitioners to be reviewing and updating the current workplace occupational safety and health policy within their organisation (or client organisations) so that it is relevant to the demands and restrictions of the pandemic.This is likely to be led by local and national government directives (for example, in the UK, Public Health England), guidance from the WHO, and industry-specific tool kits.Practitioners will need to address and promote issues such as workplace cleanliness and hygiene, hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and etiquette as well as establishing physical screening processes around premises.Occupational health practitioners can make themselves the vital “resource person” within their organisation. This could include, for example, ‘translating’ official, industry or government directives or guidance for busy managers and employers so they are clear on the specific practical steps they need to be implementing.Or, to cite another example, it could be advising on the recommended choice of hand sanitiser, the frequency of cleaning and disinfection within the workplace, the specific mechanisms required to screen employees and visitors before entering the premises and so on.2) Take the lead on risk assessment, screening and testing.Not every employee needs to be screened for Covid-19. Risk assessment is therefore an important task to undertake by all organisations.Regardless of mass Covid-19 screening or targeted testing, the ultimate aim remains the same: to detect the case early for isolation with treatment and the timely search for all close contacts to prevent subsequent transmission.WHO advocates a targeted approach to seeking, testing and isolating cases, so limiting the expansion of the disease. Such an approach, in turn, requires the OH practitioners to stratify the risk of an employee getting the infection following a known exposure.The exposure could be of geographical (cluster reported in certain localities) or close contact to a confirmed positive case (usually those sharing the same household and/or work space).Transmission risk depends on factors such as contact pattern, infectiousness of the host and the duration of exposure. Most transmission occurs through close range contact (at least 15 minutes face to face and within two metres), as highlighted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.3) Manage the misinformation “infodemic”.WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is right when he says: “This is a time for facts, not fear. This is a time for rationality, not rumours. This is a time for solidarity, not stigma.”In the midst of pandemic, nations are also battling against what has been called an “infodemic” of fake news, misinformation, and conspiracy theories are frequently flooding the social media.This phenomena is worrying, not least because it can undermine trust in health institutions and public health measures.In the workplace setting, the occupational health practitioner should recognise this ongoing threat and work to position themselves as the person within their organisation where people can go to for authoritative, practical, calm evidence-based advice and guidance.For example, employees must be reminded constantly that transmission is through respiratory droplets and not airborne.Symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission (one to two days before symptom onset) is likely to play a greater role in the viral transmission as compared to asymptomatic individuals. Hence, this explains the rationale of physical distancing, respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene and mask wearing in crowded places.4) Provide leadership on return to work after diagnosis/surveillanceReturn to work after isolation and treatment is possible when a Covid-19 RT-PCR test is negative and symptoms are improving.Upon returning to work, the employee must be advised to continue practising the new normal of preventive measures, which includes wearing a mask, using hand sanitiser and maintaining physical distancing.The OH practitioner, again, is likely to take a leading role along with an opportunity to make yourself, your organisation’s go-to resource and point of expertise during this process.For example, you may be called on to advise your organisation on the need to screen other employees if there is workplace exposure prior to the diagnosis. Early detection and isolation are both crucial in preventing transmission in workplace.5) Be centre-stage in helping managers and employees cope with stress and mental ill healthFinally, it is becoming increasingly clear that, running alongside the day-to-day management and mitigation of Covid-19 itself, there are going to be massive, and potentially long-term, challenges around employee mental health and wellbeing.Employees with existing medical conditions may be at particular risk of developing stress during pandemic, given all the uncertainty. But, from lockdown through to working from home or in a front line capacity, anxiety and stress is something many people will be experiencing. As such, OH services can be central in terms of day-to-day management and support.OH practitioners, for example, can play a pivotal role in helping employees to recognise the signs and symptoms of stress, and direct them to helpful resources for mental health and peer support.It is important to identify the early signs of mental distress and provide relevant mental health support. This can include signposting and referring on to counselling or an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), Psychological First Aid (PFA) or even more specialist support to mitigate the effect of stress.References“Coronavirus is an opportunity, but also a risk, for occupational health”, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, July 2020,; “Occupational health faces five ‘scale-up challenges’ to meet demand post pandemic”, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, September 2020, Five ways occupational health needs to scale up post pandemicThe Covid-19 pandemic has left occupational health practitioners struggling to cope with massive return-to-work, mental health, risk management and infection… Occupational health education facing a challenging future post pandemicThere were serious concerns about the future of occupational health training even before the pandemic threw our education system up… Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more