Letters

first_img Comments are closed. LettersOn 18 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today This week’s lettersCall it a day on ‘teddy bear HR’I see that Personnel Today recently launched a section called HR StrategyForum (see page 16 of this week’s edition). I hope it has been earmarked byyour readers because today, there is a strong message for HR in this country:it is time to evolve and move on. Don’t hang on to the old for old-time’s sake.The UK perception of HR has often been seen as a ‘safe’ job. Careerscounsellors see it as ‘sensible’, parents see it as ‘responsible’ and everyoneelse views it as potentially boring. HR was the epitome of the ‘fur-lined rut’job – a one-track safe, warm and comfortable job with no challenges beyond itsnarrow confines. Exposure to new ways of working by candidates from more inclusive andcommunity-focused countries means that sweet, ineffectual ‘teddy bear HR’ inthe UK may soon be over. Competition is entering the UK from countries where HR has regular andsustained interaction with external stakeholders. Dealing with customers,suppliers, investors and the community is considered part of the jobdescription. There is, for example, the more holistic, creative and external approach inSouth Africa and the Scandinavian block. In South Africa, it is not unusual for HR at management level to have activeinvolvement in the community in which employees reside. “Ten years ago in South Africa, my role as HR manager with De BeersIndustrial Diamonds, and Pilkington Glass, involved active participation inlocal community, welfare and education bodies. Additional work asvice-president of the local chamber of commerce, and then as industrial labourrepresentative for the South Africa Chamber of Commerce, helped me to providepositive impact on behalf of employees,” reads one CV. Here is a new breed of HR: the people services director/executive who addsto the long-term strategic direction of the organisation. Back in the UK, it is clear that being responsible for an organisation’s peoplealso means helping to shape the culture of your organisation. In turn, HR needsto be aware of the external influences shaping the organisation. Take note too that HR will move beyond the collation of personnel data,benefits, etc. To make a strategic difference, the HR manager needs to speakthe same language as the other members of the board – finance, IT andmarketing/communications – and to understand and be responsive to influencessuch as balanced scorecards and SWOT factors (strengths, weaknesses,opportunities and threats) to the business and industry. Those kind of skillswill dramatically enhance your career prospects. At a strategic level, HR needs to concentrate on the things that make up thecore competencies of an organisation – the people. If the process of achievingthis change entails outsourcing and/or sharing services, then so be it. Wayne Carstensen Managing director, Arinso UK Not necessarily right statement of the lawOn 7 October, you published an article by Stephanie Pattersonin the legal section on the right to sue for the loss of the chance to claimunfair dismissal.Patterson referred to the case of Virgin Net, where theEmployment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) gave a different decision to that given inRaspin. She says that employers can now feel safe in that they do not have toworry about the principle of an action being brought for the loss of the rightto claim unfair dismissal.However, both Raspin and Virgin Net were heard at the EAT andalthough Virgin Net is much newer, it is not necessarily the right statement ofthe law as both cases are on equal level.It will need a decision by the Court of Appeal to sort out thequestion of whether a case can be brought when an employer in breach ofcontract terminates an employee’s contract of employment, thereby deprivingthem of the right to bring a case of unfair dismissal because they have notachieved one year of service.Barry MordsleyHead of employment department, SalansE-mail ban may help us talkface-to-faceYou recently reported that John Caudwell, chief executive ofmobile phone retailer Phones 4U, had banned internal e-mail among his 2,500staff to improve productivity. I would argue that he might find there is awelcome spin-off in improved motivation among his workforce. In many companies, e-mail has replaced face-to-face meetings orphone calls between colleagues. A comment made in an e-mail can be taken out ofcontext, resulting in either a protracted ‘e-mail conversation’ or ill feelingamong employees. It is also difficult to create emotion in an e-mail,especially when passing a compliment, saying thank you or delivering bad news. I accept that there will be some people who would see aninternale-mail ban as an infringement of their liberties. Perhaps the way forwardis to begin with a series ofe-mail-free Fridays to get people used to talkingto each other again.Graham Povey Managing directorCapital Incentives & MotivationHR must respond to review strategicallyn The Accounting for People Taskforce’s review of human capitalmanagement (HCM) reporting (News, 4 November) has put the value of peoplefirmly on the business agenda.However, HR professionals must respond in a strategic ratherthan knee-jerk fashion to demands for better reporting. Developing measures andreporting mechanisms outside of a strategic HCM process is likely to lead tothe collection of interesting, but ultimately meaningless data – such asfocusing on cost rather than investment – and potentially a lot of wasted time.Boards and investors must understand the changing value ofhuman capital and the actions being taken to increase this as key leadindicators of business success. To provide this insight, measurements,benchmarking, evaluation and reporting all need to focus on the key strategicdifferentiators that drive the business forward. John InghamPrincipal consultant, Penna ConsultingWhat about the right to run abusiness?I was astounded to read such a short-sighted and self-righteousreview from Carol Davis on the subject of parental benefits (Letters, 4November).Clearly she is not in a position where she has to act asmediator between unreasonable parents demanding their ‘rights’ and managers whohave a business to run.I wonder if Davis would take the same view if she was actuallyrunning her own business?How would she feel if it were her business being directlycompromised by frequent absences for non-critical reasons or unreasonabledemands?People choose to have children; their employers do not forcethem to do so. Why then should employees be able to shift their parentalresponsibilities onto their employers? If parents want to see all their children’s ‘first timeoccasions’, perhaps they shouldn’t be working in the first place. Like a lot ofthings in life ‘you make your bed and then you lie in it’. The sooner parentsrealise that they cannot ‘have it all’, the better.Thankfully, not all parents are so unreasonable and do theirbest to honour their work commitments as well as their families. They achievethis through compromise, not by making unreasonable or unrealistic demands.This is just as well, because if all parents jumped on thisbandwagon as Davis suggests, the wheels of UK industry would surely grind to ahalt and these parents might find themselves out of a job altogether. Then theyreally would have something to whinge about.Details suppliedGPs attitudes at root of sicknoteproblemHaving read Dr GC Moncrieff’s letter (Letters, 4 November), Iwould like to congratulate Personnel Today for its coverage of the sick/stressissues.As an HR manager, I have strong views on this matter. I mustsay that sicknotes are only pointless because of the attitude of GPs towardsthem.It strikes me that if GPs had been on top of the whole thing tostart with, and refused to sign a sicknote if they genuinely believed theindividual wasn’t really sick, then they wouldn’t be inundated with patientswho know the doctor is a soft touch.Let’s be honest: if a patient was ‘trying it on’ but refused asicknote, they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to return. And if a patient isgenuinely sick, then I would expect the GP to be qualified enough to make adiagnosis and sign them off appropriately.Also, if an employer is having to pay someone forbeing off sick and/or provide additional cover for that time, they should beentitled to know the exact nature of the illness without it being a breach ofconfidence.Countless companies in the UK are bearing the financial bruntof the sicknote and compensation culture, and many other organisations areunwittingly fuelling the flames.K HuntHR manager, IMGOH buy-ins are not practical forrural UKI refer to recent articles in Personnel Today regarding doctorsissuing sick-notes. I wish to express my concerns about the proposedalternative of buying specialist occupational health (OH) services, based on myown personal experience.I service a number of small businesses in Derbyshire, and Iworry about the cost, availability and effectiveness of the proposed solution.Apart from the major centres of Derby and Chesterfield, mostemployers in this area are based in small towns and villages. It is alreadydifficult for them to find doctors who are willing to do pre-employmentmedicals, and there are no obvious local sources providing cost-effectiveprivate medical or OH services. So where are the potential service providers?For any OH service to work, it is going to need a sufficientgroup of regular clients to be viable and this will not exist in most parts ofDerbyshire, so the service will probably only be available in Derby itself orin Chesterfield. Requiring sick staff to travel miles to be examined seemsunfair if they are so unwell that they cannot attend work.The proposed solution may well fit large companies and citieswhere the service will be readily available and at a per-head cost that isacceptable. In rural areas, the service is unlikely to be available except at aconsiderable distance and with only a small number of staff being referred, ata high premium. And, who would pay the transport costs?This proposal looks good on paper, but will be unworkableoutside the big cities.MJ BlakePersonnel consultant, Belper, Derbyshire Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Tesco back in eye of storm as GCA investigates

first_imgTesco faces more scrutiny as an investigation is initiated into its relations with suppliers.The Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) has announced that it has “formed a reasonable suspicion” that the retail giant has breached the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.The investigation is to take place after information was submitted relating to practices associated with the profit over-statement, which was revealed in September.It will focus on part 4 and 5 of the Code, which are:Part 4 (paragraph 5): No delay in payments, andPart 5 (paragraph 12): No payments for better positioning of goods unless in relation to Promotions.Adjudicator Christine Tacon said: “This is the first investigation I have launched and it is a significant step for the GCA. I have taken this decision after careful consideration of all the information submitted to me so far.“I have applied the GCA published prioritisation principles to each of the practices under consideration and have evidence that they were not isolated incidents, each involving a number of suppliers and significant sums of money.”The investigation is expected to take place over the next six to nine months, and Tacon has asked for evidence to be submitted by 3 April this year.It will investigate Tesco’s practice between the months of 25 June 2013 (when the GCA was created) to 5 February 2015. What the experts are sayingMark Johnson, of Warwick Business School, is associate professor of operations management and researches supply chains. He said: “The GCA’s regulations should go a long way to ensuring that practices in the supply chain become more equitable. However, the regulation is only recent and Tesco cannot be fined, only investigated. I will be fascinated to see if Tesco can learn to deal with their supply base fairly after years of inequality and adversarial behaviour. After all, can you teach an old dog new tricks?“With Tesco suffering in the battle with the discounters, and the cost of running a retail operation now so super-efficient, where can a firm that requires profit go? The option is – unfortunately – to the supply chain where they can seek price reductions for increased profit, receive payments for favourable shelf position or indirectly influence profit by improving their liquidity by delaying payments.“But at the root of all of this it is not just Tesco. It’s the shareholders who require dividends and the customers who want low prices. Caught in this crossfire are the suppliers who, in many cases, are not powerful enough to fight back.”last_img read more

Sheila C. Johnson creates fellowship at Harvard Kennedy School

first_imgHarvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced today the creation of the Sheila C. Johnson Fellowships, which are slated to bring to HKS each year ten emerging leaders dedicated to improving the lives of the underserved in the United States, including those in the African-American community.“We need to develop more leaders with a broad skill set to serve African-American and other under-resourced communities,” Johnson, current founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, explained. “An ability to work across sectors—public, private, and nonprofit—and to inspire innovative politics will help bring the sustainable improvements that these communities desperately need.”Johnson’s $5 million gift will cover a five-year period—ultimately supporting 50 fellows—and will provide full tuition, health coverage, and a generous stipend toward any HKS graduate degree, including one obtained through HKS’s joint or concurrent degree programs with other schools.The Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at HKS, which is led by Co-Directors David Gergen and Max Bazerman and Executive Director Patti Bellinger, will serve as a home base for the fellows on campus, providing a leadership development and cocurricular programming that will complement their academic work. Johnson, who is a member of CPL’s new Leadership Council and has joined the Executive Committee of the Kennedy School, is eager to see the fellows linked closely with an extensive network of alumni, mentors, and practitioners around the world.last_img read more

Dunkin’ Donuts opens doors

first_imgFast-food breakfast giant Dunkin’ Donuts opened its first South Bend location last week, and the restaurant is already seeing success. The South Bend franchise of the multibillion dollar coffee and donut chain, located on State Road 933 three miles north of campus, opened its doors Nov. 26, just down the street from its main competitor, Starbucks. But the competition has not slowed down the restaurant’s initial success. Store manager Beth Blaylock said the location has even exceeded expectations. “It’s much bigger than we expected. It’s going great though. … We’ve definitely surpassed what we thought it would be,” she said. “We have lines to the door pretty much every day. On Saturday we literally had lines out the door, people standing outside waiting to come in.” The owners of the franchise also own the neighboring Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, but although the experience helps in the management of the store, Baylock said it did not provide much data to use in forecasting the restaurants’ success. “[The franchise owners] own a store in Kalamazoo, so we were based a little bit off of that, but we didn’t really have any idea of how it was going to be,” Blaylock said. Though this is the first Dunkin’ Donuts in the South Bend-Mishawaka area, some Notre Dame students who know the restaurant from their hometowns eagerly anticipated the opening. “I’m really excited about the Dunkin Donuts opening. Dunkin Donuts was my drink of high school,” junior Maria Skorcz said. “We used to go through the drive-through in the morning before school. I’m excited to get back to my glory days of coffee drinking.” Thanks to the corporation’s well-known brand, some students who have never experienced the restaurant before are interested in the opportunity to try out a new coffee and breakfast place. “I’m a big coffee drinker, and we don’t have Dunkin’ Donuts in Minnesota, so I’m really excited to try their drinks and see how they compare to Starbucks,” junior Elliot Badar said. Dunkin Donuts’ website states the chain is the No. 1 coffee-by-the-cup retailer in America. Though there is a Starbucks across the parking lot, Blaylock said the franchise is not concerned about the competition. “I think that our customer service is going to bring a lot of people over, and our product mix is just different enough and the atmosphere and the attitude is different enough that I think that there’s room for both of us,” she said. “But I think that right now we’re definitely the busier of the two.”last_img read more

Eliminating field of membership a ‘brazen money grab’ for credit unions

first_img continue reading » As CEO of a bank that formerly operated as a credit union, I know well the importance of last week’s Supreme Court ruling on the field of membership requirements for credit unions. Having seen the credit union “movement” evolve from its origins, I am deeply concerned.The Court’s decision is another unfortunate step toward America’s credit unions becoming nothing more than banks that refuse to pay federal income taxes, that operate under a regulator who seems more like a best friend, and that hide their true intention — attempting to steal market share from banks under the guise of being the only organizations able or willing to serve the financially underserved.Bankers believe in a level playing field, and if past is precedent the credit union lobby will exploit this ruling to try and convince Congress to eliminate any and all restrictions on who can join a credit union — all while not paying a dime in federal income taxes. My concern is well-founded because one of its top lobbyists, CUNA CEO Jim Nussle, demand exactly that in a recent opinion for the Credit Union Journal. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Danish pensions lobby calls for more flexible laws on retirement timing

first_imgDenmark’s pensions and insurance industry association has called on the government to facilitate more flexible working patterns around retirement age, highlighting several aspects of the country’s much-lauded pension system which it said are ripe for change.Per Bremer Rasmussen, chief executive officer of Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD, Forsiking & Pension), said in a commentary that though the Danish pension system was considered world-class today, “there are actually several elements that we in the industry want to put under the microscope – without weakening the foundation.”The government-planned pension commission should look at increasing flexible retirement both before and after state pension age, work to simplify the public pension system and rules applying to private pensions, and ensure the best possible interaction between the various pillars of the pension system, so that it always pays to save up for retirement, he said.Evidence suggested that increased flexibility was required in the country’s pension system, said Bremer Rasmussen, citing a study conducted by IPD which found that 25% of Danes wanted to retire before retirement age – along with another study that found a third wished to retire later. He proposed a smoother transition away from working life, with the option for employees to reduce their hours incrementally while approaching retirement age, arguing that this increased flexibility could allow many Danes to work for longer after the official retirement age.The decision in Denmark to increase state pension age in line with demographic changes – reached as part of the 2006 Welfare Agreement – was an important precondition for maintaining the affordability of the current welfare system, said Bremer Rasmussen.“From our point of view, the development requires more flexibility in the pension system than we have today,” the CEO said.But there were currently several barriers to flexibility both before and after the state pension age, he said. such as the inability to delay the start date for “ratepensioner” (installment pensions).“The retirement decision is for most an either-or decision – for many, a smoother transition to retirement will be preferable,” he said.The Ministry of Employment is currently preparing the agenda for the proposed pension commission. Its establishment was agreed in May 2019, as part of a pact between the then Liberal Party-led coalition government, the Danish People’s Party and Radical Liberal Party, on pension reforms to increase the coverage of the senior pension – an early-retirement disability pension.The presidency of the Danish Economic Councils (De Økonomiske Råd) said last year the commission should also consider other pensions issues, such as the relationship between the public private sectors, and pension coverage for groups with a loose connection to the labour market.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Media Release: Supreme Court Decision Relied on Biased Reports

first_imgEuthanasia-Free NZ 8 February 2015Euthanasia-Free NZ deplores the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision to lift the ban on assisted suicide and euthanasia.The Supreme Court falsely concluded that “a properly administered regulatory regime is capable of protecting the vulnerable from abuse or error”. Nowhere in the world has that been achieved.The Court based its conclusion on the reports by the Royal Society of Canada and The Quebec National Assembly’s Select Committee on Dying with Dignity.Both reports ignored the findings of five peer-reviewed studies on euthanasia and assisted suicide in Belgium and The Netherlands. These studies found that a significant percentage of Belgian and Dutch assisted deaths are not reported, flaunt legal safeguards and are performed without the patient’s consent.A 2012 Lancet study found that 272 Dutch people were euthanised in 2010 without their consent. In half of cases the doctor made the decision without consulting a colleague and in a quarter of cases the doctor didn’t discuss it with either the patient, the patient’s relatives or a colleague. In 6% of cases with the patient’s consent, only one doctor was involved in the decision. About 23% of assisted deaths were not reported.Three 2010 studies focused on Flanders, where 82% of Belgian assisted deaths occur:A 2010 BMJ study concluded that 48% of euthanasia deaths were not reported. Legal requirements were met in only 73% of reported assisted deaths and in only 12% of unreported cases.A 2010 CMAJ study found that 32% of assisted deaths occurred without the patient’s explicit request. More than 90% of victims were older than 80 – a vulnerable demographic group that was also confirmed by a 2009 NEJM study.Another 2010 CMAJ study reported that Belgian nurses administer lethal injections in 12 % of cases, which is illegal, and 45% of these cases were without request.http://euthanasiadebate.org.nz/about-us/media-releases/supreme-court-decision-relied-on-biased-reports/last_img read more

Shirlene Laub

first_imgShirlene V. Laub, 83, of Batesville passed away Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at her residence. Shirlene was born Saturday, August 31, 1935 in Cincinnati, Ohio the daughter of Everett and Lorretta (Brossart) Peters. She married George Laub Jr March 2, 1957 and he preceded her in death May 31, 2003. She was a member of St. Charles Catholic Church, a homemaker, weight watcher leader, loved her dogs, enjoyed meeting with high school girlfriends and helped her children in 4-H.Shirlene is survived by son Jeff (Robin) Laub of Milan, daughters: Tori Laub of Madison and Dawn (Larry) Skaggs of Milan, 9 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, 3 great great grandchildren, 2 brothers and 1 sister. She was preceded in death by her husband George, parents, son George Laub III and 1 brother.A Mass to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday December 1, 2018 at 11 a.m. at St. Charles Catholic Church in Milan. Burial will follow in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery. Laws-Carr-Moore Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements, Box 243, Milan, IN 47031, (812) 654-2141. You may go to www.lawscarrmoore.com to leave an online condolence message for the family.last_img read more

Seidler wins opener at Dacotah Speedway

first_imgMANDAN, N.D. (May 6) – The green flag waved for the first time this season Friday at Dacotah Speedway and Marlyn Seidler made his first visit to the local victory lane since 2013 after the Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified checkers flew.Seidler and Drew Christianson started on the front row and Seidler quickly pulled away as Christian­son and Shawn Strand battled for second and Spencer Wilson quietly lurked in fourth.With 10 laps to go, Wilson slipped by Strand for third before a caution regrouped the field. On the restart, Seidler pulled away from the field again while Wilson passed Christianson for second. A caution with eight to go reset the field once more but once again, Seidler pulled away.Christianson challenged Wilson for second and they raced side by side with six laps to go. Wilson held off Christianson as Tracy Domagala raced door to door with Strand. Strand’s car started to fade in the closing laps, as he lost fifth place to Hank Berry with three laps to go.Domagala’s strong charge to the front came up short behind Christianson and Wilson as Seidler led all 25 laps en route to the win.Picking up where he left off last season, Jason Berg started on the pole for the Mach-1 Sport Com­pact feature. Berg, who won the last three IMCA Sport Compact features last season, pulled away quickly.As Berg’s lead continued to grow, Dylan Sandberg had his hands full with Josh Roehrich. They raced side-by-side until Roehrich took second with four laps to go. Berg quickly maneuvered around lapped traffic before taking the checkered flag. Berg led all 10 laps and dedicated his fea­ture victory to his friend who passed away earlier this year. Josh Roehrich finished second ahead of Dylan Sandberg, Chance Seelye and Alex Thompson.Race fans packed the stands to see 117 drivers from all over North Dakota, Montana and even Wyoming battle. Fans also gave from the heart when they raised more than $1,400 for Levi Gart­ner, son of INEX Legend driver Joe Gartner, who is currently battling stage 4 neuroblastoma.last_img read more

Ayade United Gets Club House, Camp from Cross River Sports Commission…

first_imgBy Bassey Inyang in Calabar  The Cross River Sports Commission has provided a Club House, and Camp for Ben Ayade United FC of Calabar currently featuring in Division 2B of the Nigeria National League (NNL). Chairman of the Commission, Orok Duke announced the package to journalists at the U.J. Esuene Stadium, Calabar, where the team plays its home matches. Duke made the disclosure after the NNL debutant’s defeated visiting Obingwa FC of Abia State 5 – 0 in their second home match of the NFL season. According to Duke the facility will enable the Coach Paul Undelikwo-led technical crew to prosecute the team’s campaign in the league.He said the coaching crew had been mandated to monitor the progress and welfare of the players some of who are in their teens.Duke expressed the hope that the facility would motivate the team to put in their best and gain of promotion to the next cadre of the NFL.  He noted that the players had so far exhibited qualities which through coordinated encouragement would help to realise the objective of incorporating the club to boost football development in Cross River. “They are quite young and rookies in the game but you can see that they are gradually gaining confidence as the competition progresses. “Some of them are within the age bracket of 16 to 18 years and are still in the Senior Secondary Schools or writing the NECO examination,” Duke said. “It is a deliberate approach to ‘catch them young’, in tandem with the best global practice, such that they mature and blend with the skills to emerge as a formidable club in future,” the sports commission chairman said. Duke said that by the time the lads stay together and play as a team in a conducive environment they would have been honed to confront opponents with unity of purpose.“Already, the Commission is very grateful to His Excellency Governor Ben Ayade for his support so far in this deliberate effort of ours to create tomorrow stars today. “The governor had provided some of the basic requirements in the camp to facilitate this vision and dream”, he said.  Duke also said that as soon as some basic furniture and utensils were in place the team will move into a permanent camp. “The accommodation is handy except for some minor finishing touches, the team will move in and will be playing the remaining matches from the abode,” Duke said.Ben Ayade United FC, incorporated early this year by the Sports Commission, had in its first match in the league mauled the SKE FC of Port Harcourt 3 – 0.The club also defeated the Obingwa FC 5-0 in the Division 2B of the NNL will travel next for the return match with SKE at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in the Garden City.  Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more