Personnel Today’s 2002 Review

first_imgIthas been a challenging year for HR, with a growing amount of red tape, a needto improve the bottom line in a tough economic market, and a number ofhigh-profile strikes. Personnel Today looks back at the yearAgencyWorkers DirectiveHRhad to watch while the draft Agency Workers Directive became tougher onemployers as the year progressed.TheEuropean Commission directive proposed to give agency workers the same pay andconditions as permanent employees. Agency staff would be entitled to the samesalaries, work and rest periods, paid holidays, overtime pay and health andsafety rights.Asfar back as March, UK HR argued that this would raise employers’ costs and tiethem up in red tape.TheCommission originally proposed the entitlements should come into force aftersix weeks of employment, but many in Europe – including MEP Ieke van den Burg –were in favour of immediate rights.InOctober, 71 per cent of the 1,000 organisations surveyed by Personnel Today andManpower said that their business would suffer if the EU Agency WorkersDirective was introduced. Almost half predicted that it would damage thecompetitiveness of the UK economy.HRprofessionals were angry that rights could be granted from the very start ofthe temporary worker’s employment.Lastmonth, the European Parliament granted a transitional five-year period for theUK and Ireland to make use of the six-week exemption – but only in respect ofpay, not any other terms and conditions, and stated that adequate pay must beprovided from day one. Dataprotection and internet monitoringHRprofessionals were left hanging on a string by confusing and delayed dataprotection guidance, while internet misuse and problems with new technologycontinued to escalate.TheInformation Commission drip-fed its guidance on The Data Protection Act 1998,which outlined employers’ responsibilities when handling staff information.InJuly, a Personnel Today and Websense survey revealed that one in four companieshad sacked staff for internet abuse, with 43 per cent of firms experiencing webabuse every month.Twomonths later another study, by Personnel Today and KLegal, showed that e-mailand internet abuse by staff has become the biggest disciplinary problem foremployers. It is now the most common disciplinary offence – with moreincidences than dishonesty, violence and health and safety breaches combined.TheInformation Commission released the first two of four codes – on recruitment andemployee records – but they were said to be confusing.Thefinal two codes, on monitoring and medical records, have been delayed until thenew information commissioner Richard Thomas takes over the position this month.However,new plans by the European Commission to give staff more rights to privacy atwork could confuse the situation even further.Lastmonth the EC announced it had started a second consultation for legislation onemployment-based data protection, which could introduce more safeguards toprotect staff rights. WorkingTime DirectiveECmoves to end the UK’s 48-hour opt-out following a review of the Working TimeDirective has many employers worried.TheWorking Time Regulations, based on a 1993 EU directive, have always givenemployers and staff in the UK the right to opt out of the 48-hour week.Currently,40 per cent of large organisations in the UK ask staff to sign the opt-out. Butthe EC could scrap the opt-out by the end of next year, hitting many sectors –particularly construction, catering, and the NHS – hard.Inlate November, Personnel Today teamed up with the Employment LawyersAssociation to help the EC survey the views of UK organisations.TheEuropean Commissioner responsible, Fernando Pereira, wants to find out howlosing the opt-out will damage business and how it would tackle the long-hoursculture.Employmentrelations minister Alan Johnson, said the UK must pick up the fight: “Wethink the opt-out is good. It is a good balance for individuals to have theright to work more than 48 hours, but not be forced to do so,” he said.MeasuringHRis taking steps towards measuring its own worth, the worth of people, andfighting for a strategic role on the board.However,there is still some way to go with a survey of 300 HR directors showing that 52per cent think they have a limited influence on the board’s decision-makingprocess. Just 21 per cent think they influence to a large extent, 19 per centthink they ‘definitely’ do.InSeptember, a Personnel Today  andDeloitte & Touche study showed that HR is being held back by its inabilityto measure human capital. While many HR professionals say they usebenchmarking, metrics and balanced scorecards, only four in 10 users believethese methods are successful.Commentatorssay that most companies are struggling to measure the worth of their peoplebecause human capital is such a complicated asset to value. But, they predict,human asset accounting will be-come a standard benchmark in annual reports, andthis will create a powerful argument for HR to be included as a key strategicplayer.Withthis in mind, we launched our series Delivering HR Strategy, which is offeringpractical guidance on how HR can offer more value.IndustrialactionWhileunions and statistics insist that we are not headed for another ‘Winter ofDiscontent’, the profile of strikes soars. However,of firefighters, local government workers, teachers, rail workers, theatreworkers, tube drivers, airport staff, benefit office workers, British Librarystaff, gallery attendants, and carmakers all walked out in protests this year.Despiteall of this, TUC employment rights expert Sarah Veale told the CIPD conferencethat the media was overstating the employment relations problem.Figuresshow that in the 12 months to July, 1.1 million days were lost through strikeaction. In comparison, however, 29.1 million days were lost in 1979. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Personnel Today’s 2002 ReviewOn 10 Dec 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Queen makes Magdalen College visit

first_imgHer Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh visited Magdalen College, Oxford this Thursday. The royal visit marked the end of Magdalen’s 550th anniversary celebrations.Small groups of locals and students gathered either side of Magdalen Bridge to catch a glimpse of the Royal couple’s arrival at 12.55pm.Escorted by police and security vehicles, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at the entrance gate where they were driven into St. John’s Quad.There was a heavy police presence during the visit, with officers stationed along the length of Magdalen Bridge to prevent crowds getting too close.The Queen was greeted by Professor David Clary, President of Magdalen College, and his wife Heather. After meeting students in the President’s Lodgings, the royal party went on to have lunch with Fellows, students and staff in the College Hall.Lunch with the QueenMembers of the college who dined with the Queen were chosen by means of a ballot, with 120 successful out of 900 entries. Around three quarters of Magdalen students entered the ballot.Despite the Oxford Republican group’s intention to protest on the day, the visit went ahead without any disruption. A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police remarked, “everything’s gone fine”.There was, however, a small group of animal rights protesters stationed opposite the entrance to the college. The protersters, who were marking their opposition to the biomedical research facility on South Parks Road, had brought a banner and posters in order to capitalise on the publicity surrounding the monarch’s visit.One of the protesters was optimistic about how their message had been received, stating “we’ve had a good response”.High securitySecurity at the college was visibly high, with all Magdalen students needing proof of identity before being allowed to enter the grounds. Porters, security service personnel and the police were posted at all entrances.Students of the college expressed delight at the Queen’s appearance. First-year History student Colin Sherwood said “It’s exciting that she’s here and I’m impressed that Magdalen’s birthday merits a royal visit”.The Queen last came to Oxford in 2006, though this week marked the first visit that the Queen had made to Magdalen College itself since 1948. She was then Princess Elizabeth, collecting an Honorary Degree from the University.Before visiting Magdalen, the royal couple arrived in Banbury where the Queen opened the Leonard Cheshire Disability Care Home while the Duke of Edinburgh was given a tour of Prodrive.After leaving Magdalen, the Queen and the Duke went on to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital where they were officially opened the west wing and the children’s hospital.last_img read more

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Boca Raton man accused of steering urine tests to drug lab

first_imgPolice say a Florida man took more than $70,000 in kickbacks for steering urine tests to a drug-testing lab in Pennsylvania.Delray Beach police arrested 35-year-old Daniel Kaine of Boca Raton last week.Police landed an investigation into Kaine by Palm Beach County’s Sober Homes Task Force began after last year’s arrest of Jason Gadreault. Gadreault was arrested in March 2019 on nine counts of patient brokering and one count of conspiracy to commit patient brokering.According to a Delray Beach police report, Gadreault claimed that Genesis Diagnostics, a Langhorne, Pennsylvania-based clinical lab licensed in the state of Florida to operate and perform, among other things, toxicology and urinalysis testing, paid him for each urine specimen he referred to Genesis for testing.Police said Genesis gave treatment centers and sober homes a percentage of insurance payments for the tests.Records show that Gadreault wrote 12 checks payable to DMK Marketing, a licensed corporation registered to Kaine. The corporation dissolved in September 2019.Kaine faces six counts of aiding, abetting, advising or participating in patient brokering.last_img read more

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Curling season to start on Tuesday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The curling season in Fort St. John is set to begin on October 23, following some major delays.As reported in an earlier article, the delay was due to a leak found in one of the tanks during ice preparations causing the start of the season to be pushed to a later date.Trudy Mitchell, General Manager of the Fort St. John Curling Club, said the season will start tomorrow with the ladies’ game and then with the men and mix games on Thursday.- Advertisement -“Going forward, I think it’s going to be just fine and hopefully we can have a really good curling season after all the hiccups that have happened”.For more information about participating in the 2018/2019 contact the club at (250) 785-2037last_img

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