Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Jump in nurses from abroad helps stem fall in numbersOn 1 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today UKCC figures show small rise in registered nurses but not everywhere willnotice the improvementThe fall in the numbers on the nursing register has been halted, accordingto the latest figures from the UKCC. The UKCC’s annual statistics show there were 634,529 practitioners on itsregister in the year ending March 2000, compared with 634,229 the year before.The increase in numbers is owed both to more UK-trained nurses coming on streamand to a substantial increase in the number of overseas nurses coming to the UKBut, the overall increase does not mean an improvement for all parts of thecountry. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all saw a drop in numbers whileEngland showed an increase, possibly because most overseas-trained nurses andmidwives come to work in England. RCN general secretary Christine Hancock said, “While it is good newsthat there is slight increase in numbers on the nursing register, it is clearthat the proportion of home-grown nurses is still in decline. “These figures paint a picture of a UK nursing workforce beingsustained by overseas recruitment, yet countries across the world are nowfishing from a depleted pool of nurses and midwives globally. “If the UK could manage to hold on to at least some of our 5,000 nurseswho leave every year to work abroad, the NHS in turn would not be so reliant onnurses from overseas. We need to make sure nurses feel sufficiently valued inthe UK, rather than believing they can only achieve proper pay and careerprogression by leaving the country.” Of the nurses on the register, 3,271 recorded an OH qualification, which wasa drop of 86 on last year’s figure of 3,357 nurses entering a recordablequalification in occupational health. Other notable trends include an increase in the number of men on theregister. The proportion of men rose from 9.48 per cent to 9.75 per cent, thehighest ever recorded. The proportion of people aged over 50 also rose, from23.3 per cent to 23.9 per cent. Only 46.5 per cent of people on the registerare now aged under 40, compared with 58 per cent at the start of the decade. Previous Article Next Article
Previous Article Next Article e-biz in briefOn 30 Jan 2001 in Personnel Today Thisweek’s e-biz in briefDatabasemakes it an even smaller worldGlobalrelocation site Directmoving.com has extended its services to include: travelhealth insurance, via an agreement with Securus International; and anaccommodation finder via Estate.net, offering a worldwide database ofproperties. A further agreement with Travhealth.com allows HR managers to checkwhat risks are prevalent in a particular country and download medical recordsto a designated physician in the relocation destination. www.directmoving.comComputersecurity theme to exhibitionTheIT Security Show is an event aimed at helping senior managers understand andaddress the IT security issues in their companies. A conference programme runsthrough the event and legal experts and industry specialists and groups will beon hand with case studies and tips. The two-day event takes place on 14-15February at Wembley. Visitors can pre-register on the web site or call 020-83945141. www.securityshow.comSitehelps job-hunters check salary ratesPropertejobs.comis a recruitment site for property professionals, which offers candidates asalary tracker giving up-to-the-minute salary comparisons setagainst a range of variables including location and experience. Recruiters cansubscribe to the site with charges notified before you subscribe.Propertejobs.com is the first of several similar sites being introduced byrecruitment portal JobBloodhound.com. www.propertejobs.comCatchup on management know-howTheInstitute for the Management of Information Systems’ (Imis) web site providescareers advice on information systems and details about the Imis examinationsyllabus as well as its code of professional conduct. A members’ servicessection will be added later this year which will include interactive on-linemeeting capabilities, debates and distance learning packages. www.imis.org.ukApplicants’tribunal track record checkedHRprofessionals can check whether a prospective employee has been involved in anindustrial tribunal courtesy of employment-solicitors.co.uk. The service,provided by Tribunalinfo.com, details the date, location and case number of thetribunal, plus details of parties involved and the decision and award. www.employment-solicitors.co.uk Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.
Comments are closed. Charity predicts care sector crisisOn 19 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Care workers are surviving on low pay and have poor training, according to areport published by the King’s Fund. The health policy charity’s research reveals that two-thirds of UK careworkers are paid an average of £5 per hour, and many do not hold relevantqualifications. Without urgent improvements, care and support services could face arecruitment and retention crisis as bad as in the NHS, the report reveals. Charity commissioner Julia Unwin said, “Care and support workers are aneglected pillar of the welfare state. Their job is to help older and disabledpeople to live ordinary lives, yet they are hampered by funding constraints,inadequate training and an undeserved low status.” The report urges the Government to allocate at least £700m extra to socialservices each year. Sally Taber, head of operational policy at the Independent HealthcareAssociation, which represents the independent care sector, said, “We agreewith the King’s Fund, but the amount of money suggested needs to be doubled.Under-funding of the care sector is undermining the environment in which careworkers want to demonstrate their professional attributes.” The report recommends financial incentives, a review of NVQs, and Departmentof Health action to raise the status and image of the sector, including newtitles and help with accommodation costs. www.kingsfund.org.uk Related posts:No related photos.
Comments are closed. This week’s e-biz news in briefLatin American link-up Relocation site Directmoving.com has announced a partnership with LatPro, anemployment site for bilingual Spanish and Portuguese-speaking professionals inthe Americas. This makes LatPro Directmoving’s job search partner for Latin America,and Directmoving will open a relocation area on the LatPro site. The 2001Electronic Recruiting Index ranked LatPro as joint number one in customersatisfaction among the top 100 recruitment sites. www.directmoving.com www.latpro.comWeb language translated at workshop E-learning system developer RMR is hosting a series of free e-learningworkshops, with the first on 13 September in Oxford. The workshops will discussa range of e-learning topics and demystify terms such as SCORM (sharable contentobject reference model) and LMS (learning management system). RMR created theElevate E-learning authoring software, which provides trainers who have no Webknowledge with the tools to create an online learning environment. Enrol at theElevate website. www.elevatelearning.comStaff benefits made central online Lighthouse Group, the independent financial advice group, has launched a webportal that enables employees to have instant access to the current value andstatus of their employment benefits. Called Working Wealth, the service allowsHR managers at small to medium-sized companies to manage staff benefitcentrally online. It has been developed in partnership with online benefitssoftware provider 4th Contact. Working Wealth costs from £10 a month peremployee and each individual has a private password to access their account. www.lighthouseifa.comE-people get the balance right Senior e-people are better placed than any other professionals to achieve acomfortable balance between quality of life and a high income, according to thelatest E-People Report from the Hay Group. It reveals that unlike conventionalbusiness – which pays more for London-based staff, chief execs, heads ofe-commerce and directors of strategy – technology and marketing earn an averageof 14 per cent more when based in the regions rather than the capital.”Senior e-people are in an exceptional position relative to other seniorprofessionals. They can move out of London in pursuit of quality of life andreceive a pay rise at the same time – a rather more alluring prospect than theirksome pay cut usually associated with a move to the provinces,” saysMark Thompson, a consultant at the Hay Group. www.haygroup.com Related posts:No related photos. …in briefOn 7 Aug 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article
B&Q is taking online route for recruitmentOn 6 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. DIY giant B&Q is only accepting online applications in its latestcampaign to recruit 1,000 new store managers. The company believes using the internet as its sole recruitment tool formanagers will make hiring faster, fairer and more flexible. Rob Barnett, head of HR at B&Q, said using the internet is moreefficient because of the firm’s high volume of recruitment. He said: “We believe online recruitment is the way forward and ourresearch suggests this is how candidates want to communicate with us. We wantto recruit better people faster and provide an interactive experience.” He claims the system will also remove risk of discrimination because duringthe initial process, candidates are not asked for details of their age, gender,race or religion. The web-based system is open to candidates around the clock and once anapplication is posted, the details are passed to a B&Q recruitment managerthat day. The process takes 30 minutes to complete and includes a psychometric test tohelp identify suitable candidates. Those successful are called in forinterview. B&Q is also able to give jobseekers feedback by e-mail throughout theapplication process. Barnett said the company already receives a quarter of its managementapplications online. www.diy.com/careers Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article
Ambulance staff gain traffic charge grantsOn 11 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today TheLondon Ambulance Service is to pay staff working shifts within the capital’snew congestion-charging zone anallowance to compensate them for incr-eased travelling costs.Thetaxable interim payment – which will amount to the equivalent of £550 a year –will be paid on a monthly basis to compensate approximately 400 frontline andcontrol room employees. Fromnext Monday, ambulance staff will have to pay £5 a day to the Greater LondonAuthority (GLA) if they drive into central London from Monday to Friday between7am and 6.30pm.HRmanager for the London Ambulance Service Tony Crabtree said the payments werebeing made in recognition of the difficulties staff face in using publictransport when working unsociable hours. Theservice has also introduced the payments to ensure that its ability to attractand retain staff is not damaged by the congestion charge.”Concernsexist over how the charge may impact on the service’s ability to recruit andretain staff in the central London area at a time when we’re committed toincreasing the number of people working in ambulances and the controlroom,” he explained. Crabtree added that the service supports theprinciple of reducing congestion in London to help improve response times andwould be looking at ways to address the transport challenges faced by staff. TheGLA claims the congestion charge – which will be enforced by hundreds ofhigh-tech cameras – will reduce traffic and raise millions of pounds each weekto be reinvested in London’s public transport system.ByBen Willmott Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article
Previous Article Next Article Smokerswho give up for a year have a better than even chance of quitting long-term,according to a trial by UK scientists.Butthe study, published in the British Medical Journal, also highlights thedifficulty of long-term quitting, with only 5 per cent of smokers managing tostay away from cigarettes for the full eight years of the trial.Thestudy demonstrates the urgent need for more effective ways of helping people toquit, according to cancer charity Cancer Research UK.Scientistsat the charity’s General Practice Research Group in Oxford followed up 840people who had taken part in an original one-year trial on the effectiveness ofnicotine replacement therapy (NRT).Ofthe 153 patients who had given up smoking for one year in the original trial,83 were still tobacco-free eight years later.JeanKing, Cancer Research UK’s director of tobacco control, said: “Smokers who wantto quit should seek as much help as they can, both from NRT and frombehavioural support, such as stop-smoking clinics.“Policiessuch as smoke-free public places are essential to create a non-smoking norm,”she added.(Ref:BMJ 2003;327:28-29) Related posts:No related photos. Smokers need more help to kick the habitOn 1 Aug 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.
The HSE is getting tough with organisations that fail to take staff stressseriously, but if its draft standards on managing stress go ahead, will theyprove too hard to enforce? Ben Willmott reportsThe Health and Safety Executive’s unprecedented decision to order an NHS trustto improve the way it tackles stress should ring alarm bells for employers. West Dorset Hospitals NHS Trust has been given until 15 December to reducethe stress its staff are under or face legal action under the Health and Safetyat Work Act – and potentially unlimited fines. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) issued an ‘improvement order’ againstthe trust after investigating a written complaint by a former employee aboutalleged bullying and the trust’s long-hours culture. It is the first time the HSE has started enforcement action against any bigemployer over stress, and illustrates the priority the body is placing ondealing with the growing problem. The move is taken against a backdrop of the HSE’s development of new stressmanagement standards that will spell out employers’ responsibilities in dealingwith the issue (see ‘What HR needs to know’, below right). These reflect the HSE’s increasing concern about stress at work, highlightedby its latest figures, which reveal the number of days taken off due to stressdoubled in just five years from 6.5 million in 1996 to 13.5 million in 2001. Research just published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment (CIPD) shows stress is the biggest cause of long-term sicknessabsence for white collar staff, and the second biggest cause for manualworkers. Mike Emmott, employee relations’ expert at the CIPD, is in no doubt that theHSE’s action signals a more proactive role for the regulatory body in trying toreduce the scale of the problem. “I think this signals a sea change in how stress is tackled. The HSE isunder increasing pressure from the Health and Safety Commission (HSC). Itschairman Bill Callaghan has impeccable union credentials and stress has becomea political issue. “The Government is interested in areas where it can demonstrate itscommitment to promoting employee well-being. As a result, there is pressure onthe HSE to do something about stress that goes beyond [just] issuing advice ongood practice.” While Emmott understands what has led the HSE to take its hardline approachto tackling stress, he has real concerns about the draft stress managementstandards. He believes that in their current form the standards are tooprescriptive, and will be difficult to apply consistently across all types oforganisations. The CIPD is to meet the HSE this autumn to discuss the standards andhighlight its concerns about implementation. The CBI is also unhappy about the HSE’s radical change of approach and remainsunconvinced that the stress management standards are the best way forward. Janet Asherson, head of health and safety at the CBI, believes the HSE’sexisting best practice stress guidance is sufficient and a regulatory approachis unnecessary. “Most organisations have procedures already embedded through managementsystems and personnel policies,” she said. “There are concerns thatthe hardline enforcement action being taken could create more stress within anorganisation than the [original] problem itself. It is every employer’s rightto challenge the law if it feels it has been wrongly targeted,” she said. Asherson is highly critical of the HSE’s draft management standards.”Stress is a handy label to cover many of the tensions surrounding modernlife. But it is very difficult to measure and difficult to evaluate theappropriate action to take. “We do not believe the draft management standards published recentlyare founded on science. They contain subjective score levels that are farhigher than most employee satisfaction results on any employment issue. I wouldlike to know if, as an organisation, the HSE would pass these standards.” Christine Owen, head of health management consulting at Mercer HumanResource Consulting, agrees the HSE’s latest move places a significant addedburden on employers. “It is no easy task to develop a practical process to assess workplacestress, which is why the HSE has taken so long to issue guidance on thematter,” she said. “But there is a real danger that employers couldundertake an isolated stress audit and identify problems but not solutions.Raising employee awareness of workplace stress without the resources to takecorrective action is likely to stoke the fire and cause employee relationsproblems.” However, Bob Tyler, HR director at chemical manufacturer Rhodia, thinks theHSE’s action is a natural progression in the widening of the health and safetyregulatory environment. He is confident his company will be able to comply withthe HSE’s stress management standards and believes good employers have nothingto fear from a tougher enforcement regime. Tyler said the HSE’s proactive approach to tackling stress was more in linewith Europe, where work inspectors in France and Germany are already much morerigorous in how they assess stress in the workplace. Rhodia has a biannual staff attitudes survey which Tyler believes could befine-tuned to ask questions relating to the HSE’s work stressors as part of arisk assessment. The HSE defended its decision to issue the improvement notice to the WestDorset Hospitals NHS Trust, stating that one of its priorities is to stoppeople getting ill at work through stress. A spokesperson for the HSE said the trust’s management had reactedpositively to the improvement notice and would be using the body’s draftmanagement standards to address issues raised. She emphasised the standardswere still at the draft stage and there would be full public consultation onthem next year. According to the TUC and public service union Unison, the HSE’s tougherstance on stress is long overdue. Hugh Robertson, head of health and safety atUnison, said: “The HSE has produced good guidance on how to manage stressin the workplace and tries to work with employers to help them resolve problems.If organisations ignore the guidance, the HSE has no alternative but to takeaction,” There is one thing that all are agreed on: stress is a serious issue forboth staff and employers and must be tackled. However, the jury is still out onthe best way to do this. NHS star gradings will include focus on stressNHS HR director Andrew Foster (right)would not comment on the specific case of West Dorset but said the NHS took theissue of stress very seriously.”We already have a system in place which looks atstress-related issues as part of the Improving Working Lives initiative, whereexternal teams of inspectors ask staff focus groups at NHS trusts about variousaspects of their working lives,” he said.He confirmed the Commission for Health Improvement, which isresponsible for setting NHS star ratings, is to include specific questions onstress in its service-wide staff attitudes survey this winter.”This would make the focus more explicitly about stressand consider issues such as workload and management style,” said Foster.What HR needs to knowThe HSE is currently piloting draft stress management standards among agroup of 24 private and public sector organisations. As drafted, they are based on the HSE’s six causes of stress,identified in its guide Tackling Work-Related Stress and cover demand, control,support, relationships, role and change.– Organisations satisfy the first three standards (demand, control and support)if 85 per cent of staff surveyed indicate they are happy with their work inthese areas.– The remaining three standards are achieved if 65 per cent of staffsurveyed report they are satisfied– HSE inspectors are being trained to help them assess stress in theworkplace.Once the pilot scheme is finished, there will be a full consultation overthe standardswww.hse.org.uk Previous Article Next Article Has HSE set stress standards too high?On 19 Aug 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.
The Department of Health is due to publish a White Paper onpublic health in the autumn, and has started a three-month nationwideconsultation. www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/consultations_and_legislation/wanless/consult_wanless04_final.cfm The Securing Good Health for the Whole Population report byformer NatWest Bank chairman Derek Wanless urged the Government to draw upconsistent national objectives. Anti-smoking campaigners welcomed suggestions that a workplacesmoking ban could reduce the prevalence of smoking by around 4 per cent to 23per cent. A major report for the Government on public health hascalled for a more coherent approach to improving the health of the nation,particularly regarding smoking, obesity, and encouraging people to take moreexercise. Wanless also said more ways of improving public educationwere needed – particularly for those with poor literacy – and suggested anannual report on the state of the nation’s health. Comments are closed. The cost-effectiveness of current approaches needed to beevaluated. The NHS’s productivity needed to be judged in terms of the benefitof the treatment, and not just the number of operations carried out, the Wanlessreport said. Government report to drive improvement of health in UKOn 1 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today “It would be the single most effective intervention toimprove public health in the past 20 years,” she added. Related posts:No related photos. Other actions could include a tax on junk food, setting up awebsite and national helpline to offer advice on healthy living – perhaps aspart of NHS Direct – and assessing the role of specialist public healthpractitioners. Previous Article Next Article The report argued that the NHS needed to work harder atimproving the physical and mental well-being of its workforce. “Achievingthe goal of a population ‘fully engaged’ in improving health, to avoid becomingsick rather than treating sickness, is a major prize,” Wanless said. Deborah Arnott, director of the charity Action on Smokingand Health, said: “Polls show overwhelming public support for stoppingsmoking at work.
HR professionals are ideally placed to lead the corporate socialresponsibility (CSR) agenda, according to one of the country’s leading experts.Ed Williams, head of CSR at Marks & Spencer, and a former HRpractitioner, told Personnel Today that the function was crucial in ensuringfirms acted responsibly. “HR is a really good starting point for working in CSR because it’sabout dealing with change and looking at the way people think,” he said.”CSR has to be embedded in the business and [needs to be] driving levelsof performance.” According to Williams, creating a workplace that engages with employees andoperates good people management practices is the cornerstone of building asuccessful CSR policy. “CSR is about people, products and places. It’s a way of thinking – amindset,” he said. The business case for it is a powerful one. You willsell more to more people. It helps to differentiate your business, it minimisesrisks, reduces costs, drives innovation, secures partners and investments, andhelps you to recruit talent.” The chairman at M&S heads CSR governance and there is a forum of 22 CSR‘champions’ that works to ensure best practice and consistency. The CSR team and HR department are strategically aligned and work closelytogether. Williams said that the most difficult task was convincing employees that CSRwas a strategy worth pursuing. Legal changes as part of the Company Law Review may soon require businessesto include details of their CSR performance and future plans in officialreporting. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. HR must take its chance to drive CSR strategiesOn 30 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.