Home-working in Europe set to treble

first_imgHome-working in Europe set to trebleOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. The number of staff working from home or on a mobile basis in Europe is setto treble to 27 million by 2010, according to research. The biggest rise will be among ‘multi-locational e-workers’, who are eithernomadic, or alternate between home and office. Their numbers are predicted torise from 3.7 million in 2000, to 14.3 million by 2010, claims the study by theEuropean Commission-funded Emergence project on the technology-relatedrelocation of work. The research claims that this type of teleworking benefits employers throughincreased flexibility and loyalty, while simultaneously lowering feelings ofisolation that home workers often suffer. Home-based teleworkers will also increase, from 810,000 at present, to morethan 3 million by the end of the decade. Head of the EC’s New Working Methods Unit, Peter Johnston, said:”Mobility of labour and work is essential to the eurozone’s success.”www.emergence.nulast_img read more

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Where are all the business partners?

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. When you reflect on how your HR director spends the biggest proportion oftheir work time, do you come to the conclusion that they are trying to addressthe biggest strategic questions facing the organisation? If the answer is yes, you can take comfort in the fact that efforts arebeing made to move HR into the 21st century. If the answer is no, you should bequerying the value your department brings to the business and worrying aboutits future. HR’s destiny is all about becoming an effective business partner and player.It is about being proactive in a strategic advisory role – getting involved inthe business plan and understanding the strategy, market, products andcommercial challenges the company faces. A skilful HR business partner will head up the organisational design andbring it in line with the strategy. They will get the CEO on side, with theright structures and cultures that need developing and underpin it all withappropriate policies and practices. They know what makes competitors andcustomers tick and they are adept at ensuring HR leads, influences and makes asignificant difference in all these areas. Future HR relationships will not be founded on just reacting to day-to-dayoperational needs, but will concentrate on broader connections andcollaboration with business leaders, finance directors, marketeers and externalstakeholders. This generation of HR directors have had to be self-sufficient and havelearnt on the job about delivering a holistic contribution to the business.Some have acquired skills through tough experiences and are great role models,more by luck than planning. Yet they are in the minority, and it is widely accepted that HR businesspartners are few and far between. Training initiatives like that launched by the Institute for EmploymentStudies (IES) this week (page 1) go a long way to preparing HR managers anddirectors for this arena. But more schemes are needed with wider access, andthere should be a higher profile for HR professionals who epitomise businesspartner status. E-HR is forcing the profession to change its spots at a frightening pace andthere are obvious risks and choices to make going forward. HR can either becomea sub-set of IT, be wiped out altogether in some organisations, or take thebusiness partner route and strengthen its place in the business. Geoff Armstrong, director-general of the CIPD, once called for HR to bebolder and more assertive in engaging with the business strategy. The IESscheme looks like a great move in helping HR achieve this. By Jane King, Editor Where are all the business partners?On 22 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Waiting for the Big One

first_imgIt has been hailed as perhaps the most important piece of employmentlegislation ever. So is HR quaking in its boots? By Phil BoucherTerry RobinsonHR director UK, EurotunnelWe don’t feel the information and consultation legislation will force us tomake big changes as we have always had a consultative framework in place. AsEurotunnel is Anglo-French, the internal consultation has basically mirroredthe situation in France, so we have had a works council in all but name sincethe company was created in 1994. Three years ago, Eurotunnel also created a European Works Council. This ismade up of eight representatives each from the UK and France. It meets twice ayear and basically supplements the UK company council which meets six times ayear. There are no limitations on the agenda within any of these, sorepresentatives are free to debate anything they wish between themselves. In the UK we already have the situation where a lot of our consultationoverlaps anyway. This is partly because of the 1999 Employment Relations Actand because we have formed a strong partnership with the T&G since 2000.The existing partnership mostly discusses pay and conditions, and there are nolimitations on what they can talk about. It meets six times a year to deal withcompany issues. Eurotunnel is also developing a plan to mix the T&G andworks council together so there is even wider consultation. The Act may bring a degree of rationalisation to this consultation, but itwill not change too much because the company is owned by shareholders and wealready have a fairly transparent approach to financial and company business.We are already far more open than the majority of UK firms as we are run in thesame way as a French company. The one worry that exists arises from the phrase “with a view toreaching an agreement”. This phrase could cause problems depending on howit is interpreted as we have always relied on traditional consultation. Likemost companies, we make a decision at board level, then pass the detailsthroughout the organisation to gain feedback. The board then decides whether itshould act on the feedback or not. If the phrase has teeth, it could well mean the company has to restructure –particularly as we might be obliged to leave important plans on hold whilepeople make their minds up. Other than this, I cannot see that the Act is goingto make radical changes to the way we consult or the degree of transparency wehave within the company. Jill CrowtherHead of HR practice, MicrosoftWe are waiting to see what furtheramendments will be made to the Act and are consulting with the CBI to preparefor it. We are worried that rigid formalisation of the communication processmay cause us to lose some of the engagement we have worked so hard to develop.Our global staff survey currently has a 93 per cent response rate, forinstance, and this may be adversely affected by any changes to the two-wayrelationship. In particular, we are concerned the legislation may force thecompany to take a step backwards. Our fear is that it may negatively affectcompanies that have been more progressive. Despite this, we think it isbrilliant for companies that haven’t placed such an emphasis on consultationbefore.Kate JopsonPrincipal consultant, KPMG people servicesWe have anticipated futuredevelopments by introducing an Employee Business Forum. We hope this will be amechanism for information and consultation and help promote employeeinvolvement in the business. It is composed of elected employee representativesand members of management, who attend regular meetings. To ensure everything isas transparent as possible, there are published agendas that employeescontribute to. The forum will be used for both formal and informal consultationand is designed to engage KPMG people in dialogue about relevant issues. Wehope it will focus attention on key issues for the firm, and create a way ofharnessing employees’ ideas and creativity, as well as promoting understandingof the business.Len AspellGroup head of employee relations, HSBCUntil the draft regulations arepublished, it is difficult to be precise about how they may apply to currentarrangements. We already have information and collective consultationprocedures in place for our management grades (a National Council Forum) andclerical staff grades (through a trade union) and do not know how these will beaffected. We also communicate directly with employees through various channels.It is important the regulations allow employers and employees the opportunityand flexibility to determine the most appropriate framework. We would beconcerned if the regulations dissuaded companies from direct communication withemployees and relied entirely on indirect communication through employeerepresentatives.Sue GriffinHead of employment relations, Ceridian CentrefileWe are in the process of changing ourpension scheme for people on defined benefits schemes and have electeddelegates to voice the opinions of those concerned. Ceridian also handles a lotof TUPE transfers and this involves a huge amount of consultation at both endsof the spectrum. We believe this will change slightly in the future becauseinstead of electing people for a specific purpose, we are likely to havepermanent elected representatives. Ideally, these people would hold theposition for between 2-3 years – it takes some time for them to get to gripswith everything that’s involved. But at the moment, nothing has been set out indefined terms as we are still waiting for the legislation to be finalised. Related posts:No related photos. Waiting for the Big OneOn 1 Jul 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

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The Spanish revolution

first_imgThe Spanish revolutionOn 16 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previously regarded as a backwater with little interest in developing itspeople, the HR mantra in Spain is no longer ‘manana’ but ‘estrategia’ andleading the revolution is its HR society president, Mateo Borras. Liz HallreportsSpain has undergone a transformation when it comes to HR practices. Not onlyhas it embraced developments such as knowledge management, e-learning andstrategy, but Mateo Borrss, president of the Spanish equivalent of theChartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), believes the best wayto make impact is to work with traditional rivals to ensure HR has asubstantial voice in business. With David Beckham’s arrival at Real Madrid dominating both Spanish andEnglish news in recent weeks, football metaphors spring to mind when discussingthe state of play of HR practice in Spain with Borras. Asked where Spain would figure in an international league of HR practice,Borr s chuckles: “First division, of course.” Gone are the days when Spain was considered an HR backwater, andfar-reaching HR practices are now high on the agenda in Spain’s businesses. Recent years have seen an influx of foreign multinationals into Spain andindigenous multinationals such as oil company Repsol, telecoms giant Telefonicaand energy firm Endesa have gained firmer footings globally. “Spain has leapt forwards HR-wise and is very much taking part in thecreation and generation of HR policy rather than just complying with policiesdrawn up by others,” says Borras, who is in the third year of a four-yeartenure as president of the Asociaci¢n Espanola de Directores de Personal(AEDIPE). Borras is also director of HR and social affairs at 3,500-strong carmanufacturer Nissan Motor Ibérica in Barcelona which he joined in 1986. In recent years he has witnessed a transformation in the role of the Spanishpersonnel director. As in the UK and other European countries, this has beenmarked by a shift away from the more traditional roles of administration andmanagement towards a more strategic role. “The HR function in Spain is increasingly about strategy. Until recently,the function has been about implanting and applying policies drawn upelsewhere, now it is about drawing up strategies for line managers to apply andabout acting as internal consultants to line management,” saysBorr s. As he sees it, the most important task for the HR profession in Spain – andEurope as a whole – is to gain staff commitment and tie it in with company’svalues. “Commitment is very fashionable. What does this mean? It is aboutmaximising communication, decentralisation and personal development,” heexplains. “I am promoting this commitment, where the worker feels a senseof what is going on in the company and readily participates.” According to Borras, it is up to HR to spearhead this change process.”What is HR’s role in this – to lead this process of change towards aculture of trust, knowledge and commitment, fostering communication,decentralisation and empowerment,” he says. Borr s says there has been a shift in HR values with trust, knowledgeand staff commitment coming to the fore. “The HR profession is now moreabout giving weight to principles rather than rules. These days, we are talkingmuch more about self-responsibility, trust and knowledge rather than theability to follow instructions clearly and concisely.” Borras highlights knowledge management – gesti¢n de conocimiento – as one ofthe key items on Spanish HR’s agenda. “Spanish organisations, particularly the financial sector, are workingvery seriously in the areas of personal development and knowledge management,”he says. “One of the greatest roles for today’s HR director is that ofmanaging knowledge in the widest sense of being capable of sharing people’stalents with the rest of the organisation – of maximising adaptability andflexibility.” Along with knowledge management, e-learning, managing the decentralisationof HR and empowering line managers are also high on the agenda for many SpanishHR professionals. “We are seeing a growth in the number ofdecentralisation projects in Spanish businesses, and developing line managersis becoming much more important,” says Borras. AEDIPE recently named telecoms firms Alcatel and Telefonica as among thoseexhibiting best practice in e-learning. And in terms of knowledge management,Borras cites Caja Madrid as running a very good model. The savings bank alsorecently won the accolade of Spain’s top place to work in the 2003 Great Placeto Work list published by business school ESADE and the European Commission’sGreat Place to Work initiative. Nissan is currently in the early stages of developing a Europe-wide list ofcompetencies for line managers. It is working on a pilot scheme which willincorporate coaching, recognition and management skills. Four years ago, the 6,000-strong Nissan Spain, which has two plants inBarcelona and one in Madrid, embarked upon an empowerment programme for linemanagers, with the slogan ‘Que cerramos la ventanilla de’ – ‘We’re shutting thepersonnel office’. The programme, which is still ongoing, has involved HR handing over responsibilityfor small tasks such as handling medical problems to supervisors who dealdirectly with medical services. And staff no longer clock-in, but have linemanagers responsible for their movements. “These things may seem petty, but they’re not. The added value comesfrom the supervisors feeling empowered and that they now have to talk to staffdirect rather than just supervising them,” says Borras. The new competency framework will consolidate this previous work. “We will be looking very closely at individual knowledge,” saysBorras. AEDIPE, which was set up 39 years ago, has a 600-strong membership splitbetween some 35 per cent HR consultants and 65 per cent HR directors inorganisations in Spain. Borras is very aware that HR consultants are a fast-growinggroup and is anxious that AEDIPE should cater equally for them. AEDIPE also has an HR development arm FUNDIPE (Fundaci¢n para el Desarrollode la Funci¢n de Recursos Humanos. And research and development is an areaBorr s is very keen to expand. “We still have a great deal of work to do in getting involved withacademia compared with the CIPD which is 100 years ahead of us,” he says. Since taking the helm of AEDIPE, Borras has made it his mission torevolutionise the organisation, updating its image and making it much lesselitist. AEDIPE’s magazine has been revamped and Borras has set about forgingcloser links with other HR bodies and event organisers who would havetraditionally have been deemed rivals. Borras says there is a crisis right now in terms of the growing number ofassociations, and trying to harness what each has to offer is a constantchallenge. “Before, we were the main meeting point, the reference for the wholeprofession. Now, apart from HR publications, we still represent somewherepeople can come to if they have a problem, but there are many annual eventssuch as [the exhibition] Capital Humano.” Borras also plans to dramatically change the face of AEDIPE’s annualthree-day congress, held this year in C¢rdoba. “If our role is not to defend the profession like a law college, wemust make the most of the synergy of the different organisations, making themost of all the tools available.” This year will see congress delegates taking a much more active role,participating in workshops rather than just sitting back in lectures. “In the past, the congress was like a holiday or escape for delegates.That doesn’t work any more. What we need is debate, to share information,”he says. Borr s has also stepped up AEDIPE’s efforts to share informationbetween the association’s eight regional groups – its central Madrid-basedgroup is the biggest followed by Catalonia – and with other HR bodies such asthe European Association of Personnel Management. Along with about 35 other professional bodies representing some 35,000members, it has also joined forces to form top management group CEDE(Confederaci¢n Espa¤ola de Directivos y Ejecutivos), giving AEDIPE more of avoice. “We are almost a lobby group now; regularly treading slippery terrain,holding quarterly meetings with parliamentary representatives,” saysBorras, who is vice-president of the CEDE management group. Borras acknowledges that, in common with other European countries, theSpanish HR profession is frequently dictated to by trends manufactured byinternational consultants. Take a look through any of the Spanish profession’spublications and they are peppered with English phrases such as ‘knowledgemanagement’. But Borras welcomes these fashions as a chance to take a freshlook at things. “The fashions imposed by multinational HR consultants – such asindividual knowledge – do not worry me as they serve as a catalyst forchange.” Which ties in nicely with the Borras vision for the Spanish HR function in adecade’s time. “I’d like the HR function to be without any short-term executiveresponsibilities, to exist solely as an internal consultancy,” he says.”Talking about visions is all very well, but what is important is whethersomething will really be useful. It is vital to have a common aim and referencepoint within the organisation and then secure staff commitment to this aim. Forme, the main aim for HR is to manage this and nothing else.” WeblinksAsociaci¢n Espanola de Directores de Personal www.aedipe.esSpanish statistics office www.ine.esSpanish employment office www.inem.esFactfile– Spain is the eighth-largest countryin the OECD– It is the world’s largest investor in Latin America– It is the sixth-largest car manufacturer in the world– Its population numbered around 41 million in 2002 – Unemployment in May 2003 stood at 8.64 per cent– The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 2 per cent by end of2002 and is predicted to grow by 3 per cent by mid-2004– Spain’s service sector is its main contributor to GDP,followed by industry which together account for 90 per cent of its GDP.Agriculture now accounts for 4 per cent– Inflation stands at around 4 per centSource: Ministry of Economy,Instituto Nacional de Estadistica Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Guide tips scale towards hitting tough job targets

first_img Previous Article Next Article A new guide for local councillors aims to help them hit governmentperformance targets by offering practical information on recruiting seniorstaff. Recruitment for senior posts is one of the public duties of councillors. Theguide will be launched at this week’s Society of Personnel Officers inGovernment (Socpo) conference, and is available free to councillors. Getting the Right People in the Right Jobs, by recruitment consultantsGatenbySanderson, includes tips on every stage of the recruitment process fromthinking about the job to marketing, shortlisting and selection. The guide also provides advice on induction and ongoing personal developmentsupport as well as case studies of senior recruitment in local authorities. Graham Goodwin, managing director of GatenbySanderson, said that governmentperformance targets were putting increased pressure on local councillors to makesure they recruit the right people. “HR gives advice about recruitment, but the final decision is with the[council] members,” he said. “At present there is a gap in support[for councillors] who also have to look at the wider implications of recruitment.”Socpo’s annual conference takes place in Brighton on 10-12 March. www.socpo.org.uk10 tips on how to attract the top talent 1 Make sure you get involved in the recruitment process 2 Past practice is not necessarily best practice – you need tobe flexible and innovative3 The amount of time you invest will show candidates theimportance you attach to the appointment4 Consider recruitment training for yourself and colleagues 5 Appointing a senior person to your team is a greatopportunity to re-evaluate and refresh your vision6 Recruiting is also an opportunity to generate PR7 Make sure the information you provide is top quality, as itreflects the whole authority8 Recruitment is a two-way process – convince the candidate towork for you9 Follow the law on equal opportunities10 Provide induction, mentoring, coaching and team developmentSource: Getting the Best People in the Right Jobs Comments are closed. Guide tips scale towards hitting tough job targetsOn 9 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Boost for budgets as firms train sights on learning

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Learningand development budgets are set to continue increasing over the next two years.Asurvey of 79 organisations by IRS finds that the median learning anddevelopment budget among the surveyed organisations for 2004-05 stands at£80,000. Just over half of the respondents believe the budgets will rise nextyear.Onlyone of the organisations surveyed does not evaluate its learning anddevelopment activity. However, of those that do, the ubiquitous ‘happy sheet’is still the most frequently used tool to assess the success of trainingcourses.www.irsemploymentreview.com  020 8686 9141 Related posts:No related photos. Boost for budgets as firms train sights on learningOn 21 Sep 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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The Three Failures of Performance Appraisal | People Performance Potential

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. The Three Failures of Performance Appraisal | People Performance PotentialShared from missc on 15 Apr 2015 in Personnel Today Read full article last_img

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Musculoskeletal care and occupational health: only for more ‘enlightened’ employers?

first_img The good news is musculoskeletal care for working-age people is widely considered a priority area by clinical commissioning groups, a government report has argued. The bad news for occupational health, however, is its conclusions that employers often try to do the bare legal minimum while OH provision itself is often fragmented and bedevilled by shortages of specialists. Nic Paton reports.It may not have the snappiest title in the world, but the government’s report Understanding the provision of occupational health and work-related musculoskeletal services certainly does what it says on the tin.The 51,000-word document published in May by the Employers, Health and Inclusive Employment Directorate (where the government’s Work and Health Unit is now located) sets out to evaluate the current occupational health market and, within this, the provision of services related to work-related musculoskeletal disorders.While a standalone research document in its own right, it will undoubtedly feed into the work the government is doing ahead of the publication of its workplace health Green Paper, which in turn will set out the government’s response to last year’s consultation Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss.For occupational health professionals, it also provides valuable insights into the state of, and appetite for, OH within the UK, especially how OH is commissioned, resourced and accessed, and the split (and some of the tensions) between NHS and private provision.The research methodology comprised five main components. These were:a series of in-depth interviews with eight experts in the fields of OH and/or MSK, and a literature review;a semi-structured telephone survey of 103 OH providers;a further semi-structured telephone survey of 156 private and NHS providers that sell OH services commercially;a semi-structured telephone and online survey of 111 clinical commissioning groups (CCGs); and15 in-depth qualitative case studies with OH providers and employers that had used their services.‘Fragmented provision’ a legacy of 1948Starting at the beginning, the report made the case that OH’s weaknesses go all the way back to the establishment of the NHS in 1948, and the decision at that time to leave OH outside the new national service. The NHS’s stance ever since, it argued, had “contributed to employment outcomes being largely overlooked in studies of health interventions and a lack of leadership in OH, resulting in fragmented OH provision.”Since then, OH provision had gradually shifted from being primarily an in-house function to an outsourced model, mainly because of employers seeking to reduce costs. At the same time, outsourced private providers had generally been less committed to investing in the training of OH professionals, “and as a result the pool of UK OH expertise is perceived to be dwindling”, it warned.The result was “uneven access to OH and work-related MSK services, a missing link between treating health problems and supporting individuals to work and OH not having been prioritised sufficiently by employers”. A bespoke OH and MSK offer fully-tailored to the employer’s workforce was nowadays “comparatively rare”, the report concluded.Perhaps unsurprisingly, employers were the main commissioners of OH services: almost all providers (97%) had been commissioned by employers, it found. Around half (54%) of OH providers had also been commissioned by individuals, often self-employed individuals or those looking for work seeking mandatory medicals.Nearly all OH providers (96%) said their support interacted with NHS provision, most commonly through employees going to their GP or being referred for specialist treatment. Seven out of ten (69%) OH providers captured data on the outcomes achieved through their support in all or most cases, with 56% doing so in all or nearly all cases.Staff shortages, training and developmentVirtually all OH providers (99%), again, did use some form of training, development or accreditation system, and the majority of these (96%) felt these were effective in ensuring quality of service. Six in ten OH providers (63%) did some form of marketing, mostly directed at employers (97%). Those who did no marketing (37%) did so because they felt they received enough business without it.Most private OH providers, the report concluded, had only a small number of employees (17% were sole traders and 43% had just one to nine employees). The majority (82%) subcontracted work to additional members of staff on a regular ongoing basis.On average, two-thirds (64%) of staff employed or subcontracted by private OH providers were medical professionals (such as doctors or nurses). The most commonly employed role was registered nurses with a SCPHN OH qualification, followed by occupational health physicians (OHP). Eight out of ten private providers (78%) felt they had the right balance of medical and non-medical staff.Three-quarters (76%) of private and NHS OH providers conceded they did have access to funding for staff training. Among these, 61% partly or wholly funded courses. A third of (35%) funded training posts.More worrying, just under half (44%) of private OH providers conceded they had roles they were unable to fill, most commonly OH nurse or physician roles, primarily because of a decrease in medical professionals with OH experience in recent years. In particular, registered nurses with a SCPHN OH qualification (51%), nurses with other OH qualifications (41%) and occupational health physicians (37%) were seen as the most difficult roles to recruit for.Commissioning of MSK servicesWhen it came to clinical commissioning group (CCG) commissioning of musculoskeletal services, nearly all commissioned MSK physiotherapy (99%), podiatry (97%), injection therapy (96%), joint replacement (95%) and specialist pain clinics (91%).MSK physiotherapy was the most commonly used community-based MSK service among working-age people, with 88% of CCGs reporting it in their top three. Specialist pain clinics were the most commonly used hospital-based MSK service among working-age people (71%).One positive finding was that MSK care for working-age people was widely considered a priority area by MSK leads in CCGs, with a quarter (23%) viewing it as “a very high” priority and half (50%) as a “high” priority.Tailoring of MSK services to the health needs of the working-age population was widespread among CCGs, with 91% tailoring “to at least some extent”, and 70% “mostly” or “completely”.Working-age patients were most commonly referred via their GP to both community- and hospital-based MSK services. Self-referral was also relatively common, particularly for community-based MSK physiotherapy.The vast majority of CCGs (93%) reported at least some deliberate commissioning of MSK services to create a framework of multidisciplinary support for patients. However, these multidisciplinary services were not necessarily focused on employment needs or vocational rehabilitation, it was conceded.Nevertheless, four-fifths (79%) of CCG MSK leads agreed their MSK services met the needs of local working-age people, although only 14% “strongly agreed”. This, the report argued, suggested there was “some scope for improvement”.Is OH only for ‘enlightened employers’?Given all this, what then does the report conclude? First, on commissioning, from the researchers’ conversations with the experts respondents the – arguably somewhat cynical – consensus was that health and safety legislation had, more often than not, “seeded the idea among employers that, as long as they are meeting their legal obligations, they don’t need to do anything else about employee wellbeing”.The commissioning of more holistic OH provision had therefore become the province “only of more ‘enlightened’ employers”, they concluded.Evidence from the polling of OH providers surveyed also largely supported this, the researchers argued. “They believed that employers and individuals are most commonly motivated to seek OH support by obligation, or reacting to issues affecting the business, rather than aspiration,” the report said, adding that improvements to productivity, health and wellbeing often “were secondary motivations”.The majority of providers felt their service complemented NHS treatment or acted as a valuable follow-up to fit note advice. However, some did note resistance or delays when contacting GPs as, in their experience, “GPs did not consider OH a priority”.Concerns about future capacity of OHPerhaps the most concerning discussion, however, was around the OH workforce and, from that, the potential capacity of the profession to meet both current and future demand.Given that, as already highlighted, most OH providers are small-scale businesses with relatively few members of staff and reliant on subcontracting out work, it is clear the sector’s capacity to scale up may be limited.Yet, curiously, only a fifth of the providers polled said they were delivering services at full capacity. “In summary, demand did not appear to be exceeding supply, however of the available OH market capacity, 89% had been taken up over the previous 12 months,” the report concluded.And then, as previously reported in Occupational Health & Wellbeing, there were real fears for the future of OH as the specialist expert at the workplace health table.The report concluded: “Findings suggest that a potential large threat to the future of OH provision is the reduction of qualified OH physicians and nurses in recent years, which has led to unfilled roles for over two-fifths of OH providers.”Providers were most likely to have vacancies in the most specialised roles, and these were also the hardest to fill, particularly nurses with an OH specialism. On top of this, there was a gap between the number of fully-funded training posts available and the number filled.Feedback from the expert interviews concluded that, historically, major employers had provided a key source of specialist OH doctors, by recruiting GPs and training them to meet their business’s needs. But the past two decades of employer cost-cutting and outsourcing had hollowed out this model, leading to the warning that the available pool of OH expertise was “dwindling”.“One expert suggested that specialist training within private OH provision was rare, and that they instead ‘poach’ NHS trained staff,” the report added.Finally, on marketing, OH providers had limited need to use marketing to attract their customers, the report concluded. “Targeted marketing to specific sectors was rare, and a substantial proportion of OH providers did no form of marketing at all,” it argued.For those who wish to delve more deeply, the summary and full report of Understanding the provision of occupational health and work-related musculoskeletal services can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-the-provision-of-occupational-health-and-work-related-musculoskeletal-servicesBest practice case studiesThe directorate’s report includes 17 case study examples of occupational health in practice, including anonymised employee stories, and the various lessons that can be learned from them.These are split between examples of employers commissioning private providers, employer-funded in-house OH services, and NHS in-house OH services.To cite just one to give a flavour, the report highlighted an employer that designs and manufactures military and industrial components and where the use of chemicals in production was a known risk but there were also issues around stress.Originally OH provision had been delivered via telephone interview but the company then moved initially to a medical nurse being available on a daily basis and then, as it was felt the service was being misused, to contracting out to an OH advisor (a sole trader) working on site, with referrals available over the phone as well as face to face.The referral process was divided into three parts: case management referrals for absence, health, and performance related concerns; surveillance for hearing tests, lung function tests, biological testing, support with training and policy development; business development for attendance management training and training to support a business with health-related initiatives. An electronic referral form through an encrypted portal was used to ensure data protection.One production line employee, “Oliver”, was rushed to hospital with pain in his legs. His HR manager stayed in touch with him regularly and eventually made a referral to OH for recommendations for returning to work. As at this point Oliver was still physically unable to work, a second referral was made at a later point. The HR manager again remained involved throughout, along with the plant manager and line manager. The process took five to six months in total.The OH advisor made a plan for a phased return and recommendations for a maximum number of hours and shifts, which the HR manager stuck to. Oliver was also made aware of Access to Work and helped him apply.Other adjustments included additional breaks and being given the ability to sit down while at work. He was taken off night shifts as these were felt to add additional pressure. Oliver’s line manager felt the recommendations were communicated clearly to him.OH’s role as a “neutral third party” meant the adviser had the authority to ask Oliver to return to work at a sustainable pace, the report concluded. “The HR manager believes Oliver otherwise would have risked returning to work too quickly, in order to prove himself,” it saidNo sick leave had been needed to be taken since OH’s involvement, and the provider had also designed and delivered training for all managers on how to better support staff and reduce absence, it added.‘How can we reinvigorate the OH market?’The role of occupational health in supporting musculoskeletal health was highlighted by Dr Bola Akinwale, head of strategy at the directorate, at the Health and Wellbeing @ Work conference in Birmingham in March.With coronavirus at that point still an emerging threat, Dr Akinwale stepped in at short notice to replace deputy chief medical officer for England Dr Jenny Harries, who had originally been scheduled to speak but was detained in London dealing with the response to the pandemic.In her presentation, Dr Akinwale outlined how the government was committed to a gathering evidence around musculoskeletal health, including the role of the workplace, evidence around the role of physical activity in aiding recovery, and how healthy behaviours could be better promoted.The government was, she emphasised, “working actively to try and think about how to smooth the interaction between different parts of the system that all play a part in health and work, both for people who are in work and out of work.”She talked through some of the health and wellbeing trials and pilots going on around the country. This included the “Working Win” health-led employment trial in Sheffield that is using a modified version of Individual Placement and Support to try to assess the best type of support for those who are out of work, or struggling in employment due to health problems.Dr Akinwale also highlighted the Employment Advisers in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) pilot, where more than 40% of IAPT centres now have employment advisers embedded within their services.In discussing the government’s forthcoming workplace health Green Paper, Dr Akinwale said: “We know that there is a gradient in access to occupational health. So people who are working in smaller firms or smaller businesses are much less likely to have access to occupational health provision than those working in larger firms.“One question is how can we smooth out that access; how can we reinvigorate the market so that there is both the capacity and the quality of provision that means that employers want to buy it, and understand what they’re getting?”The role and use of fit notes was another issue that was firmly in the government sights, she confirmed. “Are some conversations handled really positively, with a positive outcome, so that the fit note isn’t necessary? Or is it that there are challenges in making a may be fit for work recommendation that doctors face?” she questioned.“A big challenge is that GPs have seen a conflict between their role providing this statutory advice, which is somebody’s ticket to get SSP [Statutory Sick Pay] or claim benefits, that is one role, versus their role as patient advocate and their role in providing care. And that is a challenge to think about,” Dr Akinwale said.References“Understanding the provision of occupational health and work-related musculoskeletal services”, Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, May 2020, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/understanding-the-provision-of-occupational-health-and-work-related-musculoskeletal-services“Health-led employment trial co-designed by University researcher launched by Disabilities Minister and Mayor”, University of Sheffield, August 2018, https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/working-win-sheffield-launch-1.797917“What might OH expect from workplace health Green Paper?”, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, April 2020, https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/what-might-oh-expect-from-workplace-health-green-paper/“Employment Advisers in Improving Access to Psychological Therapies: process evaluation report”, Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, July 2019, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/employment-advisers-in-improving-access-to-psychological-therapies-process-evaluation-report“Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss”, Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, July 2019, https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/health-is-everyones-business-proposals-to-reduce-ill-health-related-job-loss“Staff shortages pose ‘large threat’ to future of occupational health provision, report warns”, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, June 2020, https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/staff-shortages-pose-large-threat-to-future-occupational-health-provision-report-warns/“Occupational health to have ‘prominent’ role in fight against coronavirus”, Occupational Health & Wellbeing, March 2020, https://www.personneltoday.com/hr/occupational-health-set-to-have-prominent-role-in-fight-against-coronavirus/ Related posts: Previous Article Next Article Study to consider benefits of occupational health service at GP surgeriesResearchers are looking into whether access to an occupational health service via their GP surgery will reduce the number of…center_img No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Musculoskeletal care and occupational health: only for more ‘enlightened’ employers?By Nic Paton on 2 Oct 2020 in Musculoskeletal disorders, OH service delivery, Return to work and rehabilitation, Sickness absence management, Occupational Health, Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Over 1,000 UK redundancies expected at G4S Cash Solutions

first_imgOver 1,000 UK redundancies expected at G4S Cash SolutionsBy Ashleigh Webber on 14 Jul 2020 in Collective redundancy, Coronavirus, Latest News, Job creation and losses, Personnel Today, Redundancy Two in five plan redundancies after furlough endsTwo in five (44%) organisations with staff on furlough say they will have to make some or all of their… Unemployment will rival early 1980s recession levels, top economist warnsThe Bank of England’s chief economist: ‘We’re going back to the 1980s basically.’ Previous Article Next Article Related posts: No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website ricochet64 / Shutterstock.com Security company G4S is planning to cut more than a quarter of jobs in its cash handling business amid the fall in cash transactions during the coronavirus crisis as people are encouraged to pay by card.The company has started a consultation process that could result in 1,150 redundancies across UK and Ireland, with the drivers of armoured vehicles who carry cash for businesses thought to be among those at risk.Redundancy selectionHow to ensure a fair redundancy selection processHow to approach redundancy as the furlough scheme winds downSurvivor’s guilt: supporting staff who have avoided redundancyIt said the drop in cash transactions was partly driven by an increase in contactless payments, which have been encouraged by many retailers to reduce the spread of Covid-19.However, G4S signalled that it was having problems shortly before the coronavirus lockdown when it reported a £91m loss for 2019.The company said it hopes to find alternative jobs within G4S for those affected by the redundancies at G4S Cash Solutions UK.“Following a review of our cash solutions operational footprint in the UK, we are proposing to reshape the business to better align it with the changing needs of our customers,” said G4S Cash Solutions UK managing director Paul van der Knaap.“Regrettably, this will result in a reduction in headcount and today we have entered into a period of consultation with affected staff.Roger Jenkins, national officer for the GMB union, said the cash industry was “on a knife edge”.“These cuts are devastating for our members and their families. GMB will fight to the end for every single job,” he said.Last week the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned that UK unemployment could reach almost 15% if there was a second wave of coronavirus infections, and could soar to 11.7% in Q3 2020 even if the epidemic is under control.Latest HR job opportunities on Personnel TodayBrowse more human resources jobslast_img read more

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Senior living operator promises vaccine with a lease

first_imgShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsSenior Living Atria Senior Living promises vaccines to residents. (Getty, Atria) As the pandemic drives down occupancy at senior living properties, a Long Island assisted living community is promising vaccines to residents who sign a lease by Jan. 26.Atria Senior Living included the promise in marketing materials for its Atria Bay Shore property and also listed 60 vaccine clinics scheduled at its U.S. properties through February, according to Bloomberg.Atria has also discounted move-in fees and offered free months of rent at many of its 150 U.S. properties to entice potential residents, some of whom may be hesitant to move in, given the risks of Covid-19 to the elderly.Occupancy at senior living properties dropped to a record low of 80.7 percent in the fourth quarter, partly because of new inventory coming to the market, according to Senior Housing News.A growing share of operators are dealing with low occupancy. Around 40 percent of operators have occupancy rates below the market average of 80 percent, up from 29 percent in the second quarter of 2020.Still, the U.S. population is growing older and long-term demand for senior living properties is expected to remain strong. While the near-term picture is less than rosy, investors have remained active in the sector.Investment sales and developments continue despite the pandemic, including many in Florida.[Bloomberg] [Senior Housing News] — Dennis Lynch center_img Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

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