Graduate morale high – despite gender pay gap

first_img Previous Article Next Article Male graduates are twice as likely than their female counterparts to earn asalary above £25,000, a CIPD survey reveals. The research also shows that for every five women graduates in the £10,000to £15,000 salary bracket, there are just three men. Report author Gerwyn Davies said, “It appears that female graduateshave lower expectations than their male counterparts when it comes to startingsalary.” But despite the gender pay gap, the survey of more than 750 graduatesreveals that respondents of both sexes are very happy in the workplace andconfident about the future. More than 90 per cent of graduates are positiveabout their career prospects and 87 per cent feel secure in their jobs. Davies said, “Our survey also shows that graduates are a knowledgeable,ambitious and happy bunch who have long-term career prospects foremost in theirminds. “Employers and managers are clearly responding to their growing needsas consumers, with graduates reporting very high levels of satisfaction fornearly all aspects of their work.” The survey reveals the nearly two-thirds of graduates think beginning acareer is the most important reason for accepting their first job, compared to7 per cent who highlight a lack of money. More than 80 per cent of new graduates are successful when they attempt torenegotiate their salaries and the majority of respondents receive startingsalaries of £15,000 to £20,000. Ben Willmott Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Graduate morale high – despite gender pay gapOn 18 Sep 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Education for all is the key to freedom

first_img Comments are closed. Education for all is the key to freedomOn 9 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article I have stared in amazement at my television, just like you, appalled by thedisplay of fanaticism that murdered thousands of people from dozens ofcountries in the World Trade Center attacks. First of all, it places our differences in industry in proper perspective.Fanaticism of any sort, in the end, is counterproductive to the ends it claimsto serve. It makes me proud to be a step-by-step man, a wishy-washy Fabian and proudto agree with Albert Camus, the French political philosopher, who wonderfullyremarked that he would jump at the opportunity of joining a political party forthose of us who are not quite sure. For everyone in industry, the shadow of the international coalition againstterrorism hangs over everything. But life must go on. There is a key issue thathas been concerning union opinion this month. Is it still possible to sustainthe rate of progress for employees without more law? On several fronts –extending workplace education, consulting and informing the workforce andmodernising public service management – the need for more legislation is on thelips of progressive opinion. And yet red tape is a reality for so many businesses and public authoritiesalike. We are all familiar with the small business complaints of endlessform-filling and persecution from public officials. I am not sure how manyrealise just how stupid it is in public authorities to have so much resourcesquandered on audit trails. So much investment everywhere is diverted fromimproving the quality and quantity of the product into assessing, monitoring,reporting and publicising what has been done. This polemical point would have even more effect, however, if companiesbehaved themselves voluntarily. Can’t they consult with their workforce withoutthe intervention of the EU convention? Can’t they see trade unions as partnersrather than enemies within? Can’t they understand that when workers know whatis going on they work harder, better, longer? We need to change a culture that reflects employers’ appalling lack ofaspiration in upskilling their workforce. Employees are being encouraged byindividual learning accounts, Learndirect, and the Union Learning Fund to lifttheir expectations of themselves. Does it need legislation to make employerslet people go to courses? Does it need monitoring, assessing and threatening tomake employers see that vocational education is the key to their liberation aswell as their employees’? World-class management is needed in small companies and public services andis increasingly available. We should not have to use the law to liberate usfrom our past. It would be best to work together – voluntarily, step-by-step,as equals. The poverty of aspiration should concern us all. By John Lloyd, National officer, the Amalgamated Engineering and ElectricalUnion Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Diversity reform makes progress

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. The Civil Service has begun to increase the ethnic diversity of its seniorstaff, according to the latest staffing figures. They show that 2.4 per cent of senior civil service staff are from an ethnicminority background – a 0.3 per cent rise on April. The number of women and staff with a disability in senior ranks has alsoincreased, the Cabinet Office figures show. Over a fifth of the most senior roles are now occupied by women, with thenumber of senior women rising by 2.6 per cent to 24.2 per cent since April. A range of measures have been introduced to help promote diversity. Bursary schemes, surveys, training and a diversity awareness programme havebeen set up in the service to help meet targets. The Cabinet Office has also launched a Pathway project targeted at ethnicminority staff with potential to rise to senior levels. Richard Wilson, head of the home Civil Service, said, “These figuresrepresent a continual improvement in the diversity of the Civil Service in linewith our reform programme. But there is still a long way to go.” targets for 2004/5Woman in senior civil service                35%Woman in top 600 posts                       25%Ethnic staff in senior civil service            3.2%Disabled staff in senior civil service        3% Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Diversity reform makes progressOn 20 Nov 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

A question of loyalty

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. A question of loyaltyOn 26 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Whatis the ‘correct’ level of staff turnover, and how long should you stay in onejob? When an employee is frustrated in their role, what should a company do toretain their productivity, asks Stephen OverellAll humans love habit and nothing seems more natural than celebrating longservice. By tradition, decades of toil during which an employee became, if notintegral to the operation, then at least part of the furniture, was marked bythe gift of a fob watch or crystal decanter. Nowadays, because we perceive the modern labour market to be running at sucha madcap pace, long service appears increasingly impressive. It seemssplendidly quaint that London Underground has a 40-year long service award andextremely odd that McDonald’s has one for 25 years. The idea that people diligently stick with the same employer well into theautumn of their careers provokes the same warm feelings as the famous story oflottery winner Linda Hill. In December 1996, she scooped £2m, but decided tocontinue with her £80-a-week job as a chambermaid at a Butlin’s holiday camp onthe grounds that she loved her work. “Life just wouldn’t be the samewithout it,” she told the tabloids. Retention headache If only this loyalty was more widespread. Retention represents one of HR’s mostintractable headaches. Some 35 per cent of employers believe labour turnover istoo high1. In sectors such as retail and leisure, annual turnover is more than50 per cent; in many call centres it is closer to 100. Each time an employeeleaves, it costs just under £4,000 to replace them2. For managers andprofessionals, the figure is £6,000, and is rising fast. The nation must befull of homeless decanters. But hang on. Is long service really so desirable and turnover such a curse?Long service is not the same as loyalty, and commitment is not the same asendurance: many organisations are muddled about such distinctions, if a studyby Bain and Company, the management consul-tants, is to be believed3. According to Fred Reichheld, an emeritus fellow at Bain, researchersexpected to find that workers with more than 10 years service felt a greatersense of loyalty to their employer. In fact, the opposite was true. On many measures, people who had stayed withthe same employer for longest tended to be the most dissatisfied. When asked ifthey felt their firm operated through open and honest communication, half ofthe workforce agreed. Yet for workers who had stayed with their employer formore than 10 years, the figure was 39 per cent. Some 38 per cent of allemployees believe their company “puts people above profits”. Butamong those who had been there longest, just 28 per cent agreed. They are also least likely to trust business leaders, tending to think theyare being lied to, and most likely to believe their company does not deservetheir loyalty. In the best companies, 80 per cent of the workforce reckon theiremployer deserves their loyalty. Typically, the figure is less than half. “People who have been at the same company for more than a decade aregrumpier and less happy,” says Reichheld. “If they are allowed tolanguish they can be a highly destructive presence. People needre-potting.” Striking the balance He argues loyalty needs to be understood as a two-way street, a mutuallybeneficial relationship that is open to abuse on all sides. A worker whopursues their short-term interests is disloyal; a manager who rewardsfavourites, equally so. This study was carried out in the US, where the typical professional hasworked for nine different companies by the age of 324. It seems likely that itwould be a similar story here. Certainly, on the narrow point of how loyalBritish workers feel to their employers, there is little ground for a rosyview. Career consultancy Penna Sanders & Sidney found that two-thirds of theworking population would change jobs tomorrow if they could, but are held backby anxieties over money, their age, or just that they think it is too drastic astep5. It would be intriguing to know how many managers would say they want loyaltyin their workforce, but in their heart of hearts believe it merely reflects alack of ambition. A fresh challenge? Maybe loyalty is too difficult a concept for modern organisations. Yet theBain research does suggest some arresting points. There is little commercialreason for celebrating long service per se; in many ways over-familiarpresences are a bad thing. And it also implies grave responsibilities foremployers – not just to manage performance, but to listen when people get stuckand provide clear opportunities for progression. Some staff will always be seeking further challenges in whatever role theyare in. An organisation has the choice of seeing them leave, letting themcongeal in work that bores them, or actively trying to retain theirproductivity through encouraging cross-functional moves, secondments, projectwork, rotation and job swapping. Stuck in a rut Reichheld argues that ultimately the responsibility for getting stuck incertain roles must lie with the individual. Yet, he says, people often needhelp from organisations in recognising the early signs of going stale. “Itmay sound idealistic, but the truth is that people who get stuck in jobs areunderselling themselves,” he says. Retention, in short, must never meansimply getting people to stay. However, it is perhaps also time to celebrate another old-fashioned point:any organisation with no new blood, no turmoil, no new faces, no fresh gossip,is one that is condemned to decline. So what is the right length of time to stay in a job? Labour turnover is oneof those fields where the most reliable data does not seem to support thewidely held perception that job tenure is getting shorter (though other surveysdiffer). According to Labour Force Survey, the average worker currently stays intheir job for five years and six months. It was exactly the same figure in1995, yet in 1985 they stayed for five years and two months6. While certain sectors suffer from massive and harmful turnover, it is worthremembering that they are the exception, rather than the rule. Some 75.3 percent of the working population have been in their jobs for at least six years. Just under a quarter have been with the same employer for more than sevenyears7. Six years is surely about the right balance between stability and flux. Longlive the status quo. Research Viewpoint plusRead related articles on this topic from XpertHR’s extensivedatabase free. Go to Pulling Together: 2001 Absence and Labour Turnover Survey, CBI2 Labour Turnover Survey, CIPD, October 2001 3 Loyalty Rules, by Fred Reichheld, Harvard Business SchoolPress, 20014 Innovation in HRM by Alec Reed, CIPD, 20015 Taking the Plunge, Penna Sanders & Sydney, www.e-penna.com6 Labour Force Survey, ONS, 2002, CIPD, survey (as above)Join the Xperts take a free trialby calling 01483 257775 or e-mail: [email protected] is a new web-basedinformation service bringing together leading information providers: IRS, ButterworthsTolley and Personnel Today. It features a new Butterworths Tolley employmentlaw reference manual, a research database and guidance from 13 specialist IRSjournals, including IRS Employment Review. last_img read more

Caught in the act

first_img Comments are closed. Don’t get caught out when disciplining for theft.  Sue Nickson looks at the correct procedures to follow to ensure asatisfactory outcomeBreach of contractSarah has worked at the hotel as a cleaner for the past six months.During this time some money has gone missing but no disciplinary action hasbeen taken against her. She has now been told she has not passed theprobationary period because of these incidents. She has claimed that the hotelshould have followed procedure set out in the disciplinary policy. Sue Nickson comments: If there is a contractual disciplinaryprocedure then the employee will be able to claim that a failure to follow itis a breach of contract. Many employers will be able to avoid the potential forthis type of claim by expressly providing in the contract that the disciplinaryprocedures are excluded during the probationary period. However, the employer’s right to exclude such provisions will be affected bydraft legislation that is going through Parliament. When the provisions of theEmployment Bill 2002 are implemented all employers will be required to have acontractual disciplinary procedure. This will mean that at the very least theemployer will have to put the allegations in writing to the employee, hold adisciplinary hearing at which the employee will be able to make representationsand provide for a right of appeal. A recent decision of the Court of Session in the case of King v Universityof St Andrews, 2002, IRLR 252 has confirmed the fact that during aninvestigation and disciplinary process the implied term of mutual trust andconfidence still applies. It is only later when a decision to dismiss hasactually been made that the term will not be implied in the contract ofemployment. This is likely to widen the scope for employees to be able to bring a claimfor breach of contract should the employer fail to comply with the spirit ofthe contractual disciplinary procedures. EmbezzlementBill has worked as the manager at the Bates Hotel Hi Class Restaurantfor the past 18 months. A recent audit has revealed a number of discrepanciesin relation to the stock and cash records. Bill is called into a meeting andadmits that he paid sale proceeds into his own bank account. However, he hadalways intended to purchase replacement stock with this money. He is summarilydismissed. SN comments: The reaction of most employers would be that theemployee who admits taking company funds and paying them into his private bankaccount could be summarily dismissed. However, take care to consider whether afull and fair process has been followed. Here the employer does not appear tohave carried out an investigation beyond establishing that the monies were paidinto the employee’s bank account. In the recent case of OHR v Possante, the Employment Appeal Tribunal foundthere had been a failure to investigate adequately in very similarcircumstances. Possante had been a restaurant manager and in charge of winestocks. A stock check found 45 bottles of wine were missing. His explanationwas that the bottles had been sold and the proceeds placed into his own bankaccount ready for him to buy replacements. He was summarily dismissed despitehis explanation and the fact that the hotel manager confirmed this practice hadbeen followed for the previous 18 months. The dismissal was ruled to be unfairbecause of the employer’s failure to investigate further. There may have beenrecords to substantiate the fact he had purchased replacement bottles over aperiod of time or grounds to support his claim that there were security issuesin the hotel. In 1988 the House of Lords ruled in the case of Polkey v AE Dayton Services,1988, ICR 142, that the dismissal of an employee without following a properprocedure was unfair. Before this decision, a tribunal may have found adismissal in such circumstances fair if satisfied that the employee would havebeen dismissed even if a full procedure had been followed. The judgement allowedfor only the limited exception that dismissal procedures could reasonably bedispensed with where the offence is so heinous that a reasonable employerfollowing good employment practice could conclude that no explanation ormitigation would possibly make any difference to the decision to dismiss. However, a partial reversal of this rule could result from the provisions ofthe Employment Bill 2002 when it comes into force. An employee will notnecessarily be dismissed unfairly even when the employer has not followed thefull contractual disciplinary procedure. While the employer will still have tofollow the statutory procedure the tribunal may find that it made no differenceto the end result and the dismissal may be found to be fair. Protected disclosureAndrew was recently employed as a security guard at the hotel. He hadplaced a large sum of money that had been left in one of the rooms in the hotelsafe. He told the head of security who told him that he would sort it out. Aweek later Andrew found that the money was missing and he contacted the generalmanager about its disappearance. He was then dismissed on the grounds that hewas making trouble about the missing money. SN comments: Generally an employee needs to have one year’s serviceto bring a claim for unfair dismissal. Here no procedures have been followedbefore the dismissal and there do not appear to be any fair grounds for thedismissal. It appears to be an unfair dismissal but as Andrew has less than oneyear’s service he will not be able to bring a claim. However, Andrew may be able to take advantage of one of the exceptions tothe qualifying service requirement. Most of the exceptions relate to instances where an employee has beendismissed for a reason connected with asserting a statutory right. But the PublicInterest Disclosure Act 1998, as implemented by section 47 of the EmploymentRights Act 1996, gives protection to employees who have made a protecteddisclosure. The fact that Andrew reported to his employer that monies had gone missingwould appear to amount to a protected disclosure as it concerned what hebelieved was a criminal offence – theft. Under the whistleblowing provisions, the employee is not required to have ayear’s service in order to bring a claim of unfair dismissal. Probably of evenmore concern to the employer is the fact that any compensation for unfairdismissal will not be subject to the usual cap, which at present stands at£52,600. This could prove financially disastrous for a company as wasillustrated in a recent case where the employment tribunal found that thedismissed employee was nearing retirement age and was, therefore, unlikely tofind suitable employment again; on this basis it awarded the employee £293,000as compensation to take into account losses up to the date of retirement. Even if Andrew’s case was not a whistleblowing case, the employer might bein breach of contract by failing to follow the disciplinary procedures if theseare contractual (see Sarah’s case above). Unfair dismissalJim has worked in the hotel as a receptionist for several years. Anew head receptionist has complained to the general manager that some of theroom bills are not being processed in the correct way. Jim has already had awarning about the bills procedures and at a subsequent disciplinary hearing, afteradmitting that he was still following the old procedures, the head receptionistdismisses him. SN comments: Is the employer at risk of a claim? The allegations havebeen put to Jim and he has admitted the conduct complained of by the headreceptionist. To be fair the decision to dismiss must be within the range of reasonableresponses and as Jim has a previous warning for the same conduct it wouldappear to be so. However, in the case of Whitbread (t/a Whitbread Medway Inns) v Hall, 2001,ICR 699, a hotel manager was dismissed after admitting that he had guessedfigures for a stock control audit. He had previously had warnings about dealingwith stock control and was dismissed by his immediate manager. The EAT found the dismissal was within the range of reasonable responses,but the employer’s disciplinary process was so flawed that it rendered thedismissal unfair. A fair dismissal procedure was essential even where theemployee admitted misconduct. Here, the procedure followed before Jim’s dismissal appears to be flawed.The head receptionist not only conducts the disciplinary hearing as theemployee’s immediate supervisor but is also the person who initiated the investigation.This could be criticised on the grounds that he acted as both judge and juryin the complaint. Unless the firm can show it had such limited resources itcould only deal with the complaint in this way, the resulting dismissal will befound to be unfair. Sue Nickson is partner and national head of employment law at HammondSuddards Edge Previous Article Next Article Caught in the actOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

International news

first_imgInternational newsOn 1 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. This week’s International newsCanadian bosses cash in on battle for talent with US The basic pay of directors at 58 of the 60 largest Canadian public companiesincreased dramatically in 2003, due to longer working hours and the need formore attractive incentives to lure US talent. A ‘Report on Business’ survey,published in the country’s Globe and Mail newspaper, found that base retainerspaid to directors climbed 28 per cent in 2003 from 2002. The jump is a whopping61 per cent, if share grants to directors are included, with many companiesincreasingly relying on this form of remuneration. David O’Brien, chairman ofRoyal Bank of Canada, told the paper that four of its last six new directorscame from the US because of its growing business operations in that country.”There is just generally higher pay in the US, and I think that’s had someimpact in the larger companies of having to bump remuneration to attract aninternational group of directors,” he said. Spain puts high-speed train hostesses in trousers Hostesses on the high-speed train between Madrid and Seville have won their12-year campaign to wear trousers at work, reports The Independent. Since theline was opened in 1992, the azafatas – or ‘ladies in waiting’ – have had towear a skirt 2cm above the knee. But Spain’s first female public worksminister, Magdalena Alvarez has now announced that hostesses can wear trousersif they want. “Female workers have the right to feel comfortable, and notfeel under scrutiny just because they are women,” she said. The azafatashad argued that the skirts forced them into ‘unnatural postures’ when gettingitems from the trolley. A spokeswomen for the hostesses said: “Let’s hopethe decision has a knock-on effect on other companies. We are notdecoration.” US public sector pays bonuses to majority of staff Government figures in the US have shown that almost two-thirds of its 1.6million federal full-time civilian workers received merit bonuses or specialtime-off awards in 2002. Of the 62 per cent who received awards, half receivedUS$811 (£447) or more. The typical bonus amounted to 1.6 per cent of theirsalary. Under American civil service rules, federal agencies may give cashawards or additional time off to reward employees for good annual performancesor contributions on specific projects. This method of payment is proving verypopular. The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and theGeneral Services Administration each gave bonuses to more than 90 per cent oftheir ‘general schedule’ employees. Online guidance on employing the new Europeans The European Union (EU) has codified and publicised the often complex set ofrules controlling the migration of eastern and southern European workers fromthe 10 countries which joined the EU last month. These transitional rules –designed to ease the impact of their accession on the EU’s 15 establishedmember states – have been posted online at EURES, the European job mobilityportal. This site has information on the rules applicable to workers moving toor from Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,Slovenia and Slovakia. It is not completely comprehensive, as the EuropeanCommission has noted a “small number of Member States” have yet toprovide information on their national rules. In these cases, companies orworkers can contact a EURES adviser in the destination country (details on thesame site). It also includes rules on moving to pre-enlargement EU countriesand allows prospective workers to publish CVs and companies to post vacancies. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Measurement and interpretation of gas phase formaldehyde concentrations obtained during the CHABLIS campaign in coastal Antarctica

first_imgGas phase formaldehyde concentrations were measured during the 2004-2005 CHABLIS campaign at Halley research station, Antarctica. Data coverage span from May 2004 through to January 2005, thus capturing the majority of the year, with a wintertime minimum of near or below the instrumental detection limit rising to between 50 and 200 pptv during the austral summer. Factors controlling HCHO concentration include local chemical sources and sinks, and exchange with the snow surface. The measured seasonality is in line with previous observations from Neumayer station, with maximum in summer and minimum during the winter months, but with lower absolute concentrations throughout the year. The gas-phase production of HCHO was dominated by methane oxidation and a steady-state analysis showed that reactions of iodine and bromine species substantially reduced the predicted HCHO levels based upon in situ chemistry. This indicates a substantial additional HCHO source to be present that could be explained by a snowpack source.last_img read more

Interhemispheric Atlantic seesaw response during the last deglaciation

first_imgThe asynchronous relationship between millennial-scale temperature changes over Greenland and Antarctica during the last glacial period has led to the notion of a bipolar seesaw which acts to redistribute heat depending on the state of meridional overturning circulation within the Atlantic Ocean. Here we present new records from the South Atlantic that show rapid changes during the last deglaciation that were instantaneous (within dating uncertainty) and of opposite sign to those observed in the North Atlantic. Our results demonstrate a direct link between the abrupt changes associated with variations in the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation and the more gradual adjustments characteristic of the Southern Ocean. These results emphasize the importance of the Southern Ocean for the development and transmission of millennial-scale climate variability and highlight its role in deglacial climate change and the associated rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide.last_img read more

Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for Antarctica

first_imgTo date, Antarctica is the only continent to have escaped the COVID-19 pandemic. This was facilitated by the continent’s isolation and low human presence, combined with the global emergence of the pandemic at the end of the Antarctic summer season and the rapid action of those national governmental operators and other actors still active on and around the continent during the early phases of the outbreak. Here, we consider the implications of the pandemic for Antarctic governance, national operator logistics, science, tourism and the fishing industry, as well as for Antarctic environmental protection. Global disruption will result in a temporary decrease in human activity in Antarctica, in turn leading to a reduction in environmental impacts for a period, but also a reduced capacity to respond to environmental incidents. Given the diversity of transmission routes and vectors, preventing the introduction of the virus will be difficult, even with stringent quarantine procedures in place, and the risks and implications of virus transmission to Antarctic wildlife are largely unknown. With control of the pandemic a major global challenge, international cooperation will be essential if Antarctica is to remain free of coronavirus.last_img read more

The role of curvature in modifying frontal instabilities. Part II: Application of the criterion to curved density fronts at low Richardson numbers

first_imgWe continue our study of the role of curvature in modifying frontal stability. In Part 1, we obtained an instability criterion valid for curved fronts and vortices in gradient wind balance (GWB): Φ′ = L′q′ < 0, where L′ and q′ are the non-dimensional absolute angular momentum and Ertel potential vorticity (PV), respectively. In Part 2, we investigate this criterion in a parameter space representative of low-Richardson number fronts and vortices in GWB. An interesting outcome is that, for Richardson numbers near one, anticyclonic flows increase in q′, while cyclonic flows decrease in q′, tending to stabilize anticyclonic and de-stabilize cyclonic flow. Although stability is marginal or weak for anticyclonic flow (owing to multiplication by L′), the de-stabilization of cyclonic flow is pronounced, and may help to explain an observed asymmetry in the distribution of small-scale, coherent vortices in the ocean interior. We are referring mid-latitude submesoscale and polar mesoscale vortices that are generated by friction and/or buoyancy forcing within boundary layers but that are often documented outside these layers. A comparison is made between several documented vortices and predicted stability maps, providing support for the proposed mechanism. Finally, a simple expression, which is a root of the stability discriminant, Φ′, explains the observed asymmetry in the distribution of vorticity. In conclusion, the generalized criterion is consistent with theory, observations and recent modeling studies, and demonstrates that curvature in low-stratified environments can de-stabilize cyclonic and stabilize anticyclonic fronts and vortices to symmetric instability. The results may have implications for Earth system models.last_img read more