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The worlds biggest coffee morning

Simple, inclusive and enjoyable, holding a coffee morning in the workplace on the 25 September is an excellent opportunity to get staff together and engage them in a common cause.

One of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, Dragons Den’s Deborah Meaden, is helping Macmillan to raise awareness of the business benefits of getting involved in the World’s Biggest Coffee Mornings. Deborah says; “It is easy in this digital age to forget just how important face to face contact is in business. There couldn’t be an easier way to get your colleagues together and build relationships than joining the world’s biggest coffee morning. And the icing on the cake is that all the money raised will help Macmillan reach and improve the lives of over two million people living with cancer in the UK.”
The world’s biggest coffee morning is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK, with over two million people taking part last year. Supported by businesses and retailers of all sizes, over 50,000 coffee mornings are expected to be held across the country. Macmillan provides essential information, expert medical care, emotional support and financial help not only to people diagnosed with cancer but also their family and carers.

Charles Byrne, Head of Corporate Partnerships and Events at Macmillan says: “With the widespread cutting of  budgets, supporting a fundraising event like the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning provides a simple and cost effective way to improve morale among staff, while raising money for people affected by cancer.”

This year npower aims to beat last years total of £108,000 raised and is looking forward to taking part again this year as employee engagement levels for the world’s biggest coffee morning are huge with almost every site taking part.

Carol Hart, Community Involvement Manager at npower explains: “We have a large and diverse workforce at npower, so finding something that is fun and engaging for everyone is no simple task. We’ve been supporting the world’s biggest coffee morning since 2004 and with almost all of our employees taking part, it’s something that is very important to the business.”

“The world’s biggest coffee morning is really enjoyable, it raises money for a cause that will affect us all – either directly or indirectly – and it brings people together. I’d recommend it to any business or workplace.”

To find out how to make your coffee count click here

Source : The HR Director

CIPD issues across board executive pay guidelines

The CIPD has launched a set of general principles on executive pay designed to act as a framework to help HR directors and Remuneration Committees when developing executive remuneration policies, practices and structures.

They have been drawn up to be applicable across sector, industry and organisation size. They are also intended to stand the test of time, rising above some of the excessively heated aspects of the current debate on executive reward, but without losing sight of the crucial issues around risk and reward that have been thrown into sharp focus by the crisis in the financial sector.

Charles Cotton, CIPD Reward Adviser said: “Organisations should focus their attention on what they need to do to ensure their reward packages support the needs of the business and its stakeholders, and to attract and retain the talent the business requires.”

The 10 principles are:

1 The design of remuneration plans should be clear, appropriately simple and relevant;

2 The mix of fixed and variable remuneration should be commensurate with each executive’s role and level in the organisation. They should not lead to inappropriate risk-taking;

3 Variable elements of the remuneration package should ensure that the value of the package, in its entirety, will vary with business performance;

4 Incentives should reward outcomes that lead to, and reflect, sustainable and measurable value creation;

5 Remuneration Committees should act independently and be able to demonstrate that in approving remuneration policy, they have taken into account the:
a) market(s) within which the organisation operates for talent;
•b) short-term objectives and long-term strategy set by the organisation;
•c) organisation’s structure, financial situation and foreseeable future prospects;
•d) expectations of the organisation’s owners and other relevant stakeholders;
•e) total remuneration package;
•f) approach to remunerating other employees.

6 It is important that members of the Remuneration Committee should have the appropriate skills, current knowledge, independence of thought and experience of performance management and reward;

7 The time line(s) over which performance and value creation is measured should be considered by the Remuneration Committee in designing the remuneration package;

8 Remuneration Committees should seek to understand the potential cost of remuneration arrangements over the short, medium and long term, assessing these under different performance and value scenarios, taking into account any share dilution impact if relevant;

9 Remuneration Committees and those making remuneration decisions in general, should have access to and, if necessary, call upon appropriate independent expert advice, whether that be external or internal to the organisation;

10 When agreeing remuneration decisions, Remuneration Committees should have the discretion to exercise judgement and take the broader context of an organisation into account alongside its performance, as appropriate.

Courtesy of Recruitment Today

London Midland cancels trains owing to lack of Sunday staff

 Not enough staff volunteer to work after pay is cut

 09 September 2009


Bosses at rail company London Midland are to meet with unions after a shortage of drivers led to the cancellation of most its services yesterday.

London Midland relies on drivers to volunteer for working on a Sunday, with a long-standing agreement under which drivers were paid double for their time. But this agreement ended last weekend, with staff now offered pay of time and two-thirds, resulting in not enough drivers volunteering to work. The firm was therefore able to only run services on one route, from Birmingham to Liverpool, with the rest of the network of 149 stations left deserted.

A London Midland statement said: “For the majority of London Midland staff, working on Sundays is voluntary. This weekend a large number of onboard staff have failed to volunteer, resulting in a shortfall in staff and the cancellation of services… We apologise for the disruption to our services this Sunday and we are doing everything we can to provide alternative arrangements for passengers. All our services will be running again from Monday 7 September.”

The firm described the situation as “unprecedented” and said it was not the only rail company to operate voluntary working on Sundays. However, it will now meet with the union to thrash out a long-term solution.

The RMT union said that staff were not taking organised action but merely exercising their contractual right not to work on a Sunday. Bob Crow, the RMT’s general secretary, said: “Many of our members will be working as rostered, and if the company has staffing problems it should sit down with us as a matter of urgency to resolve them.”

Staff who have joined London Midland since 2001 have contracts requiring them to work on Sundays when needed, but Sunday working remains voluntary for those whose employment predates this.

It is estimated that around 45,000 passengers suffered disruption to their journeys as a result of the cancellations.

From CIPD’s People Management magazine.

Finance gender pay chasm

The financial sector has a huge need for a dose of exceptional HR practice, judging from the results found by an inquiry from the Equality and Human Rights Commission. It revealed there is less of a gap and more of a yawning chasm when it comes to women’s pay in some of the UK’s leading finance companies, who receive around 80 percent less in performance related pay than male colleagues.

The gap begins at the very start, with women starting on far lower salaries. There is then a gap in annual basic pay between women and men of 39 per cent. However, this gender pay gap rises to 47 per cent for annual total earnings when performance related pay, bonuses and overtime are taken into account. Women employees earned an average of £2,875 in annual performance related pay compared to an average of £14,554 for men – a gender pay gap of 80 per cent. The Inquiry also suggests that the sector’s age profile may be a key factor blocking women’s success. An unusually high proportion of workers in the sector fall into the 25-39 age group – the age at which women tend to have childcare responsibilities.

To add to further disappointment, less than half of cases report making some effort to address the pay gap and only 23 percent of cases report that they have undertaken an equal pay audit.

The inquiry is the first time this type of data on gender pay gaps in the sector has been collected, with the Commission using its statutory powers to require companies to provide evidence of their working practices and policies including pay, job evaluations and audits.
As a whole, the finance sector has one of the highest overall gender pay gaps in the UK economy – with women working full-time earning 55 per cent less annual gross salary than men. This compares to a pay gap of 28 per cent for the economy generally.

There were examples of good practice in some of the organisations questioned, with one employer reporting that they made data on average bonus payments by gender available to employees. Another offered a maternity buddy system to support pregnant women and those on maternity leave.

Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Commission said: “The financial sector has the potential to play a central role in Britain’s recovery. But it has to address this shocking disparity of rewards. For business to thrive in the new economy it simply can’t afford to recruit and reward in the way it has done in the past.

He added: “By bringing down arbitrary barriers, and changing practices that, intentionally or not, inhibit women’s success, financial firms have the chance to boost morale, bring on new talent, and maximise the potential of their existing employees.”

The recommendations include appointing a board member to set the tone, champion the issues and drive change, incorporating equality and diversity into organisational and individual objectives, ensuring maternity, paternity and parental support schemes are in place and effective and monitoring the implementation and impact of policy on gender equality – in short, the practices which many HR directors are putting in place all over the UK, across sectors. The examples of good practice should serve as an inspiration to the others, added Trevor, saying: “At a time when shareholders have become alert to the dangers of ‘groupthink’ and potential employees and customers value transparency and fair treatment, it’s clear the enlightened few have a competitive advantage.”

Human Resources news brought to you by theHRDIRECTOR – the only independent strategic HR publication.

7 September 2009

CV Safe

Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment has written a comprehensive guide to help job seekers stay safe when searching for a new job. With identity theft rife in the UK and candidates perhaps not realising how sensitive a document their CV can be, Aaron Wallis have written a no-nonsense guide detailing precautions to take to help protect you against identity crime.

As Rob Scott, Managing Director explained, “most people regularly shred their bank statements and utility bills yet happily send their CV containing their full name, address, date of birth, career and educational history to complete strangers.

This information is just one or two pieces of data away from opening a bank account in their name. With a few searches of social networking sites this additional missing information can be found in minutes”.

The guide goes on to detail recruitment scams and the dangers of social networking when looking for a new job.

Download the free article ‘Staying safe when job searching’

Law on tour to focus on Equality Bill

The Law on Tour workshops from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) are a ‘one stop shop’ for the latest on employment law. This autumn’s workshops offer a thorough employment law refresher, look at important case law decisions and preview new legislation.

Read more »