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‘Half not taking paternity leave’

Almost half of men are failing to take up their right to two weeks paternity leave after the birth of their children, mainly because they cannot afford to, new research has revealed.

Two out of five men are afraid to ask for flexible working arrangements because they think it would harm their career prospects, a widespread study of 4,500 parents in Britain also showed.

The study, by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, revealed that many fathers are working long hours and struggle to balance work and family life.

Men want to take a more active role in caring for their children, but two out of five admit they do not spend enough time with their sons or daughters.

Most of the fathers surveyed said the availability of flexible working was important when looking for a new job.

Fathers taking paternity leave are paid a statutory rate of £123 a week, but the commission argued they should receive 90% of their actual pay. It has also called for four months of parental leave that can be taken by either mother or father, eight weeks of which would be at 90% of pay.

Andrea Murray, acting group director of strategy of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “We have spoken to parents, employers, unions and leading academic experts in the field, and we believe that our policies lay out a road-map to 2020 which will put Britain ahead of the curve in terms of modern working practices.

“Two-thirds of fathers see flexible working as an important benefit when looking for a new job. This highlights an opportunity for British businesses to use flexible working as an incentive for attracting and retaining the most talented of employees.

“Some companies which have adopted forward-thinking policies towards families are reporting increased productivity, reduction in staff turnover, reduced training costs and an ability to respond better to customer requirements.”

Six out of 10 fathers said they work more than 40 hours a week, adding that was too much.

Source : Yahoo news

Employees told “on your bike”

Cyclescheme has been confirmed as the Government’s choice as the UK’s number one provider of tax-free bikes for the Government’s Cycle to Work initiative.

Cyclescheme is a straightforward programme where employees make big savings on new bikes, employers get a healthier workforce and save money too. Now, Cyclescheme has won a Central Government tender that effectively templates their provision throughout the UK.

The recent DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) open tender will be available for use by all UK contracting Authorities including, but not limited to, Government Departments and their Agencies, Non-Departmental Public Bodies, Local Authorities, Police Authorities, Fire Authorities and Educational Establishments.

Gary Cooper, Co-Director of Cyclescheme, said, “This is fantastic news and is a great reward for all our efforts. It will save thousands of pounds in man hours and, being an open tender, it can be used by any applicable Government body considering a Cycle to Work scheme”.

The current economic crisis has seen many employees looking to cycling to work to save money and the opportunity to get a quality bike for up to 50 percent off means that many new cycle commuters have hit the roads in 2009. A survey to participants has shown a positive outcome from joining the scheme. Employees commuting to work a few times a week went up threefold from 12 percent to 33 percent. Respondents using a Cyclescheme cycle used it for 25 percent of work trips compared to seven percent before.

Cyclescheme currently works with 129 Councils (approximately 27 percent of those present in the UK), 26 Fire and Rescue Authorities, 50 percent and 20 Police Authorities, 32 percent. Cyclescheme has over 10,000 clients on their database and partner with over 1450 cycle retailer partners throughout the UK.   News source : The HR Director

CIPD in Manchester

The relocation of the annual CIPD conference from Harrogate to Manchester seems to have put the recruitment communications industry into all of a dither, with many waiting to see what others are doing before committing one way or the other.

It’s all a bit allegorical, really.  In Harrogate, we were happy for years.  Everyone moaned all the time, of course, but we knew where we were, everything was familiar, the same things happened year in, year out, and it was all very constant.  You could just about glean enough from handouts, pub talk, and meeting the odd delegate to convince everyone back at the ranch that it was all worthwhile.

Now, everything is different.  We won’t know where anything is.  We won’t know how to find anyone, or where to meet and get a decent glass of ale.  How will we get home?  Will there be any parties?  And, if not, what’s the point of going?

The answer of course is just as it always has been: there will be over two thousand clients, potential clients and clients of the future, all gathered together in one place to talk about their business.  At the very least, you could learn something.  At best you could impress some by demonstrating how, in fact, talent attraction and management has to be HR’s number-one concern, that the recruitment communications industry is their best ally, and that your agency has all the answers.

Source : Ri5

Economic revival could pose problems for HR directors, survey says

HR directors face a mass exodus of talent as the economy starts to recover, according to new research.

Employees fed up with work or their bosses are poised to move jobs – or even sectors when the upturn begins in earnest.

According to exclusive research for HR magazine by FreshMinds Talent, 24% of staff are dissatisfied in their jobs, almost half (45%) regret having chosen their current sector and 64% said the recession had made them think about moving sector.

The findings are supported by financial recruitment specialist Parkside, which found 26% of accountants will ‘definitely’ move after the market improves and 29% are considering moving.

The news comes as Manpower predicted a 2% rise in recruitment between October and December this year, with 80% of firms saying no more redundancies are planned during this period.

Stephen Bevan, managing director of The Work Foundation, said: “Unemployment is still going up and it will take longer for the job market to recover than the economy. So firms will not see any real exodus for a year or 18 months.”

However, he added: “Talented employees have more labour market power, so if they want to change jobs, they will experience demand however the job market is faring.”

Mr Bevan said the best way for employers to retain this volatile contingent of staff is not through increasing pay but providing autonomy and development opportunities.
HR Magazine