12 May

Employers must see the person, not the disability

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. With thelaunch of the Disability Rights Commission campaign this week, Prime MinisterTony Blair, writing exclusively for Personnel Today, argues that disabledemployees benefit businessHumanresources professionals need little convincing about the contribution peoplewith disabilities make in the workplace. They know that the talent and commitmentof disabled workers will compensate for the small costs of any necessaryequipment or adaptations many times over.In this, HRmanagers and the Government are in agreement – disabled people face enoughchallenges without society creating new ones. The shared challenge for us is toconvince employers and managers that providing disabled people with a fairchance in the workplace is not a burden or even just an opportunity to do theright thing, but can also benefit business performance.The heartof this challenge is tackling prejudice and preconceptions – often held bydecent, well-meaning people who make assumptions based on ignorance. In a way,they too are trapped in a cycle where disabled people are assumed to beincapable of taking up work, and are therefore excluded from the workplace asthey are from so many other parts of society. This, in turn, denies disabledpeople the chance to show what they can achieve, so perpetuating thestereotypes that hold them back in the first place.TheGovernment is working to create the right economic and social conditions sothat everyone can fulfil their potential. As part of this, we are committed tohelping disabled people break down the barriers they face – from school onwards– and challenging preconceptions. Where necessary, this is backed by law toensure that civil rights are enjoyed by all. But it is also providing practicalhelp both to disabled people and prospective employers to ensure that disabledpeople can compete for jobs on equal terms.So,alongside full implementation of the Disability Discrimination Act, and bigincreases in benefits for those who need them most, we have set up the New Dealfor Disabled People, which will be extended nationally next July. This willcapitalise on the excellent work it has done already in helping more than 5,000disabled people into jobs.We havealso provided more practical advice and assistance to help employers recruitand retain disabled people, and ensure their existing employees can stay inwork if they develop a disability or long-term illness. The Access to Workscheme provides practical advice and support to disabled people and theiremployers to help overcome work-related obstacles resulting from disability. The newDisability Rights Commission is an example of this comprehensive approach. Itprovides advice as well as ensuring rights are understood on all sides and, ifnecessary, can be enforced. I want the commission to come to be seen – and Iknow the commission agrees about this – not as a police force for a set oflegal obligations but as a resource to help firms make the changes they need tobring more disabled people into the workforce. It is certainly a resource whichwe in government need to use fully. Although there have been advances –including in my own office – government as a whole is still behind where weshould be. Often thesechanges are so minor that they are a drop in the ocean compared to the widercosts of recruitment. The average cost of adaptations in the workplace is about£50 for each disabled employee. And with a million more people in work thanthree years ago, and the Government committed to the long-term aim of fullemployment, meeting the needs of disabled people will, I believe, become a moreimportant way for companies to attract quality employees.In the end,all that disabled people want is the chance to show what they can do. Allemployers need to do is to see the person, not their disability, and thendecide if they have the skills for the job. And forgovernment – as for HR professionals – the task is to convince employers andmanagers that it is often that easy. And when it is more difficult, there ishelp at hand. Related posts:No related photos. Employers must see the person, not the disabilityOn 12 Dec 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

12 May

News

first_img Comments are closed. NewsOn 1 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Thismonth’s newsPersonalgain motivates the urge to learnManagersare likely to rate personal career plans as the primary influence on theirdevelopment needs, in preference to the future needs of the organisation.Thisis one of the findings of the Roffey Park Institute in Management Agenda 2001,an annual survey of more than 200 managers.Itfound that while 38 per cent of managers rank their career vision as amotivator, only 29 per cent feel the needs of the organisation is the primarydriver.“Organisationshave to realise that there is an element of self-interest which could be totheir detriment,” said report author Caroline Glynn. “Managers have taken onboard the idea which has been pushed at them for the past couple of years thatthey have to be employable, and they are gathering what they see as therelevant skills.” Thesurvey also illustrates the growing role of the training professional as aconsultant.Externaltraining and on-the-job development are seen as key elements to individualgrowth. Only one-third refer to their training manager or line manager to keepup to date with the courses or opportunities.www.roffeypark.comBuildersset LSC agendaConstructionbody the CITB has set its cap at the incoming Learning and Skills Council. Thismonth it will publish its Workforce Development Planning Brief  2001-2005 to draw attention to skills needsin construction. Thesector needs to recruit and train 370,000 people in the next five years, itsays.TheCITB hopes around 40-50,000 people a year from other sectors, such asagriculture, mining and the armed forces will retrain. It is also looking for22,000 people to enter the industry each year through new entrant training and10,000 through construction-related courses in formal education.TheCITB will also use the brief to call on the LSC to fund shared use offacilities in schools and colleges to assist post-16 education and training.  www.citb.co.uk Brokers’needs unrecognisedManufacturersand their business partners and brokers are at odds over training requirements,according to The Channel Partners Survey published by performance improvementcompany Maritz Learning Systems.Aleast one-third of the partners (referred to as “channel partners”) felt theirtraining needs were overlooked, most acutely in the car and insurance sectors.Whenasked which areas of performance they most wanted to improve, the channelpartners ranked customer service as crucial, whereas manufacturers listedproduct knowledge.Bothparties are also slow to innovate training delivery methods such as distancelearning, even though they cite lack of time as hindering development.www.maritz.co.uk Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

12 May

Letters

first_img Comments are closed. LettersOn 24 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Thisweek’s lettersLetterof the Week: Good practice key to tribunal diseasePersonnelToday is so right that better management systems will help minimise the growingnumber of applications to employment tribunals (Comment, 3 April). Acas hasbeen advocating the “nip in the bud” approach since it wasestablished.Weare putting increasing emphasis on promoting good practice in the workplace byhelping to develop constructive dialogue between employers and employees –every year we help thousands of businesses build better management systems. Wepromote hundreds of joint advisory workshops to address communication andconsultation issues. But as long as applications continue to be sent totribunals, Acas will conciliate to try to reach a settlement (75 per centsuccess rate last year) and will offer our new arbitration service for unfairdismissal claims that are not successfully conciliated. Onethousand cases in the first year many seem modest, but if employers, andemployees, avoid cost, time, publicity and stress by using the Acas arbitrationscheme then it may catch on.Wemay be a small bucket, but we are determined that the ocean liner will not sink.RitaDonaghy Chairwoman, AcasHRgiven a chance to prove its worthIdo not think the new Acas scheme will reduce the number of tribunals (News, 3April). But I strongly believe that HR departments have an opportunity tofurther demonstrate their worth by introducing good policies and offeringpractical training for managers, thus reducing the number of cases going totribunal.MaureenMacnamaraVia e-mailDroppingmethod raised our profits Regarding”Ready Reckoner really is a bargain” (Letters, 3 April) and theRecruitment Cost Ready Reckoner (Feature, 20 February), we are a recruitmentagency that charges £3,000. £3,000 to appoint a candidate from our database,£3,000 per stage for a headhunt.Ourclients seem to like it, for example the MD who recently recruited a salesdirector from our files for £3,000, and we still manage to make a decent livingsince we gave up percentages – in fact we are busier than ever.TerryKnightManaging director, Knight SelectionReadyreckoner figures were real Ijust wanted to reassure Sharon Cooper (Letters, 3 April) and other HR directorsabout the recruitment fees set out in the Cost Ready Reckoner, which appearedin the 20 February issue of Personnel Today.Theyare all absolutely genuine. I compiled those figures based on the servicesprovided by my company. I know it is not usual for agencies to reveal this kindof information, but PPS works to a set fee for each assignment. Having been onthe HR side of the desk I do understand the desirability of working this way.Thefee covers our services, but the client is responsible for the cost of theresponse generation or the mechanism used to attract applicants.Asan atypical recruitment consultancy, Sharon Cooper can rest assured that PPSwill not be cold-calling her, but will send a letter. I do hope to receive areply by post, e-mail or over the phone.VictoriaPhillpot Managing director, PPS CIPDcan be great, with a little effort Duringmy 30 years plus as a personnel practitioner, I was taught that to besuccessful you had to fight everyone else’s battles. That is certainly true inrelation to the reactionary role that personnel people have to play.WhatI find increasingly disturbing is the well-publicised battles in theprofession, which undermine personnel practitioners and demean the CIPD. Inthe past year, we have had absurd debates on what to call practitioners as wellas more of the debate on whether personnel people add value.  Then we had Paul Kearns and Bob Mortonexchanging radical views, which are well adrift of the mark.Ihave seen the institute grow in size and stature. It has a good leader in GeoffArmstrong, who has vision and focus in terms of how the profession should becontributing to business performance. It is also involved in extensivenetworking and lobbying.Whilethere is a string of plus points, there are also shortfalls. The institute hasnot established itself fully as a provider of qualified, competentpractitioners. Look no further than Personnel Today (27 March) in which Mortonsays, “The CIPD qualification is popular among employers”. In thesame issue there were 140 adverts for personnel practitioners. Less than halfstated a requirement for CIPD membership. Businesseswant high-class performers, whether they are CIPD members or not. Theeffectiveness of the CIPD will grow if members fully participate in itsrunning, seek to improve their capability and contribution and, above all,direct the body to spend more time facilitating world-class best practice andbe more persistent in opposing inhibiting legislation.Noteverything is great, but it can be if we make it so!DrHugh BillotDirector, Troika Management Consultants Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

12 May

Learning for life: Voice disorders

first_img Comments are closed. Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development are the processesby which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve their practice. There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,study days and workshops or informally, through private study and reflection.Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-datewith what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifyingwhat you have learnt is not always easy. These questions are designed to helpyou to identify what you have learnt from studying the article. They will alsohelp you to clarify what you can apply to practice, what you did not understandand what you need to explore further. 1. What percentage of the workforce is in professions in which the voiceis the primary tool? a) 25 per cent b) 33 per cent c) 40 per cent d) 50 per cent 2. Which profession is most likely to suffer from work-related voiceproblems? a) Acting b) Military c) Lecturers d) Teachers 3. The human voice is an acoustic signal for: a) Speech, singing, drama and emotional expression b) Speech, singing and emotional expression c) Speech, drama and emotional expression d) Singing, drama and emotional expression 4. The majority of voice disorders are due to a) Organic disorders b) Congenital abnormalities c) Psychogenic disorders d) Faulty use of vocal mechanism 5. Loss of voice is called a) Dysphonia b) Dysphagia c) Odynophonia d) Aphonia 6. The common cause of hoarseness is a) Shouting b) Vocal abuse c) Repeated sore throatsd) Viral infections 7. Which lifestyle factor DOES NOT affect the voice? a) Smoking b) Caffeine c) Diet d) Alcohol 8. Which of the following environmental factors DO NOT affect the voice? a) Humidity b) Temperature c) Lighting d) Noise 9. Which of the following is a non-vocal signal aimed at conserving thevoice? a) Raised eyebrows b) Clapping c) Finger drumming d) Foot tapping 10. Which of the following regulations apply with regard to voiceproblems? a) First Aid Regulations 1981 b) COSHH c) Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations1992 d) RIDDOR Feedback Related posts:No related photos. Learning for life: Voice disordersOn 1 Aug 2001 in Personnel Todaycenter_img 1.b); 2.d) Although this article talks about teachersbeing prone to voice problems it may be worth thinking about other professions,such as those listed here, which may also suffer from voice problems. Discussthis with your colleagues and identify other groups that may be affected andwhether there are other factors in teaching that may be a trigger for thisspecific group; 3.a); 4.d); 5.d) Look up each of the words and make sureyou understand what each one means; 6.b); 7.c) Write notes about howeach of these items affects the voice; 8.c); 9.b) Clapping can be usedto draw attention rather than shouting or raising the voice. The otherdistractors are annoying habits. Can you think of any other ways to getattention? 10.c) If you have access to a speech therapist then arrangeto talk to him/her about this topic. If not, then your local OH group may beable to arrange for one to come and speak to you on work-related voiceproblems. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

12 May

OH care for GP practices

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Governmentto phase in OH service for GP practice staff under NHS planGPsand practice staff are to get access to an occupational health service for thefirst time, under new government plans.Theinitiative, unveiled by health minister John Hutton at the end of June, willmean GPs and primary care staff will be provided with regular risk assessmentsto identify workplace hazards, pre-employment health assessments and access toOH nurses and physicians.Theywill also be offered immunisation, boosters, blood tests and counsellingservices.Whilethe services are being established – they are due to be up and running by nextMarch – a local telephone service will be set up offering advice onoccupational health and safety.NHStrust and health authority staff have long had access to OH services, but GPsand their staff have not – although some authorities make services availablethrough locally financed schemes.Huttonsaid, “GPs and their staff work very hard – doing a great job underpressure. That is why introducing these services is so important. By improvinghealth and safety in their work lives, GPs and their staff will be able to makethe best contribution to improving patient care.”DrPeter Verow, consultant occupational physician at Sandwell Health Care Trust,said the development had been “long awaited” but it would take sometime for OH services to gauge what level of demand was needed.GPpractices vary in size and complexity with some simply wanting health andsafety advice and others a full OH service.Thelocal OH service would first need to negotiate with the health authority orprimary care trust to agree on an appropriate level of service, he argued. Butthe best route was to have a dedicated OH nurse to establish and develop the service.”Ifit is just part of a job of another OH person in a unit then there is a dangerit becomes another service that is not pushed,” he said.TheGovernment’s NHS Plan, published last summer, pledged to invest £6m in 2001/02,and a further £2m in 2003/04, to make OH services available to GPs and theirstaff. www.doh.gov.uk/healthandsafety Previous Article Next Article OH care for GP practicesOn 1 Sep 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

12 May

Keeping an eye out

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Glaucoma affects thousands of people of working age every year causingprogressive and irreversible damage to the eyesight. But it is treatable ifspotted in time.  By Catherine Donnelly Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness, but half of all people withdamage from glaucoma are unaware of it. Despite the fact that it is roughly ascommon as high blood pressure and diabetes, the widespread public lack offamiliarity with the condition results in thousands of cases of blindnessannually, most of which could have been prevented. Blindness due to glaucoma can usually be prevented if the condition isdetected and treated in time. But patients often have no symptoms in the early stagesand by the time there is visual loss, damage is advanced. Blindness fromglaucoma usually begins with loss of peripheral vision; central vision isgenerally maintained until the late stages. What is glaucoma? Glaucoma is an eye condition characterised by loss of vision due to damageto the optic nerve. The optic nerve carries images to the brain and any damageto the nerve results in impairment of sight. Usually, but not always, glaucomais accompanied by increased intra-ocular pressure (IOP) and it is this thatdamages the nerve. Risk factors Glaucoma has no warning signs. Regular eye examinations and an awareness ofthe risk factors provide the best assurance of early detection. The mostimportant risk factor is high IOP but other risk factors include: Family history: Approximately 20 per cent of people with glaucomahave a similarly affected parent or grandparent Race: Afro-Caribbeans have a higher risk of developing glaucoma Steroid medication: People who are taking oral or high-dose topicalcorticosteroids for more than a few weeks at a time have a higher risk Age: The risk of glaucoma increases after the age of 40 Diabetes: Diabetes increases the risk by 300 per cent Eye injury: People who have had an eye injury are at increased risk Poor vision: People who are extremely nearsighted or farsighted havean increased risk How is glaucoma detected? Ophthalmologists use a variety of tests and instruments to detect symptomsof glaucoma or early damage caused by this condition. A tonometry test measurespressure within the eye and a visual field test can detect loss of peripheralvision. An ophthalmoscope, a small hand-held viewer, and other instruments, areused to view the interior of the eye and detect damage to the optic nerve. People who have high IOP but normal peripheral vision and an intact opticnerve may not require immediate treatment. However, these people are at riskfor developing glaucoma and should be examined every six to 12 months. Treatment Treatment, aimed at lowering IOP, can be by surgery, oral medication ordrops, or a combination of these. Drug treatments may have side-effects, suchas blurred vision, but it is important people diagnosed with glaucoma complywith their treatment regime despite any side-effects, because they will sufferirreversible loss of vision long before they actually become aware of it. Types of glaucoma – Chronic (primary open angle) glaucoma – this form usuallyaffects both eyes and develops slowly so that loss of sight is gradual. Thereis no pain, redness of the eye or dramatic change in vision– Acute (angle closure) glaucoma – there is a sudden increasein the IOP in one eye. The eye becomes red and painful and there may bemistiness of vision and episodes of seeing haloes around lights – Secondary glaucoma – in this group of conditions an increasein IOP is caused by other diseases of the eye– Congenital glaucoma (buphthalmos) – is a condition whereglaucoma is present from birth. An increase in IOP causes the eye to enlarge Keeping an eye outOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

12 May

OH service saved from closure

first_imgOH service saved from closureOn 1 Mar 2002 in Musculoskeletal disorders, Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. A London occupational health service has been saved from closure by alast-minute injection of funds. But HealthWorks in Newham still faces an uncertain future, with less fundingsecured than it had hoped for, and the prospect of only being able to offer areduced service. The community-based OH service has been operating since 1997 supported andfunded through a combination of Government regeneration money, the LondonBorough of Newham’s environment department and Newham Primary Care Trust. Funding had been due to run out this month but the service has now receivedan £84,500 lifeline from the regeneration fund which will part secure itsfuture for this year. But there is still a shortfall of some £50,000, which means the service willnot be able to operate as widely as before. Nor will it offer, an adolescentand teenage service as it has done in the past. The service recently carried out a survey of working people with health-relatedproblems in the borough, interviewing people in GP waiting rooms. It found morethan half reported work-related ill health resulting from their current orprevious work. Stress and musculoskeletal disorders were identified as the most frequentlyreported work-related health problems. Project co-ordinator Rachel Ashworth said the organisation was now seekingto secure further funding from the borough and the PCT as well as the NationalLottery. She had been hoping to expand the service this year, but this was nowunlikely to happen, she added. A spokeswoman for the London Borough of Newham, which has matched thefunding from the regeneration fund up to now, said it remained supportive ofthe service and was now assessing whether it could also provide extracash.”We are trying to help,” she said. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

12 May

Smith’s cabinet post welcomed by the CIPD

first_imgThe latest cabinet reshuffle which sees Andrew Smith appointed as the Workand Pensions secretary in the wake of Stephen Byers’ resignation, has beenwelcomed by the CIPD. Formerly chief secretary to the Treasury, Smith replaces Alistair Darlingwho moves to the Department of Transport. John Philpott, chief economist at theCIPD, believes the move could revitalise the department. “I’m pleased with the appointment as Smith was an instigator in themove towards full employment through the New Deal. There’s a sense the steamhas gone out of the (Work and Pensions) department and his experience will beuseful,” he said. Responsibility for local government and the regions will now split from theTransport Department and be handed to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. Stephen Timms becomes the new minister of state for Trade and Industry. Adult skills minister John Healey leaves the Department of Education andSkills to become economic secretary at the Treasury. Stephen Twigg or DavidMilliband will succeed him in the role. Smith’s Treasury position will be filled by Paul Boateng, who becomes thecountry’s first black cabinet minister. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Smith’s cabinet post welcomed by the CIPDOn 4 Jun 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

12 May

Expert’s view

first_imgExpert’s viewOn 19 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today NicholasWright explains how to get the best out of staff surveysNicholasWright leads internal communication practice at PR agency Fishburn Hedges. Hehas worked as a consultant and held similar internal communication posts atBoots and Lloyds TSB.Howdo you determine the content of a survey?Onemethod I’ve used has been a core questionnaire (put together with input fromall the businesses) and then a short set of ‘bolt-on’ questions for eachbusiness.Howare companies running surveys?Manycompanies are exploring online polling – ask the ‘big’ question at thebeginning of the week; get responses with say a 48-hour deadline, and, withappropriate software, turn it into results and e-mail a follow-up questionnaireto the employee audience by the end of the week. Motorola created a ’60-secondsurvey’. Conducted every other week, and limited to six multiple choicequestions with an opportunity for extra comment, results can be viewedimmediately by users.Whatconstitutes a successful survey for you?Thatit is both global and local, trend-based, action orientated and linked to otherresearch. The holy grail for employee research is to link it consistently withexternal customer research – in this way you can establish whether the more satisfiedemployees are delivering greater customer satisfaction. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

12 May

Safer needles campaign launched by lobby groups

first_imgA campaign has been launched by unions and health lobby groups to pressurethe Government into introducing safer needles into hospitals, clinics anddoctor’s surgeries, and to draw up guidelines for their safer use. The ‘Safer Needles Now’ campaign was launched in February, bringing togetherUnison, the Royal College of Nursing, the British Medical Assoication and theSafer Needles Network. Along with clear guidance to NHS institutions on how best to minimise therisk of sharps injuries, the campaign wants to see the NHS adopt safer needletechnology, and put proper surveillance and reporting procedures in place. Other demands include having comprehensive preventative measures in place,proper risk assessment leading to appropriate safer working practices, andbetter training and education in safe use and disposal of sharps. The Department of Health is due to publish guidelines in June, butcampaigners have pointed out that they were supposed to be published threeyears ago. Needlestick injuries are the second most common injury in the NHS, and fourNHS workers have already died from HIV contracted from infected needles. The National Audit Office has concluded that more than one-third of nursesand half of agency nurses are injured by a needle at some point in theircareer. Around 23,000 needlestick injuries are recorded each year. But withmany people never bothering to report them, the real figure could be as high as100,000. Unison head of health Karen Jennings said: “Safer needles areavailable, and so subjecting thousands of NHS workers to the terror of dirtyneedles is unnecessary and inhumane. “It costs pennies to provide safer needles,” Jennings added.”When you add up the cost of treating someone with a needlestick injury –the tests, post-exposure treatment, time off and compensation – all this isnothing compared with the human misery and anxiety caused by this sort ofinjury.” www.saferneedlesnow.net Related posts:No related photos. Safer needles campaign launched by lobby groupsOn 1 Apr 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more