first_imgThisweek’s lettersEqualitycan’t rely on comparisonsI’veread your coverage of equal pay policies and felt I had to make some comments(News, 6 March).Iwork in the NHS as an administration manager, dealing mainly with the personnelissues of 300 staff as we have no personnel department.Havingfought tooth and nail to get office staff re-graded, I have some experience ofthe problems of the principle of equal pay. The trouble is there are no mendoing these jobs, or anything similar, for comparison. There are no male receptionists,medical secretaries, ward clerks or general administrative staff, so theseemployees’ salaries remain appallingly low.Howcan you move away from male equivalent comparisons? If you can’t, the majorityof women will never be on a par with men’s pay as women congregate in these“female” type of jobs.SallyAshworth Administration managerRoss Community Hospital, Ross-on-WyeVoluntarypolicy would be ignoredYousuggest that the offer of flexible working for parents should be voluntary(News, 27 February). This is a good way of ensuring that it does not happenexcept in those cases where there is a clear benefit to the employer. Experienceshows that voluntary codes do not work, a recent example of this being the agediscrimination code of practice. This has not even been adopted bygovernment-funded bodies such as universities. LesJones, Via e-mailGivena choice, small companies will not implement family friendly working.  Being a full-time working single parent, Iwould welcome legislation that forces firms to have such policies. MarilynMaidment HR manager, Acequote.com, CardiffYourfountain pen is so last centuryIhave recently started reading Personnel Today and I am confused. I was told it wasat the cutting edge of the HR industry and has fully accepted electroniccommunication as the way forward. Sowhy does the writer of the Letter of the Week receive a fountain pen? Is it areminder of the good old days, or did you get a job lot just before PersonnelToday moved into the 21st century? EileenWoodHuman resources administrator, Europ Assistance Agencieshave to protect businessIrun a recruitment agency employing over 40 people. It began in 1989, grewthrough the recession and is now being seriously threatened by proposed newregulations being introduced by the Minister for Competitiveness, Alan Johnson.TheDTI is determined to limit recruitment agencies’ ability to charge a fee whensomeone it has supplied as a temp is subsequently employed directly. Originallyit wanted to ban such fees entirely, and later to limit the restrictions afterthe end of a booking to a maximum of four weeks.Theminister now proposes to reduce the maximum protection period to only eightweeks after the end of an assignment, rising by up to six weeks in the case ofshort bookings.Wedeal with markets that use professional freelance workers. Placements aregenerally short, repeat bookings for the same worker are the norm and gapsbetween bookings of more than the proposed quarantine period are common. Ouraverage cost incurred in advertising, interviewing, testing and administrationfor each new applicant runs into thousands of pounds. With costs like thisrepeat business has to be protected.Itis hard to see how we will be able to continue our service unless Johnson comesto his senses and changes these disastrous proposals. SteveGibson Workstation SolutionsEvaluatingNEDs crucial to success Re“Call for better training and pay for non-execs” (News, 30 January). Althoughnon-executive directors have brought much value to many boards it would bewrong to claim that their contribution is universally recognised. Ourresearch suggests that they are most effective when their brief is clear andunderstood by all the board – an obvious comment, but not always commonpractice.Withan expanding role, the NED needs to spend more time in the organisation –infrequent board meetings and attendance at the annual strategy review are nolonger enough. Trainingis often not given since the holders are usually experienced business people. Agreater time commitment will bring demands for higher remuneration, especiallywhen one considers the legal responsibilities of the NED are not significantlydifferent from those of the ED.Evaluatingthe NED’s contribution is crucial. However, it is surprising that in so manycases assessment does not occur. It is interesting to speculate on the HRdepartment’s responsibility to ensure this most fundamental managementprocedure applies to the top of the organisation.PaulSmithConsultant coach, Penna Executive Coaching Comments are closed. LettersOn 13 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img

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