Tuesday, 24 November 2009

NHS report on employee wellbeing - highlights need for better absence management

23rd November 2009 - CIPD (The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) issued a press release on Monday the 23rd November entitled "CIPD welcomes NHS report on employee wellbeing, but highlights need for better absence management"

Proposals to support employee health and wellbeing in the NHS announced today are welcome, however they miss a trick by not providing any specific recommendations on how to improve absence management policy and practice. This is the view of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) on the launch of the NHS Health and Wellbeing final report.

Ben Willmott, CIPD senior public policy adviser, thinks the report contains positive recommendations that will help to support employee wellbeing and reduce absence levels in the health sector, which are the highest across the public sector at 11 days per employee per year*. He welcomes in particular the recommendation that all NHS bodies should ensure their management practices are in line with the HSE management standards on the control of work-related stress which is a major cause of absence.

Willmott says: "The report recognises that there is no point in providing employees with subsidised gym membership or advice on healthy eating and exercise if they dread coming to work because they have not received adequate training, are bullied by their manager or are drowning under their workload. The CIPD believes that people management skills must be included as a critical element of the development of all professions involved in the delivery of public services."

However, Willmott urges - together with an increased focus on improving people management skills - that all NHS bodies need to review how they manage absence if real progress on reducing employee absence levels is to be sustained across the health and wider public sector.

Willmott continues: "If high employee absence levels in the health sector are to be tackled effectively, NHS employers need to ensure their absence management policies and practices give the right balance between providing support to help employees stay in and return to work and taking consistent and firm action against employees that take advantage of organisations' occupational sick pay schemes.

"In addition all public sector employers should be able to say how much time working time is lost to absence and how much it costs. Unless you have good data on employee absence it is impossible to identify if you have a problem and how to address it."

CIPD research shows:
• Public sector employers are less likely than those in the private sector to discipline or dismiss staff for absence-related reasons than the those in the private sector
• Public sector employers are less likely than private sector employers to take account of employees' absence records as part of performance measures for individuals' appraisals
• Public sector employers provide more generous occupational health sick pay schemes than those in the private sector
• Public sector employers are less likely to restrict sick pay for unacceptable levels of absence

*CIPD 2009 Absence management survey

At jml Training we have trained NHS staff in the past and always welcome enquiries from NHS Trusts around the country. If you require further information please contact us

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Equal pay victory for women

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have just sent us their month email newsletter with this press release report.

It is entitled "Women in some jobs who have time off to raise children get pay equality boost after landmark ruling"

Commission welcomes equal pay victory for women at work

Women in some jobs who have time off to raise children received a significant boost today after a landmark case in the Court of Appeal in which the Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened.

Mrs Christine Wilson, an Inspector with the Health and Safety Executive, brought the case against her employer, claiming that its pay agreement with employees linking pay to length of service for up to ten years was unfair.

The Health and Safety Executive’s agreement with its employees meant that three male colleagues on the same level as Mrs Wilson were paid more than her for doing equivalent work.

The Commission argued that linking pay to length of service often disadvantages women who take time out of the workforce to raise children and so do not have the same continuous length of service as men.

The Court agreed with the Commission’s submissions. It found that although employers to not generally have to justify schemes linking length of service to pay, they will have to if there is evidence that this is having a disproportionate impact on women.

Susie Uppal, Director of Legal Enforcement at the Commission, said: 'Women should not be disadvantaged in the workforce because of they take time out for maternity leave or to meet caring responsibilities. Linking pay to length of service often does them a disservice. Direct discrimination, long hours, and a lack of flexible working options are some of the biggest barriers to achieving gender equality in the workplace.'

Research shows that the gender pay gap is narrower in the public sector than in the private sector, (a full-time gap of 13.8 per cent compared with 21.7 per cent) and that far more public sector employers are undertaking pay audits as one way of addressing the issue (43 per cent compared to 23 per cent).

The Commission believes that developing ways for employers to measure and report on their gender pay gap will be a crucial step towards reducing pay inequity by providing greater transparency. It is holding a consultation on how to develop a consistent way to measure the gender pay difference within organisations.

Gender pay gap reporting is intended to be voluntary, but could be made mandatory using a reserve power in the Equality Bill. A future Secretary of State could chose to use that power if progress on closing the pay gap has not been made by 2013.

Source: The Equality and Human Rights Commission 20th October 2009

Who are The Equality and Human Rights Commission?

The Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.


The UK Parliament has recognised the value of the Commission’s expertise, imposing on it the power to intervene in certain legal proceedings by virtue of section 30 of the Equality Act 2006. The Commission takes a strategic approach when deciding to intervene. It will generally intervene in cases where it can use its expertise to clarify or challenge an important element of the law. The cases generally involve serious matters of public policy or general public concern. The outcome of these cases often has a wide impact as they set precedents to be followed by the lower courts.

Take a look at the jml Training website section Promoting Equal Opportunities in Service Provision

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Coaching Development Coach Training

Participants' Feedback - London Spring 2009

Gráinne Suter of jml Training and Consultancy - Commented

How would you sum up your experience of the whole programme?

Very professionally organised, both prior to and during the course. A valuable and rich learning experience that met all the objectives. Range of learning styles/ material/ methods.

What is your appraisal/evaluation of the trainers?

Very able. Brought different perfections and a breath of experience that facilitated learning. Supportive, encouraging and enabling – trained in a coaching way.

Source: Coaching Development

Government 'faces uphill struggle' to promote effective action on the gender pay gap

The CIPD The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Europe's largest HR and development professional body with over 135,000 members, issued a press release on the 12th November 2009 entitled "Government 'faces uphill struggle' to promote effective action on the gender pay gap, despite today's ASHE results"

With the latest Office for National Statistics showing that the equal pay gap across all measures has narrowed, the CIPD today reports survey evidence of employer practice and attitudes to measuring the gender pay gap in the workplace. The figures show that the equal pay gap between men and women has improved from 12.6% to 12.2% for full-time work, while the equal pay gap between men and women has also narrowed from -3.7% to -2.0% for part-time work.

The CIPD argues that the results strengthen the case for voluntary equal pay reporting given the complexity of the problem, as illustrated by the fact that hourly earnings for women are higher than men's for part-time work.

The autumn 2009 CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook (LMO) survey, conducted by IPSOS Mori, finds that fewer than 1 in 5 (18%) private sector employers measure their gender pay gap, the vast majority, and especially smaller employers, considering this unnecessary for their business. In the public sector, where equal pay monitoring is a statutory requirement, 2 in 5 (43%) employers only complete audits to tick the necessary bureaucratic box rather than as part of an underlying effort to advance gender equality.

The survey findings are likely to disappoint the government which has included provisions in its Equality Bill to require private and third sector organisations with more than 250 employees to report on gender pay gaps if too few are doing so voluntarily by 2013.

Dianah Worman, CIPD Diversity Adviser says: "Judging by these survey findings the government faces an uphill struggle in its efforts to change employer attitudes to closing the gender pay gap, which the latest ONS figures will undoubtedly show still remains far too wide.

The bulk of private sector employers appear complacent about the gap - especially smaller employers who won't in any case be affected by the reporting provisions of the Equality Bill - while many public sector employers seem more concerned about complying with their statutory reporting duty than driving genuine gender equality in the workplace. The findings overall suggest that compulsory pay audits are at best a blunt instrument for promoting effective action on closing the gender pay gap and highlight the need for government to instead focus on helping employers in all sectors understand the business benefits of tackling unfair treatment on pay."

Employers that do measure their pay gap report that it provides useful insights and benchmarking data (60%) and helps inform pay reviews before they take place (43%). However, the survey finds that the average cost of conducting a gender pay audit is more than £5,000 - fifty times higher than government estimates.

Ingrid Waterfield, KPMG Head of Reward says: "We would encourage all employers to investigate their pay structures from the perspective of fairness and equality whether or not legislation is introduced to this effect. Equal pay audits can help to tangibly measure the achievement of fairness, and we believe that a fair approach to reward and recognition has a positive impact on employee engagement. Leading businesses examine their pay gaps not because of Government, but because they understand the reputational and legal damage in not getting it right."

The Equality Bill, which is currently making its way through Parliament, will introduce provisions to enforce gender pay reporting on private and third sector organisations of more than 250 employees. The Government says it will not make reporting compulsory until 2013 if voluntary progress is deemed to be insufficient.

The gender pay gap as measured by median hourly pay of full-time employees, excluding overtime, was 12.8% in April 2008. The latest figure, for April 2009, will be published by the Office for National Statistics on Thursday 12 November alongside other results from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE).

The cost of reporting on the gender pay gap was estimated to be £5,105 in the CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook. This is higher than the Government's estimation.

Source CIPD