Legislation and regulation
March 9, 2013
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published new guidance on the practice of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) following the findings of a YouGov poll which reported that while nearly half of UK workers use their own phones, tablets and other devices for work, under a third of have been offered any form of formal guidance by employers. The ICO warns that without a policy or guidance in place, staff run the risk of theft of their personal information and other data. In addition, employers need to be reminded that the Data Protection Act is also relevant for personal technology used in a work context.
March 8, 2013
As we are told repeatedly, the modern workplace is a death trap. Most of us are lucky to get home in one piece at the end of each day, regardless of the job we do. Of course, statistically the most dangerous professions are those such as agriculture, forestry and construction. Proper, hardcore industries which employ proper, hardcore people, some of them working miles from anywhere, out in the open air, doing what used to be considered the core functions of work, namely making things or destroying things or moving things from one place to another.
March 7, 2013
British workers have seen the biggest fall in wage value among the world’s wealthiest countries, according to a TUC report on the global economic race published today. Between 2007 and 2011 – real wages fell by 4.5 per cent in the UK, falling at nearly twice the rate of Spain – the next worst-performing economy that year. However, as we reported last month lower wages appear to be contributing to higher employment rates in the UK compared to countries where pay rates are higher, such as Spain and Italy.
March 5, 2013
Under half of British firms are failing to vet suppliers for compliance with the Bribery Act, and only 6 per cent would re-tender if they discovered their suppliers didn’t comply. A poll of procurement managers and directors by Ernst & Young found that only 48 per cent of firms carry out third- party due diligence. The study found that even though 60 per cent of firms with a turnover of £5m to £50m vet suppliers to assess if their practices comply with the Bribery Act, 16 per cent of midmarket firms would ‘do nothing’ if their suppliers failed to comply. The research also revealed that only 40 per cent of firms with a turnover of more than £50 million would remove suppliers from their supply chain if they fail to comply.
March 5, 2013
Seventy per cent of recruiters now actively use and support the use of social media and trust has grown significantly in online media over the past two years, according to new research. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are the three most used social media channels among HR professionals and recruiters, with occasional use of blogs and videos. However, the research by Global HR Services Group Penna Plc shows that while engagement with social media is increasing, a quarter of employers are still trying to restrict Facebook access at work and have no formal social media policy in place.
March 1, 2013
The widespread adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in architecture, design and construction has moved closer with the publication by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) yesterday of the BIM Protocol, a legal framework for BIM projects. The use of BIM as a collaborative way of working that utilises digital technologies for more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining properties has been described as a game-changing ICT and cultural process for the built environment, with the Government’s intention to require collaborative 3D BIM on all its projects by 2016
February 25, 2013
During recent weather-related travel disruption, I was inundated with various pieces of information on software that spies on home based employees to check that they really are working, not shirking from home. As Acas opens a consultation on a draft Code of Practice regarding the extended right to request flexible working; and figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show the number of people working from home in the UK has risen to over 10 per cent – the advent of these systems begs the question: do employers really trust their staff enough to let them work remotely?
February 25, 2013
Employee burnout is endemic within a third of UK organisations. According to new research from recruitment specialist Robert Half UK three out of ten (30 per cent) UK HR directors reported high levels of employee burnout, which rises to more than a third (35 per cent) for those in London and the South East and publicly listed companies. Two thirds (67 per cent) of UK HR directors cite “workload” as the primary reason for employee burnout, although this figure rises to three quarters (75 per cent) for large and 73 per cent for public sector companies. more…
February 22, 2013
The European Commission has confirmed intends to take the UK Government to court to force the Treasury to impose the full rate of VAT on energy-saving goods which are a key element of the flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme. The Green Deal is designed not only to improve the UK’s environmental performance but also boost the economy. The commission issued a statement yesterday confirming it would refer the UK to the EU Court of Justice over the practice of imposing reduced VAT rates on green goods which it claims break EU law and won’t deliver the aims of the government’s flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme.
February 18, 2013
The signs of the final showdown between the personal computer and the tablet are now all around us. It is evident in the launch of new products such as Microsoft’s Surface and the new generation of more powerful iPads which can (nearly) match the performance of Apple’s own laptops. It is also evident in the restructuring of firms like Dell, once the world’s most successful PC maker. The end result will not only be a new shape for the products on which we work but also a new shape for the places in which we work. Our postures will change and so too will the things we need to support us. more…
February 15, 2013
The UK Treasury yesterday announced new rules that would mean that it can ban firms who avoid tax illegally from winning public sector contracts. The new system will come into force as early as April 1 of this year, leaving little time for consultation and are outlined in draft guidance published for consultation by the Government. It will require potential suppliers to notify contracting departments of their recent tax compliance history and to tell the department if any tax return has recently been found to be incorrect and if they have been convicted for tax related offences or subject to a penalty for civil fraud or evasion. Departments will be able to disqualify any bidder meeting these criteria from the procurement process.
February 14, 2013
Nine in ten UK professionals think that flexible working will become the dominant employment model – but half think it will be adopted for business reasons rather than to benefit the workforce. According to research from specialist HR recruiter Ortus, just one in ten professionals (12 per cent) actually deem flexible working to be a vital benefit – lower than the proportion who said a free company mobile phone is vital to them. And just 1 in 10 said they thought it was being implemented to help with gender equality. In the survey conducted among 450 professionals across a variety of sectors, 51 one per cent felt the reason behind the growth of flexible working is efficiency and productivity – not to help people manage the number of hours they work. more…