Indian industries feel the heat

first_img Comments are closed. Facedwith fierce competition, Indian companies in pursuit of skilled talent arechanging their recruitment practices. Paran Balakrishnan reports Itwas a peculiarly Indian corporate custom. In the old days, firms that wereowned by businessmen from the Marwari caste always made sure that their topexecutives were trusted lieutenants from the same caste. Similarly, it alwayshelped to be a Parsi in a company owned by Parsi businessmen. Thereare still traces of caste-oriented nepotism in the Indian corporate world butit is rapidly being swept aside by a gigantic tidal wave of competition.Companies that would once have appointed a loyal clansman are now more likelyto call in a headhunter. “We hire people from companies where the serviceorientation is high and who are used to an aggressive market environment,”says Preetha Chatterjee, vice-president HR at Delhi-based mobile phone companyBharti Cellular.Competitionis fierce and it is changing the recruitment practices of Indian companiesfaster than you can say “hire the best”. Take Chennai-based MurugappaIndustries, an old-style conglomerate that makes everything from sweets toindustrial products. A few weeks ago Murugappa Industries was a hot topic. Itschairman MV Subbiah, a member of the family that holds the controlling stake inthe group, stepped down in favour of a computer industry executive who wasbrought in from outside. A year ago Murugappa brought in a team of managementteachers and respected professionals on to a newly formed executive board.”They wanted to change the company’s culture from top to bottom,”says a management consultant. Indianindustry is feeling the heat from competition and that explains why it isdropping old nepotistic practices faster than the proverbial hot brick. Today,even the oldest business houses have called in consultants and startedrestructuring their entire operations. New executives – frequently frommultinationals – have been brought in to turn family-run corporations intoleaner, meaner enterprises. Whythe sudden turnaround? Back in the 1980s the Indian government used its powersto see that competition was kept to a minimum. It constructed a strict systemof licensing that ensured, for instance, that only three car manufacturers wereallowed to operate. Competition was deemed to be wasteful and a frittering awayof “national resources”. Foreign companies were discouraged frominvesting in India. Theshackles were lifted in 1991 and Indian industry has altered beyond recognitionsince then. For example, the world’s top car manufacturers includingMercedes-Benz, Honda, Toyota and GM are falling over themselves to get afoothold in the region. Some of the weaker players like Daewoo and Fiat are alreadybeing pushed out. In short: competition is brutal and tough. Theopening of the Indian economy has created businesses where none existed before– and a huge demand for trained and talented executives. This year theinsurance market has been opened to foreign companies and a flood of new giantslike Prudential have entered the country for the first time. A few years agoforeign liquor companies like United Distillers began selling their wares here.Others, such as Bacardi, have entered the market more recently. Addon the high-tech revolution. The advent of mobile telephony has createdfast-moving new players like Bharti Cellular, which are fighting amulti-pronged battle against formidable rivals. And IT companies likeBangalore-based Infosys are snaring the best talent with their bonanza offersof share options. Ascompetition has intensified during the 1990s, India has begun to look more likethe rest of the world. International headhunters like Egon Zehnder andKorn/Ferry have established offices and are frequently called in by companiesthat are about to make a foray into India. Some of these consultancies havebegun operations in neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, which began openingits economy in the early 1980s. However, it must be noted that because of itsearlier move to economic liberalisation, Sri Lanka hasn’t faced a sudden influxof foreign companies as India did in the 1990s. Similarly, while Pakistan isgrowing, it is doing so at a much slower pace than India. Howdo newcomers to India go about hiring the best executives for their operations?The answer is that they call in consultants like McKinsey or headhunters likeEgon Zehnder, who are tasked with finding chief executives. Lower-levelexecutives are traced through a mixture of placement companies and newspaperadvertising.  Takethe example of Bharti Telecom, a relatively unknown telecoms company until afew years ago. It had a tough time initially but hiring became easier after itlinked up with BT. More recently, Bharti has become an established brand in themarket place. Says Chatterjee: “I think the ability to attract talent iscorrelated with success in the market place.” Ofcourse, filling the executive ranks isn’t the whole story for new conglomeratesshifting to the subcontinent. India has a Byzantine maze of labour regulationsthat makes it extremely difficult for firms to hire and fire workers. Thatmeans that newly arrived companies must tread carefully when they take theirfirst steps in India. Again countries like Sri Lanka have a less-complex mazeof regulations. Thechanges that have taken place during the 1990s can be seen at the annualrecruitment jamboree at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. Tenyears ago, consumer giants like Nestl‚ and Hindustan Lever (the Indian arm ofUnilever) called the shots and hired all the best talent from the Institute.Now, they have been pushed to the sidelines.Thenew favourites at the Indian Institute are other international heavyweightslike McKinsey and Lehman Bros, and they are now scooping up the smarteststudents from India’s top management school for their global operations. Orthere are the domestic superstars like Infosys Technologies and other high-techcompanies that are luring talent with the promise of a bumper bonanza of stockoptions. This year Lehman Bros hired nine students from the Institute, and mosthave already moved to the bank’s London office. Whatfurther changes are still to come in the recruitment game? One thing is forcertain – competition will ensure that companies turn towards the best.Furtherinformation…Formore information see the following Indian industries feel the heatOn 1 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Is an interim career for me?

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Is an interim career for me?On 7 Aug 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Iam a senior HR manager for a medium-sized company. I have read a lot recentlyabout interim management and am quite attracted to the idea. What could Iexpect from a career in this field, and how do I know if it’s for me? VicDaniels, director of Carr Lyons, writes:Moreand more people are taking time out to undertake interim work, both in HR andgenerally in business as a whole. The benefits are that you get the opportunityto experience different cultures, do not tend to get bogged down in office orcorporate politics and will enjoy a greater sense of freedom.Onthe downside, it can be a lonely life and you will need to hit the groundrunning. You will have no bedding-in period and will be expected to add valuefrom day one. It really is a question of personality. If you areself-motivated, work well under your own steam and can interact with people atall levels, you should be ok. It can be an enriching experience, although youdo need to bear in mind that you may be more vulnerable in an interim capacityin the event that there is further deterioration in the economy.MargartMalpas, joint managing director, Malpas Flexible Learning, writes:Putit this way: do you invest money in the stock market or in National Savings? Ifyou prefer safer options, interim management may not be for you.Manysenior interim posts give you the chance to deliver results quickly, work in avariety of industries and maybe cross from the public to the private sector andvice versa.Soif you are looking for excitement, variety and challenge, this could be themove for you. Butyou will be expected to hit the ground running, quickly grasp the key businessissues, and build strong relationships in double quick time – yet still beprepared to challenge. To build a good reputation in the interim managementindustry you will need to deliver results fast.Onthe other hand, some companies merely want someone to tide things over whilethe original job holder is on sabbatical or parental leave. These positions maystill give you variety but will not challenge you to the same extent. Theremust have been something that has caught your eye about interim management andattracted you to it. Try to work out exactly what this is before making a move.Interim management isn’t for everyone.Useyour networks to see if any of your friends have done this kind of work. Ifyour network doesn’t turn up anyone, try going to your CIPD branch meeting.Contact some interim management recruitment consultants. Find out what skillsand attributes they are looking for. A flick through the back pages of PersonnelToday will give you many leads.LindaAitken, consultant at Chiumento Consulting Group, writes:Becomingan interim manager is a career choice made by a person who chooses to become anindependent worker. You must have a burning desire to own and run your ownbusiness and be very sure that you possess skills that are marketable and whatorganisations want. Theprospect of working on a variety of assignments and with differentorganisations is very attractive but anyone entering into interim has to berealistic about the difference in status from being an employee. Notably theshort term nature of most contracts could mean periods of unemployment. If youare the sort of person who needs relative job security and a regular level ofincome then this will not be for you. Anideal interim candidate has a high level of independence, the ability to relateand influence quickly and an in-depth knowledge of the type of business theyare going to assist. To be faced with these challenges on a regular basis callsfor a special type of personality and it maybe that psychometrics can helpestablish if you are suitable.last_img read more

Away again? Naturally

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Persistentshort-term absence can be trickier than the long-term kind for HR practitionersto deal with. david morgan recommends the best way forward to minimise thelegal risksTheaverage British employee took just over a week off work last year, according toa recent study by the CBI. The average cost of that absence was £434 peremployee which gives a total cost of £10.7bn. In addition to the financialcost, absenteeism also has a detrimental effect upon employee morale, customersatisfaction, productivity and production quality.Whileevery employer is familiar with the financial costs and disruption associatedwith long-term employee absence, short-term persistent absences – often byrepeat offenders – can be even more inconvenient to the business and moredifficult to manage from an employment relations perspective. The onus is onthe employer to be proactive in taking steps to assist an employee’s return towork while, at the same time, setting down transparent guidelines for thestandards of attendance. Therewill, however, come a time when absenteeism causes employers to say”enough is enough” and take the decision to dismiss. Anindustry-specific attendance procedure tailor-made to the needs of the businessis vital to avoid costly claims of unfair dismissal and disabilitydiscrimination. Conductor capability?Indefence of a claim for unfair dismissal, employers must establish the principalreason for dismissal, which must be one of the potentially fair reasons, namelyconduct, capability, redundancy or breach of a statutory requirement. Failingwhich, the reason must fall within the catch-all “some other substantialreason” for dismissal.Theproblem is that for years, the courts and tribunals, not to mention employers,have had difficulty in establishing the appropriate reason for dismissal in acase of short-term persistent absence as it does not sit squarely with eithercapability or conduct.Putsimply, if a fit employee has a number of sporadic certified absences butcontinually returns to work, he could hardly be said to be”incapable” of doing the job for which he is employed. Likewise, ifan employee presents a medical certificate for an absence which was genuinelyon the grounds of ill health, his behaviour could not properly be construed asmisconduct justifying disciplinary intervention. In contrast, where an employerhas reason to believe that the absence is not genuine, this should be dealtwith in line with the company’s disciplinary procedure following a fullinvestigation into the circumstances and reason for the non-attendance at work.Sendingout an SOS… RWhere,then, does this uncertainty leave employers seeking to manage absenteeism inthe workplace? All is not lost as the courts and employment tribunals haveupheld dismissals for short-term persistent absence as falling within thepotentially fair “some other substantial reason” (SOSR) defence tounfair dismissal proceedings. InWilson v The Post Office, 2000, IRLR 834 CA , the Court of Appeal approved thedefence of SOSR in cases of short-term absenteeism. Given the importance ofservice delivery to its business, the Post Office has an attendance procedurewith a number of defined stages agreed with its trade unions and disseminatedthroughout the workforce. Wilson was dismissed for failing to meet thestandards set out in the procedure after a number of warnings. The procedurewas intended to reduce levels of absence and was corrective rather thanpunitive. It fell outside normal disciplinary procedures. Theemployment tribunal which heard the case at first instance held that thedismissal was unfair because, Wilson’s absences being genuine, the dismissalmust be by reason of capability. As Wilson had been declared fit by the companydoctor and had returned to work, it was unfair to dismiss him by reason of lackof capability. However, the Court of Appeal held that Wilson’s dismissal couldfairly be categorised as SOSR. He had failed to meet the standards set out inthe contractually agreed attendance procedure and this was the reason fordismissal. The court remitted the case back to be heard before a freshemployment tribunal to consider whether, on the facts of the case, the companyhad acted reasonably in treating SOSR as the reason for dismissal.Thereasonable employerHavingestablished SOSR as the reason for dismissal, the second prong of an unfairdismissal case requires employers to establish that the decision to dismissfell within the “range of reasonable responses” open to a reasonableemployer under section 98 (4) of the Employment Rights Act.Inthe latest Acas code of practice on disciplinary hearings, it is recommendedthat absence is dealt with outside normal disciplinary procedures. The key to afair dismissal for short-term absence will be in the implementation throughoutthe company of an attendance procedure. Ideally, the procedure should form partof the terms and conditions of employees’ contracts of employment. It should beintroduced in a spirit of consultation with the workforce and, if appropriate,a recognised trade union. Employees must be made aware of the standardsexpected of them and the consequences of failure to meet them.Employersshould take into account the following when managing absenteeism and beforegiving consideration to dismissal:–Employees must be given appropriate warnings (albeit non-disciplinary) thatdismissal may result if their attendance record does not improve.–Employers must carry out a full and fair review of the employee’s attendancerecord and the reasons for the absences.–Employers should consider whether there is an underlying medical conditionwhich may preclude them from proceeding to deal with the case under theattendance procedure. They must take a medical opinion from the company doctor,the employee’s GP and, or, an independent medical specialist. –The impact of the Disability Discrimination Act must be considered (see box).–The employee must be given any opportunity to make representations in hisdefence at every stage of the procedure and certainly before the decision istaken to dismiss. Line managers should meet personally with the employee at areturn to work interview following each bout of absence and before issuing aformal warning.–If, following warnings, the employee’s attendance record does not improve,consideration should be given to dismissal, taking into account the employee’slength of service, performance, the effect of past and future absences on thebusiness, and the likelihood of attendance improving in the future.Draftingan attendance procedure–Employers will be on stronger grounds to defend employment tribunal proceedingsif the procedure forms part of the terms and conditions of employment.–The standards expected must be disseminated through training of line managersand cascaded through to the operational grade employee.–The standards expected must be clearly set out. They should be accompanied by asystem of formal non-disciplinary warnings, for example a first stage warningafter three absences in a six month period; a second warning after threeabsences or more in the next six months and finally consideration being givento dismissal if a further three absences are incurred in the following sixmonths. The standards themselves will depend upon the particular industrysector taking account of such matters as service delivery or productionrequirements.–The implications of a failure to meet the standards (dismissal) must be set outclearly. –Any absences by reason of disability or an accident at work should not becounted towards the attendance record in terms of the procedure.–Every self- or medically-certified absence should be assumed to be genuineunless there is reasonable belief that the employee is malingering, in whichcase the matter should be fully investigated.–A system of return to work interviews should be built into the procedure toensure personal contact with the employee at every stage. –An employee should be accorded the right of appeal to a higher level of managementagainst a decision to dismiss.–A mechanistic approach should never be taken to the procedure and there shouldbe room for managerial discretion in individual cases.           nDavidMorgan is a solicitor in the Glasgow office of UK law firm McGrigor DonaldDisabilitydiscrimination?Whilethe Disability Discrimination Act is more significant in managing long-termabsence cases, it should not be ignored when dealing with sporadic absenteeism.The DDA provides that if an impairment ceases to have a substantial adverseeffect on the employee, it nonetheless is treated as continuing to have thateffect if the effect is likely to recur. Therefore, conditions such as backinjuries or stress-induced ailments such as anxiety and depression may fall withinthis category.Thefailure to take into account the fact that an employee’s absence was caused bya disability may result in a finding not just of unfair dismissal but alsodisability discrimination, with potentially unlimited financial consequences. Inaddition to the direct prohibition of discrimination on the grounds ofdisability, an employer discriminates under the DDA if it fails to comply withthe duty to make a reasonable adjustment. Employers must make reasonableadjustments to ensure that working arrangements do not place disabled employeesat a disadvantage by reason of their disability, as compared with otheremployees who are not disabled, for example, altering the employee’s hours ofwork, allocating some duties to another employee and allowing time off fortreatment or rehabilitation.Employerswith fewer than 15 employees are exempt from the provisions of the DDA.Furthermore, there is a defence of justification for disability discrimination,in situations where the employer has a material and substantial reason for thedetrimental treatment/dismissal. Previous Article Next Article Away again? NaturallyOn 1 Sep 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more


first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. PeopleOn 26 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Being able to put a name to the face every employee in the company is not aclaim many HR professionals can boast, especially if it’s a hotel with morethan 700 staff. Alison Bates does have a bit of an advantage in remembering atleast one name though – her husband of 20 years is the head chef. “We make it a strict rule not to see each other in work. But the factthat we’re in the same business really helps, as we understand the pressuresand sometimes unsociable hours we both face,” she explains. Since she started work at the Welsh resort in 1997, the hotel has undergonea £100m expansion programme which has seen the workforce grow from 200 to 700.Bates has interviewed nearly all of them and it is the hands-on aspect sheenjoys most. “That’s the beauty of this role. You’re with them from the verybeginning and they’re not just anonymous colleagues walking around thehotel.” In her new role she will be more involved with staff welfare issues and HRplanning and hopes to help raise the standards of the resort through thequality of its HR function. With the 2010 Ryder Cup due to be held in Wales,the need for quality people is even greater and Bates is confident that HR willplay a key role in the hotel’s preparation. “The role of HR at Celtic Manor is very important and I’m involved inall aspects of the day-to-day operation, sitting on the strategic planning teamthat addresses future direction of the resort in terms of both the product andthe people,” she explains. CV2001 Personnel manager, Celtic Manor1998 Employment manager, Celtic Manor1997 Recruitment officer, Celtic Manor 1989 Personnel officer, Hilton Hotel, NewportOn the moveMark Carroll has been appointed asrace equality adviser at the Home Office. Carroll has a background indeveloping black and ethnic minority organisations as well as providingconsultancy advice at the most senior levels on diversity and race equality. Hetakes up the role next month following the retirement of Trevor Hall, CBE, andwill be responsible for advising on the promotion, implementation andmonitoring of race equality in Home Office policy and programmes.Jill McCormick is the new group head of training anddevelopment at Carlton Communications. She joins the company from Ernst &Young where she was senior HR manager. McCormick will be responsible forproviding the full range of strategic training and development for staff in thegroup. She will report directly to Tony Williams, the group’s first dedicatedHR director. Previously, she has held HR roles at Arcadia, Woolworth’s andAllied Domecq.Andrew Davie has joined ChivasBrothers as HR director. He takes up the top HR role at the newly formed PernodRicard whiskey business which comprises the brands and operations of CampbellDistillers and Chivas Brothers. Davie joined Pernod Ricard in 1991 and will bepart of a management team of nine reporting directly to chairman and chiefexecutive Georges Nectoux. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

Poor performance

first_imgThe knock-on effects of someone not doing their job properly can bewide-ranging and poor performers may cover up their shortcomings by blaming andbullying others. Poor performance should be investigated thoroughly and dealtwith, by Linda Goldman and Joan Lewis Poor performance may be responsible for a hidden item in the budget of manyemployers. At management levels, the poor performer may cover up defects byblaming and possibly bullying others. The causes of poor performance should beinvestigated, targets set and training offered. Increased stress levels arereported from those who work with or cover up for those who are not carryingout their job properly. At the professional level, retraining should be considered.Capability for doing the job Capability is an issue that has disciplinary connotations. The EmploymentRights Act 1996 sets out a list of potentially fair reasons for dismissalincluding capability for carrying out the work the employee was employed to do.An employer may have sufficient reason to dismiss someone who is not performingto the standard required of the job but must use fair procedures including afull investigation of the circumstances and effect of the poor performance. Itis a relatively recent aspect of dealing with capability issues that theemployee’s health will be considered as a factor, bringing the occupationalhealth team into enquiries. The employer will need to know if there is an underlying health reason foran employee’s persistent mistakes, attempts to delegate tasks within his/herjob description, blaming others for problems in which he/she is directlyimplicated and inexplicable short-term absences at the time when errors areabout to be discovered. The misuse of workplace stress as an underlying excuse for poor performanceis likely to be curtailed by proper application of the guidelines set out inthe recent Court of Appeal decision in a series of cases (Kigass and others)brought by employees claiming compensation for stress-related illness. Properprocedures for monitoring stress and rapid investigation of apparent problemsare increasingly being devised by OH personnel to limit the scope of potentiallitigation. There is anecdotal evidence that there is a pyramid of poor performance inwhich health problems are caused to others by managers manifesting limited ordeteriorating performance. This may feature in situations where a managercannot or will not keep up with new training or modern trends and expects to delegatetasks which he/she is incapable of performing and covers those deficiencies byrelying on years of seniority. The perceived effect is that of bullying junior members of staff to carryout work that may be within their technological capacity, but for which theylack seniority. The downward spiral is almost always along the health route,but may also reflect in a high turnover of junior staff. Professional failures OH professionals are involved in health aspects of poor performance but arenot immune from suffering capability defects. The continuing requirement forpost-qualification education is a great help in keeping up to date with currentrequirements and assisting with the problems of isolation often experienced bythose working in smaller organisations. It may be difficult to carry out a self-assessment on capability, andproblems of poor performance may be under-identified because many OH teams arevery small indeed. In the general medical world, the Royal College ofObstetricians and Gynaecologists has published an action plan, Further Trainingfor Doctors in Difficulty, for retraining gynaecologists who are currently onsuspension or on “garden leave” associated with performanceinquiries. (Visit www.rcog. for further information.) The skeleton ofthe plan could be useful as a scheme for dealing with OH practitioners who needhelp with the way forward in these challenging times. Measuring the performance of members of the occupational health team,especially if there is only one member, is a human resource management issuewhich may well need special protocols and a particular eye on the specific jobdescription of the individual(s) concerned. The OH role is changing anddeveloping so that only part of it now is dealing with fitness of the generalworkforce to carry out the requirements of jobs within the organisation. Thereis the perpetual ‘battle’ with GPs signing people off work, now reflected inthe Government’s new Fitness Desk Aid for GPs which it is generally hoped willresolve the problem of the non-medical diagnosis. These are useful criteria forself-assessment for the poorly performing OH practitioner. Poor performance may require a period of re-thinking as well as retraining.The current GP guidelines state that doctors ” …should always bear inmind that a patient may not be well served in the longer term by medical adviceto refrain from work, if more appropriate clinical management would allow themto stay in work or return to work”. The knock-on effect Regular appraisals will indicate whether employees are fulfilling therequirements of their job description, but a wider approach is needed if theappraiser is the one who is not performing properly. The human resourcedepartment will take a global approach where there are difficult interpersonalrelationships resulting in ill-health or absenteeism in the subordinates orco-workers with any pivotal figure whose poor performance is masked by theeffects that it causes. Any investigation into poor performance should be based on a reasonablesuspicion that there is a problem so as to avoid what may be perceived as awitch-hunt. Further, it should be borne in mind that there will always be anindividual with whom others cannot or will not work. Provided there are nounderlying discrimination issues, there may be some other substantial reason(as covered in the Employment Rights Act 1996) for dismissal since goodemployee relations are crucial to the contract of employment. Whatever thereason for poor performance, it should be uncovered and steps taken to rectifymatters. Unless there has been a catastrophic failure to perform amounting togross misconduct, it is the failure to improve under appropriate supervisionthat can give grounds for dismissal. No excuses An employee cannot claim total lack of knowledge of matters that anyreasonable employee can be expected to have. Thus, it will never be an excusefor an employee to claim ignorance of discrimination issues or to behave insuch a way as could be construed as discriminatory. Failure to perform to the required standard through negligence, laziness orinsubordination is unlikely to amount to lack of capability, but is more likelyto be misconduct. Although there are some matters that are the employment law equivalent of parkingon double lines, all responsible employers will follow correct procedures toestablish whether there is a problem and if it should be dealt with bydiscipline or education. Linda Goldman is a barrister at 7 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn. She is headof training and education for ACT Associates & Virtual Personnel. JoanLewis is the senior consultant and director of ACT Associates and VirtualPersonnel, employment law and advisory service consultancies. LawlineThe Employment Rights Act 1996defines capability under section 98(3)(a) as being “assessed by referenceto skill, aptitude, health or any other physical or mental quality”. Thecapability must relate to the work the employee was employed to do: section98(2)(a). Some characteristics identified as lack of capability are:– inflexibility and lack of adaptability – Abernethy v Mott,Hay and Anderson, 1974, ICR 323, CA.– abrasive and difficult personality disrupting the standardsof co-workers – Bristow v ILEA, 1979, cited in Unfair Dismissal, 2nd Ed, IDSHandbook.Case round-upDismissed as incapableA J Dunning & Sons (Shopfitters) Ltd v Jacomb, 1973, ICR 448 NIRCJ was employed as a contract manager for shopfitters. He wascompetent and experienced. He had “detailed knowledge of building law andwas loyal, conscientious and meticulous”. However, he was argumentativewith clients and unable to compromise with them on their particularrequirements. Some of the clients refused to deal with him. He was dismissed onthe grounds of incapability under the heading “mental quality”.Although skilled in the physical attributes of the job, his dismissal wasupheld as fair as he lacked the necessary aptitude and mental quality forperforming the full range of roles required of a manager. The problem with hisintransigent attitude was such that a warning would have been pointless.Dismissed following a single actof negligenceAlidair Ltd v Taylor, 1978, ICR 445, CAA was a pilot who crashed his plane on landing it. He wasdismissed on the grounds of incapability of carrying out the job he wasemployed to do since the consequences of the single act of negligence werecatastrophic. According to Lord Denning, “Whenever a man is dismissed forincapacity or incompetence it is sufficient that the employer honestly believeson reasonable grounds that the man is incapable or incompetent. It is notnecessary for the employer to prove that he is in fact incapable orincompetent.” Two elements must be satisfied:– is there an genuine belief by the employer in the employee’slack of competence or aptitude for the job?– are there reasonable grounds for such a belief?The tribunal must consider whether the employer formed its viewon the basis of adequate evidence and must not substitute its own view of the employee’scompetence. Thus, it is up to the employer to produce adequate evidence tojustify both the dismissal and to show that it was within a range of reasonableresponses to the offence committed. In this case, although there was only oneoffence committed and the pilot’s previous employment history was unblemished,there were sufficient grounds for the employer to consider him incompetent tocarry out the job he was employed to do. As a question of procedure,  A was fully informed of the charges againsthim and he was given full opportunities to explain his conduct. One spectacularact of incompetence was sufficient grounds for a fair dismissal. A case of constructive dismissalDutton & Clark Ltd v Daly, 1985, IRLR 363D resigned and claimed constructive dismissal after he had beenthe victim of an attack by a fellow employee. The employer is under a duty ofcare under the criminal law (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, s.2) and acommon law to ensure that the employee is offered a safe place and system ofwork. Any bullying case carries the potential for a claim for damages by thevictim in addition to compensation for violation of employment rights. Thebully is most likely to be carrying out an act or acts of gross misconduct, butmay be doing so to cover up his/her own incompetence. The employer is requiredto maintain and monitor a safe workplace to ensure that the employee is able toperform his/her contractual duties without risk to health.Liability in stress casesSutherland (Chairman of the Governors of St Thomas Becket RC HighSchool) v Hatton, Somerset County Council v Barber, Sandwell MetropolitanCouncil v Jones and Baker Refractories Ltd v Bishop, 2002, IRLR 263The main factors the courts will consider in determiningliability in “stress” cases are:– there are no special control mechanisms for”stress” – ordinary employer liability applies– the employer will be liable if the harm was reasonablyforeseeable – subject to causation, there must be an identifiable injury tohealth(ie, a diagnosed illness)– causation must be established: any diagnosed illness must beattributable to stress at work – the court will look at what the employer knew or ought tohave known about the alleged stress factors– foreseeability depends on what the employer knows or ought tohave known about the individual. It may be harder to foresee mental disordersthan physical, unless other factors pertain, such as known vulnerability– the test applies whatever the occupation– risk assessments should cover objective and subjectivecriteria (that is covering the perspective of employer and employee)– a full risk assessment will take note of external factorsthat might increase the employee’s vulnerability to stress, including domesticand social factors so that these may be excluded from litigation– employers who take steps to reduce stress and offerconfidential advice services, such as occupational health and counsellingservices to employees, are less likely to be found to be in breach of the dutyof care. Previous Article Next Article Poor performanceOn 1 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Accounting for People: taskforce members

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Accountingfor people: Taskforce membersDeniseKingsmill – deputy chairman of the Competition Commission. Kingsmill is alawyer, specialising in industrial relations, employment law and corporategovernanceHelenAlexander – chief executive, The Economist GroupPattiBellinger – group vice-president of global diversity and inclusion at BPDavidBishop – senior adviser to KPMGProfessorSandra Dawson – KPMG professor of management, and director of the JudgeInstitute of Management, University of CambridgeFredGoodwin – group chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland GroupEdSmith – partner and board member of PriceWaterhouse CoopersJohnSunderland – chief executive officer of Cadbury SchweppesEdSweeney – general secretary of UNIFI Related posts:No related photos. Accounting for People: taskforce membersOn 20 May 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Lords opt to investigate UK working time opt-out

first_img Previous Article Next Article AHouse of Lords sub-committee has launched an inquiry into the UK’s ‘opt-out’from the EU Working Time Directive, which gives staff the right to choose towork longer than 48 hours.Thechairman of the committee, Lord Williamson of Horton, said he recognised thatemployers need flexibility to meet global business challenges, but alsoappreciated that workers need protection from exploitation and the right tochoose long hours.”Manypeople also want a better work-life balance,” he said. “We need tore-examine the UK’s opt-out from all these angles.”Onaverage, UK workers spend more time at work than those in other EU membersstates. Why is that, and who benefits?” he asked.Williamsonsaid the committee wants to investigate the implications of two European Courtof Justice judgments which ruled that the time hospital doctors spent asleepwhile on-call could be counted as working time.Thegroup is asking for interested parties to send in written evidence by 23February.Thegroup’s findings will feed directly into the first phase of the EuropeanCommission’s review of the aims to answer the following questions:–How is the UK’s opt-out working? –How important is it to the UK’s economy? –What about other factors?–What are the consequences of the ECJ rulings about doctor’s on-call? Comments are closed. Lords opt to investigate UK working time opt-outOn 10 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Ireland ready to legislate to overcome the bullies

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts: Ireland ready to legislate to overcome the bulliesOn 28 Sep 2004 in Ireland, Personnel Today Seven engagement survey myths and how to bust themMonitoring employee sentiment will be vital in helping organisations chart their recovery from the coronavirus crisis, but this needs to… The Irish Government has indicated it will bring in stronger legislation tocombat workplace bullying if a new body set up to examine the problemrecommends it.Frank Fahey, minister for labour affairs, announced the establishment of an expertadvisory group on bullying in the workplace earlier this month.Fahey has described bullying as a definite workplace hazard, but acceptedthat there were no scientific statistics on the incidence of workplacebullying.“For some time, I have been concerned at the loss of work days,ill-health effects, including stress, the workplace difficulties and generaldysfunctional work cultures caused by bullying and the resulting stress.“I want the experts to make recommendations to identify effective responsesto bullying so as to produce tangible improvements in workplaces,” Faheysaid.The Health and Safety Authority in Irelandcurrently operates an anti-bullying unit that co-ordinates the state’s responseto allegations of workplace bullying by referring complainants to theappropriate agencies. However, that has been met withlimited success.Fahey said the Government needed “to take stock” of where it wason its strategy and “consider introducing preventative practices andprocedures” to address the challenges arising from bullying.The expert group is due to report back its findings to the minister withinthe next three months.By Mike Berry Immigration minister: Get your sponsor licence applications in nowThe minister for future borders and immigration has advised employers wishing to continue to recruit skilled workers from abroad next…last_img read more

Comment on Terrifying recruitment stories. In 6 words! by Alan

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comment on Terrifying recruitment stories. In 6 words! by AlanShared from Alan on 2 Dec 2015 in Personnel Today Vacancy has been open for monthsOther agencies are cheaperAll you agencies are the sameRead full article Comments are closed.last_img

World of Learning enables visitors to explore, understand and act upon the latest developments in L&D

first_img A much-anticipated event in the L&D calendar, the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition returns to Birmingham’s NEC on 17 & 18 October 2017.Bringing together senior-level L&D professionals with industry leaders and technology, World of Learning combines a world-class conference boasting an exceptional line-up of L&D innovators and practitioners with an exhibition showcasing over 100 L&D solution and service providers.A range of interactive areas, including a Virtual Reality Suite, Technology Test Drive, and the timely Apprenticeship Zone ensure World of Learning is an essential event for L&D professionals.Keynote presentations from eminent names such as consultant, trainer and author Dr Fons Trompenaars, and Geoff Stead, Director of Digital at Cambridge English, Cambridge University, frame a conference tackling issues at the heart of L&D today and into the future.Opening the conference, Dr Fons Trompenaars will draw on his 25 years’ plus experience helping enterprises such as BP, Heineken and Philips as he shares unique insights with the World of Learning Conference audience on how workplace learning must and will evolve.Day two of the conference is opened by keynote speaker, Louise Brownhill, Chief Learning Officer at PwC, as she explores what defines a strong learning culture, while later in the day Ben Betts, CEO of HT2, will present a session on ‘Campaign learning: your strategy to deliver performance support’.Returning for his third year as Conference Chair is author and L&D expert Robin Hoyle. In his closing keynote presentation, Robin will examine what it takes to create an effective learning environment.Robin comments: “I’ve been involved in World of Learning for many years. My aim and the aim of the team who work tirelessly to bring this event to fruition, is to ensure pragmatic, evidence-based and practical lessons for the L&D professional.”The renowned conference runs in parallel with the free-to-attend World of Learning Exhibition where visitors can meet more than a hundred L&D providers. The exhibition also encompasses a comprehensive programme of free seminars and a range of interactive areas offering practical advice and real-time experience of tools and technologies.New for 2017, eLearning Studios (ELS) will be hosting the VR Suite within the exhibition, showcasing the very best examples of VR for skills and performance. An additional chance to get hands on with technology is offered at the Technology Test Drive, while Learning Design Live will be of interest to those involved in the design of learning technology.This conference of seven seminars will cover topics such as Designing digital learning for the post-SCORM world and Design hacks to drive learning culture.With the introduction this year of the Apprenticeship Levy, experts will be on hand in the Apprenticeship Zone to provide guidance on running an apprenticeship programme which delivers optimum results for business.Tracy Shah, Director at Venture Marketing Group, which hosts the show, summarises: “L&D professionals are under pressure not only to support their organisations with maximum effect in an environment of rapid change, but to do it visibly and measurably.“Bringing thought-leadership and the chance to experience best practice and technology together, World of Learning will empower visitors to explore, understand and act upon the latest developments in L&D so that they can deliver exactly the results demanded.”For more details and to book the World of Learning Exhibition 2017 visit or call 020 8394 5171.For the latest news and updates about the World of Learning 2017, read the World of Learning Blog at, follow the exhibition on Twitter at #WOL17, join the World of Learning Conference & Exhibition group on LinkedIn.The World of Learning 2017 is held in association with the British Institute for Learning & Development.• To book your place on the conference visit or call +44 (0)20 8394 5171• For more information on all aspects of the event please visit*Terms and conditions apply. Please visit for full details. Previous Article Next Article World of Learning enables visitors to explore, understand and act upon the latest developments in L&DOn 9 Oct 2017 in PROMOTED CONTENT, Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Websitelast_img read more