This week’s guru

So does the CBI know something we don’t?

Where would we be without the CBI? Well, apparently operating in a scary
employee-led business environment – or so it claims anyway.

The director-general of the CBI isn’t afraid to take credit for recent
victories for employers. In its latest internal magazine Business Voice, it
seems as if the CBI battled single-handedly on the regulatory front. Digby
Jones claims the CBI defeated proposals for a statutory right for those
returning from maternity leave to work part-time if they wanted to.

Does Digby know something we don’t? Remember the Work and Parents Task Force
is still examining the rights of parents with young kids to work part-time and
is reporting to the Government later this year.

While Guru accepts that part-time working will not be automatic, Digby
shouldn’t be counting his chickens yet. Staff could end up with a right to
request part-time working and the onus will be on employers to prove why they

Head of the RUC HR in our sights

The vernacular used by journalists can sometimes get you into trouble. Guru
nearly caused a security alert at the Royal Ulster Constabulary last week
through a total misunderstanding. Personnel Today has written recently about
Joe Stewart, first civilian head of HR at the RUC. It is a big and sensitive
job and there are security risks attached. So when people start bombarding the
RUC with communications about needing a clear headshot of their new head of HR,
it starts getting nervous.

Guru was clearly after a nice picture of Joe, and he’ll explain that to the
authorities when he feels confident enough to come out of hiding.

Ian ensures no Blades runners

In this sensitive anti-discriminatory age, Ian Anderson should beware. His
Sheffield-based company, The Designers Republic, launched a recruitment drive
to find two designers. As the bottom of the advert it stated, "E-mailed
CVs not accepted. No personal callers. No Blades."

Blades, as we all know, are Sheffield Utd fans. Anderson – clearly a
Sheffield Wednesday fan – managed to insult at least half the town in one fell
swoop with his joke.

Guru is a Shrimper (everyone knows that one) with an irrational hatred of
West Ham and Canvey Island fans, but he doesn’t let it affect his working day.

It’s official, the chicken came first

Microsoft’s clever director of people, profit and loyalty has finally
answered an age-old question about the chicken and the egg.

Steve Harvey has irrefutable evidence that the chicken came before the egg.
The company has launched a service with lifestyle management company Ten UK to
provide some of Microsoft’s senior managers with support in balancing their
work and home lives.

Harvey’s first assignment for his lifestyle manager was to find a rare breed
of chicken and provide his Oxfordshire farmhouse with six laying hens and a
cockerel. He was impressed when within 48 hours the chicken hunt was
successfully completed and he is now fortified with a freshly laid egg before
he starts work.

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