Guru’s yearly round-up


The case of Durant v Social Services kicks off the year, determining what constitutes ‘personal data’ under Subject Access Requests (SARs). Guru can’t see why this is so important – surely no-one in their right mind would request a killer virus? Meanwhile, Informa-tion Commissioner Richard Thomas says he will reform advice about data protection. It’s too late for Guru, who is already sitting at home having tea in a full radiation suit.


The Gershon Report… err… reports – not good news for HR in the public sector. While the Government stops short of dragging entire HR departments out into the street and shooting them, it looks as if the profession will be as popular as Boris Johnson in a Liverpool Working Men’s Club. Apparently,
e-HR will replace these poor people. This is interesting as up to this point anything pre-fixed by an ‘E’ (numbers, the drug) was ‘bad’. To keep pace with this social swing, Guru loads up on cheap cola and goes clubbing.


MI5 goes on a massive recruitment drive, att-racting about 4,000 enquiries from an intri-gued public. Having applied, Guru is told his blue complexion attracts unwelcome atten-tion. Meanwhile, Tory health chappie Tim Yeo tells Personnel Today that the NHS needs until 2010 to sort itself out. This is obviously too long for Mr Yeo, who, at the time of writing, has scampered to the post of shadow secre-tary of state for environment & transport


The fallout from Gershon begins with the PCS union organising a day out/strike for about 100,000 people from the Department of Work and Pensions. Perhaps it is not a coincidence that trade union membership rises for the first time since Labour came to power. Is Gordon Brown the April Fool?


In the spirit of good old British xenophobia, Guru has a good laugh at the French as it turns out their noble plans for a short working week aren’t working. It’s a bit like the French Revolu-tion all over again, as people start losing their heads and demanding a longer working week.


The Independent Inquiry into Drug Testing at Work concludes that drug testing is to rocket. Guru can’t understand how asking staff to test drugs in the office will raise productivity, but still does his best to enter into the spirit of things. The rest of the month passes in a bit of a haze until a pink flying aardvark tells Guru that he has come in at number 32 in Personnel Today’s Top 50 Power Players in HR.


Yeah, and on the seventh month Guru rested. He looked upon his creation and saw that it was good. And there was much rejoicing.


Personnel Today reveals that the Government is to co-fund a Trade Union Academy so that union reps can negotiate better with business. Guru starts his own academy so that employers can fight back. Unfortunately, take-up is small, as aggressive negotiations don’t usually involve kung fu, apparently. Yet another missed oppor-tunity for bosses, who have clearly forgotten the old adage: ‘violence solves everything’.


Despite HR trumpeting the benefits of equa-lity and all-round pleasantness, women in HR are being paid up to 20 per cent less than their male counterparts. Moreover, three-quarters of HR folk say they have been bullied at work, according to a Personnel Today survey. This harks back to the question of where trade unionists go if they want representation at work. Who guards the guardians? Where is the shoulder for HR to cry on? Fortunately, there is no real need for one. Just bypass the normal routes and make sure the cad is fired. Abuse of power – always a winner.


The Archbishop of York’s job is being advertised for the first time in its history. Guru would like to invite all readers to his investiture next year. HR-leluyah!


News of a government drive on health, HSE stress standards and the CBI conference are eclipsed by the announcement that Tube staff are to get 52 days holiday a year as well as a reduction in their working week. Anyone want to put a wager on how many other peo-ple are going to get on to this bandwagon?


It’s almost Christmas time and Guru resolves to be less bitter and cynical in future – unless something happens to tick him off that is. Bring on next year!

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