Kickstart productivity by focusing on basics

The
surprise quarter per cent cut in the interest rate last week will not make a
huge difference to British manufacturing. 
While it was welcomed, confidence in the sector is falling. There are
concerns that imbalances in the economy, between a weak manufacturing sector
and strong consumption, might get worse, along with the prospect of 40,000
manufacturing jobs disappearing in the first quarter of 2003.

The
outlook for UK productivity continues to look bleak. But while HR grapples with
the repercussions of all this on the workplace, it is important to remain
focused on the fundamental actions you can take to help your business.

This
week, we have produced our own White Paper on productivity. It is designed to
present a way forward on what HR can contribute to improving
competitiveness.   

In
keeping with White Papers, we’ve set aside a consultation period of two weeks
to receive feedback from readers, employer organisations and other interested
parties.

We
want the magazine to be seen as a conduit for ideas, experiences and views, and
intend to collate this material and present it to the Government to inform the
productivity debate.

Data
protection made easy

There
are some sharp crooks out there. One of them saw the uncertainty among employers
surrounding the implementation of the Data Protection Act, and set up an
effective scam.

It
distributed official-looking letters to thousands of employers demanding a data
protection registration fee, and warned recipients they would be fined £5,000
if they did not pay it promptly.

The
swindle is symptomatic of a wider confusion over compliance with data
protection, and the blame lies fair and square with the Information Commission.

Personnel
Today has campaigned hard over the past two years to get the commission’s
guidance on data protection simplified. And at last, we appear to have an
Information Commissioner with some sense.

Newly
appointed Richard Thomas has made a commitment to clarify all four codes. This
is very welcome news, but he needs to get on with it and give employers the
support they urgently need.   

By
Jane King

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