week’s letters

should demand more bank holidays

read Stephen Overell’s excellent article (Off message, 30 September), my eyes
were suddenly drawn to my desk planner. As if by magic, an array of European
bank holidays suddenly appeared before my eyes. 

to my planner, the nearest rival to the UK for bank holidays per year (we have
eight) is the Netherlands, which has a paltry 10. Moving on up, business
‘giants’ such as Norway and Denmark get 13 apiece. France boasts a proud 15.
Think that’s tres bon? Go and work in Germany. There, you’ll get 17 days a

German model would never be embraced here. Sceptics would point to German
unemployment levels, for example. But Germany has never been associated with
unproductive workforces or a lack of innovative thinking, now has it?

the Working Time Directive is about to be reviewed, allied to the possibility
(remote as it is) of the UK opt-out being taken away, I foresee a potential
‘get out of jail free’ card being played by the Government. It could say: ‘Why
not bring us into line with the Dutch? Surely an extra couple of bank holidays
each year will keep Brussels off our backs’.

this suggestion be made (and I hope that I’m way off the mark), I sincerely
hope the EU has the courage to challenge it, and finally takes note of its member
states’ interests – not just those that it believes will embrace the workers’
right to a decent work-life balance.

some respects the concept of a proud, hard-working British work ethic has been
fundamental to our success over the years. But how much longer will this
particular strain of ’employee goodwill’ be tolerated before people demand a
piece of the Danish/Norwegian cake?

HR manager, CIPD qualifications should be gained

qualifications should be gained

than complaining about organisations who prefer to recruit HR practitioners
with Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualifications
(Letters, 7 October), individuals should concentrate their efforts on achieving
the qualification.

recently achieved graduate membership, and while a great deal of commitment and
dedication is required, I found the whole experience to be thoroughly
worthwhile. The qualification process has taught me a great deal, and has made
me a more proficient HR practitioner.

HR practitioner who is not CIPD qualified but believes they already know all
the answers, should start to study immediately. They will find the whole
experience to be so easy, they will simply sail through.

Personnel officer, Bristol Port

professions must measure standards

strongly disagree with Alasdair Martin’s view of the Chartered Institute of
Personnel and Development (CIPD) (Letters, 7 October). While there are many in
HR who shouldn’t be there, just as many hold HR qualifications as those that

can’t have a profession without a measure of standards. The CIPD provides that

worked hard to get my CIPD qualification by means of exams and professional
assessment of competence.

latter requires an individual to prepare a portfolio of how their background
and expertise match the CIPD’s professional standards. This, along with
work-based evidence, personal statements and written reports, are required to
show your knowledge and operational skills.

then spent a number of years expanding my knowledge and experience to get me to
the stage where I was qualified to become a fellow of the CIPD.

would like to see the CIPD become far more professional, and begin to
discipline anybody who breaks its standards and codes of practice, in the same
way as the Law Society does if its members fail to meet the standards it

the Law Society, the CIPD should demand that once you have passed your exams,
you should then have to complete an equivalent of Articles.

theory of human resources is all very well, but HR professionals also need to
display proven practical knowledge.

Head of HR, Cofathec Heatsave

value-led culture  impacts on success

is refreshing to see Marks & Spencer invest so successfully in employee
engagement (News, 23 September). But it is lamentable that real employee
engagement is still comparatively rare in UK businesses.

is particularly surprising as many companies have demonstrated the impact that
a value-led culture can have on corporate success and the bottom line. A clear
organisational purpose, strongly led from the top and supported by line
managers, is a critical factor in success.

studies by TMI, Gallup, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
and Sears, have shown how motivation, job satisfaction and commitment directly
correlate to high performance, customer loyalty and spend.

message to managers is that they hold the key to unlocking the potential of
their people. They can build a person’s self-belief and image, thus driving
their performance level. When done well, the results are astonishing.

Head of consulting, TMI UK

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