Masterclasses tackle poor working time practices

Trade
and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt today announced a series of free
masterclasses to help companies learn how to overcome inefficient working time
practices.

The
nine masterclasses, to take place throughout the UK, will give companies the
chance to learn how other organisations have benefited from innovative working
time solutions.

The
specific issues the classes will explore include:


Managing high client demands (eg 24-hour service provision)


Tackling ‘hot spots’ of long hours within particular departments/teams


Creating flexible working arrangements, such as annualised hours


Overcoming presenteeism


Revising schedules and rotas

Hewitt
said: "Lots of businesses want to challenge the long-hours culture, and
give their businesses and staff some sense of control and choice, while
maintaining or even increasing productivity. Unfortunately, even today, many
just don’t know how.

"These
masterclasses will give them an opportunity to learn from other firms who’ve
already made improvements to their work practices, and have seen the
benefits."

The
CBI and the TUC are both partners in the project, the findings of which will be
published in the summer of 2005.

Paul
Sellers of the TUC said: ”We welcome this move to spread good practice in
working time. Our view is that long hours can be tackled by improving work
organisation. Many of the examples in this series showcase the contribution
that unions can make to this process.

Organisations
interested in taking part in the masterclasses or wanting to find out more
about the project should contact Barbara Limon on 0207 960 7438, or e-mail Barbara.limon@eoc.org.uk

By Daniel Thomas

    

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