You would think that with all the publicity about the forthcoming age legislation, most organisations would be well-prepared for it, with appropriate policies in place. But, for some, it is more a case of ‘if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done’.
Leading employment law firms are apparently getting panic calls from companies desperate for advice on what action they should take to ensure they don’t leave themselves exposed to claims come 1 October. With only a month to go, one law firm was astounded that there is still a market for seminars on age, which get booked up as soon as they are announced.
But apart from making lawyers money, the point of the new law is to protect staff of all ages and to guarantee fair treatment for all. So, for those of you putting the finishing touches to your age policies, our employment law special (starting on page 26) identifies the danger areas in five key sectors, helping you to focus on the things most likely to catch you out. There is also insight into how to prepare for an employment tribunal (page 36) – something which, with sound people practices designed and delivered by on-the-ball HR staff, organisations should be able to avoid.
HR director status on the up
As Clare Chapman’s move illustrates, organisations are increasingly prepared to pay a premium for the expertise and experience of a top-notch HR director. Interestingly, it’s not always the large companies that offer the highest salaries for their head of HR. But the demand for commercially savvy HR directors – who often have multiple job offers to choose from – has boosted HR’s earning power quite considerably.
Overall, it’s great to hear that the salaries of leading HR professionals can match or beat those of fellow execs from other disciplines, and are also commensurate to the value they add to their organisations.