CIPD vows to fight for a voice in government

The CIPD is poised to make a bid for greater influence over government decision-making.

A spokesman told Personnel Today that the institute planned to “expand resources” to improve links with the Government shortly.

And CIPD president Don Beattie used last week’s annual conference in Harrogate to invite the Chancellor of the Exchequer to take on board the expertise of the institute.

Beattie said Gordon Brown’s recent invitation to the traditional social partners, the CBI and the TUC, to sit down with the Government to kickstart improvements to the UK’s productivity would not be enough.

“We believe this is too narrow a definition of the social partners,” Beattie said.

“We are proving that the use of progressive people practices is linked to superior performance. We invite the Chancellor to ensure that this evidence and the contribution of our members, are fully taken into account.”

A CIPD spokesman said that the institute would stop short of joining the CBI and the TUC in formal talks on industrial policy.

“The old models of consultation no longer work at either government or workplace level,” said head of communications Nick Isles. “You need a much broader range of opinion and we can offer the practical insights that are so often missing.”

Delegates at the conference were split on whether the CIPD should become more political. Frank Sharp, director of HR for East of Scotland Water, said, “The number of changes in legislation and regulations that have been done on the hoof leading to bad law does make a case for the input of HR professionals.”

But Sean McIlveen, HR manager for Ford, said a greater role for the CIPD on the national stage had to be “earned by the robustness and rigour of its research”.

He added, “It already has an ability to influence, but it is a very different body from the TUC.”

By Stephen Overell

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