Earrings not very PC, says police chief


Hampshire police chief constable Paul Kernaghan is facing a bit of a rebellion after he introduced a new dress code to smarten up his bobbies.

The problem came following a ban on male officers wearing earrings. Apparently, this is in breach of sexual discrimination legislation because ‘most gay blokes I know wear earrings’, according to Tory councillor for Southsea, Lee Hunt.

The argument goes that earrings are a part of the social scene and if women can wear earrings, why can’t men? The other side point out that rightly or wrongly, the public prefer policemen not to wear them.

As usual, those who shout the loudest will probably get their way. But Guru has a question. Will straight officers who wear earrings be able to threaten proceedings for effectively being ‘outed’ due to their aural jewellery?

Serial daddy dreams of his second holiday

A few weeks ago, Guru’s investigative wing, ‘Ear to the Ground’, reported of a man who was thrown out of an HR manager’s office when he tried to get paternity leave after getting his girlfriend pregnant.

The scoundrel had already used his previous paternity leave – while his wife gave birth – for a holiday with his mates, so you can understand HR’s lack of patience.

But disciple Tim sent in the following caveat about this tale:

“You may jest, but one of our associated companies refused to grant an employee paternity leave for a wife and a girlfriend, and now has a five-day jaunt at Stratford Employment Tribunal coming up in the summer.”

This seems to be an area where HR has little experience, so it’s not surprising the profession is having teething problems. Just remember to be assertive with staff – there’s nothing worse than a pregnant pause.

Guru rough justice fails to impress

After an article about whether someone contracted to work Monday to Wednesday should be allowed an extra day off because they missed the Good Friday holiday, Guru has been inundated with advice on the situation.

Guru recommended that the offending party be offered the most flexible package available – redundancy. Apparently, not to the liking of some disciplesÉ

“I am sure you are teasing with your apparent lack of knowledge around part-time workers’ rights! You obviously know that anyone on a part-time contract should have a pro rata allocation of bank holidays, to ensure that they are treated equally and fairly!” said ‘F’.

Meanwhile, ‘M’ from the DVLA explained the ever-so-simple civil service approach:

“If you work part-time, you will be allowed proportionate time off for public or privilege holidays. This is calculated in proportion to the number of hours (net) worked per week, irrespective of whether the privilege days fall on days on which you would normally work. This is calculated by the formula: hours worked per week multiplied by public and privilege holidays (in hours), divided by conditioned hours (net).”

Well, that clears that up then. Any questions?

Out-of-town manager revved up for life in the fast lane

Which catalogue company needs to box the ears of a senior manager?

A recent survey showed that 10 per cent of UK workers have charged something onto expenses that they shouldn’t have. Maybe lunch for a friend, or a couple of drinks, but usually not a car.

The company in question – who to our knowledge still don’t know about this – was paying for a manager to stay in a plush hotel while he was away on an extended project.

What they didn’t know was that he was staying in a run-down motel at a fraction of the price and pocketing the difference. He has made so much out of the scam that he is now the proud owner of a shiny Porsche Boxster.

Do you have any true stories about your (or anyone’s) workplace that you’d like to see in ‘Ear to the Ground’? They will be kept strictly anonymous and you will be able to bathe in a sense of righteous satisfaction. Please send them to guru@personneltoday.com

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