This week’s guru

Old Bill becomes sick bill – and HR cops it

Compensation culture is no joking matter, with the Ministry of Defence
facing a £97m bill last year.

While Guru accepts that many soldiers deserve sizable payments the figures
are becoming ridiculous. One of our finest received £387,000 for negligent
treatment of warts.

Last week, police officers involved in the Bradford race riots threatened to
launch a multi-million pound damages claim against the force. Having bricks
thrown at you is not a nice job, but it is part of the job.

While Guru recently suggested that few trainee HR staff want to grow up to
manage train drivers, the same will soon apply to the police. With sickness and
medical retirement costing the force more than £200m a year and each officer
taking 11.5 days off sick a year on average, HR has its work cut out.

Paddling by lilois the easy part

Guru is concerned at the desperate attempts asylum seekers are making to get
to Britain. Last week, two exhausted Lithuanians were rescued in the Channel as
they attempted to paddle to England on kids’ lilos.

The pair would have thought twice about this voyage had they known that when
they arrived there was little chance of finding a decent job – even if they
were genuine cases and highly skilled. After residing in the UK for six months,
they would have to gather all sorts of paperwork to prove they were eligible to
work, the employment service would struggle to match their skills to jobs and
potential employers would be tied up in red tape.

At least Personnel Today’s Refugees in Employment Campaign is trying to make
it easier for firms to tap a pool of skilled, productive labour.

The heat turnson Mayor Ken

The Mayor of London should remind himself of the saying about throwing
stones when you live in a glass house. While the Greater London Authority is
encouraging City employers to introduce solar energy into new buildings, its
new City Hall is yet to have solar panels included in its plans. And an
official report leaked last week warned that the glass building on the South
Bank that will act as Ken Livingstone’s HQ could suffer from sick building syndrome,
glare and high humidity in the summer, leading to staff absenteeism.

Take note Ken, PPP isn’t the only issue on the agenda.

Tell me why, I don’t like wednesdays

Plenty of popular beat combos have criticised Monday (Boomtown Rats, Mamas
and Papas, the Bangles). Few have picked on Wednesday.

For employers this is a dangerous day of the week, according to research by which has found that Wednesday is when disgruntled staff look for
new jobs.

The solution? HR should introduce a regular midweek lunch to boost morale
and turn Wednesday into a feedback day – in other words say nice things about
your staff. Managers are also advised to save good news – bonuses, promotions,
a dog-walking scheme – for a midweek briefing, and should lay on a perk, such
as a massage at the desk or a breakfast.

If none of these appeal, have a word with IT and make sure the system goes
down on a Wednesday afternoon.

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