This week’s letters

How will directive affect my firm?

My company – MPI Limited – employs temporary workers in the engineering,
electronic and aircraft industries. We currently have about 1,200 contractors.

In most cases, our temporary workers receive an hourly rate about one-third
more than the permanent staff rates of our customers with whom they work. On
average, our temporary workers stay with our customers for approximately five
months. Will the EU temps directive mean we have to reduce the hourly rate to
our temporary workers to the same rate as that of our customer’s staff?

If this directive goes through, we will have to ensure that they have the
same benefits as our customers’ employees after six weeks, but then if they
move to a different customer, they will almost certainly have different pay
rates, pension rights, etc, than they were receiving in their last job. I am
most interested to see how this is going work.

SJ Bond
Chairman, MPI Limited

E-learning must be ‘sophisticated’

The e-learning survey in the article ‘Online is the way to go’ (News, 19
March), shows that people feel let down by the training they had received.

They had a right to feel let down – e-learning has to be far more
sophisticated than the model inflicted on those questioned. It can be an
incredibly dynamic way to learn, but it needs to include pre-assessments,
testing, interactive role-plays, online mentoring, peer discussion forums and
post-training support.

It must form part of a broader picture. A truly effective learning programme
needs to embrace more than just e-learning. It needs to understand the needs of
every individual and be able to prescribe a personalised learning programme for
each member of staff, incorporating a range of content and learning techniques.

Karina Ward
Marketing communications manager, NETg

One-sided nature of your campaign

I have read many of the articles in your Refugees in Employment Campaign. I
am concerned at the one-sided nature of your campaign – you must be aware this
is a complex issue.

It would be helpful if you acknowledged some issues that may be regarded as
inconvenient by those advocating large-scale migration under whatever name they
choose to call it.

Examples include the widespread and organised abuse of the asylum system and
how the whole issue is dominated by small, vocal pressure groups whose response
to any attempt at debate often consists of name-calling and accusations of

Ray Scullion
via e-mail

The Refugees in Employment Campaign does not advocate large-scale
immigration nor the abuse of the asylum system in the UK. It only aims to
remove the obstacles to employment for refugees and asylum seekers who are
permitted to work in the UK.

Noel O’Reilly
Editor, Personnel Today

B&Q spends more on CSR projects

The article ‘Morals under the microscope’ (Research viewpoint, 19 March), is

It is ludicrous to say that at B&Q we spend more on promoting our work
on social responsibility than on the initiatives themselves.

The article does not tackle the issue of how you make the thousands of
charitable organisations aware of the awards and grants that we have made

When we ran our You Can Do It awards without advertising on TV, we were
criticised for not publicising them enough – now we get this kind of cynical

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Personnel Today for many years and will
continue to do so, hopefully for many years to come. But I would like to think
that what I am reading is correct.

Ray Baker
Head of social responsibility, B&Q

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