This month’s letters

Annualised hours an all-round solution

I read, with interest, the article "Time to take stress at work
seriously" in which consultant Cynthia Atwell asks "Could the working
day be modified to allow employees with family and other commitments to work at
their convenience?" (Occupational Health, December).

The introduction of an annualised hours system can provide a more flexible
working culture for employees.

This is what MD Foods has done, providing a more accurate way of allocating
staff to meet business demands, while reducing the long hours culture and
unnecessary overtime.

This method of working requires employees to work a number of hours over an
annual total with a fixed salary.

Longer hours are rostered for busy periods with more time off during quieter

Smart PeopleTime software is used to measure and plan the annualised hours

As a result, MD Foods is benefiting from significant cost savings, staff are
only working when business demands require it of them, and overtime is

Employees, meanwhile, are benefiting from greater stability in earnings
across the year, longer periods of leisure time and are much more productive.

If managed successfully this method of working may contribute to reducing
stress and sickness in the workplace.

Janice Gibson
Public relations officer, Smart PeopleTime
E-mail: janiceg@smartpeopletime.com

Be seen to be driving standards up

I am the occupational health specialist at Lotus Cars in Norwich and I am
interested in facilitating a national group of occupational health
professionals within the motor industry. I believe that this group could help
with quality benchmarking, sharing ideas and good practice and the setting of
quality standards for occupational health within the motor industry.

Please contact me on 01953 608270 if you are interested in this project,
or if you know of a similar scheme that exists already.

Ken Ferguson, occupational health adviser, Group Lotus
E-mail: Kferguson@lotuscars.co.uk

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