This week’s letters

Letter of the week
‘Corporate killing’ is PC claptrap

The correspondents to your Letters page (3 July) suggest that it is right
for one responsible person, no matter how far removed, potentially to go to
prison due to the lack of care or common sense of one of the company’s
employees who then dies in service. This is politically correct claptrap.

Personnel Today should get a message to Tony Blair, every police
commissioner and fire service officer whose employees risk their lives every
day – how long before they are all in jail as the named "chief

There is no such thing as corporate killing – I cannot accept that anyone
goes out with the intention of causing death to their employees.

Corporate complacency, corporate irresponsibility maybe, but corporate
killing is a tabloid sensationalist label which you would do well to expunge
from your otherwise sensible journal.

Graeme Loveland
Via e-mail

Childless staff want flexibility

I was pleased to read that HR personnel from the private and public sector
have been included in this Government task force in HR to advise on flexible
hours law, (News, 3 July).

However, the comment made by Sir George Bain, chairman of the new work and
parents task force, implies that only working parents want to work flexibly.

This is obviously not true, as many employees would like the chance.

It would be a shame, therefore, if the HR advisers and other members of the
task force took "family friendly" policies to mean only those with

This is a chance for the HR profession to show how flexible practices can
work to the advantage of all employees, the employer and the Government.

Eileen Wood
HR administrator
Via e-mail

Take time to pick the best agencies

Your letters Agencies could care more and Recruitment must rip up the rule
book compelled me to write (Letters, 19 June).

As a recruitment consultant specialising in HR, I have more exposure to the
function than most recruitment consultants.

Both myself and my colleagues have encountered ageism when recruiting, and
are often asked to find 30- to 35-year-old candidates because a person aged
40-plus "would not fit in", or we are asked specifically for a man or
a woman.

On top of this, we have to work around clients, whose processes can be
unacceptably lengthy, feedback on interviews poor (or non-existent) and
briefings and requirements changed without discussion with us. This reflects
badly on us as agencies, but is often beyond our control.

I accept that there are many poor agencies out there, but you don’t have to
use them.

My advice is to use fewer agencies for the same brief, work with agencies
recommended to you, build up a relationship and brief them properly. You are
then much more likely to get the results you want and you will find that
service improves substantially.

However, only you can do something about the ageism we often encounter and
the image that candidates are left with of your company.

Lindsey Newman
Recruitment consultant, Carr-Lyons Search and Selection

Setting the record straight on UPS

I would like to clarify some issues raised in the article about UPS in the
Who dares travel? (Careerwise, 26 June).

I do not think unfavourably of UK HR practices, and certainly not those at
UPS. My comments that the UK is less advanced in some respects than Australia,
from where I relocated two years ago, referred to questions I’ve been asked by
some UK recruitment agencies, which would be illegal in Australia.

Also, the introduction of parental leave in 1999 was surprising compared to
standards already implemented in Australia.

I have no connection with UPS HQ in Atlanta, as the article suggested. UPS’
Europe region head office is in Belgium, my primary area of professional

Some of the quotes made it appear that UPS is harsh and inflexible, but I
was implying that it is trying to set international standards – which have
contributed to its success.

Gareth Aldis
District HR manager, East Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, UPS

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