week’s letters

the UK as it is in reality

from believing "our workforce is diverse enough," as you quote me in
"BBC HR team defends record on minorities", (News, 16 January), I am
at one with BBC director-general Greg Dyke on the need to improve recruitment,
retention and promotion of ethnic minorities.

was specifically appointed as head of diversity to achieve this along with
pushing forward real opportunities for women, people with disabilities and
those of all ages. We have a wealth of diverse talent knocking at our door and
under-utilised in our workforce. It’s my job to see that talent is tapped, so
that the BBC’s programmes serve all its audiences and the organisation can
represent Britain today as it really is.

Head of diversity, BBC

companies work for scheme

was great to see such enthusiastic coverage of the DRC’s Actions Speak Louder
Than Words campaign in "Lloyds TSB puts disabled graduates on fast
stream", (News, 28 November). However, the summary of Lloyds TSB’s commitment
was slightly misleading.

TSB has been a partner of the Fast-Track disabled graduate recruitment scheme
run by Scope, the disability charity since, 1999. The Fast-Track scheme is not
exclusive to this one employer. Although their commitment to Louder Than Words
grew out of their relationship with Scope, we are also in partnership with many
other high-profile companies such as HSBC, Barclays, B&Q and ICL.

Press & PR manager, Scope

of the Week

ill-considered set of rules

response to the article in Personnel Today, "Data rules could curb staff
absence records", (News, 16 January), on the subject of the proposed new
code from the Data Protection Commissioner on recording of employee sickness
absence, I would have to say that I have never read such an ill-considered set
of rules.

company operates a fairly generous sick pay scheme, paying full salary for an
agreed period. If we are to be denied the opportunity to record an individual’s
absences, will I be entitled to then withhold any sick pay because I am unable
to keep an accurate record of the employee’s absence? No doubt such an
individual would then quote the Equal Rights Act, Human Rights Act etc to say
we were being unfair and demand further compensation on top of  the sick pay. In addition, absence records
are a vital part of any defence at an employment tribunal on poor
attendance/health issues.

changes in employment law passed by this government are slowly driving
employers to think twice as to whether it is worth employing anyone at all.

Runciman FCIPD
Group HR manager, Currie & Brown Holdings

I strongly feel that employers should not have to get an employee’s permission
to hold sickness records.

HR officer, Schering-Plough

There is a failure to consult adequately over this. I believe this is an
unnecessary increase in the administrative workload already required of HR and
there is a danger of data protection evolving into a shirker’s charter.

Director of support services, St Luke’s Hospice

Having read the article in Personnel Today on staff absence records, I say no,
employees should not have to get consent from staff to record absence. This is
general information needed for pay calculations and to ensure fair treatment.

Via e-mail

The inability to record sickness would be disastrous, as this information is
vital. It seems that no thought has been given to this matter and it should not
go ahead until the commission has undertaken a survey of employers and listened
to what they have to say.  

Via e-mail

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