Letters: Equal pay, Work-life balance and Age discrimination

Equal pay crisis should not be tackled at local level

There is no doubt that equal pay issues facing local government are at crisis point (‘Schools cash raid to fund equal pay’, Personnel Today, 6 November).

Many local authorities have to divert resources from front-line services to fund bills. In addition to schools, this can include key front-line areas dealing with vulnerable people such as social care services.

For many years, funding for schools has been at healthy levels and well protected in comparison to funding for other council services. I, like others, worry about the impact on services for children in my area. However, I don’t see how this is any different to the impact on all the other essential services delivered by a local authority.

The real issue here is what is being done nationally to resolve the equal pay crisis across local government.

Leaving it to each local authority to resolve is costing the taxpayer dearly.

Mandy Coalter, director of HR and organisational development,
Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust

Portrayal of work-life balance is laughing matter

I read with interest about some of your readers’ objections to the photo you used recently of Billie Piper (Personnel Today, 9 October). However, if there is an issue with photos being used by both the HR press and advertisers alike, it is those concerning work-life balance issues.

In our department we have a growing collection of photos to amuse us, which give the impression of domestic bliss while working from home – a situation far from reality, I’m sure. The pictures invariably have mum or dad balancing their laptop while the kids are playing happily in the background – smiles all round. Not a hint of workstation assessments having been done or working in a secure office environment while at home.

Marcus Atkins, personnel director,

Bring reality back to age discrimination debate

I had to check the date before commenting on this article (‘Companies using only online applications may be guilty of age discrimination’, Personneltoday.com, 22 October). Is there a new profession out there just looking for ways to trip up businesses?

The answer is to promote the benefits of IT, not to encourage people to believe they are disadvantaged by not using it. I do not read newspapers that contain ads for jobs, so does that mean I am discriminated against? Please let’s bring some reality back.

People should be encouraged to make choices, not given another option to feel disadvantaged.

Gary Kent
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