Member wire #84 - 'Fat' attacks UK plc

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HR Zone Members Newswire Issue 84
1 February 2005

1. Editor's Comment: 'Fat' attacks UK plc
2. Legal focus: Case law round-up
3. The Couch?! Gets even more grumpy
4. Unions face extinction
5. Any Answers: criminal convictions, relocation expenses

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92% of employees underestimate the value of their benefits!

Getting Childcare Right?

Win a mini iPod!

Shared services week 2005, 18th - 19th May, The Celtic Manor,

Editor's note
'Does my bum look big in this?'

We are a nation obsessed with our weight but while we debate the
finer points of the Atkins and GI diets it appears that we are
still getting bigger.

Obesity has increased five fold since the Second World war and
if things continue bosses may be lamenting not only the size of
workers but also the bottom line.

Editor's Comment investigates the price we pay for being larger
than life.


Annie Hayes
mailto:[email protected]

92% of employees underestimate the value of their benefits!
That was just one of the alarming findings from Aon Consulting's
recent benefits survey. For a free copy of the Benefits and
Communications @Work report? Including Aon's recommendations on
how employers can use Flexible Benefits to increase appreciation
of their total reward? Click here:

Welcome new members
This week, HR Zone welcomes members from the following
organisations, among others, to the site:

CITB ConstructionSkills; Stephens & Scown; Homebase; Grapevine
HR; YBS; Charles Russell; The National Autistic Society;
Financial Times Business; Association of London Government;
Cumbria County Council; Network Rail; Excel airways; Wella Uk;
The Devon Group; Henshaws Society for Blind People; Academy HR

Getting Childcare Right?
Improved childcare for working parents is a big part of the
election pledge of all political parties, yet companies big
and small are still missing out & failing to recruit and retain
key workers. Want to know all the answers - then see this
month's in depth article.

Editor's Choice

Editor's Comment: 'Fat' attacks UK plc
The obesity epidemic is putting the brakes on UK productivity as
many more workers fall foul to fat-related illnesses; Editor's
Comment examines the issues.

Legal focus: Case law round-up
Alison Wallace, head of employment practice at Steptoe & Johnson
presents a quarterly round-up of employment law case rulings.

The Couch?! Gets even more grumpy
As requested by some rather grumpy women, this week The Couch?!
salutes grumpy heroines.

Win a mini iPod!
Take part in Employee Rewards Watch 2005 and you will be entered
into a prize-draw giving you the opportunity to win a mini iPod
and receive a complimentary copy of the research enabling you to
benchmark your employee benefits strategy.
Simply click below to get started:

Top news stories

Unions face extinction
This is the warning from The Work Foundation's British Unions:
Resurgence or Perdition by David Metcalf.

Fashion quandary hits UK plc as 'suit' bows out
The decline of the business suit has left staff unsure about
standards of dress.

Skilled employees reap top pay rewards
Workers with better than average skills are being paid off by
bosses desperate to keep them.

How Aesop's fable can help explain the UK savings gap
Everyone knows Aesop's fable of the ant and the grasshopper: the
ant worked hard all summer to provide for the winter ahead; the
grasshopper did not and paid the price.

Proctor & Gamble axe 6,000 jobs in Gillette merger
The P&G engagement with razor giant Gillette will see as many as
6,000 jobs slashed.

Pay deals break 3% barrier
For 22 months pay deals across the UK have remained unchanged at
3% but for the first time pay analysts IRS report that of 24
wage deals the median settlement is 3.4%.

Diversity training a 'must' say CIPD
Line managers need training on the business benefits of
diversity, according to a new report from CIPD.

Shared services week 2005, 18th - 19th May, The Celtic Manor,
Enhance customer service and culture - Retain staff - Utilise HR
technology. The one-stop solution for all of your Shared
Services needs - whatever stage of your journey you're at. For
further information or to book online visit:

Any Answers answered: Criminal convictions
Q - We hired an employee recently on a temporary contract.
However, a member of staff has since recognised him as the
perpetrator of his son's stabbing. He has not been charged yet.
The Operations Director wants me to pay him off but can I
terminate his contract legally?

Michelle McAloon

A - Assuming this person has not yet been charged, he has
probably not breached your disciplinary procedure and so
contractually you have no reason for dismissing him. However, if
you feel dismissal is in the best interest of the organisation
then you should be able to proceed. If you wish him to leave
straight away, you should give him money in lieu of notice. With
one day's service he has no unfair dismissal rights except on
the grounds of sex/race and religious(etc)discrimination.

You should review your recruitment procedures to see if any
lesson can be learnt from this.

Quentin Colborn

If you have a question - or can offer an answer - go to

Any Answers
Any Answers is the place to go to share your professional
experiences with others. A selection of new Any Answers
questions posted this week:

Graham Napier looks for advice on relocation expenses:

Are competencies adding value? Asks Liam Dolan:

Margaret Johnson debates the pitfalls of job sharing:

Practitioner's Diary
HRZone is planning a 'fly-on-the-wall' documentary which will
follow the daily ins and out of an HR professional.

If you have the credentials and dare to expose all then contact
us at: mailto:[email protected]

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