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Follow the rules of engagement

first_imgFollow the rules of engagementOn 4 May 2004 in Personnel Today Despite all the scare stories in the media, the enlargement of the EuropeanUnion needn’t hold any fears for the savvy HR professional. Workers from the 10 accession countries are now legally entitled to work inthe UK, and employers should regard this as a golden opportunity to fillchronic skills gaps and boost productivity – after all, we’re short of a fewhundred thousand workers in the construction industry alone. It is also an opportunity for HR to demonstrate its value to the board byputting the right policies in place to ensure compliance with the law. Bysimply following the rules of engagement, HR can minimise the chances of organisationsemploying staff illegally, thereby avoiding the possibility of being fined fordoing so. And at £5,000 per illegal worker, those fines could soon add up. Some organisations will no doubt be thinking that the easiest route would beto simply ignore jobseekers from the new EU countries. But any smart HRprofessional would be able to advise them of the folly of that route, as itwould amount to discrimination on the grounds of nationality. ‘But look at all that red tape’, I hear you cry. Well, the reality, asoutlined on page 25, is far from onerous. Yes, there are some extra hoops tojump through – but not many. And by keeping disruption to a minimum, we willsee the benefits of welcoming this addition to the labour pool, and betterunderstand how good HR can make a difference. Startling statistic The news that Whitbread and BSkyB have created board-level HR appointmentsis, perhaps, a sign that the function is at last beginning to make inroads intostrategic thinking in big business. And, on the face of it, this news wouldseem to counter the accusation in last week’s issue that senior HR executivesare not up to the job. Carlsberg UK’s chief executive Colin Povey attacked the low calibre ofsenior HR professionals after spending more than six months looking for asuitable candidate for the post of HR director. So our news barometer pollasked readers ‘Is senior HR up to scratch?’. The response was emphatic: morethan 80 per cent of you said ‘no’. This is a startling statistic. And one that suggests HR has some way to gobefore being automatically considered for a place on the board. Clearly thisneeds further investigation. So let us know why you feel that senior HR isfailing so miserably. E-mail your concerns to [email protected] Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

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