Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Global newsroundOn 4 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Mike Broad reports on what’s happening in HR around the worldEthical practice is the key to success of globalisationCompanies must embrace ethical practices if the globalisation movement is tosucceed, delegates were told at an international conference last month. George Cox, director general of the Institute of Directors, which held theconference, said there needs to be a global spread of higher standards ofcorporate governance. But he added that globalisation was needed in developingcountries to bring investment and the transfer of skills. The conference attracted hundreds of anti-globalisation protesters,particularly in response to the presence of former US Secretary of State, HenryKissinger. Kissinger said that today’s business leaders are better educated than ever,but the length of their contracts leads to short-termism. “The challenge is can we find forums in which we can address long-rangeproblems?” he asked. www.personneltoday.comUK faces work-time legal action from the European CommissionThe European Commission isthreatening legal action against the UK due to an alleged failure to fullyimplement the Working Time Directive. A warning letter was sent to the UK Government on 21 March andmanufacturing union Amicus claims that a key complaint concerns the measurementof additional time worked voluntarily. The union complained to the Commission that the directivelimiting the working week to 48 hours had been inadequately implemented. General secretary Roger Lyons said: “Britons work thelongest hours in Europe. This decision will cut excessive working timeconsiderably, slash stress and bring us closer to the level of working hoursenjoyed throughout the rest of Europe.”UK businesses are concerned by the red tape that themeasurement of additional hours would generate. The CBI called it a”bureaucratic nightmare”.The government has until 21 May to respond, and if the EC isnot satisfied that UK law has been brought into line with the directive thecase could be taken to European Court of Justice. www.ft.comTemps could get equal benefits as permanent staff under directiveTemporary staff working across Europewill be entitled to the same pay and conditions as permanent employees from dayone of employment, if proposals by the official responsible for driving the EUagency workers directive are agreed. Minister of European Parliament Ieke van den Burg wants toremove the qualifying period for the legislation, which currently means tempswould only be entitled to equal pay after working for an employer for six weeks.Van den Burg said: “Since the majority of temporaryplacements are for weeks rather than months, the core group would be excluded.That is illogical and unacceptable.” Employers believe the draft directive will increase businesscosts and create red tape for HR. (globalhr May 2002)Economic recovery bleak for Germany as strikes loomGermany’s economic recovery has beenthrown into doubt by a fall in an important business indicator in April. The Ifo Index fell in the same week as a new report by the OECDpredicted that economic growth in Germany would hit only 0.7 per cent thisyear. The country is also facing high unemployment, rising tradeunion militancy and a spate of high-profile corporate bankruptcies, which arecombining to undermine the Social Democratic-led Government’s attempts to bere-elected in September. The massive IG Metall engineering union called on thousands ofworkers to vote in strike ballots in May following the collapse of wagenegotiations for the sector’s 3.6 million workers. www.faz.netUK workers worse off than their European counterpartsPeople in the UK work harder, spendless time on holiday and pay more in tax and for goods than other Europeans. A study by UK firm Bradford & Bingley shows Britishemployees clock up an average 8.7 hours a day at work compared to 7.7 hours inItaly, 7.9 in France and 8 in Germany. The research reveals that average household income in the UK isthe highest in Europe at £35,917, but British workers pay more tax and socialsecurity. UK employees also have the least time off, with only 28 dayseach year on average, including public and annual holidays, compared to 47 daysin France, 46 in Spain and 41 days in Germany. Ian Darby, group commercial director at Bradford & Bingley,said: “We found that, rather than being rewarded for longer working hoursand fewer days holiday, everyday items cost us far more than our Europeancounterparts – and we suffer a higher tax burden.”www.bradford-bingley.co.ukHR seen as the weakest linkSuccessful global companies do not have world-class HR teams,according to research by a leading business school. The report, Measuring the Competi-tive Fitness of Global Firms,claims that HR has consistently been regarded as one of the weaker capabilitiesof global firms for the five years that the report has been published.The study, by Professor Jean-Claude Larreche of Insead BusinessSchool in France, examined 12 management capabilities of 326 leading globalcompanies, including mission and vision, marketing strategy, organisation andsystems and HR. HR averaged a score of 64 in 2002, with scores of between 65and 79 being regarded as ‘world class’. The quality of HR management was found to vary by industrysector, with computer and electronics companies performing best and finance andinsurance organisations worst. Paul Belcher, partner of Watson Wyatt, which sponsored theresearch, said: “The trend is in the right direction. HR is an area inwhich many companies have been closely focused in recent years and I think wecan confidently predict that world-class companies will be matched by havingworld-class HR in next year’s report.”www.watsonwyatt.comFirms fail to invest in future leadersFirms are failing to respond tomanagerial doubts over their leadership potential, claims research from the US.The study, by Conference Board, shows that only one-third ofthe executives surveyed rate their future leadership capabilities as excellentor good. This compares with 50 per cent five years ago. The report’s co-author said: “Hyper competition,fast-changing technology and closer scrutiny from corporate boards are puttingincreasing pressure on companies to develop effective leaders for the future.”But while some firms are taking action, less than half ofthose surveyed say that developing future leaders is a major priority for theirtop management.”More than 150 large organisations in the US were surveyed inthe Development Dimensions International-sponsored research. www.conference-board.orgUK faces unemployment jump if it joins the euroUK unemployment would jump by morethan a quarter of a million in three years if the UK were to enter the Europeaneconomic and monetary union, according to research. Simulations carried out by Oxford Economic Forecasting – onbehalf of the No Campaign – show that after eurozone entry, potential shocks tothe economy, such as a recession in the US, a rise in oil prices or a drop inequities, would be more pronounced. George Eustice, director of the No Campaign, said if the UKstays outside the eurozone, the Bank of England would be able to cut ratesaggressively, counteracting any damage. The UK Government has promised not to recommend entering themonetary union unless five economic tests are met. www.ft.com Related posts:No related photos.