Last week’s Sunday Business Post recruitment page featured a piece I put together on absenteeism trends, policies and procedures, giving advice to employees and more particularly employers on how to deal with the issue / problem, particularly in these straitened times.
The interviewees were Helena Broderick, managing consultant of Collier Broderick Management Consultants, Jim Curran, head of research and information services at the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises association (Isme) and Andrew Ferguson, managing director of Softworks Ireland. Choice extract:
‘‘All companies should have a sick-leave policy within the terms and conditions of employment for all staff,” Curran said. ‘‘That policy would outline the reporting structure for notification of absences, whether a sick-pay policy is in place, situations regarding contact with a company doctor and the system of back-to-work interviews. It is important that staff know the consequences for regular absenteeism in particular.”
The piece also includes info on training courses for managers in dealing with absenteeism and software products that make it easier to do so. It’s all through here on the SBP website.
I don’t normally get involved in the process of making and debating new legislation going through the Dail, but last week I did. Kinda anyway.
A piece I wrote on labour disputes for the SBP earlier this year, lead to Pat Brady, honourary secretary of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), getting in touch to raise concerns about why labour disputes were specifically excluded from new arbitration legislation currently going through the Dail.
This did seem a bit counter-intuitive to me, so we did a bit of looking around, I spoke to Labour senator Ivana Bacik who was putting a question to the minister in the Seanad, and ended up with a piece for last Sunday’s SBP recruitment page.
‘‘The concern is that the exclusion from the 1954 act has just been repeated in the new act, without examining it in detail,” Bacik said. ‘‘It would be good to look at it again and see if there would be support from unions and employers to have arbitration extended to labour disputes.”
Last weekend’s Computers in Business magazine (which comes monthly with the Sunday Business Post) featured a multi-page feature I put together on the ‘smart’ skills that Irish businesses need to compete in the knowledge economy going forward.
The study, entitled Post Crisis: e-Skills are Needed to Drive Europe’s Innovation Society and commissioned by Microsoft, investigated whether workers would need ICT skills to participate in the job market. It found that, within five years, 90 per cent of all jobs – across all industry sectors and EU countries – would require up to date ICT skills, as companies required staff to make use of technology in their day-to-day job roles.
The research, which surveyed 1,370 employers across 13 EU countries, found that the increased demand for ICT skillsets was not solely a response to the current economic crisis. Instead, long-term technology change, with the introduction of new smart technologies and the evolution towards a more knowledge-based economy, would be a stronger influence on training and hiring policies.
Last Sunday’s Business Post ran an interview I did with Della Clancy from business and children connecting NGO Junior Achievement Ireland about their ‘Enterprise Challenge’ programme, which encourages young people from poorer backgrounds to stay in school so they can go on to have a career in business or other areas.
‘‘People from inner city Dublin are very seriously underrepresented in third level education,” said Della Clancy, executive director, Junior Achievement Ireland. ‘‘Many of them don’t do the Leaving Cert, and there is no tradition of them going on to third level. If you are not conditioned in your home and community, it is quite difficult to do it.
‘‘The whole idea is to bring them into the college, which is near where they live and go to school, and show them that it is a friendly, interesting and exciting place. They had lots of fun around the labs in DIT, and we had some workshops in the college as well. The children were made to feel welcome and told about the different supports that are there to help them go on to third level.”
The full piece is through here on the SBP site.
For more info on Junior Achievement head over to their website here – www.juniorachievement.ie.