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Annie Hayes



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‘Informing and consulting’ rated top HR issue for 2005


Topping the priority list for HR professionals in 2005 is informing and consulting employees while new legislation isn’t thought to be so pressing.

The findings from the Beachcroft Wansbroughs’ ‘Employment Issues Monitor’ shows that nearly two thirds (61%) of respondents consider that this is the top ‘live issue’ for which they are currently focusing on developing and updating policies and procedures for 2005.

In April next year the new regulations will require employers with 150 employees or more to inform and consult employees, if requested by a sufficient number of employees.

Performance management with 52% of the vote closely follows with two thirds (64%) admitting it is not well handled by line managers.

Recruitment (49%) and absenteeism also feature highly on the issues list.

Nearly half (47%) of respondents said stress management is a key priority with nearly three quarters (73%) considering it to still be an issue for most employers.

New employment legislation traditionally thought of as the burden of the HR department, was interestingly not found to be an issue that preoccupies HR time and resources.

For example, age discrimination is not yet rated as a priority by nearly seven in ten (69%) respondents. This is despite the fact that employers need to be preparing for the forthcoming legislation due in 2006.

Elizabeth Adams, Head of Beachcroft Wansbroughs’ national employment practice said:

“This research clearly shows that complex regulations and regular changes are having a significant impact on the priorities of organisations and their HR function. Naturally, there is only so much time in the day and HR professionals have to react and respond to legislative changes as and when they arise. Often resources are limited, with the result that longer-term forward planning is not always afforded the time and attention it deserves.

Adams added: “Age discrimination legislation is a perfect example of this. HR professionals need to be planning very soon for the changes this is going to bring to their organisations, in terms of performance management, equality of treatment and succession planning, as well as corporate cultural issues.”

Top ten live issues rated by respondents:

1. Informing and consulting employees (61%)
2. Performance management (52%)
3. Recruitment (50%)
4. Absenteeism (49%)
5. Employee reward (48%)
6. Employee retention (48%
7. Stress management (47%)
8. Succession planning (45%)
9. Workforce diversity (42%)
10. Disciplinary and grievance procedures (42%)

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Annie Hayes


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