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Member wire #77 – Pre-Budget business round-up


HR Zone Members Newswire Issue 77
7 December 2004

1. Editor’s Comment: Did Brown forget the demographics?
2. Pre-Budget business round-up
3. Payroll Tip: Reducing the P11D workload
4. HR to receive pay boost
5. Any Answers: medical questionnaires, apprenticeships

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Editor’s note
Improving the deal for working families formed the backbone of
the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report dispatched last week, but
while mums and dads celebrated the generous package which
includes an extension to maternity leave from six to nine
months, business groups were greeting the news with more

See our PBR round-up and digest this week’s Editor’s Comment for
reflections on demographics and its impact on the future world
of work. Do you applaud Brown’s family-friendly measures or
resent further red-tape? Why not share your views with us.


Annie Hayes

HSA launch innovative private medical insurance plan
HSA Personal Medical Plans have been launched to help employers
provide a new type of private medical insurance that is flexible
and offers choice. There are 4 modules, which can be mixed and
matched to suit your needs and those of your employees. For
further information, please click here or call 0800 328 1200

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

Department for Work and Pensions; BAE Systems; Surgo
Construction Limited; MPL International; Allied Domecq plc; BBC
Broadcast; Hilton Dunblane; Alzheimer Scotland; City of
Edinburgh Council; ACNielsen; Software for People; Brown-Forman
Corp; Howdens Joinery Co; JPMorgan; Saffery Champness;
Goldshield Services Plc; Nightingale House; Select Human
Resources Ltd; James Fisher and Sons; Contechs Consulting
Limited; KnowledgePool; MOD; Edmund Nuttall Ltd; Letraset Ltd

TalentDrain – The 1-1 Exit Interview Revolution
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Editor’s Comment: Did Brown forget the demographics?
Brown may have forgotten that birth rates are actually down and
the workforce is ageing; the biggest work/life balance of the
future may actually therefore be eldercare not childcare.

Payroll Tip: Reducing the P11D workload
HRD & Payroll Solutions continues to bring HR Zone members a
range of HR and payroll tips. This week’s tip looks at reducing
the P11D workload.

Pre-Budget business round-up
See our Pre-Budget business round-up and review all the changes
that impact on you and your organisation.

HR to receive pay boost
HR professionals can expect a 10% increase on current salaries.

HR disappointed with IT systems
A third of HR professionals are dissatisfied with their newly
acquired IT systems.

No HR budget for talent management
Talent management schemes are failing to benefit from budget

Yawning gender pay gap in HR & payroll
The gender pay gap in the HR profession is widening.

Bosses must shape up
Nearly half of Britain’s bosses confess to being overweight, and
more than half admit they do not get enough exercise.

Job Centre Plus – Recruit the right people
At Jobcentre Plus, we want to help you find the right person for
your job. We’ll work to get to know you so we can achieve the
best results – we already place over 20,000 people into work
every week. To see what we can do for your business visit

Any Answers answered: Medical questionnaire
Q – Are we entitled to ask an employee to complete a medical
questionnaire? We do not wish to fall foul of anti-
discrimination laws.

Tina Owen
A – Many employers use medical questionnaires as part of their
selection process. To do so is entirely fair, some would say
essential, as it enables the employer to ensure the employee is
suited to the work they are proposing. This issue of DDA only
comes into play if you treat the employee unfairly on the basis
of a disability. In fact a questionnaire may help you to
identify the adjustments needed to employ a disabled person.
If the individual is already an employee the situation may be
more complicated. If you have a contractual right to require the
completion of a medical questionnaire say once a year, that is
fine. If you take discriminatory action on the basis of it that
is not fine and you may find yourselves in tribunal.

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:

Madeline Boland is looking for some research on apprenticeships.
Do you know of any?

Role plays: Nigel Bould is looking for role plays or case
studies for absence management or disciplinary situations. Can
you share any with him?

Douglas King is writing a diversity workshop for line managers
but needs some inspiration – are you feeling creative?

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– HR Briefing

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