Uber’s Challenging September

Uber are getting that message from all directions, and it’s made September a challenging month for them. The transport company turned over $20 billion in 2016, but its dramatic growth has been threatened by Transport for London’s decision to revoke its London licence.

Most of us who’ve lived and worked in London over the past five years will know people who believe Uber has made their lives safer, offering a secure journey home when there were limited alternatives available. Thousands of Londoners have signed petitions in support of Uber this month for that exact reason. The other side of that argument is the accusation of sex discrimination by a female driver that’s hit the headlines this week. The driver claims that Uber is putting her and other women at risk, arguing that drivers don’t know a passenger’s destination until they are in the car, and if the journey is to a remote or unsafe area the driver has no option to cancel the journey. If passengers behave aggressively in the car, the driver can’t ask them to leave without risking a complaint and a low customer rating that could jeopardise their chances of future work.

To compound matters, Uber is appealing a legal ruling that its drivers should be considered workers rather than self-employed independent contractors. The appeal takes place today, and will go a long way to deciding whether drivers should be entitled to benefits such as sick pay and the minimum wage.

Critics argue that Uber’s policies offer insufficient protection to female drivers, and insufficient rights to all drivers. The company has countered with a survey that suggests most drivers enjoy working for them, and CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has now gone further, writing […]

The TripAdvisor Test

Consistency in staff treatment, with the same reasonable rules applied to everyone.

Consistency of temperament, with praise and criticism given according to performance, not according to moods.

Loyalty to people who’ve earned it, and respect for those whose hard work has helped build your business.

Preferably not sacking an employee of nine years’ standing on the strength of a negative TripAdvisor Review. Not sacking them without hearing both sides of the story. And not sacking them publicly, via the TripAdvisor website.

The rise of review sites has given consumers an influential voice. This has obvious plus points, but when livelihoods are on the line impulsive reactions serve no one’s best interests. This week Howard and Lucy Spooner, owners of The Outside Chance gastro pub, have come under fire for what appears to be the knee-jerk sacking of a waitress on the strength of a negative customer review. Mrs Spooner replied to the review by stating “Please rest assured that waitress will be sacked today”.

Where do we start? From a HR perspective, this is a nightmare of blaming instead of training, condemnation instead of evaluation. A panicky attempt to appear customer-focused has made an employer appear high-handed, irrational and deeply disloyal. The message to staff is that even after years of service they are effectively one negative comment away from the sack.

The owners of The Outside Chance were given a test, and they failed it.

How would the rest of us fare? Would you pass the TripAdvisor test?
The good news is, you don’t have to face it alone.

Employers have every right to monitor staff performance. We think they have a duty to do it, and it’s our pleasure to help them. Jane HR software enables you to record […]

A Work In Progress

Those of us who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s will be acutely aware of just how much progress has been made towards equality of opportunity. Employers are more supportive, more committed to diversity and more focused on wellness and engagement.

But this is no time to rest on our laurels. This week we’ve seen a reminder that we need to keep moving forward.

In addition one in five are concerned enough about perceived bias to have taken action to hide their age, disability, social background or sexuality.

While many of us are happy with our employer’s commitment to equality and diversity, others are unconvinced. Nicola Linkleter, President of Professional Staffing, is among the prominent voices making the point that a positive workplace culture must come from root-and-branch commitment that’s clear in every strategic decision.

Here at Jane Systems, we’re in full agreement. We believe a company’s culture manifests itself in every recruitment interview, every training session and every client interaction. And we don’t believe in “bolt-ons”. You can’t just tack on a message of inclusiveness as an afterthought.

Each service module – HR, Payroll, Occupational Sickness, Recruitment and Staff Development – works effectively in its own right, and when you put them all together you have a system that supports diversity, cooperation and achievement. The Jane Self-Service Portal has been praised by employers as a motivating tool that actively increases employee engagement and training take-up. The recruitment module has been applauded as an equality aid that focuses entirely on applicant suitability and creates a compliant and ready-made employee record for new starters.

This morning I found a dollar bill in my wallet, left over from a recent trip to the United States. On the reverse side of the […]

Age Of Consent

Human resources professionals across all sectors are preparing for a new set of rules in respect of data storage, communication and consent. At a time when Britain’s role in Europe is far from certain, GDPR is a unifying data protection law.
It promises to:
– Increase privacy rights for individuals
– Strengthen the obligations of companies
– Increase the penalties for non-compliance.

The third point is attracting particular attention. DP regulators will have the powers to impose fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of total worldwide annual turnover. They will also be able to impose a ban on processing data transfers and, where they see fit, impose criminal sanctions.

Individual countries will be permitted to implement more specific regulations on processing of HR-related personal data, so rules may be amended from country to country and Britain’s HR professionals will no doubt be following national legal developments. But certain key provisions are already clear.

GDPR requires employees to give unambiguous consent for data collection and use. And that consent must be given specifically, and on an informed basis.

Employers will have to provide a detailed account of how and why they process HR-related personal data. Their staff will have a right of access to that data and a right to have inaccuracies corrected. It’s worth noting that these rights already exist and have been strengthened by GDPR. And it’s also worth noting that Britain’s HR professionals are already admirably focused on protecting the best interests of their colleagues.

We see our HR partners working hard to enhance employee training, development, job satisfaction and wellness, and we’re proud to help them do it with tailored software that makes their lives easier and more productive.

We’ve succeeded by listening to our clients and consistently finding better […]

By |August 8th, 2017|Compliance, Employment Law|Comments Off on Age Of Consent|