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NHS Employers annualconference and exhibition 2007:how was it for you?Leading workforce thinking, the NHS Employers annual conference and exhibition2007 took place from 9-11 October. Boasting an impressive line-up including workforcedirector-general Clare Chapman, NHS chief executive David Nicholson and thehealth secretary Alan Johnson, more than 15,000 delegates, speakers, exhibitorsand supporters came together to Birmingham to discuss the NHS workforce agenda.Network asked a few HPMA members what theythought of the event this year:Overall impression - a lot more positive vibes thisyear, a good mix of workshop and plenary sessions.The main benefit for me - lots of networking.I was disappointed with workshops which stillseem to follow a “talk at” format - and even worse“top down”!David Nicholson was better than expected, andJohn McCarthy was inspiring.The ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ bit at the dinner was great!Some of the sessions were very worthwhile,though others - billed as ‘masterclasses’ - wererather disappointing.Opportunities for energetic networking, informativeand inspirational speakers, useful workshops andmasterclasses - this remains the premier eventfor all those interested in HR/workforce/peoplerelated in today’s NHS.I enjoyed it, and I think it has matured into awell-rounded event. With the numbers in attendance,it ensures presence of the big players, and it’s alsoan invaluable opportunity for networking.You can download postcasts or view speechtranscripts on the NHS Employers site if youmissed any of the keynote presentations links.And next year? The NHS Employer’s annual conference& exhibition will once again take place in the heart ofBirmingham, at the International Convention CentreTuesday 4 November -Thursday 6 November.Email annualconference2008@nhsemployers.orgfor further information.Do you agree with the members’ comments?Let us know what you think by

networkOnline social networkingWhilst the focus in the past has been on internetusage in the workplace and establishing guidancefor employees on appropriate usage; the increasein the popularity of social networking sites such asFacebook has led employers to consider reviewingsuch policies and ensuring that the issue of conductoutside the workplace is addressed.In other words, employees who post informationabout their workplace on these websites run the risk ofdisciplinary action by their employers for misconductoutside the workplace if it brings the businesses’reputation into disrepute or exposes it to potentialliabilities. The concern highlighted lately is the riskof potentially unlawful discriminatory comments onindividual ‘blogs’ or online profiles which could leadboth the employer and employee into difficulty.As it is now unlawful to discriminate in theworkplace on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation,race, national origin, ethnicity, disability, religion or beliefand a person’s age, such a broad spectrum of tabooareas means there is a very real risk for internet usersthat their online comments may inadvertently crossthe line with potentially serious consequences.Most people will probably think that makingcomments on social networking sites is entirely asocial activity and therefore outside the scope oftheir employment, but in actual fact comments madeby employees about colleagues on the internetcould be used against their employer, and theindividual, in employment tribunal proceedings asevidence of a discriminatory attitude.Additionally, those in managerial positions havean added responsibility to be mindful of theinformation they post on their ‘blog’. If such a manageracts as a witness at an employment tribunaland denies any discriminatory behaviour within theworkplace, their credibility could be severelyundermined if evidence is produced that theyparticipated in inappropriate online dialogue or theposting of distasteful photographs.There are probably a handful of good practicerules to remind employees of in terms of the kind ofinformation they place on these online social networks.Some suggestions to put to your staff when advisingthem on the use of online social networking sites:● Is it possible that my comments may bring myemployer into disrepute i.e. am I making commentswhich may tarnish the reputation of my employer?● Is it possible that my comments could reflect apotentially unfair discriminatory attitude towardsany of my colleagues in the workplace e.g. am Imaking comments based on age, gender, ethnicity,sexual orientation etc…?● Is it possible that the comments in my narrativecould lead my employer to question my suitabilityfor the role I am currently in? For example if Iwork in a service role and provide a servicepredominantly to ethnic minority groups, and my‘blog’ contains derogatory comments aboutpeople based on their ethnicity. These commentsdo not need to be directly aimed at your ethnicminority client group to lead an employer toquestion whether the attitudes expressed onyour ‘blog’ lead to doubts about your suitabilityfor your current role.If the answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ or’possibly’ then it is important to advise your staffthat they should probably remove such narrativefrom their ‘blog’ or online profile.Sharon Gregory, Consult GEE NHSHPMA webwatchOnce again HPMA’s webwatch brings you useful websites & onlineresources. Don’t forget we would really like to see members sharingtheir own sites and resources. So if you have a suggestion ornomination to share, please contact is this month’s eclectic mix:Dr. Joanne Sujansky, CEO of the KEY Group Consulting firm,writes for IT with a useful article 16 Ways to KeepYour Best Employees - Without Breaking the Bank. Althoughshe is talking about the IT world the lesson that losing greatemployees hurts morale is a valid one. See for the full lowdown.MINDFUL EMPLOYER ® is the work of a voluntary, informalnetwork of employers and support organisations open to anyemployer in the UK, whether small, medium or large, private,public or voluntary sector. Facilitated by WorkWAYS whichprovides information, advice and practical support for peoplewhose mental health affects their ability to find or remain inemployment, training, education and voluntary work. for further information.This year’s Excellence in HRM Awards will include a brand newcategory sponsored by the Department of Health in England,UNISON and NHS Employers based around partnershipworking. You will find details in the next issue of Network butfor now here are some sites with useful tips and resources forpartnership working:Partnership Working How To partnerships a highlight from commercial law firm David ArnoldCoopers employment bulletin entitled ‘Directors at risk’, as newrules on directors' duties and shareholders actions againstdirectors came into force this month. See for details.3

HPMA Excellence in HRM Awards 2008EmployingNurses & MidwivesThe online report on employment trends and dataEmployingDoctors & DentistsThe online report on employment trends and dataEmployingAHPs & Health ScientistsThe online report on employment trends and dataEmployingHealthcare ProfessionalsThe online report on employment trends and data4Work is well underway for this year’s HPMAExcellence in HRM Awards as the final few sponsorsare confirmed. We would like to take this opportunityto remind members to start thinking about theirentries for the 2008 competition.Last year we had superb winners from acrossthe UK but we are sure that many more of youhave projects and good practice to share. Up anddown the country there are HR teams who goabove and beyond to innovate for the good of theirtrust: now is the time to shout about it.Our awards entry forms are very easy to complete- you need to fully explain your project in terms ofsix key areas so our judges can evaluate your workagainst the awards programme criteria:● a design based upon through analysis ofbusiness needhere you need to illustrate for the judges whyyou developed this particular project and how itfulfilled a need in your Trust, give the contextand project plan outline● underpinning evidence base for your chosen strategyhere you need to explain why you did what youdid; explain the decision making process interms of the project plan● excellent project management and evaluationhere you should demonstrate how you organisedand managed your resources to keep your projecton time and within budget with the desiredbreadth and quality, and then how you havejudged and tested the project’s success● measurable achievement of expected benefitsincluding cost-effectivenessAfter qualificationWhat happens to nurses after they have qualified?Researchers at the National Nursing Research Unit atKing’s College in London have been studying themovements of adult branch diploma nurses aftersix months, 18 months and three years. This sort ofinformation is rare, but essential for workforce planning.The study found that the majority of nurses (64%)nursed continuously in their training region. Othersnursed in their training region and then moved toanother region or into other activities (8%). Almosta fifth (18%) started nursing in another region.The most striking findings are in the regionaldifference. London at 55% and the South East at53% appeared least able to retain their nurseswhile the North West appeared best able to do so(79%). The South West had a high proportionstarting to working the region (93%) but then hadthe highest percentage of movers to a job elsewhere(12%) and to other activities (18%).The study includes a wealth of detail about thewhat has changed as a result of your project?Identify each benefit and back up with evidence● making a difference to patient/client carehere explain how your project has impacted onthe patients and clients in your Trust, again tryto back this up with tangible evidence● the potential for transfer of learning to otherorganisationshere illustrate what have you learnt from theexperience of working on this project, wouldother Trusts benefit from your approach?Remember our judges almost certainly won’tknow the specifics of your Trust so you need to tellthem on the page. You can find more tips frompast judge Cathy McCallum of an awards programme will take effort butyou can reap the rewards – even if you don’t makethe finals. Taking a critical look at your project workensures that you identify and clarify the lessonslearnt and you put your work into wider context.Don’t forget you can enter as many times asyou wish, and you don’t even have to be a HPMAmember, but do think carefully about the rightcategory for your project.Entry submissions are also invited for HR Team ofthe Year – do you think you can take the crownfrom Bart’s & The London NHS Trust?Look out for entry form in early December – andgood luck!motivations for nurses staying or moving on andthe researchers have made recommendationsabout how to reduce migration from the trainingregion. In future such information should be morereadily available through the Electronic StaffRecord which will record job movements of all staffbetween organisations.A summary of the study is published in aspecial issue of Employing Nurses & Midwivespublished in association with the National NursingResearch Unit to mark its 30th anniversary. Thereport Nursing workforce research is available for £19.95.To sign up for regular free news updates and forsubscription details of all our healthcare employmentreports go to DunnEditor in chief, Chamberlain Dunn employmentreports, Tel: 020 8334 4500

networkAsk the expertsIf you have any questions you would like to pose tothe experts whether they be about legal issues suchas restructuring, organisational issues or even careersadvice please e-mail These questionswill be responded to in Network and on the HPMAwebsite anonymously.QUESTION: Does an employer discriminateif it imposes a dress code on its employees andcompels them to adhere to it?Rachael Heenan, health employment specialist atBeachcroft LLP replies:Previous challenges to dress codes have beenbrought under the Sex Discrimination Legislationwhich have included unsuccessful challenges todress policies that women must wear skirts or thatmen must wear ties or have short hair. Morerecently, a number of cases have been broughtunder the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief)Regulations which have asserted discrimination onthis basis. These cases have provoked many questionsand concerns, which have in turn been elevated bymedia interest, concerning the potential risks thatemployers face by imposing dress codes onemployees. Many employers now face confusion intrying to implement their dress codes, in fear thatthey may unwittingly somehow fall foul of the law.However, the fundamental principle remains thatthe implementation of dress codes is still legitimate,provided that they are justifiable and are appliedconsistently. Dress codes can also allow somedifferentiation between rules applying to men andwomen as long as they are consistent overall.Key Points● Employers should not be afraid of dress codes.There are many legitimate health and safety,business and practical reasons in the NHS whydress codes are not just important, but sometimesvital. However employers must ensure that theyhave a legitimate reason for imposing a dresscode that can stand up to scrutiny. All existingand potential dress codes should be reviewedwith this in mind.● Dress codes should be drafted in clear terms,listing examples, where possible. A widely wordedpolicy requiring “smart appearance” may meanvery different things to different people, so a fewexamples of what is meant by “smart appearance”may be appropriate, in perhaps a “do” versus“don’t” format.● Employers should carefully review the acceptedstandards of dress on an ongoing basis – perceptionsof what is “acceptable” clothing at work dochange, and dress codes may become outmodedand more difficult to justify as a result.● Consult with employees and potentially theirrepresentatives/unions, particularly if there are asignificant number of employees of a particularreligion who may be affected by a dress code.Employers will undoubtedly be judged as morereasonable by a Tribunal if they have madeattempts to do so.● Be sensitive in the approach to the enforcementof a code. If an individual feels that an employeris trying to compromise their religious beliefs byenforcing a dress code then it can be upsettingfor that employee and a heavy handed approachis likely to exacerbate this.● Employers must be consistent in their approach.It will be very difficult to justify a dress code in aTribunal if that code is otherwise widely flouted byother employees with the employer’s tacit consent.If you have any further queries onthis issue please contact Rachael to our Askthe Experts featureintended to give ourmembership theopportunity to poseany HR and legalquestions to healthsector employmentspecialists atBeachcroft LLPand our panel of HRprofessionals.Rachael Heenan.DATES FOR YOUR DIARY● NAMPS Annual Conference 15 November 2007 The Royal National Hotel, London● HPMA Welsh branch Employment Law Update with DWF Solicitors15 November 2007 North Wales● NHS Employers Equality and diversity: legislation and beyond27 November 2007 London● HPMA NI branch conference 6-7 March 2008 Belfast5

Employment law developments:The case of anonymous tip-offA number of important cases have been reported over the past couple of months,many of which have particular significance for healthcare employers.Andrew Rowland is aPartner at healthcareemployment lawspecialists Capsticks.Andrew welcomes yourcomments or queries onthe issues covered in theupdate; contact him on020 8780 4740or by email first of these relates to the amount of informationthat employers need to give to an employeeaccused of misconduct as a result of an anonymoustip-off. In Corus Ltd v Mainwaring, the EAT heldthat an Employment Tribunal had erred in holdingthat an employer had stepped outside the “reasonablerange of responses” by failing to take a statementfrom an anonymous informant who alleged misconductby an employee. This was because thetip-off itself was not relied upon when the employeewas later dismissed – it simply acted as a triggerfor the investigation and other evidence formedthe basis of the decision to dismiss the employee.This is a useful decision in that employees areoften keen to know who has tipped-off the employerin such cases: provided that it is not necessary toreveal the identity of informants in order to makefindings on the evidence at a disciplinary hearing,their identity can be protected. This is importantin encouraging people to come forward and“whistleblow” in relation to potential misconduct.Action: review disciplinary and “whistleblowing”to ensure that the employer’s position onanonymous informants is clearly set out.In one of the most high-profile age discriminationcases to date, the Tribunal in Bloxham v FreshfieldsBruckhaus Deringer found that certain changes toan employer’s pension scheme did, on the face of it,discriminate on the grounds of age. However, it wasnot unlawful because the changes represented aproportionate means of achieving the legitimateaim of providing a more financially sustainable andfairer pension scheme. Whilst it is always dangerousto rely on cost alone as the only factor to justifyage discrimination, this case demonstrates that theTribunal will take that factor into account.Action: in seeking to justify potentialdiscrimination on the grounds of age, alwaystry to highlight non-financial reasons as wellas those relating to cost.An important case dealing with collective redundancyconsultation is UK Coal Mining Ltd v NationalUnion of Mineworkers. Here, the EAT departedfrom previous authorities on the issue. It held thatthere was an obligation to consult over the reasonsbehind potential redundancies as well as, for example,means of avoiding those redundancies. This meansthat, during a collective consultation exercise, theemployer will now need to justify why it is takingthe steps that will lead to redundancies. Previously,there was no requirement on the employer toconsult in this way, and the Tribunal would not lookbehind the employer’s reasons for change unlessthere was a suggestion that the redundancy exercisewas a sham. This case may well proceed to theCourt of Appeal.Action: review “managing change” policies toensure that the new requirements for collectiveconsultation are met.With TUPE transfers becoming ever more importantin the healthcare sector, the case of Jackson v CISplc has held that TUPE cannot be relied upon tocreate an entitlement to a contractual benefit thatan employee did not have prior to the transfer.In this case, the employee has joined her previousemployer in 1999 and then transferred to CIS inJune 2004. CIS operated redundancy terms thatwere more generous for those who joined itsemployment prior to 2002. The employee arguedthat her continuity of service meant that sheshould be able to take advantage of the moregenerous benefits provided to CIS employees whohad joined CIS prior to 2002. The Court of Appealdecided that TUPE cannot be relied upon toartificially create rights that a transferred employeedid not enjoy prior to transfer. Accordingly, theemployee was not entitled to the enhancedredundancy terms.Action: always plan TUPE transfers carefullyso that everyone is aware of the exact terms andconditions under which employees transfer.Finally, one case that has shown the danger ofmisusing NHS equipment is Gokce v ScottishAmbulance Service. In this case, an ambulancedispatcher had been involved in the deploymentof an ambulance to collect a colleague from anight club. The EAT held that an EmploymentTribunal had been entitled to conclude that theactions of the dispatcher had amounted to grossmisconduct, justifying dismissal.

networkHealthcare People & Money:clinical keysRegular readers will be aware of theWelsh pilot programme under the HPMAPeople and Money workstream banner.The NHS Productivity measurementproject has been developed by HPMAmembers in Wales with support fromPricewaterhouseCoopers.No doubt like other productivity forums, the pilotgroup has found that clinical metrics will be criticalfor meaningful productivity measures in this sector.And it has become obvious that HPMA’s plannedrollout to English Trusts will need additional pilotsfor clinical measures applicable to mental health,primary care and ambulance trusts.However the latest update from HPMA leadTracy Myhill is encouraging: HR Directors from theWelsh pilot trusts have fed back this week, confidentthat they can produce all of the proposed productivityinformation subject to a few minor clarifications.This means that the long awaited questionnaire willbe released in early October.Look out for upcoming issues of Networkfor early findings from the first trancequestionnaires.Outline measuresHR or people:Remuneration(pay + benefits) / total revenueRemuneration(pay + benefits) / total costsHuman Capital ROIExternal spend on bank& agency staff / total costsAbsence rateInvoluntary termination rateVoluntary resignation rateFTEs per HR Department FTEHR Department costs per FTEClinical:MortalityUnplanned readmissionsHospital Acquired InfectionUnplanned reoperationsPatient Satisfaction scoresby categoryby categoryby categoryby categoryby categoryby categoryby categoryby specialityby specialityby specialityby specialityby specialityLetters and contributionsNetwork is your membership newsletter so we always welcome comments, articles andnews from any of our members.You can send contributions directly through to the production team ( or call020 8334 4530 for an informal chat first.The newsletter is published every month and circulated to all HPMA members so it's a great way to sharesucess, ask for help or get colleagues thinking.Contributions for the December issue should be sent to 4pm, 6 December 2007.All newsletter content is subject to editorial approval by the executive director Alex O’Grady.Are your HPMA colleagues getting eNetwork?If you or any of your colleagues have experiencedproblems downloading, viewing or receiving the latestissues of the electronic newsletter please Chamberlain Dunn Associates.BRANCH MEETINGSMeetings at branch level take place usually on a bi-monthly orquarterly basis. They typically include speakers, presentations,social gatherings, workshops or educational activity and manybranches run regular employment law updates.Contact HPMA administrator Lauren Crawfordon 020 8334 4530 or fordetails on your local branch.7

networkHeadlines from Personnel TodayNHS staffing problems havebeen blamed by campaignersfor the number of patientaccidents that occur at night.Reader's Digest analysis of National Patient SafetyAgency (NPSA) data found there were 140,000slips, falls and medical problems between 10pm and6am in 2006-07.Joyce Robins, of Patient Concern, said: “All toooften patients, particularly the elderly, are not giventhe help they need at night.“This is a time when people should be safelyasleep. But when they need help with things suchas going to the toilet, there is no-one there.“They then have to try to go themselves butend up falling. And these falls can be quite serious.”The NPSA insisted there was no evidence thatpatients were at a greater risk of incidents at nightthan during the day.Health service human resourcesprofessionals need to stepoutside their comfort zonesand learn how to evaluate theirpolicies' effect on patient care,an in-depth study suggests.A report by the Institute for Employment Studies(IES) said HR staff would soon be moving into newareas of activity.The report is based on research into the impactof people management policies in the NHS. It foundthat improved appraisal processes contributed themost to lower patient mortality rates and improvedstaff performance.The report called for changes in the role of HR,including a more holistic approach to training,workforce planning and organisational development,higher skill levels in job analysis, job redesign andthe evaluation of HR initiatives.The report’s author, Linda Miller, said: “HRprofessionals will need to be able to demonstratehow changes to working arrangements impact onindicators such as bed occupancy or mortality rates,or rates of hospital-acquired infections.”It is only “a matter of time”before health at work becomes aproper part of the GP syllabus,a leading workplace health experthas predicted, as pressure forchange over the issuing of sicknotesand access by employees toprimary care increases.Dr Sayeed Khan, chief medical adviser at engineeringand manufacturing employers' organisation the EEF,told Occupational Health that a series of half-dayworkshops for GPs about workplace health issues,which were run over the summer, had proved popular.But the way GPs go about issuing sicknotes hascome under the spotlight as never before. TheConfederation of British Industry in Septemberattacked GPs as being “outdated and rigid”, andhaving little appreciation of, or interest in, the needsof employers to get people back into work.HELP - HPMA Expert LearningPartnershipsThe HPMA launched a new mentoring and buddyscheme for members at the NHS EmployersConference last month and already we have agrowing group of HR professionals keen tobecome mentors, mentees or buddies.If you would like register your interest in the schemeplease download our simple application form andemail or faxback your form to HPMA central office( or 020 8334 4510).Good mentoring relationships begin withgood matches so we will also ask you to includea few words outlining what you hope to gainfrom your new mentor or buddy relationship sowe can ensure matches based on complementaryaspirations.The HPMA mentoring and buddy schemeaims to introduce members to rewarding newrelationships that really add value to their workinglives. Why not take the plunge…8

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