Previous Article Next Article Thisweek’s lettersWeshould demand more bank holidaysHavingread Stephen Overell’s excellent article (Off message, 30 September), my eyeswere suddenly drawn to my desk planner. As if by magic, an array of Europeanbank holidays suddenly appeared before my eyes. Accordingto my planner, the nearest rival to the UK for bank holidays per year (we haveeight) is the Netherlands, which has a paltry 10. Moving on up, business‘giants’ such as Norway and Denmark get 13 apiece. France boasts a proud 15.Think that’s tres bon? Go and work in Germany. There, you’ll get 17 days ayear. TheGerman model would never be embraced here. Sceptics would point to Germanunemployment levels, for example. But Germany has never been associated withunproductive workforces or a lack of innovative thinking, now has it? Asthe Working Time Directive is about to be reviewed, allied to the possibility(remote as it is) of the UK opt-out being taken away, I foresee a potential‘get out of jail free’ card being played by the Government. It could say: ‘Whynot bring us into line with the Dutch? Surely an extra couple of bank holidayseach year will keep Brussels off our backs’. Shouldthis suggestion be made (and I hope that I’m way off the mark), I sincerelyhope the EU has the courage to challenge it, and finally takes note of its memberstates’ interests – not just those that it believes will embrace the workers’right to a decent work-life balance. Insome respects the concept of a proud, hard-working British work ethic has beenfundamental to our success over the years. But how much longer will thisparticular strain of ’employee goodwill’ be tolerated before people demand apiece of the Danish/Norwegian cake?MichaelFordHR manager, CIPD qualifications should be gainedCIPDqualifications should be gainedRatherthan complaining about organisations who prefer to recruit HR practitionerswith Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualifications(Letters, 7 October), individuals should concentrate their efforts on achievingthe qualification.Irecently achieved graduate membership, and while a great deal of commitment anddedication is required, I found the whole experience to be thoroughlyworthwhile. The qualification process has taught me a great deal, and has mademe a more proficient HR practitioner.AnyHR practitioner who is not CIPD qualified but believes they already know allthe answers, should start to study immediately. They will find the wholeexperience to be so easy, they will simply sail through.KieronFlowerPersonnel officer, Bristol PortAllprofessions must measure standardsIstrongly disagree with Alasdair Martin’s view of the Chartered Institute ofPersonnel and Development (CIPD) (Letters, 7 October). While there are many inHR who shouldn’t be there, just as many hold HR qualifications as those thatdon’t. Youcan’t have a profession without a measure of standards. The CIPD provides thatmeasure. Iworked hard to get my CIPD qualification by means of exams and professionalassessment of competence. Thelatter requires an individual to prepare a portfolio of how their backgroundand expertise match the CIPD’s professional standards. This, along withwork-based evidence, personal statements and written reports, are required toshow your knowledge and operational skills.Ithen spent a number of years expanding my knowledge and experience to get me tothe stage where I was qualified to become a fellow of the CIPD.Iwould like to see the CIPD become far more professional, and begin todiscipline anybody who breaks its standards and codes of practice, in the sameway as the Law Society does if its members fail to meet the standards itrequires.Likethe Law Society, the CIPD should demand that once you have passed your exams,you should then have to complete an equivalent of Articles. Thetheory of human resources is all very well, but HR professionals also need todisplay proven practical knowledge. IainYoungHead of HR, Cofathec HeatsaveAvalue-led culture impacts on successItis refreshing to see Marks & Spencer invest so successfully in employeeengagement (News, 23 September). But it is lamentable that real employeeengagement is still comparatively rare in UK businesses.Thisis particularly surprising as many companies have demonstrated the impact thata value-led culture can have on corporate success and the bottom line. A clearorganisational purpose, strongly led from the top and supported by linemanagers, is a critical factor in success. Recentstudies by TMI, Gallup, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Developmentand Sears, have shown how motivation, job satisfaction and commitment directlycorrelate to high performance, customer loyalty and spend. Ourmessage to managers is that they hold the key to unlocking the potential oftheir people. They can build a person’s self-belief and image, thus drivingtheir performance level. When done well, the results are astonishing.SusannaMittererHead of consulting, TMI UK Comments are closed. LettersOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.