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Issue 1
The Latest News & Views from Pasfield Curran
Harbour's Flexible Working Sails Ahead
Jersey Harbours recently implemented a flexible working scheme within their passenger terminal at St Helier . Their overall goal is to develop a modern port with long term viability for everyone, including staff. With shipping companies facing stronger competition and heightened security requirements, it meant that Jersey Harbours had to be more flexible.

In the past, two areas, Traffic Controllers and Terminal Customer Services had been entirely separate functions, mainly employing temporary workers due to the seasonal nature of the business. Combining the two areas and using a flexible working system based on a 5 week cycle has allowed them to create full time permanent roles. These new Port Operations Agents fit well with new employment law on the island. Staff now receive pay all year, improved sick pay and access to a pension scheme. In addition there is greater opportunity for training and career progression.

Pasfield Curran worked extensively with Jersey Harbours management and staff to implement this successful change .

Captain Richard Daley (Assistant Harbourmaster/Port Operations) pointed out   “Previously costs were not easily quantifiable over the year, now we have a good idea of the number of full time permanent staff in advance with only a couple of temporaries required during the summer. The staff are now much happier with the new arrangements. Although flexible, they have a better idea of when they are working and patterns allow them to rest and actually use their time off.”

He also noted that “Even though they are now receiving improved sick pay there has been no increase in absence to date. They are enjoying their increased role and freedom to venture out of the terminal – we’ve noticed increased vigilance, although not good news for those on the receiving end, the number of parking tickets and penalties for extended quay rentals has gone up!”

Implementation was in the less busy time of the year. The big challenge is to see how the system stands up to the more demanding period over Easter and then the summer. We shall let you know how things have gone in the next newsletter.

http://www.jersey-harbours.com

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Holiday Entitlement Consultation
In June 2006, the government conducted Increasing the Holiday entitlement - An initial consultation into changes to the statutory minimum paid holiday entitlement. Under the draft Annual Leave (Amendment to Working Time Legislation) Regulations the statutory right to paid holiday will increase in stages. The consultation is due to end on 13th April.

As it stands the intention is to implement the proposal in stages: 

• 4.8 weeks (24 days for a full timer) on 1 October 2007
• 5.6 weeks (28 days for a full timer) from 1 October 2008

There will be no qualifying period for the additional leave. Provided four weeks’ holiday is taken each leave year, the additional statutory entitlement may be carried over if agreed between the employee and employer.

During the transition arrangements the DTI suggests a calculation for determining pro rata entitlements where holiday years do not start on1 October.

The final regulations will come into force on 1 October in England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland has a similar consultation.

The government calculates the regulations will increase paid entitlement for around 6 million workers.

PDF Icon Increasing the holiday entitlement - An initial consultation
PDF Icon Increasing the holiday entitlement - A further consultation
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CIPD Flexible Working Conference

Flexible working policies that go beyond the minimum required by legislation are now seen as having a positive effect on retention, motivation and the psychological contract.The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) recently held a one day Flexible Working Conference to examine the business benefits of flexible working and offer practical solutions to improve take-up levels in UK organisations.

Employees who work flexibly are more satisfied with their work, more emotionally engaged, more likely to speak positively about their organisation and less likely to quit. The conference included the latest CIPD research on flexible working as well as practical case studies that explored different ways of implementing flexible working policies.Delegates heard that absence and turnover levels at Britannia Building Society had dropped as a result of flexible working. Its “Mutual Preferences” framework of of flexible working arrangements, which are available to all staff, led to absence dropping  from 3.06% in 2004 to 2.35% in 2006. Turnover reduced from 18.94% to in 2004 to 12.6% in 2006. The mutual company also reported the highest profits in its 150 years history, which it puts down to employee satisfaction.Cabot Financial group reported that a reward and recognition system which rewards high performers with flexible working hours had improved efficiency. The debt-collecting agency said that productivity had increased by 20%.

Delegates heard that the Scottish Legal Aid Board had reduced its overtime costs by almost half through introducing a work-life balance project. The initiative allowed teams to organise their own working hours as long as business interests were met. Staff turnover was also dramatically reduced from 23% in 1999-2000 to 12.7% in 2005-06

The event also provided an opportunity for delegates and speakers to discuss and share experiences of the obstacles they face in implementing flexible working provisions.

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New Legislation from April 2007 (UK)

From 1 April there will be significant changes to the rights of employees to:

  • Maternity leave and pay
  • Paternity leave and pay
  • Adoption leave and pay
  • The right to ask for flexible working
  • The rights of employers when an  employee takes maternity leave

Changes to maternity rights

  • The qualifying condition of 6 months service for the right to take additional maternity leave will disappear.
  • Statutory maternity pay will be extended to 39 weeks.
  • Notice of intention to return early from maternity leave will be extended from 28 days to 56 days.
  • Employees and employers will be able to agree a number of "keeping in touch" days, when the employee would come into work to catch up with what has been going on, undertake some training or just to work.

Paternity and adoption leave

  • The changes in maternity leave regulations are to be mirrored in the case of adoption leave.
  • Fathers and mothers will have the right to exchange maternity and paternity entitlement.

Flexible Working

The right to request flexible working will be extended to those who are carers.


This edition of the Pasfield Curran E-Bulletin was first published in April 2007.


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