Archives for April 6th, 2006

SUPPORTING CARERS BRINGS BENEFITS TO EMPLOYERS

Headlines, PublicNet: 6 April, 2006

Research commissioned by Carers UK and carried out by Sheffield University shows that supporting the three million carers who combine working with caring in the UK is a cost effective policy for employers to follow. Carers UK is the lead organisation in Action for Carers and Employment which is a development partnership funded by the European Social Fund under its Equal Community Initiative Programme. The Programme brings together statutory, voluntary and private sector agencies to raise awareness of the barriers facing carers who wish to work, and tests and promotes ways of supporting them.The research shows that the adoption of flexible working practices can save organisation’s time and money. Key points from the research reveal that the adoption of flexible working practices attracts and retains skilled staff, reduces employee stress and sick leave and significantly increases productivity and improves service delivery. Examples in the report show substantial productivity increases and up to a quarter reduction in sick and stress leave. The report also shows that the costs of recruiting and training staff to replace those who wished to combine work with caring was more expensive than allowing flexible working and providing paid emergency leave.

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CIVIL SERVICE LAUNCHES CAPABILITY AUDIT

Headlines, PublicNet: 6 April, 2006

The Civil Service is reviewing the capability of each department to make sure that it is able to meet today’s delivery challenges and to be ready for tomorrow’s. The reviews will consider capability in the key areas of leadership, strategy and delivery. Each review will aim to identify where departments need to improve, and will include the development of an action plan to address the findings. The programme will be rolled out across 17 departments by the middle of next year.The reviews are a further step following criticism of the Civil Service in the Gershon efficiency report published in 2004. Following the Report’s call for central government departments to adopt a more professional approach, a Professional Skills for Government programme was launched to equip the more senior ranks of civil servants with key business skills and an in-depth knowledge of their own professional area. The Gershon report emphasised the need for a new focus on professional and technical skills.

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