Junior doctors to go on strike

Junior doctors in England have overwhelmingly voted in favour of carrying out strike action in a dispute with the Government over changes to their contracts. Under the plans, the standard working during which doctors are paid at the basic rate, will be extended.

According to the BMA, the "unfair deals" risk forcing promising young doctors to "speak with their feet" and go abroad to work. BMA council chair Mark Porter said: "While the BMA regrets the inevitable disruption that this will cause, junior doctors have clearly been left with no alternative but to consider strike action due to the Government’s continued threat to impose a contract that is unsafe for patients and unfair for doctors." But Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health claims that the changes are necessary to improve services at the weekends, and to truly have a “7-day NHS”.

Additionally, NHS England recently announced limits on the hourly pay rate for agency staff in order to reduce costs but the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has called the move “an absolute sham.”

Rise in workplace bullying in the UK

A recent study by Acas has revealed that workplace bullying is on the rise in the UK, with Acas receiving about 20,000 calls about harassment and bullying at work. Sir Brendan Barber, Chair of Acas said that the victims who got in touch with Acas’ helpline had faced some “horrific” incidents around bullying that have included “humiliation, ostracism, verbal and physical abuse.” The report also showed that managers were unwilling to speak to offenders of bullying if they were perceived to be valuable employees. “Managers sometimes dismiss accusations around bullying as simply personality or management-style clashes, whilst others may recognise the problem but lack the confidence or skills to deal with it”, Sir Brendan Barber added.

A separate poll carried out by YouGov for TUC showed that at least 36 per cent of UK workers quit their jobs as a result of being bullied at work. Women were more likely (34 per cent) to be victims of bullying than men (23 per cent) and in nearly 72 per cent of cases, the bullying was carried out by a manager. Frances O’Grady, general secretary of TUC said that organisations need to make sure that they have a zero-tolerance policy towards bullying and that many employers are “simply ignoring bullying behaviour and are failing to support their staff.”

‘Engage or Bust!’ – Engage for Success Conference 2015

This week, senior business leaders, HR Directors and more gathered at the Engage for Success – ‘Engage or Bust!’ Conference. Mark Price of Waitrose, John Timpson of Timpsons and Tanith Dodge of Marks and Spencer, from some of the strongest brands in Retail, all said that employees are at the heart of their working cultures and have been for many years. They consider that vital to their success.

Attendees heard from the Engage for Success thought and action groups about engagement and wellbeing and from Dr David Halpern about how the smallest nudges can bring about changes for the better in behaviour in the workplace. 

The founders of Engage for Success, David Macleod and IPA Director Nita Clarke, wrapped up the day by asking attendees to consider if they, and our organisations, want to "see what happens, wonder what happened or MAKE things happen" and change the way they work.