What about ‘No sustained profit - No pay & bonus’ contracts for bosses?

In an interim report published last week, Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Committee says there has been an ‘alarming’ increase in the use of casual labour – who are in some cases not being paid the legal minimum wage - across the UK (and in Scotland in particular) and that Government should be using all the levers at its disposal, including legislation, to change this.

The Committee says the Government’s consultation on ‘zero hours contracts’ is too narrow:  it is focused on exclusivity & transparency, but the Committee says addressing those concerns will do little to help workers who are exploited by unscrupulous employers.

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Picture your current office set up …….. Does the time it takes to find information slow down your business processes, not to mention customer service? Could inefficient ways of storing and sharing paper-based documents be having a negative effect on your productivity?

Paperlight Office Series Step 2 – Efficient Document Access for Active Files

Now it’s time to transform how you handle ‘living’ documents throughout your organisation and across all your systems and platforms. People keep information close to hand because they want to refer to it regularly or get to it quickly. According to AIIM (Association for Information and Information Management), 72% of organisations claim that it’s harder to find information they own than information they don’t, yet many organisations find it difficult to implement standardised processes for indexing and accessing critical documents.

This second paper in the ‘Paperlight Office Series’  addresses how to achieve optimum control of your information and your working environment with efficient document access for active files, addressing key public sector issues such as:

  • Secure access and retrieval
  • Sharing and Collaboration
  • Compliance and Audit

Click here to download your free copy now.

But what will happen as people get older and potentially lose their ICT skills?

BBC research has found that 21% of people lack the basic digital skills they need to benefit from the internet.  Lloyds Bank revealed, in its UK Business Digital Index, that half of SMEs and voluntary & community social enterprise do not have a website.

So the Cabinet Office has launched a strategy and a Digital Inclusion Charter.  The charter brings together 40 organisations from all sectors who are committed to reducing the number of people who are offline by 25% by 2016, and a further 25% every 2 years after that.

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It is often not the ‘mistake’ that annoys people, but rather the ‘cover-up’ and the reluctance to at least say ‘sorry’

In their report on complaints, the Public Administration Select Committee (PASC) says a culture of denial & failure of leadership in public services in handling complaints is what leads to failures like the Mid-Staffs hospital disaster.  The Mid-Staffs crisis, which highlighted how leadership failures to hear & address concerns from patients, their families, and staff led to ‘unspeakable disaster’, sparked the PASC inquiry.

Opportunities to offer sufficient redress, improve services & boost public confidence was often missed in poor complaints handling.  PASC calls for “single point of contact for citizens to make complaints about Government departments or agencies”, which provides “meaningful human support at the end of a telephone for those who need it.”

The Committee concludes success depends on the right leadership of public services which values complaints as critical for improving, and learning about, their service.  PASC often heard the words ‘complexity’ and ‘confusion’ about complaints processes.  Sometimes it’s an “appeal” or “review” or “feedback”.  The report concludes, “A complaint is a complaint... nobody should be shy of the term ‘complaint’... Other euphemistic terms for ‘complaint’ should be banned.

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A ‘Green Policy’ that many people would vote for (as long as it was ‘NIMBY’)

Communities with ideas for a new generation of garden cities will receive support from the government to turn their ambitions into reality.  A prospectus will help communities work up proposals for ambitious new developments, which are locally-led, include at least 15,000 homes and have the backing of existing residents.

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If only we got back at least what we paid in

Thousands of people involved in farming, wildlife preservation and rural businesses should have received first details last week setting out how they might benefit from £15bn in EU funding over the new 7 years Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) period.

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A helping hand for those who want to help both themselves & others

Are you a young person in London determined to make a positive difference to your community?  Do you have a brilliant idea for a social enterprise?  The Frontline London campaign is looking to back 10 young Londoners who wish to become social entrepreneurs.

These people, aged between 18 & 30, will have overcome challenges in their lives, for example putting addiction or gang life behind them.  They should be determined to build a positive future and inspire other young people to do the same.  In return, they will receive up to £8,000, training and a business mentor to help them.  Apply by 5pm on 2 May 2014.

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Blueprint for Federal Europe pushing aside National Courts

The 4th annual report published by the EC on the application of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, shows that the importance & prominence of the EU Charter continues to rise: the Court of Justice of the EU increasingly applies the Charter in its decisions while national judges are more & more aware of the Charter's impact and seek guidance from the European Court of Justice.

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As we move relentlessly towards an e-money system this may be essential

Anyone legally residing in the EU will have the right to open a basic payment account, and no-one could be denied this right on grounds of nationality or place of residence, under a new law passed by the EP. This law should also ensure that fees & rules for all payment accounts are transparent & comparable and make it easy to switch to another payment account that offers better terms.

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It may not be ideal, but it is the most comprehensive data we have

The Public Administration Select Committee has published their report urging the Government not to scrap the 2021 Census.  Good figures on the people in the country are of fundamental importance to the statistical system, policy makers and society more widely, and the ten-yearly census gives detailed information on small areas.

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