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Archive for the 'Employee Rights' Category


Sustainable Business Practices

How to introduce sustainable business practices in your organization

Sustainability involves considering environmental sustainability in all aspects of an organization’s operations. It also involves considering social sustainability and how an organization’s actions might affect the local community and people in general. Also known as environmental and social responsibility, considering sustainability of every business decision and activity may not be possible or feasible for some companies. At the same time, there are several ways to introduce sustainable business practices in your company or organization.

The Benefits of Being Sustainable

One of the main reasons to adopt sustainable business practices is the advantage it can give an organization. In many cases, sustainable practices lead to greater efficiency. This in turn can help reduce operating costs. Sustainable practices also attract and retain employees that want to work for an organization that encourages and embraces sustainable practices. They also attract new clients, customers, investors and other partners looking for environmentally and socially responsible organizations. In turn, being sustainable might encourage your partners, suppliers, clients and customers to also be more environmentally and socially responsible.

Ways to Make Operational Changes

An organization can become more environmentally and socially sustainable or responsible through operational changes. Part of this involves being a ‘good’ employer. This means being committed to your employees and how they feel about working for your organization. A good employer cares about how satisfied employees as well as their development and well-being. This might involve encouraging good work-life balance with, for example, flexible work arrangements and on-site fitness centres and childcare. It also involves promoting equality and fairness where there is no tolerance for workplace discrimination and harassment. Promoting a healthy and safe work environment for employees is a vital part of being a socially sustainable organization as well as a good employer. Read more »



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The Importance of Health and Safety in the Workplace

April 28th, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, is an International Labour Organisation-recognised day to promote safe and healthy work environments, as well as day to remember casualties of workplace accidents around the world.

Businesses are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, including self-employed people. Health and safety laws protect employees as well as members of the public from workplace hazards. The first step is to select someone with the skills and experience necessary to help manage health and safety. Owners of smaller businesses and owner-operated businesses can general appointed a person themselves. For larger companies, a health and safety expert may be needed.

A written policy will provide information on how health and safety will be managed in the business. A policy lets employees and other people know about your commitment to health and safety, and what procedures are in place. Any business with five or more employees must have a written risk assessment or policy. Smaller businesses with less than five workers do not have to meet this requirement. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has templates to help businesses develop a risk assessment and policy. A risk assessment to determine potential and existing dangers in the workplace will help inform the policy. Read more »



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The Importance of a Happy Workplace

A happy workplace has such a significant effect on workers that it simply cannot be overlooked. The International Day of Happiness falls on the 20th of March, which is dedicated to ‘the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human goal’. There are a lot of benefits in keeping your staff happy including financial returns. While it is great to dedicate a day to being completely happy, it is imperative that every company does what it can to create a happy and content workplace throughout the year if it wants to find success.

Happy Workers Are Productive Workers

When you do research on Happiness Day, you will find data that backs up some of the oldest corporate clichés around. For example, statistically happy workers are more productive workers. A staff that feels content with its company and work is much more likely to achieve, or exceed, productivity goals, which puts a lot more money on the bottom line.

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International Women’s Day: What does it mean to be a woman in today’s business world?

Each year on March 8, it’s International Women’s Day, and an excellent time to reflect on progress made in the workplace towards female equality. Many events, held all around the world, discuss the challenges the future brings when considering: women’s empowerment in the workplace, women’s human rights, issues of poverty, and the role of women as agents of innovation and development. This year’s theme is: “Equality for women is progress for all”.

How can a business support International Women’s Day 2015?

Each year, organisations, including non-government organisations, charities, businesses and governments, are encouraged to adopt a more personal theme relevant to their business area to mark the day. For example, British Petroleum have chosen the theme; “make it happen”, which showcases the achievements of women in the oil and gas industries. The United Nations encourages businesses to measure progress, celebrate “acts of courage and determination” by women in their individual countries and put in place policies to support women managers.

How do women help grow the economy?

The UN research indicates “countries with more gender equality have better economic growth”. How does a business translate this into actionable steps to help women in their enterprises?

PR heavyweights, McKinsey & Company rate the business of empowering women as extremely important when doing business in developing countries. Page 7 of their report: The Business of Empowering Women, suggests these policies form part of any business plan:

• Enabling women to develop marketable skills including education to tertiary level, vocational and technical qualifications, citizenship skills such as financial, family and household management skills.
• Helping women access opportunity for employment – free from “discrimination, harassment and violence”; gaining access to credit facilities; ease of travel, public infrastructure and quality childcare.
• In leadership, supporting women to gain responsible positions – adding the voice of your business to lobbying for equal legal, social, and economic rights for women, ownership laws of property, and the ability to control their own income. Read more »



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International Women’s Day: Equality in the Workplace

The only way that society can advance is when the talents of everyone in the workforce are utilized equally. For many years now, International Women’s Day has focused attention on the issues that cause inequality in the workplace and has looked for ways to level the playing field for everyone.

One of the primary messages of International Women’s Day is that equality means progress for all. It is a powerful message that helps to highlight the challenges women face in the workplace and the benefits to eliminating those challenges completely.

What Does Workplace Equality Mean?

The underlying message behind equality in the workplace is to make sure that the person who is most qualified for the job gets that job and gets a reasonable salary as well. Equality means more than opening up more opportunities to women in the workplace; it also means making sure that a man or woman would get the same pay for a job well done.

Workplace equality means breaking through the barriers which insist that there are jobs specifically for males and females and opening up opportunity to everyone. Equality can be a very positive step towards developing a corporate workforce that is adaptable and versatile.

Why Is Workplace Equality Important To Companies?

Without workplace equality, the talents of everyone interested in doing a particular job are ignored. A company that exercises workplace equality can develop a workforce that is competitive and able to adapt to any changes that may arise because the most qualified workers are doing the jobs they were trained for.

When a company hires individuals based on their qualifications, then that company can get a strong return on the investment it makes in its recruiting efforts. It costs less for a company to maintain a strong workforce and it is also easier than having to replace workers who leave the company. Read more »



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Employee Rights in the US for 2014: First Quarter

There have been some monumental changes to employee rights in the United States so far in 2014 that are worth investigating. Some of these changes were put in motion a while back, such as the changes to minimum wage laws. But there have been other worker rights stories that have occurred within 2014 and some of them could change the way corporations operate.

Dish Network Forced To Compensate Whistle Blower

In March 2014, OSHA told Dish Network that it had to pay a whistle blower back wages and damages for firing the employee after he spoke out against a vendor. The significance here is that the government stood up for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in a way that sent a strong message to all United States employers.

Many American workers do not realize that it is OSHA which enforces whistle blower provisions of the work laws. With this ruling, the government is encouraging employees to point out corporate indiscretions and not fear losing their jobs.

The Minimum Wage Goes Up

The federal minimum wage was not raised in 2014 for all United States workers, but there were some states that did bring up their minimum wages in 2014. The United States federal government raised the minimum wages of employees of government contractors, but not the entire country.

In all, 14 states raised their minimum wages in 2014 to levels that are beyond the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. The state of Washington has the highest minimum wage at $9.32 per hour, with California and Oregon close behind at $9.00 per hour. All in all, 21 states have a minimum wage that is higher than the federal minimum.

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