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FUNDING TO CREATE A BETTER WORKPLACE WITH INNOVATIVE WORKPLACE PROJECTS

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Companies championing schemes to crackdown on bullying at work, build ...
Companies championing schemes to crackdown on bullying at work, build
better work/life balance practices and resolve disputes are among
those receiving a funding boost from the department for trade and industry today.
The Partnership Fund aims to provide support to companies determined
to develop partnerships at work, improve communications and solve
cultural and business problems.
The government has now paid out a total of£3.9m since the
Partnership Fund was launched in 1999.£1.1m is left for the next
round, expected later in the year.
Announcing the latest round of winners, employment minister Alan
Johnson said:
'Partnership at work is essential for companies who want to reach
the top in today's economy.
'It can be particularly important when a dispute occurs - a culture
of openness and honesty can save both employees and employers the
strain of an employment tribunal.
'The dark days when management was by coercion and negotiation by
threat may seem like the distant past, but we must continue to
improve. Today's successful company realises the full potential of
its most important resource - its people -by ensuring they are
equipped to perform at their best and listening to their
contributions.
'The government's Partnership Fund aims to do just that and has
already helped many organisations develop a culture of co-operation
and improved communication at work. These latest winners include
projects to tackle bullying and harassment, improve food safety and
build working relationships based on mutual trust, commitment and
responsibility.'
Projects for support under the fund are invited on a competitive
basis during fixed rounds - the winners of the third are being
announced today. Organisations could be looking at partnerships for
the first time or building on existing efforts.
The Partnership Fund runs for four years. Each winner can receive
up to a maximum of£50,000 from the government. The winners come
from the private, public and voluntary sectors and from unionised and
non-unionised organisations.
Successful applicants are awarded grants of up to 50% of total
project costs, with the remainder being met by participating
organisations.
Notes
1. All applications to the Partnership Fund are assessed against the
published criteria by an Independent Assessment Panel.
2. The successful projects are as follows:
National
Developing Food Safety Partnerships at Work
This dissemination project from The Restaurant Association and
Hospitality Training Foundation (HTF) seeks to promote partnership
working within the hospitality industry. By working together,
management and staff both in the kitchen and dining room environment
will work to raise standards of service and business excellence in
restaurants and catering establishments. The project will address
traditional barriers to communication between front of house and back
of house employees; encourage team working; and together with
management, develop a shared responsibility for improving food
safety.
Creating Pro-active Occupational Health in Partnership
British Waterways, along with Unison and the Transport & General
Workers Union intends to introduce an occupational health programme
through partnership working. The programme will use the HSC Securing
Health Together strategy as the framework. Most importantly, the
programme will provide a platform on which to build real partnership
in the workplace. The long-term objective is to change the way in
which managers and unions work together by developing an
understanding of problems, finding joint solutions and reducing staff
absence. An assessment of employees' health will be carried out and
then a programme of education and training will be delivered.
A Partnership Approach to Communication & Representation of Agency
Workers Working together, The Transport & General Workers' Union and
employment services provider, Manpower Plc, are seeking to develop a
partnership approach to improve communications between the agency and
the staff they place. This project will identify ways in which a
partnership approach can develop and enhance communications between
the agency's workforce and the employer, and introduce an appropriate
and effective system of trade union representation for the workforce.
They will identify issues that inhibit confidence, job satisfaction
and loyalty for agency employees. The project will focus on three
regional areas covering London, The Midlands and North of England.
North East
Bridging the Gap - Participation in an Agenda for Change
Cleveland Fire Brigade along with the Fire Brigade Union and UNISON
aim to develop a better workplace culture. All partners recognise
the need for changes to organisational culture, behaviour and
attitude which will enable the organisation to become more productive
and better value the contributions that all staff can make.
Initially, focus will be made on improving communication through
briefing events, identifying champions for change and completing a
staff survey. It is anticipated that among the specific issues for
policy change will be dispute resolution, bullying, promotion and
personal development.
BEL Investment in Partnership
British Engines Ltd regards partnership as essential for the future
success of the business. Their project aims to change the workplace
culture to one of joint working and to develop an understanding of
modern industrial relations by upskilling some of the middle
managers. They wish to move away from traditional 'old school'
working styles and also improve communications
Pulling Together - Working in Partnership
Working with 3 trade unions - the AEEU, APEX and GMB - The Federation
Brewery Ltd wish to bring about culture change and develop an open
and honest working environment where everyone's knowledge and ideas
are valued and people are rewarded for their effort. By developing
this working practice and providing the skills needed, the company
will be better equipped to respond to an increasingly challenging
market and to create a team of people who enjoy working for the
brewery and can contribute to and share in its success.
North West
Change Initiation - Fit For the Future
Leyland Trucks already has a partnership culture but recent expansion
leading to rapid growth in staff numbers and workload has left them
with a need to review and refresh their partnerships. Working with
the AEEU, the main aim is to understand how employees are feeling and
use results of a staff survey to develop a joint action plan in
response
Partnership in Littlewoods
This project from Littlewoods Retail and USDAW is seeking to sustain
and reinvigorate an already established partnership between
management and the union. Whilst the partnership has been successful
at Partnership Board and Group level, knowledge and understanding is
failing to reach colleagues at middle management and shop floor
level. This project will confirm the purpose of the partnership,
increase awareness and understanding and move the partnership
forward.
The Employment Relations Project
Royal and Sun Alliance (RSA) with UNIFI and the MSF aims to develop a
new employee relations procedural and behavioural framework. The
Royal and Sun Alliance merged to form RSA in 1996 and a need to
implement one set of coherent procedures has been identified. One set
of modern procedures will recognise where the parties have 'come
from' but will also move employee relations within the company to one
that addresses the needs of the 'new' business. Training will be
provided to appoint 'change champions' who will deliver the
initiative to the organisation's 24,000 staff. The project will seek
to involve, engage and motivate staff
Yorkshire & Humberside
Building Effective Relationships
UK Engineered Products (UKEP) is a manufacturing site within Textron
power Transmission, encompassing four separate companies based at the
Park Gear Works in Huddersfield. Together they provide a wide range
of high quality products for bespoke power transmission applications
throughout the world. By identifying and implementing ways to
provide regular communication and consultation between managers and
employees, this partnership project seeks to improve working
relationships and facilitate quicker resolution of employee and
business issues. By improving workplace communications, it is
intended to improve job satisfaction and opportunities for employee
involvement in the day to day activities of the company.
Partnership for the Involvement of Employees in change for Economic
Development
Yorkshire Forward was formed in April 1999 from an
amalgamation of four different organisations bringing together 172
staff with eleven different sets of working terms and conditions.
This project with the participation of the Institute of
Professionals, Managers & Specialists seeks to build on work already
carried out to
harmonise the various terms and conditions by working in partnership
and developing family friendly policies. Staff representatives will
participate in developing training plans and a programme of Diversity
training.
Resolving a Grievances Culture by Working in Partnership
Leeds City Council has developed a proposal to introduce a joint
problem solving approach to resolving employee grievances. Current
practices are recognised as inadequate and all the parties recognise
that there is a need to develop a greater understanding of the roles,
responsibilities and constraints that they each work under. This
project will encourage all to try an alternative approach based on
the principles of partnership working to resolve issues through joint
working rather than the current divisive approach. With over 32,000
employees, it has been difficult to ensure good working practice
throughout the organisation. Partnership working will ensure that in
future, any changes are achieved successfully.
East Midlands
Blue Light Project
Borne out of the creation of the East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS
Trust in April 1999 (following the merger of three former County
Ambulance Trusts), this project aims to build on the harmonisation of
working practices and policies. It seeks to build a working
relationship based on mutual trust, commitment and responsibility. A
staff attitude survey and formation of focus groups will examine
issues which staff feel are important
Lights! Camera!.....Action!
Cooke Optics produce a range of fixed focus prime lenses for the
movie industry. Their partnership project will establish a
consultative forum involving employees and management in the
development of the business. Improved communications, exchange of
information and joint problem solving is designed to assist business
planning and increased productivity.
Staff Involvement & Partnership
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust and UNISON aim to
continue and build on partnership practices to facilitate the recent
merger of two hospital trusts. Specific project objectives include
improving consultation mechanisms; training staff side
representatives and HR staff to deal with bullying and harassment
situations; and creating a culture which prevents bullying and
harassment from occurring and supports staff to raise concerns where
prevention has been unsuccessful
West Midlands
Equal Opportunities for All
HP Bulmer plan to develop existing partnership practices with the
specific aim of improving awareness throughout the company of their
jointly agreed Equal Opportunities Policy. HP Bulmer will be working
with the Transport and General Workers' Union in achieving the
project objectives which include training Equal Opportunities
trainers
South West
People and Business Integration
Proper Cornish is a manufacturer of hand-made pasties and other
bakery products. Their partnership project is about involving staff
on staff forums to improve communications, working practices and
conditions. In particular, areas to be looked at will include
improving staff satisfaction, reducing staff turnover and
absenteeism. By addressing these issues and finding joint solutions
it is intended to improve employee relations and company profits.
South East
Fostering a Partnership
Building on the existing partnership efforts of their National Staff
Consultative Committee, and following major re-structuring, the Guide
Dog for the Blind Association aims to widen the consultative brief to
review and develop a range of family friendly policies which fit the
needs of the staff and business.
Strategy & Leadership - Extending the Scope of Partnership
A Partnership agreement between Legal & General and the MSF was
signed in April 1997. The agreement is currently being reviewed and
this partnership project will seek to reinforce the agreement and
develop it at a strategic level within both organisations. Further
work will be done to ensure that the agreement works effectively and
becomes embedded into the organisational culture. Project objectives
will include improving the way the two organisations work together
and communications.
Working Together
Gate Gourmet, providers of airline catering and related services will
work together with partners Transport and General Workers' Union in
this project to improve working relations between management and
employees and review/update existing employment policies. A newly
formed joint Steering Group will co-ordinate activities which will be
workshop based and involve awareness building and training
Brighton & Hove City Council- Health & Well Being Project
This partnership between the Council's managers, employees and UNISON
to develop and implement an occupational health strategy has also
gained support from two local service providers, Zurich Municipal and
the Co-operative Bank. Current occupational health services
available to employees across the council are inconsistent and the
aim of the project is to bring them all to the same high standard
according to the needs of the staff. Partnership techniques will be
used throughout the project to develop and implement the strategy and
to ensure that advice and support is relevant and accessible to all
those who wish to use it. Three key groups will be established to
ensure all stakeholders are represented.
Working in Partnership - Just in Time Training for Culture Change
Hampshire County Council in partnership with Unison and the
Managerial & Professional Officers Branch of the GMB, will work in
partnership to support the culture change that will arise from the
implementation of new working practices and a review of grading and
pay structures for some 20,000 employees. The project is about
change management training for managers, employees and trade union
representatives. A joint project team will be established to assist
in developing and reviewing initiatives and in designing and
delivering the change management training programme.
Phase III Implementing Partnership Project
Zurich Financial Services together with its union, the Union of
Finance Staff (UFS) signed a partnership agreement in December 2000
and this project will implement partnership principles throughout the
organisation. Work will educate managers and supervisors, HR staff
and local UFS representatives and employees in identifying the
benefits of their involvement within the business. It will also
provide skills and support to team leaders trying to resolve local
problems. Increased levels of employee involvement will encourage
all to work for the benefit of the business. Sector: Financial
Services
Enhancing Working Lives
The Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust is seeking to secure an
improvement in work-life balance for its employees while maintaining
service level standards. By initiating a pilot partnership project
within the physiotherapy service, this will develop opportunities for
partnership working throughout the Trust. Staff will be involved in
planning and implementing flexible working practices with the aim of
improving morale and motivation and improving recruitment and
retention rates.
London
'One Organisation' through Knowledge & Partnership
I CAN is a national educational charity based in London for children
with speech and communication difficulties. As part of their
partnership project proposal, the charity aims to involve staff more
actively in the organisation and harness their knowledge and skills
to give them a stronger sense of ownership and participation. The
project involves setting up a national Staff Communication and
Consultation Forum, conducting a staff survey and developing an
employee intranet to share learning and development.
Recharge
Jacksons Lane Community Centre is a registered charity providing
community and social activities in North London. This partnership
project will seek to review management and staff relations, improve
customer care and move the Centre towards becoming a modern 21st
century organisation. This project will address these issues by
introducing a culture change programme to give staff ownership and
responsibility for change and specific business issues. Staff
representatives will act as a conduit between staff, management and
the management committee to offer a neutral sounding board for staff
input and lead internal staff discussion
Flexible Strength
Bovince Ltd is a family-run company based in Walthamstow, London. The
company is one of Europe's largest Screen Process Printers. Their
partnership project aims to build on an existing workplace culture of
continuous improvement by introducing new flexible working
arrangements to improve business performance and customer
satisfaction whilst at the same time enabling employees to make
positive choices about balancing work and the rest of their lives.
Unison & Kings College NHS Trust Mediation Training
Unison and the Kings College Hospital Trust are committed to the
creation of a working environment based on tolerance and respect as
an absolute right for all staff and users of the Trust's services.
The Trust covers an area of London that is diverse in its population
and this is reflected in the make up of the Trust's employees. It is
against this background that the partners wish to develop a
partnership project that seeks to address issues of conflict that
arise within the workforce and the workplace. The project will
provide Mediation Training to equip managers and trade unions
representatives with the necessary skills to resolve issues
informally
East
A Culture Change
This partnership between GB Railfreight and ASLEF has two main
objectives:- to review new methods of working recently introduced for
train drivers and identify and implement relevant training; and to
facilitate open communions between GBRf, its employees and ASLEF
through the design and installation of an intranet facility. A
steering group comprising representatives from all parties will
monitor project progress and a final report will be circulated widely
by both partners.
Fired up for Partnership
The Essex County Fire & Rescue Service and the Fire Brigades Union
are working together to change workplace culture. Their main project
objective is to achieve a measurable improvement in health & safety
by seconding a union representative to work with health and safety
managers to implement a Climate Survey Action Plan. They will also
seek to improve internal communications procedures and involve
management and trade union representatives in taking changes forward.
Improving Commitment to Health & Safety
This project from the Norfolk CC Highways Contractors -
May Gurney Construction Ltd, is a partnership between senior
management and local trade union representatives to implement
long-term solutions to Health & Safety management. The project will
develop the current system of H&S management by creating better
access to and understanding of H&S policies, procedures and practice
among managers and employees at all levels. Together, they will take
shared responsibility for developing, managing and adhering to health
and safety issues.
Strengthening & Extending Partnership with AWG
Anglian Water has operated a partnership approach in employment
relations over the past five years and in this new project is seeking
to extend current practice. Recent growth of the company and the
acquisition of a major construction company have led to a
reorganisation of the group into four business activities.
Consolidating and extending partnership practice is viewed as
essential to meet the emerging needs of the group. Training
objectives will focus on joint decision making techniques,
consultation, presentation and communication to assist the
restructuring and to address the representational needs of employees
in the parts of the business where no unions are present
Consortium Well Being Programme
The West Glamorgan Housing Consortium provides supported housing for
people with learning difficulties. Together with Unison, the
Consortium wishes to change workplace culture so that important
decisions are based on local operational need rather than centrally
driven. There is a strong commitment to move towards greater
involvement of management, the union and staff in joint working. The
project will enhance the general health and well-being of employees
in the main areas of health and dealing with stressful situations in
and out of the work environment.
Enabling Change Through 'The 20 Keys to Workplace Improvement'
Building on relationships already established, 3M UK plc together
with the Transport & General Workers' Union want to incorporate the
'20 Keys' approach at their Gorseinon site. This method is designed
to enable and support change by focusing on employees and involving
them in identifying areas for improvement. A full-time leader will be
recruited from the workforce and the first four keys identified. A
key leader, also from the workforce, will be responsible for each
project and for convening consultative groups. The overall aim of
the project is to energise and motivate all employees to work
together for the mutual success of the company and themselves.
Shaping our Future Through Partnership
United Welsh Housing Association (UWHA) is a non-profit making body
with charitable rules and employs a total of 120 staff all on similar
terms of employment. The Association has a recognition agreement
with one trade union ie Unison which was first drawn up in 1993.
Since that time, the workplace and employment relationships have all
changed considerably and it is felt that the agreement is in need of
renewal. The project will seek to change culture and look at
redefining and developing relationships between all parties in order
to achieve the Corporate Objectives.
Scotland
University Challenge - Building Partnerships
The University of Paisley seeks to embed partnership in the workplace
through the advancement of its main partnership principles and the
adoption of innovative and supportive partnership practices. This
represents a significant shift in employment relations practice and
consequently the University will first embark on a complementary
culture change. This culture change will forge new relationships
between management, employee representatives and employees
Sustaining Our Mature Partnership
United Distillers and Vintners have two main aims in their
partnership project. The first is to establish a robust consultation
process across all the company's divisions and sites and the second
is to provide managers and employee representatives with relevant
'partnership skills' to underpin effective consultation. Employees
will become more involved in the decision making process and play a
greater role in achieving business goals.
3. Those interested in finding out more about the Partnership Fund
should call the Helpline on 020 7215 6252 or write to The Partnership
Fund, Employment Relations Directorate (Room UG133), Department of
Trade and Industry, 1 Victoria Street, LONDON SW1H 0ET or visit the
website.
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