Administration – Intermediate II OUTCOME 2 Describe factors affecting the administrative assistant in the work environment Administration – Intermediate II Working Practices Flexible Working Practices take place in most organisations. This has led to a move away from the normal 9 am – 5 pm 5 days a week. A wider range of working practices are now available eg: Full Time Part Time Flexi-Time Homeworking Teleworking Hot Desking Administration – Intermediate II Full-Time • Employees are required to work a set number of hours per day – commonly 9 am – 5 pm, five days per week • The average full-time week in the UK is 41 hours, the longest in Europe This is NOT a flexible Working Practice! Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Part-time • Part-time working refers to weekly basic hours that are less than full-time • The number of hours worked will depend on the nature of the job and will be agreed by employer and employee. • Examples of part-time hours: 3 full days per week Back to Questions 5 half days per week Administration – Intermediate II Part-time • Part-time hours commonly cover peak periods eg • First thing in the morning for covering the mail • Lunch time • Part-time employees are entitled to the same wage rates, working conditions and benefits received by full-time employees • However, they receive these benefits on a prorata basis ie in relation to the number of hours worked eg • If a part-time employee only works half a week they will receive half the wages. Administration – Intermediate II Flexi-Time Often large, modern businesses operate flexitime This allows employees to start early or work late to build up hours which they can take at a later date All employees must work between certain time(s) each day This is known as Core Time Back to Questions Most staff appreciate the advantages of flexitime Administration – Intermediate II Flexi-Time Cost May be a cost saving as overtime may not be needed Business premises may need to be open longer therefore costs, such as electricity, may be higher Time Specific staff may not always be able to deal with tasks Controls, such as timesheets must be carefully monitored Administration – Intermediate II Flexi-Time – Benefits to Employee Employees feel trusted resulting in high staff morale As employees choose what hours they work they may work more efficiently Employees working longer hours must take longer breaks and be aware of guidelines if using ICT equipment Administration – Intermediate II Job-Sharing Job-sharing is a voluntary arrangement in which one full-time job is shared between 2 (or sometimes more) employees, each working on a part-time basis The pay and benefits will be shared between each employee in proportion to the hours each works Offering job-sharing is a way of recruiting or retaining an employee who otherwise would not be able to work for the organisation eg due to family commitments Job-sharers may work split days, split weeks, alternate weeks or their hours may overlap Administration – Intermediate II Homeworking/Teleworking Involves using ICT to carry out tasks away from the office Workers need a computer connected to a modem Allows files to be sent electronically Allows workers to live further away Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Issues affecting Homeworking/Teleworking Staff must be willing to homework Employees may need technical assistance Employees may feel isolated Any ICT equipment must meet health and safety requirements Administration – Intermediate II Homeworking/Teleworking Cost Employees need equipment Equipment must be maintained Employees must be trained to use the equipment and software Time Employees need time to be trained and gain new skills Employees need to be able to do the work within the required timescale Administration – Intermediate II Hot Desking To allow flexibility, companies may have computers and desks available These are not allocated to any specific employee Allows staff to use these when needed Must be booked in advance Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Hot Desking Management Issues Cost Initial cost of equipment and furnishing Savings may be made as equipment is shared Employees must be trained to use new equipment Equipment must be maintained and technical support provided Time Access to shared equipment may cause time delays Administration – Intermediate II Flexible Working Practices Benefits to the Employer Staffing levels can be set to handle busy periods More satisfied and motivated workforce should lead to: Increased job performance and productivity Lower staff turnover Lower absenteeism Ability to attract wider range of applicants to the job Administration – Intermediate II Flexible Working Practices Benefits to the Employee Helps to improve work-life balance – employees can manage their work as well as meet family responsibilities and personal interests Leads to more satisfied and motivated employees Reduction in stress created from having to cope with personal and work commitments Employees should benefit from improved skills and experience, as a result of being able to remain with the same organisation longer Administration – Intermediate II Contracts of Employment The Employment Rights Act 1996 requires that employers give employees, who are employed for one month or more, a written statement of their terms and conditions of employment and their rights as employees. This Contract of Employment should be issued within 2 months of the employee starting work. Types of Contract Temporary Permanent Fixed-Term Full-time Part-time Administration – Intermediate II Types of Contract Temporary A temporary contract is one that does not last indefinitely but the date at which the employment ends is not stated. Permanent A permanent contract is one that does not have an end date – it is a safe, secure job. Fixed-Term This is similar to a temporary contract, however the difference is that an end date will be stated. Full-time If you are employed for, on average, 41 hours per week, you have a full-time contract. Part-time If an employee is employed for less than the full-time hours, they are said to have a parttime contract. Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Types of Contract Benefits to the Organisation • Short-term contracts can be used to employ staff only when they are needed eg Post Office employee additional staff at Christmas • Organisations can buy in specialist staff for short-term projects without having to retrain/re-skill existing staff • Organisations can retain workers whose personal circumstances have changed (new mothers) rather than lose the knowledge and skill of these experienced staff • Savings can be made in terms of occupying building space • Working methods will suit employees lifestyles better which will lead to better morale, motivation and productivity. Administration – Intermediate II Types of Contract Effects for the employee: • Greater choice and flexibility to suit changing needs and lifestyle • However, there is the question of job security if contracts are increasingly of a temporary or fixed-term nature • There are serious implications for pensions and even the ability to get a mortgage if you do not have a guaranteed salary each month. Administration – Intermediate II SECURITY • The extent of an organisation’s security arrangements will depend on the type of organisation, its size and the nature of its activities. • Security measures should be taken for various reasons: To protect and reassure staff To prevent theft of stock and equipment To maintain confidentiality of information The organisation will need to implement security measures for the entry and movement of staff, visitors and access to information Administration – Intermediate II Staff Entry and Movement • To ensure that only authorised personnel have access to the premises an organisation can use a combination of the following methods: Intercom and/or security doors Identification passes – which may contain an electronic strip which needs to be swiped for entry Careful handling and issue of keys Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Visitors • To ensure that only genuine visitors enter the premises an organisation can use a combination of the following methods: Visitors should report to reception The reception should be located at the main entrance and constantly staffed Visitor passes should be issued and displayed Visitors should not be left unsupervised The receptionist should ensure that all visitors leave the building and that passes are returned Administration – Intermediate II Access to Information and Technology • In accordance with the Data Protection Act an organisation should use a combination of the following methods to ensure the security of information: Passwords – these should not be obvious and should be changed regularly Read-only files – some files can be read but not amended Virus screening software to ensure that files are not lost Lock rooms, filing cabinets and computers Confidential documents should be discarded appropriately Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II General Security Measures • Other security measures that can be taken to protect staff, equipment and information include: The use of specialist security firms The use of CCTV Keeping a register of serial numbers of computers and the use of ultra-violet markers to identify equipment Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Health and Safety Legislation • All employees must be given training on health and safety issues as part of their induction training. • Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, an organisation with 5 or more employees must have a written health and safety policy. • This policy should clearly set out what is required by the employer and employee with regards to health and safety and show that the organisation tries in every way to reduce accidents and ill health within the workplace • All employees should read, understand and follow the health and safety policy Administration – Intermediate II Current Legislation Offices, Shops & Railway Premises Act 1963 Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 Fire Precautions (Places at Work) Regulations 1995 Health & Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 Administration – Intermediate II Offices, Shops & Railway Premises Act 1963 The purpose of this Act is to ensure that employers provide minimum health and safety standards including: Cleanliness Heating, Lighting and Ventilation Prevention of Overcrowding Sanitary Conveniences Drinking Water Fire Precautions Administration – Intermediate II Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 This Act outlines the responsibilities of both employers and employees. Key points include: Temperature Minimum temperature of 60˚F Windows must open or suitable ventilation eg fans etc Toilet facilities There must be toilets available They must be kept clean Well-maintained Hot and cold water, soap and towels must be available Back to Questions Drinking water Administration – Intermediate II Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Premises Floors and corridors must be kept clean, level and unbroken First Aid First aid box must be provided Trained first-aiders must be available Seating Adequate seating must be provided Administration – Intermediate II Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Space/Storage Adequate space for each person Storage space for work/outdoor clothing for each worker Lighting Natural light or adequate artificial light Administration – Intermediate II Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Employers’ responsibilities To make sure that the workplace is safe To control dust, fumes and noise levels To look after employees’ welfare eg Health checks To provide, free of charge, protective clothing and equipment To provide first aid facilities To keep records of accidents and injuries To prepare a Health and Safety policy Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 Employees’ responsibilities To take care of their own health and safety To take care of other peoples’ health and safety To work with the employer to maintain health and safety, eg attending training courses Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Health and Safety (First Aid) Regulations 1981 These regulations were introduced to ensure that employers provide first-aid equipment, facilities and staff in the event of an accident or incident. Employers must provide enough first aid qualified people for their business (one for every 50-100 employees is recommended in an office) The Health and Safety Executive must approve any first aid training and qualifications Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Fire Precautions (Places of Work) Regulations 1995 These regulations ensure that employers take reasonable steps to protect employees in the event of a fire. Employers should: Assess fire risks in the workplace Check fire detection times and warning systems Check evacuation routes Provide reasonable fire-fighting equipment Check employee knowledge of fire procedures Check and maintain fire-safety equipment Administration – Intermediate II Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1981 This legislation was introduced to ensure employers provide comfortable working conditions for computer users. Employers must: Make sure that workstations and equipment meet minimum requirements Make sure that employees have built-in breaks or changes of activity Train employees in health and safety Check that equipment is safe Provide eyesight tests and glasses if needed for VDU work Provide information about Display Screen Equipment Regulations Back to Questions Administration – Intermediate II Questions Answer the following questions on the worksheet provided. Use the forward arrow to take you to the first question. Use the help button to take you to the required slide. Administration – Intermediate II Question 1 Full time working is not considered a flexible working practice. Explain what is meant by full-time. Administration – Intermediate II Question 2 Flexible working practices take place in most organisations. Describe what is meant by: A Part-time B Flexi-time Administration – Intermediate II Question 3 Flexible working practices form part of routine business practice. Describe what is meant by: A Homeworking/Teleworking B Hot-desking Administration – Intermediate II Question 4 Describe 2 types of Contract of Employment. Administration – Intermediate II Question 5 Describe 2 measures an organisation could put in place to ensure the security of staff. Administration – Intermediate II Question 6 Describe 2 measures an organisation could put in place to ensure the security of its property. Administration – Intermediate II Question 7 Describe 2 measures an organisation could put in place to ensure the security of its information. Administration – Intermediate II Question 8 Give 2 examples of how current legislation relating to health and safety helps to protect employees. Administration – Intermediate II Question 9 Current legislation states the responsibilities of the employer and the employee in relation to health and safety in the workplace. Give one example of such a responsibility for each of the following: The Employee The Employer Administration – Intermediate II Question 10 Employees who operate VDUs are protected by current legislation. Outline two features of this legislation.