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The Connection Awards

It’s the time of year when awards are handed out, so here at Connection - just for fun - we thought we’d have our own awards. Unfortunately, there’s no glitz or glamour involved, just a virtual pat on the back to all the recipients of our rather ‘alternative’ HR and Payroll awards.

Payroll’s “Most Popular Professional” of the Year award ...

... goes to Don MacArthur, head of HM Revenue & Custom's Employer Programme, after he told payroll professionals that they gather half of all government revenue. MacArthur was rapturous in his praise of payroll professionals in saying:

The more we can do to help you, the better we can meet our objectives, We never hear from the vast majority of tax-payers. That is thanks to you. The more we can do to help you, the better we can meet our obligations to Government.Don Macarthur, HMRC

Connection AwardsPayroll’s “Least Popular Professional” of the Year award ...

...  has to go to Alistair Darling, whose removal of the 10p tax band sent payroll professionals’ phones ringing in April as employees wondered where their salary had gone.

Most insulting reference to “Generation Y” of the Year award...

... goes to Conservative MP Chris Grayling, who told business leaders that the future of UK PLC depends on the “Jeremy Kyle generation”. In a speech earlier this year, Grayling bemoaned the lack of male role models, which has led to worklessness and the kind of behaviour seen on the Jeremy Kyle show.

Most Undervalued Profession of the Year award...

... goes to lorry drivers, who have had a dreadful time lately. Not only has Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson got on the wrong side of every lorry driver in the UK, a survey this year claimed that they are the ‘fattest’ workers in the UK. Over 40% of them have an ‘above-average’ waistline, and the report blamed a sedentary lifestyle combined with visits to greasy spoons. However, that doesn’t explain why lawyers come second with a massive 33%!

‘Please come back’ award...

... goes to our Polish workers, who according to reports this autumn, are going home in their droves. Indeed, with stricter rules on hiring immigrant workers coming into place, research shows the number of migrant workers in the UK dropping month on month.

One of the hardest hit industries has been agriculture. Indeed, Adrian Barlow, chief executive of the English Apples and Pears employers’ group, bemoaned the lack of apple pickers due to restrictions on the number of foreign students allowed to work in the UK:

If we can’t get the pickers, there is a grave danger that apples will be left on trees, and over-mature. Frankly, by then it won’t be worth the cost of picking them, so they will be left unpicked.Adrian Barlow

Unhappiest HMRC Customer of the Year award...

... goes to Conservative MP Andrew Robathan who stood up in the House of Commons in January and asked:

Does the left hand not know what the right hand is doing at HMRC?Andrew Robathan

His extraordinary outburst came after it was revealed that MPs were not allowed to file online for security reasons. Indeed, MPs have an extra digit on their tax numbers, making it impossible for them to file online anyway!

Best Dress Code Policy of the Year award...

... goes to Norfolk Police, who requested that police wear long-sleeved shirts to cover up tattoos, and asked policewomen not to paint their nails in “extreme colours”. However, it remains unclear whether this applies to policemen as well.

The policy went further, telling police not to put their hands in their pockets, while urging senior staff to tackle “sloppy paperwork and laziness”.

Most Persistent Organisation of the Year award...

... goes to the TUC, who have been calling for an extra bank holiday since the days of King Arthur. We all know that the UK has one of the lowest number of public holidays in Europe (indeed, the lowest of all except for Romania), and the stretch between August bank holiday and Christmas day is the longest of all.

General Secretary Brendan Barber renewed the call – this time in a bid to promote volunteering:

A community day would encourage more people to take up volunteering for a day. In return, employers will have a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.Brendan Barber
  • 1st December 2008
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