Blog: Helping or discriminating?
Catherine Sleep | 10 June 2004
Here in the UK it’s been one excitement after the other. Barely had we calmed down after D-Day commemoration events at the weekend, when along came Tuesday’s magnificent Venusian transit. Today we head for the polling booth to vote in both EU and local elections, and we are also preparing for excitement of a different kind as the European football championships kick off on Saturday. Yes, I mean soccer, for all my North American readers out there.
Thinking back to the last football tournament of this scale, the 2002 World Cup, many employers struggled to keep their workforce motivated. Staged in Asia, most matches were played during the European working day, prompting a not entirely unexpected wave of staff ‘sickness’. Many managers sought to turn a negative into a positive by bringing TVs into the workplace and encouraging employees to watch key matches together. They hoped that a small dent in productivity would be amply compensated for by a massive gain in popularity and a grateful workforce.
In any case they knew that, win or lose, it would all be over soon. The same cannot be said of most problems employers face today, and our current Feature of the Week addresses one of the latest to emerge. To what extent are companies responsible for employee obesity?
Increasingly, employers are taking a stance to help staff shed the pounds. All-you-can-eat food bars in the staff canteen are out; nutritional counselling is in. And it’s not purely altruistic; with average annual US healthcare costs estimated at US$7000 per employee, fat is very much a financial issue. It’s also a Human Resources minefield: when does active encouragement to get fit and eat healthily become sizeist discrimination inviting harassment litigation?
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
- Interview: Sir Kensington's on sale to Unilever
- Analysis: Post discusses rationale for Weetabix
- Who will buy Danone's Stonyfield business?
- Interview: "Disruptive" snack brand Hippeas
- Column: Why snacking is the new meal
- Unilever buys US condiments maker Sir Kensington's
- Ice cream helps Unilever sales, food flat
- Nestle organic growth slows but beats expectations
- Suntory to offload Australia, New Zealand foods
- Dairy dampens Danone in Q1