HR news round-up: HR stories making the headlines 23 August 2010

A round-up of HR-related stories in today’s newspapers.

Virgin pilots are poised to ground the airline in a row over time off, reports the Telegraph. Virgin pilots have been angered by changes to a system that guarantees them 120 days off a year, on top of holiday, in return for routinely working weekends and bank holidays. Hundreds of pilots could be balloted on strike action as early as this week.

The number of public sector suppliers going bust has increased by almost 50% so far this year, according to new research, as the coalition Government’s austerity measures start to bite, the Guardian reports. In the first six months of the year, 168 businesses in the health, social services, education and defence sector went under, compared with 114 in the first half of 2009.

Companies are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit home-grown talent, with any improvement in the economy unlikely to filter through to the jobs market, a poll by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and accountants KPMG indicates. Demand for migrant employees is surging because of a lack of skills among British workers, according to the Independent.

The number of defined-benefit – or final-salary – pension schemes in the UK has continued to fall over the past year despite an upturn in equity markets, according to researchers. Only 15 companies in the FTSE 250 – just 6% of the index – are providing defined benefits to a significant number of employees, reports the Telegraph.

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