HR news round-up: HR stories making the headlines 7 September 2010

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

Millions of London Underground passengers began their scramble for space on London’s buses, boats and pavements this morning as a series of 24-hour strikes by tube workers disrupted the capital’s transport system, reports The Guardian.

Today, there were suspensions and delays on all the tube lines apart from the Northern line. There were no services at all on the Circle, Piccadilly, Victoria and Waterloo and City lines. The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has ordered marshalled bike rides, 100 more buses and room for 10,000 extra boat passengers, but sources admitted that many of the 3 million commuters who rely on the tube would be reaching for their walking boots.

Up to a quarter of junior doctors are dropping out just two years into their training, figures show. Many are becoming disillusioned after the NHS’s implementation of the Working Time Directive last summer – which restricted the working week to 48 hours – forced them to work more night shifts without senior supervision, reports The Daily Mail. The exodus means that almost 1,400 junior doctors leave the NHS after foundation training rather than go on to the next stage of more specialised learning.

Network Rail directors who shared £2.36 million in bonuses last year pocketed bigger awards than they should have done because the company under-reported accidents to workers, it has been alleged. The Unite union claims the rail company allowed a culture to develop that gave managers incentives not to report some incidents where workers were off sick or unable to carry out their normal duties for at least three consecutive days, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Unite’s claims are supported by findings from the Office of Rail Regulation, the industry regulator, which has described Network Rail’s reporting of so-called Riddor incidents as “obscure and wrong”. Riddor stands for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations, put in place by the Health and Safety Executive in 1995.

Virgin Atlantic management met with members from trade union Balpa yesterday in a bid to settle tensions with the airline’s pilots and avoid a possible strike, reports City AM.

Balpa, which represents more than 75% of airline and helicopter pilots in the UK, said the dispute is over the number of days pilots are allowed to take off in addition to holiday privilege. Virgin Atlantic pilots have been angered by changes to a system which guarantees them 120 days off a year, on top of holiday, in return for routinely working weekends and bank holidays.

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