…in brief

This
week’s news …in brief

Fire
talks on hold

Fire
Service employers will not make another pay offer to the union until the
publication of the independent review into pay and working conditions next
week, Personnel Today has been told. Further talks with conciliation service
Acas are planned, but negotiations between the employers and the FBU will not
resume until next week. See page 8 for Q&A with fire service HR director
Carol McCletchie.  www.lg-employers.gov.uk

Silver
surfers

The
Government has launched a website giving employment advice to the over 50s. The
site aims to offer a practical guide about advice, support and services. It
offers advice on the help available through government and voluntary
organisations, getting the most out of working late in life, and gives
information on pensions and planning for the future.  www.over50.gov.uk

Ageism
rife at work

Ageism
is the most common form of discrimination in the workplace, new research from
the MORI social research institute shows. It claims one in five people have
experienced some form of workplace discrimination and of those discriminated
against, by far the biggest cause is age (cited by 38 per cent). Older workers
are considered to be resistant to change and training and lacking technological
skills.  www.mori.com

Have
a say on pay

The
Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) wants employers, lawyers and unions around
the country to have their say in the consultation on the revised Code of
Practice on Equal Pay. The Code of Practice was originally issued in 1997 and
its provisions can be taken into account in equal pay tribunal cases. The EOC
updated it in response to a recommendation of its own Equal Pay Taskforce and
demand from employers. The consultation ends on 21 February 2003.   www.eoc.org.uk

NHS
pay boost

A
package of measures to boost recruitment and retention of doctors, consultants
and GPs in the NHS has been announced. The move will see an increase in ‘golden
hello’ payments for GPs of up to £12,000. ‘Golden hello’ payments were first
introduced in April 2001 and since then more than 1,700 payments have been
made. It has now been extended to GPs who return to practice and the maximum
payment increased to £12,000 in the areas where doctors are needed most.  www.nhs.uk

TGWU
demands pay audits

The
Transport and General Workers’ Union is demanding statutory equal pay audits
after figures released this week show the gender pay gap is not closing. Female
brokers earn half that of their male counterparts, while women in manual jobs
earn £117.20 a week less than men carrying out the same duties, according to
the 2002 New Earnings Survey. The Office of National Statistics report shows
that female manufacturing staff earn just £251 a week, compared with £368.20
for male colleagues.  www.tgwu.org.uk

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