…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Firefighters strike

Leaders of the firefighters union were due to announce dates for their first
national strike in 25 years on Friday. The strikes are expected to be called
later this month – forcing hospitals, airports and other public services to put
emergency plans into action. The union wants a 40 per cent wage rise to take
firefighters pay to £30,000 a year.  www.fbu.org.uk

Gender gap widens

The gap between men’s and women’s pay has grown for the first time since
1997. The Office for National Statistics annual survey of earnings found women
now earn 81.1 per cent of male average hourly earnings, down from 81.5 per cent
last year.  www.statistics.gov.uk

Set date welcome

Industry bodies are backing a DTI suggestion to implement all employment
legislation simultaneously. David Arculus, chairman of the Better Regulation
Task Force said employers and employees would be better prepared if they knew
all the year’s changes would take place on a specific date.  www.dti.gov.uk

Staff disillusioned

Two-thirds of employees feel they will have to move companies to get the
financial rewards and promotion they deserve, according to research by
GoJobsite. The study suggests many are disillusioned by the many pay freezes
currently in operation or are dissatisfied with alternatives to promotion and
salary increases – such as structured training schemes.  www.GoJobsite.co.uk

Pension changes

Scottish Widows plans to close its final salary pension scheme to new
members and implement a money purchase scheme from next year. Now part of the
Lloyds TSB group, the insurer said staff would find the new pension offered
greater flexibility.  www.scottishwidows.co.uk

Strategy shortlist

The management services team at CB Hillier Parker has been shortlisted for
SHL Award for Global HR Strategy category in the Personnel Today Awards. The
five-strong team, which is responsible for 500 staff and headed by Debbie
Walters, has been shortlisted for building an effective international HR
management model on limited resources.

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