News in brief

This week’s news in brief

Potters Bar helpline

Rail workers are being encouraged to call a confidential hotline set up by police
investigating the fatal crash at Potters Bar. The police are concerned that
many employees were afraid to tell the whole truth during official interviews
because of the presence of company lawyers. 
www.btp.police.uk

Prisoners’ job search

Prisoners will soon be able to apply for work through an in-jail computer
network, providing up-to-the minute information on vacancies throughout Europe.
The aim of the scheme is to help prisoners prepare for a fresh start by
arranging job interviews to coincide with their release. The machines will
initially be installed in four prisons – Lewes, Swansea, Featherstone and
Hollesley Bay.  www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Fire service pay offer

The UK’s fire brigades have offered staff a 4 per cent pay rise to stop a
national walkout. The Employers’ Organisation for Local Government has also
offered an independent pay review to avert threatened pay strike action next
month. Charles Nolda of the Employers’ Organisation said a joint approach for
an inde-pendent review was the way forward. 
www.lg-employers.gov.uk

Cost of working shock

Staff spend up to a fifth of their salaries on job-related costs, according
to a new report. An average employee spends £3,214 a year on travel to and from
the office, clothes, haircuts and appearance, according to a survey by
reed.co.uk. With the average salary in the UK being £23,000 a year, the figure
equates to 20 per cent of take home pay. 
www.reed.co.uk

Commitment shy UK

Levels of staff commitment in the UK are significantly lower than in other
global economies, according to new research. International Survey Research interviewed
more than 360,000 employees from the world’s 10 biggest economies and found the
country with the highest employee commitment is Brazil. The UK came third
bottom with only 59 per cent of staff ranking their firm favourably.  www.isrsurveys.co.uk

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