Claims advice day
The Sheffield branch of the Engineering Employers' Federation has become so worried about sickness absence and unfair dismissal claims resulting from mismanagement that it is running a seminar for employers. The body, which represents more than 400 engineering plants across South Yorkshire and the North Midlands, will hold a one-day event on 22 February to examine legislation and case law and to provide practical help. Contact: 0114 268 0671
Ford to axe 1,350 jobs
Volunteers for redundancy are being sought after Ford announced 1,350 job losses at its Dagenham plant in Essex. The move comes after professional staff voted to strike in protest at pay and pension arrangements. Ford of Europe chairman Nick Scheele said the job losses were part of a "major European restructuring".
The Government is only meeting "lukewarm" hostility from employers towards changes introduced in the Employment Relations Act, research by Middlesex University Business School has found. While a majority of employers "disapprove slightly" of most of the measures, a minority approve of extending maternity leave and granting time off for family emergencies, despite the likely negative impact on business. The survey of 487 employers found measures that have met the most opposition are: the provision of three months' unpaid parental leave; reducing the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to one year; and trade union representation.
Massive take-up rate
An IT recruitment agency that offered shares in the company to encourage contractors to register with it has signed up 8,000 people in 24 days. Spring IT Personnel, which relaunched as Spring.com on 17 January, offered cut-price shares to people joining before midnight on 9 February, in a bid to secure people with valuable IT skills to work for its clients. To be eligible for the shares, contractors have to commit themselves to working for the agency for two of the next three years.