This week’s news in brief
White-collar staff at car firm Ford are to hold a series of strikes that
threaten to bring production to a standstill, after talks with management broke
One-day strikes are planned for February followed by a three-day strike
between 6 and 8 March. A work to rule and ban on overtime will start this week.
About 3,000 professional staff across Ford’s 19 UK plants, including Dagenham,
are due to take part.
Part-time pension pay
UK pension funds could be landed with a bill of £100m following a European
Court of Justice ruling, benefit consultancy William M Mercer has warned. The
firm says this is likely to mean pension rights for part-time workers will have
to be backdated to 1976, superseding the current two-year limit.
Bank sheds 3,000
Lloyds TSB is to shed 3,000 jobs over the next year. The redundancies will
be achieved through a non-replacement policy across the board, a spokeswoman
said. She added that on-line banking and centralised processing meant fewer staff
Scottish Exult centre
Exult, the US firm specialising in web-based HR outsourcing, is to create
about 150 jobs in Glasgow with a new client service centre. The jobs will be
created over four years as part of its £375m BP Amoco outsourcing deal.
Disability forum CEO
Centrica chief executive Roy Gardner has been appointed chairman of the
Employers’ Forum on Disability. He succeeds Paul Preston, chief executive of
McDonald’s restaurants and BT HR director Bob Mason, who were chairman and acting
Love contract prompt
Valentine’s Day could be an opportunity for firms to review their handling
of office affairs, according to employment law specialist Eversheds. Employers
should be wary of office romances that could turn sour and result in a sexual
harassment claim, the legal firm advised. And firms could consider introducing
US-style "love contracts" for staff.
ECJ pregnancy ruling
Refusal to hire women for permanent posts while pregnant is illegal
according EU law, the European Court of Justice has ruled. German nurse Silke
Mahlburg was denied access to a job in an operating theatre while pregnant
because of exposure to dangerous substances. She claimed her denial of the post
was sexual discrimination. The court ruled that women cannot be prohibited from
a permanent position because of their pregnancy, and should be allowed to take
the job when the pregnancy is completed.