HR news round-up: HR stories making the headlines 20 August 2010

A round-up of HR-related stories in today’s newspapers.

More than two-thirds of the working day of junior council staff is “lost”, reports The Guardian. The research indicated that 68% of working time was not spent productively, usually as the result of poor supervision. The study, which included the shadowing of managers in the private and local government sectors, revealed that the level of active management of staff averaged just 3% each day, or around 15 minutes. Knox D’Arcy, which carried out the research, claimed that if all councils improved their staff utilisation rates from 32% to the private sector’s 44%, the same amount of work could be done with 500,000 fewer staff.

Poundland has said it is planning to create up to 2,000 jobs by opening at least 50 new stores but has warned that consumers face a tough time with their finances, Sky News reports. The firm has announced bumper profits and said its “impressive growth” would help the firm create jobs in a fragile recovery. The company is based in Willenhall, West Midlands, and currently employs more than 7,500 staff.

People dependent on drugs and alcohol who refuse treatment could have their welfare benefits withdrawn under plans being considered by the Home Office, the BBC reports. The proposals, set out in a drugs strategy consultation paper, could mark the revival of a scheme planned by the previous Labour Government aimed at helping get drug users back into work.

Police officers have been banned from wearing revealing underwear over fears that bobbies will walk the beat with a visible panty line, according to the Daily Mail. West Midlands Police posted the warning to staff on its intranet as part of a “revised uniform, equipment and appearance policy” to ensure officers “present a professional, corporate appearance to the public”.

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