HR news round-up: HR stories making the headlines 9 September 2010

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

Four million households in Britain have no adults in work, official figures show, with the number rising this year to reach a 10-year high. In the vast majority of such families, the Office for National Statistics data show, no one is even looking for a job, reports the Daily Telegraph. The statistical bulletin published on Wednesday, based on the Labour Force Survey, shows that between April and June 2010, there were 3.9 million households in Britain where no one was working – 19.2% of the total population. This is a rise of 148,000 (0.6%) on the second quarter of last year and the highest proportion of workless households since April to June 1999.

Virgin Atlantic has resolved a dispute with unions over time off for pilots, averting strikes and maintaining its record of no industrial action in its 26-year history, reports the Wall Street Journal. The airline said it clarified to union negotiators the minimum number of days off that pilots are allowed to take, and made no changes. Under the terms of the agreement, pilots are entitled to a minimum of 120 scheduled days off each year, equivalent to an office worker’s weekends and bank holidays but without the same predictability. Jim McAuslan, general secretary at the British Airline Pilots’ Association, or Balpa, said, talks were “frank, to the point and creative,” and were never about money but about lifestyle.

More than 100 hospital workers in Tyneside have won their 10-year battle for equal pay, reports the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. As many as 150 female employees at Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been told by Appeal Court judges they were continually underpaid compared with male workers carrying out comparable jobs. There will now be further legal hearings to determine how much each of the workers at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary is due in unpaid wages.

The administrators of Connaught say they are “hopeful” of saving jobs in the failed company’s social housing division after it was officially placed into administration, according to the Daily Telegraph. KPMG was on Wednesday confirmed as administrator to Connaught plc, the parent company, and Connaught Partnerships, which maintains social housing across the UK. Connaught Partnerships employs 4,400 staff and KPMG said staff could be transferred to alternative providers as it looks to sell Connaught’s contracts with housing associations and local councils. However, the administrators also warned that redundancies “will need to be made” if alternative providers do not take on staff.

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