This Personnel Today news round-up includes:
- Royal Mail staff to strike over job cuts
- Job cuts affect two out of three people
- BA could face strike action
- UK maternity and paternity ‘detaches’ women from the workplace
Royal Mail workers to strike over job cuts and extra workloads
Job cuts and extra workloads will force thousands of Royal Mail workers to strike this Friday (17 July), causing huge disruption to the mail service.
According to a report in the Times, about 2,000 staff are expected to take part in walk-outs across the UK organised by the Communication Workers Union.
The union has also admitted that there is the possibility of a national strike.
Royal Mail claims that 90% of offices would not be affected on Friday. The union and Royal Mail are accusing each other of abandoning the pay and modernisation programme, which was agreed back in 2007.
Friday’s strike is set to include workers in London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Darlington, Stoke, Plymouth, Leamington Spa, Norfolk and Essex.
Job cuts affect two-thirds of UK residents
A BBC-commissioned survey of more than 1,000 UK residents has revealed that two-thirds of people know someone who has lost a job in the recession.
A further four in 10 fear losing their job in the current climate, the survey by ComRes has found.
While one-third think things will worsen, about half (52%) still believe the economy will not improve for a while yet. However, some 12% hold the optimistic view that things are improving.
Worst affected were the people of Northern Ireland, where a worrying 87% of people knew someone who had been axed from their job. Least affected was the north of England, where 60% knew someone hit by unemployment.
BA staff could strike over proposed job cuts
Potential strike action from 14,000 staff will force British Airways (BA) to ask its investors to stump up more cash to help the firm through a difficult summer season, according to a report in the Times.
Unions negotiating with bosses at BA have already rejected far-reaching pay and contract changes, and prolonged periods of industrial action will have significant consequences for BA’s already stretched balance sheet. Staff are set to vote on whether to take action over proposals to cut 3,400 jobs.
UK maternity and paternity system ‘detaches’ women from the workplace
The maternity and paternity leave system in the UK forces women to become detached from the workplace, a think-tank has argued.
The Productive Parents report by Reform has made a number of recommendations, including replacing statutory maternity and paternity pay with a flat-rate of £5,000 per month, and allowing both mothers and fathers six months leave from work.
The report also claimed that under the current system, fathers are ‘at best treated as an irrelevance’.
However, the government has claimed that its statutory pay package is ‘generous and progressive’ and fair to both working parents and employers.