…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Asbestos ruling

A ground-breaking case has clear-ed the way for hundreds of claims from
people suffering asbestos-related diseases. A ruling by law lords found in
favour of three test cases, taken on behalf of mesothelioma victims exposed to
asbestos in multiple workplaces. Following the verdict, insurers will have to
pay compensation. It is believed the change could cost insurance companies
billions of pounds.  www.mesotheliomainfocenter.com

Cost of ill health

Employers can calculate how much sickness absence is costing them on a new
Health & Safety Executive website. The website gives employers information
on the price of sick-ness absence, which is estimated to cost the UK £6.5bn per
year.  www.hse.gov.uk/costs

Corporate killing

UK companies are not ready for the introduction of corporate killing
legislation, according to a new poll. An EU directive will hold board directors
accountable for the well-being of staff. However, a survey of 100 health and
safety managers, by RRC Business Training, shows that half of all directors see
health and safety legislation as red tape, imposing unnecessary constraints on
business.  www.rrc.co.uk

Salesforce increases

The number of firms intending to increase sales staff outnumber those who
plan to make cuts according to research. A study by the Chartered Institute of
Marketing reveals 25 per cent of firms plan to increase their salesforce as
opposed to 9 per cent who will cut back – a slight improvement on the 2001
survey, when 10 per cent said they would make cuts.  www.cim.co.uk

Red tape burden

Employment legislation and red tape is overwhelming business by being too
complex and poorly explained. A report by the Better Regulation Task Force, a
government advisory body, said employment legislation is a massive bur-den on
companies and has called on the Government to consider more non-regulatory
options.  www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/taskforce

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