In brief

This
week’s news in brief…

Finance
firm cuts jobs

As
many as 1,700 jobs are to be cut as Sun Life Financial of Canada reduces the
size of its UK direct sales force. The company currently has around 2,000
employees and aims to cut that to approximately 900 by the end of this year.

Flexibility
over salary

A
survey of 300 employers revealed that more than 50 per cent of employees would
prefer flexible benefits to a pay rise or promotion. The research conducted by
Office Angels found that 93 per cent of employees put training on the top of
the list in terms of flexible benefits.

Senior
posts threat

Older
workers face tough futures in traditional financial services because of mergers
and the growth of technology. Research by the Open University Business School
has revealed that industry consolidation has reduced the number of senior and
middle management posts.

www.oubs.open.ac.uk

Add
stress to H&S

More
than three-quarters of employers believe stress should be incorporated into
health and safety legislation. A study published by the Health & Safety
Executive reveals that 79 per cent of employers think stress should be
controlled in the same way as other workplace health and safety issues.

http://www.hse.gov.uk/

Diversity
at Whitehall

The
Government is to offer staff from ethnic minorities the chance to work
alongside ministers as part of a drive to improve the diversity of its
workforce. The move, which is expected to start next month at the DfEE, is part
of the Government’s modernising campaign and it is hoped will increase the
numbers of ethnic minority staff at senior management level at Whitehall.

http://www.dfee.gov.uk/

Names
push study

Moves
to make Indian call centre workers use English names to help their British
customers are being looked into by the Commission for Racial Equality. It is
claimed that at GE Capital’s call centre in Delhi staff are not allowed to use
their own names because it does not allow a relationship with customers to
build up. GE Capital serves around 20 UK stores including Laura Ashley, Top
Shop and Principles.

http://www.cre.gov.uk/

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