…in brief

This week’s news in brief

US slowdown official

US Federal Reserve again cut
interest rates by half a point last week. As US growth slowed to a five-year
low at the end of 2000, the Fed signalled that it was prepared to cut rates
further to prevent the economy slipping into recession. Most analysts are
predicting further cuts.

Best employers

Financial service and
professional service companies are the best to work for, according to a survey.
The Sunday Times 50 Best Companies to Work For, claims to be the first annual
survey of working conditions of British companies. Ten financial services
companies and 11 professional services outfits, including three law firms, were
in the list. Published this week, the survey said that 82 per cent of the best
companies to work for offer paternity leave from two days to two weeks. www.Sunday-times.co.uk

No panic on
leave

Employers should not panic
about the “costly, bureaucratic, new family friendly rights” that are set out
in the Green Paper on working parents, published in December. Leading
employment law firm Eversheds has advised that “the measures eventually
introduced may bear little relation to the numerous options set out in the
consultation paper”. The proposals will be the subject of Eversheds Employers’
Convention in Brighton from March 21-23. www.employersconvention.com

Council bully
sacked

A council chief executive was
sacked last week for bullying. Sari Conway, who was dismissed by Eastbourne
Borough Council for gross misconduct, was said in an in-house report to have an
aggressive management style which could reduce colleagues to tears.

Community
spirit

Express parcel deliverer DHL
has found that community projects improved staff skills, motivation and
professional pride. The company sends out trainee managers on community
projects to improve their leadership skills.

Few volunteers

Research by St John Ambulance
showed HR professionals were less likely to want to take time off for voluntary
projects than professionals in other divisions. Only 61 per cent of those in HR
would do community work on behalf of their company, compared with 71 per cent
of IT professionals. www.sja.org.uk

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