…in brief

This week’s news in brief

Hours law claim

The TUC has renewed its claim that changes to the Working Time directive are
"legally wrong". In its formal response to the Government’s
consultation paper it said that the definition of "worker" appears to
be restricted to that of a conventional employee only.

Reference rebuff win

A woman has been awarded nearly £200,000 compensation against an employer
which refused her a reference. Belinda Coote won her case against Granada
Hospitality in the European Court of Justice in 1998, which ruled that
ex-employees can bring a claim, and referred the case back to a tribunal in
London. Granada had refused to give a reference after an out-of-court
settlement over an unfair dismissal claim by Coote.

Social work dearth

Essex local authority has recruited 16 social workers from South Africa due
to a UK recruitment crisis. It follows similar controversial moves to hire
nurses and pay rises in the NHS, indicating heightened recruitment competition
within the public sector.

Mums go part-time

More than a third of working mothers are leaving their full-time jobs within
two years of going back to work. A survey of 560 mothers was carried out by
researchers at the University of Bristol for BBC1’s Panorama.


IPD law guidance

The Institute of Personnel and Development has produced more help for
members grappling with employment law. The sixth edition of Essentials of
Employment Law has been revised to include developments in areas such as
fathers’ entitlements to parental leave, data protection and the national
minimum wage.


Expense defence

The Government has defended the cost of its employment legislation. "We
make no apology for the cost of paying decent wages nor for ensuring that
people get proper paid holidays," Cabinet Office minister Lord Falconer
last week told an audience of industry leaders. Last month the British Chambers
of Commerce put the cost of red tape at £10bn.


Councillor training

An initiative to improve training for local authority councillors has been
launched. A survey by the Local Government Information Unit found few of the
21,000 councillors responsible for spending almost £65bn of public money
receive the training they require. The unit’s councillors development charter
is designed to promote training and improve standards.

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