In Brief

This week’s news in brief

TUC takes Cherie lead

The TUC is to seek a judicial review of the Government’s decision to limit
parental leave to those with children born after 15 December 1999. The
announcement follows legal opinion from the Prime Minister’s wife Cherie Booth who
advised the TUC that the Government is in breach of European law.

Shift talks continue

Broadcasting unions and ITN were locked in a third day of talks at
arbitration service Acas yesterday, aimed at avoiding industrial action over new
night shifts. Bectu and NUJ members will hold a one-day strike on Thursday and
a four-hour stoppage on 31 January unless the talks succeed.

Rebus’ £41m offer

HR outsourcing firm Rebus has offered £41m for payroll services provider
Moorepay Group. The move is part of its plan to target the small to medium
enterprise market. Rebus is backed by venture capitalists General Atlantic
Partners, which also owns Exult.

Saving for retirement

The Post Office has announced a new scheme for employees wanting to save for
their retirement. The Retirement Savings Plan will run alongside its final
salary pension scheme. It is being introduced to widen employee choice and
reflect changing work patterns. About 5,000 employees are expected to join the
defined contribution scheme over the next three years.

Overseas job break

A new VSO scheme will encourage more council employees to work in developing
countries. The Local Authority Partnership will begin in the spring. Employees
from participating councils will be able to work abroad and then return to
their old jobs. Five councils have signed up for the scheme and ten employees
have completed successful pilot schemes in countries ranging from Russia to
Uganda and Bangladesh.

Red tape costs £10bn

The British Chambers of Commerce has launched a campaign to cut government
red tape after calculating that it will cost business £10bn over the life of
this Parliament. The Working Time Directive alone will cost £7.65bn through
minimum rest breaks and annual leave.

Change is inevitable

Managers now accept stress, change and uncertainty, as part of the modern
workplace, research has found. More than 200 managers were questioned for the
study by the Roffey Park Management Institute. It found they regarded the
problems they faced as "realities of organisational life".

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