International news: more locals to be taken on at Dutch multinationals

New tax laws could force Dutch multinational corporations operating outside Holland to recruit more staff locally. The changes forced by the new tax rules – which are being introduced in the Netherlands next year – are expected to increase costs by 10 per cent. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers puts the cost to all Dutch multinationals at more than £40m per year. The increased costs are expected to accelerate a trend towards so-called virtual assignments and long distance commuting as cheaper alternatives to expatriate staff.

Conference helps directors compete in new age

Henley Management College is to host an international conference on improving directors’ performance. The conference, organised by the college’s Centre for Board Effectiveness, is due to be held between 16-18 October. It will focus on redesigning board structures to help organisations compete in a global economy.

Dotcom revolution reaches 97 per cent of firms

The majority of European firms have embraced e-commerce, according to a study by Andersen Consulting. The survey, Connecting the Dots?, found 97 per cent of firms are using e-commerce in some form. Although previous research found dotcoms were the most active in e-commerce, this has extended to traditional businesses. The survey, based on responses from 600 senior executives in Europe and the US, found that 80 per cent of firms plan to extend their use.

Salary gap widens between directors and staff

The gap between directors’ pay and average employee pay in the UK is among the highest in the world. Research carried out by Towers Perrin highlighted by the TUC examined the ratio between top directors’ pay and average pay for manufacturing operatives in 1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996. In 1996, it stood at 7:1 in Sweden, compared with 24:1 in the US. In the UK the ratio was 17:1. The UK growth rate between 1984 and 1996 was 68 per cent, the third highest after the US and Italy.

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