News in brief

Geordies to keep their ‘pets’

Newcastle City Council has denied claims that it banned employees from using words like ‘pet’, ‘hinny’ and ‘love’ when talking to women. An unnamed employee last week claimed that the words had been banned on the grounds they could be offensive. But the council said that employees had been told during diversity training to make a “judgement” before using the words.

Sickies cost nothing

Workers pulling sickies are costing almost nothing to business, research from Swansea University has suggested. The study from the university shows the cost of worker absenteeism to British industry could be as much as £13bn less than other surveys suggest. Earlier this year, a report by the CBI revealed the cost of sickness absence to UK employers had reached its highest-ever level. The study put the cost to the economy at more than £13bn.

Execs trust PAs more

British executives are more likely to entrust their PA with secrets than their own siblings, according to research. About 40% of executives said they would trust their PA with a secret. But only 38% said they would trust their brothers, and just 32% put faith in their sisters.


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