News in brief

NHS pay plan monitored

NHS employers are to be monitored to see how quickly they comply with the Agenda for Change pay system. Strategic health authorities have been told to rate employers as red, amber or green depending on how closely they adhere to the new pay system, which started being implemented on 1 December. The employers’ timetable contains 13 milestones, including incorporating 10 per cent of staff under the new pay system by January.

MPs back negligence Bill

Senior Labour backbenchers and former ministers are backing a private member’s Bill that would make company directors accountable for negligent health and safety practices that cause injuries or fatalities. Stephen Hepburn MP announced his promotion of the Health and Safety (Directors Duties) Bill last week, which seeks to introduce positive health and safety obligations on company directors. The Government committed itself to a corporate killing law in the Queen’s Speech, but did not specifically include directors’ duties in the framework for the draft Bill.

Loud music is not safe

UK bar, pub and club workers are being subjected to music so loud that they could lose or permanently damage their hearing, according to a report published by deafness charity RNID and the TUC. Noise Overload shows that music played in UK nightclubs is so loud that, in some cases, it’s like working within two feet of an aircraft taking off. The report argues that not enough is being done to protect the hearing of the 568,000 bar, club and pub workers in the UK from music played well above safe levels.

Efficiency plans panned

The CBI has criticised government progress towards achieving 21.5bn-worth of annual efficiency savings, and said proposals from individual departments were “confusing and vague”. Following the chancellor’s pre-Budget report, a CBI study of Efficiency Technical Notes supplied by government departments revealed insufficient detail and clarity about what constitutes an efficiency gain, and how gains are to be achieved, the employers’ group said.

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