News in brief

NHS pay deal approved

The NHS Staff Council has approved the Agenda for Change pay deal, with implementation due to start this week. Alastair Henderson, deputy director of NHS Employers, said both workforce and patients will benefit from the agreement. Agenda for Change is the most radical reform of NHS pay since it began in 1948 and applies to more than 1.3 million staff.

Union takes DWP to court

A judgment was expected in the High Court on a dispute between the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) as Personnel Today went to press. The union took the DWP to court over a controversial bonus scheme, which it claims means that staff who perform well could achieve poor results and receive a lower performance-related bonus. The union said this amounts to a breach of contract for employees.

UK plc to report on staff

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has announced the way Operating and Financial Reviews (OFR) will work, which require businesses to report on their people. To allow time for the businesses to prepare for the OFR, the commencement date for the regulations will be changed to financial years beginning on or after 1 April 2005. The OFR will apply to all quoted companies.

Takeover ruling delayed

A crucial legal ruling in Oracle’s takeover bid for rival software giant Peoplesoft has been delayed, after a judge said he needs to hear further evidence. Oracle has the backing of Peoplesoft shareholders, but the firm’s board says the US$9.2bn (4.9bn pounds) bid undervalues the company. Oracle is mounting a legal challenge in a Delaware court to Peoplesoft’s moves to thwart the takeover.


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