News in brief

Sickly civil servants

Sick leave for civil servants has risen to an average of two weeks a year with the Government missing its target of cutting absenteeism by a third. Civil servants on average took 10 sick days a year in 2003, up from 9.8 in 2002, according to figures compiled by consultancy Aon. The Government had hoped to cut average sick leave to 7.2.

Tax records deleted

The Inland Revenue has accident-ally deleted an unknown number of taxpayers’ records as part of a routine database administration process. Despite a year-long investigation, it has yet to give an indication of how many records were deleted, or who might have owed money at the time or might have been due repayments before their files were removed. It said the number of taxpayers whose records were deleted might have been small, but it accepted that, equally, it could have been many hundreds of thousands.

New graduate toolkit

The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) today launches a development toolkit for graduate recruiters. The AGR Standard, developed in conjunction with members, is based on a series of competencies that define the processes and core activities for graduate recruitment professionals. Achieving the standard, which incorporates a practitioner development programme, will take a minimum of 12 months.


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