News in brief

UK tops part-time poll

UK employers are the most part-time friendly of 21 European Union states, according to a survey of 21,000 firms. Of UK employers with 10 or more workers, 56% allowed flexible working, the study for the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions showed. But nearly 20% of UK HR managers reported “slightly” or “significantly worse” career prospects for part-time workers than for full-time staff.

Tax-free childcare at Argos

Argos Retail Group has launched a tax-free childcare benefits scheme for its 45,000 staff. The scheme allows the retailer to offer uncapped salary sacrifice savings for staff with children under five, and capped sacrifice savings on childcare for working parents with children up to 16 years old. It offers the choice of either partnership nurseries or virtual vouchers.

IRS bird flu conference

As the first case of bird flu was confirmed in the UK, IRS announced that it is running a conference on 15 June on what employers must do to assess the impact of a potential flu pandemic on their organisations. It will offer practical, expert advice on the implications for employers, and what steps they should take to prepare.

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