Stakeholder hold-up

This week’s news in brief

The Government has fudged making a decision on whether to allow members of
final-salary pension schemes to hold a stakeholder pension as well. In a
statement released last week, the DSS said it would not allow parallel
membership of a stakeholder and a final-salary scheme for high earners and
called on the industry to argue how low and moderate earners might be allowed
to be members of both. Experts have warned that if parallel membership is not
allowed that final-salary schemes will be put under threat. Consultancy William
Mercer described the move as "disappointing".

Pay gap remains

The pay gap between high and low-paid workers is still not being eroded,
according to a study by the Manchester Low Pay Unit. But the report found that the
lowest paid occupation, kitchen porters, received the highest increase in
earnings between 1998 and 1999.

Work stress guide

The British Library has published a guide to help managers recognise the
dangers of workplace stress. The book, Employment and Health: psychosocial
stress in the workplace, covers issues such as defining stress, the impact on
the workplace, personality traits and responses to stress and stress

Health staff pay deal

Unison’s 180,000 healthcare members not covered by pay review bodies have
voted by a majority of 60 per cent to 40 per cent to accept a three-year pay
deal. Admin, ambulance, ancillary, clerical, craft, laboratory, maintenance,
professional and scientific employees will receive £250 or 3 per cent,
whichever is greater, backdated to 1 April 1999. The increase from 1 April 2000
will be £300 or 3.25 per cent, and from April 2001 to 31 March 2002 the
increase will be at least the rate of inflation plus 0.5 per cent.

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