This week’s news in brief

Minority opportunity check

The government is to launch an investigation into what holds back women from ethnic minority backgrounds in the workplace. Minister for women and communities, Ruth Kelly, said the inquiry would be the next phase of the government’s response to the Women and Work Commission.

Staff choose homeworking

Seven in 10 employees believe they would be more productive if they worked from home, according to research. The survey of 300 London workers by Sirenic IT company found that 70% of staff believed homeworking to be more beneficial for productivity. Common reasons for working away from the office were business trips and off-site meetings.

Forces staff group set up

A new organisation is being set up to represent the 250,000 British servicemen and women in the Armed Forces. According to its founder, the British Armed Forces Federation is not a union but will promote the interests of those serving,as well as veterans. Soldiers are banned from taking part in strike action or political activities.

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