This week’s news in brief

Worker protection call
The government should change the law to give more protection to employees who raise health and safety concerns, according to the TUC. It said 1,500 workers have found themselves out of a job for raising safety concerns with their employers since 1999. General secretary Brendan Barber said: “It shouldn’t be a firing offence to object to unsafe work.”

Anti-scandal training
Employees at the world’s biggest financial firm are to receive ethics training in a bid to avoid scandals. From 1 March, Citigroup’s 260,000 employees across 100 countries will be asked to watch a 25-minute film about their responsibilities to clients, to each other and to the franchise. The move follows a controversial trade in government bonds that angered rivals and led to investigations in Europe.

E-mail slows productivity
Productivity is being hit by workers sending personal e-mails while at work, according to a survey. Almost 40 per cent of employees in the UK, Germany and the US spend an hour or more every day using e-mail during working hours. More than 75% of 4,500 people, surveyed by IT security company Clearswift, said their boss would be ‘unconcerned’ about what they were doing. But the survey said productivity would rise by 7% if employees spent the time working.

NHS chiefs’ pay boost
Pay for health service bosses has risen by more than 70% in the past decade, according to new figures. Analysis by Income Data Services found that pay for some chief executives in the NHS now tops 200,000 a year in the best-paid posts. The pay rises outstripped nurses, whose salaries went up by just 50% over the same period.

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