This week’s news in brief: £9m Unison victories

Unison has won more than £9m in compensation for its members in the first
quarter of 2000. The union says more than 1,200 claims for members involved in
accidents at work with back injuries still accounting for many. Large
individual awards included a £45,000 payout for a refuse worker and £21,000 for
a cleaner.

Law on the web

Cherie Booth QC launched the Employment Lawyers Association web site last
week which spotlights 1,300 specialist lawyers around the country. The web site
has links to training and events in the employment law field and sets out
briefings on employment law hot topics for members. "We need this site as
employment law changes all the time," she said. "You do not have to
worry about where you are in the world to log on and read about what is going
on in this field, which I find very useful."

Agency told to pay up

Employment agency Fast Tec International and its managing director Michael
Barbeary have been fined £2,000 ordered to pay over £4,400 compensation and
costs of £430 in a prosecution brought by the Department for Trade and
Industry. The company was prosecuted after paying a design engineer it hired
out to a company in Germany less that £400 of the £4,808 due. The company also
broke the law for not keeping proper records.

Byers in dark on BMW

Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers did not know in advance that BMW
planned to break up the Rover Group, a cross-party committee of MPs found. The
trade and industry select committee attacked BMW for "incompetence and
excessive secrecy" over the affair. It concluded that it was "hard to
see" how Byers could have anticipated BMW’s decision.

Service equality drive

The Cabinet Office has launched a drive to encourage more people from Asian
communities to join the Civil Service. A new video and leaflet have been
produced to highlight the success of six civil servants of Asian origin.
Launching the initiative, cabinet enforcer Mo Mowlam said government had to
take a lead on diversity and equal opportunities in the workplace.

Web address update

Personnel Today’s 4 April issue contained an incorrect web address for
Raytheon Training. The correct address is

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