This week’s news in brief: bank sacks surfers

Investment bank Merrill Lynch sacked 15 staff last week after it found they were abusing the company’s e-mail system by distributing pornographic material. Eight men and seven women were immediately dismissed following a company investigation which found they had used the system to forward offensive material.

Female execs get on

Female executives are making inroads into senior management, according to a survey released by the Institute of Management and Remuneration Economics. The National Management Salary Survey 2000 found women, who make up 60 per cent of personnel management, now make up 9.6 per cent of boardroom appointments, compared with only 1.6 per cent 10 years ago.

Breakfast with CRE

The Commission for Racial Equality is today holding a business breakfast in collaboration with the DfEE to encourage leaders of recruitment and employment agencies to take part in the Leadership Challenge. The challenge is an initiative set up by the CRE to achieve race equality and involves leaders in organisations taking a personal lead in promoting race awareness.

RIP Act starts today

New regulations are being implemented today covering the circumstances in which an employer can record or monitor communications without the consent of the employee or other party. The Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice (Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000 come into force under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

UK worst for families

British parents are the worst off in Europe in terms of flexible working arrangements and benefits, according to the National Family and Parenting Institute. It claims the UK offers the poorest package of parental leave and the lowest maternity pay of the 10 biggest EU economies. It also says publicly funded childcare is available to only 2 per cent of British children aged under three compared with 23 per cent in France.

Men better bosses

Men make better managers because they are more caring and understanding than their female counterparts, a survey has claimed. The study was carried out by, the on-line portal for PAs, secretaries and office managers. It found that most PAs – 64 per cent – prefer to work for a male manager. A further 28 per cent of secretaries claim to have been put down in public by a woman, compared with 16 per cent by men.

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