This week’s news in brief: convention deadline

Senior HR professionals have just two weeks left to book a place at this year’s Eversheds Employers’ Convention supported by Personnel Today. The event at Oulton Hall Hotel, Leeds, on 11 to 13 April, will tackle issues facing employers through seminars and workshops. Billed as a quality, thought-provoking event, it includes sessions on the challenges of the Internet and competitive advantage through world class personnel. Speakers include HR lawyers and experts, and there is a special dinner with TV chef Anthony Worrall Thompson. Discounts are available for group bookings. Call Laura Morris 0121-232 1000 or e-mail

Coke’s new HR head

Coretha Rushing has been appointed head of HR at the Coca-Cola Company in the US. She has been with the company for four years and has 19 years’ experience in human resources management. She replaces Michael Walters who retired last month.

Force to outsource

West Yorkshire Police has outsourced the operation and management of its new payroll system. IT Services working with Midland Software has been given a three-year managed services contract. The force has some 5,000 officers and 2,000 support staff.

Decrease in ordering

Manufacturing orders dropped in March for the first time in five months. The CBI’s monthly industrial trends survey shows 35 per cent of manufacturers report total orders below normal. Nineteen per cent said they were above normal, giving a balance of -16 per cent. The figures compare with 14 per cent in January and -11 in February. But manufacturers expect output to rise significantly over the next four months.

PM’s paternity leave?

Cherie Blair has hinted she is encouraging the Prime Minister to take advantage of new rights to paternity leave. They are expecting their fourth child in May. Mrs Blair – addressing an audience about the need for flexible work patterns for women – said the Prime Minister of Finland had twice taken paternity leave.

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