This week’s news in brief: HSC backs new law

The Health and Safety Commission has backed government proposals to create a new offence of corporate killing. The measure would see directors held individually responsible for fatal accidents if their organisation is deemed at fault. Chairman Bill Callaghan announced the HSC’s support at the TUC Congress following the consultation period for the proposals (News, 12 September).

Maternity leave bid

A former member of Tony Blair’s cabinet has called for maternity leave to be extended to 12 months. Under current legislation women receive six weeks off on 90 per cent of their normal wage plus 12 weeks at £60.20. Harriet Harman was speaking at a fringe meeting at the TUC Congress.

Teleworking guide

The DTI has released a new guide promoting the benefits of teleworking. The second edition of Working Anywhere provides case studies and tips on including teleworking in strategic plans.

Shipyard shake-up

Belfast shipyard Harland and Wolff is to restructure with the possible loss of hundreds of jobs. The news comes despite a £23m victory in the High Court for Harland, which employs 1,250. The ailing shipyard won an arbitration claim against US company Global Marine.

Stress is RSI risk

Staff who are unhappy at work and suffer from psychological stress are more prone to repetitive strain injury. Research published in the British Medical Journal suggests that psychological factors play a larger part in the condition’s development than previously thought. Earlier studies concentrated on repetitive movements of the arm and wrists as a cause.

Senior skills gap

A quarter of companies recruiting managers have had problems attracting suitable candidates in the past year, according to new research. The study, published by the Smaller Business Review, was carried out by research group Remuneration Economics and the Institute of Management. The research was based on responses from 141 companies.

HR Dublin date

The annual conference of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management (AHHRM) convenes in Dublin this week. Trinity College will host the event, which runs from 20-22 September.

Speakers will include outgoing AHHRM president Karen Bell and Micheal Martin, the Republic of Ireland health minister.

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