This week’s news in brief: Last straw for nursing

Low pay, bleak conditions and frustration over lack of resources are all to blame for the worst nursing shortfall in 25 years, according to The Last Straw published last week by the health think tank the King’s Fund. The report warns that the shortage will not be overcome until nurses’ working lives are improved.

Bottom line on health

A proactive approach to health and safety not only saves lives but improves the company’s bottom line. In the CIPD’s latest book, The Health and Safety Administration Handbook, the authors argue that effective health and safety enables employers to improve operational efficiency, comply with legislation and enhance their public image.

Scope a step ahead

Cerebral palsy charity Scope has introduced a works council for its staff ahead of expected European legislation that will require British organisations to have them. Scope said a large number of staff put themselves forward as candidates.

Recruitment overhaul

Lex Vehicle Leasing has reviewed and overhauled its recruitment, induction and development systems for its 600 employees. HR director Lucinda Charles-Jones has produced a series of template letters for vacancies and staff selection on the company’s intranet service.

£65m for rights laws

Home Secretary Jack Straw has signed an order that will bring the European Convention on Human Rights into force in October. The Government has put aside £65m to meet the estimated costs of implementing it in its first year.

Firms offer pet perk

Pet insurance and dental care are two of the new benefits offered in the battle to attract new recruits and retain staff, according to an Arthur Andersen on-line survey the Flex Forum. But it shows that benefits to help pay for childcare have not risen for two years.

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