This week’s news in brief: partnership claims

Major injuries at work could be cut by 20,000 each year if more firms adopted a partnership approach with unions. Addressing a TUC conference in central London on health and safety at work last week, TUC general secretary John Monks said the approach could also cut working days lost to industrial injuries by 300,000.

IIP cost to firms

Most employers believe achieving Investors in People status failed to increase profits significantly. Research by employment analysis firm IRS involving 79 organisations also put the average cost of gaining recognition at £13,259.

Personnel power

HR is gaining credibility along with a new sense of purpose and strength, a study has revealed. A survey by HR software company Rebus, based on 28 companies, found that senior executives increasingly regard HR as essential to delivering customer satisfaction and profitability through the skills and attitudes of staff. Tel: 01733 397832

E-business thriving

Two-thirds of recruitment agencies see the Internet as an opportunity for their business, with more than half already registering candidates via the Web. The survey, carried out for the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, questioned 273 recruitment firms.

Duty to flexibility

Making a success of work-life balance means more than just producing a policy, a conference has heard. Sarah Churchman, diversity leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told the Industrial Society’s Work-Life Balance event that top-level commitment and dialogue with staff about their needs are essential to a successful policy.

IT failure costs time

Organisations that do not realistically assess their IT staff’s requirements will increasingly experience costly delays. Research by IT company Softlab found 38 per cent of private-sector companies and 69 per cent of public-sector organisations routinely face delays of half a day or more when problems arise. The report predicts delays will become lengthier as more areas of business come to rely on IT.

Engineering pay rise

Salaries for some engineers have risen dramatically because of skills shortages. So-called “practically-oriented engineers” – those who have the professional Incorporated Engineer qualification – have seen salaries jump 11 per cent over the past 12 months. But the Engineering Council’s annual salary survey also shows the average salary for chartered engineers has remained almost static.

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