This week’s news in brief: stress hits employers

A study by the UN’s International Labour Organisation found that one in 10 workers are suffering from depression, anxiety, stress or burnout, in some cases leading to unemployment and hospitalisation. The study of mental health policies affecting the workforces of Finland, Germany, Poland, the UK and the US shows that employers feel the costs in low productivity, reduced profits and high rates of staff turnover. The report estimates that 3-4 per cent of the EU’s GNP is spent on mental health problems.

CBI training reply

The CBI has welcomed the Government’s consultation on measures to raise standards in Modern Apprenticeships, and shares its concerns about low completion rates and the quality of trainees. In its response to the consultation the CBI highlighted the importance of giving young people high-quality impartial careers guidance and of allowing employers the flexibility to decide when and where training takes place.

IT mustn’t ignore old

Shortages of skilled staff in the IT sector are being made worse by ageist attitudes, according to a report by the Employers Forum on Age and The study of 1,369 professionals in the IT sector found 65 per cent said their companies are finding it difficult to recruit and retain staff. Two-thirds of respondents feared they would be unable to get a job in IT after the age of 45.

Oldies are golden

Older people are an undervalued labour source that should be exploited, according to a report published last week by the Institute of Grocery Distribution. Launching the report at the IGD annual convention, chief executive Joanne Denny said, “We must do more to retrain and retain mature employees, otherwise we’re wasting a wealth of experience.”

Proposed law ‘mad’

Employers have urged the TUC to stop pressing for an EU-wide law which would require employers with more than 50 staff to consult workers according to fixed EU rules. John Cridland, deputy director general of the CBI, said, “It is bureaucracy gone mad. We don’t need it and we don’t want it. Businesses must be allowed to communicate with staff in ways that reflect national and local customs and practice.”

Legal section

In the legal section of our 10 October issue we referred to a case under the name of Gogay v Bedfordshire County Council. The council involved in the case was in fact Hertfordshire. We apologise for any confusion this may have caused.

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