This week’s news in brief: striking a balance

The Civil Service has worked with the national work-life balance charity New Ways to Work to research how senior staff who work reduced hours balance having small children and a job. Flexi-Exec looks at the examples of 18 senior staff from tax inspectors to DTI directors.


Employers’ helpline

A new advice line for employers with employment law queries has been launched. The advice line, set up by Professional Personnel Management Consultants, can be contacted 24 hours a day for help on subjects ranging from employment tribunals to absenteeism and legislation. The advice line number is 07044 044602. Graduate demands This year’s graduates are demanding more from employers than they were three or four years ago as a result of a sustained period of economic growth. A survey by specialist recruitment consultants Contacts warns employers than many new starters only expect to stay a year unless the package of pay, fringe benefits, training and promotional prospects is sufficiently attractive. www.media-contacts.co.uk


Software savings

Use of self-service software accessible via the Web from any location can increase productivity in professional service organisations by up to 12 per cent, a study has found. The research, commissioned by Lawson Software, claims an “average” large management consultancy can make annual cost savings of around £24m. 


£6m status boost Around 50,000 NHS and social services staff, including physiotherapists and paramedics, will benefit from a £6m strategy aimed at improving their status and opportunities. Announcing the initiative, health minister Lord Philip Hunt said the money would be targeted at staff whose role is often undervalued.

Political divide

The profession is divided over whether the CIPD should become more political. Personneltoday.com’s on-line survey showed that 56 per cent of people voting thought that the CIPD should become more political; 44 per cent disagreed. Last week a survey of HR professionals revealed grassroots calls for the institute to adopt a higher profile.

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