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

More details on 020-7930 0093.

Employers’ helpline

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


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.

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

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