Tags: Minister

Public sector to pay the price of equality audits

Public sector bodies with more than 150 staff may have to spend up to £29.8m on auditing their employees on such issues as sexuality and religion in accordance with plans by the Labour’s Equality Act. The audits – expected to take each body around eight days a year to complete – will determine the race,…

Degrees are good investments, minister claims

Universities minister David Willetts has insisted that entering higher education remains a worthwhile option for British youngsters, but acknowledged that hard work is key to progression. Responding to recent research from High Fliers, Mr Willetts admitted that the UK employment market is particularly “competitive” for newcomers, but encouraged youngsters to take the time to weigh…

Youth unemployment close to 1m

New figures have revealed that the number of young Britons out of work edged closer to the one million mark in the three months ending in November, sparking fresh concerns about youth unemployment. According to new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), one in five people aged between 16 and 24 – a…

CIPD issues cautious welcome to paternity overhaul

Plans to allow new fathers to take advantage of mothers’ unused maternity leave have received a “cautious welcome” from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg outlined the reforms at an event in London yesterday (January 17th 2010), revealing plans to hold a consultation on the issue and implying…

DRA guidance too little, too late, says CBI

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) criticised the government’s handling of scrapping the default retirement age (DRA), claiming employers have been given insufficient advice on how to adapt. Following the coalition’s confirmation that the DRA is to be phased out, CBI director general designate John Cridland claimed many firms will be left with something of…

The government has rebuffed criticism over plans to implement increased positive action as part of its Equality Act reforms and offered employers guidance on how to conform to the legislation. Equalities minister Lynne Featherstone recommended that bosses should familiarise themselves with the provisions of the regulations and warned against paying too much attention to “scare…

Plans to extend paid maternity leave to 20 weeks have been blocked by EU employment ministers, who deemed them impractical in the post-recession economic climate. The proposals, which were backed by a vote of the European parliament in October, were dismissed by a majority of the trading bloc's member states. Belgium – which currently holds…

Plans to extend paid maternity leave to 20 weeks have been met with dismay by business group the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), which has expressed concern over the potential impact on companies. Employment ministers from across the EU met to discuss the amended pregnant workers directive on Monday (December 6th 2010) and the BCC…

The government has reversed plans to force employers with more than 250 staff to conduct gender pay audits from 2013, claiming the move will free businesses from further regulation. In a speech at the launch of the Female FTSE 100 report last week, equalities minister Lynne Featherstone criticised the previous Labour administration for its "bureaucratic"…

Employment minister Chris Grayling has welcomed new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), claiming they suggest a private sector-led jobs recovery is underway. The ONS data revealed that 70.8 per cent of individuals aged between 16 and 64 were in work during the third quarter of the year – up by 0.8…

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) has suggested the proposed cap on non-European Union (EU) workers could prove detrimental to the UK's economy. Director of policy and professional services at the organisation Tom Hadley noted that it could cut off areas of the "global talent pool" if the country implements the restriction. "While we all…

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has insisted that so-called micro firms should be excluded from government plans to make automatic enrolment into pension schemes a mandatory requirement. Under the new legislation, companies will be obliged to offer pension provisions for each member of staff from 2012, as well as making their own contributions to…

The Equality and Human Right Commission has launched a practical guide to help promote fairness and transparency when put making difficult financial decisions With the impending spending review, government departments and public authorities at both the national and local level will be faced with the task of administering cuts. The guide launched by the Commission…