International news

first_imgThis week’s international newsHappy low-paid staff can benefit companies Treating low-wage workers well provides substantial benefits to companies,according to a recent corporate study in the US. Conducted for Corporate Voicesfor Working Families, it highlighted 15 company programmes – ranging fromsubsidised childcare at the Bank of America to short-term employee loans atLevi Strauss & Co – which improved workers’ lives, while improving theiremployers’ profits. The study noted that despite the US’s huge wealth,approximately 30 per cent of all US workers earn less than $15,000 (£8,364) ayear, and 20 per cent make between that and $25,000 (£13,939). Campaigning for higher standards of safety Higher safety and health standards in Europe’s construction industry couldsave up to 1,300 lives each year and avoid 850,000 serious injuries, accordingto the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. Cutting the sector’s highincidence of accidents and work-related illnesses could also save the EU up to75bn euros (£50bn) a year, the agency claims. The ‘Building in Safety’ campaignwill highlight the health and safety risks in Europe’s construction industry,as well as the solutions, in more than 30 countries throughout the continent,making it the largest ever campaign of its kind. to consult over reform of Works Councils A comprehensive public consultation is being prepared by the EuropeanCommission on reforming the existing system of European Works Councils, toavoid them struggling with recent legislative reform, economic changes andMay’s enlargement of the European Union (EU). Established by EU directivesalmost 10 years ago, Brussels says around 650 companies or groups have suchcouncils, covering an estimated 11 million employees. It says they have been‘highly successful’ in providing employees with information and consultation ondecision-making. However, the commission wants to consult employers andemployee organisations on whether the system should be adapted to take accountof recent bursts of corporate restructuring across Europe, creating newsubsidiaries, notably in the 10 countries about to join the EU. Part-timers find better work-life balance A European Union (EU) survey concluding that part-time workers are lesslikely to report job-related health problems and are more likely to achieve apositive work-life balance is good news for UK companies. Indeed, the EuropeanWorking Conditions Observatory (EWCO) report said the UK has the EU’s secondhighest proportion of part-timers – 25 per cent of workers in 2002. Only TheNetherlands has more, with 43.8 per cent. The number of UK part-timers has alsorisen, up from 22.9 per cent in 1992. While this trend reduces the UK’sexposure to health risks, the report warned that part-timers had “feweropportunities for training and career progression, lower salary levels andreduced access to supplementary payments and social protection benefits”. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. International newsOn 11 May 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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