SEXISM HURTS PRODUCTIVITY
New York — Sexism and discrimination against women worldwide costs the global economy billions every year, a United Nations agency reports. In the developing world, there is a measurable link between increases in female secondary school enrolment and economic growth, reads the State of the World Report 2000. Developed nations such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom and France were singled out for having low numbers of women in leadership roles in business and politics.
E-MAIL MONITORING DISCLOSURE BILL DEAD
Washington — A bill that would have allowed Americans to sue for up to $20,000 US if their employers failed to notify them about monitored e-mails or phone calls is dead, eliminating the need for further lobbying by HR professionals against the legislation.
OUTSOURCING RULED OUT
Canberra — Australia’s Federal Court ruled labour legislation effectively prevents organizations from outsourcing to eliminate entitlements under a union contract. The municipality of Dandenong City decided to drop 70 health- and community-care workers from its payroll and outsource the jobs to a private company. The winning private-sector bidder went on to hire many of the displaced staff, who took considerable cuts in pay and benefits. The court noted that no new technology or improved management practices or efficiencies accounted for the ability to do the work cheaper — it was all due to reduced compensation. The court may consider reinstating the workers if a deal can’t be reached.
Healthy Workplace—Sick Leave
ABSENT STAFF GET GRILLED
London — British firms are introducing absence control schemes that question employees about sick time taken to ensure it is genuine and not a case of playing hooky. Such schemes are credited with an improvement in average absenteeism rates from 8.8 days per worker last year to 7.8
days this year.