World briefs

Women being pushed over ‘glass cliff’ • Teachers tire of being pushed around • New Zealand top country to set up shop in

Women being pushed over ‘glass cliff’

— Successful companies choose men for senior jobs, while businesses that are in trouble tend to choose women, according to new research from Exeter University. The study of 300 employees found women were offered senior posts because they were better at handling business crises. This led to women being given more difficult jobs with a higher chance of failure, pushing them over the “glass cliff” instead of running up against the “glass ceiling.” The evidence is that in every company that is doing well, the “jobs for the boys” rule applies, said Alex Haslam, head of the research group. “But if it is in trouble, no man wants to give a job to their friends, so the answer is to get in a woman.”

Teachers tire of being pushed around

Bilbao, Spain
— Turnover and absenteeism in Europe’s education sector are on the rise due to bullying from students and parents, according to the European Agency for Occupational Safety and Health. It states four per cent of workers have been physically assaulted and 12 per cent subjected to some form of intimidation. Each year, more than half a million staff in the sector have to take time off due to work-related injuries and illness, accounting for 40 per cent of all absenteeism, with most staying away for more than six days.

New Zealand top country to set up shop in

Auckland, New Zealand
— New Zealand is the easiest place in the world to do business, according to a new report from the World Bank. The study, Doing Business 2005, rated countries on seven measures of administrative and regulatory impediments, including ease of hiring and firing. New Zealand is the third easiest country in which to hire a worker. Countries where hiring is easy are also those where firing is easy, the report notes. On the other hand, in Uzbekistan, “redundancy — because of deteriorating economic conditions or falling demand — is not considered a fair ground for dismissal. To fire a single worker, the employer must document several incidents of drunkenness at the workplace or show a consistent pattern of insubordination.”

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