Archives for June 16th, 2006

JOINING-UP COUNCILS ONLINE

Features, PublicNet: 16 June, 2006

By Janet Callender The Government Connect initiative is being developed by local and central government to allow councils and their partners across the public sector to share information securely online. The author, who is the chief executive of the lead council, describes progress in developing the initiative and the benefits that will be delivered to all those who join Government Connect.



SENIOR LOCAL GOVERNMENT STAFF FAILING TO TAKE HOLIDAYS

Headlines, PublicNet: 16 June, 2006

Senior staff in local government are failing to take holidays and choosing instead to spend more time at work according to new research from the Chartered Management Institute. It shows that two-thirds of executives in the sector do not use their full holiday entitlement and many of them want to find ways to sell unused holiday back to their employers.The survey shows that almost 19 million holiday days are lost each year as one in four executives fear deadlines will not be met and a further 36 per cent blame a heavy workload. Only 6 per cent say the loss of holiday is due to failings in their own personal planning. Eighty-six per cent of executives want the option to exchange annual leave for another benefit. A third of these want a payment and 17 per cent would prefer flexible working options instead of standard holiday time. Some even wanted the option of gym membership as an alternative to annual leave. Fourteen per cent reported that they could already exchange days off for money.

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BENEFIT CLAIMANTS TAKE PAID WORK ‘OUT OF NEED NOT GREED’

Headlines, PublicNet: 16 June, 2006

People who take on cash-in-hand low paid jobs while they are claiming benefit do so as a last resort according to a new study based on six years of work by Community Links, an innovative charity running community-based projects in east London. The study, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, says not declaring work is a response to acute poverty or crises.The report, “People in low-paid informal work: ‘Need not greed’”, looks at those who work informally to pay for food and heating or who face mounting debt. The Foundation says it shows how informal work is often a response to poverty and to times of crisis such as family breakdown. It adds that low benefit rates, low wages and rules limiting the hours some groups can work are the factors driving the search for informal work by those who took part in the study. The research also highlights how childcare or health problems act as barriers to formal work.

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