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EU backs 12-week temp plan
The EU has ratified proposals by the UK to give temporary workers equal rights to permanent staff after 12 weeks in a job. The decision removes the final obstacle in a long process towards giving temps the same rights in terms of salary and sick pay, despite fears that employers would use less agency labour as a result. ... more

Sugar tops best boss list
Sir Alan Sugar is the celebrity boss most people would like to work for, according to a survey conducted by Pitman Training. The star of The Apprentice came top of the list with 36% of the vote, followed by George Clooney (25%), Jacqueline Gold and Gordon Ramsey. Bottom of the list were Amy Winehouse and Katie Price. ... more

Companies look to pay cuts
Some businesses are asking staff to take pay cuts of up to 40% in a bid to keep their companies going, according to the GMB union. The organisation told the BBC it had heard of several such cases, including a hire car driver who had been asked to take a £12,000 pay cut from his annual salary of £30,000. ... more

Network Rail hails ‘good year’
Network Rail has unveiled pre-tax profits of £1.2bn and claimed that train punctuality was at record levels. It added that the year to the end of April had been good, despite receiving a record £14m fine from the Office of Rail Regulation when engineering work over the new year period overran. ... more

Interest rates remain at 5%
The Bank of England has kept interest rates on hold at 5% in a move that had been widely predicted. Despite evidence that the economy is continuing to falter – with house prices falling by 2.4% in May – the Bank is concerned about rising inflation, which hit 3% in April as high food and fuel prices took their toll. ... more

Long-hours culture returning
The number of people working more than the European maximum of 48 hours a week has risen by 180,000 already in 2008, according to data released by the TUC. The union body estimates there are now 3.3m people who regularly work beyond 48 hours as companies attempt to get through the economic crisis by piling work on existing employees rather than taking on new staff. ... more

Love of job beats money
Love of the job and a decent work/life balance are more important to staff than how much they earn, according to a survey by City & Guilds. A majority (57%) said they remained with their present company because they had a strong interest in what they did compared to 44% who said they were in it for the money. ... more

Jobseekers negative on agencies
A majority of jobseekers are reluctant to use recruitment agencies, according to a survey by Leeds-based agency Unity Personnel. The company’s research found 26% of those surveyed were ‘very negative’ towards agencies and a further 33% had ‘significant reservations’ about them. ... more

Sharp rise in online spend
Online shopping is booming in the UK despite the economic slowdown, according to figures from retail analyst Verdict Research. The group revealed that the amount of money consumers spent on the internet rose by 35% in 2007, to a total of £14.7bn. ... more

Peak-rate phone firms named
Consumer group Which? has published a list of businesses and government departments it claims are profiting from forcing customers to call peak-rate helplines. The body claims more than 30 bodies make money from using 0870, 0871, 0844 and 0845 numbers, many of which keep customers on hold for long periods of time. ... more

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