Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

The surge in the popularity of websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has brought with it new risks for employers, warn Andrew Taggart and Sarah Hitchins

What employees say and do online (whether during work hours or in their own time) can create a myriad of problems for employers. Employees may post negative comments or disclose confidential information about their employers on social-networking websites and, in some cases, employers may be found vicariously liable for employees’ online activities. Furthermore, employers may use the broad range of information that job applicants post on social-networking websites to vet candidates.

Keith Corkan summarises the findings of Will Hutton’s interim report on public sector pay

In early December, Will Hutton, the former head of the Work Foundation, issued his interim report on pay in the public sector and whether pay multiples should be introduced that could be applied outside the public sector.

Local authorities are considering an array of methods to cut employment costs following the Comprehensive Spending Review, including some innovative alternatives to mass layoffs, comments Mark Hammerton

Even before the government clarified the extent of planned public sector cutbacks on 20 October last year, it had been clear for many months that drastic measures were pending, but also that the public sector had already been taking major steps in anticipation. Understandably, the fear of job losses has been dominating the headlines (although on 29 November 2010 the Office of Budgetary Responsibility lowered its estimate of the number of public sector jobs to be lost from 490,000 to 330,000). However, a survey by Eversheds LLP last autumn revealed that local government employers had been scrutinising their operations to identify cost-saving opportunities other than redundancies for some time. For example, by October, nearly one third of those who responded to the survey had already imposed a recruitment freeze and a similar proportion had taken steps to change their working practices or terms and conditions of employment, with salaries and staff bonuses being most prominently affected.

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