Tag: employment

Oracle, Microsoft and Ask.com accused of copying Apple’s cartel ways

1159_tnOracle, Microsoft and Ask.com have been accused of treating their staff in exactly the same way as the fruity cargo cult Apple.

The suit against Microsoft filed by former employees Deserae Ryan and Trent Rau charges, among other things, that Microsoft and other companies entered into anti-solicitation and restricted hiring agreements without the consent or knowledge of its workers.

Oracle, Microsoft and Ask.com are facing suits alleging that they conspired to restrict hiring of staff. The suits are connected to a memo which names a large number of companies that allegedly had special arrangements with Google to prevent poaching of staff.

The document was filed as an exhibit in another class action suit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose division over hiring practices. The tech workers who filed that suit alleged that Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar put each other’s employees off-limits to other companies by introducing measures such as “do-not-cold-call” lists.

Those seven tech companies had earlier settled similar charges in 2010 with the U.S. Department of Justice while admitting no wrongdoing, but agreed not to ban cold calling and enter into any agreements that prevent competition for employees.

Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel appealed in September District Judge Lucy Koh’s rejection of a proposed settlement of US$324.5 million with the tech workers, which she found was too low. Intuit, Lucasfilm and Pixar had previously settled for about $20 million.

Now it seems that former employees filing lawsuits against Microsoft, Ask.com and Oracle have asked that the cases be assigned to Judge Koh as there were similarities with the case against Google, Apple and others.

The companies might try to say that since the DOJ did not see it fit to prosecute them before 2010 they must have been legal.

Oracle said that it was excluded from all prior litigation filed in this matter because all the parties investigating the issue concluded there was absolutely no evidence that Oracle was involved.

Microsoft said the employees omit the fact that the DOJ looked into the same claims in 2009 and decided there was no reason to pursue a case against the company.


UK unemployment falls

parliamentData from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that between December last year and February this year, unemployment has fallen.

6.9 percent of the labour force are unemployed in the period – that compares to 7.9 percent for the same period last year.

There are now 30.39 million in jobs – that’s 691,000 up from the same period last year, the ONS said.

But there are 8.85 million people between the ages of 16 to 64 that, in the ONS’ jargon, are economically inactive. But that’s down by 104,000 people compared to the previous year.

Pay has also risen by 1.7 percent compared to the same period last time round.

Supermarkets put customers’ health at risk

superUnscrupulous supermarket managers are putting the publics’ health at risk forcing staff to come in when they are unwell.

According to a range of sources who work for some of the UK’s well known supermarkets,  job cuts and tight rotas mean they have been ordered to turn up to work just hours after they have suffered sickness and diarrhoea.

The Food Standard Agency claims that people who work around open food while suffering
from these symptoms can contaminate the food or surfaces the food may come into contact with.

It advises that this can spread infection to other people through the food and tells business managers that they should encourage their staff to report their report these symptoms to management immediately.

Managers are also told to exclude staff with these symptoms from working with or around open food, normally for 48 hours from when symptoms stop naturally.

However it seems some supermarkets aren’t taking heed of these rules, rushing staff into work hours after they have called in sick or forcing them to come in despite claims of nausea and stomach upsets.

“I called my line manager to tell her I was feeling sick and feared it was the norovirus as my daughter had it the day before,” one checkout staffer told ChannelEye.

“However, I was ordered to go in. On my way in I was sick so called up again but was told to turn up anyway and see if my symptoms continued. By the time I turned up I was so unwell they took one look at me and sent me home. However, I’d already been inside the store and warehouse by then.”

Another added that staff cuts meant supermarkets weren’t following the correct procedures, telling ChannelEye, “I’ve been at the same store for 15 years and back then we had to take the correct 48 hours off and at times get a doctor’s letter to say we were fit for work. Now we’re expected to go back the day after.

“We just don’t have the staff to cover us for sick days off.”



SAS to hire 94 Scots

Flag_of_Scotland.svgSAS has said that it will be generating 94 new Scotland jobs within its new Advanced Analytics lab and its expansion of  its Scottish Research and Development Centre for Public Security.

The project is supported by £1.3 million from Scottish Development International (SDI), a partnership between the Scottish government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Island’s Enterprise.

SAS has said as well as creating the new job opportunities it will also safeguard the current employee base of 126.

The partnership was announced during a Scotland Week meeting with Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond who was visiting New York as part of his programme to boost investment and employment in Scotland.

If follows the news yesterday with Daktari, an American life sciences company, also announcing it too would be creating 126 new jobs as a result of locating its global manufacturing base in Inverness.

Speaking from New York, Mr Salmond said the move by SAS was a “significant feather in Scotland’s cap”.

He added the new facility would position Scotland as an “international centre of excellence for big data analytics” and create a “substantial number” of highly-skilled, high-value jobs.

SAS said it was pleased to be spreading its wings in Scotland, claiming the investments allowed it to see the real “Scottish potential” with access to a pool of talent from Scottish universities.

HMRC to introduce massive PAYE changes this April

hmrchqIn just under a month, HMRC will demand all employers, and by extension, all employees will have to move to a new PAYE system – Real Time Information.

In April, the RTI will immediately become effective. For such a considerable change in employment law, the changes have not had much visibility. According to the HMRC website, from 6 April employers must report PAYE information to MRC in real time – in effect meaning employers, accountants, bookkepers or a payroll bureau will have to submit data to HMRC each time an employee is paid, when they are paid. Using a payroll system, they will have to send the information electronically as part of the routine payment process.

The website boldly asks if you are ready for RTI. A survey late last year from the Federation for Small Business revealed that as many as a quarter were not, at the time, prepared at all. Asking 1,700 small firms, 25 percent had not heard of the RTI programme, and just 16 percent of those asked were fully aware of all the details.

Critics have slammed the move as purely political, as the changes are propping up the payments of Universal Credits. HRMC claims that it is aiming to make it more simple to report new starters and leavers, plus making the entire payroll process more simple. At the time of the FSB’s survey, in October 2012, most respondents were not confident that RTI will help achieve those aims. Over sixty percent of small businesses it contacted had not had any correspondence from HMRC.

With just under a month to go for businesses to understand the changes, one SMB told ChannelEye that RTI is a disaster in waiting.

“This year is going to be a disaster,” ChannelEye heard. With barely any visibility to such a massive and immediate change, there are bound to be teething problems if not all out chaos for small business. “Just stand back and watch it all go pear-shaped,” our source said.

A spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses said, speaking with ChannelEye: “HMRC has completed a pilot programme and has written to small businesses but we still believe that some businesses won’t know the extent of the changes they will have to make.

“It is going to be a huge learning curve and possibly mean additional costs for small firms if they have to buy new software or use their accountant for longer,” the spokesperson said. “All small firms will have to report in their payroll and we think that the smallest of firms will need to have much more education than the largest of firms.

“HMRC should use the results of the pilot programme to put clear guidelines and a clear education plan for small firms together,” the spokesperson said. “We are pleased that HMRC has said that they won’t implement fines in the first 12 months of the scheme, but they must educate firms within that time if mistakes are made.”

Longer working hours lead to more office affairs

photoMore extra marital activities are taking place over the office photocopier a report has found.

The survey conducted by Notatwork.co.uk and married dating site IllicitEncounters.com, has found spending longer hours in the office is leading to a rise in workplace affairs, with people who regularly work over 45 hours a week almost five times more likely to seek solace with a colleague.

The duo also said that those who regularly did more than 50 hours a week in industries such as video games, finance, medicine, journalism, and the emergency services were more likely to embark on a cloak and dagger relationship.

People in these industries admitted that they embarked on longer working hours as a result of increased workloads and to ensure their jobs remained as secure as possible.

Mike Taylor, at Illicit Encounters, said these long hours “pushed” people into making bad relationship choices  as they sometimes found themselves in the office late at night, exhausted and feeling low and took comfort with a co-worker in the same situation.

“This can then develop as they spend more time with each other than they are with their spouses,” he added.

Over 54 percent of those asked admitted that at some-point in their career they had considered engaging in a work-based affair.