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Issue Date:- 26 May 2008


GUESTS at this year’s Liverpool Law Society’s Ball raised in excess of a staggering £18,000 for the local NSPCC’s Safe Place Appeal.  The Safe Place Appeal is the NSPCC’s dedicated local campaign that was launched to build and run the pioneering NSPCC Hargreaves centre to tackle child abuse on Merseyside.

300 guests enjoyed a bubbly reception at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, in Liverpool on Saturday 17 May 2008.  The host for the evening was Garry Richardson, BBC Radio Four and Five Live presenter.  Guests were entertained during the evening by one of the UK’s finest blues singers, Connie Lush and guests packed the dance floor to dance to music by Last Resort.  Another highlight of the ball was the star studded charity auction.  The range of fantastic things up for auction included: Everton FC mascot package, a signed Liverpool FC shirt and Anfield Experience Package, flying lessons for two people, and six corporate hospitality tickets for the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament with a signed Tim Henman shirt.

Anne Heseltine, President of the Liverpool Law Society, said:- “We are very proud to be supporting the NSPCC’s Safe Place Appeal.  The NSPCC Hargreaves Centre is in our local community and undertakes invaluable services to children and families.  Liverpool is where the NSPCC first started 125 years ago and every penny raised for the Safe Place Appeal stays in Merseyside and benefits local children and young people.  We are delighted with the sum raised, and I would like to thank all those who sponsored the event, those who provided prizes and those who attended, enabling us to raise such a fantastic total.”

Commenting on the money raised for the charity’s Safe Place Appeal, Lizzie Pickup, NSPCC’s corporate fundraising manager for the North West, said:- “I would like to thank everyone involved in the Law Society Ball.  From the organizers, to the guests and especially the sponsors and donors, we are absolutely thrilled with the amount raised on the evening.  We’ve been inundated with comments from many people who attended saying what a fantastic night they had.  Every penny raised from this ball will go directly to fund work at the NSPCC Hargreaves centre.  The centre opened in Everton last June and this money will go a long way in helping us to provide these much needed services.”

Sponsors of Liverpool Law Society’s Charity Summer Ball 2008:- Allied Irish Bank (GB); DLA Piper UK LLP; DX; Elite Law Cost Drafting; Laird Assessors Limited; Landmark Information Group; Landsowne Publishing Partnership Limited; QPI Legal; Wesleyan For Lawyers  

Red Card to Commission's Proposals on Sport

THE EU began its interference in the world of sport, with the European Parliament asking the Commission to introduce EU-wide regulations.   The vote follows calls from FIFA president, Sepp Blatter, for the implementation of a '6-plus-5 rule', in which no team in any domestic league may start a match with fewer than 6 players from the country where that team is based, and no more than 5 foreigners.  Although the EU has assured it will not interfere with sports governing bodies, the European Commission and many MEPs have already attacked Blatter's plans, claiming they are discriminatory under European law.  Further Commission proposals in the White Paper include a 'European police force for sport'.

Conservatives in the European Parliament have raised concerns that the EU's interference in sport will harm the enjoyment of fans and waste money through additional administrative burden.  Commenting on the White Paper, Sir Robert Atkins MEP and former Minister for Sport said:- "Politicians should not be interfering in sport, but the EU seems determined to add bureaucracy to anything it can.  Sport should be run by the people who know it best - leagues, clubs and governing bodies - and certainly not by MEPs.  Sport does have some problems, but the solutions suggested by the Parliament are misguided and far too prescriptive.  This White Paper does nothing to address the problems of amateur or professional football.  Instead of criticising or trying to regulate it, we should just enjoy the fantastic entertainment that football provides.  MEPs, and politicians in general, should stick to watching sport instead of trying to regulate it."

Economic uncertainty: redundancies hit new high in North West as salaries surge

FIGURES show that redundancies amongst the UK’s executive population have hit their highest peak since 2001, with data also revealing concerns for the North West.  However, reflecting the confused nature of the current economic climate, data from a survey of 40,027 individuals also reveals increases in earning power.

The 2008 National Management Salary Survey, published by the Chartered Management Institute and CELRE, uncovers a redundancy rate of 3% across the UK’s senior management teams.  The figure has more than doubled over the past 12 months (from 1.4%) and is at its highest for 7 years, when senior redundancies reached 3.7% in 2001.  In the North West, the redundancy rate is 3.2, up from 2.8%, last year.

Now in its 35th year, the survey shows that redundancies are highest amongst executives in East Anglia (12.1%) and those least affected are based in Ireland (0.8%). 

In terms of industry, manufacturing is the most widely affected sector, with a reported redundancy rate of 7%.  Yet despite this evidence of economic uncertainty, the 2008 Survey shows an average movement in earnings of 7.5% in the North West, up from 6.9% in 2007. 

Analysis of the data suggests that junior executives are the biggest beneficiaries, receiving an average increase in basic pay of 6.8%, compared to 3.7% for directors and 5.3% for managers.  At 7.9% the largest pay rise was awarded to junior staff in East Anglia.  The smallest (2.6%) was given to directors in Scotland.

In real terms, the findings reveal an average basic salary of £21,763 for junior executives across the North West.  Top of the basic pay league tableare those in the pharmaceutical sector.  At £27,168 their salary represents a 33.2% difference against the lowest paid junior executives, in the transport & logistics sector (£18,419).

Surprisingly, given the economic climate and increased earning power, this year’s data also suggests that the UK’s executives are willing to risk their job security.  Resignations currently rest at 6.5%, representing the 2nd highest figure over the past decade.  Across the North West, the figure is 6.4%.  Employers in Scotland face the largest retention problem, with a resignation rate of 8.5%.  Employees in the South East are the most loyal, with just 4.2% handing in their notice.

Asked why their employees leave, 75% blame competition from other organisations or headhunting.  48% also recognise that they are failing to provide adequate career opportunities or development programmes.  1 in 10 admit that employees leave because of frustrations with the working environment (9%).  Similar proportions citebureaucratic leadership styles(8%).

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, says:- “Increased levels of pay are clearly not enough to retain employee loyalty despite the uncertain economic climate. 

Given the skills crisis, it is worrying to see so many executives voting with their feet and this must surely send a message to employers that, to retain the best talent, they need to address working environments and long-term career aspirations.”

Further analysis also shows that retention is not the only problem confronting organisations.  80% of respondents continue to face difficulties filling vacant roles. 

Reasons given include a lack of candidates with specialist skills (70%), the salaries on offer (57%).  Respondents also suggest that and the nature of benefits packages available (12%) are a factor affecting recruitment and retention.  For example, the findings uncover a decline in the proportion of organisations willing to pay ‘golden hellos’ to new recruits (23%, down from 33%, last year).  The number willing to make referral paymentsto staff recommending potential new recruits has also fallen (from 82% in 2007 to 73%, this year).

Mark Crail, managing editor at CELRE, says:- “This year’s study reflects the uncertain economic climate as it shows employers reacting to tougher times, but trying to find ways to retain key personnel too.  Remuneration packages have clearly changed, but they must continue to evolve to meet the needs of the economy and workforce.”

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