Charity warns of sexism in Chinese civil service recruitment

The Chinese government is being urged to end the use of recruitment adverts that discriminate against women when filling positions in its national civil service. The call follows the publication of a report by Human Rights Watch, entitled ‘Only Men Need Apply’, which revealed growing levels of discrimination in the wording of ads. The charity, […]

Court appeal to decide Northern Ireland civil servants’ powers as political shut-down continues

A Northern Ireland government department is to appeal against a court ruling that senior civil servants have exceeded their remit, in a bid to win clarity over officials’ powers and responsibilities in the absence of a functioning Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive. The High Court ruled last week that the Department for Infrastructure’s (DfI’s) decision […]

Turnbull launches major review of Australian Public Service

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has commissioned the first major, independent review of the Australian Public Service (APS) for more than 40 years. The review, which aims to ensure the APS is well placed to serve Australia’s governments and people into the future, will be carried out by a panel of six experts with experience in […]

Former Malaysian PM faces new corruption probe after election defeat

A former top corruption investigator has accused Malaysia’s defeated leader Najib Razak of personally blocking an investigation into a multi-billion dollar financial scandal, apparently prompting a police raid on Najib’s home on Wednesday night. The move came after Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN) centre-right coalition government suffered a swingeing defeat in the country’s general election last […]

Canada launches new drive to clear Phoenix pay back-log

A pilot programme that has hastened clearance of the civil service pay back-logs caused by the ill-fated Phoenix system is to be rolled out across all Canadian federal government departments. The move was announced by public services and procurement minister Carla Qualtrough at the official opening earlier this month of the CAN$85m (US$67m) Public Service […]

UK civil service threatened by ‘ideological evangelists’ on both left and right, warns union chief

The UK’s civil service and its traditions of “impartiality, integrity and professionalism” are under attack from “ideological evangelists” within both main political parties, the head of the country’s union for civil service managers has said. Speaking at the FDA union’s Annual Delegate Conference in London on Thursday, general secretary Dave Penman complained about “sustained attacks, […]

Finland decides not to expand basic income trial

The Finnish government has decided not to extend a pilot programme that provides people with a basic income, and plans instead to explore alternative welfare schemes. The two-year programme, which is the first trial of a form of basic income to be mounted by a European government, pays a monthly income of €560 (US$670) to […]

Leak reveals Northern Ireland civil service plan for Irish Sea border controls

Senior civil servants in Northern Ireland have drawn up a plan to impose border checks in the Irish Sea on only those goods moving to or from the Republic of Ireland, in a bid to find a solution acceptable to both the EU and to Northern Ireland’s unionists – whose support is crucial to Theresa […]

UK orders overseas territories to publish registers in tax evasion crackdown

British Overseas Territories will have to reveal the identities of people who place money in companies within their borders, under a UK Parliament legislative amendment designed to crack down on tax evasion. Theresa May’s minority government agreed to the amendment in a dramatic, last-minute U-turn on Tuesday, following a back-bench rebellion by 19 Conservative MPs. […]

US Postal Service censured for forcing out disabled staff

Officials at the US Postal Service (USPS) deliberately fostered a hostile working environment as the agency tried to force out tens of thousands of staff injured on the job, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said in a final ruling – and these employees may now be entitled to compensation. The EEOC found […]

Germany’s public sector wins 7.5% rise over 30 months

German unions and employers agreed last week to boost the pay of more than two million public sector workers by some 7.5% over 30 months. Under the deal, employees will have their wages increased in phases, starting with a 3.19% pay hike backdated to 1 March. They will receive a second increase of 3.09% on […]

World Bank pledges US$65m for Dominica reconstruction

Dominica’s drive to become a climate-resilient nation in the wake of Hurricane Maria has won the backing of the World Bank. The tiny Caribbean country will benefit from two emergency support operations to restore farms, fishing fleets and houses destroyed by the hurricane in October 2017, after the bank’s executive board approved funding of US$65m […]

New women leaders institute to be chaired by former Oz PM

After sexism poisoned her three-year stint as Australian prime minister, Julia Gillard became ever more determined to champion gender equality in government and politics. Liz Heron hears her explain her experiences at the launch of King’s College London’s new women leaders research institute At the time that Julia Gillard won a seat in Australia’s parliament […]

Australia achieves gender parity among federal secretaries

The Australian Government has achieved gender parity at the most senior level of the public service, with nine of its 18 departmental secretaries’ roles now occupied by women. Also known as commonwealth secretaries, these officials lead the 18 key government departments. The equality landmark was announced by prime minister Malcolm Turnbull with the appointment of […]

Court orders Israeli commission to drop men-only course

A labour court in Jerusalem has ordered Israel’s Civil Service Commission to admit at least 10 women to a men-only civil service training course within 30 days – or shut it down. The course is aimed at inducting men from strictly Orthodox Haredi communities, which practice segregated education for boys and girls, into civil service […]

New figures show falling numbers of black leaders in US civil service

The number of African American officials employed at the highest ranks within the United States civil service is dwindling, a recent report has revealed. The figures were contained in the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program Report to Congress, published by the Office of Personnel Management, which revealed that the proportion of non-white staff in the […]

World Bank agrees US$200m social aid package for Iraq

A US$200 million emergency package to provide social support and employment for communities devastated in Iraq’s ongoing armed conflicts has been agreed by the World Bank. The Emergency Social Stabilization and Resilience Project (ESSRP) aims to improve the livelihoods of more than a million households in areas liberated from ISIS forces. The programme will be […]

Niger civil service clash over digital exam

A scheduled entrance test for positions in Niger’s largest state government was cancelled at the last minute over Easter due to conflicts within its civil service commission. More than 3,500 candidates were due to take the computer-based test (CBT) on 3 April 2018 under the application procedures for civil service posts across Niger state in […]

Australia launches national centre to combat child exploitation

The Australian government is launching a new national centre to combat child abuse and exploitation. The federal government will provide AUS$68.6m (US$53m) for the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE), designed to fight what it calls “a global epidemic of child abuse” and create a hub of specialist skills to “disrupt, prevent and investigate […]

‘Work-life’ programmes boost performance of US federal employees, study finds

Public servants who take part in work-life programmes designed to help them balance their professional and personal commitments display higher performance, greater job satisfaction and more commitment to their employer, a US government survey has found. But supervisors’ limited support for such programmes and weaknesses in their management teleworkers are impeding their ability to boost […]