Column Eight: Helpline with a deadline

How many employers have wished they could have avoided expensive or embarrassing employment disputes, ask the solicitors DJ Freeman.

The firm does not actually answer the question. But in a move that could set a dangerous precedent - as lawyers like to say - it has set up a telephone helpline that gives callers instant access to a specialist in the area 'for a low quarterly subscription charge with no hidden extras'.

But parsimonious executives beware - while there is no limit on the number of calls per quarter, they will be restricted to 30 minutes each.

Employment - or rather unemployment - is also on the minds of Century Business Books, producer of a delightful series of pocket-sized volumes on management issues of our day under the banner 'The Perfect'.

However, the company seems to be finding this choice of theme a problem. 'No dismissal can be 'perfect',' says the blurb for one of the latest publications, The Perfect Dismissal. Quite. And readers are also to take issue with another notion in the series, The Perfect Meeting.

Those planning to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities in Eastern Europe would do well to note RMC's experience.

When the building products group bought a lime quarry at Rudersdorf in eastern Germany it also had to take on a prison, mental hospital, collection of holiday homes and various other buildings. This is because, in keeping with the grand planned economy philosophy that used to govern that part of the world, when it was discovered that the only way to expand the quarry was to knock down the town, that's what they did - regardless of what was in the way.

As a result, the visitor to Rudersdorf walks along an old street that suddenly stops at a fence. On the other side is a 40ft drop into the pit.

All those exasperated by the seemingly inexhaustible lengths to which banks will go to extract money from their customers will sympathise with the plight of a west London delicatessen. Close inspection of its charges from a well-known clearer revealed a fee of pounds 3.51 for a letter half- written but not sent.

Good to see it's not just insular Britons who have failed to take account of the new world order. ABN Amro's spokesman in Amsterdam said yesterday: 'We're not looking for acquisitions in the UK at the moment, but we are in Europe.'

News
peoplePaper attempts to defend itself
Voices
voicesWe desperately need men to be feminists too
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

IT Project manager - Web E-commerce

£65000 Per Annum Benefits + bonus: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: If you are...

Trainee / Experienced Recruitment Consultants

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Soho

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40000: SThree: As a Recruitment Consultant, y...

Trainee Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits