Companies `not ready to deal with euro'

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The Independent Online
EIGHT OUT OF TEN multinational companies expect the single currency to lead to a more common approach to staff remuneration across Europe, and more than half believe it will result in pan-European pay agreements and levels, according to research released today. However, only 40 per cent of companies have a strategy for dealing with the euro, even though it will be introduced in six months' time, and 78 per cent have no strategy for human resources, according to the report by Deutsche Bank and the management consultancy Towers Perrin.

Don Cuthbert, head of EMU implementation strategy at Towers Perrin, said: "Companies have not thought through the people issues or the wider strategic implications of EMU. Many companies that have begun to prepare have adopted a narrow interpretation of the impact EMU is likely to have and have focused on purely fiscal change in areas such as finance and information technology."

In fact, though, as he points out, at its simplest, the euro will affect payroll, pensions and benefit arrangements in member states that join, while it is possible to foresee a situation in which there will be harmonised pay rates and pan-European pay negotiations.