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Technology recruits get paid not to work

Leading US technology companies have begun offering "redundancy" packages to workers before they even start their jobs.

Nortel Networks has been offering people with job offers a "bonus" if they don't take up the positions.

A UK spokesman for the company told CW360.com, "There have been occurrences of this in North America but there are no details available as to the numbers involved."

The spokesman stressed that while Nortel endeavours to fulfil any job offers made by finding the prospective employee a position, he admitted that this was not always possible.

"The reason we have taken this action is because of the downturn in the US economy. We have taken a company-wide decision to focus on the really high-growth areas."

Intel has also introduced similar measures as it faces up to plummeting profits. The company has been offering graduating students with job offers a signing-off bonus and two months pay not to take the posts.

Intel spokesman Chuck Malloy said the pre-employment pay-offs were voluntary. "College students, who are being encouraged to look for work elsewhere, can still come to work [for Intel]. However," he added, "there is no guarantee that they will get the job they were hired for."

Stuart Finlayson

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