Have a voice in Europe over changes to working time law

first_imgHave a voice in Europe over changes to working time lawOn 26 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today HR professionals have a uniqueopportunity to influence the European Commission over the future of the UK’sWorking Time Directive opt-out by taking part in a ground-breaking survey inthis issue. Personnel Today has teamed up with the Employment LawyersAssociation, following a request from the European Commission, to conduct astudy in the UK to discover the implications of removing the opt-out provisionwhich allows staff to work longer than 48 hours per week.The results of the survey will be fed back to Brussels, givingUK employers an unprecedented opportunity to influence decision-making at theheart of Europe.The European Commission is about to start a review of thedirective and the commissioner responsible, Fernando Pereira, wants to find outwhether the removal of the opt-out, which applies to the UK only, will damagebusinesses or tackle the long-hours work culture. Employment relations minister Alan Johnson, speakingexclusively to Personnel Today, believes the UK must put up a fight to ensurethe retention of the opt-out clause in the Working Time Directive, secured in1993.”In the current climate the scrapping of the opt-out wouldbe very damaging for productivity – I am sure about that,” Johnson said.”We think the opt-out is good. We think it’s a goodbalance for individuals to have the right to work more than 48 hours, but notbe forced to do so.”Research published last week by the Economic and SocialResearch Council reveals that 40 per cent of large UK organisations currentlyask staff to sign the opt-out.Its removal would hit certain sectors more than others, withthe worst affected including construction, catering and the NHS.Elaine Way, president of the Association of Healthcare HumanResource Management, believes the removal of the opt-out would increasestaffing shortages for NHS employers. “Removal will undoubtedly presentsignificant practical difficulties for the NHS,” she said.But Alison Holt, chief personnel officer for Leeds CityCouncil, is confident local government employers would be able to cope.”It would cause some HR management problems,” she said,”however, I think we could work around them fairly easily.”By Ben Willmott / Paul NelsonKey facts on the directive– Working Time Regulations came into force in 1998 and are currently beingextended– 40 per cent of large organisations in the UK ask staff to sign the opt-out– The main sectors affected include construction, catering and the NHS– EC could scrap the opt out by the end of next yearCase study building servicesLosing opt-out would send costs spirallingBuilding services firm Lorne Stewart would suffer increasedskills shortages and higher labour costs if the European Commission removes theUK’s opt out from the Working Time Directive. Mike Taylor, group HR director at Lorne Stewart, said construction costs inthe UK – which are already among the highest in Europe – would also spiral andhave a knock-on affect on the UK’s economy. “Around 99.9 per cent of all our weekly paid people have signed theopt-out,” he said. “You could argue that we should not have anovertime culture and people in our industry should be able to have more leisuretime, but the skills shortages mean that is just not possible. “It would be an unmitigated disaster if the opt-out was removed in thenear future.” The firm employs 1,200 staff and Taylor is convinced that most of itstradesmen – who typically work between 52 and 55 hours a week – would also beunhappy to be forced to reduce their hours because their wages would suffer. “I think the European Commission should give employers the freedom tomake their own decisions and set targets to get to a 48-hour working week inthe UK over a lengthy period. I would say over a 10-year rather than afive-year period. “I am sure that in some industries the removal of the opt out will notbe so problematic, but in ours it would be a major issue.” Lorne Stewart provides plumbers, electricians and central heating engineersfor large construction projects. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

It’s Christmas every day at this New Jersey home

first_imgThe 5,400-square-foot McMansion in Colts Neck, New Jersey (Photos via Robert DeFalco Realty)Ho, ho, ho … ly crap, that’s a lot of Christmas decorations.A 5,400-square-foot McMansion that’s currently listed for $2.19 million in Colts Neck, New Jersey, is rather unremarkable from the outside. Venture indoors, though, and you’ll be confronted with more oversized nutcrackers, fake garlands and nativity scenes than you’d find at an actual Christmas Tree Shops.The sellers, brother and sister Chris and Janet Munger, built the home in the late 1990s, and have spent the past decade and change filling it with an extensive array of holiday decorations. A small sampling of the siblings’ collection, according to the Wall Street Journal: 71 wreaths, 38 Santas, 30 trees, 20 nutcrackers and 14 Nativity scenes. (And a partridge in a pear tree, probably.)“We always wanted to make it very special for everyone we knew,” Janet Munger told the publication.In addition to the Christmas decorations, the home has four bedrooms (two of which are huge master suites), four-and-a-half bathrooms, a finished basement with a spa and a backyard area with a 65-foot pool and several grills.And yes, the Mungers plan to take some of their collection with them when they vacate the home. “We already gave 70 huge boxes to the Purple Heart filled with different Christmas trees and stuff, but it hasn’t made a dent,” Chris Munger told the Journal.The house is listed with Janice Rizzo of Robert DeFalco Realty.[WSJ] — Amy Plitt Share via Shortlink TagsLuxury ListingsNew JerseyResidential Real Estatecenter_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

INS Vikramaditya to Start Sea Trials on June 8th

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today INS Vikramaditya to Start Sea Trials on June 8th Industry news INS Vikramaditya is going to take the sea for very important pre-induction trials on June 8. The extensively modernised former Soviet-era carrier Admiral Gorshkov was scheduled to take the sea from the Sevmash shipyard on May 25th. However poor weather forecast delayed the ship’s trials.But, according to the Sevmash shipyard, the delay will not affect the scheduled delivery of the aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy in December.The contract for modernization of aircraft-carrying cruiser Admiral Gorshkov (renamed into INS Vikramaditya) for Indian Navy was tied in 2004. It became the largest export contract in Russian-Indian military technical cooperation. Initially, modernization was evaluated as $616 mln, and the ship was planned to join Indian Navy in 2008. However, due to increased scope of works, the ship’s delivery date was postponed for 2012.More than 400 subcontractors were involved in the project, including 10 Indian companies which supplied communication systems, protective coating, a telephone exchange, life rafts, pumps, hygiene and galley equipment, and many more.The INS Vikramaditya would be a 90-per cent new ship and remain in service for 40 years after all the major retrofitting has been completed.[mappress]Naval Today Staff , June 7, 2012; Image: Military View post tag: Vikramaditya View post tag: start View post tag: trials View post tag: 8th View post tag: sea INS Vikramaditya to Start Sea Trials on June 8th View post tag: INS View post tag: June June 7, 2012 Share this articlelast_img read more

Harvard students win in Collegiate Inventors Competition

first_imgAlice Chen, a doctoral candidate in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), has received the graduate first prize in the Collegiate Inventors Competition for her work with tissue-engineered liver mimetics in mice. Chen received $15,000.The competition promotes innovation by recognizing inventors and scientists early in their careers and rewarding students’ often-pioneering ideas as they address the problems of today’s world.Chen, also a student in the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program, knew that although mice are widely used in medical research, they’re often not helpful for pharmaceutical testing. The liver is where many drugs are broken down, or metabolized, and mouse livers and human livers metabolize substances differently, but Chen developed a way to implant human liver cells in mice. Her approach is different from other existing techniques in that she implants a matrix that contains functioning human liver cells and the nutrients they need directly into a healthy mouse.  The matrix, once implanted, performs much like a human liver, making it beneficial for drug testing and other therapeutic applications.Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows Erez Lieberman-Aiden ’10 SEAS and non-Harvard collaborator Nynke L. van Berkum received second prize for their work, and Bozhi Tian of Harvard Medical School and Tzahi Cohen-Karni of SEAS received third prize.For more on the award and its finalists, the competition’s website.last_img read more

London’s The Commitments Announces New Casting

first_img Adapted for the stage by Roddy Doyle from his original novel, The Commitments tells the story of Jimmy Rabbitte. He shapes an unlikely bunch of amateur musicians into an amazing live act, the finest soul band Dublin has ever produced. The show features classic soul songs including “Think,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and “Mustang Sally. “ That’s not all! Anthony Hunt (Guys and Dolls) has been tapped for the role of Joey Fagan and former ensemble members Natalie Hope and John McLarnon (We Will Rock You) will play Natalie and Outspan, respectively. View Comments Casting shake-ups are going on this September at London’s The Commitments. Brian Gilligan, who previously played drummer Billy Mooney in the production, will take over the lead role of Deco. Meanwhile, John Currivan and Sam Fordham will make their West End debuts as Billy and Mickah, respectively. Directed by Jamie Lloyd, the tuner officially opened in October, 2013, and continues its run at London’s Palace Theatre. The current cast also includes Sarah O’Connor, Jessica Cervi and Denis Grindel.last_img read more

United States Donates Demining Equipment to Ecuador

first_img The gear will be used for demining the area known as Cordillera del Cóndor, where Ecuador and Peru engaged in armed conflicts back in 1981 and 1995, due to an old territorial controversy that concluded after a peace agreement was signed in 1998. Last June, Ecuador and Peru announced the creation of a bilateral unit for demining that would be used in international operations coordinated by the United Nations. This contribution was provided as part of the Comprehensive Action against Antipersonnel Mines (AICMA) program under the Organization of American States (OAS), according to a statement by the Ecuadorean Ministry of Defense. “In about ten years, we have extracted over 200,000 landmines. I believe there will be about 100,000 more landmines to extract, although it is very difficult to give an exact number,” Cristóbal Carrillo, member of Ecuadorean Army Corps of Engineers, told the press. By Dialogo October 02, 2012center_img During a ceremony in which Adam Namm, the U.S. ambassador in Quito, made the official donation, officials said that the equipment is valued at $500,000, and includes safety gear, helmets, and metal detectors. Part of the cooperation from the United States included having U.S. Military demining experts previously train the Ecuadorean soldiers. The United States provided Ecuador with equipment to demine the shared border with Peru, on September 28. This border area endured armed conflicts in 1981 and 1995, informed official sources. last_img read more

Thought leadership – Partial Authorizations

first_img 17SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The ability for an issuer to approve a “Partial Authorization” has been available since 2005, yet most issuers and merchants still don’t take advantage of it. As a result, transactions on debit, prepaid, and gift cards frequently get declined, resulting in frustrated cardholders, and lost sales.Simply put, a Partial Authorization occurs when an authorization request for a card presented to a merchant is attempted for the full amount of the transaction and, if there are not enough funds in the debit or prepaid or gift account available to cover the full amount, the authorization is approved for the amount available. This allows the cardholder to use the available amount in the account, and for the merchant to obtain an additional form of payment for the difference. For non-reloadable gift Cards, the issuers will also return a card balance which will be printed on the receipt. Partial Authorization keeps transactions alive without the merchant telling a customer it has been declined and allows the cardholder to pay the remaining amount with another form of payment. continue reading »last_img read more

More than 2,200 Indonesians have died with coronavirus symptoms, data shows

first_imgA senior member of the government’s COVID-19 taskforce, Wiku Adisasmito, did not dispute the Reuters findings but declined to comment on the number of coronavirus victims he believed were to be found among the patients classified as PDP.He said many of the 19,897 suspected coronavirus sufferers in Indonesia had not been tested because of long queues of specimens awaiting processing at under-staffed laboratories. Some people had died before their sample was analyzed, he said.”If they have thousands or hundreds of samples they need to test, which one will they give the priority? They will give the priority to the people that are still alive,” he told Reuters.Adisasmito is the most senior public health expert on Indonesia’s COVID-19 taskforce and the press office of President Joko Widodo typically refers queries to the taskforce.According to the Ministry of Health’s most recent COVID-19 guidelines, patients classified as PDP are those with acute respiratory illnesses for which there is no clinical explanation other than the new coronavirus.To be classified as PDP, patients must also have travelled to a country, or an area in Indonesia, where the coronavirus has taken hold within 14 days of becoming sick.”I believe the vast majority of PDP deaths were caused by COVID-19,” said Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist at the University of Indonesia, citing their COVID-19 symptoms and that there was no other identified cause of death.Some senior government members played down the risk of an outbreak in January and February with some suggesting that prayer, herbal remedies and hot weather would help ward off the virus. The death toll is now the highest in Asia after China, according to a Reuters tally.Burials The provincial data follows a report by Reuters this month that burials in the capital Jakarta in March were up by 40% on any month since at least January 2018. The city’s governor told Reuters that coronavirus was the only likely explanation.Indonesia had officially recorded 9,096 coronavirus infections as of April 27. It has conducted 210 tests per million people. Neighboring Australia has tested 100 times more per capita, while Vietnam’s testing is about 10 times higher.”The true infection and death rate are higher than the officially reported data because our tests are still a very low number compared to the population,” said Dr Iwan Ariawan, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia.President Joko Widodo’s government has been accused by activists and his political opponents of a lack of transparency in handling the epidemic.The government says it has taken appropriate measures, but Widodo said last month that some information had been withheld from the public to prevent panic.Widodo said last week he had told his ministers to report COVID-19 data truthfully. His government announced a new transparency initiative two weeks ago but a promised new website with all the data has yet to be launched.Daeng Faqih, chairman of the Indonesian Doctors Association, the country’s pre-eminent grouping of doctors, has urged the government to reveal the national number of suspected COVID-19 patients who had died but were not tested.The WHO representative office in Indonesia also said at the weekend that deaths of suspected coronavirus sufferers should be disclosed.Adisasmito said the government was not hiding data and that he was unaware the WHO had called for suspected COVID-19 death statistics to be made public.On Tuesday, the WHO declined to offer any comment beyond its weekend advice, made in its latest situation report on Indonesia. More than 2,200 Indonesians have died with acute symptoms of COVID-19 but were not recorded as victims of the disease, a Reuters review of data from 16 of the country’s 34 provinces showed.Three medical experts said the figures indicated the national death toll was likely to be much higher than the official figure of 765.Indonesia has one of the lowest testing rates in the world and some epidemiologists say that has made it harder to get an accurate picture of the extent of infections in the world’s fourth most populous country. The most current data from the 16 provinces shows there were 2,212 deaths of patients under supervision because they have acute coronavirus symptoms. Indonesia’s health ministry uses the acronym PDP to classify these patients when there is no other clinical explanation for their symptoms.The data is collated by provincial agencies daily or weekly from figures supplied by hospitals, clinics and officials overseeing burials. It was obtained by Reuters by checking websites, talking to provincial officials and reviewing World Health Organization (WHO) reports.The 2,212 deaths were in addition to the deaths of 693 people who had tested positive for COVID-19 in those provinces and were officially recorded as victims of the disease.The 16 provinces account for more than three quarters of the country’s 260 million population.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Severe or fatal COVID-19 very rare in children, study finds

first_img“The highest level message really has to be that (in children with COVID-19) severe disease is rare, and death is vanishingly rare – and that (parents) should be comforted that their children are not at direct harm by going back into school,” he told a briefing.Global data on the spread of the coronavirus pandemic shows that children and young people make up only 1-2% of cases of COVID-19 worldwide. The vast majority of reported infections in children are mild or asymptomatic, with few recorded deaths.For this study, published in the BMJ medical journal, Semple’s team looked at data from 651 babies and children under 19 who were hospitalized with COVID-19 between Jan. 17 and July 3.The six children who died all had “profound comorbidity”, the researchers said, and this was a “strikingly low” fatality rate compared with a 27% across all age groups – from 0-106 years – of COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the same period. While the overall risk of children getting severe COVID is “tiny”, the researchers said, children of Black ethnicity and those with obesity are disproportionately affected, as previous studies in adults have found.The study also showed that children can have a cluster of symptoms including sore throat, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and rash alongside already-recognized COVID-19 symptoms of fever, breathlessness and cough. Children and young people are far less likely than adults to get severe cases of COVID-19 infection, and death from the pandemic disease among children is exceptionally rare, according to UK research published on Thursday.A study of COVID-19 patients admitted to 138 hospitals in Britain found that less than 1% were children, and of those fewer than 1% – or six in total – died, all of whom were already suffering serious illness or underlying health disorders.”We can be quite sure that COVID in itself is not causing harm to children on a significant scale,” said Malcolm Semple, a professor of outbreak medicine and child health at Britain’s University of Liverpool, who co-led the work. Topics :last_img read more

Mikel Arteta tells Mesut Ozil how to win back his place at Arsenal

first_imgMikel Arteta tells Mesut Ozil how to win back his place at Arsenal Mikel Arteta says there were no issues with Mesut Ozil after dropping him from Arsenal’s squad (YouTube/Getty)Mikel Arteta insists Mesut Ozil still has a future at Arsenal and has revealed that the midfielder accepted the decision to be axed for the defeat to Manchester City.Ozil wasn’t even named on the bench as the Gunners sunk to a 3-0 defeat to Pep Guardiola’s side at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday evening.After the match, Arteta claimed that Ozil was left out due to ‘tactical reasons’ but did not elaborate on why the midfielder was not even named on the bench.Arsenal face Brighton in their next Premier League match on Saturday and Arteta has suggested that Ozil could be in contention to return if he proves he is ready to play.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I have been very open with Mesut from day one,’ said Arteta.‘Since I joined I thought that he was fit and he was willing and he wanted to perform at the level that he can do. Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterThursday 18 Jun 2020 9:51 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link257Shares Comment Mesut Ozil was left out of Arsenal’s squad for their loss to Manchester City (Getty Images)‘He has played every game with me I think. So that’s it. The moment I see that he is ready again to do that, I will treat him like anybody else.‘I think I have been more than fair with him and I think he has responded in many games the way I want. That’s it.’Asked why Ozil was not ready for the match against City, Arteta replied: ‘A lot has happened to him in the last few weeks and I have to respect the timing of every player that needs sometimes a little bit of time.‘It has been difficult preparation the last two months to get players ready, and again, I am the first one that wants Mesut at the best and I want to put him on the best when he can give his best.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityAsked how Ozil reacted after being dropped, Arteta said: ‘He works very well with me, there were no issues at all.‘My conversation with Mesut is going to remain between him and me.‘What I can tell you is that it was completely fine, an honest and clear conversation, that’s it.’Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more stories like this, check our sport page.last_img read more