first_imgCase round upOn 1 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Our residents experts at Pinsents bring you a comprehensive update on allthe latest decisions that could affect your organisation, and advice on what todo about them.Pratley v Surrey County Council, Court of Appeal Another important ruling on liabilities for stress-related illness * * * * Pratley was employed by the council as a care manager. In March andAugust 1996 she complained of stress caused by overwork, warning that herhealth would suffer if her workload was not reduced. Immediately beforePratley’s summer holiday, her line manager promised to introduce a ‘stacking’system whereby cases would be allocated only to those with capacity. WhenPratley returned to work and found that no steps had been taken to implementthis system, she suffered a depressive illness. Key pointsPratley brought a negligence claim. She argued that her case met theguidelines for establishing liability under the Court of Appeal in Hatton inFebruary 2002. She put her employer on notice of a risk of harm to her mentalhealth, the employer acknowledged that steps could be taken to alleviate theproblem, had failed to action these and she therefore suffered mental illness.The High Court and the Court of Appeal rejected her claim. Pratley’s claim failed because there was a key difference between the typeof risk to which Pratley had alerted her employer and the type of injury thatshe suffered. Her complaints had identified a risk of harm in the longer termif her workload was not addressed. It was not foreseeable that she would sufferany mental injury if the employer took no steps to introduce the stackingsystem during her holiday. Pratley failed to establish that the council oughtreasonably to have addressed the problem immediately. It was entirelyreasonable for the manager to see how Pratley felt on her return to work beforetaking specific action. The Court of Appeal drew an interesting distinction between the long-termrisk of psychiatric illness caused by a continuing excessive work overload, andthe risk of an immediate breakdown. For the purposes of establishing liabilityfor negligence, the gravity and imminence of the harm to health will berelevant to issues of foreseeability of harm and breach of duty. The issue is not just what it is reasonable to expect employers to do, butwhen it is reasonable to require it to do it. What you should do – Listen to employees’ complaints about work-related stress and explorepossible solutions – Try to understand the nature of the risk to health: is it long-term orimmediate? Prompt action will generally be the best course of action – Remember that employees can base other types of claims (eg, constructivedismissal) on work-related stress or a failure to take action. These may offer easier routes to recovering damages for psychiatric injury. HSBC plc v Drage, EAT A useful illustration of the factors to be considered when invokingmobility clauses * * * Drage worked at the HSBC bank’s Devizes branch. However, the banktransferred her to a branch nine miles away because of a shortage ofexperienced counter staff there. It invoked a mobility clause in Drage’scontract under which she could be required to work at other branches within areasonable travelling distance of her existing location or home. Drage objected on the grounds that she took her children to school at 8.50ambefore starting work at 9am. A series of meetings followed under the bank’sgrievance procedure and the bank offered a number of alternative arrangements.Dissatisfied with these, Drage resigned. The EAT overturned Drage’s complaintof constructive dismissal, ruling that the employment tribunal’s earlierfinding of a fundamental breach of contract could not be upheld. Key pointsThe EAT emphasised that, in a case regarding the operation of a mobilityclause, it was not for the tribunal to decide what was reasonable or what areasonable employer would do. If the employer had shown some business reasonfor invoking the mobility clause – that the transfer was not arbitrary orcapricious – the tribunal could not judge whether those reasons were reasonableor appropriate. The EAT underscored that an employer invoking a mobility clausemust take into account the employee’s personal and domestic circumstances, butconfirmed that there is no obligation to reimburse an employee for anyadditional expense incurred due to the changed work location. The EAT overruled the tribunal’s decision that a failure to discuss withDrage whether there were any advantages to her in moving to a larger branchamounted to a breach of the implied duty of trust and confidence. The EAT stressedthat in a constructive dismissal claim, the employee had to show a fundamentalbreach of contract on the part of the employer, which had been accepted by theemployee. This was an objective test. It was not enough for the employee tofeel a decision had caused distress or that she had lost confidence in theemployer. Drage had access to the respondent’s grievance procedure, the bankhad modified its position and had sought to implement an acceptable solution. What you should do – Include mobility clauses in employment contracts to increase flexibility – Remember clauses can avoid a redundancy situation arising when place ofwork is changed – Always take account of an employee’s personal circumstances when invokingmobility clauses – Use grievance procedures or consultation to identify agreed solutions. Case of the month by Nick SheppardFull and part-time firefighters are retained under different contractsMatthews & Others v Kent & Medway Towns Fire Authority & Others,EAT The first significant decision under the Part-Time Workers Regulations In this important decision, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has given crucialguidance on the scope of the Part-Time Workers (Prevention of Less FavourableTreatment) Regulations 2000. Matthews, a retained (or part-time) firefighter, claimed less favourabletreatment compared to a whole-time (or full-time) firefighter. Retainedfirefighters who generally have separate full-time employment, are essentiallyrequired to perform firefighting work. Full-time firefighters carry out abroader range of duties primarily focused on fire safety and prevention. Key pointsUnder the regulations, the part-time worker must be able to compare his/hertreatment to that of a “comparable full-time worker”. That comparatormust, among other things, be employed under the same type of contract andengaged in the same or broadly similar work, having regard where appropriate toqualifications, skills and experience. In Matthews, the EAT upheld the tribunal’s ruling that retained firefighterswere employed under different types of contract to whole-time firefighters andnot engaged in the same or broadly similar work within the meaning of theregulations. The EAT declined to take a restrictive view of the various factors that anemployer could use to show employment on “different contracts”. Thesecould include the contractual working patterns, pay arrangements (including therationale for these), selection procedures and issues of training andpromotion. Furthermore, it was clear that the range of duties carried out by retainedfirefighters was much more restrictive than that of full-time firefighters. This decision is also relevant to the validity of comparators under theFixed Term Contract Regulations 2002. What you should do – Identify potential comparators for part-time workers and fixed-termemployees. Carry out an audit to identify areas of differential treatment – Where there are differences in treatment, consider whether to eliminatethese or, if they are retained, make sure you consider the need for objectivejustification – Remember that arguments that comparators are invalid because they carryout a different kind of work or range of duties should be based on what happensin practice, not just on what the contract says. Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgThe University of Houston (UH) seeks an outstanding biomedicalresearch scientist to join other vision scientists on the facultyin the Department of Basic Sciences in its College of Optometry(http://www.opt.uh.edu/). A tenure-track position is open for apromising assistant, associate or full professor. The successfulcandidate will be expected to conduct a nationally recognized,independent, externally funded research program in vision scienceor relevant applied biomedical sciences.All areas in basic and translational vision science will beconsidered. The ideal candidate for this position would carry outbehavioral, physiological, and/or imaging studies in any aspect ofvision from sensation to action in humans or nonhuman primatemodels. The applicant would teach aspects of vision science thatcomplement their research area, in our College’s optometrycurriculum and graduate program in physiological optics and visionscience. Candidates whose expertise include topics related tomonocular or binocular spatial and temporal vision; neuroanatomy,neurophysiology, pharmacology as related to vision science areespecially encouraged to apply.The successful applicant will join a diverse group of visionscientists studying normal and abnormal visual processes in humansand in animal models, using a variety of approaches ranging frommolecular and cellular, to behavioral, neurophysiological andoptical. The research program is supported by a P30 core grant fromthe National Eye Institute (NEI), T35 training grant from the NEIsupport research training for professional students, support forgraduate students and excellent state-of-the-art non-human primateresearch facilities. Existing biomedical research strengths withinthe College, University and the neighboring Texas Medical Centerprovide a unique environment for collaboration. A diverse patientbase provides opportunities for patient-based or translationalinvestigations.Salary and rank will be commensurate with the candidate’squalifications and experience, and the startup package will becompetitive. To apply, please send (1) a Curriculum Vitae, (2) atwo-page description of research experience, current interests andprojects and long-term goals, (3) a one to two page statement ofteaching philosophy (4) representative reprints and (5) the namesand contact information for three references.Review of applications will begin immediately and continue untilthe position is filled. For fullest consideration by the committee,applications should be received by November 1, 2020. Pleasecontact, Dr. Vallabh E Das, Dept. Chair of Basic Sciences [email protected] or Dr. Wendy Harrison, Search Committee Chairat [email protected]tral.UH.EDU, should you have any follow-upquestions.The University of Houston is responsive to the needs of dual careercouples. The University of Houston is an equalopportunity/affirmative action employer. Minorities, women,veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged toapply.Qualifications :Candidates are expected to have a Ph.D., or equivalent degree,postdoctoral experience and a record of high productivity at theircurrent rank.Notes to Applicant: Official transcripts are required forall faculty appointments and will be requested upon selection ofthe final candidate. All positions at the university are securitysensitive and will require a criminal history check.last_img read more

first_imgBy Dialogo March 29, 2010 British Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, responsible for the 2012 London Games, affirmed that Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 competition, will be able to benefit from the British capital’s organizational experience. “This was the first of several meetings intended to strengthen ties between the two countries. Brazil has to take advantage of London’s experience; Brazil has a lot to learn from our mistakes and from what we got right,” Jowell noted after signing an agreement with her Brazilian counterpart, Sports Minister Orlando Silva. In the British minister’s view, London “made the mistakes first so that Rio won’t make them later, and the most important thing is always to keep an eye on the clock. You lose control over the Olympic budget if you don’t get things done on time. Delays lead to financial loss of control.” Jowell, who met with the governor of Rio de Janeiro state, Sergio Cabral, and with the mayor of the state capital of the same name, Eduardo Paes, signed an agreement for cooperation and the exchange of experiences between the cities that will host the next two Olympics. “The agreement has as its objective to maximize business and investment opportunities between the countries involved in organizing major sports events, like the Olympics and the 2014 Brazilian World Cup,” the British Consulate noted in a statement.last_img read more

first_imgBy Patrícia Comunello/Diálogo June 01, 2018 Joint and interagency operations of Brazil’s Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies to fight transnational crime have intensified in recent years in the country’s southern region. The seizures of drugs and weapons in April 2018 highlighted the importance of Operation Southern Border (FORSUL, in Portuguese), one of Brazil’s most important ongoing efforts in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) keeps up surveillance and prepares for the next round of FORSUL scheduled for the end of 2018. “Our mission is to prevent and crack down on transnational crimes, especially the illegal entry and outflow of weapons, munitions, and other controlled products, as well as narcotrafficking and contraband,” said EB Colonel Jorge Francisco de Souza Júnior, commander of the 2nd Mechanized Calvary Regiment (RCMec, in Portuguese), located in São Borja, Rio Grande do Sul, on the border with Argentina. According to the Federal Highway Police (PRF, in Portuguese), the state recorded its largest marijuana seizure on April 26th. Authorities seized 6.63 tons of marijuana in a truck hailing from Iraí—a city roughly 160 kilometers from the border with Argentina and an international trafficking route. The drug was meant to supply the greater metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, the state capital of Rio Grande do Sul. Federal highway police officer Alessandro Castro, head of PRF’s Public Relations in Rio Grande do Sul, confirmed an investigation was ongoing on how the marijuana entered Brazil. The Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) reported that the cargo was nearly equal to the total amount seized in 2017—6.6 tons. In 2016, the total was 4.5 tons. On April 13th, civil and military authorities found 13 AR-556 rifles and one AK 762 inside a car with a Paraguayan license plate headed to Bento Gonçalves, in the northeastern part of the state. Among the latest joint and interagency operations, Col. Souza Júnior noted the most recent FORSUL, conducted from December 2017 to early February 2018. He also pointed out to mobile patrols along the borders with Uruguay and Argentina. Patrols, made up of PRF, PF, the Military Brigade (the state’s Military Police), the Civil Police, and the Federal Revenue Office, are constants to oversee operations and prevent crimes along the border. Covering the 1,800-kilometer border with Uruguay and Argentina represents the biggest challenge. “Since this is such a long stretch of land, we focus our efforts on areas where crimes are most likely to occur,” said EB Major General José Ricardo Vendramin Nunes, commander of the 3rd Mechanized Calvary Brigade (BdaCMec, in Portuguese), headquartered in Bagé. The 3rd BdaCMec guards 700 of the 1,068-km border with Uruguay. FORSUL and interaction with Uruguay During the last FORSUL—akin to the Ministry of Defense’s Operation Ágata—Maj. Gen. Vendramin highlighted the simultaneous actions of the armies of Brazil and Uruguay. “They closed it off there [the Uruguayan side] and we did here [Brazil],” he said. “We shared information about each side’s efforts, which increasingly intensified as part of the cooperation between the two countries.” Deployments took place in the area between Santana do Livramento, in Brazil, and Rivera, in Uruguay, and also between Bagé, in Brazil, and Aceguá, in Uruguay. The goal for the next round of FORSUL at the end of 2018 is to replay the bilateral interaction. The area under the 3rd BdaCMec gathered 812 service members and 11 EB organizations. The largest mobilization occurred November 26–December 1, 2017. Up until early February 2018, a few military units conducted mobile patrols along the border. According to the Public Relations Office of the Southern Military Command, which coordinated the operation in Santa Catarina and Paraná, FORSUL mobilized a total of 3,816 units in Rio Grande do Sul—3,389 from EB and 427 from law enforcement agencies. “The most intense operation was conducted in a short spurt, preceded by intelligence work to map out locations and set up surveillance points where crimes were most likely to occur,” Maj. Gen. Vendramin said. “There weren’t any significant seizures, but that wasn’t the objective. The job was to prevent behavior and crime, dissuade, and show our presence on the border.” Another expected outcome of FORSUL operations is to complement the troop’s training. “If the Brazilian government decides to expand an operation similar in time or scope, we’re trained and have plans in place,” he added. Roadblocks curb crime According to Maj. Gen. Vendramin, the strategy to curb crime included troop mobilization, using Marruá and Worker transport vehicles. Service members kept up roadblocks and patrols in 10 to 12 areas. Troops worked for 12 hours on fixed roadblock locations, checking cargo of trucks and passenger vehicles. Mobile blockades monitored rivers along the border and allowed for broader surveillance. “When we conduct an operation, they [criminals] take their foot off the gas, and when we demobilize the troops, a week later there might be seizures,” Maj. Gen. Vendramin said. With surveillance operations in place until the end of 2018, service members also contribute to maintaining roads that need the most work. On the border with Argentina, the 2nd RCMec mobilized three mechanized calvary squadrons for maintenance, health, and supplies. “We are responsible for a 180-km area, encompassing the municipalities of São Borja, Garruchos, Santo Antônio das Missões, and Nhu-Porã [in Rio Grande do Sul],” Col. Souza Júnior said. The troops kept a rigid around-the-clock routine. Roadblocks with checkpoints marked the operation. “Mobilization occurred in short bursts while constantly changing checkpoints, to ensure the element of surprise in areas where crime might occur, which we tracked with intel support,” Col. Souza Júnior added, noting the ongoing cooperation and intensifying operations with other agencies. Activities included joint and interagency roadblocks with PF, PRF, the Military Brigade, the Environmental and Civil Police, in addition to customs at the Integration Bridge, which connects São Borja to Santo Tomé, on the Argentine side. Col. Souza Júnior noted the last round of FORSUL registered a drop in crimes and seizures. Navy and Federal Police fight crime Federal Police Chief Getúlio Jorge de Vargas, coordinator of PF’s Operation Sentinel in Rio Grande do Sul, said that teamwork made crime fighting more successful on the border. Sentinel, kicked off in 2011, is a yearly operation with PF, PRF, and the National Public Safety Force. “We aren’t going to fight crime without intelligence and integrated efforts,” Chief Vargas said. In 2016 and 2017, PF conducted Operation Degraded Nature against crimes along Rio Grande do Sul’s border with Argentina on the Uruguay River. Use of technology such as georeferencing contributed to identifying crimes. A new operation was conducted on the Uruguay River, April 2-6, 2018. According to Vargas, the fight against narcotrafficking must be ongoing. He noted a growing number of marijuana seizures on the routes to Uruguay, originating in Paraguay. “As long as there is a consumer market, there will be a seller, who is the drug dealer,” Vargas said, addressing the migration of organized crime gangs, such as the First Command of the Interior, from the metropolitan region to the border. The Brazilian Navy in Rio Grande do Sul joined the fight against crime in 2017, carrying out three phases of Operation Ágata, according to the Public Relations Department of the 5th Naval District. Their activities included surveillance on the sea, near Uruguay, and on rivers, along the border with Argentina, working with environmental and law enforcement agencies.last_img read more