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 process of organismal freezing in the Antarctic limpet, Nacelle concinna, is complicated by molluscan biology. Internal ice formation is, in particular, mediated by two factors: (a) the provision of an inoculative target for ice formation in the exposed mucus-secreting foot; and (b) osmoconformity to the marine environment. With regard to the first, direct observations of the independent freezing of pedal mucus support the hypothesis that internal ice formation is delayed by the mucal film. As to the second, ice nucleation parametrics of organismal tissue (head, midgut, gonad, foot) and mucus in both inter- and subtidal populations were characterized by high melting points (range = -4.61 to -6.29 degrees C), with only c.50% of a given sample osmotically active. At this stage it would be premature to ascribe a cryo-adaptive function to the mucus as the protective effects are more readily attributed to the physical properties of the secretion (i.e. viscosity) and their corresponding effects on the rate of heat transfer. As it is difficult to thermally distinguish between the freezing of mucus and the rest of the animal, the question as to whether it is tolerant of internal as well as external ice formation remains problematic, although it may be well suited to the osmotic stresses of organismal freezing. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.last_img read more

first_imgThe Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a fact sheet to help caterers understand when they can label food ’gluten- free’ in advance of the change to labelling rules next January.New EU regulations coming into force from 1 January 2012, on foodstuffs specifically produced for people intolerant to gluten, will mean products have to contain less than 20 parts of gluten per million (ppm), in order to be labelled as ’gluten-free’.Businesses will be allowed to label products as ’very low gluten’ if they contain less than 100ppm. Previously, there was no limit set in law for foods described as ’gluten-free’ and so levels could vary, said the FSA.last_img read more

first_imgIt’s no secret that John Lennon, The Beatles, and most other influential characters from the 1960s counterculture were exposed to drugs in their prime. In fact, many might make the argument that their experiences with these mind-altering substances are to thank for the glorious music left behind. It was a period of revolution, experimentation, and self indulgence. If you haven’t heard the story, John Lennon’s first experience with LSD is quite the “trip.”Watch this animated video of Lennon recounting this story in the video below:last_img read more

first_img View Comments Les Miserables In Broadway’s past, the actor playing Jean Valjean, the hero of Les Miserables, typically looks like the kind of guy who would steal a loaf of bread—off the next table in a restaurant. But the new revival of the beloved musical is throwing the notion that Valjean is a doughy rival to the more fit Inspector Javert out the window, giving Broadway the ripped musical theater hunk Ramin Karimloo in the iconic role. So how does that change the onstage fireworks between Karimloo and Tony nominee Will Swenson as Javert, which reaches its peak in the Act One duet “The Confrontation”? We asked the pair at a recent rehearsal, and heard talk of airborne actors, rehearsal bruises and a “fight scene” that just might blow our minds. Hear the duo reveal all in the video below! Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 4, 2016last_img read more

first_imgBy Mike IsbellUniversity of GeorgiaAugust is just about over. The kids are back in school and themuscadines are ripening. Summer is starting to slip away.It’s that time of year when a lot of folks tend to forget aboutthe trees and shrubbery around the house. It’s just too darnedhot and muggy to fool with them.But these plants can still use a little attention and care.If you have crape myrtles, they may be rather unsightly about nowbecause of sooty mold. This fungus grows on the honeydew secretedby both whiteflies and aphids. It turns black. That’s where itgets the name “sooty mold.”So control the aphids and whiteflies on the trees. And don’t parkyour car under the trees — the honeydew drips.Add mulchMulches may have become thin in your shrub and flower beds bythis time of the year. You may not need the mulch this year toconserve moisture in the soil, but mulch also helps keep weedseeds from germinating. Renewing the mulch just might keep youfrom pulling weeds later on.Instead of raking and burning the leaves that fall from yourtrees, use them as mulch. Leaves don’t look as neat as pine strawor pine bark, but they’re free. And you can always put a thinlayer of pine straw or bark on top of the leaves to dress up yourbeds.If you have fruit trees, get rid of all of the old fruit that maystill be hanging on the trees or is on the ground. Bury it orburn it. That will help in disease control. And while you’re atit, go ahead and prune out any diseased, broken or dead limbs.Soil testFinally, if you haven’t had your soil tested in a few years, fallis a good time to do it. Nitrogen fertilizers tend to make thesoil acid over time. Old-timers used to say the soil got sour andwouldn’t grow anything until it was “sweetened” by lime.A soil test will tell you how much lime to use. So make yourplans to do that this time.You know, I need to that, too. But it’s too darned hot and muggyright now. I think I’ll just go eat my muscadines instead.(Mike Isbell is the Heard County Extension Coordinator withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)last_img read more

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Canadian Press:The federal government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline will add significantly to the deficit next year, according to a study by a sustainable energy research group.Buying the Kinder Morgan Canada assets, plus planning and construction costs, will put $6.5 billion in unplanned spending on the books for the 2018-19 fiscal year, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said in its analysis released Tuesday.Until Ottawa clarifies how it plans to account for the spending, there’s a risk the purchase could add 36 percent to the projected $18.1-billion deficit, according to the study written by Tom Sanzillo and Kathy Hipple.However, conclusions from the study are “completely incorrect,” according to an emailed response from the federal finance department. The government would receive an asset of significant value in its deal with Kinder Morgan Canada, and as such it doesn’t expect the purchase would have an immediate impact on the federal debt or deficit, said an unnamed official in the email.Sanzillo, a former first deputy comptroller of New York State, said the government does have other ways to account for the funds, but that it shouldn’t be borrowing for a speculative asset. “A speculation on a pipeline is far outside what would be a reasonable and responsible investment by a public sector entity. The absorption by a public sector entity of something that the private sector has rejected is a risk, a substantial risk.”Canada’s ability to sell the pipeline without taking a loss is in doubt because it has already signaled it is a reluctant buyer and because of the poor growth prospects of the oil sands in the latter half of the next decade, the study said.The authors call on the government to do more to disclose how it arrived at the purchase price, what cost-benefits were weighed, what potential costs the public is exposed to, and whether Kinder Morgan attempted to sell the pipeline elsewhere.More: Study predicts Trans Mountain pipeline purchase could add 36 percent to federal deficit Trans Mountain Pipeline a bad investment for Canada—IEEFAlast_img read more

first_imgBy Michael Laff/ShareAmerica August 05, 2020 The U.S. government is providing financial assistance and technical support to multiple Caribbean nations fighting COVID-19.Assistance ranges from distribution of medical or protective equipment to support for programs in which young leaders engage students while schools are closed.The U.S. Department of Defense has delivered thousands of face shields, gloves and protective suits to national disaster offices in eastern Caribbean countries with support from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency.The U.S. Embassy donated $20,000 worth of medical supplies from the Rhode Island National Guard State Partnership Program to the Bahamas.Donations included airway pressure machines and conversion kits that turn the machines into ventilators to help patients suffering from COVID-19.The U.S. Embassy in Barbados, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, supported UNICEF to partner with 72 local radio programs in the eastern and southern Caribbean to broadcast health prevention measures.The embassy and UNICEF worked with education officials to implement safe health protocols and delivered sanitizers and equipment to schools and youth centers.Andre Pitts, an alumnus of the 2017 Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, launched COVID-19 Watch in Belize. The show, broadcast on television and online, reaches 40,000 people with information about the virus and includes appearances by government officials and health experts.Fundashon Venex, a nonprofit foundation, used a $12,000 grant from Spirit of America — a nonprofit foundation that provides supplies to nations where U.S. forces are stationed — and support from the U.S. Consulate General in Curaçao to purchase food for vulnerable populations, including Venezuelans displaced by the humanitarian crisis in their country. The food fed 500 people for several weeks.“It’s our duty to support the most vulnerable in the community and an honor to have participated in the donation of food to about 200 families of the Venezuelan community and others on Curaçao,” said U.S. Consul General Allen Greenberg.The U.S. Embassy in the Dominican Republic joined with the Fashion for Inclusion Foundation and the Dominican Association of Fashion Designers to supply more than 12,000 units of medical protection to hospitals. Local fashion workers made the equipment at home. Six former scholars with U.S. government programs handled distribution of sheets, hats, pajamas and surgical boots to the National Health Service.In Guyana, the United States has provided $350,000 in new migration and refugee humanitarian assistance to support COVID-19 response efforts for refugees and host communities. In addition, U.S. Embassy officials donated N95 masks and infrared no-touch thermometers to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.After schools closed in Trinidad and Tobago because of COVID-19, three members of the 2019 Trinidad and Tobago Youth Ambassadors program offered online tutoring sessions for free. Using connections they made during their program, the students built a network of 30 tutors from several countries to help 4,000 students in the Caribbean maintain their academic performance over the remainder of the school year.last_img read more

first_imgApr 30, 2009The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) global count of confirmed swine flu cases stands at 257 cases in 11 countries today. The United States has 109 cases and 1 death; Mexico has 97 cases and 7 deaths. [WHO update 6]The WHO has begun distributing part of its stockpile of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) to Mexico, Dr. Keiji Fukuda said at a news briefing today. Roche donated 5 million treatment courses of the antriviral to the WHO in 2005 and 2006.For 5 days starting tomorrow, the Mexican government is suspending nonessential services, advising noncritical businesses to close, and urging people to stay home, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.Vice President Joe Biden said today on NBC’s “Today” show that he would tell his family to avoid air and subway travel to reduce their exposure to the swine flu virus, according to Reuters. A Biden spokeswoman clarified his remarks afterward, saying his message is the same as the federal government’s: avoid nonessential travel to Mexico and avoid travel when ill.The Netherlands confirmed its first swine flu case, in a 3-year-old who had traveled to Mexico and was said to be doing well, according to Radio Netherlands.Switzerland reported its first case, involving a 19-year-old student who was mistakenly released from a hospital and then hastily readmitted, according to an AP report.Peru also reported its first swine flu case, in an Argentine woman who lives in California and had recently been in Mexico, according to a Reuters report. She was on an airline flight from Panama that was diverted to Lima because of her illness, the report said.To battle the misconception that people can get the swine flu virus from pigs, the WHO said it is dropping the term “swine flu virus” and will call it “H1N1 influenza A,” according to an AP report. The story said Egypt began slaughtering its 300,000 pigs yesterday because of concern about the virus.The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) strongly advised against the culling of pigs in the face of the swine flu epidemic, saying there is no evidence of the virus in pigs or of humans acquiring it directly from pigs. [OIE statement]At the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) PlanFirst webcast today, Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, said federal guidance advises individual schools to close for a week when a student hasa suspected or confirmed swine flu infection. She said some entire districts are closing, which runs counter to suggested protocol.Federal officials are not recommending that Americans stockpile food and water in response to the swine flu outbreak, Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary, said during the agency’s PlanFirst webcast today. She urged the public to take measures to limit disease transmission such as hand washing and covering coughs, and she advised parents to make contingency plans in the event of school closures.Within several days, state health departments will have the ability to identify the new H1N1 strain in their own labs instead of sending suspect isolates to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), acting CDC Director Dr. Richard Besser said Thursday in a news briefing. Test versions of the new diagnostic tool are being tried out by the New York and California health departments and will be pushed out to the remaining states if the tests are satisfactory.In its updated swine flu case count today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported the first confirmed cases in South Carolina (10), pushing the number of affected states to 11, including Arizona, California, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Ohio, and Texas.The White House issued a health advisory to its staff today after three family members of a Department of Energy employee who traveled with the Obama delegation to Mexico recently tested positive for probable swine flu, reported. The staff member had a fever during the trip, has recovered, and has not tested positive for the virus. Robert Gibbs, White House press secretary, said the employee never came within 6 feet of Obama and that no one else who accompanied the group on the trip has shown any signs of illness.last_img read more

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