May
12

Serious concerns over delays at the EAT

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Employers worried about the increasing numbers of employees taking theirgrievances to employment tribunals now have more cause for concern. It is nowtaking an average of 18 months for a case to be heard at the EAT in London,from a waiting time of about five or six months two years ago. Stephen Levinson, solicitor at KLegal, said “There are six courts atthe EAT but one is in darkness practically every day. The problem is that thejudges may be allocated to the EAT but it does not mean that they are actuallysitting there.” And the problem may be about to get worse as an expected increase intribunal appeals have not even come through yet. An official at the EAT admitted there are problems associated with the shortageof appointed judges. He told employers’ Law, “At the moment we haveproblems getting the judiciary in place. We are not getting enough as we usedtoo. Even if we had six judges, they are not always here and we have no controlover who is available. There is also the problem of increasing caseloads.” Comments are closed. Serious concerns over delays at the EATOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

May
12

Learning accounts frozen

first_imgEducation and Skills Secretary Estelle Morris announced theclampdown as Training Magazine was going to press. She admits to concerns thatsome companies are abusing the scheme, but stresses that the Government’scommitment to lifelong learning is cast-iron. The Individual Learning Account programme will be suspendedfrom 7 December. Learning accounts frozenOn 1 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Describing the announcement as “regrettable”, aspokesperson for UfI says it does not come as a surprise.  “Since earlier in the year, we’ve beenaware of organisations using the learn direct brand in ways which, it seemed tous, were to do with drawing down funding through ILAs. Clearly, when there wassuch evidence about the way in which the scheme was being used, the Governmenthad to act,” she said.  “Our wish is that individual adults would continue tobe supported in learning by Government. We’re reassured to hear from theSecretary of State that lifelong learning remains a Government priority and tohear of her desire to find either another form of the ILA or something toreplace it.” Philip Taylor of the TUC said, “It’s clear that a largenumber of users would have done their training with or without an ILA. It’svital that any new system targets those who wouldn’t have taken up a trainingopportunity without an ILA.”  ILAs have been criticised for not increasing participationin learning among non-learners. Research published in September by the Learningand Skills Development Agency found little evidence that they were being openedby those not already engaged in learning. It recommended the development ofstrategies for using ILAs and the adoption of more proactive marketing tools. Previous Article Next Article The TUC is meeting with the Minister for Adult Skills todiscuss a wide range of issues concerning workplace development. “We wouldwish to be closely involved in the development of whatever takes the place ofILAs. It is clear that a replacement is needed,” said Taylor. The news comes amid revelations that a number of learningproviders are being investigated for possible fraud. There is evidence thatlarge sums of public money have been squandered through unscrupulous providersmaking bogus claims in respect of individuals for training courses that theyhave not followed. Comments are closed. By Elaine Essery Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

May
12

Acas acts on sex pay gap

first_imgAcas acts on sex pay gapOn 12 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Almost 900 staff at conciliation service Acas have won an average payout of£6,500 each in compensation for years of unequal pay. The settlement, expected to cost the taxpayer £5.5m, follows an employmenttribunal two years ago that ruled women workers at Acas were beingdiscriminated against. John Taylor, Acas chief executive, commented: “The current proposal –reached after negotiations with the Public and Commercial Services Union –over- comes the inequalities for Acas’ pay system and its staff.” Taylor said that, along with all other government departments and agencies,Acas will be carrying out an equal pay audit by 2003. Steve Farley, negotiator for the PCS, said: “I am sure this will haveramifications across the whole of the Civil Service.” Research released last week shows that the UK’s 250,000 female civilservants are earning 28 per cent less on average than their male colleagues. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

May
12

Follow the leaders

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Follow the leadersOn 11 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Takingleadership culture to all levels of an organisation not only requires arecognition of the difference between the roles of manager and leader, but afirm commitment to a company-wide programme of change. By Keith RodgersIfyou’re looking for evidence of the huge gulf between operational managementskills and the leadership qualities required to drive a company forwardlong-term, Kate Lidbetter has some powerful anecdotes. A founding director ofleadership consultancy SKAI Associates, she is frequently brought intoblue-chip organisations to help train newly appointed directors. “They areaware that they are now a leader,” she says, “but they have no ideawhat they should be doing. So they tend to revert to type, which is managing.It is like having a completely new job when you land in a leadership chair.”Theconcept of leadership is popularly personified by high-profile, charismaticfigures in the mould of Jack Welch or Richard Branson. The reality, however, isboth more mundane and far-reaching. Leadership qualities are not the exclusivedomain of those at the top of an organisation or division – they need tocascade down through an organisation, as far as frontline departmental heads onthe shopfloor. And contrary to popular myth about leaders being born not made;many of these qualities can be developed when managers are sufficientlydetermined to grow into new roles. Thedifficulty organisations face is that this development programme istime-consuming: it requires a thorough understanding of where management stopsand leadership starts, and leads to major cultural shifts within the company. Whilethe disciplines of managing and leading are synonymous in popular culture, muchof the focus in business consultancy and academia is on mapping out thedistinctions between the two. One of the clearest explanations of whatleadership entails was published in Harvard Business Review in 1990. In WhatLeaders Really Do, John P Kotter argues that leadership and management are”two distinctive and complementary systems of action”. Management,which evolved primarily in response to the emergence of large organisations inthe 20th century, is about coping with complexity; leadership is about copingwith change.Kotterpoints to three core tasks where the two disciplines require different actionsand responses – deciding what needs to be done; creating networks of people andrelationships to accomplish an agenda; and ensuring those people do the job. Inthe first instance, managers use planning and budgeting techniques to handlecomplexity; leaders, by contrast, set a direction, mapping out a vision anddeveloping strategies to achieve them. In terms of people and relationships,managers create organisational structures and fill the relevant roles, makingjudgements that “are much like architectural decisions”. Leaders,however, focus on aligning people, which is “more of a communicationschallenge than a design problem”. Aligning involves talking to moreindividuals – anyone who can either implement or block the vision – gettingpeople to accept the message and empowering them to act on it. Finally,managers ensure the agenda is accomplished by controlling and problem solving,while leaders achieve their vision by motivating and inspiring.JohnPotter, a leadership expert appointed visiting professor to the Centre forLeadership Studies at the University of Exeter in 1998, reinforces thisargument, suggesting that: “Leadership is primarily an emotionally-basedprocess, whereas management is to do with a control process, and is largelyintellectually based in its nature”. He identifies four qualities thatmark out leaders. They have to be believable and credible; they need to be ableto take on board a variety of viewpoints dispassionately; and, unlike managers,they require strong communication and interpersonal skills, and a high degreeof emotional intelligence.Onedanger in drawing distinctions between management and leadership is that thelatter comes to be seen as a higher-value quality, while management appearsmundane and tedious. But the reality is that both are crucial. As Lidbettersays: “If you think of an organisation focusing too much on management –on processes, standards, execution, and so on – in my experience you have anorganisation that is not sustainable in the long run. It is constrained, andnobody is inspired about the future. If you think of an organisation that hasleadership – someone inspiring, setting the direction, defining strategy – butno management capability, then you have no possibility of follow-through. It isall talk, no action. You can’t have one without the other.”Formost established companies, management skills are not the main issue: seniorand middle-ranking executives are usually seasoned professionals boasting extensiveoperational skills. Developing leadership qualities, however, is a differentmatter. While knowledge of processes and execution can be taught, vision andthe other ’emotional’ qualities required of leaders need to be developed, oftenthrough practical experience. Expertssuggest the best way to translate theory into practice is to take a pragmaticapproach, focusing on areas where individuals can quickly see for themselveshow leadership brings about different results from management. GavinWallbridge, principal consultant at Penna Change Consulting, argues that thedevelopment process can initially be spurred by playing on an individual’sbasic instincts – for many, the idea of being termed a ‘leader’ is in itselfappealing. It also helps show senior managers that those beneath them arelooking to them for leadership – they may not have been delivering it, but theexpectation is there. By assessing how leadership skills would be applied ineveryday scenarios, managers can begin to meet those expectations. Amanager undertaking an employee review, for example, should see it as acritical exercise and work out how a leader would approach it – as anopportunity to inspire people with a sense of passion and energy. “You canget people to act differently by asking what a leader would do, even if thesituation is fairly mundane,” Wallbridge says. “You can get mostmanagers to realise that leaders act in certain ways at certain times.”Inhis Harvard Business Review article, Kotter reinforces the fact that many ofthe attributes associated with leadership are surprisingly straightforward.”Most discussions of vision have a tendency to degenerate into themystical. But developing good business direction isn’t magic – it is a tough,sometimes exhausting process of gathering and analysing information. Nor dovisions and strategies have to be brilliantly innovative: effective businessvisions regularly have an almost mundane quality, usually consisting of ideasthat are already well known.”Demystifyingattributes in this way becomes more critical as leadership culture is filtereddown from senior execs to others in an organisation. While the Bransons andWelchs of the world take credit for driving entire businesses forward, much ofthe need for leadership is in frontline positions, where departmental managersare required to motivate and inspire their teams on a day-to-day basis. AsPotter points out, this kind of leadership is just as big a challenge as thatrequired in the higher echelons of a company. “We are asking people in thefrontline to act more like leaders than they ever have done,” he says.Extendingleadership culture can, however, lead to problems. Tony Dunk, head ofperformance programmes at HR specialist CDA Group, points out that afterimplementing change at the top of the organisation, many companies focus theirnext development effort on frontline staff. That can leave middle managementuntrained and out in the cold. CDAworked with a UK leisure chain which undertook a major change managementprogramme, switching from a dictatorial approach where rules and guidelines forlocal managers were centrally enforced, to a culture where individuals werebetter empowered to interpret customer need in their own way. Over a three-yearprogramme, the highest number of casualties came from middle management.”Usually they were part of the new structure, but [some] disappeared whenthey couldn’t manage the change. For example, if they’d go into an [outlet] andsee something they didn’t like, a manager would say: ‘You shouldn’t be doingthat.’ A leader would say: ‘Why are you doing that, what advantage does it giveus, and would it benefit other people?’ In other words, they did not focus oncompliance. There are some real differences between management and leadership –it causes a lot of stress and a lot of casualties.”Handlingthis change management process should create a perfect opportunity for HR, butexperts’ experiences of how well the function rises to the challenge differsconsiderably. “We often see ourselves hitting up against HRorganisations,” says Dunk. “Mostly HR is policing, not leading. Mostof our good experiences are where there is good alignment between HR and theline, and the benefits are obvious to both.” Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

May
12

News in brief

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article News in briefOn 3 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today This week’s news in briefPotters Bar helpline Rail workers are being encouraged to call a confidential hotline set up by policeinvestigating the fatal crash at Potters Bar. The police are concerned thatmany employees were afraid to tell the whole truth during official interviewsbecause of the presence of company lawyers. www.btp.police.ukPrisoners’ job search Prisoners will soon be able to apply for work through an in-jail computernetwork, providing up-to-the minute information on vacancies throughout Europe.The aim of the scheme is to help prisoners prepare for a fresh start byarranging job interviews to coincide with their release. The machines willinitially be installed in four prisons – Lewes, Swansea, Featherstone andHollesley Bay.  www.homeoffice.gov.ukFire service pay offer The UK’s fire brigades have offered staff a 4 per cent pay rise to stop anational walkout. The Employers’ Organisation for Local Government has alsooffered an independent pay review to avert threatened pay strike action nextmonth. Charles Nolda of the Employers’ Organisation said a joint approach foran inde-pendent review was the way forward. www.lg-employers.gov.ukCost of working shock Staff spend up to a fifth of their salaries on job-related costs, accordingto a new report. An average employee spends £3,214 a year on travel to and fromthe office, clothes, haircuts and appearance, according to a survey byreed.co.uk. With the average salary in the UK being £23,000 a year, the figureequates to 20 per cent of take home pay. www.reed.co.ukCommitment shy UK Levels of staff commitment in the UK are significantly lower than in otherglobal economies, according to new research. International Survey Research interviewedmore than 360,000 employees from the world’s 10 biggest economies and found thecountry with the highest employee commitment is Brazil. The UK came thirdbottom with only 59 per cent of staff ranking their firm favourably.  www.isrsurveys.co.uklast_img read more

May
12

HSE pushes for improved safety for ambulance crews

first_imgThe Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has launched a programme to improvehealth and safety among ambulance crews. The move comes as legislation to protect emergency workers in Scotlandgathers pace. Ambulance crews are among the most likely public service workers to sufferinjury through lifting and handling, or as a result of aggression and violence,the HSE has argued. In response, the HSE, Ambulance Service Association (ASA), the Department ofHealth and the GMB and Unison unions are developing a series of strategyframeworks to help ambulance services adopt a consistent approach to managingrisks. A conference to launch the first two frameworks on dealing with violence andaggression against staff and patient handling practices was held in December. ASA president Peter Bradley said: “Ambulance staff have had to face thepossibility of injury in the course of their duties, and this initiative willhelp reduce that risk. This is a positive approach through joint working whichwe hope all services will adopt to make the working environment for ambulancestaff much safer.” The frameworks could also be used as a template for other parts of the NHS,suggested the HSE. In Scotland, the Scottish Executive is currently carrying out a publicconsultation on new laws designed to protect emergency workers from violence. But doctors in the country have argued the laws will not go far enough, andshould be extended to all health care workers. The British Medical Association (BMA) said that while doctors subject to aviolent incident in A&E would be covered by the new protection, others,such as those in intensive care, would not. The scale of the problem is unknown, with many healthcare staff failing toreport all incidents of violence because they considered it “part of theirjob”. A BMA survey last October found violence at work was a problem for almosthalf of those polled, and only a third of violent incidents were reported. HSE pushes for improved safety for ambulance crewsOn 1 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

May
12

Charlton reviews

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Trainer and writer John Charlton leafs through the latest training book toland on his deskMany parents will agree with the statement ‘you can lead a boy to a book butyou cannot make him read’. So when I tell my children how every fortnight insecondary school I had to learn a different poem by heart, they ask: “Whywould anyone want to do that?” I answer: “Because if I didn’t, and I was unable to recite a verse, Iwas caned!” That was accelerated learning 1960s-style. New generation accelerated learning must be – apart from the poison-tipumbrella – Bulgaria’s only notable export. Developed by psychiatrist GeorgiLozanov in the 1970s, it advocates using a mix of learning modes that appeal tothe full range of senses. The idea being that techniques which bring sight,smell, hearing, etc into play make learning more memorable. Lex McKee, a Tony Buzan disciple, expands on this theme in his book TheAccelerated Trainer. But while Buzan fans will appreciate McKee’s weaving ofaccelerated learning techniques, others will find it distracting. And there is much that is distracting about this book, most obviously theuse of cartoons on every page and mind maps at the end of each section. Thesedraw the eye away from the words, which requires the reader’s full attention inorder to comprehend McKee’s demanding writing style. He makes assertions, dressed up as fact, which many will find puzzling. Forexample, when talking about “clearing the mind for learning”, McKeesays: “The process revolves around the natural organising principles ofour working memory. In short, we can only multi-task five to nine concepts orseven plus-or-minus two (7±2) before our `system’ crashes.” Answers on apostcard, please… Those who like to probe deeper into the psychology of learning and trainingand who appreciate a semi-academic writing style will find much to ponder inthis book. Trainers who are looking for clear and practical advice should seekout the appendix. The Accelerated Trainer, by Lex McKee, Gower Publishing, ISBN0-566-08077-X, £45. Comments are closed. Charlton reviewsOn 1 Jun 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img
May
9

Ionospheric plasma convection in the southern hemisphere

first_imgThe first ionospheric plasma convection maps ordered by the y- and z-components of the IMF using only data from the southern hemisphere are presented. These patterns are determined from line-of-sight velocity measurements of the Polar Anglo-American Conjugate Experiment (PACE) located at Halley, Antarctica, with the majority of the observations coming from 65°–75° magnetic latitude. For IMF Bz positive and negative conditions, the observed plasma motions are consistent with a standard two cell pattern. For the periods from dusk through midnight to dawn, flow speeds are at least twice as large for Bz negative component compared with Bz positive. The observations about noon are significantly different from each other. For Bz positive, little ordered plasma motion is observed. For Bz negative, there are large anti-sunward flows the orientation of which is ordered by IMF By. These By orientated flows are consistent with theoretical predictions, and are anti-symmetric to those reported from the northern hemisphere. The two most significant differences from previous observations are that the convection reversal in the late morning sector for By negative conditions occurs at about a 4° lower latitude than the Heppner and Maynard (1987) model. This may be due to a seasonal bias in the PACE dataset. Also, the separatrix between eastward and westward flow near midnight has a very different shape dependent upon the orientation of IMF By. For positive By conditions, the separatrix is observed at progressively lower latitudes at later local times, but for By negative conditions, the separatrix appears at increasingly higher latitudes at later times.last_img read more

May
9

Ice sheet history from Antarctic continental margin Sediments: the ANTOSTRAT approach

first_imgThe Antarctic Ice Sheet is today an important part of the global climate engine, and probably has been so for most of its long existence. However, the details of its history are poorly known, despite the measurement and use, over two decades, of low-latitude proxies of ice sheet volume. An additional way of determining ice sheet history is now available, based on understanding terrigenous sediment transport and deposition under a glacial regime. It requires direct sampling of the prograded wedge of glacial sediments deposited at the Antarctic continental margin (and of derived sediments on the continental rise) at a small number of key sites, and combines the resulting data using numerical models of ice sheet development. The new phase of sampling is embodied mainly in a suite of proposals to the Ocean Drilling Program, generated by separate regional proponent groups co-ordinated through ANTOSTRAT (the Antarctic Offshore Acoustic Stratigraphy initiative). The first set of margin sites has now been drilled as ODP Leg 178 to the Antarctic Peninsula margin, and a first, short season of inshore drilling at Cape Roberts, Ross Sea, has been completed. Leg 178 and Cape Roberts drilling results are described briefly here, together with an outline of key elements of the overall strategy for determining glacial history, and of the potential contributions of drilling other Antarctic margins investigated by ANTOSTRAT. ODP Leg 178 also recovered continuous ultra-high-resolution Holocene biogenic sections at two sites within a protected, glacially-overdeepened basin (Palmer Deep) on the inner continental shelf of the Antarctic Peninsula. These and similar sites from around the Antarctic margin are a valuable resource when linked with ice cores and equivalent sections at lower latitude sites for studies of decadal and millenial-scale climate variation.last_img read more

May
9

Modeling studies of antarctic krill Euphausia superba survival during transport across the Scotia Sea

first_imgAntarctic krill Euphausia superba spawned on the outer continental shelf of the west Antarctic Peninsula can be entrained into the Southern Front of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and transported across the Scotia Sea to South Georgia. A time-dependent, size-structured, physiologically based krill growth model was used to assess the food resources that are needed to sustain Antarctic krill during transport across the Scotia Sea and to allow them to grow to a size observed at South Georgia. Initial Lagrangian simulations provide trajectories that are followed by particles released on the west Antarctic Peninsula shelf. Pelagic phytoplankton concentrations along these trajectories are extracted from historical Coastal Zone Color Scanner measurements from the Antarctic Peninsula-Scotia Sea region and are input to the growth model. The results of these simulations show that pelagic phytoplankton concentrations are not sufficient to support continuous growth of Antarctic krill during the 140 to 160 d needed for transport to South Georgia. The inclusion of a supplemental food source during part of the transport time, such as sea ice algae (up to 80 mg chl a m(-3)), does not significantly alter this result. Survival and growth of larval krill during modeled transport is, however, enhanced by encounters with mesoscale patches of high chlorophyll concentrations (1 mg m(-3)), while subadults and adults benefit less from these conditions. Further simulations show the importance of an additional food source, such as heterotrophic food, for the survival of subadult and adult Antarctic krill. For all planktonic food scenarios tested, krill that begin transport at the Antarctic Peninsula did not reach the smallest age group often observed at South Georgia, the 2+ group, during the 140 to 160 d of transport. Including the effect of increasing temperature across the Scotia Sea on krill growth rate does not significantly alter these results, since the maximum increase in growth due to increased temperature obtained in the simulations was 1.0 mm for both 2 and 22 mm Antarcic krill. These simulations suggest the possibility of alternative transport scenarios, such as Antarctic krill beginning transport at the Antarctic Peninsula in austral summer and overwintering under the sea ice that extends northward from the Weddell Sea into the Scotia Sea. Such an interrupted transport would allow the Antarctic krill to overwinter in a potentially better food environment and begin transport again the following year, growing to a size that is within the range observed for Antarctic krill populations at South Georgia.last_img read more