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Be prepared, not afraid

first_img Previous Article Next Article Be prepared, not afraidOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today TheEuropean Directive on Information and Consultation, which was ratified lastmonth, has far-reaching implications for employee relations. Here, TheInvolvement and Participation Association offers guidelines for putting inplace an effective consultative framework. By Robert StevensIn three years time, the Directive on Information and Consultation will bewritten into the rights of people at work in the UK. Employers should see it asmore than an exercise in compliance. It offers the opportunity to buildeffective processes jointly with employees, leading to better forward planningand decision making. Having a committed and productive workforce is supportedby a very real business case. The final draft of the directive was agreed on 17 December 2001 at a meetingbetween representatives of the European Parliament and the Council ofMinisters. The agreement, now widely known as the National Works CouncilDirective, will create a general framework for employees to be informed on”the recent and probable development of the undertaking or establishment’sactivities and economic situation”. For the first time in the UK it means that every employee will have thelegal right to independent representation for the purposes of information andconsultation, with or without the presence of a recognised union. The Department of Trade and Industry is to consult widely about thedirective’s implementation. Phased implementation Member states may choose whether to apply the directive to eitherundertakings employing at least 50 employees or establishments employing at least20 employees. It is likely that the UK will choose the first, less burdensomeoption. Undertaking means any public or private entity that carries out aneconomic activity, irrespective of whether it operates for financial gain. The directive will only apply initially to undertakings with at least 150employees in the UK as from 2005. Undertakings with at least 100 employees willbe covered in 2007 and undertakings with at least 50 employees a year later. Confusion over terminology Much of the fear surrounding the Directive comes from confusion overterminology. First, disclosure to employees of relevant information bymanagement is essentially a top-down exercise. Relevant information should bemade available before a decision is taken and in such a way that employeerepresentatives are able to “acquaint themselves with the subjectmatter” and formulate a response. Second, consultation refers to “the exchange of views and establishmentof dialogue”. Consultation should commence with an open mind and takeplace “during the planning stage of a decision” in such a way as to”allow influence to be exerted on the decision-making process”. The directive does not oblige employers to adopt the evidence presented byemployee representatives, although they will have to provide a reasonedresponse. Employees will have the right to be informed and consulted on the situation,structure and probable development of employment within the undertaking andenvisaged measures that might pose a threat to employment. It also applies todecisions likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation andcontractual arrangements. Consultation should seek to reach consensus, if not a formal agreement. Itshould be noted that the directive does not supersede previous UK employmentlegislation, or current or future union recognition or collective bargainingarrangements. Shape of the framework HR practitioners should take the opportunity between now and 2005 to agree arrangementsbest suited to their own circumstances. Far from being a prescriptive “onesize fits all” model, the directive offers a broad framework for practicalinformation sharing and consultation. It emphasises that this should be”in accordance with national law and industrial relations practices”.In July last year IPA published a report, Sharing the challenge ahead:informing and consulting with your workforce, which gives practical advice oncreating an effective consultative framework. The report also offered aninformation and consultation audit based on the IPA’s experience of workingwith more than 100 organisations in the private, voluntary and public sectors,both unionised and non-unionised. The audit posed 12 questions to ensure goodpractice in setting up a framework. – Are the objectives of information and consultation clearly defined? – Is there a shared understanding of the objectives? – Is the role of top managers defined? – Is the role of the representative clearly defined? – Are the arrangements for information disclosure appropriate? – Is the process of consultation appropriate? – Are consultative meetings effective? – Is there effective feedback from consultative meetings? – Is there effective training and development for consultation? – Are there clear links to other communication activities? – Is there a strong culture of dialogue in the organisation? – Is there a regular process of review and evaluations? Structures and processes Critics often argue that the directive places too much emphasis on thestructures and processes of information and not enough on culture change. TheIPA’s experience is clear: structures and processes are necessary for effectiveinformation and consultation, otherwise too much depends on personalities. Organisations can choose from a range of information and consultationmechanisms, some of which may already be in place and reflecting specificactivity, location, culture and size. Information disclosure channels mayinclude face-to-face and written (electronic or paper) although the final draftstrongly suggests that consultation information should be provided in writtenform. Consultation can be direct or indirect. Consultation groups may operatetemporarily or as a permanent body. The IPA has found that both direct andindirect forms of consultation are complementary and mutually reinforcing, notincompatible. In larger organisations it is common to find consultative arrangements atboth local (workplace or business unit) and national level. An exclusivereliance on indirect representation makes little sense if the aim is toincrease individual involvement. Equally, direct representation alone isunlikely to maximise employee input or support a free and frank exchange ofviews. Developing a positive culture Most organisations already have an information and consultation culture.Sharing information widely and enabling the workforce to contribute effectivelyare important issues for employers and these need to be sustained by a range ofjoint problem-solving techniques supported by appropriate performancemanagement, human resource practices and representative training. Developing apositive information and consultation culture will require a long-termcommitment to joint working in order to elicit commitment from the workforce tothe prosperity of the organisation. While this debate has centred on the employer’s right to dismiss employees,perhaps a better question would be how employers can motivate employees toexercise their right to participate in workplace decision-making. Sainsbury’s: setting up a local staff councilA little over a year ago, Sainsbury’sagreed to the election of staff representatives to its existing network oflocal councils and the group council. Prospective candidates need only secureone colleague to second the application and inform their immediate linemanager. Elections take place where required. Representatives receive trainingand the additional duties are recognised in their performance reviews.Each local council allows for 15 elected members, plus threenon-elected members (the chairperson, a secretary and one union official). Atindividual store or depot level the chairperson is likely to be the manager.For central divisions a director is always the chairperson, with HR providingthe secretary. The local councils meet at least once every two months andappoint one member to the Group Council, which meets annually.The local councils discuss performance, local competition,equal opportunities, changes in working practices and rules, businessinitiatives, company performance and suggestions for improvement. The councilis not a negotiating body and representatives on the group council are requiredto sign an agreement not to share confidential information. The role of local staff councils is to give employees a forumfor their views and make a greater contribution to the success of the business.Indeed, Sainsbury’s has identified a link between high performance and storesthat have an active council.Blue Circle Cement: managingchange through joint consultationIn 1990 Blue Circle Cement enteredinto an agreement with the AEEU, T&G, GMB, and BCSA (British Cement StaffAssociation) on the introduction of annual salaries, annualised hours and asimplified pay grading structure. It established a precedent for collaborativejoint problem-solving.Initial discussions identified contentious issues forresolution by a newly formed Company Wide Action Team (CWAT), comprising shopstewards from each site, site managers and senior management representatives.Three sub-groups looked at pay, voluntary redundancies, and harmonisation and,despite two waves of compulsory redundancies in 1993 and 1995, this jointworking resulted in a formal partnership agreement two years later.Blue Circle Cement signed the Way Ahead partnership agreementin 1997, which included a three-year pay deal at rpi plus 0.25 per cent,commitment to a shorter working week, team working, and harmonisation of termsand conditions, with progression within salary bands linked to skillsacquisition.Local Action Teams were also set up between local unionrepresentatives and management to deal with local difficulties and report toCWAT. CWAT acts as the custodian of the agreement, meeting nine times a year,considering all proposed changes, and setting up sub-groups to deal withspecific projects. In 1998 Blue Circle had to close two small plants with the lossof 250 jobs. It invited CWAT to develop ways to lessen the impact on theindividuals involved. Meetings were held at both sites to allow employees toraise their concerns and a programme was developed to accommodate those whowished to stay with the organisation.Training was increased to allow all employees to develop computerskills and update their qualifications. Consultants were engaged to provideadvice on CVs and interview technique, and local employers were invited torecruit from within the workforce. The result was that when the works closedonly 13 people signed on as unemployed.The company was taken over by French rivals LaFarge in 2001,which agreed in a meeting of the European Works Council not to tamper with thevalued and effective partnership relations at the UK plants. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

Tennis: Evidence of suspected match fixing revealed

first_imgSecret files exposing evidence of widespread suspected match fixing at the top level of world tennis, including at Wimbledon, can be revealed by the BBC and BuzzFeed News.Over the last decade 16 players who have ranked in the top 50 have been repeatedly flagged to the tennis integrity unit over suspicions they have thrown matches.All of the players, including winners of Grand Slam titles, were allowed to continue competing.The Tennis Integrity Unit – set up to police the sport – said it had a zero-tolerance approach to betting-related corruption.The cache of documents passed to the BBC and Buzzfeed News include the findings of an investigation set up in 2007 by the organising body, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).Its job was to look into suspicious betting activity after a game involving Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello. The two players were cleared of violating any rules but the investigation developed into a much wider enquiry looking into a web of gamblers linked to top-level players. The documents we have obtained show the enquiry found betting syndicates in Russia, northern Italy and Sicily making hundreds of thousands of pounds betting on games investigators thought to be fixed. Three of these games were at Wimbledon.In a confidential report for the tennis authorities in 2008, the enquiry team said 28 players involved in these games should be investigated but the findings were never followed up. Tennis introduced a new anti-corruption code in 2009 but after taking legal advice were told previous corruption offences could not be pursued.”As a result no new investigations into any of the players who were mentioned in the 2008 report were opened,” a TIU spokesman said.In subsequent years there were repeated alerts sent to the TIU about a third of these players. None of them was disciplined by the TIU.A group of whistle blowers inside tennis, who wanted to remain anonymous, recently passed the documents on to the BBC and Buzzfeed News. We contacted Mark Phillips, one of the betting investigators in the 2007 enquiry, who told the BBC they discovered there was repeated suspicious betting activity about a clear group. “There was a core of about 10 players who we believed were the most common perpetrators that were at the root of the problem.”He has never spoken publicly before about the material he gathered, which he said was as powerful as any he had seen in over 20 years as a betting investigator.”The evidence was really strong. There appeared to be a really good chance to nip it in the bud and get a strong deterrent out there to root out the main bad apples.”The BBC and Buzzfeed were also passed on the names of other current players the TIU have repeatedly been warned about by betting organisations, sports integrity units and professional gamblers.Many of these players have been on the radar of the tennis authorities for involvement in suspicious matches going back to 2003. The BBC and Buzzfeed News have decided not to name the players because without access to their phone, bank and computer records it is not possible to determine whether they may have been personally taking part in match fixing.However tennis’s integrity unit does have the power to demand all this evidence from any professional tennis player.”There is an element of actually keeping things under wraps,” said Benn Gunn, a former police chief constable who conducted a major review of betting in tennis that led to the creation of the Tennis Integrity Unit.It’s the first time he has publicly spoken about his concerns.”If they were really serious about dealing with this then they really need to create an integrity unit with teeth,” he said. The European Sports Security Association, which monitors betting for leading bookmakers, flagged up more than 50 suspicious matches to the TIU in 2015.The organisation declared that tennis attracts more suspicious gambling activity than other sport.Nigel Willerton, director of the TIU, said while it welcomed the support of the betting industry, “it is not the role of betting companies to make judgements about corrupt activity”.He added: “All credible information received by the TIU is analysed, assessed, and investigated by highly experienced former law-enforcement investigators.”The problem of suspicious betting and match fixing is not going away. Eight of the players repeatedly flagged to the TIU over the past decade are due to play in the Australian Open which starts on Monday 18 January. AnalysisBBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller:”The TIU has a full-time staff of just five, and relies on intelligence from players and betting companies to alert them to potential corruption. They have a presence at between 20 and 30 tournaments a year, and their investigations over the past two years have resulted in seven players and one official being banned for between six months and a lifetime.”Only one of those players has ever reached the top 200, and there are clearly temptations for lower-ranked professionals. Players outside the top 200 are unlikely to earn much more than £40,000 in prize money each year, and that is before coaching, travel and hotel expenses are taken into account.”It is highly debatable whether enough resources are directed towards the TIU, and another potential flaw is that representatives from the sport’s four governing bodies decide whether the evidence gathered is strong enough to be presented to an independent hearing. Professional Tennis Integrity Officers from the ITF, ATP, WTA and the Grand Slams make that call, and as a result the process is not as transparent as it should be.”last_img read more

FirstLight HomeCare Now Serving Clients of Olympic Home Care

first_imgFacebook158Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by FirstLight Home CareGreg and Sarah Lane, owners of FirstLight Home Care, look forward to serving the clients of Olympic Home Care.When the management team at Olympic Home Care decided to close their business, their top priority was to ensure their clients would continue receiving the highest quality care from another home care agency that shared their mission and values.That’s why they chose FirstLight HomeCare – South Sound, a locally-owned provider of in-home care for seniors and disabled adults, to assume the responsibility of providing care to Olympic’s clients beginning this week.“We took tremendous pride in providing the best skilled, experienced and compassionate in-home care possible,” explained Callie Martinez, Assistant Manager at Olympic Home Care since 2012.  “If we were no longer going to provide care, I felt strongly we owed it to our clients and their families to find a provider who we could trust to deliver the level of service our clients have come to expect.  FirstLight HomeCare was the agency I felt most confident about recommending to our clients and their families, and am relieved to know they are choosing FirstLight as their new home care agency.”Martinez said that she has been impressed by the dedication FirstLight demonstrates to their clients and to their caregivers.“The owners of FirstLight talk a great deal about a ‘Culture of Care’ in their agency,” said Martinez, “and they really live up to those core values they promote. They hire and support great caregivers, have tremendous passion for helping their clients and provide very high quality services.”Sarah Lane, co-owner of FirstLight HomeCare – South Sound with her husband, said she was pleased to be endorsed by Olympic.“Olympic had a great reputation in the health care community for providing wonderful care,” said Lane.  “Delivering the best care possible to the people we serve is our highest priority as well, so it’s gratifying to have the people at Olympic – a respected former competitor – recommended us to their clients.  And we’re excited to have already started caring for them.”About FirstLight HomeCare – South SoundFirstLight HomeCare – South Sound is owned by Greg and Sarah Lane, long-time Olympia residents. To learn more about companion and personal care, dementia care, respite care or other non-medical home care services offered by FirstLight, give Sarah a call at 360-489-1621 or visit www.southsound.firstlighthomecare.com.last_img read more

MAN RECEIVED SPEEDING FINE FOR COURTESY CAR HE WAS NOT DRIVING

first_imgA Letterkenny man received a speeding fine for a courtesy car he was not driving.Jim Rogers, from Lismonaghan, appeared before Letterkenny District Court yesterday to appeal the summons.He explained to Judge Paul Kelly that his car had been left in with a service at McGinley Motors in Letterkenny for three days. He had transferred his insurance to the courtesy car for those three days.However he received a speeding summons for another courtesy car which he was not driving on April 1st last.Judge Paul Kelly struck the charge out.MAN RECEIVED SPEEDING FINE FOR COURTESY CAR HE WAS NOT DRIVING was last modified: January 27th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegalJim Rogersletterkennyspeeding finelast_img read more

Thursday’s QPR quiz

first_imgSee how many of these five QPR-related questions you can answer correctly.[wp-simple-survey-54] 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Public art builds civic pride

first_imgWork in progress of skater Dlamini Dlamini, by Skubalisto. (Image and Video: Redbull Amaphiko)Skubalisto produces art in and around the Cape Town township of Langa, whose work has attracted the eye of a renowned photographer.During a Redbull Amaphiko street art sidestream in Langa, his work was noticed by Martha Cooper, one of the first photographers to document New York’s graffiti scene. During the sidestream, a public art activation showing members of the public and other artists what artists were doing in the area, Cooper gave a talk about her forthcoming exhibition on informal recyclers. It was completed in tandem with Brazilian artivist, Mundano.“I loved Skubalisto’s work,” Cooper told Redbull Amaphiko, which describes itself as a “collaborative platform for social entrepreneurs”. “His painting style was fresh and unlaboured but his portraits were serious portrayals of people admired within the community where he was working. I felt his work deserved attention worldwide.”Skubalisto has been painting in the streets of Langa for years and always looks at what will motivate.“Before we paint, we think ‘what should we paint? What will motivate people?’ We’ve gone from murals of the kids we see around on the street to people from Kwa-Langa who are doing something – inspiring figures,” he said. “Themba Bavuma just made the South African team so we figured we’d shine some light on that and inspire young cricketers to keep pushing.”He has also painted a mural of the late musician Brenda Fassie, who hailed from Langa.“I recently painted a mural of Brenda Fassie. It was during her birthday week so I painted a big mural of her with Mundano. We did that on the house of some awesome family who were accommodating enough to let us paint on their walls without showing them what we were going to paint.”IMPACT ON COMMUNITYSkubalisto believes art has a very positive impact on the community. “It brings pride to an area and makes people realise they have something to be proud of,” he said. “If you paint in an area that’s used as dumping site, people’s attention is brought to that area so instead of being a dump site, people start beautifying it.“There’s a spot Gugulethu where I painted murals and tried to do a little garden type thing. It was average. I came back a month later and people (had) put a bench there, they (had) planted trees. It’s a positive domino effect of art that I’ve been seeing.”WHAT IS NEXT?Skubalisto has major plans, which include some inspiring ideas around Langa.“I’m working on some illustrations for a book by the NDP and painting walls like crazy with my brothers from The Crate Collective. I’m also working on some one-off furniture and functional art pieces with Sisonke. We’re also getting ready to open our café/gallery in Langa so we’re building most of the furniture in-house,” he said.PLAY YOUR PARTAre you playing your part to help improve the lives of the people around you or the environment? Do you know of anyone who has gone out of their way to help improve South Africa and its people?If so, submit your story or video to our website and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.last_img read more

Lord’s

first_imgThe Home of the gentleman’s game, there are few cricket grounds in the world as iconic as The Lord’s.The Lord’s Cricket Ground was first opened in 1814 and has been the home to international cricket since 1884. The Lord’s has also hosted a total of 10 ICC Cricket World Cup fixtures, including the finals of the 1975, 1979, 1983 and 1999 editions. The 2019 edition will be no different as along with the final, the Home of Cricket will host five fixtures.This is the ground where Kapil Dev lifted India’s first-ever ICC Cricket World Cup trophy at the 1983 edition.Come Sunday July 14, 2019 will Virat Kohli do the same?Opened: 1814Capacity: 30000Known as: Lord’s Cricket GroundEnds: Pavilion End, Nursery EndLocation: London, EnglandICC Cricket World Cup 2019 matches schedules15:00 IST: PAK vs RSA, Match 3015:00 IST: Eng vs AUS, Match 3218:00 IST: NZ vs AUS, Match 3715:00 IST: PAK vs BAN, Match 4315:00 IST: TBC vs TBC, FinalSTATS – ODITotal matches: 62Matches won batting first: 27Matches won bowling first: 32Average 1st Inns scores: 237Average 2nd Inns scores: 217Highest total recorded: 334/4 (60 Ov) by Eng vs INDLowest total recorded: 107/10 (32.1 Ov) by RSA vs EngHighest score chased: 326/8 (49.3 Ov) by IND vs EngLowest score defended: 204/5 (50 Ov) by PAK vs Englast_img read more