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HR’s role in pensions debate

first_imgHR’s role in pensions debateOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Pensions redrawnIt is difficult amid the many complex issues still being thrown up by the pensions debate to see exactly what HR’s role is in all this.The message so far from all the experts is simplification. But the task facing HR is anything but simple. There has already been industrial and legal action from employees who sense their pension rights eroding. Steel workers at the Caparo Merchant Bar factory in Scunthorpe introduced an overtime ban when their final salary scheme was closed while Ernst & Young have had to bring out the big legal guns over proposals to switch from a final salary to a money-purchase based defined contribution scheme after their employees objected. Handled incorrectly, changes to any benefits could constitute a breach of employment contract, or at least a breach of the employer’s duty of trust and confidence (see analysis, page 12). Changes to pension schemes will also require extensive – and meaningful – consultation under the new laws headed this way from Europe.But of course there is more to this than the letter of the law. Occupational pensions are at the very heart of the psychological contract between employer and employee. It’s clear that much more thought is going to be needed on how that contract should be rewritten and then communicated to workers, if recruitment and retention strategies are not to be wrecked. What exactly does the employer undertake to deliver if not future financial security? What can it expect in return? These are the questions that could make mere legalities look very trifling indeed.Not only that, but as the role of the employer in pensions provision continues to change, HR will have the job of making staff aware of the options available for securing their futures. Will we see HR departments becoming financial advisers? Will access to such services have to become a cornerstone of employee benefit policies?Yet again, for HR practitioners it comes down to communication and consultation – issues that some in business still see as soft, yet which are at the core of the productivity conundrum this country has yet to crack.Heather Falconer, Editor [email protected] Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Disability: Access to Work grant rises by a third

first_img Reply Talent.A skill few posses. Society is so bound up with CVs littered with lists of Skills and Knowledge, Qualifications and Experience. So why shouldn’t those with less conventional ‘entry’ qualifications just demonstrate their talent?It’s usually organic – and something that just can’t be just learnt. Priceless. Previous Article Next Article Some disabled employees are to receive a 36% increase in Access to Work grants to assist them at work from next month.From 1 April 2018, people can claim up to £57,200 annually to help pay for additional support in the workplace –£15,000 more than the current cap of £42,100.Access to Work provides financial support to ensure someone’s disability or health condition doesn’t hold them back at work, and can cover workplace adaptations, assistive technology, transport and interpreters.Increasing the amount people can receive annually will ensure that more disabled people, particularly from the deaf community, are able to benefit from the grant and achieve their career aspirations.Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey said: “By extending this grant we’re ensuring that many more disabled people can reach their career potential, which is a key part of our commitment to getting one million more disabled people in work by 2027.”A statement from the UK Council on Deafness said: “This will help deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) to access the communication support so vital to enabling them to thrive and succeed in the workplace.”The Government aims have one million more people with a disability in work by 2027. In a statement it said it would introduce the following measures:discretion in exceptional cases of multiple disability, to consider award limits averaged over a longer period – for example, where a person’s ongoing need for a support worker may be below the cap but when coupled with a periodic need for say a wheelchair, would exceed the cap in that year;introduction of managed personal budgets to enable greater choice and control for customers in the way grants are spent;taking applications 12 weeks ahead of a job start date rather than the current six weeks to allow more time for support to be agreed and put in place;continuing to invest in our digital improvements such as developing the facility to submit invoices online;allowing more flexibility in how people can use Access to Work to support short periods of work experience where there is a likelihood of a paid job in the near future.However, campaign group Inclusion London described the cap as inappropriate and discriminatory. “Any cap hits those with the highest support needs, effectively penalising deaf and disabled people with the highest support needs and impacting most on certain impairment groups.”It said the new cap is still a fixed limit set in an entirely arbitrary way. Costs for specialised equipment and interpreters tailored to individuals’ needs can exceed this amount or vary from year to year.“There is no financial reason for a cap given that investment in Access to Work makes a return on investment to the Treasury through taxes, without taking into account the added cost benefits of savings to the NHS or social care budgets,” it added.Speaking at an event to drive awareness of autistic talent, Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people, health and work, said the Government wanted to encourage employers to access much-needed talent, particularly those potentially facing skills shortages post-Brexit.“It’s important that everyone has the ability to reach their full potential. We have record levels of people in employment but still plenty of job opportunities. It’s not acceptable that there are so many talented people that with some support could be in employment,” she said. Fiona Flaherty 21 Mar 2018 at 11:08 pm # Related posts:No related photos. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website One Response to Disability: Access to Work grant rises by a third Disability: Access to Work grant rises by a thirdBy Rob Moss on 20 Mar 2018 in Latest News, Department for Work and Pensions, Disability, Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Muscle metabolism in Antarctic fish

first_img1. The energy metabolism of Antarctic fish muscles is discussed in relation to environmental temperature and the fishes’ locomotory habits.2. The predominant body form in terms of body shape and muscle fibre type is typical of fish which employ burst subcarangiform swimming and sustained labriform swimming.3. Enzyme and metabolite data are indicative of a high potential for creatine-phosphate hydrolysis, even when compared to warm animals.4. The limited data concerning oxidative metabolism may indicate that enzymatic potential is normal compared to warmer animals of similar body form, but an increase in mitochondria may be required to maintain rates of oxygen utilization equivalent to those of warmer species.5. It is argued that low temperature was not the primary selective pressure in determining the energy production patterns, and that locomotory methods employed by the fishes were a major determining factor.last_img read more

Thames Valley Police will fine those who “wilfully and blatantly” break lockdown rules

first_imgChief Superintendent Robert France, Gold Commander for Thames Valley Police’s coronavirus response, urged “anyone thinking of attending or organising [an event] not to do so,” warning that organisers as well as attendees could face fines.  However, if necessary, officers will have no qualms moving to the fourth “e” – enforcement. Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said in a statement that lockdown fines were “increasingly likely”. Home Secretary Priti Patel defended police presence in a press conference on Tuesday (12 January), where she confirmed 45,000 fixed fine notices have been handed out across England for lockdown breaches to date.  In a message released to residents on Friday, 9th January, Thames Valley Police announced that they will enforce UK lockdown restrictions when they encounter people who are “wilfully and blatantly ignoring the laws.” “Our officers will continue to engage, explain and encourage people to abide by the restrictions,” said Chief Superintendent France. “Where people have genuinely misunderstood the rules, or where there is an element of complexity, a simple reminder of the regulations is often enough for them to comply.”  The government’s message remains stay home, protect the NHS and Save Lives. For the full list of what you can and cannot do during lockdown, visit the coronavirus restrictions page on www.gov.uk.center_img Thames Valley Police, the largest non-metropolitan police force in England and Wales serving 2 million people across Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, warned that event organisers “could be given a substantial £10,000 fine and those attending will face enforcement through a fine,” fixed at £200 for a first offence, doubling at further offences up to £6,400.  There has been a marked rise in assault against police officers since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with Thames Valley Police reporting 198 cases of officer assault in March and April, an increase of 40 compared to the same period last year. Vice-Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales Ché Donald said he was “appalled” by the 31% surge in emergency worker assaults across the UK this year, which he described as “totally unacceptable”. Image: Wikimedia Commons.last_img read more

Top chef to open Danish bakery

first_imgMichelin-starred chef Christoffer Hruskova aims to bring the taste of modern Danish baking to London with his first bakery and café.As reported by BigHospitality, The Bread Station plans to open at Arch 373, Hemsley Place in London on 4 June and will produce a range of organic breads, pastries and sweets. Products will include the Familigia, a traditional wheat flour bread, and Hindbaersnitter, which comprises raspberries baked between pastry.The bread will be made using natural fermentation methods without the addition of extra yeast, using a style inspired by Hruskova’s time working with Per Brun, founder of Copenhagen bakery chain Emmerys.Hruskova was born in Denmark and has run several restaurants over the course of his career, including North Road in Clerkenwell. He left the latter in 2012 after falling out with co-owner Viviane Lorans over the future of the business.Hruskova told BigHospitality: “I wanted to open a bakery for a very long time [sic] to showcase modern Danish Baking.“At The Bread Station, we make bread with actual flour and no additives, and the Danish pastries with the best ingredients and real butter. I am so excited that I am finally ready and can present The Bread Station to London.”Last November, Brød, a Danish-style bakery and café, was opened in Cardiff by Betina Skovbro.last_img read more

The road to Chile, Brazil

first_imgSANTIAGO, Chile — On a weeklong trip to Chile and Brazil, Harvard President Drew Faust has been meeting with government and academic leaders, reconnecting with Harvard alumni, and getting a firsthand look at the tangible benefits of Harvard research.In Chile, she visited an early childhood education program at a public school and participated in a symposium organized by Harvard faculty, government leaders, and the heads of nongovernmental organizations involved in reconstruction efforts from last year’s earthquake.Later in the week, she was exchanging ideas with leaders of Brazilian universities and meeting with local students who have studied with Harvard faculty or alongside Harvard students in Brazil.A high point of Faust’s agenda was a meeting with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, A.M. ’75, Ph.D. ’76, who greeted her at La Moneda Palace, Chile’s equivalent of the White House, shortly before the current resident of the White House, President Barack Obama, J.D. ’91, arrived for a state visit to Chile.“Forty years ago, Mr. President,” Piñera said to Obama in his welcoming remarks at a state dinner held in Obama’s honor, “I had the privilege of studying for a doctoral degree in the same University where you and your wife studied law, Harvard University, whose president, Drew Faust, is with us today.”Faust and Piñera discussed Becas Chile, a scholarship program sponsored by the Chilean government that has enabled an increasing number of students from that country to study at Harvard. They also discussed the many ways in which Harvard is connected to Chile.Jorge Dominguez, vice provost for international affairs, attended the meeting, and noted later that three of Piñera’s cabinet ministers are Harvard alumni: Felipe Larraín, A.M. ’83, Ph.D. ’85, finance minister; Felipe Kast, Ph.D. ’09, planning and cooperation minister; and Felipe Bulnes, LL.M. ’96, minister of justice. “The president and the three Felipes exemplify one of the ways that Harvard’s relationship with Chile is long and productive,” said Dominguez.Faust and her husband, Charles Rosenberg, attended a state dinner held in Obama’s honor later that night. In his welcoming remarks, Piñera cited his Harvard connection with Obama and noted that Faust was a guest at the dinner.Since being chosen as the first woman to lead Harvard, Faust has made it a point to visit schools for girls when she travels abroad to talk about the importance of education and the opportunities it affords young women. At Liceo Carmela Carvajal, a public school for girls in Santiago, Faust made a surprise visit to an upstairs classroom before meeting with a group of 16 students, mostly seniors clad in blue school uniforms, who sat in a semicircle in a basement room and conversed with her in English.The students talked about relating to boys and the rapidly changing role of women in society. But mostly they were eager to share their aspirations with Faust.One young woman said she wanted to be a “great archaeologist,” while another dreamed of traveling the world and writing. Their classmates spoke of curing disease, of becoming a biotechnology researcher, a journalist, and an artist. “I want people to see the beauty of everything and everyone,” said the future painter.Faust offered a bit of advice that she shares with graduating Harvard seniors who are struggling with which paths to follow into the future. “I always say to them, follow your passion,” she said, “and if that doesn’t work out you can try something else.”The classroom of Liceo Carmela Carvajal was not the last one that Faust visited in Chile. At Escuela Basica Arturo Alessandri Palma, she sat in on a kindergarten class that participates in Un Buen Comienzo (UBC), a program modeled on the U.S. Head Start effort supported by the Fundación Educacional Oportunidad and the Chilean government. The program involves faculty from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Medical School (HMS), and Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.“The program aims to improve the children’s language and literacy skills, their social interactions, and to provide families with materials that strengthen the learning environment at home,” said Judith Palfrey of HMS. “UBC is based on the philosophy that education and health go hand in hand.”Harvard President Drew Faust (seated at left, black jacket) visits the kindergarten classroom of Maria Cristina Valenzuela (standing) at the Estación Central School, which uses the Un Buen Comienzo program. Un Buen Comienzo is modeled on the U.S. Head Start program.Before leaving Chile, Faust addressed a meeting of Harvard faculty and leaders from the government and nongovernmental groups that have been working together to help Chile recover from the February 2010 earthquake and tsunami that devastated large areas south of Santiago.The meeting, in which Harvard Kennedy School Dean David Ellwood and representatives from HMS and the Harvard Graduate School of Design also participated, was called to discuss how Harvard faculty could best contribute to the next phase of the recovery process, perhaps by helping to improve strategic long-term planning for emergency preparedness and assistance, and by marshaling people with expertise in public health, mental health, and design areas.“I have great admiration for the dedication and resilience you’ve shown as part of the reconstruction effort following last year’s earthquake and tsunami,” Faust told the audience. “And I’m proud that members of the Harvard community have invested their time and their expertise and their humane concern for others in helping Chile rebuild.”Faust also said, “I feel fortunate to be here today to help introduce the next stage of what had already been a strong and mutually beneficial partnership between Harvard and Chile. I share the hope that by working in close concert, we can better understand the public health and mental health issues arising from devastating natural disasters; that we can consider design solutions that will limit the damage done by future disasters; and that we can carry forward efforts on various fronts to advance the reconstruction efforts here in Chile.”Faust introduced Ellwood, who spoke about the importance of acting in time to respond to disasters — and preparing for them. One key for building consensus to plan for crises, he said, was forming partnerships and developing independent institutions that can validate preparedness and recovery efforts.Just as important, he said, is making a clear case for addressing potential problems. For example, the campaign to reduce the threat to the ozone layer was successful largely because images of it changing made a visual case for action.“If you see a problem and want to make a difference before and after, you have to make it vivid,” Ellwood said.last_img read more

A warmth to beat the heat

first_imgLike many members of the incoming class’s 1,661 members, who hail from 85 countries, Bacow, M.P.P. ’76, J.D. ’76, Ph.D. ’78, made it to Harvard despite family hardships. The son of refugees, he talked about growing up in a blue-collar Michigan town and the lessons he learned. “You should never judge your insides by other people’s outsides,” he said. “No one you will meet at Harvard is perfect, and that includes your president.“Everyone you meet here is unique,” Bacow said. “And everyone has his or her own story — and every single one of you was admitted because we saw something in you that we believed would enrich this special community.”During what he estimated would be 21,000 hours at Harvard, Bacow urged the first-years to “invest in … getting to know one another.” Listen to each other, he suggested. “Embrace the challenging work of trying to understand the world from a perspective other than your own.”,Bacow also handed out the class’ first homework assignment by asking those eligible to vote to register via the Kennedy School Institute of Politics’ iop.turbovote.org.“If you don’t think that the world is perfect, the only way it gets better is if good people like you work to repair it,” he said. “Harvard has endured over centuries not because it is great but because it is good, and I look forward to learning about the ways in which you choose to grow in goodness — and in wisdom — over the next four years.”Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana, who is also the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development, professor of sociology, and faculty dean of Cabot House, hewed to the theme of community and participation. Urging the first-years to seek a transformational, rather than a transactional, education, he stressed, “College is not a stop on the way to the rest of your life. This is your life.”,Hope, as well as perseverance, was given voice by the Kuumba Singers, under the direction of Sheldon X.K. Reid, before Jenna Gray ’19, a student adviser on international education, addressed the crowd. She spoke about studying outside the U.S.“An international experience can help you grow,” she said as she talked bicycling in Copenhagen. Despite mishaps on the road, she said, she learned the truth of the old adage, “It’s the journey, not the destination.”Margaret Wang ’09, president of the Harvard Alumni Association, “warmly welcomed” the first years. (“It’s a weather joke,” she noted to appreciative chuckles.) Joining the banners of current undergraduate classes for the first time, the Class of 2022 flag was unveiled to rousing cheers. Associate Dean of Students Lauren Brandt then introduced the first-years’ four resident deans: Madeleine Currie, Katie Derzon, Dwight Fee, and Jasmine Waddell.“Our community gets rebuilt each year, with each class that arrives,” Brandt said. Related As marshals, graduates show students an even larger Harvard community Alums return to assist and reminisce at convocation With a communal warmth much more welcoming than the 90-degree heat, Harvard College’s Class of 2022 filled Tercentenary Theatre on Monday afternoon for First-Year Convocation to listen to lessons on fellowship and friendship, responsibility and reward that can last well beyond the school year.Welcoming his “fellow members of the Class of 2022,” new President Larry Bacow emphasized the collaborative nature of the College experience during his convocation address. Urging the first-years to commit to becoming citizens of the world as well as of Harvard, he called on them to “discover what matters to you most and determine how you can make the world a better place.”The first-years — attired in a mix of summertime finery and academic regalia — had filed into the tree-shaded theater to “Fanfare for the Class of 2022,” composed and conducted by Joanna Tao ’19 and performed by the Harvard University Band.“The camaraderie is really amazing,” said Audrey Foster, as she filmed her son Daniel enter with his mates from Canaday Hall. “The last couple of days, he’s really become part of the Harvard community.”The Rev. Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, opened the addresses with an invocation suggesting the first-years “privilege integrity over achievement, intellectual curiosity over accomplishments, and moral character over accolades.” Urging students to express “grace and gratitude toward one another,” he encouraged them to respect not only deans but dining-hall staff, not only classmates but custodians, to “prioritize human fellowship.”,Welcoming Harvard’s 371st class, which Dean of Students Katy O’Dair noted was the University’s “fourth Class of ’22,” O’Dair focused on fresh starts. Calling the beginning of the College experience a rare opportunity “to push the reset button,” she noted, “You have a new opportunity to define who you are. You can also choose what you leave behind.”Following a soulful musical interlude by the Harvard Choruses, accompanied by chirping crickets, Bacow welcomed the first-years with an optimistic and warmly collegial address.“Please feel free to call me Larry,” he began, noting that this is his first year as well. “Like you, I’ve recently moved into Harvard Yard. Like you, I’ve arrived here in the hope that I can make a unique contribution.”last_img read more

Modernizing Data Management with Boomi Data Catalog and Preparation

first_imgNew Dell Technologies solution with Boomi Data Catalog and Preparation server appliance accelerates business outcomes by enabling diverse users to gain insights from data.Here are a couple of numbers that should cause concern for IT leaders: By 2025, we will be creating 463 exabytes of data every day. Data scientists already spend 45 percent of their time on data preparation tasks, such as loading and cleaning data. In light of findings like those, we clearly need more efficient ways to manage the data deluge that is hitting all organizations.So, what’s wrong with today’s approaches? For starters, even as enterprises are producing, capturing and storing more data than ever before, many potential users can’t find critical information and don’t have the tools they need to turn data into actionable insights and drive business outcomes. That’s because over 60% of enterprise data can be unknown, dormant or underused.Here’s another challenge. For many organizations, the move to big data technologies has created barriers to information for business and data analysts. Worse, data opacity and analytics complexity put the burden on IT to provide data extracts because most business users lack the required source system access and coding skills to independently explore the data.To enable a broader community of data consumers, a fresh approach is needed— one that enables efficient and secure access to data, no matter where it resides, for everyone with a business need. This brings us to the launch of Boomi Data Catalog and Preparation (DCP) software on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers.This new offering from Dell Technologies can be a game-changer for organizations working to become more data driven. It enables people in your organization to derive business value from practically any combination of enterprise data sources — without learning to program.Boomi Data Catalog and Preparation is a platform that provides value for both IT and the business analyst community. The Data Catalog features can provide a central repository of all the data sources and detailed meta-data that bring that unknown or underused data to the attention of business analysts. IT can enable data preparation capabilities for business users by simply adding a Boomi DCP node to a new or existing big data cluster. IT staff responsible for data governance can configure the right data access for the right users, using DCP role-based security integrated with existing source systems controls.Business analysts using DCP can create powerful data transformations and summaries, with basic relational data knowledge and some and common SQL commands. These jobs are then run using highly scalable Hadoop services to produce new data artifacts for analysis that replace traditional “data extract” requests. The artifacts are suitable for use with many popular reporting and visualization tools, both inside and outside of the Hadoop ecosystem.Even better, Boomi DCP on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers is easy for IT to install and manage, easy for use in data governance management and easy for business analysts to use. This combination enables organizations that are investing in big data technologies to safely expand the end-user base, provide more value and improve the ROI of data-driven initiatives.Ready for a deeper dive?For a close-up look at the capabilities of Boomi Data Catalog and Preparation software on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers, read or download this white paper.This document describes an end-to-end use case that demonstrates a typical Boomi DCP workflow. The use case example addresses the different types of problems that can be solved using the Boomi DCP toolset and shows how the data discovery, data cataloging and data transformation capabilities of Boomi DCP can be combined into an integrated business solution.last_img read more

Fiber

first_imgVermont Organic Fiber March 15,2006 To contact Allan Brittondirectly, call (802) 388-1344 or email him [email protected](link sends e-mail) In making the announcement Matthew Mole, founder of Vermont OrganicFiber, said “Al’s combination of professional experience and academic trainingwill increase our ability to develop new products and processes that will benecessary to develop the organic wool market as a whole.” To learn more about VermontOrganic Fiber, visit www.vtorganicfiber.com(link is external) Middlebury,VermontNew ChiefOperating Officer for Vermont Organic Fiber For ImmediateRelease Allan Britton Joins Middlebury Firmcenter_img 802.388.1313  (fax)802.388.4351 for more informationcontact: “We are excited to have Al join our team and feel that he will allow usto better our ability to further develop and supply the emerging market forcertified organic wool products,” says Mole. “He understands our mission and hasthe skills and experience that are perfect for our young, fast-growingcompany.”### Matthew Mole  Founded in January 2000 Vermont Organic Fiber has quickly become a globalleader in the development and supply of certified organic wool products. Thecompany works with a worldwide network of wool producers and processors to meetthe certified organic fiber needs of its customers. The company is expert insourcing and managing the production of the highest quality wool yarns, fabric,and batting. With more than fifteen years of experience in developing thecertified organic “eco” fiber market, the Vermont Organic Fiber Company iscommitted to the highest quality products and sustainable business practicesthat support and facilitate healthy individuals, farms, and communities. Allan T. Britton (whose picture appears below) has joined Vermont OrganicFiber of Middlebury as Chief Operating Officer. He brings more than 25 years ofprofessional experience in textile manufacturing, management, and operations. Inaddition to his extensive professional experience Al also has a Ph.D. in PolymerChemistry from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry at SyracuseUniversity and a MBA from the University of New Hampshire.last_img read more

Student loans: Help members manage their debt

first_img“Making an investment in higher education can lead to greater opportunities with larger income potential,” notes Steve Pounds, personal finance analyst at Bankrate.com, in a recent article at TheStreet. “However, with the current tuition prices people need to [be] mindful of the return on their investment and making sure they can manage any debt incurred.”Higher education often comes with a big price tag and lasting repercussions: The average bachelor’s degree debt is $35,051, currently held by 70.9% of graduates.This is an increase from average debt of $12,759 20 years ago. Then, 54% of students carried such a financial burden.Federal Reserve Bank of New York data show student loan debt equaled $1.26 trillion in June, a $69 billion increase from the prior year. This debt comprises the second biggest reservoir for debt after mortgages—currently $8.36 trillion, up from $246 billion last year. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more