Rights issueOn 8 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today The issue of union learning representatives is causing some confusion. SimonKent explains their role in upholding employees’ rights to training anddevelopmentStatutory rights for Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) are due to come intoforce in early May as part of the Employment Act 2002. Uncertainty may surroundtheir precise official role, but it is generally felt by all – from the unionsto the CBI – that these newly recognised lay representatives will bringbenefits to both employers and staff by encouraging the take up of training,particularly in the area of basic skills. According to the Regulatory Impact Assessment for introducing thesestatutory rights, published by the Employment Relations Directorate of the DTIlast summer, statutory backing was judged necessary for these newrepresentatives to realise their potential. Citing the case that only 11 percent of employers offered literacy and numeracy training compared with the 20per cent of adults with serious problems in this area, the assessment concludedthat ULRs could trigger an increase in employee productivity worth £140m overeight years. The law itself (contained in Section 42 of the Employment Act 2002) givesULRs statutory rights to paid time off while receiving the training necessaryto carry out their duties, plus further paid time off to carry out thoseduties. To this extent, the rights afforded them are no different to thoseenjoyed by existing union representatives. They ensure that the ULR has theopportunity to be effective in their role. However, controversy stills dogsthis issue – what exactly should a ULR be doing? “In the original government documentation, they appeared to be entirelyabout basic skills,” says Robbie Gilbert, chief executive of the Employers’Forum on Statute and Practice (EFSP). “But at some point, they becameconcerned with the whole range of training. “I don’t believe it has ever been thought through as to how the ULRswill work with the employers’ own provision of training.” At the time of going to press, there are several publications in thepipeline to help all parties involved to get the most out of ULRs. TheDepartment for Education and Skills (DfES) is set to publish its Employer’sGuide to Union Learning Representatives in the late spring. Drawn up inconsultation with the CBI, with input from a number of employers, this casestudy-based resource will give practical, real-life examples of the work ofULRs and the benefits to employers. It will appear on the DfES, DTI and Acaswebsites, and will be available to employers on request. The TUC has already published diverse information and case studies involvingULRs, including the recent pamphlet Union Learning Representatives – New Rights,New Opportunities, which outlines the duties and practical activities of theULR. The TUC is also working with the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment (CIPD) on a publication funded by the Learning and Skills Councilto give advice to all staff and employers on how best to facilitate ULRs.Again, no precise publication date has been set. Crucially, the revised Acas Code of Practice for Time Off for Trade UnionDuties and Activities – the only document which may be cited at tribunal toassess whether an employer is implementing the new regulations appropriately –has yet to be passed by Parliament. While it has government backing and isexpected to be passed in ‘late spring’, it could face delays due tointernational events. Victoria Gill, learning, training and development adviser at the CIPD,believes case study material is important for employers. “One aspect ofULRs is a fear of the unknown,” she says. “If you see other people’sexperiences – positive or negative – you can learn from that.” At the same time, she identifies the need for a ‘realistic framework’ togovern ULR activities, and says the CIPD is keen for clear guidelines to bepublished to ensure that conflicts do not arise between ULRs and anorganisation’s HR/training department. So what should these departments be doing now? Given that the code ofpractice simply refers to rights to time off and not to the wider role of ULRs,the EFSP’s Gilbert warns against jumping the gun. He argues it is better todiscover how unions wish to move forward with these new rights and respond tothat, while continuing to lobby for clearer guidance. However, Derek Kemp, group managing director of Human and Legal Resources,believes employers must act now to realise the benefits of ULRs. “Therehas to be a proactive move by the employer to recognise the ULR’scontribution,” he says. “You need to agree their role and decide how best they can contributeto training within the organisation. The ULR’s role is likely to be verydifferent in a local authority compared with one in a high-tech ormanufacturing company.” HR and legal departments are already helping clients address their policiesto integrate the work of ULRs into their business. Policies relating to theconsultation process and to training and development activities need to beaddressed. Simon Spencer, corporate employment lawyer with legal firm Morrison andForester, is also in favour of action, encouraging employers to negotiate andagree on the ULR’s role, rather than waiting for them to work it out forthemselves. “In some organisations there is already a blurring or overlapping ofactivities among union officials,” he says. “Existing officials mayalready be engaged in activities which should now be the responsibility oflearning representatives. HR departments must agree in advance precisely whatthe activities of the ULRs and other officials are, so that when they take paidtime off, they are engaged in work they are meant to be doing.” While tribunal cases concerning ‘reasonable’ time off for union activitiesare not common, they do occur and, Spencer argues, having an agreed definitionof a representative’s duties reduces the probability of such disagreements. To some extent, instigating a dialogue on ULRs shouldn’t be too difficult –simply because representatives can only exist where independent trade unionsare already recognised. Affected organisations should therefore already havesome communication structure through which ULRs can be managed. Complicationsmay occur in instances of statutory recognition of a trade union and/or wherenegotiation agreements are considered legally binding, but such scenarios arerare. Regardless of legal procedures, ensuring ULRs are integrated intoorganisations and supported by training and development is key to ensuring thatbenefits are realised and problems are not created. Kemp warns of the demotivating effects of allowing ULRs to raise trainingexpectations only to have them left unfulfilled by the organisation. Measuresmust be taken to ensure both parties are singing from the same hymn sheet. What is a Union Learning Representative (ULR)?A ULR is an officially recognisedemployee in a unionised workplace who has received training from their union toenable them to give advice on training and learning opportunities to fellowunion membersWhat they can do: By law:– They can take paid time off to undertake training to allowthem to carry out their duties as a ULR– They can take paid time off to offer fellow union memberstraining advice and inform them of learning opportunities– Union members have the right to access their ULR in worktime, but the employer does not need to pay them at this timePotential roles:– They can research and establish resources for learning activities– They can work with the employer to design learninginitiatives, carry out learning surveys and establish learning agreements withemployers– They can set up and run learning centres or employeedevelopment schemes– They can help organisations access learning resources viaLearndirect and/or the Union Learning FundWhat they can’t do– They cannot provide paid or unpaid time off for theirunion members to undertake training – an employer’s consent is required for this– They cannot (by law) give advice or support to non-unionmembers– They cannot exist in places which do not already recognisetheir trade unionDo they only do union training, or do they get involved incompany training?– Training provided has little to do with the unionitself. The ULR can work to provide training on whatever subject they feel isrelevant. Their position in the workforce makes them particularly useful forthe provision of basic skills– ULRs can get involvedin promoting company training according to agreements between the company andthe representative. They are useful for ensuring maximum take up of in-houselearning and training initiativesCan they take money from company budgets for union training,or does the union pay?– Union Learning Representatives cannot make any demands on thetraining budgets of companies. The employer retains full control over allfinancial arrangements– Funding, or some initiatives, can be sourced through theUnionLearning FundDoes the company have to pay for some training?– It can if it feels it is appropriate or useful. In many ofthe training partnerships already established, companies have contributedthrough the provision of training spaces – on-site classrooms,etc – and throughgiving time off for employees to spend on learning activitiesDo they make recommendations that companies can ignore or docompanies have to do what they ask?– There is no compulsion for companies to followrecommendations made by ULRs. However, rather than ignore them, companiesshould consult and consider the input they receive from these representativesURLs and their benefitsThere are around 3,000 ULRs inexistence, working with firms ranging from Metroline buses and Gloucester CityServices, to Birds Eye and British Bakeries. Anne Murphy, a project worker withUSDAW, the union that piloted many ULRs and campaigned for statutoryrecognition, is adamant that employers have felt the benefits since suchinitiatives have been in operation. “In my experience, there hasn’t been one organisation thathas implemented something, then walked away from it rather than working withthe idea to see it go from strength to strength,” she says.At Littlewoods, an initiative originally created through theUnion Learning Fund has grown to include the provision of an on-site learningcentre managed by a steering group made up of representatives from the unionand employer. Littlewoods has given space for the learning centre, but as therequired technology comes from a local college and the learning takes place inthe employees’ own time, training provision is not at great cost to the company.”We see working in partnership with learning reps as acrucial part of our overall efforts to develop a learning culture withinLittlewoods retail,” says the company’s training manager Ann McGrath.Indeed, the partnership has resulted in the roles and responsibilities oflearning representatives being enshrined within the organisation’s LifelongLearning Policy.Employers’ dutiesUnion Learning Representatives mustbe members of an independent trade union recognised by the employer. They canonly work with staff who are also trade union members.Unions must give the employer notice that ULRs are to undergotraining and confirm in writing that such training has been undertaken withinsix months.The ULR is entitled to reasonable paid time off for thefollowing functions:– Analysing training needs– Providing information on training– Arranging training– Promoting training– Consulting with the employer about training– Preparation for the above activities– Undergoing training relevant to their role as a ULRThe Acas Code of Practice for Time Off for Trade Union Dutiesand Activities will be used to determine what constitutes reasonable time offand sufficient training for ULR duties.What it means for the organisation:The DTI Regulatory Impact Assessment on statutory rights forULRs estimated initial training for ULRs would require five days paid leave,and that carrying out duties and undergoing subsequent training would requirenine days of paid time off per year.The same document suggests three hours of a middle manager’stime per ULR per year would be required for admin purposes, such as receivingand processing official notices and individual requests by ULRs for time off. 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Features list 2021 – submitting content to Personnel TodayOn this page you will find details of how to submit content to Personnel Today. We do not publish a… Personnel Today offers a list of resources and references which can help youbetter manage work-related stress in your organisation.Websiteswww.isma.org.uk International StressManagement Association. Charity with a multidisciplinary professionalmembership which promotes sound knowledge and best practice in the preventionand reduction of human stress. National Stress Awareness Day organiserwww.workstress.net aims to educateand raise awareness of work stress and to improve legislation on health, safetyand employment rights in UK and Europewww.stress-ip.co.uk Stress inPerspective. Ethical and professional consultancy providing advice and trainingto help reduce stress in the workplacewww.cipd.co.uk Professional body forthe personnel/human resources sector. Useful links to information on stress atwork, how to tackle it, legal implications and morewww.employment-studies.co.ukConductsresearch into workplace and employment issues, including stress and stressrelated problemswww.theworkfoundation.comGives advice and training on work-life and stress-related issueswww.statistics.gov.uk Officialstatistics, reflecting Britain’s economy, population and society at nationaland local levelwww.hse.gov.uk Health and SafetyExecutivewww.hsebooks.co.uk Good forsearching HSE publications. Some can be downloaded free in pdf formatwww.eoc.org.uk Equal OpportunitiesCommissionwww.acas.org.uk Arbitration andconciliation servicewww.tuc.org.uk Trades Union Congresswww.ilo.org International Labour Office.Provides statistics on working hours conditions etc. See also www.eurofound.ie – the European Foundationfor the Improvement of Living and Working Conditionswww.cbi.org.uk Employers’ organisationwhich offers advice on all aspects of employmentUseful organisations Health and Safety Commission (HSC)Tel: +44 (0) 207 717 6630Fax: +44 (0) 207 717 6644Stress at WorkTel: +44 (0) 1604 259 770Stress Education ServicesTel/Fax: +44 (0) 1560 486888E-mail: [email protected] Andrea Adams TrustTel/Fax: +44 (0) 1273 704900E-mail: [email protected] and Safety ConsultingTel: 07742 633129Email: [email protected] of Occupational Medicine (IOM)Tel: +44 (0) 131 667 5131Fax: +44 (0) 131 667 0136Email: [email protected] of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)Tel: +44 (0) 116 257 3100Fax: +44 (0) 116 257 3101E-mail: Consultants’ Register [email protected] Labour Office (ILO)Tel: +44 (0) 20 7828 6401Fax: +44 (0) 20 7233 5925E-mail: [email protected]/londonPublic Concern at WorkTel: +44 (0) 20 7404 6609Fax: +44 (0) 20 7404 6576E-mail: [email protected] of work, Health and Organisationswww.nottingham.ac.uk/iwhoPublicationswww.stress-management-nl.org/journal2.htmlOfficial publication of the ISMAOccupational HealthLeading monthly for OH professionalsFor subscriptions, phone: 01444 445566Employers’ LawThe monthly insight into the law at workFor subscriptions, phone: 01444 445566Stress in the UK workplaceA comprehensive report on the findings of the October 2003 stress survey bythe Health and Safety Executive and Personnel Today is available now. Price£25. Tel 01371 810433 for more information or e-mail [email protected] Today One Stop Guide to Managing IncapacityTo order a copy go to www.personneltoday.com/goto/18843Personnel Today survey: UK line managers – are they good enough?To order a copy go to www.personneltoday.com/goto/18844Stress and employer liabilityJill Earnshaw and Cary Cooper.CIPD. London. 2001Tackling work related stress: A manager’s guide to improving andmaintaining employee health and well beingSudbury. HSE Books. 2001Organisational interventions for work stressTom Cox, Amanda Griffiths and Claire Barlowe Sudbury. HSE Books. 2001Help on work related stress: a short guideSudbury. HSE Books. 2000Occupational StressIndustrial Society. London. 2001Creating a stress free officeSimon Priest and Jim Welch. Aldershot, Gower. 1998Managing organisational stressNoreen Tehrani. CIPD. London 2002.Available from www.cipd.co.uk/infosource/guidesArticlesTackling the drivers of stress go toHow the NHS is managing stress go to www.doh.gov.uk/iwl/index.htmStress managementFind out what local government workers are doing about stress at www.lg-employers.gov.ukFor a list of stress management consultancies go to www.personneltoday.com/directory Resources guide for stressOn 21 Oct 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:
The Royal Mail has welcomed an agreement signed by the Communication WorkersUnion (CWU) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) to “help ensuredignity and respect” for postal workers. The CWU and the EOC began working together after the Commission wascontacted by a number of women claiming sexual harassment had been carried outor supported by postal workers who were members of the union. Satya Kartara, director of diversity at Royal Mail, said she welcomed thenew agreement. “Royal Mail takes this problem very seriously. We have invested in ahuge training campaign for staff and have established regular monitoringprocedures to check that we are on track to stamp out the problem,” shesaid. The company has established a confidential telephone helpline for employeeswho feel they are being harassed or bullied. Kartara said Royal Mail will continue to work with employees, unions and theEOC until it has fully removed this problem from the business. Under the deal’s terms, the union will establish a fully-trained equalityofficer at each of its 200 branches, and regularly survey a sample group ofmembers. It will offer support to members who have been harassed, and will detail theactions it will take against any union members who are guilty of harassment. Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC, said unions had a key role to play increating a zero-tolerance policy towards all harassment. Last month, an employment tribunal awarded Asian postman Mahmood Siddiquialmost £200,000 in compensation after a “vicious and sly” four-yearrace-hate campaign at the postal sorting office where he worked. Royal Mail agreement protects staffOn 15 Jun 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
This award is aimed at HR teams that can demonstrate they have achieved genuine strategic status within their organisations. Entries outlined the business strategy and the contribution of HR to meeting objectives. The judge assessed the HR team’s own strategy, how this was devised and implemented, the involvement of senior staff and what results have been achieved so far. Entrants explained how the team identified priorities and how HR measured the benefits.Our sponsorNorthgateArinso is a leading global human resources software and services provider offering innovative HR business solutions to employers of all sizes, including blue chip companies, public sector organisations and many small to medium enterprises. It helps organisations optimise their HR service delivery through smarter process and more efficient technology, supporting key HR areas like workforce administration, payroll, benefits, recruitment, learning, and talent management.Its highly skilled employees are dedicated to HR excellence through strategic business consulting, outsourcing services, systems integration and best-of-breed software solutions. The judgePeter Reilly, director of HR research and consultancy at the Institute of Employment Studies (IES) joined the firm in 1995 as a senior research fellow after 16 years with Shell. At the IES, he leads the work on reward and performance management and on the HR function. He has co-authored several books, including Strategic HR: Building the Capability to Deliver.The shortlisted teamsBig Lottery FundThe team: HRNumber in team 18Number of people in organisation 1,000About the organisationThe Big Lottery Fund (BLF) is a grant-making organisation, responsible for giving out half the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes. The challengePrior to 2006, BLF’s HR strategy was not aligned with business strategy and was seen as a remote and largely transactional service. There was a need to develop a joined-up business partnering approach to support the business and develop the capabilities of HR systems, processes and people.What the organisation did Spoke to senior managers to understand the business agenda and explore ways HR could support it Produced a three-year HR strategy supported by annual HR business plans. Its key themes included: managing change by introducing business partners, building capacity by empowering managers and employees, and increasing efficiency through innovative IT solutions to deliver HR services Implemented a organisation-wide competency framework, performance management system, suite of HR policies and procedures, online HR systems, management development and talent management procedures and competitive reward and recognition arrangements. Benefits and achievements Enhanced profile and status of HR function, with members of the team regularly attending senior management meetings and a board member has been given a specific HR brief Significant progress in developing competence across all employees, with indicators of employee health increasing Impressive employee opinion results, with 83% of employees saying BLF is a good place to work Achieved IiP status and has been recognised as ‘one to watch’ in the 100 best companies. The judge says: “When a business restructuring was required, HR was seen to be ill-equipped to deliver. Through close engagement with management, an HR strategy was developed that linked to business need. The corporate results dashboard is glowing green as a result.”Ealing Homes LtdThe team: HRNumber in team 9Number of people in organisation 310About the organisationEaling Homes Ltd manages tenanted and leasehold properties on behalf of Ealing Council.The challengeA new people strategy was needed to provide vision and direction to deliver the high-performing, motivated individuals Ealing Homes needed. The ‘People Strategy’ needed buy-in from all staff and unions, and alignment with the business plan and core objectives. What the organisation did Listened to staff and unions in confidential workshops and commissioned a consultancy to provide objective gap analysis Developed an action plan and strategy taking into account staff survey results and IiP assessment Held roadshows to tell staff what was learnt from the workshops, surveys, IiP assessment and the gap analysis Developed new HR policies and improved performance management processes, including a competency framework Got each director to sponsor one of the five strands of the strategy, with a six-monthly review to track progress. Benefits and achievements Sickness absence reduced by 50%, efficiency saving of £280,000 since 2005 Improved communication and engagement by establishing: Team Managers’ Forum, Joint Negotiation and Consultation Committee with the trade unions, staff roadshows and briefings from the chief executive Maximised self-learning through resource library, online induction, e-learning packages, and organisational and individual learning and development plans aligned to business needs and evaluated by managers for return on investment Increased overall customer satisfaction levels from 69% to 79%. The judge says: “A new direction for the organisation was needed that required better leadership, communication and staff management. The HR function consulted thoroughly with stakeholders and delivered an action plan that has produced impressive business and people results, including a staggering 50% reduction in sickness absence.”McDonald’sThe team: Reputation teamNumber in team 10Number of people in organisation 67,000About the organisationMcDonald’s has more than 30,000 restaurants across the world serving 52 million people a day. The burger behemoth operates in 115 countries.The challengeMcDonald’s needed to transform its reputation and reclaim the phrase ‘McJob’. Enhancing the brand would bring about improvements in recruitment, retention, customer and staff satisfaction and profitability.What the organisation did Friends and family contract – enabling two friends or family members to cover each other’s shifts A hard-hitting campaign of press advertising and in-store posters highlighting their attractive benefits and signed off with the strapline ‘Not bad for a McJob’ Ourlounge.co.uk – a lifestyle, career and personal development website for staff, including the chance to gain GCSE-level literacy and numeracy qualifications through online learning A public petition to change the dictionary definition of McJob McTime – an online schedule enabling restaurant staff to check their shifts without having to contact the store directly Designer uniforms to increase confidence and pride. Benefits and achievements Accreditation in early 2008 from the QCA granting McDonald’s UK awarding body status Crew turnover reduced by 20% since reputation work began 84% said their perception of McDonald’s had improved as a result of seeing the McJob campaign, with a 25% increase in those saying they would recommend it as an employer 73% said they feel motivated in their job The McDonald’s UK Brand Index Corporate Score rose 16 points (the biggest sector rise of the 1,500 companies monitored). The judge says: “The company organised a well planned and executed response to the ‘McJob’ slur. HR was at the forefront of developing a new corporate reputation. An impressive list of initiatives has led to even more impressive results in transforming its internal and external profile.” Pfizer UK LtdThe team: HRNumber in team 29Number of people in organisation 1,600About the organisationPfizer is a leading pharmaceutical company, operating in 180 countries worldwide.The challengeA business transformation driven by internal and external pressures was needed to put the customer at the heart of Pfizer’s operating model. HR needed to lead a reorganisation to develop new ways of working with less resource and flatter structures that would deliver sustainable business growth.What the organisation did Developed an integrated business strategy, recognising people as the foundation to success and clarifying new business goals, priorities, plans and metrics Introduced targeted leadership programmes to develop a talent pipeline in support of the model Held a ‘One Pfizer’ launch conference to engage line managers and colleagues Recruited 9% of workforce as behavioural champions to work closely with management and the board to change practices. Benefits and achievements Coaching programme for all line managers is on target for 95% completion Latest revenue forecast is at 105% of budget Embedded two of the new behaviours to the extent that 60% (behavioural index count) of all staff believe the behaviours have become part of ‘Ways of Working’. The judge says: “A business transformation required cost cutting and a focus on the customer. Particular emphasis in HR’s response was given to job redesign, account management and behavioural change. The success of the programme is seen in the improved business results and in a ringing endorsement by the managing director.”Thomson ReutersThe team: HRNumber in team: 500 (globally)Number of people in organisation: 53,000About the organisationThomson Reuters is one of the world’s largest sources of intelligence information for business and professionals. It employs staff in 93 countries. In 2007, the Thomson Corporation merged with Reuters Group to form Thomson Reuters.The challengeSupporting a global merger impacting nearly 53,000 staff based in 550 facilities in more than 100 countries was the challenge facing HR in 2007.What the organisation did Designed and started implementation of a new global HR function, integrating the two HR functions Put in place mechanisms for monitoring staff morale through regular ‘pulse checks’ Hand-picked experienced Thomson and Reuters staff to lead 16 workstreams – for example, talent, recruitment, benefits Ensured top team ownership of key processes – for example, the CEO wrote ‘guiding principles’ to inform line managers’ behaviour when appointing staff Provided universal access to all jobs across Thomson Reuters by integrating recruitment systems and reinforcing Thomson Reuters as ‘one organisation’. Benefits and achievements Delivered a globally consistent redundancy process Rolled out a single performance management system in time for mid-year reviews Agreed and delivered a single compensation framework by day one Helped appoint more than 500 people to new roles by day one. The judge says: “The merger of these two famous names presented their respective HR teams with a real challenge. The systematic response with 16 workstreams to address both internal HR organisation and HR policy issues was impressive. The volume of deliverables over a short space of time was even more so.” Personnel Today Awards 2008: Award for Best HR Strategy in Line with BusinessBy Dawn Nolan on 14 Nov 2008 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
Are Tier 2 migrants no longer welcome in Britain?By Jackie Penlington on 16 Mar 2016 in Employment law, Personnel Today, Recruitment & retention, Migrant Workers About Jackie Penlington Jackie Penlington is a senior associate at Stevens and Bolton. View all posts by Jackie Penlington → Does the Migration Advisory Committee’s recent report mean that Tier 2 migrants are no longer welcome in the UK? Jackie Penlington looks at the evidence.The Government has made no secret of its aim to reduce net migration to the UK. In this context, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was charged with carrying out a thorough review of Tier 2, with the aim of providing recommendations to reduce migration under the Tier 2 route.Workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland can apply for a Tier 2 (General) visa if they have been offered a skilled job in the UK.The MAC recently published its report and it is not brilliant news for employers. The Government has previously implemented the majority of MAC’s recommendations so this report should be viewed with some concern by UK employers.What impact will the Immigration Skills Charge have?Overall the MAC recommendations would substantially raise the costs of recruiting Tier 2 migrants and yet appear unlikely to improve the UK’s skills shortage.One of the key recommendations in the report is to introduce an Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) of £1,000 per Tier 2 migrant per year. This would be used to invest in training and upskilling UK workers in an effort to reduce employers’ reliance on migrant workers. If £5,000 of additional training for the employer’s existing workforce were sufficient to meet this skills gap, employers would no doubt already be adopting that approach since it would be more economical than incurring the already high costs of sponsoring a migrant worker.More resources for employing Tier 2 migrant workersTier 2 general resident labour market test checklistEmploying foreign nationalsRecommended documentation for sponsored migrants checklistAn increase in the minimum salary thresholdsThe MAC also proposes increasing the minimum salary thresholds for Tier 2 (General) and Short-Term Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) migrants. The MAC recommends increasing the Tier 2 (General) minimum from £20,800 to £30,000 (for experienced workers) and to £23,000 (for new entrants).The MAC is of the view that raising the cost of recruiting a Tier 2 migrant will reduce demand. However, this logic does not necessarily follow. Where an employer needs to fill a particular specialist role and it is not possible to find the skill set from within the resident labour market, the employer will need to look elsewhere or the business will suffer. The one certainty is that raising the cost of hiring non-EEA nationals will provide further obstacles for employers looking to recruit key staff.Resident Labour Market testThe Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT), whereby employers must advertise the role on offer in the UK for a 28-day period before offering the role to a non-EEA national, may be extendedto all those switching into Tier 2 from within the UK. At present, graduates from UK universities are not subject to the RLMT. If this exemption is removed, it will increase the administrative burden and cost of recruiting non-EEA graduates for employers.Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer) (ICT) routeThis category enables multinational organisations to transfer employees from international offices to their UK office. The MAC has recommended increasing the minimum qualifying period of employment with the overseas company from one year to two years.The MAC was also concerned about sponsors, particularly in the IT sector, using the ICT route to enable Tier 2 migrants to service third-party contracts as this provides those companies with a cost advantage. The MAC therefore recommends a separate ICT route for third-party contracting, with a minimum salary threshold of £41,500.The MAC has also recommended that the Immigration Health Surcharge is rolled out to intra-company transferees and, more worryingly, that any changes to Tier 2 (ICT) are kept under active review with the strong suggestion that more restrictions to this route may be required down the line.Is there a silver lining for employers?There are some positives to the MAC report. Thankfully the MAC has advised against restricting Tier 2 dependants’ right to work in the UK, otherwise some of the best and brightest potential employees may have ruled themselves out of a role in the UK because their partner would have been unable to work here.Furthermore, the MAC has also advised against an automatic time limit on the period for which job roles may remain on the shortage occupation list.ConclusionIt would be surprising if the proposals that would raise additional revenue for the Government, such as the ISC and the roll-out of the Immigration Health Surcharge to Tier 2 (ICT) migrants, are not adopted.However, by assuming that raising the cost of sponsoring a Tier 2 migrant will automatically reduce demand, the MAC is recommending measures that could be damaging to UK businesses, particularly start-ups and SMEs. The changes are also likely to impact the public sector, where salaries are often below the recommended £30,000 minimum. Furthermore, the changes could make the UK less attractive to big business, potentially risking UK jobs and investment.Employers should keep a close eye on the Government’s response to the MAC report and consider reviewing their recruitment needs now to ensure they can recruit key staff before any changes are made. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Previous Article Next Article Could ‘long Covid’ become the biggest return-to-work challenge yet for OH?Covid-19 is not just a discussion about those who recover from the virus and those, sadly, who do not. A… Photo: Shutterstock As we rebuild our economy post pandemic, employers must not leave behind their renewed focus on employee health and wellbeing, writes Simon Hodgson.It’s now roughly a year since the general election, at which one political party pledged to nationalise the railways, expand the size of the state, and immediately enact reforms to make the welfare system more generous. That party didn’t win the election, but all those things happened anyway.About the authorSimon Hodgson is chair of GRiD’s Public Policy Committee. GRiD (Group Risk Development) is the industry body for the group risk protection sectorWe’ve all been glued to our screens and watched a global pandemic disease ensnare both our economy and the political sphere. Watching leaders across the world attempt to grapple with this gigantic challenge on our behalf has been both terrifying as well as farcical at times – a bit like accidentally taping Contagion over a repeat of Yes, Minister.Despite the difficulties we face now, it makes sense that most aspects of our working lives will return to relative normality in time: meeting clients over coffee, swapping stories at the watercooler, and, unfortunately, catching a crowded train home. But there are some things that shouldn’t go back to how they were.Much of the political debate now centres on how the country will ever deal with the cost of the emergency support package put in place to soften the economic impact of the pandemic – the cost of which had already topped £100bn as quickly as 30 April 2020.Eye-watering cost of ill healthYou might be surprised to learn that ill health that prevents us from working was already such a big problem that in normal times it cost our economy that much every single year – around the same as the total bill for HS2 or over three times the lifetime cost of the UK’s new fleet of Dreadnought-class ballistic missile submarines.Most of this eye-watering annual drain on the economy is lost output, along with around £7bn of unnecessary expenditure in the NHS. It should go without saying that if we hope to not just recover our previous economic position, but to improve growth and productivity, then major reforms will be needed. And they’re long overdue.Take statutory sick pay, for example, which many have been shocked to discover offers workers payments of just £95.85 a week. It’s a system that was introduced while ships were returning from the Falklands War and Morrissey was forming The Smiths, so perhaps it’s not surprising that there’s plenty wrong with the scheme besides the fact it’s not enough to live on: it’s far more complicated than it needs to be, doesn’t account for part-time or flexible working, and leaves out two million workers the TUC calls “too low paid to fall ill”. There must be a way to give British workers better protection than this.Leaving aside financial security, many workers in the UK lack access to the right support they need to stay in work after becoming disabled or adjusting to the impact of a long-term health condition on their job. The government estimates only around half of employees can get even basic occupational health support through their workplace.Lack of access to vocational rehabilitationThe proportion with access to vocational rehabilitation and return-to-work support such as that available with a group income protection policy is sadly smaller still. It can be hard for smaller firms to find impartial information about the services that are out there, not to mention find the funding to give their staff the support they’d like.Government is working hard to resolve these issues and, of course, the occupational health, insurance, and vocational rehabilitation community will do all it can to help.Crucially, what the international evidence shows is the key to tackling sickness absence and keeping disabled people and those with health conditions in sustained employment is the active participation of engaged employers. The good news is that, despite the challenges of the pandemic and its impact on business finances, more employers than ever before are now becoming interested in good work that supports good health.The bad news? Many businesses, having turned to government-backed credit or become reliant on state support for furloughed staff, may be in dire straits and simply not have the bandwidth to continue to prioritise this vitally important issue over the coming years.Facing the government will be a difficult balancing act. On the one hand, demands to limit business distractions and get the economy moving. On the other, a growing consensus behind ensuring people aren’t forced to face hardship in the future if they are unfortunate enough to fall ill, whether from a resurgent coronavirus or otherwise.As business tightens its collective belt, achieving the step change needed is not going to be easy – but, as occupational health practitioners know, there are plenty of things businesses can do to improve workplace health that don’t cost the earth.Value of ‘good’ work in supporting good healthWhat is crucial in the short-term is to sound a clarion call to businesses not to lose focus on the value of ‘good’ work in supporting good health, and early intervention in helping those with a mental or physical health condition to stay in work where they can.We can now come together – as occupational health and vocational rehabilitation experts, policymakers, clinicians, employers, and business organisations – to develop a consensus statement on the importance of creating healthy and inclusive workplaces which allow everyone to reach their full potential and remain in work, recognising the vital role played by employers in supporting the nation’s mental and physical healthPrevious work on a consensus statement for healthcare professionals set the backdrop for a range of successful interventions to deliver “work as a health outcome” – from more training for GPs and undergraduate medical students to the rollout of ‘health and work champions’ across NHS trusts. A PHE evaluation commended it as “symbolic evidence of the importance of the programme across clinical disciplines and government”.We can now come together – as occupational health and vocational rehabilitation experts, policymakers, clinicians, employers, and business organisations – to develop a consensus statement on the importance of creating healthy and inclusive workplaces which allow everyone to reach their full potential and remain in work, recognising the vital role played by employers in supporting the nation’s mental and physical health.Only by working across sectors and in partnership with business and employer organisations can we turn today’s good intentions into tomorrow’s effective action. The pandemic has shown us just how important it is to look after our employees well. We can’t lose sight of that as we build our workplaces back better after the virus.References“UK Covid-19 business bailouts have already cost more than £100bn”, The Guardian, April 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/30/uk-coronavirus-business-bailouts-have-already-cost-more-than-100bn“Work, health and disability green paper data pack”, Department for Work and Pensions, October 2016, pp.15, available online at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/644090/work-health-and-disability-green-paper-data-pack.pdf“High Speed 2 (HS2) costs”, Institute for Government, https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/explainers/high-speed-2-costs“Dreadnought submarine programme: factsheet”, Ministry of Defence, February 2018, available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/successor-submarine-programme-factsheet/successor-submarine-programme-factsheet#future-costs“Statutory sick pay”, Department for Work and Pensions, https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay“Millions of low-paid workers don’t qualify for sick pay – and women are worst affected”, TUC, October 2019, https://www.tuc.org.uk/blogs/millions-low-paid-workers-dont-qualify-sick-pay-and-women-are-worst-affected“Health is everyone’s business Proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss”, Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care, July 2019, pp.14. Available online at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/815944/health-is-everyones-business-proposals-to-reduce-ill-health-related-job-loss.pdf“Work as a Health Outcome: a qualitative assessment of the influence of the Health and Work Champions pilot programme and the clinical consensus statement”, Public Health England, October 2020, pp.6. Available online at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/923531/PHE__HWMC_Evaluation__2_.pdf Related posts: After coronavirus, we must ‘build back better’ on workplace healthOn 20 Nov 2020 in Coronavirus, OH service delivery, Return to work and rehabilitation, Sickness absence management, Occupational Health, Personnel Today Returning to work after brain injury: unpicking five myths and challengesThree experts in this field debunk some common myths around returning to work following a brain injury or stroke. It…
Share via Shortlink Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and Paul Manafort (Photos via Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s quest to prosecute Paul Manafort has come to an end.A New York Appeals Court said that it would not review a lower court ruling on the case, ending Vance’s push to charge Manafort with mortgage fraud, according to the New York Times.Former President Trump recently pardoned Manafort after the former campaign chair was convicted in federal court of similar charges in 2018. At the time, he was sentenced to seven and half years in a federal prison.Vance brought charges against Manafort at the state level in March 2019, stemming from a 2017 investigation into loans Manafort had secured. The DA alleged that Manafort faked business records in order to obtain the loans.But Vance faced a lofty task in convicting Manafort. In December 2019, a judge said the charges violated double jeopardy rules and discarded them, a ruling that was upheld by a New York appellate court last October. Vance said his office would continue to appeal the ruling even after Trump issued the pardon, but the lower court’s latest ruling has effectively the effort.The U.S.Constitution prevents someone from being tried twice for the same crime. The only exception is for Federal and state prosecutions for the same conduct, since the two are viewed to be independent of each other, according to the New York Times.[NYTimes] — Keith Larsen Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Paul ManafortTrump Tags
Message* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Email Address* Share via Shortlink David Tepper and 905 North Ocean Boulevard (Getty, Google Maps)Billionaire David Tepper, founder of Appaloosa Management and owner of the Carolina Panthers, is in contract to buy a $73 million mansion in Palm Beach.It’s unclear whether Tepper will relocate to Palm Beach, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the deal. He moved to Florida from New Jersey in 2015, prompting Garden State lawmakers to say its top tax was scaring off the wealthy. Tepper returned to New Jersey last year.Tepper will buy the 12,000-square-foot oceanfront mansion at 905 North Ocean Boulevard, which is just north of the Palm Beach Country Club. Sellers in the off-market deal are Palm Beach residents Patrick and Lillian Carney, who built the home last year on 1.1 acres.Tepper, who owns a condo in Miami Beach, opened a Miami Beach office in 2016.His Palm Beach purchase would add to the huge increase in ultra high-end residential sales on the island.On Thursday, private equity titan Scott Shleifer paid more than $120 million for the oceanfront mansion at 535 North County Road, setting a record for residential sales in Florida and marking one of the most expensive home sales in the U.S.The nearby estate 790 South County Road recently sold for $31 million.[WSJ] – Katherine Kallergis Contact Katherine Kallergis Tags Palm Beach
CIM GroupDevelopmentHFZ CapitalReal Estate Lawsuits This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now CIM Group’s Richard Ressler and HFZ’s Ziel Feldman with 301 West 53rd Street, 235 West 75th Street and 90 Lexington Avenue (Getty, Google Maps)Even though HFZ Capital Group has handed over the keys to four Manhattan condo projects, its lender is once again trying to take the embattled developer to court.Last week, the lending arm Los Angeles-based CIM Group filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York, alleging that HFZ and its founder Ziel Feldman owe the firm over $48 million.In January, CIM Group foreclosed on four Manhattan condo conversion projects — 88 and 90 Lexington Avenue; The Astor at 235 West 75th Street; and Fifty Third and Eighth at 301 West 53rd Street — and took control of the properties. But in its lawsuit, the company alleges that HFZ and Feldman are still obligated to pay for guarantees made on junior mezzanine loans tied to the four properties. CIM Group initially provided those loans in 2018.Read moreForeclosures tied to 4 HFZ condo buildings halted for nowHouse of glass: how HFZ became the face of Manhattan’s condo woesHFZ loses control of 4 manhattan condo prices Message* Full Name* Tags Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink In the lawsuit, CIM alleges that HFZ and Feldman owe a portion of the outstanding principal and interest on the junior mezzanine loans. In addition, the lender claims it’s owed money from the debt service on the senior mezzanine and mortgage loans, along with money owed for shortfalls in its reserve accounts.CIM said that HFZ first defaulted on these loans in November 2019, and the lender provided notice of default to the borrower the following July. CIM attempted to sell the interests in the projects through a UCC foreclosure sale last November, but that faltered when HFZ sued to stop the sale. A judge sided with the developer, deeming the sale “commercially unreasonable.”But in early January, CIM held another sale; its credit group bid on the properties using its existing debt and took control of the assets.Marketing materials for the foreclosure sale showed that CIM’s junior mezzanine loans held a balance of $90.5 million. The properties’ total debt, including senior loans and senior mezzanine loans, amounted to $249 million.The attempted conversion of the four pre-war rental buildings into condos was one of HFZ’s most ambitious undertakings. The development firm, led by Feldman, initially paid Westbrook Partners $610 million for the four properties in 2013, teaming up with Fortress Investment Group on the buy. The portfolio consisted of 743 rental units, and the partners subsequently began the process of converting the buildings into residential condos.HFZ did not immediately return a request for comment. CIM’s attorney also did not return a request for comment.Contact Keith Larsen Share via Shortlink Email Address*
A PCR-based method of detecting Haemophilus influenzae in cultures inoculated from throat swabs was evaluated using samples from groups of laboratory staff and medical students and then applied to samples originating from the closed human community of an Antarctic research station. Suitable PCR primers to an H. influenzae gene (ompP2) were used to amplify the gene from DNA preparations made from mixed growth on chocolate agar with added vancomycin. PCR product was reamplified and subjected to restriction endonuclease digestion to allow temporal and spatial mapping of strains over an 8-month period. Eleven different strains of H. influenzae were detected. One particular strain was detected in a third of the base members