Accord in Brussels will not be enough to stave off crisis

first_img Thursday 16 December 2010 8:58 pm KCS-content whatsapp Accord in Brussels will not be enough to stave off crisis whatsapp EUROPE’S leaders are meeting under a cloud today as they attempt to thrash out a solution to the Eurozone’s debt crisis in the wake of a lacklustre Spanish bond auction and ongoing disputes between nations.On the first night of the summit yesterday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso delivered a stark warning to the region’s gathered leaders, saying: “The current sovereign crisis has now become systemic in nature.”But despite the belief that the crisis requires structural changes in the Eurozone economies, there is little hope that such a wide-ranging deal will be struck today.Ministers have said that some of the more radical proposals discussed to address the crisis are not on the agenda. Chancellor Angela Merkel has already ruled out issuing region-wide eurobonds or an increase in the size of the €440bn (£373bn) bailout fund.Instead, leaders will merely tweak existing EU treaties to establish a legal basis for a permanent bailout fund to be operational from 2013 onwards.Capital Economics’ Ben May said that such a move “will do little, if anything, to ease a number of more general concerns that investors have”. center_img Show Comments ▼ Ad Unmute by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryUndoTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastUndoMoneyPailShe Was A Star, Now She Works In ScottsdaleMoneyPailUndoNoteabley25 Funny Notes Written By StrangersNoteableyUndoSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesUndoBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItUndoBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeUndoHistorical GeniusHe Was The Smartest Man Who Ever Lived – But He Led A Miserable LifeHistorical GeniusUndoMagellan TimesThis Is Why The Roy Rogers Museum Has Been Closed For GoodMagellan TimesUndo More From Our Partners Native American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgRussell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comWhy people are finding dryer sheets in their mailboxesnypost.comMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest Share Tags: NULLlast_img read more

Theo Fennell hit by travel chaos

first_imgThursday 6 January 2011 8:11 pm Tags: NULL by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeMisterStoryWoman Files For Divorce After Seeing This Photo – Can You See Why?MisterStoryTotal PastThe Ingenious Reason There Are No Mosquitoes At Disney WorldTotal PastSerendipity TimesInside Coco Chanel’s Eerily Abandoned Mansion Frozen In TimeSerendipity TimesBrake For ItThe Most Worthless Cars Ever MadeBrake For ItBetterBe20 Stunning Female AthletesBetterBeAlphaCute30 Rules That All “Hells Angels” Have To FollowAlphaCuteDefinitionDesi Arnaz Kept This Hidden Throughout The Filming of ‘I Love Lucy’Definitionthedelite.comNetflix Cancellations And Renewals: The Full List For 2021thedelite.comZen HeraldNASA’s Voyager 2 Has Entered Deep Space – And It Brought Scientists To Their KneesZen Herald whatsapp Read This Next’A Quiet Place Part II’ Sets Pandemic Record in Debut WeekendFamily ProofHiking Gadgets: Amazon Deals Perfect For Your Next AdventureFamily ProofYoga for Beginners: 3 Different Types of Yoga You Should TryFamily ProofIndian Spiced Vegetable Nuggets: Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofAmazon roars for MGM’s lion, paying $8.45 billion for studio behind JamesFamily ProofThe Truth About Bottled Water – Get the Facts on Drinking Bottled WaterGayotBack on the Rails for Summer New York to New Orleans, Savannah and MiamiFamily ProofChicken Bao: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily ProofCheese Crostini: Delicious Recipes Worth CookingFamily Proof KCS-content center_img whatsapp Theo Fennell hit by travel chaos AFFLUENT overseas shoppers were cut off from London by travel chaos, jeweller Theo Fennell said as it warned on profits yesterday.Fennell saw like-for-like sales drop seven per cent in December. Sales on expensive pieces suffered as international customers stayed away, the firm said. “The adverse weather conditions significantly reduced footfall to the stores from high-end UK clients and international clients.”Theo Fennell had enjoyed a 22 per cent surge in like-for-like retail sales in the first week of December. Show Comments ▼ Sharelast_img read more

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited HY2015 Interim Report

first_imgEconet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited ( listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange under the Technology sector has released it’s 2015 interim results for the half year.For more information about Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited ( reports, abridged reports, interim earnings results and earnings presentations, visit the Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited ( company page on AfricanFinancials.Document: Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Limited (  2015 interim results for the half year.Company ProfileEconet Wireless Zimbabwe is a diversified telecommunications group; it is the largest enterprise of its kind in Zimbabwe and the largest company on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in terms of market capitalisation. Econet Wireless Zimbabwe provides products and solutions for mobile and fixed wireless telephony, public payphones, internet access and payment solutions. In 2009, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe became the first operator in Zimbabwe to launch data services with 3G capability. This was followed by an extensive project to expand its geographic coverage; building a fibre-optic network, providing financial transaction switching and point-of-sale and value-added retail support services. The company is a subsidiary of a privately-owned group controlled by its founder, Strive Masiyiwa. The group’s subsidiaries include Econet Global, Econet Wireless Africa, Econet Wireless International, Econet Enterprises, Liquid Telecom Group and Econet Media.last_img read more

Is the Card Factory share price crash a buying opportunity?

first_img See all posts by Zaven Boyrazian The Card Factory (LSE:CARD) share price has taken quite a tumble over the past few weeks. Since mid-May, the company has seen its stock drop from 95p to around 68p today. That’s nearly a 30% decline in a relatively short space of time.Taking a step back, the Card Factory share price has been performing admirably. After all, over the last 12 months, it’s up by nearly 90%. But the question remains, what caused the recent drop? And is this a buying opportunity for my portfolio?5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential… Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Image source: Getty Images. Why did the Card Factory share price crash?Like many retail businesses, Card Factory was hit hard by the pandemic. Being a non-essential business, its shops remained closed to customers for most of 2020. And even though it has some presence in the online space, fierce competition from the likes of Moonpig created quite a challenging environment for the operator.With revenue severely impacted and debts to repay, the financial health of Card Factory had significantly weakened. This appears to have lead to a build-up of uncertainty among investors.That was until February this year when the UK government unveiled its roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions. With a reopening timeline in place and confirmation from the management team that waivers on its debt covenants had been secured until March, the Card Factory share price unsurprisingly soared. So why did it crash again?In order to remain afloat, the company successfully refinanced its debt, raising £225m of capital. Taking on additional debt has further leveraged the firm. But it’s also provided some much-needed breathing space until September 2023.However, investors don’t seem particularly happy about this agreement. And after taking a closer look, I can see why. To keep up with its repayment plan, the firm intends to raise an additional £70m by issuing new shares.Based on the £293m market capitalisation before the recent crash, the proposed equity offer would create a dilution effect of around 24%. So seeing the Card Factory share price drop by a similar amount isn’t surprising to me.Moving ForwardSeeing a dilution effect of this magnitude isn’t a pleasant sight. But, over the long-term, it may not matter all that much. Covid-19 has forced many companies to adapt. And in the case of Card Factory, it finally started fleshing out its underdeveloped e-commerce revenue channel.In fact, looking at the most recent figures, online sales grew by 64% last year. What’s more, these sales are far more profitable. After all, it’s not paying rent on a high street plot, nor any direct labour costs. The latter already proved to be troublesome in 2019 when the national living wage increased, leading to a profit warning for investors.As its online sales channel is further fleshed out, I’d expect to see its net profit margin steadily improve, taking the Card Factory share price with it. Overall, I believe the company can return to its pre-pandemic levels. But the road to recovery may take several years. And personally, I think there are better investment opportunities elsewhere. Looking for new share ideas?Grab this FREE report now.Inside, you discover one FTSE company with a runaway snowball of profits.From 2015-2019…Revenues increased 38.6%.Its net income went up 19.7 times!Since 2012, revenues from regular users have almost DOUBLEDThe opportunity here really is astounding.In fact, one of its own board members recently snapped up 25,000 shares using their own money… So why sit on the side lines a minute longer?You could have the full details on this company right now. Grab your free report – while it’s online. One FTSE “Snowball Stock” With Runaway Revenues For example, here is: center_img Zaven Boyrazian does not own shares in Card Factory. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Card Factory. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Zaven Boyrazian | Wednesday, 2nd June, 2021 | More on: CARD Enter Your Email Address Is the Card Factory share price crash a buying opportunity? Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement.last_img read more

Country house in Puente Iglesias / Hernán Arango + MDE estudio

first_img Area:  580 m² Year Completion year of this architecture project Country house in Puente Iglesias / Hernán Arango + MDE estudioSave this projectSaveCountry house in Puente Iglesias / Hernán Arango + MDE estudio Year:  ArchDaily CopyLandscape Architecture, Houses•Puente Iglesias, Colombia Projects Colombia Manufacturers: AutoDesk, Casa Medina, Conmarmoles, DECORCERAMICA, TBLRSLandscape:Hernán ArangoCity:Puente IglesiasCountry:ColombiaMore SpecsLess SpecsSave this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalRecommended ProductsWoodLunawoodThermo Timber and Industrial ThermowoodMetallicsTECU®Copper Surface – Classic CoatedDoorsGorter HatchesRoof Hatch – RHT AluminiumDoorsSky-FrameInsulated Sliding Doors – Sky-Frame ArcText description provided by the architects. The house is located on one of the slopes near the Cauca River in the Department of Antioquia. Located at an altitude of 750 meters above sea level, and close to the municipality of Puente Iglesias, it is arranged in such a way that it can capture landscape attributes of great value such as the Cauca River, the La pintada cliffs and Cerro La Mama.Save this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalSave this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalDespite having a wide availability to choose the precise place of construction, the existence of 2 centennial trees, called ear pinions, serve as a prelude to the configuration of the place. Then you arrive, after going down a small curved slope, which opens the landscape again, and later, to the reception garden of the house.Save this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalSave this picture!SketchSave this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalThe general arrangement seeks to establish 2 main warehouses with wide perimeter corridors accompanied by lush vegetation. The typical proposal of the Antioquia corridor house complied with the aforementioned landscape attributes to which the house had to respond, in addition to a language that sought, at the client’s request, certain reminiscences of the critical regionalism of Latin American architecture in terms of sobriety and character.Save this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalTo complement the scheme, it is proposed to place a tectonic emphasis on the design of the roofs. In the task of covering the wide corridors as well as the social area, it was decided to advance in the design of a structure in scissor wooden trusses, in order to achieve the most important artisan effect of the project. In addition to this, a height is defined after which, in height, everything will be developed through the same material.Save this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalSave this picture!Floor PlanSave this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalThe details and specifications finish giving the house a certain sense of austerity mixed with a constant presence of tropical vegetation. The landscape design proposes intermingling and naturalness as well as points of color and areas of shadows suitable for the place and the occasion.Save this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalSave this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalFinally, the social area of ​​the house is configured with the strictly necessary elements: a large elongated dining table and a u-shaped unit in masonry that serves as a room open to the landscape and that in turn precedes the area of ​​the pool. This one, built in natural black slate, seeks to contrast strongly with the deck, also in wood, and give the greatest feeling of naturalness possible. Thus, the visitor remains here in an open space surrounded by plants, giving way to one of the most important geographical landmarks in the region: Los farallones de la pintada.Save this picture!© Mauricio CarvajalProject gallerySee allShow lessCasa de Hóspedes / ArribaSelected ProjectsMira House / Arturo SanzSelected Projects Share 2021 “COPY” Architects: Hernán Arango , MDE estudio Area Area of this architecture project ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard Landscape Architecture CopyAbout this officeHernán ArangoOfficeFollowMDE estudioOfficeFollowProductsWoodStone#TagsProjectsBuilt ProjectsSelected ProjectsLandscape ArchitectureResidential ArchitectureHousesColombiaPublished on May 22, 2021Cite: “Country house in Puente Iglesias / Hernán Arango + MDE estudio” [Casa de campo en Puente Iglesias / Hernán Arango + MDE estudio] 22 May 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed 10 Jun 2021. ISSN 0719-8884Browse the CatalogPanels / Prefabricated AssembliesTechnowoodGRP Siding Façade SystemGlassMitrexSolar GreenhouseMetal PanelsAurubisMill Finished Copper: Nordic StandardMetallicsHAVER & BOECKERArchitectural Wire Mesh – MULTI-BARRETTE 8130Enclosures / Double Skin FacadesIsland Exterior FabricatorsCurtain Wall Facade SystemsSealantsEffisusGutter Repair – TiteGutter3Aluminium CompositesSculptformAluminium Click-on BattensTiles / Mosaic / GresiteMargresPorcelain Tiles – Linea PrestigeMetallicsRHEINZINKZinc Roof Systems – Click Roll CapsTiles / Mosaic / GresiteTerrealTerracotta Cladding TileDoorsECLISSESliding Pocket Door – ECLISSE UnilateralWindowsJoskoWindows and Sliding Doors – ONE SeriesMore products »Save世界上最受欢迎的建筑网站现已推出你的母语版本!想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?是否翻译成中文现有为你所在地区特制的网站?想浏览ArchDaily中国吗?Take me there »✖You’ve started following your first account!Did you know?You’ll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.Go to my stream Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project Save this picture!© Mauricio Carvajal+ 29Curated by Clara Ott Share ShareFacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsappMailOr Clipboard “COPY” Country house in Puente Iglesias / Hernán Arango + MDE estudiolast_img read more

Journalist escapes from his captors in eastern Yemen

first_imgNews February 11, 2021 Find out more to go further Organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is very worried about Yahya Al-Sowary, a Yemeni photographer who has escaped his captors after being detained for 56 days in Ghaydah, the capital of the far-eastern province of Mahrah. RSF holds the province’s authorities responsible for his safety. United Nations: press freedom situation “deeply worrying” in Yemen, according to RSF News January 6, 2021 Find out more YemenMiddle East – North Africa Protecting journalists Armed conflictsDisappearancesImprisoned A freelance photographer and video reporter for Belqees TV Yahya Al Sowary, reported in a Facebook post on 27 August that he managed to escape from the place where he was being held after being transferred there from another location.  Fixer for foreign reporters held in Aden for past five months Help by sharing this information center_img Receive email alerts News February 26, 2021 Find out more News RSF_en August 29, 2019 Journalist escapes from his captors in eastern Yemen Follow the news on Yemen YemenMiddle East – North Africa Protecting journalists Armed conflictsDisappearancesImprisoned Yemeni journalist killed, nine wounded in Aden airport explosions Sowary was kidnapped by gunmen on 5 July while filming wounded in a Ghaydah hospital after a protest in Mahrah province. Describing his two months in captivity, he wrote: “I didn’t know where I was. I was taken to several prisons, blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back.” He wrote that, while held, he was interrogated many times about his supposed links with Hezbollah and Iran (the allies of Yemen’s Houthi rebels) and was badly tortured. His abductors, whom he accuses of being linked to provincial governor Rageh Bakrit, also asked him to film himself confessing to having spied for Qatar.  “Yahya Al-Sowary’s chilling account is typical of the constant dangers for Yemeni journalists,” , RSF’s Middle East desk said. “They are caught between the different forces present in Yemen, who regard them as spies as soon as they cover a sensitive event. Although now free, Sowary is still in great danger. The governor of the province where he was abducted is directly responsible for guaranteeing his safety.”Sowary’s escape brings the number of journalists missing in Yemen to 19, according to RSF’s latest tally. Yemen is ranked 168th out of 180 countries in  RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.. last_img read more

Eritrean officials accused before Swedish court of crime against humanity

first_imgNews Reports July 3, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Eritrean officials accused before Swedish court of crime against humanity Filed in anticipation of Sweden’s new universal jurisdiction law, which took effect on 1 July, the complaint is not the first joint action undertaken by the three lawyers. They have filed similar complaints with Eritrea’s supreme court and with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, so far without success. Kahn-Sriber added: “What we expect from the Swedish authorities now is that they intercept and question those responsible for these abuses when they visit Sweden so that they finally account for their actions before a court.” Swedish prosecutors again refuse to investigate Dawit Isaak case RSF urges Swedish judicial authorities to reverse Dawit Isaak decision Receive email alerts RSF_en News Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Eritrea The co-founder of the weekly Setit, then Eritrea’s most popular independent newspaper, Isaac was arrested in Asmara on 23 September 2001, a day when many government opponents and independent journalists were rounded up and their newspapers were closed for good. Reporters Without Borders welcomes the decision to file a legal complaint in Sweden accusing Eritrean President Issayas Afewerki and other senior officials of a crime against humanity, enforced disappearance and torture in the case of Dawit Isaac, a journalist with Swedish and Eritrean dual nationality detained in Eritrea since September 2001. “The silence from the western democracies on the subject of Eritrea must end,” said Cléa Kahn-Sriber, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Africa desk. “In April, the Eritrean authorities told the Human Rights Council that there was no arbitrary detention in Eritrea and that no one was being held because of their opinions or for criticizing the government. This position is no longer tenable.” Organisation EritreaAfrica EritreaAfrica Isaac was one of the “information heroes” that Reporters Without Borders profiled for this year’s World Press Freedom Day on 3 May. January 13, 2021 Find out more He has been held ever since without being formally charge or tried, without being allowed access to his lawyers and without being allowed family or Red Cross visits. His case is unfortunately not isolated. According to Reporters Without Borders’ tally, 28 journalists are currently detained for the seventh year running. to go further The United Nations Human Rights Council sent an encouraging signal on 23 June when it requested the creation of a special commission to investigate all human rights violations in Eritrea. It will be led by Sheila Keetharuth, who has been prevented from visiting Eritrea since her appointment in 2012 as special rapporteur for human rights in Eritrea. She is to present a report in June 2015. News April 14, 2021 Find out more The complaint was filed on 30 June by three lawyers – Jesús Alcalá, Percy Bratt and Prisca Orsonneau, who heads Reporters Without Borders’ Legal Committee. As well as the president, it names foreign minister Osman Saleh, justice minister Fawzia Hashim, defence minister Gen. Sebhat Ephrem and a presidential adviser. Additional information on the Isaac case Prisoner of Conscience Since 2001 – Why has Sweden not managed to bring Dawit Isaak home? October 27, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

PSNI Chief Constable faces investigation into misconduct claims

first_img Google+ DL Debate – 24/05/21 By News Highland – October 19, 2017 Facebook Previous articleMagees lose to World Number 1 pair from ChinaNext articleABP to decide if permission is needed to block Pollet Arch access News Highland Google+ PSNI Chief Constable faces investigation into misconduct claims Harps come back to win in Waterford Facebook WhatsApp Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty Pinterestcenter_img The Chief Constable of the PSNI is facing an investigation into alleged misconduct in public office.George Hamilton and two other senior officers are being investigated by the Police Ombudsman.The claims, from former senior officers, surround the way the PSNI handled an inquiry into contracts to supply vehicles for the force.Mr. Hamilton says all three men “completely refute” the allegations……….Audio Player Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Twitter Homepage BannerNews News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter WhatsApp Pinterest Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population growslast_img read more

Investigation continuing after elderly woman dies in house fire

first_img Pinterest Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Google+ Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA WhatsApp Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Investigation continuing after elderly woman dies in house fire Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Twitter By News Highland – December 19, 2017 WhatsAppcenter_img Homepage BannerNews Facebook Previous articleHousing Minister meets with Mica affected homeownersNext articleFlights from Donegal to Glasgow could be in jeopardy News Highland Twitter News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Facebook DL Debate – 24/05/21 A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out today following the death of a woman in her 90s in a house fire in Buncrana.The blaze broke out just after 4pm yesterday afternoon at a house in Ballymagan just outside Buncrana.The woman who was the sole occupant of the house was pronounced dead at the scene and her body was removed to Letterkenny University Hospital.Gardaí have preserved the scene and a forensic examination to determine the cause of the fire is due to be carried out this morning. Pinterest Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programmelast_img read more

Rights issue

first_imgRights 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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