Fathers’ working week gets longer by the hour

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. The number of hours fathers are working in an average week is on the rise,research by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) reveals. The survey finds that during 2001 a father’s average working week was 47.3hours, an increase of nearly 5 per cent on 1998 when fathers worked an averageof 45.1 hours a week. Sixty-six per cent of fathers were working more than 41 hours per week in2001, compared with 62 per cent three years earlier. The proportion of fathersworking overtime, paid or unpaid, also increased by 2 per cent from 51 per centto 53 per cent. Commenting on the figures, released on Father’s Day (16 June), EOCchairwoman Julie Mellor urged employers to put more emphasis on work-lifebalance policies to give dads a chance to spend more time with their children. “Father’s Day is an opportunity for families to celebratefatherhood,” she said. “But dads are dads all year long, not just onone special day. These figures suggest that many children are seeing less oftheir dad than they used to. This is really bad news for families. “Despite growing awareness of the importance of achieving a balancebetween work and family, men are still missing out on the opportunity to beinvolved in caring for their children, and children are missing out on havingtheir dad around. The challenge for employers is to enable dads to break out ofthe straitjacket of long and inflexible working hours.” www.eoc.org.uk Fathers’ working week gets longer by the hourOn 25 Jun 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

David Brent hands out the HR Oscars

first_imgThe HR team at Bupa were stars for the night after becoming the overallwinners of the Personnel Today Awards 2002. They collected the accolade after winning The Work Foundation Award forOrganisational Change. Bupa won for implementing an impressive change programmethat has helped double profits and increase customer and staff satisfaction. The HR party of the year kicked off as Ricky Gervais, star of BBC’s TheOffice, entertained the audience at our biggest-ever awards. Known for his ‘unique style’ of handling people, as bungling manager DavidBrent, he announced the 11 category winners, and overall winner. The eventrecognised the profession’s outstanding achievers. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article David Brent hands out the HR OscarsOn 5 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

On the move

first_imgOn the moveOn 8 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Worcestershire County Council’s HR department has appointed Bridget Clarke(pictured right) as policy and employee relations manager, and Vicky Lee(pictured left) as corporate HR manager. Both will report to thenewly-appointed head of HR, Kenny Brown, who joined Worcestershire fromScottish Borders Council in 2002. Manchester-based insurance broker, the Manson Group, has appointed AmandaBennett as HR manager. She joins from architects Byrom Clark Roberts where shewas HR manager. Prior to that she worked for the Moat House Hotel group. Morton Middleditch, the chairman of grocery chain Spar, is the new deputychairman of the British Retail Consortium (BRC). He has worked at Spar for morethan 30 years and has served as a BRC director since 1997. He will work underchairman David Fenwick at the retail employers’ body. Midland Expressway, the firm responsible for designing and constructing theUK’s first toll motorway, has appointed two new HR staff. Peter Robinson is thenew personnel manager, while Julie Spence joins as his assistant. The companywill run the M6 toll road project, which is designed to cut congestion. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

HR strategy forum

first_imgHR strategy forumOn 24 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Ask our experts. Personnel Today would like readers to send in theirstrategic HR dilemma. All questions will remain anonymous and will be forwardedto our strategy forum members, two of whom will provide step-by-step advice inthe magazine. Send your dilemmas to [email protected] dilemma Improving performance at a local authority I have just joined a large unitary authority as HR director. The authorityprovides all local government public services including refuse collection, roadmaintenance, education and the social services. Pressures on the council have been mounting. Last year, it was subjected toan audit commission assessment and was adjudged to be ‘fair’, but there isconcern the reassessment this year will be less favourable. This could lead to much tighter central government control, reducing thelocal flexibility the council feels it needs to best serve the interests of thelocal community. Managers are under pressure to deliver demonstrably betterservices on tight or reducing budgets. There is also a sense of short-termism asmanagers try and ‘fix’ difficulties. Our sickness absence levels are in the upper quartile for similarauthorities, and our turnover rates are little better. Our workforce is a doesnot reflect the ethnic composition of the local community and there have beendifficulties filling jobs in specific and critical areas. A recent surveysuggests staff morale has hit rock bottom. My role is to ensure the council at least retains the previous rating underthe assessment scheme and managers are looking to me to both resolve some ofthe current resourcing difficulties and to turn around staff morale. Whatshould my priorities be? Solution 1 By Dilys Winn head of resources at Gloucestershire County CouncilStrike a balance between ensuring you do not get sucked into the sameshort-termism gripping the rest of the organisation, and getting credibility byshowing understanding of the immediate problems. Use your judgement to pick theimportant things and be firm in consigning the rest to longer-term plans. Step 1 Start with the problems you know will be detrimentallyaffecting morale and therefore performance. The combination of high turnover,high absence rates and recruitment difficulties will put real pressure on staffand managers alike. Do you know why people are leaving, where they are goingand what measures you could take to make inroads into this? Look at currentarrangements for managing absence. Could tried and tested techniques used byauthorities to manage absence be useful here? Step 2 Try some short-term measures to patch the critical gaps in theworkforce. Since paying higher salaries across the board is unlikely to be anoption, put together a resourcing strategy. This should combine innovativerecruitment campaigns with a serious look at whether these services could bedone elsewhere or be outsourced. Step 3 Take ownership of the results of the staff survey. Find out asmuch as you can about the root causes of staff concerns by engaging staff andmanagers at all levels. Focus on two or three key issues. Develop acommunications strategy to keep staff posted about what is being changed inresponse to their concerns and make sure you get the commitment of theorganisation to run follow-up surveys to measure progress. Step 4 Make sure you know what is required to be in place for thevarious inspection regimes. At the very least, you are likely to need to beable to demonstrate that you have a published people management strategy inplace which is consulted upon, directly links with the council’s key aims andincludes proper measures to evaluate its effectiveness. Step 5 Finally, get beyond the immediate and avoid being drowned byshort-term problems. The difficulties you found when you arrived at theauthority occurred because of a lack of longer-term strategies. You will needto get your managers involved in some crystal ball gazing, questioning wheretheir services are going in the medium/long-term. Your longer-term strategymust reflect these changes, government agendas and potential legislativechanges setting out what resourcing arrangements are likely to be needed.Address how these will be met through skills development, succession planning,creating sustainable sources from which you can attract new skills, andcreating an environment where people flourish and therefore choose to stay. Solution 2By Paul Kearns, Director PWLThe golden rule of HR strategy is never try to fix long-term, structuralproblems by reacting tactically. ‘Quick fixes’ are self-defeating. Step 1 There may be the pressure of the re-assessment looming, but itwould be better to acknowledge that the issues you have identified can only beresolved strategically, not tactically. You will not resolve staff morale,ethnic composition, sickness or turnover quickly, so why not openly admit this?Step 2 Give management and the Audit Commission the reassurance thatyou know your job, but stress you will need time. What option is there,especially as you have only just joined? Step 3 Instil confidence by making your first priority theinstallation of effective systems. Better systems will improve performance inthe short run but will also have a long shelf-life. This is exactly the sort ofdevelopment the Audit Commission will be looking for. Even if they think yourpresent performance is poor, they are more likely to give you the benefit ofthe doubt for the future if they see effective systems being built. Thesimplest, most effective system to start with is the PDCA system (Plan, Do,Check, Act). Get agreement from the chief executive for this to be implementedimmediately. Every manager should be asked to try it out at least once toimprove one of the existing HR measures you have highlighted. Step 4 Staff morale might appear to be a priority, but it is just onesymptom of an under-performing organisation and it is not the job of HR to‘turn it around’ for line managers. Focus on the underlying causes of poorperformance and, over time, the staff morale issue will begin to resolveitself. Step 5 If you need a quick win to garner much-needed support, thenfollow the ‘lowest hanging fruit’ principle. Set about discovering theworst-performing part of the authority and give it some special attention. Itwill already be under a great deal of pressure, so any good ideas you haveshould produce results with little effort.How the forum worksThe HR Strategy Forum, which issupported by some of the industry’s most experienced people (see below), isPersonnel Today’s major new initiative to help readers become more strategic intheir day-to-day operations. Over the coming months, Personnel Today will give a unique,developmental opportunity to hone your strategic skills using a wide range ofHR scenarios submitted by senior HR professionals. Each week, our panel ofexperienced practitioners and consultants will provide solutions to a typicalstrategic HR dilemma. You can get involved by sending in your own problems,marked ‘strategic dilemmas’, to [email protected] Brown, Assistant director general, CIPDPaul Kearns, Director, PWLJim Matthewma,n Worldwide partner,Mercer Human Resource ConsultingAndrew Mayo, Director,MLILouise Allen, Director, LAPartnersPenny Davis, Head of HR operations,T-MobileMarie Gill, Head of organisationaldevelopment, AsdaNeil Roden, HR director, Royal Bankof ScotlandRalph Tribe, Vice-president of HR,Getty ImagesDilys Winn, HR director,Gloucestershire County CouncilMargaret Savage, Head of HR strategy,BT Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Grant Thornton tests for the right balance

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Business and financial advisers Grant Thornton is currently piloting ablended training programme, provided by Balance Learning. Four trainers and four team leaders are in the final stages of ‘Leadershipand Teamwork’, a blended programme showing how facilitation skills can improveteamwork and enhance business performance. “We were keen to pilot a dedicated resource to test whether blendedlearning could provide effective and efficient training while reducing theduration of face-to-face training,” said Sue Cohen, senior trainingmanager at Grant Thornton. “The main benefit is that the e-learningensures the delegates reach a certain level of knowledge before they come to aworkshop,” she said. The pilot group is now engaged in the final part of the programme, whichinvolves action-based learning activities designed to help the group transferthe learning back to the workplace. “The pilot group preferred the blended approach to either puree-learning or face-to-face training,” Cohen said. “The process hasraised cultural issues for Grant Thornton, which need to be overcome – notably,how we create a conducive environment for delegates to access e-learning attheir desks.” www.balancelearning.co.uk Previous Article Next Article Grant Thornton tests for the right balanceOn 1 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

IT staff issue health warning to NHS over pay reform plans

first_img Previous Article Next Article ITstaff at the NHS could walk out if their salaries are cut as part of a radicalrestructuring of pay scales, experts warn. The‘Agenda for Change’ programme, which will be rolled out across the UK from 1December, is designed to tackle pay inequalities for one million NHS employees,but IT staff could lose out.TheDepartment of Health has not released a breakdown of how IT was affected by thenew pay structure at early adopter sites, but evidence from City HospitalSunderland showed a pay range for all but the most senior IT staff of between£11,500 and £18,600. Accordingto the Chartered Management Institute, the average IT manager in the UKearns more than £50,000.Expertssaid an IT exodus would pose a serious risk to services, at a time when the NHSis investing around £6bn in IT systems. JillGeorge, a member of the national executive council of the Amicus union, told Personnel Today’s sister magazine Computer Weekly that many NHS IT staffwere “incredibly angry”, and would leave if the changes go ahead.TheDepartment of Health said that it was working closely with professional bodiesto ensure the new job profiles accurately reflect the roles in IT. IT staff issue health warning to NHS over pay reform plansOn 21 Sep 2004 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

These were the largest outer-borough real estate loans in November

first_imgFrom left: Eliot Spitzer, 420 Kent Avenue, Two Trees Management’s Jed Walentas  and 300 Ashland Place in Brooklyn (Photos via Getty; ODA Architecture, 300 Ashland)While outer-borough loan activity in November fell short of October’s nearly $2 billion, it was an improvement over previous months. In total, the total volume of the top 10 loans was $1.34 billion — a big increase over the $494 million in activity in September.The largest loan was a $298 million refinancing deal for Eliot Spitzer’s massive development at 420 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, followed by a $193.9 million loan for Two Trees Management’s rental building at 300 Ashland Place in Fort Greene.Along with those two giant loans, three other Brooklyn mortgages made it into the list. Here are the largest outer-borough loans for the month of November:1) Spitzer refi | Brooklyn | $298 millionEliot Spitzer’s development firm secured a $298 million mortgage loan from Citigroup as part of the $388 million refinancing package for its massive rental complex at 420 Kent Avenue in Williamsburg. The 1.5 million-square-foot waterfront complex consists of three glass towers designed by Eran Chen’s ODA New York, with 857 rental apartments, 25,000 square feet of retail and 80,000 square feet of outdoor space.2) All in on Ashland | Brooklyn | $193.9 millionTwo Trees Management, through the entity 20 Lafayette, borrowed $193.9 million from Wells Fargo Bank for its 35-story, 379-unit rental apartment building at 300 Ashland Place in Fort Greene. Designed by TEN Arquitectos’ Enrique Norten and Ismael Leyva Architects, the luxury rental apartment building opened in 2017.3) Alexander’s apartments | Queens | $94 millionVornado Realty Trust borrowed $94 million from Wells Fargo for The Alexander, a 312-unit residential building at 61-01 Junction Boulevard in Rego Park. The property is part of Alexander’s, a real estate investment trust controlled by Vornado. The interest-only loan has a fixed rate of 2.63 percent and matures in November 2027, according to Vornado’s financial statements.4) Borrowing in the Bronx | Bronx | $54 millionJCS Realty Group landed on three loans totaling $54 million for its project to develop a 12-story mixed-use building in Mott Haven. The project, featuring 215 apartments and 4,300 square feet of commercial space, will be located at 276 Grand Concourse. The lender was S3 Capital Partners, through an entity called S3 RE 276 GC Funding.5) Borrowing in the Bronx, pt. 2 | Bronx | $44.2 millionRelated Companies, through the entity Related Retail Hub, borrowed $44.2 million for three parcels at 2984 Third Avenue and 3006 Third Avenue, as well as a vacant lot on Bergen Avenue in the Bronx, from Goldman Sachs Bank.6) Flush with cash | Brooklyn | $40 millionRiverside Developers USA, through the entity Flushing & Little Nassau, borrowed $40 million from Bank Leumi USA for two parcels at 376 and 378 Flushing Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Riverside plans to build an eight-story, mixed-use building on the two sites, featuring 75 residential units and about 10,000 square feet of commercial space.7) Banking on Bergen | Brooklyn | $30 millionAlma Realty, through the entity 467-75 St. Marks Ave. Assoc., borrowed $30 million from Deutsche Bank for 880 Bergen Street in Crown Heights. The parcel houses a 14-story multifamily building with 136 apartments.8) Look for the Helpers | Bronx | $27.8 millionHelp USA., a housing advocacy nonprofit, through the entity Home Simpson, borrowed $27.8 million from Sterling National Bank for 1210 Simpson Street in the Bronx. The nonprofit plans to construct a seven-story, 72-unit community facility on that site.9) Eight is great | Bronx | $25.9 millionBenzion Wachsman’s Andrews Plaza Holdings borrowed $25.9 million from New York City Community Bank for eight parcels in the Bronx: 1725 and 1760 Andrews Avenue South; 1759-1761 Montgomery Avenue; 1785 and 1800 Popham Avenue; 1820 Phelan Place; 1840 Sedgwick Avenue; and Billingsley Terrace. Seven of those parcels are home to multifamily buildings, while the eighth at Billingsley Terrace is a vacant lot.10) Turner back time | Brooklyn | $25 millionTurner Towers Cooperative borrowed $25 million from Morgan Stanley for its site at 135 Eastern Parkway in Prospect Heights. Built in 1926, the 15-story, 186-unit building was initially a rental apartment complex, but was later turned into a cooperative, according to Streeteasy.Read moreOuter-borough loan activity fired up in OctoberThese were the top outer-borough loans in SeptemberSpitzer snags $388M loan for Williamsburg complex Email Address* Message* Contact Akiko Matsuda Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinkcenter_img TagsbrooklynCommercial Real EstateMultifamily MarketQueensthe Bronx Full Name* Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

Storage carbohydrate production and overwintering strategy in a winter-green tussock grass on South Georgia (Sub Antarctic)

first_imgWater-soluble and ethanol-soluble carbohydrates were extracted from leaves, shoots, roots, rhizomes and flowers ofParodiochloa flabellata (Lam.) Rasp. (=Poa flabellata (Lam.) Hook f.) throughout a growing season. Very high levels of soluble carbohydrates were found in the shoot, comprising up to 71% of the shoot dry weight. There was no significant storage in the rhizome. It is suggested that the production of storage fructans with a degree of polymerization greater than 14, rather than oligosaccharides or starch, may be related to the cold environment. Relationships between the onset of senescence and levels of fructans suggest that recovery of sugars from dying tissue is high. The sugar reserves together with preformation of the flowers should ensure production of seed however poor the summer or long the winter might be. The high levels of fructans may partly inhibit growth but may also offer some degree of freezing resistance.last_img read more

Lactate dehydrogenases in antarctic and temperate fish species

first_img1. The kinetics of lactate dehydrogenase (both forward and back reaction) in cardiac and skeletal muscle of an Antarctic teleost have been compared with a temperate teleost of comparable morphology and ecology.2. In both species the forward reaction (pyruvate to lactate) is maximally activated at 2.5–4 mM pyruvate and inhibited above this level.3. The Michaelis constant (Km) for pyruvate is not significantly different between muscle types or between species when measured at their normal environmental temperature.4. Km for pyruvate varies with temperature in a positive direction.5. The back reaction (lactate to pyruvate) is maximally activated by 12–16 mM lactate but only in skeletal muscle of the antarctic species is there inhibition above this level.6.6. The Km for lactate is significantly (P<0.05) lower in the Antarctic fish cardiac muscle.7.7. While the two species are morphologically and ecologically similar, differences at the biochemical level are discussed with respect to environmental temperature range and conservation of enzymic characteristics.last_img read more

Locomotory activity and behaviour of the Antarctic teleostNotothenia coriiceps

first_imgThe activity and behaviour of a free-living Antarctic fish,Notothenia coriiceps Richardson (formerlyN. neglecta), was investigated using a high-sensitivity, underwater TV camera at Signy Island, South Orkney Islands. Detailed observations of the 33 cm TL (total length) fish were made over a period of 6 d in austral summer (February 1992), for a total 69.5 h. Natural light at 2.5 m depth allowed viewing from 1 h before sunrise to 1 h after sunset. The fish stayed in a territory within 3 m of a small cave for >98% of the time, and made between 1 to 148 swims d-1, of which 92.5% were brief (<15 s) feeding attempts. On average, 1.7% of each day was engaged in locomotion, including 1.2% swimming and 0.5% manoeuvring. Swimming was generally slow, at 16 knots prevailed indicating that large waves reduced activity. A suspected diurnal activity rhythm was not statistically significant. The fish is an ambush-predator, and it took most of its prey from the water column but some off macroalgae or the seabed. Ventilation rate was slightly higher after activity, and peaked after an encounter with anotherN. coriiceps.last_img read more