Dismissal of pregnant worker seen as sex bias

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Dismissal of pregnant worker seen as sex biasOn 6 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today A recent European ruling found in favour of a fixed-term worker dismissed onthe grounds of her pregnancyIn Tele-Danmark A/S v Handels-og Kontorfunktionaerenes Forbund I Danmark actingon behalf of Marianne Brandt-Nielsen (4 October 2001) the European Court ofJustice considered whether an employer who dismissed a woman employed on afixed-term basis for pregnancy-related reasons is in breach of the EqualTreatment directive. In June 1995 Brandt-Nielson, the complainant, was recruited by Tele-Danmarkfor six months from 1 July 1995 to work in its mobile phones customer servicesdepartment. At her interview it was agreed that the complainant would have toundergo a training course for the first two months of her contract. In August 1995 Brandt-Nielson told her employer she was pregnant andexpected to give birth in early November. It was accepted that she knew she waspregnant when she was offered the job. Shortly afterwards, on 23 August, she was dismissed with effect from 30September on the grounds that she had not told her employer she was pregnantwhen she was recruited. Under the collective agreement which was relevant to the complainant’semployment she was entitled to paid maternity leave starting eight weeks beforethe expected birth date. That period started on 11 September while she wasstill working for her employer. On 4 March 1996, Brandt-Nielson’s trade union brought proceedings in thelocal court claiming that the complainant’s dismissal was in breach of both thenational law on equal treatment and Article 5(1) of the Equal Treatmentdirective. This provides that the principle of equal treatment shall apply to”working conditions, including the conditions governing dismissal”. The local court rejected the claim on the ground that the complainant hadfailed to state that she was pregnant at her interview. That decision wasoverturned on appeal, however, on the grounds that it was not disputed that thecomplainant was pregnant at the time and that her dismissal was linked topregnancy. On further appeal the European Court was asked whether Article 5(1) of theEqual Treatment directive and Article 10 of the Pregnant Workers directiveapplied where: – The woman was recruited as a temporary worker for a limited period – When she entered into the contract of employment, the worker knew she waspregnant but did not inform the employer – The worker’s pregnancy meant that she was unable to work for a significantpart of her period of employment. ECJ ruling The ECJ ruled that both Article 5(1) of the Equal Treatment directive andArticle 16(1) of the Pregnant Workers directive should be interpreted as precludinga worker from being dismissed on grounds of pregnancy even where she isrecruited for a fixed period and failed to inform her employer she was pregnantat the time of her recruitment. It was also of no relevance that she was unableto work for a substantial part of the contract. In Webb v EMO Air Cargo, 1995, the House of Lords left open the possibilitythat the dismissal of a fixed-term worker might not be in breach of the EqualTreatment directive or the Sex Discrimination Act. The ECJ’s answer in theBrandt-Nielson case makes it clear that this is not so. Key points – The dismissal of an employee who is employed under a fixed-term contracton the grounds that she is pregnant, or for a pregnancy-related illness, is inbreach of both the Equal Treatment directive and the Pregnant Workersdirective. – The fact that the contract is for a fixed term and that the absencethrough pregnancy is likely to be for a substantial period of the fixed termmakes no difference. – The Sex Discrimination Act is likely to be interpreted in such a manner asto give effect to European law. By Anthony Korn  a barrister at199 Strand Chambers Comments are closed. last_img read more

Tribunal backs e-mail policy at Barclaycard

first_imgTribunal backs e-mail policy at BarclaycardOn 25 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. An employment tribunal has upheld Barclaycard’s right to access itsemployees’ e-mails. Hilary Miseroy, 40, from Northampton, was sacked from the credit card firmlast September over the content of e-mail messages on his computer. The two-day hearing in Bedford last week threw out Miseroy’s claim of unfairdismissal, ruling the organisation had acted in a correct manner. Routine monitoring by the firm found 900 personal e-mails stored onMiseroy’s computer. Further investigation uncovered evidence of Miseroy supplying cannabis to acolleague, insulting e-mails to fellow staff and sharing confidential companyinformation with a rival firm. Speaking to Personnel Today, Barclaycard’s HR director John Sands said thefirm operates a cleare-mail and internet policy so employees know they will bemonitored for excessive use and inappropriate content. “In this situation, during monitoring, the company came across anexcessive number of personal e-mails. Because of this, we looked at thecontent,” he said. last_img read more

Guide prompts more strategic approach

first_imgGuide prompts more strategic approachOn 16 Sep 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Local government employers are to benefit from new workforce planningguidance to help them adopt a more strategic approach to meeting staffshortages. The Employers Organisation for local government (EO) has launched the Guideto Workforce Planning in Local Authorities, which is designed to help employersassess how many employees are, and will be needed, and to ensure sufficient andappropriate training and development is provided. It also aims to assist authorities in coping with peaks and troughs insupply and demand for different skills while retaining employees, andidentifying longer-term workplace accommodation requirements. The guide will help councils link their HR policy to business strategy toenable the delivery of improved services. Kelly Sandiford, assistant director of skills and development at EO, saidthe document would help local authority employers create a more systematic approachto filling skills gaps. She said that Comprehensive Performance Assessments of local authorities hadshown that better results were achieved when local government undertookworkforce planning. “Authorities have to recognise that they deliver their services throughtheir people, and without proper skills this cannot be done,” she said.”Workforce planning leads to workforce development, which in turn meansbetter service delivery.” Alan Warner, vice-president of the Society of Personnel Officers (Socpo) agreedthere was a need for greater workforce planning skills. He said the newguidance highlighted the need for councils to improve staff planning at a locallevel, but he warned that there was no crystal ball that could provide all theanswers. “Councils must make sure the information they gather is relevant andnot just academic, “he said. By Michael MillarWeblink www.lg-employers.gov.uk/publicationslast_img read more

Computers In Personnel Award for HR Collaboration

first_img Comments are closed. ComputersIn Personnel is a UKcompany that provides visionary HR software solutions. The software is highlyflexible and covers personnel, recruitment, training administration, skillsmatching, payroll and employee and manager self service. The software andsupport services enable a more efficient, strategic approach to HR within yourorganisation. Category judge: John SmytheJohnSmythe is organisational fellow at McKinsey andcompany. He is currently researching approaches to engaging leaders andemployees in strategy and transformation. Smythe wasalso chief executive of SmytheDorwardLambert,specialists in internal communication. Prior to that, he held senior publicaffairs posts with US corporates.Yorkshire WaterThe team: HR DepartmentNo. in team: 3No. in HR function: 28No. of employees HR is responsible for:2,169About the organisationYorkshireWater is a water utility company and provides 1.7 million households and 140,000businesses with water and sewerage services. Each day the company suppliesaround 1.24 billion litres of drinking water as wellas safely returning around one billion litres ofwaste water back in to the environment. Last year, the company made £175.5mprofit.What the organisation did–Extended opening hours for customers, as a part of a project launched in 2001to provide exceptional customer service–Since 2001, there have been two phases to this project. The first involvedfield technicians and the second involved plant engineers–For the field teams, employee representatives, trade unions and operationalmanagers were involved in designing new ways of working–Terms and conditions harmonised, cutting down onovertime–For phase two, plant engineers were organised intobigger, more flexible teams. Numbers reduced from 126 to 98. Working patternswere extended to cover seven days rather than five.Benefits and achievements–Improved customer-service through extended opening times–Annual cost savings of £500,000–Project led by operational director Richard Flint,with each member of the project team taking ownership for their part of theproject. A strong sense of teamwork is ongoing with regular review meetings.John Smythe says:“A previous experience of poor industrial relations over pay caused the changeteam to adopt a ‘line led, open and inclusiveapproach’ to the challenges of changing rosters to allow seven-day customerservice and multi-site working to improve efficiency. The old model of HRleading negotiations with unions often led to adversarial situations. Themeasures were introduced with everyone’s backing.”HBOSThe team: Group Functions HRNo. in team: 15No. in HR function: 80No. of employees HR is responsible for:2,100About the organisationWith22 million customers, HBOS is the UK’slargest mortgage and savings provider. It is also a major provider of currentaccounts and credit cards. Each year, the company puts more than £45m back intothe community through the HBOS Foundation, sponsorships, affinity cards and itssocial banking programme. Its profits for the sixmonths to June were £2.2bn. What the organisation did–Merger of Halifax and Bank of Scotland in September 2001 enabled the organisation to review its IT operations and to create asingle IT function–Moved two outsourced Royal Bank of Scotland IT services into HBOS. Thisinvolved ‘TUPE-ing’ more than 750 workers–Reorganised the IT functions to create the single Group Technology function. Thisaffected 2,500 people. The restructure involved selecting people for 1,800 roles–Set up an overall project team including, the project sponsors, the groupfunctions HR team and the transition team–Overcame cultural differences with a range of initiatives, includingquestion-time sessions and focus groups.Benefits and achievements–Successful implementation of a single Group Technology function–Substantial financial savings have been made–The creation of an HBOS Group Technology culture, which reflects the values ofboth the new organisation and the diverse workforcecreated from both transitions. John Smythe says:“The merger of Bank of Scotland and Halifax required the creation of a singleIT function comprising 2,500 people. It needed to create a common technologyplatform while also in-sourcing staff from two suppliers and reducing thenumber of jobs to 1,800. A difficult transition was achieved and a newoperating culture created.”FujitsiThe team: Pension review project teamNo. in team: 5No. in HR function: 135, in the UKNo. of employees HR is responsible for: 14,500About the organisationFujitsuServices is one of the leading IT services companies in Europe,the Middle East and Africa.It has an annual turnover of £1.74bn, employs 14,500 people and operates inmore than 20 countries. It designs, builds and operates IT systems and servicesfor customers in the financial services, telecom, retail, utilities andgovernment markets.What the organisation did – A pension fund deficit meant the company hadto look at ways of retaining a defined benefit scheme without incurringincreased costs and affecting profitability–Set up a UK Pensions Consultation Forum (UKPCF) to consult with employees onthe future shape of the plan–Representatives elected via Electoral Reform Services using internet voting–Open consultation with employee representatives–Extensive use of technology to aid the consultation process includingteleconferences.Benefits and achievements–Change in the normal pension date from 60 to 65–UKPCF said the proposals ‘achieve a fair balance between acceptability tomembers and affordability to the company’–To date, more than 95 per cent of members have signed up. The deadline is March2005. John Smythe says:“The firm was faced with spiralling costs ofmaintaining a final salary pension scheme, but was all too aware of thepotential for an industrial relations controversy if solving the problem wentawry. Fujitsu chose to ‘share the problem with its employees’ rather than adoptthe more traditional route of determining a solution and communicating it. Inso doing, it set an agenda for discussions with ‘no preconceived outcome’,other than that the status quo was unsustainable. This experiment in governeddemocracy paid off. Or as the project director put it: “We chose to open ourkimono.” The scheme was retained at lower cost.The Automobile AssociationThe team:  Human ResourcesNo. in team: 5No. in HR function: 38No. of employees HR is responsible for:10,500About the organisationTheAA, an £800m turnover motoring organisation, providesbreakdown and insurance cover, loans, tyrereplacement and garage services, as well as a wide range of other products andservices to more than 15 million customers. Its website is a motoring, traveland leisure portal; its many publications include maps, and accommodation andrestaurant guides. Part of the Centrica group ofcompanies, the AA is the UK’sleading independent voice of the motorist.What the organisation did–Evidence showed that existing performance management systems were inconsistentand failed to encourage and reward competencies linked to higher customersatisfaction and increased profitability –Launched Project Horizon, a performance management system to measureindividuals’ contribution to the business–Horizon links the actions of the individual through the business plan toshareholder expectation. It identifies patrols with development needs andtracks their progress. It also identifies and rewards patrols that exceedexpectations–Provides ongoing interpretation of management information from the Horizonsystem through the Patrol Contribution Review.Benefits and achievements–For the first time, the AA is able to quantify the value each individual makes–Absence cut from 1.34 days per patrol to 0.82 days–In the initial pilot, 180 patrols out of 3,000 were performing below theminimum standard. By the end of the year, 6 per cent of the 180 had improved saving £3m.John Smythe says:“Evidence showed that existing HR systems were failing ‘to encourage andreward’ competencies in the on-road teams linked to customer satisfaction andprofitability. The Horizon system provided a database process to drive abehaviour-based ‘improve or remove’ approach to performance. It was implementedsuccessfully. Thisaward recognises effort by the HR team in working together with other functionsas a business partner achieving strategic goals in a seamless way. Specificprojects demonstrate how HR has effectively integrated and co-operated with IT,sales, marketing, finance, production and other parts of the organisations. Related posts:No related photos. Computers In Personnel Award for HR CollaborationOn 24 Aug 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Comment on Why great recruiters make dud managers by Lisa

first_imgComment on Why great recruiters make dud managers by LisaShared from lisa on 18 Oct 2015 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Great billers have had good support and training as billers…being ambitious, driven on the whole intelligent individuals, give them the same training and they’ll do well as a manager. Problem is lack of support, training and guidance in a management role aswell as remuneration.Read full article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.last_img read more

Construction worker killed by wall collapse in Brooklyn

first_imgShare via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink A retaining wall collapsed at a Brooklyn home. (NYPD via Twitter) A construction worker was killed Monday when a brick wall in the backyard of a Sunset Park home collapsed.The New York City Fire Department responded to 454 42nd Street just after 1 p.m., finding that a 10-foot retention wall in the property’s backyard had fallen on two workers, Gothamist reports. One of the workers was pronounced dead at the scene, while the other was transported to NYU Langone Hospital.It is unclear what kind of construction work, if any, was underway at the property. The Department of Buildings didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking additional information.ADVERTISEMENTThe agency’s website indicates that it received a complaint in 2014 about the property’s owner installing a retaining wall to elevate a flower bed in the backyard without permits. The agency didn’t issue violations, however, noting that the owner, listed in property records as Santiago and Aileen Mayol, didn’t require permits for the work. No other work permits appear to have been filed for the property.In 2018, another worker was killed after a wall collapse on a construction site on Seventh Avenue in Sunset Park. The project’s subcontractor was charged with manslaughter.[Gothamist] — Kathryn Brenzelcenter_img TagsConstruction accidentSunset Parklast_img read more

Rack ’em!: NY pool halls ordered shut can temporarily reopen, judge rules

first_imgBrick House Billiards (Google Maps, iStock)A judge ruled that 16 pool halls in New York state shuttered because of pandemic protocols can reopen. The decision came as part of a preliminary injunction connected to a lawsuit opposing the closures, Newsday reported.The New York State Supreme Court judge’s decision will stand while the larger lawsuit is litigated.The Jan. 15 ruling applies only to those 16 businesses — most of them in Manhattan with one in Upstate — that are part of the suit. They can operate under the state’s Phase 4 guidelines for indoor arts and entertainment venues, meaning they have to limit capacity to 25 percent.Pools halls were ordered shut when the coronavirus took hold. Similar businesses such as casinos and bowling alleys are open.Though most of the pool halls that sued are in Manhattan, Brick House Billiards in North Syracuse is also a plaintiff. A final hearing has not been scheduled. [Newsday] — Dennis Lynch Tagstristate-weekly Share via Shortlinkcenter_img Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

More Americans are buying homes in Tel Aviv

first_img Housing MarketIsrael Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Tags By some counts, applications from Americans to move to Tel Aviv more than doubled year-over-year in 2020. (Getty)The pandemic has sent some Americans with the means searching for bigger homes and more space.But some are also looking abroad, and an increasing number of Americans are buying homes in Tel Aviv, Israel’s Mediterranean metropolis.Nefesh B’Nefesh, an organization that helps people relocating from the U.S. and the U.K., found that applications from American citizens to Tel Aviv were up 126 percent last year compared to 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.“Two years ago, I’d have one or two inquiries a month [from U.S. citizens], now it’s around 20,” said Matthew Bortnick, a director at Beauchamp Estates’ Tel Aviv office. “The market used to be dominated by buyers from the U.K. and France, but Americans now equal them.”ADVERTISEMENTTel Aviv is Israel’s most expensive residential market and home to some of the country’s priciest properties. An American couple closed the priciest sale of last year when they bought a condo for the equivalent of $25.2 million.The city is just behind Paris in terms of average transaction costs at $1,084 per square foot, according to a Deloitte’s 2020 property index. Bortnick said a standard two-bedroom unit in central Tel Aviv typically sells for $1 million.The Israeli government reported that 16,000 people from 85 countries arrived in Israel last year as of October. Improved relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates is driving some demand from Middle East countries as well.[WSJ] — Dennis Lynch last_img read more

Cold tolerance of micro-arthropods from Alaskan taiga

first_imgMean supercooling points for a variety of soil and litter arthropods including mites, springtails, a heteropteran and immature spiders from a central Alaskan taiga site ranged from ‐6.3 to ‐28.5°C during autumn. Variation in supercooling ability of five species of cryptostigmatid mites occurred throughout the year with increased cold tolerance in autumn and early winter concomitant with the temperature pattern of the habitat. No correlation between the level of supercooling and water content of the mites was evident. Changes in the frequency distribution of individual supercooling points occurred in autumn, winter, spring and summer samples which were species specific. All arthropods tested were susceptible to freezing, and the mites utilize supercooling to avoid freezing.last_img read more

Petrogenesis of boninites in the Ordovician Ballantrae Complex ophiolite, southwestern Scotland

first_imgPrimitive lava and hyaloclastite with unusual, highly refractory compositions, form part of the Early Ordovician Balcreuchan Group within the ophiolitic Ballantrae Complex, southwestern Scotland. They are identified as likely high-Ca boninites on the basis of new XRF and INAA results and are the first unambiguous boninites to be discovered in the British Isles. The boninites are interbedded with low-Ti tholeiitic lavas with which they share some distinctive geochemical characteristics suggestive of a close petrogenetic relationship. The low-Ti tholeiite lavas have been interpreted as island-arc tholeiites but they also resemble back-arc basin basalts. The newly discovered boninites confirm an intra-oceanic environment of eruption; their distinctive features include relatively high SiO2, MgO, Cr and Ni but low Al2O3 and HFSE abundances, U-shaped REE patterns, low TiZr and high ZrHf ratios. Bulk geochemical trends are indicative of low-temperature, seawater-dominated alteration of the lavas but these alteration conditions apparently had little effect on the distribution of critical diagnostic elements such as Zr, Ti, Sc, Ta and the mid-heavy rare earths. We suggest that the Ballantrae boninites and low-Ti tholeiites represent different batch melts derived from a common, depleted mantle source region variably modified compositionally (i.e., made “streaky”) by fluids and/or melts during slab interaction (subduction metasomatism). A contribution from slab-derived pelagic sediments and/or a carbonatite melt is necessary to account for the fractionated, non-chondritic ZrHf ratios in the boninites. In view of the close compositional similarity of the Ballantrae lavas to Cenozoic boninite suites, we believe that these interpretations may have wider application to the petrogenesis of boninites in general.last_img read more