Data code could stop companies testing for drugs

first_img Comments are closed. Data code could stop companies testing for drugsOn 20 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Draftregulations included in the Data Protection code of practice on drug testingcould restrict companies from checking employees for illegal substances in thefuture.Thecode, which is expected to come into force in mid-April, recommends thatemployers should only use drug testing if it can be justified on safetygrounds. This “justification on safety grounds” has yet to be clarified. MikeGoodie, HR director of rail company GNER, said, “Employers have a right toexpect that their employees are not intoxicated in any way when they areworking.“Becauseof the industry we are in, we test all of our staff to demonstrate thestandards that we expect across the company.”ButCynthia Atwell, occupational health consultant and former HSE member, believesthere are employers who should be allowed to test for drugs who do not have anobvious safety issue. Shesaid, “There are certain jobs where the wrong push of a button or a wrong sumcould cost companies thousands of pounds – their employers would be justifiedin testing them.“Ifthe employee caused an accident where someone was killed or injured, theemployer would be liable under the Health and Safety at Work Act becausemanagers have a duty of care to oversee the health and safety of others.” Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Construction firms need strategy to retain skilled staff

first_imgSkillsshortages in the construction industry are threatening to stifle the sector’sgrowth, according to research. Seventy per cent of respondents to the survey of more than 600 UK-based constructioncompanies say retaining and motivating staff is one of their top threeconcerns. Furthermore, the industry does not have a clear and consistent strategy fordealing with the problem, claims the research. Better communication, leadership, pay and training are all highlighted aspossible solutions by the survey’s respondents. The inability of construction companies’ managers to attract effectiveemployees is identified as the biggest barrier to growth. Many firms are now working at full capacity and cannot bid for new work asthey lack sufficiently skilled staff to service contracts. Kathryn Hiddleston, construction specialist at business and financialconsultancy firm Grant Thornton, warned construction companies that there is noquick fix. She said, “Recruitment is a competitive business and designingthe right package is crucial to attracting high-calibre personnel. “To do this, the construction industry will need to radicallyrestructure its entire personnel function, with systems ranging from jobdescriptions through to appraisals, training, career paths and employeeincentives. All of these require serious rethinking.” The research also shows that nearly half of respondents, 47 per cent, saidred tape and government labour legislation designed to protect employee rightsis a major concern. Health and safety legislation, the Working Time directive and the DataProtection Act are all listed as problematic regulations. Succession planning is also a problem in construction, with one in fiverespondents admitting to having problems in securing the next generation ofbusiness. The survey, carried out by Contract Journal magazine, questioned more than600 UK-based construction companies with a combined turnover of £30bn. www.contractjournal.co.ukBy Paul Nelson Construction firms need strategy to retain skilled staffOn 12 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Disaster likely to dent only the UK economy

first_imgThe US terrorist attack will have a significant short-term impact on the UKeconomy but will not lead to a full-blown recession. CIPD chief economist John Philpott believes that investment in replacingdamaged infrastructure and attempts by the US to shore up the economy in theaftermath of the disaster will prove effective. He said, “The likelihood is we will see a downturn in the short termbut over the long term there may be a pick-up in activity when some sectorsstart re-investing. Philpott believes a number of sectors will suffer job losses as a result ofthe crisis – not just the airlines but tourism and leisure as well. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Disaster likely to dent only the UK economyOn 25 Sep 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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White Paper to get refugees into UK jobs market

first_imgMeasuresannounced last week to create a co-ordinated approach to the employment ofrefugees and asylum-seekers could fulfil one of the key aims in PersonnelToday’s Refugees in Employment campaign. Theplans, outlined by Home Secretary David Blunkett in a White Paper, SecureBorders, Safe Haven, should make it easier for employers to recruit refugees tooffset skills shortages. “Anational approach to integration is a new concept for the UK and we are at thebeginning of the process,” the report says. “But the Government iscommitted to integration as a vital part of the whole asylum process.” Proposalsinclude a number of new induction centres for asylum-seekers in London and theSouth East, which will allow a more managed approach to processingapplications. Asylum-seekerswill also be given registration cards that will include fingerprints anddetails of employment status. Accommodationcentres are also being built, which will house 3,000 people and run activitiessuch as English language and IT training. –Personnel Today’s Refugees in Employment campaign has been shortlisted for thisyear’s CRE’s Race in the Media awards in the Specialist Magazine category. White Paper to get refugees into UK jobs marketOn 12 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

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Staff bias of monitoring code angers employers

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Staff bias of monitoring code angers employersOn 23 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Employersare concerned that new rules governing the monitoring of employees’ e-mail andinternet usage will prove bureaucratic and protect staff at the company’sexpense, writes Paul NelsonEmployers will find it much harder to monitor staff for abuse of internale-mail systems and suspected criminal activity if proposed guidelines from theInformation Commission are introduced. That is the view of employers’ bodies and employment law experts who areconcerned that the final draft of the Data Protection Code on monitoring placestoo much emphasis on protecting staff data at the expense of employers’ rightto monitor. In its present form the code will mean that employers can only monitor staffcovertly if they suspect criminal activity, and they must then inform thepolice. They will also have to complete a document explaining why they suspectcriminal activity and why covert monitoring is necessary to detect it. The Information Commission held a meeting last week with employers todiscuss the final content of the code, which will outline employers’responsibilities relating to all aspects of employee monitoring under the DataProtection Act. Diane Sinclair, lead adviser on public policy at the CIPD, who attended themeeting, has urged the commission to make changes to the draft. She said: “The code does not allow employers to look after their owninterests. Its length and complexity means there is a risk ofnon-compliance.” She thinks it is overkill that it should be necessary for employers toinform the police every time they want to monitor staff covertly. “Harassment is not a criminal offence, so if an employer receives aharassment complaint they are unable to covertly monitor for it,” saidSinclair. Frances Wright, HR director at SHL, is also unhappy that as the code standscovert monitoring of staff will be a heavily bureaucratic process. “It should not be compulsory to get the police involved in allcases,” she said. Under the draft code employers will have to inform their staff‘periodically’ when they are monitoring them. Employees will also have to indicate that they understand the company’sinternet and e-mail policies each time they go online. The CBI believes significant changes need to be made to the draft if thecode is to be relevant and useful for employers. Susannah Haan, legal adviser at the CBI, who attended last week’s meeting onthe monitoring code, said it would unfairly penalise the employer. “In its current form it is very bureaucratic and lacks balance. Itwould affect companies’ ability to run their business,” she said. “It (the Information Commission) regards monitoring as negative anddoes not look at the positive aspects such as protecting employees, customersand the business.” Haan believes the requirement for staff to have to sign up to a company’sinternet policy every time they log on is unnecessary. “I am sure staffwill get annoyed having to sign up every time they have to log on. It is notpractical and will end up being ignored.” Martin Rooney, HR policy manager at CIS, agreed. He said: “This seemslike routine for routine sake. “Instead it would probably be better to e-mail staff every six monthsreminding them that they have an obligation to familiarise themselves with theconditions of use. “This way staff are more likely to take notice than if it is part ofthe booting-up procedure.” www.dataprotection.gov.ukKey questionsWhen will the code be released? The code on monitoring is due to be published over the next fewweeks. Its first chapter on recruitment and selection was publishedlast month and the section dealing with records could be out as early as nextweek.Once all copies are released a hard copy version will beavailable.Can organisations be prosecuted ifthey breach the code and Data Protection Act?The commission will investigate a company for non-compliance ifa staff member complains. If the company is in breach of the Act, thecommission will ask it to review its policies. If no action is taken thecommissioner has the power to issue an enforcement act and as a last resort thefirm can be taken to a criminal court.The details to remember:– Employers will have to complete aform to justify covert monitoring of staff outlining why they suspect criminalactivity– Police need to be informed before covert monitoring of staff– Staff will have to sign up to an access code and agree to afirm’s online policies before logging on– Employers must inform staff ‘periodically’ that they arebeing monitoredThe legal perspective”Employers cannot monitore-mails in a continuous fashion unless the law is being broken and the policeare informed. Instead, employers are only allowed to spot check and cannottouch personal e-mails. This means employees are able to pass company secretsvia e-mail by signposting them as personal. “An employer would want to monitor staff continuously ifthey are off sick and claiming sick pay and they suspect there is nothing wrongwith them. But under the draft code they will not have the right to do this, asbeing off work claiming sick pay while healthy is not against the law. “I believe that employers will think that the code isunworkable as they are not allowed to look after their own interests. Afterall, employees attend work to work.”Having to contact the police and write a report to provethat the monitoring of an employee is not unlawful will be an administrativeburden. It could also mean that employers miss a key opportunity to catch theemployee.”Nick Chronias, employment associate at law firm BeachcroftWansbroughs “One criticism is that employerswill be obliged to inform employees whenever they are considering monitoring,negating the purpose. The notes to the draft, however, say employers couldinform employees ‘through staff handbooks’ or ‘signage’. “Covert monitoring can only be considered if specificcriminal activity has been identified because it is non-consensual andpotentially intrusive. The notes again state that it is appropriate to informthe police, ‘although they do not have to sanction or take part in themonitoring’. Workers are entitled to general information, but nothing thatmight compromise the operation.”Of particular concern is the requirement that bothparties to communication must give their consent before interception. Policingexternal e-mails would be especially difficult. The code also fails to explainproperly its relationship with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000and other legislation. The regulations make monitoring lawful where theactivity is justified for business reasons, but the code implies thatmonitoring is only justifiable where there is significant risk to the employer.”Warren Wayne, partner of Boodle Hatfieldlast_img read more

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Logistics market is hot, but is a bubble forming?

first_imgTagsBlackstone Groupbrookfield asset managementCommercial Real Estate Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Clockwise from left: Blackstone Group’s Jonathan Gray, KKR’s Henry Kravis and Cerberus Capital Management’s Stephen Feinberg (Photos via Getty; iStock; Cerberus)Investors can’t get enough of warehouses and logistics spaces these days, but there are some signs that a bubble could be forming.Asset management firms including Blackstone Group, Cerberus Capital Management and KKR have doubled down on logistics centers, and prices for warehouses have surged, Bloomberg News reported. According to real estate research firm Real Capital Analytics, values for industrial properties rose 8.5 percent in the past year, while retail real estate values fell 5.2 percent and offices stayed steady.The intense interest in the niche sector has led some, including Jonathan Needell, CIO of Kairos Investment Management, to wonder whether logistics space is headed for a bubble.“You’re getting people chasing industrial, in particular, to prices that are unsustainable,” said Needell. His firm controls $1 billion in commercial real estate.Investment in warehouses has ticked up outside of the United States, too. According to research firm CBRE, investments in the sector made up 20 percent of global commercial real estate spending this year, compared with just 15 percent of the total in 2015.CBRE also projects that logistics’ upward trajectory will continue for at least a decade. According to its analysis, logistics prices will rise 68 percent by 2030.Still, some lenders are wary — especially as demand for new construction of logistics space surges to 1 billion square feet by 2025, according to JLL.“There’s a huge amount of industrial space being built now,” Andrea Balkan, managing partner in Brookfield Asset Management’s real estate finance group, told Bloomberg. “We are always cautious on lending in markets or on property types which everyone else is rushing into.”[Bloomberg News] — Georgia Kromreicenter_img Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

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Brooklyn sales jumped 82% in the fourth quarter

first_imgThe average sales price in Brooklyn in the fourth quarter was just over $1 million. (Getty) In the before times, New York’s residential sales market functioned on a natural rhythm of seasonality. Spring was good; fall was less good; and winter was the worst.But the pandemic has changed things. Take Brooklyn: Between 2003 and 2019, the number of sales in the fourth quarter traditionally fell by an average of 13 percent from the previous quarter.In 2020, however, fourth-quarter sales shot up 82 percent from the third quarter to a total of 2,695. The number was also nearly 6 percent higher than the same period last year.“The fourth quarter tends to have the lowest sales total of any quarter of the year and this year it has the highest,” said Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel, author of the latest Douglas Elliman market report for Brooklyn and Queens home sales. “This is the clawback; this is the recovery and activity from the lockdown.”Miller said he had seen the spike coming by looking at Brooklyn contract numbers, which had steadily ticked up last year as buyers left Manhattan in search of more spacious homes. (Sales reports do not take into consideration when contracts were signed, meaning there is a lag in the data.)“The last two months, new signed contracts for Brooklyn were the most signed contracts for their respective months since the financial crisis,” Miller said.According to his market report, the average sales price in Brooklyn in the fourth quarter was just over $1 million, up from $972,873 in the same period last year.Condos in new developments did particularly well, accounting for 300 deals last quarter — a huge jump from the 56 new development deals done in the same period last year.In Queens, meanwhile, fourth-quarter sales shot up 56 percent from the previous quarter, although they were down 8.3 percent from the same period last year.The median sales price in that borough, $668,000, and the average sales price, $705,636, both rose year-over-year to reach new records.Miller said Queens has been setting price records since 2015.“A lot of the growth in Queens has been attributed to what I have been calling for years the ‘Brooklyn spillover,’” he said. “Brooklyn was the machine that was attracting a lot of demand and people that were priced out looked at Queens as a more affordable alternative — and that’s continuing.”Contact Sylvia Varnham O’Regan Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* TagsBrooklyn sales marketDatajonathan millerQueens sales market Email Address* Share via Shortlink Message*last_img read more

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Trump pardons Zangrillo, Jemal, other real estate figures

first_imgShare via Shortlink Full Name* TagsDonald TrumpReal Estate and Politicstrump administration Robert Zangrillo and Rick Renzi with Donald Trump (Getty)In his final hours in office, President Donald Trump granted pardons to dozens of friends, partners and executives, including several from the real estate world.One went to Eliyahu Weinstein, who was sentenced to prison in 2014. He and his company, Pine Projects, were convicted for a Ponzi scheme that resulted in $200 million in losses. His jail sentence of 264 months was commuted, according to the New York Times.Another was received by Miami developer Robert Zangrillo, who was charged as part of Operation Varsity Blues, a federal investigation that found affluent Americans cheating to get their children into colleges. Zangrillo allegedly conspired with a consultant to bribe athletic officials at the University of Southern California to designate his daughter as a recruit to the crew team. He received a pardon.Head of A&H Acquisitions Alex Adjmi, who was arrested in 1993 and pleaded guilty to five felonies, also was pardoned. [See separate story here.] And Washington, D.C., developer Douglas Jemal, an older brother of Nobody Beats the Wiz founder Marvin Jemal, got a pardon for his 2006 fraud conviction. The elder Jemal, who hails from Brooklyn, is close to the Kushners, as he and Charles Kushner own neighboring homes on the Jersey Shore.Read moreCould Bob Zangrillo’s legal troubles imperil Magic City?Charlie Kushner gets presidential pardonReal estate trade groups reconsider donations after Capitol unrest Email Address* The 73 convicts and defendants receiving clemency in Trump’s final 24 hours as president ranged from Steve Bannon, the former Trump administration chief strategist, to rapper Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known as Lil Wayne. The president spared venture capitalist and top Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy, who was part of the 1MDB scandal, from punishment as well.Three former Republican members of the House, including Rick Renzi, who was sentenced in 2013 to three years for a bribery scheme involving an Arizona land swap deal, were in Trump’s pardon parade.Trump also pardoned former Observer editor-in-chief Ken Kurson, who was charged in October with cyberstalking. The publication includes the real-estate supplement Commercial Observer, which Jared Kushner bought in 2006.Recently, Trump pardoned Jared’s father Charles Kushner, the Kushner Companies patriarch who spent over a year in prison on charges including falsifying tax returns, making illegal campaign donations and retaliating against a witness.[NYT] — Sasha JonesContact Sasha Jones Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Message* Correction: Robert Zangrillo was charged, not convicted, as part of the Operation Varsity Blues investigation.last_img read more

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Distribution of the early-life phase of the Antarctic squid Galiteuthis glacialis in relation to the hydrology of the Southern Ocean in the sector 15� to 30�E

first_imgDuring R.R.S. “Discovery” Cruise 100 in the Southern Ocean (1979), 620 specimens of the Antarctic cranchiid squid Galiteuthis glacialis (Chun) were caught in the RMT8 opening-closing net, to the south of the Antarctic Polar Front (APF). The catch was dominated by individuals <20 mm dorsal mantle length (DML) and, apart from two specimens, the rest of the catch was <60 mm DML. Two larger squid (255 mm DML) were both immature and apparently female. The species is concentrated at a depth of 300 to 400 m; there is evidence of ontogenetic spreading and a shift in the modal depth of the population from the 300 to 400 m horizon in daylight to the 200 to 300 m horizon in darkness. The collection confirms the circumpolar distribution of the species and supports previous evidence that it rarely, if ever, occurs to the north of the APF. As in Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, the only other species of cranchiid squid known to occur south of the APF, the early-life phase of G. glacialis is concentrated in the upper zone of the “warm deep water” beneath the Antarctic surface layer where, putatively, there is a zone of enhanced biological activity.last_img read more

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What is cold adaptation and how should we measure it?

first_imgCold adaptation encompasses all those aspects of an organism’s physiology that allow it to live in polar regions. With the exception of the special case of the need to avoid freezing, it is therefore merely a specific example of the more general temperature compensation needed by all marine organisms. Temperature compensation is a form of homeostasis; the extent to which a given organism has achieved this can only be assessed in those processes which can be studied at the molecular level. Recent studies of polar organisms, primarily fish, have indicated that compensation is not always perfect. Studies of complex integrated processes such as growth or respiration do not necessarily give useful information concerning cold adaptation. Growth, for example, may show compensation at the molecular level but still be slow for other reasons (for example, resource limitation). Respiration is a particularly misleading indicator of temperature compensation, primarily because it represents the summation of many processes each of which may react differently to temperature. The use of respiration rate to assess temperature compensation should be abandoned forthwith.last_img read more

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