Comments are closed. India to introduce sexual harassment lawsOn 1 Nov 2001 in Sexual harassment, Personnel Today Sexual harassment of women in the workplace is to be outlawed in India. Abill is being introduced which will make the offences punishable with fiveyears in prison and a fine worth the equivalent of £285 (approximately US$400).The new law is expected to be in place by the end of the year. (See page 49). The National Commission for Women, (NCW), the prime mover behind the newlaw, is currently consulting with public and private organisations over how itwill be implemented. Suggestive remarks, whistling, staring, sexually slantedand obscene jokes, use of pornographic material, demands for sexual favours,threats, innuendos, physical assault and molestation are all covered by thelegislation. Victims of sexual harassment would have the option to seek transfer of theaccused person or insist on disciplinary action being initiated by theemployer. The onus of proving innocence would be on the accused. NCWchairperson Vibha Parthsarthi told the Press Trust of India that the responsefrom the private sector had not been as positive and encouraging as from thepublic sector. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Scrap the conflictOn 1 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today It’snot a case of traditional versus online training, says Investors in People UKCEO Ruth Spellman, trainers must look at what works for the individual as wellas what benefits the business Thereis a lot of hype about the conflict between e-learning and conventionaltraining methods. Is e-learning a fad or is the old way of learning just simplyuninspiring? Today’s businesses are increasingly aware of the need for peopledevelopment but the question is how is this best achieved? The fact that thereis merit in both forms of training doesn’t make it an easy choice. Themain benefits of e-learning are flexibility and control: employees can learn asand when it suits them. This is becoming increasingly important as theworkforce changes to include individuals from all walks of life. Workingmothers and part-time workers, for example, can benefit from being able to fittraining around their already hectic schedules. For returners to work or thosewanting to develop their IT skills, e-learning has the additional advantage ofimproving familiarisation with technology and software packages. Traditionalclassroom-based learning, however, also has its advantages. While e-learningdoes mean employees can learn in their own time, this can create a sense of isolation.Learning in a group allows for team-building – it is fun, interactive andsociable. It is also an escape from the routine of everyday work. Another keybenefit is the presence of a tutor to provide support and guidance.Sowhich method is best? The answer is actually quite simple. Both options offerkey training benefits and these should be tailored to suit individualproductivity and business performance. Investorsin People UK strongly believes employees need a proper development plan,closely aligned with the organisation’s objectives. These plans need to takeinto account employee needs, and ensure they meet broader business aims. However,it recognises that no two people and no two organisations are the same andtraining needs will vary from business to business. Training should, above all,be relevant and appropriate whether it be online or in the classroom.Today,businesses have a dazzling array of learning methods available to them:materials and technology to suit every business and budget. It may be that acombination of traditional and modern training methods will work best. Soit’s not a case of ‘out with the old and in with the new’. The conflict neednot exist. Learning via the Web is not a replacement for learning in theclassroom -the two can complement each other, offering companies a powerfultool to unite people development with business goals.RuthSpellman is CEO of Investors in People UK and chairwoman of the VoluntarySector NTO England Committee www.investorsinpeople.co.uk
Council calls for action to tackle key worker crisisOn 5 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Berkshire Fire and Rescue Brigade is having to employ firefighters who livein Durham, Merseyside and Norfolk because of spiralling house prices. Firefighters in Reading are struggling to afford the £120,000 it costs tobuy a three-bed terraced house – most earn just over £20,000 – and the servicehas had to recruit from all over the UK to fill skills shortages. Speaking at the conference, the chief executive of Reading Borough Councilsaid house prices have been driven up by an influx of high-earning ITprofessionals working for the software giants along the M4 corridor. Joyce Markham said a third of the county’s firefighters live outside thearea. Shifts have been rearranged to allow staff who commute longer shifts. This gives them longer periods off work. Markham warned that other public services are also under severe strainbecause they are struggling to recruit key workers. Public transport is closeto collapse in the region because local bus companies cannot recruit enoughdrivers, she said. In other professions, such as teaching, social work and occupationaltherapy, job applications are so low that 50 per cent of job vacancies havebeen re-advertised – at a cost of around £2,000 a time. When applicants who withdrew their applications mid-way through the processwere asked why, transport and housing costs were the main reasons. Staff turnover is also a problem, running at 23 per cent for teachers and 45per cent in social work and occupational therapy. Markham urged employers and the Government to address the problem, claimingthat local authorities need to be able to provide suitable mortgages for theiremployees. “Employers need to realise that if they don’t put anything back in,then they may not have cleaners or electricians,” she said at the Guardianconference on key workers in London. By Quentin Reade Related posts:No related photos.
Smarter learning cultureOn 19 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today With no face-to-face customer contact, Intelligence Finance realised earlyon that staff development had to be central to its operationWith no high street presence, Intelligent Finance has to work harder thanmany banks to cultivate the right relationship with its customers. One badexperience on the phone could mean a lost customer in an extremely competitivefinancial services marketplace. The telenet bank – customers can access its services online or via telephone– was built 18 months ago and had to recruit and train more than 1,200employees for launch. Intelligent Finance now employs 2,500 staff, across threesites in Edinburgh, Livingston and Rosyth, and with the inaugural work out ofthe way, its next priority was to put in place an ongoing developmentprogramme. From the outset the executive management team at Intelligent Financerealised people would be its greatest asset and agreed that learning would playa vital role in the values and vision of the company. In March 2001 a team was created to research organisations that were alreadyaward-winners as a result of their training strategies and best practices wererecorded and incorporated within the Intelligent Finance learning model. The rationale behind the model came from a desire to be an employer ofchoice as much as from a need to gain a competitive edge. Linda Mortimer,director of HR, says: “People don’t come to work just to do a job anymore, they come to learn and develop their careers. “As more players continue to enter the financial services market, thequality of career development opportunities will become more important to thosecoming in and will play a crucial part in their employment decisions,” sheadds. Intelligent Finance’s broad aim was to continuously improve customerexperience. Drawing from research conducted 12 months ago, it introducedAspire, an interactive learning centre, based at its Livingston premises, whereemployees can access a range of learning options within a relaxed environment.Aspire has a set of clear-cut objectives, to: – Promote a learning culture throughout the company – Encourage staff to improve their self-development in relation to a rangeof skills and competencies to the benefit of themselves and the company – Equip individuals with the necessary tools to facilitate this – Provide a blended approach to learning – taking into account the differentlearning styles of individuals – Deliver training in a timely and cost-effective manner Individuals can select from videos, audiotapes, books, journals, WhitePapers and online learning, and a learning and development consultant is alwayson hand to advise, coach and support. The e-learning element is a vital component in developing the learningculture and is crucial in the company’s objectives because it puts personaldevelopment at the fingertips of every employee, 24 hours a day. Initially, learners had access to 30 SkillSoft courses, covering mainlycustomer care and general management, and these proved to be so popular thatjust six months later, these were refreshed and extended to 40. Fundamental tothe success of the programme is the support and encouragement provided from theIntelligent Finance management. One in four employees have already registered with Aspire and more than 50per cent have completed one or more SkillSoft courses. In total, more than 440SkillSoft courses have been completed to date. Two further learning centreshave been opened in Rosyth and Edinburgh. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article
Short-term variation in the winter diet of Gentoo penguins Pygoscelis papua at South Georgia during July 1989
During winter 1989 at South Georgia, gentoo penguins showed a very rapid change in diet over a 10-day period. On 11-12 July, food samples were of low masses (150g) and had a high proportion of fish prey (75%) and of heavily digested material (33%). On 21-22 July, samples had higher masses (485g), consisted predominantly of crustacean prey (99%) and had little, heavily digested material (2%). Antarctic krill Euphausia superba was the most abundant crustacean species, forming 80% and 99% by number of individuals in the two sample periods. Data on winter diet are also compared over three years (1987-89). There was close similarity, between years, in the mass and composition of the two “alternative’ diets: low-mass, fish-dominated and high-mass, krill-dominated diets, but there was no consistent pattern in the seasonal occurrence of these changes in diet between years. The change in diet may reflect short-term, local decreases in availability of krill in the inshore waters.
Geodetic surveying and ground-based radar profiling were used to determine geometry and surface motion of the ice sheet on the Dyer Plateau, Antarctica, in the vicinity of an ice-core site on a local dome. Vertical strain measurements in the core hole constrain the depth profile of vertical velocity. These geophysical measurements are used to analyze the profiles of density and annual layer thickness measured on the ice core to estimate the current mass balance of the ice column and the past history of accumulation rate. Consideration of horizontal and vertical mass-flow divergence shows that the profiles of density and vertical velocity are not fully consistent with steady state. Mean density of the firn layer appears to be increasing, which leads to the deduction of a small rate of mass increase (≈ 0.02 m a− 1 ice-equivalent thickness). Over the last 200a there has been a gradual increase in accumulation rate from about 0.46 m a− 1 to 0.54 m a− 1 ice-equivalent thickness in recent time.
Records of atmospheric nitrate were obtained by year-round aerosol sampling at Neumayer and Dumont D’Urville stations, located in the Atlantic and Pacific sector of coastal Antarctica, respectively. Where possible, evaluation of the nitrate records is mainly based on concurrently measured radioisotopes (10Be, 7Be, 210Pb) as well as δ15N in nitrate nitrogen. Observations made at these (and two other coastal Antarctic sites [Savoie et al., 1993]) reveal a uniform nitrate background near 10 ng m−3 persisting throughout coastal Antarctica between approximately April and June. The dominant seasonal nitrate maximum, which occurred between spring and midsummer and ranged from 20 to 70 ng m−3, tended to increase with latitude. An estimate based on Neumayer mineral dust concentrations suggests that an average of less than 5% of the observed atmospheric nitrate load may be associated with continental tropospheric sources, while a separate estimate based on 210Pb records implies a much higher proportion of up to 60%. Stratospheric nitrate influx rates seen at coastal sites, deduced from Neumayer 10Be/7Be records for stratospheric air mass intrusions and from tritium for the sedimentation of polar stratospheric clouds (PSC), exceed the theoretical stratospheric odd nitrogen production rate from N2O oxidation by almost a factor of 5 and are found to be in close agreement with the observed surface nitrate flux, implying again that the continental source contribution is relatively unimportant. Consideration of nitrate reemission from near-surface snow layers reveals a minor effect of this flux on the global Antarctic troposphere but possibly a substantial influence on the nitrate load of a persistent surface inversion layer. Evaluation of the mean seasonal nitrate pattern, based on concurrent 10Be, 210Pb, and δ15N records at Neumayer and on tritium in precipitation at Halley, suggests that the period of significant enhancement above the background mainly reflects inputs of stratospheric nitrate with secondary peaks in winter and late summer most likely dominated by PSC sedimentation and stratospheric air mass intrusions, respectively.
A recent major climatic event was the occurrence of approximately 350 000 square kilometers of open water in the normally ice covered Weddell Sea near Antarctica during the winters of 1974-76. Within this polynya there was vigorous air-sea interaction resulting in the densification of the surface waters, a convective overturning of the water column, and the formation of large amounts of Antarctic Bottom Water. In order to further our understanding of this important event, the NCEP-NCAR reanalysis dataset is used to reconstruct the air-sea interaction associated with this polynya. The reconstruction shows that the polynya had a profound impact on the surface meteorology of the region. Surface air temperatures over the polynya were on the order of 20degreesC warmer than climatology. Total cloud cover over the polynya was 50% higher than climatology. The magnitude of the monthly mean sensible and latent heat fluxes during the winter months were on the order of 150 and 50 W m(-2), respectively, while precipitation was on the order of 1 mm day(-1). Furthermore, the reconstructed air-sea fluxes are highly variable in time with instantaneous values 5-10 times larger than monthly mean values. A cross-correlation analysis suggests that much of this variability can be attributed to the passage of transient synoptic-scale weather systems. The reconstructed buoyancy flux within the polynya during winter was on average negative, indicating that the surface waters were becoming denser thereby driving oceanic convection and Antarctic Bottom Water formation. Nevertheless there were instances when the buoyancy flux was positive. During these events, the freshwater flux due to precipitation was larger than the effect of cooling, thus resulting in a reduction in the density of the surface waters of the polynya. The integrated buoyancy flux over the winter period exceeds a previous estimate by 30%-40%, suggesting that the oceanic convection that took place as a result of the existence of the polynya may have been significantly more vigorous than previously thought.
This paper describes the novel technique of using a phase-sensitive radio-echo system to determine the basal melt rate along a short profile near Halley Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf. After an interval of nine days the change in the thickness of ice, between a near surface reflectinghorizon and the ice-shelf base, was measured. The utilization of internal reflectors as a reference horizon corrects for the effects of accumulation and densification that might occur over the measurement interval. During the nine-day interval the ice shelf thinned by 0.032 + or – 0.004 m, the strain rate contribution to this thinning was 0.003 + or – 0.001 m, giving a localized melt rate of 1.17+ or – 0.17 m/yr. Our measured value agrees well with a traditional continuitymethod. The accuracy of the phase sensitive radar system allows the spatial variation in basal melt-rate to be measured over a short time interval, permitting for the first time a measurement of the seasonal variation in melt rateThis paper describes the novel technique of using a phase-sensitive radio-echo system todetermine the basal melt rate along a short profile near Halley Station on the Brunt Ice Shelf. After an interval of nine days the change in the thickness of ice, between a near surface reflecting horizon and the ice-shelf base, was measured. The utilization of internal reflectors as a reference horizon corrects for the effects of accumulation and densification that might occur over themeasurement interval. During the nine-day interval the ice shelf thinned by 0.032 + or – 0.004 m, the strain rate contribution to this thinning was 0.003 + or – 0.001 m, giving a localized melt rate of 1.17 + or – 0.17 m/yr. Our measured value agrees well with a traditional continuity method. The accuracy of the phase sensitive radar system allows the spatial variation in basal melt-rate to be measured over a short time interval, permitting for the first time a measurement of the seasonal variationin melt rate
The Southern Ocean hosts the formation of the densest layers of the oceanic overturning circulation, and provides a climatically sensitive element of deep ocean ventilation. An oceanographic section across the eastern Scotia Sea occupied in 1995, 1999 and 2005 reveals significant variability in the deep and bottom waters of Southern Ocean origin. Warming (~0.1ºC) of the warm mid-layer waters in the Scotia Sea between 1995 and 1999 reversed through to 2005, reflecting changes seen earlier upstream in the Weddell Sea. The volume of deep waters with potential temperature less than 0ºC decreased during 1995-2005, though such a reduction was only clear between 1995 and 1999 at the southern end of the section. The abyssal waters of the eastern Scotia Sea apparently changed circulation between 1995 and 1999, with the dominant point of their entry to the basin shifting from the south to the northeast; by 2005, the former route had regained dominance. These changes are best explained by interannual variations in the deep waters exiting the Weddell Sea, superimposed on a longer-term (decadal) warming trend. The interannual variations are related to changes in the strength of the Weddell Gyre, reflecting large-scale atmospheric variability that may include the El Niño / Southern Oscillation phenomenon. The Scotia Sea is the most direct pathway for dense waters of the overturning circulation emanating from the Weddell Sea to fill much of the world ocean abyss. The regional changes reported here have the potential to affect the climatically significant ventilation of the global ocean abyss.