Gracia accepts the referees decision

first_imgNathaniel Chalobah was fouled in the penalty area by Ryan Bertrand, but the official did not award a penalty kick for WatfordWatford F.C. traveled to Southampton yesterday and ended up tying 1-1 in the English Premier League match.But there was a moment when Nathaniel Chalobah was fouled in the penalty area and many believed he should have been awarded a penalty kick.And the referee Simon Hooper decided Gulls’ Ryan Bertrand did not commit a foul.“To be honest, I didn’t see from my position,” said Gracia to the club’s official website.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“It is impossible to know what happened, but after asking Chalobah, he told me it was clear. Maybe the game changes from that moment. But I prefer to support the referee’s decision. Their job is difficult and I accept the decision.”“It was a difficult game for us. We started well, we created some chances, we missed them and after that Southampton played better. They created chances, scored one goal,” he added.“We were improving after that and in the second half we showed character and ambition to try and score to get a better result.”“We scored the goal and maybe we had the chance to score again,” Gracia explained“I know it wasn’t the best game but we are keeping a good level, competing well, creating today more chances than the opponents, more shots, more possession. It is not enough, but it is something good for us. We are competing well and I am proud of my players.”last_img read more

Zlatan reveals Vieira played a great role in my move to

first_imgFormer Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed Patrick Vieira played a huge role in his decision to join the club.After playing in France, Spain, Italy and Holland, Zlatan arrived in the Premier League in 2016 after leaving Paris Saint-Germain.The former Sweden international proved to be a huge success during his time at Old Trafford, scoring a total of 29 goals as the club won the Community Shield, EFL Cup and Europa League during his first season in England.Speaking about his career, the former Barcelona striker claimed that Vieira was key to his move to England having first come across him at Amsterdam.“When I met Patrick for the first time it was in Juventus I knew who he was,” the Swede told BBC’s Football Daily via the Mirror.“I remember we played against Arsenal when I was in Ajax.”“There was this Amsterdam Arena tournament and I remember when we were sitting on the bench, the whole Ajax team, Patrick Vieira was the only player from Arsenal to give their hand to every player when he went past them.”“The other ones pass, hello, hello, nothing. But he gave his hand to every player and already I said to myself ‘wow, this is something else. This is different.’”harry maguire, manchester UnitedMaguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“He is the hard guy. He is box-to-box, quality, good mentality and when he came to Juventus he had big influence in my game. To train every day good.”“The way you train is the way you play and he was on me every time.”“When you yell at somebody, put pressure on somebody normally the pressure doesn’t come back because of different personalities, different characters.”“But from him it came back twice and I was not used to that so he was on me all the time.”“When I thought I did good he said I did badly. And he was always on me and he triggered my mentality by not being satisfied.”“You have to do much more because it is not enough. And he knows what he is talking about.”“He won the trophies he won and played with fantastic world-class players.”last_img read more

Hamsik confident of Napolis chances at Liverpool

first_imgNapoli captain Marek Hamsik is braced for a challenging time at Liverpool but believes in their chances for their final Group C fixtureCarlo Ancelotti’s men secured a crucial 3-1 Champions League win over Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday night to retain their lead in Group C.Hamsik, who scored his first goal of the season, is now raring to go for Napoli’s trip to Anfield on December 12.The Light Blues need, at least, a point in order to qualify for the knockout stages and three to win Group C.divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“We’re happy to have entertained our audience with the three points,” Hamsik wrote on his website.“I’m happy to have scored, but the most important thing was the win. Liverpool will be a great match, we’ll do everything to get through, we believe and we’re a great squad.“The draw in Belgrade? Obviously there’s a bit of regret, but after five games who’d have believed we’d be in first place without losing?”Napoli will next face Atalanta away in the Serie A on Monday.last_img read more

Texas church gunman once escaped from mental health center

first_imgTexas church gunman once escaped from mental health center Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption 12 November 7, 2017 Show Caption Hide Caption Show Caption Hide Caption , By JIM VERTUNO, WILL WEISSERT and PAUL J. WEBERAssociated PressSUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — The gunman who killed 26 people at a small-town Texas church was treated at a mental health center in New Mexico and briefly escaped in 2012, according to a police report.Devin Patrick Kelley was also caught trying to bring guns onto Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico when he was stationed there, according to an El Paso police report obtained by several media outlets.Kelley, who was 21 at the time, had made death threats against superior officers, the report said.He was committed to a mental health facility in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, but at some point escaped and was later found by police at a bus station in downtown El Paso in June 2012.Meanwhile at the First Baptist Church in tiny Sutherland Springs, investigators continued analyzing a gruesome crime scene and tried to gain access to the shooter’s cellphone, a longstanding challenge for the FBI in thousands of other cases.Authorities aimed to conclude the crime-scene investigation at the church by Wednesday evening. Investigators have no reason to believe anyone conspired with Kelley, who acted alone, said Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin.Martin repeated earlier statements that the shooting appeared to stem from a domestic dispute involving Kelley and his mother-in-law, who sometimes attended services at the church but was not present on Sunday.”We don’t know what he was thinking or what was in his mind,” Martin said. “There was conflict. He was upset with the mother in law.”The gunman’s phone was flown to an FBI lab for analysis, but agents have yet to access it, said Christopher Combs, who is in charge of the agency’s San Antonio division.The inability to access the shooter’s phone highlights a longstanding frustration of the FBI, which said it has been unable to retrieve data from half the mobile devices it tried to access in less than a year.Director Christopher Wray said last month that in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, agents were unable to access the content inside more than 6,900 mobile devices, an issue he said stymies investigations.The FBI and other law enforcement officials have long complained about being unable to unlock and recover evidence from cellphones and other devices seized from suspects even if they have a warrant. Technology companies have refused to help, insisting they must protect customers’ digital privacy.The long-simmering debate was on display in 2016, when the Justice Department tried to force Apple to unlock an encrypted cellphone used by a gunman in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. The department eventually relented after the FBI said it paid an unidentified vendor who provided a tool to unlock the phone and no longer needed Apple’s assistance, avoiding a court showdown.The Justice Department under President Donald Trump has suggested it will be aggressive in seeking access to encrypted information from technology companies. But in a recent speech, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein stopped short of saying exactly what action it might take.Kelley had a history of domestic violence that spanned years before the attack and was able buy weapons because the Air Force did not submit his criminal history from his time in the military to the FBI, as required by military rules.If Kelley’s past offenses had been properly shared, they would have prevented him from buying a gun, the Air Force acknowledged Monday.Investigators also revealed that Kelley had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, a member of the church, before the attack, and that sheriff’s deputies had responded to a domestic violence call in 2014 at his home involving a girlfriend who became his second wife.Later that year, he was formally ousted from the Air Force for a 2012 assault on his ex-wife in which he choked her and struck her son hard enough to fracture his skull.At a news conference in South Korea, Trump was asked if he would support “extreme vetting” for gun purchases in the same way he has called for “extreme vetting” for people entering the country. Trump responded by saying stricter gun control measures might have led to more deaths in the shooting because a bystander who shot at the gunman would not have been armed.”If he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead,” Trump said.Investigators collected at least 15 empty magazines that held 30 rounds each at the scene, suggesting the assailant fired at least 450 rounds. About 20 people were wounded.Based on evidence at the scene, investigators believe Kelley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after he was chased by bystanders, one of whom was armed, and crashed his car.While in the military, Kelley served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his 2014 discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.He was discharged for the assault involving his previous wife and her child and had served a year of confinement after a court-martial. Under Pentagon rules, information about convictions of military personnel for crimes such as assault should be submitted to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Investigation Services Division.Stefanek said the service is launching a review of its handling of the case and taking a comprehensive look at its databases to ensure other cases have been reported correctly.A few months before he received the bad-conduct discharge, sheriff’s deputies went to his home to check out the domestic violence complaint involving him and his then-girlfriend. People in the house said there was no problem, and no arrests were made. Kelley married the girlfriend two months later.Kelley lived in New Braunfels, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of the church, and had recently started a job as an unarmed security guard at a nearby resort.___Weber reported from New Braunfels. Associated Press writers Sadie Gurman in Washington, John Mone in Sutherland Springs, Nomaan Merchant in Houston and Diana Heidgerd in Dallas also contributed to this report.___Sign up for the AP’s weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from the Midwest and Texas: 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Posted: November 7, 2017 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

ASA Farmer Leaders Work for All US Soybean Growers

first_imgThe American Soybean Association (ASA) is the advocate on policy and trade for U.S. soy growers, representing more than 300,000 farmers. ASA recently debuted a new video, highlighting the work the organization does on behalf of soy growers. Click below to hear ASA President John Heisdorffer and ASA Chairman Ron Moore talk about the importance of farmer leaders working to prevent burdensome regulations, meeting regularly with Congress and testifying before congressional committees on soybean and agriculture issues. read more

Oregon starts planning for Columbia gillnet shift

first_imgOregon fish and wildlife director Roy Elicker says he’ll meet within seven to 10 days with his Washington counterpart to discuss moving gillnetters off the lower Columbia River main stem.The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission met Tuesday for its initial discussion about Gov. John Kitzhaber’s directive last week to shift the gillnetters to off-channel areas such as Youngs Bay, Tongue Point and Blind Slough near Astoria.Five of seven Oregon commissioners participated in the conference call and all agreed to move ahead with Kitzhaber’s request.Elicker said he has had preliminary talks with Phil Anderson, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, regarding the process. A meeting with Anderson and his key staff is the next step.“We’re going to get started on this right away,” Elicker said.He mentioned using a process involving subcommittees of three Oregon commission members and a like number from Washington. A similar process was used in 2008 to develop the Columbia River spring chinook sport-commercial plan currently in place.Elicker said achieving Kitzhaber’s desire to have new rules in place by the end of 2012 is ambitious, but can be achieved.Brett Brownscombe, a natural resources policy adviser to Kitzhaber, provided additional details on the Oregon governor’s goal.Kitzhaber’s proposal is to boost hatchery salmon production in off-channel areas, then to transition the gillnet fishery to these areas. The goal is to enhance the commercial harvest, but to move it out of the main stem of the Columbia.Brownscombe said Kitzhaber envisions a transition period of 2013 to 2016 to get more fish released in the off-channel areas and for those salmon to return from the ocean for harvest.Both the recreational and commercial fisheries are vital to Oregon’s economy, he said.Kitzhaber also wants a “modest shift” in salmon allocation priority toward the sport fishery in the interim while the off-channel areas are being improved.last_img read more

UPDATE Police locate missing woman

first_img Vancouver police say a missing woman has been located.Cassandra Manee, 29, checked herself out of an adult care facility Sunday, according to a police news bulletin. Manee has medical conditions that require medication, the release said.She returned home safe this afternoon. Cassandra Maneelast_img

Holiday closures Columbus Day

first_imgWhat’s open and what’s closed Monday for Columbus Day:• FEDERAL OFFICES AND COURTS: Closed Monday, one of 10 federal holidays.• STATE OFFICES: Open.• COUNTY OFFICES: Open.• MAIL: Most post offices closed. No home delivery except for Express Mail. • COLLEGES: Clark College and Washington State University open.• GARBAGE: Collection on regular schedule.• PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Open.• LIBRARIES: Open.• BUSES: C-Tran and TriMet on regular schedules.• DRIVER’S LICENSING: Open.• VEHICLE LICENSING: Open.• VEHICLE EMISSIONS: Test stations open.• CLARK PUBLIC UTILITIES: Offices open. For 24-hour customer service, call 360-992-3000. For outages or emergencies, call 360-992-8000.• BANKS: Most closed; some branches will be open. Check your bank for details.• FINANCIAL MARKETS: New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and other markets open.• THE COLUMBIAN: Offices open.last_img read more

Senate passes debt limit bill for Obama

first_imgWASHINGTON — After a dramatic Senate tally in which top GOP leaders cast the crucial votes, must-pass legislation to allow the government to borrow money to pay its bills cleared Congress Wednesday for President Barack Obama’s signature.The Senate approved the measure by a near party-line 55-43 vote. All of the “aye” votes came from Obama’s Democratic allies.But the vote to pass the measure was anticlimactic after a dramatic 67-31 tally — held open for more than an hour — in which the measure cleared a filibuster hurdle insisted on by tea party Republican Ted Cruz of Texas. The Senate’s top two Republicans — both facing tea party challenges in their GOP primaries this year — provided crucial momentum after a knot of Republicans in the Senate well were clearly unhappy at having to walk the plank.After Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, voted “aye” several other Republicans switched their votes in solidarity. Twelve Republicans ultimately voted to help the measure advance but the tally appeared to be in doubt for several anxious minutes.“A lot of people stepped up and did what they needed to do,” said Sen. Bob Corker. R-Tenn.Cruz’ demands irritated Republicans because it forced several of them, particularly McConnell, to cast a difficult vote. McConnell faces tea party candidate Matt Bevin “In my view, every Republican should stand together against raising the debt ceiling without meaningful structural reforms to rein in our out of control spending,” Cruz said.last_img read more

Fife takes aim at state marijuana law

first_imgHow cities in Clark County are handling the marijuana law:o Battle Ground: Allows marijuana sales. Several applicants are vying for retail licenses, but none have been approved yet.o Camas: Preparing an ordinance to ban pot shops for the next two or three years. The city’s moratorium on sales will expire in October.o La Center and Ridgefield: Moratoriums on pot sales running through October, but the cities may extend the bans.o Vancouver: The only Clark County city with any pot shops at this point. The city’s two stores, Main Street Marijuana and New Vansterdam, opened last month.o Washougal: Recently adopted an ordinance putting a two-year ban on marijuana stores.o Woodland: Has a moratorium on pot sales through Dec. 1.o Clark County: Production and sales banned in unincorporated Clark County until the federal government legalizes marijuana.FIFE — To Tedd Wetherbee, the vacant storefront seems a suitable spot for selling pot. It’s in a strip mall across from BJ’s Bingo parlor, in a long commercial stretch occupied by fast-food joints, dry cleaners and massage parlors.But like dozens of other cities in Washington, the small Tacoma suburb of Fife doesn’t want Wetherbee — or anyone else — opening marijuana businesses, even if state law allows it. The arguments officials are making in a lawsuit over the dispute threaten to derail Washington’s big experiment in legal, taxed cannabis less than two months after sales began.A Pierce County judge on Friday is scheduled to hear arguments on two key issues at the core of Wetherbee’s legal challenge to the ban. The first is whether Washington’s voter-approved marijuana measure, Initiative 502, leaves room for cities to ban licensed pot growers, processors or sellers. If the answer is no, Fife wants the judge to address a second question: Should Washington’s entire legal marijuana scheme be thrown out as incompatible with the federal prohibition on pot?last_img read more

Off Beat Where the Heisman meets the Oregon Trail

first_imgIt’s always nice to get a nod on national television, which is what happened a week ago on “Jeopardy!”As we noted in Tuesday’s paper, the classic Q&A show (OK, the format is A&Q) broadcast the previous night included a visual clue. It was a map showing the territory between Fort Vancouver and Fort Hall, in southeast Idaho.The contestants had to respond to this prompt: “This route went between those two Forts shown.”The correct response: “What is the Oregon Trail?”Unfortunately, the national shout-out conflicted with another televised event last Monday night that sucked up most of the eyeballs in the Pacific Northwest. ESPN aired the national championship football game between Oregon and Ohio State.The Fort Vancouver segment was during halftime of the game. Interestingly, a question about the halftime score could have featured the same basic setup as that “Jeopardy!” question:Did Oregon lead or did Oregon trail?Millions of viewers saw Oregon trail 21-10 at the half, as Ohio State rolled to a 42-20 win over Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and his Ducks.That isn’t the only intersection of the Oregon Trail and the Heisman winner.A bronze marker along Vancouver’s Main Street could be considered a distant cousin of the Heisman Trophy. It’s part of a 7-foot-tall marker that is a tribute to the Oregon Trail pioneers. It was placed at the north end of the Interstate Bridge in 1916, then removed in the 1950s, when the second span of what now is the Interstate 5 Bridge was built.last_img read more

GHD launches employee engagement platform

first_imgGHD has launched an employee engagement platform to communicate its employee benefits, culture and values to staff.The engagement technology, provided by Reward Gateway, is designed to proactively communicate internal news and share best practice across GHD’s five UK offices.The hair product manufacturer also utilises the software as a common platform to celebrate its successes and disseminate key messages to all 284 of its employees.The platform, which was introduced in November, will deliver employee benefits and communications that specifically reflect the makeup of GHD’s diverse workforce, including retail discounts, childcare vouchers, a bikes-for-work scheme, holiday trading and instant rewards.Chris Cox, international people manager at GHD, said: “As a young business with huge growth and ambition, we are really looking forward to working […] to harness our employee engagement at GHD.”last_img read more

Learn about car salary sacrifice schemes fit for the future at Employee

first_imgDelegates that attend Employee Benefits Connect 2016 can gain insight into how to offer a car salary sacrifice scheme that is effective for employers and employees now and in the future.During a roundtable session entitled ‘How to provide a successful salary savings car scheme’, Alison Argall, business development director at company car scheme provider Tusker, will discuss how car salary sacrifice schemes have evolved over the years, how to make them work for the long-term, as well as how engaging employees to share their experiences of a scheme can help drive take up.Argall said: “The session will give plenty of case studies and best practice examples of organisations that offer employees a car salary sacrifice scheme in an informal and interactive session.“It will also be an opportunity to hear from other attendees about what aspects of a their company car scheme have worked, and what hasn’t.“Car salary sacrifice schemes are not a new benefit, and longevity is what many employers are now looking for, as well as making the scheme as suitable as possible for as many workers as possible because their feedback is critical.”Employee Benefits Connect 2016 will take place on 9 March at the Lancaster London.For more information and to register to attend, visit: read more

What will caring policies of the future look like

first_imgChanging workplace cultures and employee demographics are having a significant effect on how caring policies will need to be formed in the future and what they should include.Only 26% of employers have a formal written caring policy for staff in place, according to the Creating an enabling future for carers in the workplace report, published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Westfield Health in June 2016. A further 8% have an informal, verbal agreement around caring, while 38% do not have any caring policies in place and have no plans to implement one.Caring policies in 2016, and indeed moving forwards, need to have a greater scope than ever before, with evolving employee demographics presenting a host of challenges. The definition of caring has moved beyond just working parents, with growing recognition of the requirements of employees who may have to provide support or arrange care for elderly parents, a disabled or seriously ill spouse or adult child, or relatives who have chronic physical conditions.Rachel Suff, public policy advisor for employment relations at the CIPD, says: “This is such a growing issue in organisations and with the ageing population, so many of us at some stage are going to develop a chronic illness or disability. It’s a hidden issue a lot of the time, so employers aren’t aware.”Employers should look to embrace wider working practices that help employees manage both home and work responsibilities, says Julian Foster, managing director at Computershare. “It’s understanding what the drivers and the demands on employees’ time are away from the workplace,” he explains. “If people are worrying about something or are struggling to balance the two, then they’re not going to be as focused or as effective as they might be.“Policies have got to anticipate future demands and make sure workload is met. We need to look at what is happening in terms of the generational expectations, the expectations of how many hours people will work or what days. Working patterns are going to change.”Freedom to be flexibleThere are many strategies employers can take to help support the needs of carers within the workforce, however, flexibility often forms the cornerstone of a carers’ policy. The aforementioned CIPD and Westfield Health report found that the most common form of support provided by employers are flexible leave arrangements (49%) and flexible working arrangements (48%). This could include job sharing, reduced or changed hours, and home working.Paid and unpaid leave are another way to support employees who have commitments away from work. Some organisations use a mix of annual leave, special leave or compassionate leave to help cover carers who need time off, says Andrew Supple, head of healthcare and protection solutions at Standard Life.Organisations may also need to extend this flexible approach to include how employees spend their time at work. Having access to their mobile during the day and also having the leeway to make personal calls during working hours can be immensely helpful to employees, especially if they are arranging care for a relative who lives further afield.Support through benefitsEmployers can make best use of a number of benefits schemes to further support the caring policies they have in place. Employee assistance programmes (EAPs) are now including more information on both eldercare and childcare options, while emergency child and parental care are also becoming emerging options. Staff can also gain information through dedicated platforms and resources, such as webinars.Childcare vouchers will be phased out over the coming years, closing to new entrants in April 2018, to be replaced with the government’s tax-free childcare scheme from 2017.Practicalities such as a dedicated car parking space and a laptop to enable home working can also help carers juggle their daily working routines.With people generally living longer, eldercare is slowly becoming a feature of the modern workplace. One issue that can impact employees is if they have moved away from home for work, or their elderly relatives have retired elsewhere, making it physically difficult to provide care first-hand. This is where the flexibility of a caring policy can be tested. “[Eldercare is] just not a very visible issue in the workplace and that’s partly down to employers not seeing it as a strategic issue affecting their workforce capability,” says Suff. “We need to make it much more visible as an issue in organisations and much more of a legitimate workplace issue that should be discussed and dealt with and then [employers will] get more people feeling they can raise issues around it.”Line-manager supportThe CIPD and Westfield Health report found that only 13% of line managers are trained to help support staff who are carers. But managers can be a vital point of contact for employees with caring responsibilities, and they should be open to having conversations about personal issues. “Having the opportunity for employees to actually talk to their managers about what they need and what would work for them, and working together to see how that would work for the business so there isn’t a pull between work and family, is really important,” says Foster.When an organisation’s senior leadership team champions caring policies, this can really help to ensure that these become a framework within the workplace and aid in raising awareness. “[This means] managers understanding it and living and breathing it,” explains Foster.Other strategies employers could utilise include giving carers access to counselling facilities such as EAPs, as well as facilitating both internal and external networks so carers can have peer-to-peer conversations with others in similar situations. This could include social media groups, an intranet page, or physical meetings, as well as on-site talks and seminars delivered by experts and charities.Impact on health and wellbeingProviding an empowering and inclusive culture for carers is an essential aspect of any caring policy, but policies can also be interlinked with health and wellbeing strategies to offer a more proactive approach. This could include tackling mental health issues such as stress.Rachel Western, principle at Aon Employee Benefits, says: “Wellness strategies have to be very bespoke. If the workforce is an ageing workforce, the wellness strategies need to be very different, and need to be focusing, not on things [such as] high-level fitness processes, but more about long-term care initiatives.”A one-size-fits-all approach to supporting workers does not suit every organisation; each individual’s circumstances need to be considered. “Employers have to recognise that employees have a life outside of work and [organisations] need to support their staff to achieve a healthy work-life balance,” says Foster. “By offering things [such as] flexible working and childcare vouchers as a package, not just as one measure, it enables organisations to recruit and retain people but also to have them engaged in the organisation, motivated and productive.”Western describes caring policies of the future as looking like an ‘open-ended book’. As the number of carers, as well as the type and extent of their caring responsibilities, in the workplace increases, it is imperative that organisations have a formal structure in place to deal with the array of individual needs.Viewpoint: Ageing population intensifies need for caring policiesOne in nine workers in the UK care for a family member or friend who is older, disabled or ill, according to the 2011 Census. The pressures of juggling work and care, without the right support from employers or local services, have forced millions of people to give up work or reduce their hours to care, at a cost to the economy of £1.3 billion a year, according to the London School of Economics’ study, Public expenditure costs of carers leaving employment, published in April 2012.The business case for supporting working carers is clear; it leads to greater staff retention, less absenteeism, improved resilience, performance and productivity, and a healthier bottom line.Significant developments in employee rights in recent years mean that there is also a strong legal case for supporting working carers. All employees with 26 weeks’ service for their employer now have the right to request flexible-working arrangements and time off work to deal with an emergency involving a dependant. Carers are also entitled to greater protection against discrimination because of their caring responsibilities.By recognising carers’ legal rights in existing policies and procedures, or in a specific carers policy, employers can begin to future-proof their business against the challenges of an ageing workforce and an increasingly competitive economic environment.While many employers have put the building blocks in place to support employees who currently have or may have caring responsibilities in the future, many employers still have a long way to go.Our ageing population means that the already significant number of people combining work and care is set to soar. This, alongside growing evidence about the negative impact that caring, if unsupported, can have on staff resilience, productivity, and retention, means that caring is an issue businesses cannot afford to ignore.Katherine Wilson is strategic employment manager at Carers UK KPMG uses employee-led networks to drive caring initiativesAudit, tax and advisory organisation KPMG utilises a range of measures to put employees in the driving seat when it comes to formulating and structuring initiatives that support working carers and parents within the workplace. Of the organisation’s 12,000 total employees across 22 UK-based sites, 6,483 have declared they are working parents, while informal surveys estimate that one in six employees is a carer.Many of its initiatives have come via feedback from a comprehensive employee network system. The networks available are diversity-related or link to a specific need, with two of the most prominent networks focusing on support for carers and parents. Each network regularly holds virtual or physical sessions arranged to allow employees with similar responsibilities to come together, whether for a sandwich and chat lunchtime meet up or a guest speaker session.The individual networks also have a partner sponsor, who takes key concerns and ideas to the HR department or executive board. Martin Blackburn, head of HR at KPMG, says: “It’s not an HR thing; it’s very much an employee-led thing. We want them to have a conduit into the executive team.”There is also a dedicated ‘My Family’ themed-section on KPMG’s intranet, which details information such as leave policies, issues such as fertility and adoption, and the organisation’s emergency dependents’ care programme. This provides emergency care for employees with a dependent, whether a child, adult or elderly dependent.Rather than flexible-working arrangements, KPMG has an intelligent working policy in place. The policy outlines that, as long as an employee completes their agreed workload, KPMG does not specify what days or hours they must work to achieve it. Blackburn says: “If you’ve got a caring responsibility, and that means you’re going to be working at home, or you’re not going to be working, [but] you’re going to be delivering that output later in the week [instead], that’s fine.”KPMG’s award-winning Parent Power scheme, provided in partnership with My Family Care, aims to support employees who are embarking on, or are about to return from, maternity leave; a topic that was raised by the organisation’s parenting network. The programme provides access to online resources, including group coaching webinars.The scheme was first piloted in July 2015 with 114 participants, and was officially launched in June 2016. “Our aim was to create a culture that was supportive of colleagues, enabling them to achieve their personal and professional ambitions,” says Blackburn. Need to know:A formal caring policy can help to bolster support for carers in the workplace.Benefits such as an employee assistance programme (EAP) or childcare vouchers can be used to support an existing caring policy.Flexible-working arrangements, as well as paid or unpaid leave, are popular aspects of a successful caring policy.last_img read more

Supreme Court rules in favour of samesex spousal pension in discrimination case

first_img“But it is to our government’s great shame that it has taken so many years, huge amounts of taxpayers’ money and the UK’s highest court to drag them into the 21st century. In the years since we started this legal challenge, how many people have spent their final days uncertain about whether their loved one would be looked after? How many people have been left unprovided for, having already suffered the loss of their partner?“What I would like from Theresa May and her ministers today is a formal commitment that this change will stay on the statute books after Brexit.” The Supreme Court has ruled that an employee’s spousal pension benefit can be paid to his same-sex partner.The case, Walker v Innospec Limited, relates to retiree John Walker, who worked for global chemical organisation Innospec between 1980 and 2003. Walker, who paid into the organisation’s occupational pension scheme during his working career, sought to clarify with Innospec in 2006 whether his same-sex partner would receive the pension scheme’s spouse’s pension in the event of his death.Innospec refused the spouse’s pension because Walker’s service for the organisation pre-dated 5 December 2005, which was when the Civil Partnership Act 2004 came into force. The basis of the refusal relates to the Equality Act 2010, which provides an exception to general non-discrimination rules to state that it is lawful to prevent or restrict access to a benefit, facility or service to a person where the right to that benefit is accrued before 5 December 2005 or which is payable in respect of periods of service before this date.Walker has lived with his partner since 1993. They applied for a civil partnership on 5 December 2005 and this was formally registered on 23 January 2006. Walker has since married his partner.Under the rules of the pension scheme, if Walker had married a woman, upon his death she would receive £45,700 per annum in a spouse’s pension. Walker’s husband would instead be entitled to the statutory guaranteed minimum of approximately £1,000 a year.In November 2011, Walker lodged a claim with the Employment Tribunal (ET), arguing that he had been discriminated against on the grounds of his sexual orientation. The ET found that Walker had been subjected to both direct and indirect discrimination, therefore it upheld his claim. The ET further stated that the exception paragraph in the Equality Act 2010 should be read in a way as to be compliant with the EU’s Framework Directive, which establishes a framework for equal treatment in employment.Innospec appealed this decision and took the case to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). Although the EAT agreed with the ET with regards to the discrimination claim, it allowed the appeal, ruling that the Framework Directive did not have a retrospective effect to render unlawful inequalities based on sexual orientation that arose before the last date for its transposition. It therefore ruled that the exception in the Equality Act 2010 was not incompatible with the Framework Directive.Walker appealed the EAT decision and the case was taken to the Court of Appeal, where it was dismissed. Walker then appealed to the Supreme Court.The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed Walker’s appeal, ruling that the 2010 Act is incompatible with the EU Framework Directive and must be disapplied. The judgement states that Walker’s husband is entitled to a spouse’s pension upon Walker’s death, provided that they remain married. This would be calculated on all of Walker’s years of service at Innospec.The secretary of state for work and pensions is listed as an interested party for Innospec in the case. The government has argued that giving retrospective effect to the Framework Directive would impose costs on pension schemes that may not have been taken into consideration in scheme funding assumptions.Lord Kerr wrote in the judgement: “I would therefore hold that Mr Walker’s husband, provided he does not predecease him, and that they remain married at the time of Mr Walker’s death, is entitled under the Framework Directive to a spouse’s pension calculated on the basis on all the years of Mr Walker’s service with Innospec.”Walker said: “I am absolutely thrilled at today’s ruling, which is a victory for basic fairness and decency. Finally this absurd injustice has been consigned to the history books, and my husband and I can now get on with enjoying the rest of our lives together. Emma Norton, lawyer at Liberty who represented Walker, added: “We are delighted the Supreme Court recognised this pernicious little provision for what it was; discrimination against gay people, pure and simple.“But this ruling was made under EU law and is a direct consequence of the rights protection the EU gives us. We now risk losing that protection. The government must promise that there will be no rollback on [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] rights after Brexit, and commit to fully protecting them in UK law.”A government spokesperson said: “We are reviewing the implications of this judgement in detail and will respond in due course. The rights of same-sex couples have been transformed for the better since 2010 including the introduction of same sex marriage and legislation to ensure that pensions are built up equally for all legal partnerships.”Innospec declined to comment.last_img read more

Waltham Forest Council gains living wage accreditation

first_imgWaltham Forest Council has been accredited as a living wage employer by the Living Wage Foundation.The organisation has committed to paying all of its permanent employees and agency staff at least the voluntary London living wage rate of £9.75 an hour.Waltham Forest Council has also committed to working with its suppliers to encourage more organisations to pay the London living wage to staff.The council has been paying its staff the London living wage since 2011, and it gained official accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation in July 2017.The living wage is an independently set hourly rate of pay that is calculated according to the basic cost of living. The rate, which is paid on a voluntary basis by employers, is updated annually. The living wage for employees working in the UK is £8.45 an hour. The higher London living wage rate of £9.75 an hour reflects the increased costs of living in the capital.The voluntary living wage is distinct from the statutory national living wage, which is paid to employees aged 25 and over. The national living wage is currently set at £7.50 an hour.Councillor Clare Coghill, leader of the council, said: “I’m really proud of achieving this accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation. Waltham Forest has always strived to be a good employer, paying rates that mean our team do not just scrape by on their salaries, but can actually have a better quality of life.“We have committed to maintaining the London living wage, and also to work with many of our suppliers to ensure that those people who work for the council, but at arms-length, also see the benefits of a minimum salary that provides for their needs.“I would urge all employers; especially those with medium and large workforces to strive for this accreditation and ensure their staff are paid and treated fairly. Research shows that [organisations] that do, have more highly motivated staff and better recruitment and retention rates.”last_img read more

Overnight lane closures on 826 go into effect

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Some lanes on the Palmetto Expressway will be shut down during the overnight hours all this week, starting Monday night.All southbound lanes on the 826 will be closed at Northwest 25th Street, beginning at 11 p.m. They will then reopen the following day, at 5 a.m.Officials said this will affect the northbound lanes every night, through Saturday morning. Those closures will also occur at Northwest 25th Street.For more information about detours, go to 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more