Taoiseach needs to go – O’Donnell

first_imgFacebook LIMERICK EAST TD Kieran O’Donnell has called on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to resign after the Taoiseach declared he would continue on in government.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The Fine Gael deputy said that an election is the only thing that will bring some certainty to the country. Print “We have lost our capacity to negotiate credibility on behalf of the Irish people.“The negotiations with the IMF are the most defining moments since we gained independence.Commenting on the behaviour of the Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Minister of Finance Brian Lenihan this week, he said:“I think they did the country a major disservice and weakened our dealing with the IMF.“The government has run out of road, people don’t trust them, and the bond market doesn’t trust them”.This morning Green Party leader John Gormley called for an election in January.This afternoon Independent TDs Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy Rae withdrew their support for the government.In response to today’s events Limerick West TD Nial Collins said:“It’s a very fluid political environment, on one hand people want an election and the other hand they want a budget to put through.“It’s an unprecedented situation”. Advertisement Email WhatsApp Twitter Linkedin NewsLocal NewsTaoiseach needs to go – O’DonnellBy admin – November 22, 2010 697 Previous articleNagle to start against ScarletsNext articleRequested false driving licence on CB radio adminlast_img read more

Press barred from crucial county council debate

first_img Google+ Man arrested in Derry on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences released Man arrested on suspicion of drugs and criminal property offences in Derry WhatsApp By News Highland – September 26, 2011 Google+ RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Newsx Adverts Twitter Facebook Pinterest Twittercenter_img 365 additional cases of Covid-19 in Republic PSNI and Gardai urged to investigate Adams’ claims he sheltered on-the-run suspect in Donegal Facebook HSE warns of ‘widespread cancellations’ of appointments next week A councilor has claimed that the council could be perceived as brushing under the carpet a debate on the ‘Whole Timed System of Work’Councillor Ciaran Brogan made the remark after the press where barred from a debate on the WSW at the request of Frank McBrearty Junior.His request was backed by most members of Fine Gael, Labour and Sinn Fein.The Whole System of Work has cost over 3.5 million euro to date and is a framework with the aim of helping the council work more efficiently.The decision to block media coverage of the debate is understood to avoid litigation against the council or it’s members.Questions have been raised about how the WSW contract was procured and awarded.It is currently being tested to see if it is to be fully implemented .Greg Hughes spoke to Cllr Brogan in Lifford this afternoon. He says the decision to meet in private was the wrong one………..[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/brogan1.mp3[/podcast] Press barred from crucial county council debate Dail to vote later on extending emergency Covid powers Pinterest Previous articleDonegal primary school classrooms amongst most overcrowded in countryNext articleNew Psychiatric Unit reflects much better understanding of mental health needs – HSE News Highland WhatsApplast_img read more

Case round up

first_imgCase round upOn 1 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Ourresident experts at Pinsent Curtis Biddle bring you a comprehensive update onall the latest decisions that could affect your organisation, and advice onwhat to do about them Cantor Fitzgerald v Bird and Others High Court Unreasonable treatment of employees can undermine restrictive covenants * * * Three of Cantor’s employees were poached by a rival broking firm,ICAP, and they left without giving contractual notice. Cantor alleged that theemployees were in breach of contract and sought damages and injunctive reliefagainst them and ICAP for unlawfully inducing breaches of contract. Theysucceeded only in relation to one employee as the High Court ruled Cantoritself had repudiated the other two contracts because of the manner in which anew remuneration package had been introduced. As Cantor itself was in breach ofcontract, it could not prevent the employees from joining ICAP. This is typical of the arguments deployed when staff are poached bycompetitors. Employees seeking to escape notice periods and post-terminationconstraints frequently argue that they have been constructively dismissed,because if the employer commits a fundamental breach of contract, the contractno longer binds the employee at all. As in this case, the stakes can be high –employers may lose valuable restrictive covenants. Employees and their newemployer may be liable in damages and both parties run the risk of substantialcosts. The employees relied on breaches by Cantor of the implied duty of mutualtrust and confidence. The different outcomes in the cases against theindividual employees reflected the different styles of the senior managers whohad introduced the new remuneration package. Cantor had tried to unilaterallyvary the contracts of employment and in the case of two employees, the seniormanagers had behaved unreasonably, advancing the proposal in a hostile andthreatening manner. In the case of the other employee the senior manager hadbehaved more reasonably. What you should do – Always ensure that confidential information and customer connections areadequately protected against post-termination competitive activities.Protective measures include substantial notice periods, garden leave clausesand tightly drafted restrictive covenants. – Include payment in lieu of notice clauses in employment contracts. Theseallow employers to terminate without notice (albeit with a payment in lieu ofnotice) without losing the protection of restrictive covenants. – When recruiting staff from competitors, always check which restrictivecovenants will apply, and take advice as to whether these are enforceable. – If relying on a constructive dismissal argument to escape covenants ornotice periods, make sure that the argument is credible. – Recognise that treating staff badly can amount to a breach of the expressor implied terms of the contract. This can not only lead to disaffection anddefections, but render even the best-drafted protections worthless. Astley &Others v Celtec Ltd Court of Appeal A TUPE transfer can take place in stages, and the process oftransferring employees can extend over a substantial period * * * * * This case arose from the creation of Training and EnterpriseCouncils (TECs) in the early 1990s. Although the TECs took over certainfunctions of the then Department of Employment, many DoE civil servants did notactually transfer to the TECs immediately, instead only being seconded to workin the TECs. Over time, seconded staff could take up direct employment with theTECs, and this migration of staff took place during a six-year period. Theissue was whether they transferred under TUPE at that stage, with continuity ofemployment preserved. The critical issue was whether TUPE applied only from the date the TECsbegan to function, or whether there was a ‘staggered’ transfer over a period oftime. Rejecting the conclusion of the EAT, the Court of Appeal considered thateach time a seconded DE employee took up employment with the TECs, this was aseparate transaction in the overall process of the transfer of the undertakingfrom the DE to the TECs. There was no reason in principle why that transferprocess could not extend over several years. The Court of Appeal analysed the position under the Acquired RightsDirective rather than TUPE, as the directive was directly applicable in thiscase. The directive was held to be sufficiently wide to embrace a transfer of abusiness over a period of time. The Court acknowledged that the wording of TUPEmay be difficult to reconcile with this result, but it is likely that a similarpurposive approach would be adopted in cases on the TUPE regulationsthemselves. What you should do The decision is particularly relevant where the transferor wishes to retainsome staff for a limited period to assist in post-transfer issues. To avoid theuncertainties of the ‘transfer in stages’ approach, transferors should seek toeither: – Agree with the transferee and transferring staff themselves on a processof staged transfers, and that this will not undermine protection under TUPE, or– Allow all staff to transfer on a single date but agree that certainemployees will be seconded back to the transferor for a limited period. Carruth v Macfarlane Packaging, EAT A reminder of the vital importance of using a reasonable selection poolin redundancy exercises * * * This appeal concerned the tribunal’s assessment of compensation for anunfair redundancy dismissal but illustrates some critical points to bear inmind in redundancy exercises. The finding of unfair dismissal arose from the employer’s failure toidentify an appropriate pool from which to select employees for redundancy. Theapplicant was the only employee considered for redundancy, even though anotheremployee with a different job title performed essentially the same work. Theapplicant had longer service than this other employee and was more experienced.These factors should have been taken into account. The tribunal awarded compensation on the basis that had a proper selectionpool been used and appropriate selection criteria applied, the applicant wouldhave been retained, at least until some months later when the other employeewas also made redundant. The EAT said the tribunal should have consideredwhether to give compensation beyond that date on the grounds that adequateconsultation on his redundancy would have identified alternative employmentwhich would have continued for a longer period. What you should do – Remember that it is vital to use a reasonable selection pool. If the poolis unreasonable the dismissal will be unfair, no matter how thorough yourconsultation process. – Identifying the wrong pool may also make selection criteria unreasonable. – Concentrate on skills and types of work rather than simply on job titles,grades or departments/business units. Ensure the pool includes employees withinterchangeable skills. Pratley v Surrey County CouncilHigh Court Stress claim fails because employee concealed her true medical conditionfrom employer * * * The claimant’s claim for personal injuries arising from occupationalstress was rejected by the High Court on the grounds that she had deliberatelyconcealed the true state of her health from her employer. As a result, therewas no basis on which the employer could have anticipated a risk to injury toher health. This case follows the Court of Appeal guidance earlier this year inSutherland v Hatton in emphasising that the employer’s duty of care to protectworkers from the risk of stress-related illness is only triggered if the riskof injury to health has been made sufficiently clear, so that a reasonableemployer would appreciate something should be done to avert it. In this case the employee had specifically requested that her doctor shouldnot refer to stress in her sick notes as she was anxious not to be seen to bestruggling with her workload. In these circumstances, the more generalindications of a high and at times unreasonable workload were insufficient totrigger the duty of care in the absence of a clear and specific warning of animmediate risk to health. What you should do – Introduce and implement a stress management policy. – Be alert to signs from the employee and the workforce in general of risksto health. The absence of a specific complaint from an individual will notalways mean a stress claim cannot succeed. – Remember that the causes of stress can give rise to other types of legal liability,including constructive dismissal claims or discrimination/harassmentcomplaints. – Remember that the cost to business of stress related absence is enormouslyhigh, even in the absence of legal liability for damages. Proactive steps toprevent or reduce stress have direct financial benefits. Case of the month by Christopher MordueAge limit on employment rights deemed discriminationRutherford v Towncircle Ltd (t/a Harvest) employment tribunalTribunal allows over-65s to claim unfair dismissal and redundancypayments * * * * * Two employees aged 67 and 71 at the time of their dismissals, claimedunfair dismissal and statutory redundancy payments. On the face of it, theclaims were bound to fail – the Employment Rights Act 1996 states thatemployees cannot bring such claims if at the time of the dismissal they areaged 65, or have reached their employer’s normal retiring age. However, the employment tribunal held that the upper age limit wasindirectly discriminatory on the grounds of sex and breached Article 141 ECTreaty. The tribunal agreed the statutory age limit disproportionately affectedmale employees. Labour Force Survey statistics showed a disproportionate impacton the number of male and female employees in ten-year age ranges above andbelow the upper age limit. The tribunal rejected the Government’s attempt to justify the discriminatoryeffect of the age limit on grounds other than sex. For both statutoryredundancy payments and the right to claim unfair dismissal, the upper agelimit had been linked to the age at which employees could draw the statepension – as employees approached State retirement age they had a reducedexpectation of continued employment. Previously the upper age limit was 60 forwomen and 65 for men. This was revised to 65 for men and women following an ECJruling in Marshall in 1986. However, women remained entitled to draw the Statepension at 60, a right not given to men. The tribunal considered that the policy behind the upper age limit waslinked to the state pension age and therefore tainted by sex discrimination,and held that the Government should have remedied this inequality beforeRutherford’s dismissal in 1998. The Rutherford case is only a tribunal decision and in itself creates nobinding precedent. The case is to be appealed by the DTI, and employers willnaturally await the results of that process with interest. Although this caseconcerned employees who were dismissed after reaching 65, it is possible thatthe same arguments would apply to employees automatically dismissed at 65 orany other normal retirement age. If so, the decision could be of much widersignificance. This case has obvious parallels with the protracted Seymour-Smithlitigation, which challenged the then two-year qualifying period for the rightto claim unfair dismissal on the grounds that it indirectly discriminatedagainst female employees. The House of Lords rejected that argument holding thedisproportionate impact was objectively justified on grounds other than sex. However, in the lengthy period before that decision, a great many claimswere presented to employment tribunals from those with less than two years’service, only to be stayed for several years. It is possible that a similarsituation will now arise. What you should do – Do not assume that employees dismissed after the age of 65 will be unableto claim unfair dismissal. Apply the same procedural safeguards as you would toemployees below the upper age limit. – Until a more definitive ruling is obtained, you can still withholdredundancy payments from those over 65 but be aware of the risk that you mayultimately have to pay out. – If unfair dismissal complaints from those dismissed on or after reaching65 are stayed pending a more definitive ruling, you will need to protectyourself from the practical problems such inactivity creates. The ability of witnesses to recall events diminishes over time and indeed,key witnesses may leave the company. Ensure documentary evidence is retainedand statements are taken while events are still fresh. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Six tips for finding a geocache in an environmentally friendly way

first_img SharePrint RelatedGeocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 2)November 23, 2013In “Community”Geocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 1)October 26, 2013In “Cache In Trash Out”5 Tips to Achieve Geocaching StardomFebruary 4, 2013In “Community” Geocaching is a great reason to get outside, enjoy a breath of fresh air, and reconnect with nature. If you are like most geocachers, you want to be respectful to your surroundings—especially plants and wildlife! To give you some pointers, we compiled six tips to show your love for Mother Earth when geocaching.1. Come preparedWhen planning a geocaching trip, make sure to read the geocache description carefully. This way you’ll be informed about the seasonal changes in your area. Do not visit caves in which bears or bats hibernate during autumn and winter and educate yourself as not to disturb breeding habitats. Before searching for a night cache in the woods, check in with park rangers or land management to make sure that this is safe for you and for the natural area.2. Stay on trackStick to designated trails and don’t cut across switchbacks when navigating to the geocache. Doing so might disturb flora and fauna along the way.3. Bring garbage bagsGeocacher Cindi Lee G. says: “We cache in and trash out every time we go geocaching or hiking.” We think that’s grand! Next time you go geocaching, include a few garbage bags with your geocaching gear. This way you can pick up litter on the way to and from the geocache. Some geocaches even have an extra compartment for trash bags that geocachers can use to Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) on their way back.4. Leave the car at home If possible, bike or walk to the geocache location. This is not only great for your health and good for the environment, the slower pace might even make you notice things along the way you would have never seen speeding by in your car.5. Respect wildlife and plantsObserve wild animals from afar. Never feed or try to touch them. Be conscious where you are stepping so you don’t destroy fragile plants and mushrooms. Pro-Tip from Geocacher Sarah H.: “Please clean your footwear and gear when hiking in various places. Footwear caked in mud and plant material is a good way to spread invasive species.”6. It is OK to DNFYou have searched in all the obvious places. You took a good look at the geocache description and the hint, but you still couldn’t find it. Log your DNF (Did Not Find) online to let the geocache owner know that you did not find the geocache. Don’t keep on searching, turning over every stone, and potentially ravaging the area. Keep in mind: A DNF is not admission to failure, it is just honest communication.We hope these tips will help you sharpen your nature senses and become a skilled environmentally friendly geocacher. Do you have another tip for environmentally friendly geocaching? Let us know in the comments below!Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Guiding lights behind our sports stars

first_imgSuccess has many fathers and failure none is an old cliche. However, if one were to go beyond this and look into the success of Indian athletes who are gunning for Olympic glory, it’s clear the role played by their families is huge.Sports View by S. Kannan.The other day when world chess champion Viswanathan Anand was in the Capital, he spoke of how he had a strong feeling the Indians would do well in the London Olympics. When we say ‘well’, the immediate question is how many medals we can win!First things first, unlike China, we are not a socialist state where by the age of six or seven the boy or girl is taken away from home and put in an extremely demanding sports training centre.By the time the Chinese athlete is in his or her late teens, he or she has to become a champion at least at the Asian level. In India, even as we debate the roles played by the state and central governments and how the corporates are also willing to chip in today, it’s the parents or the immediate family members who have played a huge role in shaping the careers of athletes.Let’s take a look at the Indian contingent for the London Games. Some of the biggest stars who have done well on the big stage owe their success to the lessons in motivation from home. The list has to begin with Leander Paes, the country’s first individual Olympic medallist after KD Jadhav. The Atlanta Games bronze medallist wanted to be a football player, but it was dad Vece Paes who ensured the son took to an individual sport. I have seen in 1990, after Vece pulled Leander out of Vijay Amritraj’s BAT academy, how he struggled for sponsorship and funds.advertisementHad Dad Paes given up then, Leander would never have gone on to achieve glory at the highest levels. While Vece had the sporting background and what it takes to win at the higher levels, many other parents never had such a good understanding.Sania Mirza’s parents Imran and Nassema made many sacrifices to ensure her tennis career flourished.Even as the Leander Paes vs Mahesh Bhupathi controversy cools down, the success story of Mahesh is also one where the parents played big roles. In the desert heat of Oman, CGK Bhupathi and mother Meera ensured Mahesh picked up the basics of tennis well.It was their passion to see Mahesh shape up as a good tennis player which resulted in the NRI moving to the United States to hone his skills. Once he did well in the NCAA league, he had to take a call on whether to play college or turn pro. The results from Mahesh are now there to see.If one is to take a look at the prime example of a tennis player taking up the sport due to the sheer perseverance of the parents, it has to be Sania Mirza. From the age of six, Imran and Naseema Mirza drove their daughter around in an Ambassador car. Mind you, those were the days when you had no air conditioners in cars and travel stretched to hundreds of kilometres in south India for Sania to play tennis tournaments. The sacrifice and effort behind shaping up Sania’s career continues for the Mirzas, though people will talk with sarcasm because the mother has been named manager of the Indian team for the Olympics.At least, it’s better than some obscure official, who has no clue of tennis, being made the manager as he will fetch the All India Tennis Association a vote or two in their elections. As for the success story of Saina Nehwal, again it’s a case of parents putting their heart and soul into the efforts. Imagine, coming from a science background in agriculture in Haryana and not knowing much about badminton.Yet, the burning ambition for the Nehwals – Harvir and Usha – to ensure Saina did well as a badminton player, forced them shift cities and make Hyderabad their home. The infrastructure was good and the Nehwals knew this was the city where Saina could get the best grounding from an assortment of coaches.Abhinav Bindra with father AS Bindra.And what of India’s biggest Olympic champion – Abhinav Bindra? As one who saw the shooting range for the first time at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, dad AS Bindra drilled it into his son’s head that he could also become a champion. In less than four years, Abhinav was shooting for India in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and again in Athens 2004. The big moment came in Beijing 2008. Had it not been for the motivation from Abhinav’s entire family, he may have never made it so big.People say that as he comes from a rich background, with his own indoor, air-conditioned range in Chandigarh, training was easy. Heck, even if you have that kind of money, you still need to shoot for hours to achieve perfection.advertisementToday, everyone is asking if Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Sushil can again wrestle his way to a medal. Just look at the background he comes from.His father Diwan Singh has spent a major portion of his life working as a driver in MTNL and leaving son Sushil in the Chhatrasal Stadium. Diwan Singh would have never known what it takes to win medals on the world stage or the Olympics.But it is the push from the father and faith in his son that today he makes us all proud each time he represents India.One look at the boxing squad, and you can see there are many more stories of how boxers have arrived on the big stage against all odds. Hot contender Shiva Thapa’s father was aware he had to put his children into boxing and make them champions one day.As a qualified karate instructor, Padam Thapa bought son Shiva a punching bag at home. The journey began from there and today the dashing boxer is a hot medal prospect. The cases of Vikas Krishan and Manoj Kumar are also equally captivating. Vikas comes from a humble background and his father Krishan Kumar works as a clerk in the Haryana State Electricity Board.Despite the humble background, the family dreamt big and ensured Vikas would enjoy boxing to the hilt and one day make it big. As for Vikas, his brother Rajesh Kumar would take the boy for lessons in punching on a cycle. Had it not been for his effort and belief that his brother would punch with felicity, Vikas may have never become one of the 81 athletes who will represent India in London.In India, the sporting culture is still not strong, so we need to salute the families which have produced these [email protected]last_img read more