Xi Jinping

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Waging war on the sickie may be a lost cause

first_imgOn average, children miss 10 days of school a year throughillness, leaving parents with the dilemma of having to ‘throw a sickie’ inorder to care for themAs a mother of three, the Patricia Amos case captured my interest. The children skived school and their mother was imprisoned as a consequence.I am sure many working parents looked at their own children and wondered: arethey as virtuous as they appear? Clearly, the Amos case is extreme, but it does force a rethink of the wholeissue of working parents and childcare. We all know children play truant, but what is surprising is the sheer scaleof the problem in the UK. Recent research shows that 50,000 children a day skipschool. Frequently, my own children will try to wheedle a day off school, but I amfortunate in that I deal with nothing more serious than a reluctance to attenddouble French and the problem is resolved with a stern look. However, for many parents, coping with work and school-age children is farmore complex. Gordon Brown has officially launched a war on the ‘sickie’ – the CIPD claimsthat staff absenteeism is costing employers £13bn a year. While this is morelikely to be triggered by the after effects of alcohol than double French, theimpact for the employer is equally serious. Children are absent from school for 10 days a year on average, and parentshave little recourse – aside from holiday leave – to ask their employer fortime off. My three children attend different schools, meaning my husband and I sharejoint responsibility for school plays, swimming galas, sports days, etc. With all our children over the age of five, neither of us, according to theDepartment of Trade and Industry, can ask for parental leave. We have ourholiday entitlement and, fortunately for us, understanding employers. If we did not, we would each have 25 days holiday to cover theseresponsibilities, family holidays and illness. How would we cope with the unexpected, individual day off? Probably with asickie. Suzanne Braun Levinne, author of Father Courage: What Happens When Men PutFamily First, conducted research with 50 American working fathers to see howthey dealt with juggling family and work life; the results were alarming. All fathers expressed reluctance to use employers’ parental programs –typically they would take holiday or sick days to spend time with theirchildren. They didn’t want to ask for parental benefits because they feared itwould make them appear less ambitious or dedicated to the job. This is a mind-set which I believe is also prevalent in the UK. A recentsickness absence survey revealed that family responsibilities contribute to 37per cent of staff absences. It shows that employers should not underestimate the relationship betweenchildcare responsibilities and staff absenteeism. As a national UK workforce, we still remain some distance away from the‘family friendly’ ideal that we strive so desperately to achieve. Only byviewing childcare – either through vouchers or assistance – as a core benefitwithin the UK market, will employers be able to say that truancy, childsickness and school meetings have little or no impact on their bottom line. Employers must communicate more with staff and acknowledge the childcaredilemma. They should also recognise the problem of a working father’sreluctance to own up to the impact of family demands on their work-lifebalance. Meetings where parents can comfortably voice and discuss theirconcerns should be set up and encouraged. On top of this, employers should be creative and innovative about workstyles by introducing flexitime and childcare vouchers for both male and femaleworkforces. But currently, with precious few viewing childcare as little more than anice, soft benefit, Gordon Brown may well be fighting a losing battle as hesquares up to the sickie. By Alison Cantle, a marketing director of Sodexho PASS Waging war on the sickie may be a lost causeOn 9 Jul 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Spruce Meadows 2021 Summer Tournaments Cancelled

first_img Tags: Spruce Meadows, show jumping, COVID-19, cancellation, summer tournaments, The Spruce Meadows Organizing Committee, with the unanimous support of the Spruce Meadows Board of Directors, has determined that current circumstances, brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and its related impacts and restrictions, will prevent the Spruce Meadows Summer Series from being organized and run on its historic June/July dates.Working closely with both Equestrian Canada and the FEI, Spruce Meadows is now committed to planning and organizing a series of CSI and CSIO tournaments in 2021 commencing in September. The revised calendar dates for competitions are currently scheduled to be September 2-5, September 7-12 and September 14-19.Further detailed information will become available – and communicated- as the Organizing Committee continues to work with sport, health and government authorities in developing its plans, and addressing all of the requirements necessary, to organize our 45th season of International Sport. More from News:MARS Bromont CCI Announces Requirements For US-Based RidersThe first set of requirements to allow American athletes and support teams to enter Canada for the June 2-6 competition have been released.Canadian Eventer Jessica Phoenix Reaches the 100 CCI4*-S MarkPhoenix achieved the milestone while riding Pavarotti at the inaugural 2021 CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event.Tribunal Satisfied That Kocher Made Prolonged Use of Electric SpursAs well as horse abuse, the US rider is found to have brought the sport into disrepute and committed criminal acts under Swiss law.Washington International Horse Show Returns to TryonTIEC will again provide the venue for the WIHS Oct. 26-31 with a full schedule of hunter, jumper and equitation classes. Email* We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding.center_img SIGN UP Horse Sport Enews Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition!last_img read more

Austal CEO: We don’t do what everybody else does

first_img View post tag: LCS Let’s switch to the U.S. where Austal could be said to be successful, with minor problems with the littoral combat ships. You’ve recently been awarded a contract for two expeditionary fast transport vessels which means the U.S. Navy is showing confidence in your operations. What is your guess on how likely Austal is to receive a contract for the frigatised LCS ship construction deal?Singleton: I think that will depend on the final decision of the US Navy on how it wants to procure the programme. The current understanding is that the intent of the Navy is to convert both versions of LCS into a frigate but it is not clear yet whether they will buy one version or both versions. I think once we get through the current administration changes in the US that issue will become much clearer.What is true is that we are being funded by the US Navy at the moment to do a series of engineering upgrades to the design of the vessel required to turn it into a frigate. So these are missile upgrades, radar, combat systems and so on. Equipment & technology View post tag: US Navy View post tag: OPV View post tag: Royal Australian Navy Austal CEO: We don’t do what everybody else does NT: Mr. Singleton, you took over as CEO from Andrew Bellamy earlier this year. How has the experience been so far?Singleton: I’ve been involved with Austal for four years, previously as a non-executive director. I took over as CEO in April and I knew the business really well. As a company that’s easily Australia’s biggest defence contractor and actually the only Australian company to be in the top 100 defence companies in the world, it is a really interesting position to be in and Australia has real strength in shipbuilding, particularly involved around Austal. For me, it’s been a real privilege to be involved. Is Austal in any way preparing for the eventuality of not getting a contract for the construction of upgraded littoral combat ships?Singleton: First of all, we have contracts on LCS that run out to 2021 so our primary focus at the moment is concentrating on the order book which is considerable and stretches out for several more years.There is a purchase in FY17 in which the Navy is intending to purchase at least one, possibly two more LCS from Austal. That would extend the program out to at least 2022.So that is our primary focus and preparations to position the business for the future frigate are secondary to that. I guess over the next twelve months we will get a really good indication on how that program is going to run. View post tag: Austal To conclude, Mr. Singleton, when one looks at the designs of the vessels Austal is building, one cannot but notice that you are constructing a greater number of catamaran or trimaran vessels than other shipbuilders. Is there a particular story behind this?Singleton: Well, I think that is where we have specialized and that’s why we are being successful. The company has really specialized in all aluminium vessels, catamarans, and more likely, trimaran designs.We do have a contract at the moment for steel vessels for the Australian Navy (Pacific Patrol Vessels), but fundamentally, just about everything we have done in the last 27 years has been around aluminium and mostly around catamarans.We don’t do what everybody else does and that’s why we are being successful in the US; not because we make the same ships as everybody else, but because we do something that’s quite different. The problems Austal experienced with littoral combat ships were related to shock trials and the resulting design modifications that dragged Austal to loss in FY 2016. Can you tell us more about what the design review required Austal to do?Singleton: What that fundamentally was, was a representation of a reduction in the profit of the current programme so we had to revise down the profitability of that programme.Modifications were primarily related to a whole series of changes that came out of the need for the vessel to meet shock trial rating which we have done. That has been a great success since it’s the world’s first all-aluminium vessel, to my knowledge, ever to meet the full navy shock requirements.That’s been a bit more expensive to do than we perhaps had imagined but nonetheless it’s been a very successful outcome. And then there have been a number of changes to the vessel in order to meet navy vessel rules and we have completed most of that work now so we are comfortable that the programme is on a good footing going into the future. Share this article View post tag: interview NT: Taking up this position marked your return to defence from the resources industry. Could you compare the two industries for us, which one is more interesting?Singleton: Most of my history has been in defence so really the unusual part of my history was the resources industry. The differences are very stark. The defence industry is very complex, very sophisticated, with a very large stakeholder base with all of the governmental and bureaucratic involvement both in our own country and overseas. So, there’s a lot of sophistication to what we do.In the resources industry you don’t really have that, there is a very clear line where you either get a project up and running or you don’t, it’s in your own hands.Defence is like playing three-dimensional chess while the resources industry is like playing dominoes. With an order book of over $3 billion, Austal is the only Australian company to make it into the top 100 defence companies in the world.Operating shipyards in Australia, U.S. and the Philippines, the company constructs ships for both the defence and commercial sector. Defence is at the company’s core, however, with over 80 percent of revenue in 2015 coming from naval vessels.While the company booked losses in FY2016, Austal CEO David Singleton is positive about the company’s near future.We spoke to David Singleton while he was at the Euronaval exhibition in Paris, France, where Austal is connecting with design bidders for the Australian Offshore Patrol Vessel and Future Frigate programmes, all of whom happen to be from Europe. Back to overview,Home naval-today Austal CEO: We don’t do what everybody else does October 21, 2016 NT: You mentioned earlier that you were in talks with European bidders for the offshore patrol vessels whose construction is expected to start in 2018 in Adelaide, South Australia and move to Western Australia in 2020. Austal expressed interest in buying into the government-owned ASC shipyard in South Australia. However, the Australian Department of Defence recently announced that the shipyard would not be privatised. Can you give us your comment on that?Singleton: Well, the government’s announcement was only a week or two ago so we are yet to understand completely what the government would like to do. Our position remains the same; we think we are in a good position to make a major contribution to shipbuilding in South Australia.We have indicated that we are prepared to be an investor in that facility. As the only publicly-owned shipbuilder in Australia we think that is an important role for us to play. We continue to be engaged with the government and we’ll work with them towards a preferred solution and I hope that one day we will be a shipbuilder in Adelaide.last_img read more

Irish Marine Institute Gets Galway Bay Test Site Approval

first_imgThe Irish Government has approved a foreshore lease to the Marine Institute for the installation of a quarter-scale renewable energy test facility that will also see floating wind testing. However, the approval came with a limit for only one floating wind device being tested at a time.The Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test site at Spiddal will enable offshore renewable energy technology developers to move from the model testing in University College Cork through the quarter-scale testing at the Galway Bay Test Site.Ireland’s Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development, Damien English, said: “This lease is not part of any future commercial offshore renewable energy generating facility. I have consented to this application on the basis that there is no provision to export power from the test site to the National Grid.” Nevertheless, this testing will give the technology developers an opportunity to deploy an up-scaled device in the future at the consented full scale, pre-commercial, grid-connected Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS) in County Mayo. There are currently 13 projects at various stages of development waiting for access to the site.The quarter-scale testing is a necessary phase before commercial scale ocean energy development can proceed and will help underpin the Irish government’s objective of producing 50GW from ocean energy by 2050 by enabling devices to demonstrate their ability of surviving in the country’s open ocean conditions.Regarding the conditions for operating the site, besides testing one floating wind device at a time, Marine Institute must also provide a communications centre and a community liaison officer to keep the public informed of activities at the site, according to Minister English.“I have also decided to restrict the number of floating wind energy devices to one at any one time and I am restricting the time period by which the specified devices must be tested to the first 10 years of the 35 year lease. This will help to assure the public that this site is purely for testing of devices and will not result in an offshore electricity generating station in Galway bay,” English explained.Restricting the testing period to the first ten years and to the devices as described in the current application means that applications to test a device after the first ten-year period has expired and applications to test devices not specified in the current application at any time will require a separate foreshore licence application and will be subject to the full consultation process including a period of public consultation.last_img read more

The Simpsons Producer Treats Evolution as Fact

first_imgThe TV cartoon The Simpsons was praised for its “greatness” in, of all places, the premiere scientific journal Nature.1  Michael Hopkin interviewed “Executive producer Al Jean, the show’s head writer and a Harvard mathematics graduate.”  One of the questions was, “One episode in which the show does take sides is the one in which Lisa protests against creationism in her school.”  Jean explained the thinking behind the episode:What we say is that there are conservatives, like Pope John Paul II, who believe in the theory of evolution, and that it’s far from a liberal theory: it’s scientific, it’s as close to a fact as can be.  We did say that Flanders, who opposed the teaching of evolution, is sincere in his beliefs.  We tried to take his emotions seriously.    What’s really funny is that they had a debate here between the Republican candidates [for the presidential nomination], and the moderator said “so, which of you believe in evolution?”  And you could see a couple sort of raising their hands and then changing their minds, and I’m going “how can you not be sure whether you think that’s true or not?  It’s not a matter of opinion.”Jean did not explain what he meant by evolution, but since it was put in contradistinction to “creationism” one could safely infer he meant the common ancestry of all organisms by an unguided, undirected process that did not include a designing intelligence.  Because of that, and for assuming the factual objectivity of the most controversial theory in science and philosophy, and for propounding a grade-school-level philosophy of science, he wins Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week.    For the Pope’s most recent statement about evolution, see this translation of his July 25 speech posted by ID Net.21Michael Hopkin, “News Feature: Science in comedy: Mmm… pi,” Nature 448, 404-405 (26 July 2007) | doi:10.1038/448404a.2This is provided for reference only.  CEH makes no claim that the Pope’s opinions on this matter carry any particular credibility or authority.  Since his words were widely reported in sound bites, however, one should view them in their context.We think people need to be reminded that cartoons don’t just drop out of the sky into TV sets from unbiased sources.  They are the work of producers, writers, and publicists who are just as biased as anyone else.  You’ve just seen a portion of the mindset of the executive producer of a popular cartoon that always portrays the father as a bozo, the son as a delinquent, the religious leader as the sincere fool, and the girl who adores science as the savior of society from dangerous myths like creationism.  Why do you think they do this?  No agenda at all, would you say?  There’s nothing like humor to slip propaganda past the family radar.    Al Jean may be a math whiz but he needs to do some homework.  If he thinks evolution is the closest thing to a fact as anything can be, and that one is not allowed to have opinions about it, even if the skeptic is a PhD scientist or world-class philosopher or theologian, then he needs to go back to school himself.  His assignment is to read all seven years of Creation-Evolution Headlines.    Jean’s answer to a subsequent question in the interview provides a great case of dramatic irony.  He was asked, “Do you have a dream scientific guest who you’d love to have on the show?”  Without blinking an eye, he said, “Living or dead, it would be Isaac Newton.”  Ha!  Gotcha.  Now read this article by Jeff Jacoby at the Boston Globe, and the entry on Newton in our online book.  Better send your cartoon heroine to keep this kook out of the public schools, Al.(Visited 35 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Why do you have to put the window shades up for landing and takeoff?

first_imgIt’s all about “situational awareness,” or the ability to readily identify threatening situations in an emergency. Passengers must never open an exit if there is a fire outside. Use another one on the opposite side of the aircraft.last_img

Preview of Budget reveals salary hikes millions is saving with retired of

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 02 Mar 2016 – The PNP Administration is proposing to spend $252 million dollars in the running of the country for 2016/2017 and according to the Finance Minister, Hon Washington Misick there will be no new taxes this financial year. During House of Assembly meeting on Monday the Minister shared that the PNP Government is proposing to spend 4% more on recurrent expenditure and shared that earnings for TCIG is forecast to be $256 million. Based on these projections, the country will generate in the upcoming fiscal year a $4 million surplus. Hon Washington Misick reminded that the FSPS or the Financial Strategic and Policy Statement was tabled in the House since last December and on Monday, the Appropriation 2016-2017 Estimates was laid on the table. A whopping announcement came when the Finance Minister shared that in addition to the salary re-grade which resulted in significantly higher salaries for many in the civil service; another 2.5% increase in wages is planned for public workers. Pensioners will also get more money says Minister Misick, retired legislators will be getting more money. Non pensionable employees released in 2012 will get some remuneration; financial boost will come, said the Minister for crime fighting with 20 new recruits at a cost of $900,000; more money will go to indigents under social services. More money will go to environmental health and emergency services, an on the job productivity management team under the Ministry of Finance will be established and $1.5 million dollars has been allotted to give incentive to small business development, and an extra $250,000 is dedicated to the Center for Entrepreneurial Development. There is also a 19% reduction in non-recurrent expenditure according to the Minister, which he put at $8.8 million.“Mr. Speaker the significant reduction this is due to reduced debt service fees, as the $170 million bond has been retired.”The UK guarantee loan is now paid off, the House of Assembly wrapped up debate after 10pm on Monday night. TCI Premier blasts Opposition side for “slop” information, sets it straight in HOA Recommended for you Related Items:Financial Strategic and Policy Statement, house of assembly, washington misick Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Budget cuts hurt, but necessary says TCI Deputy Premier in parliamentary debate on hurricane funds Minister of Works puts government buildings reconstruction post hurricanes at $8.6mlast_img read more