International news: Changing technology spells end of premium pay

first_img Comments are closed. Temporary pay given to highly-skilled IT staff end up as expensive, permanent pay rises. This is because HR and managers baulk at telling employees that these short-term pay hikes are ending. A survey of delegates at a World at Work conference in the US found that 72 per cent of respondents said that they did not stop premium pay – which was intended to end when the employees’ key skills were less important – as technology changed. Of those that did end premium pay rates, many made the temporary pay increases permanent. Forty-three per cent said they rolled the premium pay amounts into the employees’ base pay and bonuses when the premium pay ended, said John Davis, compensation consultant for Hewitt Associates. Average working week tops 38 hours in EuropeThe average working week across the European Union was 38.6 hours last year, according to European Industrial Relations Observatory on-line. The highest average number of agreed hours was 40 in Greece, Luxembourg and Sweden, and the lowest was 37 in Denmark and the Netherlands. EIRO’s annual report shows that staff in the banking sector work fewer hours per week than employees in local government. But it points out the difficulties in making international comparisons on the length of working weeks. Comparable data is not collected in all countries, while particular problems include different ways of calculating working time, with annual, rather than weekly Two-thirds fail to answer dismissal referendumItalian referendums questioning the public on individual dismissals and the collection of trade union fees failed because only a third of the electorate went to the polls last week. The public was asked if they wanted to prevent workers being reinstated after unlawful individual dismissals and if they wanted to abolish the trade union membership dues which are deducted by two welfare organisations. These institutes cover social security and compulsory insurance against workplace accidents and occupational illnesses. A turnout of more than 50 per cent was needed to make the referendums valid. Previous Article Next Article International news: Changing technology spells end of premium payOn 30 May 2000 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

IPE Views: Should investors be concerned about farm animal welfare?

first_imgThe treatment of company staff has long been on the radar for investors. But Joseph Mariathasan says that animal welfare is just as important  Should issues of animal welfare matter to investors? In the extreme case, the answer is a pretty clear yes. Jeremy Coller pointed out at the launch of the 2014 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) last week, that as a result of Blackfish, a critical documentary on the treatment by Seaworld of a killer whale, attendance at the Seaworld amusement park fell by 30% and their share price fell by a third and has yet to recover. In contrast, he says, restaurant chain Chipotle saw a 23% increase in revenues in the second half of 2012 after it sold itself on sourcing its meat from farmers who treat their livestock humanely without the use of industrialised factory farming.Clearly extreme cases can impact companies both for the better as well as for the worse. But apart from the purely moral arguments, which can often be controversial, there are also issues pertaining to human health. The widespread overuse of antibiotics in animals as a disease prevention measure has been an effective cost reduction strategy for the farming industry. But it creates the spectre of antibiotic resistant strains of pathogens that are potentially harmful to the human population being incubated within the food producing animal industry.As the BBFAW report argues, such a prophylactic use of antibiotics, which accounts for nearly half of all the antibiotics produced worldwide, is used to compensate for an inherently low-welfare environment in intensive farming where animal immune systems are compromised and sickness is more likely. It is another example of an activity where economic externalities have not been priced in, so the user of antibiotics benefits by an amount which can be dwarfed by the amount that society as a whole, loses. Proponents of better treatment of farm animals have the objective of raising standards of care throughout the industry and that is a difficult issue to get the attention of the investor community. The underlying rationale for the creation of the BBFAW is clear – what you can’t measure, can’t be managed, whether important or not.In that respect, the BBFAW reports are an invaluable first step to analysing the issues. They assess company approaches to farm animal welfare purely on the basis of published information in three core areas: Firstly a management’s commitment and policy regarding animal welfare that includes specific policies on issues such as close confinement and long distance transport; secondly governance and management covering areas such as farm animal welfare-related objectives, supply chain management and performance reporting and, thirdly, leadership and innovation including research and development and customer engagement.There are 80 companies within the analysis in the three sectors of food retailers and wholesalers, restaurants and bars and food producers. But as the report acknowledges, the practice and reporting of farm animal welfare remains relatively underdeveloped. 85% of the companies acknowledged farm animal welfare as an issue, but only 64% have formalised their commitment in overarching policies or equivalent documents, whilst only 33 out of the 80 companies publish farm animal welfare-related objectives and targets.Benchmarks are useful in not only providing a measurement, but also in encouraging improvement. Positioning relative to a peer group is always of critical interest, whether to an individual or to a company. In that respect, the BBFAW reports themselves provide a catalyst for improving behaviour.The dilemma for its proponents though, is that fund managers who can influence companies, are themselves only going to be interested in doing so when it comes to ESG issues if they are under pressure from their own institutional clients. But few pension funds would see farm animal welfare as an issue of concern. For that to change there would need to be a greater interest from their own trustees and beneficiaries.Joseph Mariathasan is a contributing editor at IPE,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesLink to 2014 BBFAW reportlast_img read more

Cold Ironing Facilities Inaugurated at Port of Dunkirk

first_imgCMA CGM’s containership APL Singapura inaugurated on Wednesday the cold ironing facilities at the Port of Dunkirk’s Terminal des Flandres. By plugging into an onshore electricity supply (also known as cold ironing), container ships calling at the port can shut down their auxiliary engines while still getting the power they need, particularly in order to maintain controlled temperatures in refrigerated containers.The technology is believed to bring significant environmental benefits, including eliminating emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides and fine particles while ships are at berth while reducing noise pollution at the same time.The cold ironing system installed at the Terminal des Flandres is expected to become fully operational during the first half of 2020.   “Given CMA CGM’s steadfast commitment to installing more environmentally responsible solutions on board its vessels, the Group supports cold ironing and we will continue to equip our fleet accordingly. We are ready to test this system with other European port authorities that are committed to using cold ironing at their container ship terminals, as the Port of Dunkirk has successfully done,” Christine Cabau Woehrel, Executive Vice President in charge of Industrial Assets – CMA CGM Group, said. ACTEMIUM, a consortium of two companies (Brest and Boulogne) was selected to design and supply the cold ironing system that fits into six 40-foot containers, converting the public electricity supply for use by ships at port. The system has a capacity of 8 MW ­– enough to power nearly 1,000 homes – and it has been described as one of the most powerful ever to be installed in Europe.  The operation was co-financed by the Urban Community of Dunkirk, the Hauts-de-France region (via the European Regional Development Fund), and the Port of Dunkirk. The CMA CGM Group covered the cost of the equipment needed to connect the vessel.last_img read more