Passing the fitness test

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Passing the fitness testOn 1 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Arthur Andersen’s recent debacle has reminded us all of the importance ofupholding financial services standards.  Phil Boucher examines HR’s new responsibilities in regulating asector particularly vulnerable to the actions of rogue employeesFirst there was D-day. Then VE-day and VJ-day. And morerecently Y2K-day. But if you work in HR within the financial services sectoryou are probably more concerned with the N2-day that took place on 30 November2001. On N2 day there was no end to war and the world didn’t fall into anIT-inspired Armageddon. In fact, the only thing that happened was someseemingly harmless legislation – the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 –came into operation. But hidden beneath its exterior lurk some important implications for a wholerange of HR issues including recruitment, whistleblowing, employment contractsand training within the financial sector. HR departments that fail to stayabreast of these are likely to incur the wrath of a newly invigorated FinancialServices Authority. Put simply, the N2 regulations have created a single regulatory regime forthe financial sector. The intention is to create a system where all financialservices employees are closely regulated by the FSA, in the hope that itprevents the Nick Leesons of this world from rearing their expensive heads everagain. As a result HR now has to keep meticulous records of all its employees’ jobmovements and promotions. It also has to ensure that all financial workers are registeredwith the FSA. This is having a major effect on the recruitment of new workers. Olivia Sinfield, solicitor at Osborne Clarke, says: “Anybody who’semploying now has to ensure that the people they are taking on are authorisedby the FSA. They have to check that they are fit and proper for their role,check that they’re up to doing the job, check that they are competent, andcheck all of their qualifications thoroughly.” If HR doesn’t do this and it later transpires that an employee isunqualified or even banned from working in the financial markets, the firm isliable to face action from the FSA. To head off this potential problem at the recruitment stage, employers haveto take up all references, check academic and work histories, and possibly analysethe candidate’s financial situation. It may even be prudent to run a search forcounty court judgements – although the individual’s consent must be obtainedfirst. Jonathan Carr, associate at Allen & Overy, says: “HR has to checkanything that affects a candidate’s fitness to work in the City. They have tothink about anything that may affect the honesty and integrity of the personand anything that might damage the standing and reputation of theemployer.” The FSA has indicated that the approval process should not take long tocomplete, as only those who are new to the sector will face a full examinationof their character. But the FSA has a period of up to three months in which todetermine whether someone is fit to do a specified job. To smooth this process employment lawyers suggest it is best for HR to makethe responsibilities of the job as clear as possible during the recruitmentprocess. This includes detailing the level of supervision the position willhave. “Regulatory clearance has always been important but now it’scrucial,” says Anna Fletcher, associate in the employment team at Wragge& Co. “HR recruitment needs to make sure that the person meets thestandards of fitness and propriety laid down by the FSA. And this can beaffected in so many ways that recruiters have to think very carefully about theaction they take.” If the applicant is judged as a fit and proper person to perform therelevant function then the application will be granted. However, this may taketime and require the starting date for employment to be moved back. Once the individual starts work they must continue to remain fit and properand observe the standards of conduct expected by the FSA. HR also has to keepthe FSA informed of any promotions or transfers. More importantly, the employermust explain to the employee that any career advancements are subject to themcontinuing to have regulatory approval. If an individual is promised promotionwithout these conditions attached and it is subsequently denied because theirapproved status is withdrawn or refused, there is a risk that they could resignand claim constructive dismissal on the grounds that the duty of mutual trustand confidence has been breached. Given that an unfair dismissal claim can now net up to £51,700, it is aneventuality that HR will want to avoid if at all possible. As Carr says:”It is basically ensuring that people are in the right place by beefing upall the regulations around promotion and staff assessment.” The surest way of doing this is to make sure that employees know everythinghinges on them maintaining fitness and propriety. Line managers responsible forin-house promotion must also be informed that any offer is made with thecondition attached. Job offers, job descriptions, letters of appointment,contracts of employment and staff handbooks must all set out that an individualis obliged to act in accordance with the statements of principle issued by theFSA. This should be continued for the induction process and any appraisal ortraining documentation. And most importantly, this paper trail has to be kepton file in case of proceedings at a later stage. Jonathan Chamberlain, partner in the employment team at Wragge & Co,says: “N2 requires increased monitoring throughout the employmentrelationship. The intention is that from an HR perspective all yourdocumentation, training and appraisals are in order and accountable to theFSA.” In extreme cases the FSA can remove a firm’s licence to trade if it is foundto have knowingly allowed negligence and gross misconduct to occur. However,this is only likely if there is a continued and blatant flaunting of theregulations. In most instances it is the individual alone who will be sanctioned,resulting in anything from the removal of FSA approval to unlimited fines and apublished statement of misconduct. HR can limit the extent to which this reflects on a firm’s reputation byopenly taking a proactive approach. If the FSA can see that a firm is takingthe issue seriously it is less likely to interfere. The best way of doing thisis through a written disciplinary procedure that stresses individualaccountability. The FSA is also likely to allow managers to escape unpunishedunless it can be proven that they have knowingly allowed the misconduct tooccur. The arrival of N2 has put much greater emphasis on the whistleblower.”N2 creates a positive duty to blow the whistle within anorganisation,” says Carr. “HR has a role to play in developing theidea that it is every employee’s professional duty.” While the FSA may have increased powers, it looks set to take a fairlylow-key approach and allow the 10,500 firms involved to run their own affairswhere possible. However, HR has to ensure that all employees are competent,appropriately supervised and trained, and capable of performing their job to ahigh standard of competence, and it is here that the paper trail is mostimportant. If the FSA discovers that the firm has failed fully to check theemployee’s performance and suitability for the position it is liable to facefurther action – even if the individual is by then working for someone else. Staying on the right side of the FSAThe FSA handbook does not describeprecisely what HR has to do as a result of the new regime. But these are someof the issues that HR should be aware of in the short term.Recruitment Check the background of potential recruits. While HR has a dutyto look into a person’s history, it has to be done within the confines of theData Protection Act and the new code of practice. This means all applicationshave to be treated on their individual merits, as the background checks must beboth necessary and relevant to the position.Along with checking references HR hasto find out if a candidate is financially sound. The easiest way of doing thisis through an agency. For this it is vital to get the consent of the subject,particularly when vetting for issues such as past disciplinary action,bankruptcy or CCJs.Employment contractsN2 emphasises the need for a high standard of professionalcompetence. If people fall below the required standard HR needs to be able totake action. For this reason, financial employees’ contracts of employmentshould be changed to allow for dismissal in circumstances where standards offitness and propriety are breached or FSA rules broken. This will make it fareasier for employers to dismiss for gross misconduct in such situations. Disciplinary proceduresWhile it used to be the case that disciplinary notes were spentafter a couple of years it is now important to keep hold of them for far longerunder N2 because you may need to produce them a couple of years down the lineto show what action an employee (or former employee) has faced. last_img read more

Watch Bob Weir Get Funky With Dumpstaphunk On All Hallows Eve [Full Pro-Shot]

first_imgOn Tuesday, New Orleans hometown heroes Dumpstaphunk returned to Sweetwater Music Hall for their annual Halloween celebration in Mill Valley, CA. For the second year in a row, Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir joined Ivan Neville, Tony Hall, Ian Neville, Nick Daniels III, and Alvin Ford Jr. for a “night of mischief music” alongside the Jazz Mafia Horns.Watch Bob Weir Play Tom Petty’s “Breakdown” While Wearing A Shirt With His Own Face On ItAs the band reminded their fans when they announced Weir’s guest appearance earlier in the day, “In 2016, Weir joined Dumpstaphunk for a ‘Shakedown Street >Dear Prudence > Iko Iko > Big Chief New Orleans Medley > Knockin’ on Heavens Door’ medley that kept fans dancing all night long. There’s no telling what will go down tonight, but the band warns fans to come on out and “find out what tricks n treats we gonna pull outta the Dumpsta!!”Weir joined his NOLA buddies onstage midway through their set, and helped the band launch into a rendition of Marvin Gaye hit-turned The Band live staple “Don’t Do It”, supplying backing vocals and rhythm guitar under Daniels’ soulful crooning. The band kept the Crescent City vibes rolling with a rendition of New Orleans standard “Iko Iko”, followed slow-roll funk reading of Bob Dylan‘s “Maggie’s Farm” with Weir adding slide guitar flourishes for good measure.Next, Bobby took the reins, leading the band through appropriately funky takes on The Temptations‘ “Shaky Ground” and, finally, the Dead’s “Shakedown Street” before exiting the stage to let the core group finish out their set, which also included a reggae-style cover of the late Tom Petty‘s “Free Fallin’” (starting at 3:12:00 in the video below).You can watch full pro-shot video of Dumpstaphunk’s 2017 Halloween show at Sweetwater Music Hall below via the venue’s Facebook live stream (Note: Show starts at ~ 02:00:00, Weir joins the band at ~02:33:00, and the reggae Petty tribute begins at ~03:12:00):Dumpstaphunk will be at Brooklyn Bowl on November 21st for their annual “Phunksgiving” performance. For a full list of upcoming shows, head to the band’s website.[h/t – JamBase]last_img read more

Senate approves the Shirt Project President

first_imgTags: Constitution of the Undergraduate Student Body, Housing policy, RecSports, Senate, Shirt Project At Wednesday’s student senate meeting, senators discussed issues ranging from the Shirt Project, student health and wellness updates, revisions to the Constitution of the Undergraduate Student Body and a response to the new university housing policy.The senate confirmed junior Kristin Andrejko as the Shirt Project President by unanimous vote Wednesday evening.Student Union treasurer Alexandra Henderson formally nominated Andrejko. Andrejko was the senator from Walsh Hall last year and is currently studying abroad in London.“[Andrejko] has been working on the Shirt Project since freshman year and she has a lot of experience,” Henderson said. “She’s really excited about this upcoming year.”Student senate also passed three revisions regarding the Constitution of the Undergraduate Student Body.The Department for Constitutional Procedures brought the revisions to the senate for a vote. The first allowed proxy members to count towards a quorum, which passed unanimously. The second revision instituted an attendance policy for senators. After four unexcused absences or seven total absences, the Student Union Ethics Commission will conduct a hearing regarding the Senator’s potential negligence. This revision passed with only one Senator in opposition and no abstentions. The third revision increased the quorum from 3/5 to 2/3 to be consistent with the requisite quorum for the Election Committee, per the Constitution. This revision passed unanimously as well.The senate’s housing policy committee is continuing to prepare for action regarding the updated housing policy.One subcommittee is writing a letter to the administration asking specific questions regarding the policy, another is creating a survey to understand student sentiment toward the policy and the third is dealing with the proposed waiver policy and discussing how to ameliorate the waiver process.“I’m really happy with how it’s looking so far,” Shewit said. “We’re going to continue to push for student feedback through this process.”Jade Martinez, student government‘s director of health and wellness, presented to the senate regarding potential updates to RecSports, including creating a new fitness class plan.Another topic the senate covered was fitness options on campus. Martinez and representatives from her department discussed a Fit Pass option which would allow students to buy a certain number of fitness classes each semester rather than sign up to attend the same class weekly.For the department, the goal is to implement the Fit Pass as a semester long pass. The fee will allow for classes throughout the entire semester but the department has yet to decide on a class limit or if there will be multiple options for plans.Sibonay Shewit, student body vice president, recommended a monthly membership option to alleviate the pressure of signing up for classes early in the semester.“At the start of the semester, I may not know how many times a week I’d be able to do [a class],” Shewit said.A trial period will be offered at the beginning of the semester, just as the fitness classes work now, but the department hopes the Fit Pass will dissuade students from signing up for classes that they might not be able to attend consistently.“One of the biggest problems that comes from the [trial period] is the next week, all the classes fill because everyone wants a class but they don’t actually have their schedule developed,” Martinez said. “Halfway through the semester, half of the people are showing up because they can’t actually go to the classes.”The classes will take place in the new recreation center in the Duncan Student Center, which will be much larger and feature twice as much equipment as there is currently in Rolfs, according to RecSports.“There’s a lot of new, cool equipment that people might not know how to use, so we’re going to try to partner with tours so people can get an understanding of how to work the equipment,” Martinez.last_img read more

Odds & Ends: Andy Karl Boards Jennifer Ehle Movie & More

first_img Andy Karl Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today and over the weekend. Andy Karl Boards Jennifer Ehle MovieHonorary Audience Choice Award winner and two-time Tony nominee Andy Karl will join two-time Tony winner Jennifer Ehle and three-time Tony nominee Alfred Molina in a new independent film. Currently untitled, but previously known as The Silent Treatment, The Wrap reports that the movie follows a married couple who inherit a house in Brooklyn above a dress shop. Directed by Ira Sachs, the project began shooting on July 25 and also stars Greg Kinnear, David Krumholtz and Talia Balsam.Full Casting Set for Nicole Kidman-Led Photograph 51We now know who will be joining the previously reported Oscar winner Nicole Kidman and Great White Way alum Stephen Campbell Moore in the U.K. premiere of Anna Ziegler’s Photograph 51. Will Attenborough is set to play James Watson with Edward Bennett as Francis Crick, Patrick Kennedy as Don Caspar and Joshua Silver as Ray Gosling. Directed by Michael Grandage, the production will play a limited engagement at the West End’s Noel Coward Theatre September 5 through November 21. Opening night is scheduled for September 14.Darren Criss Honored in ItalyDarren Criss has another trophy to add to the two Audience Choice Awards already on his shelf. The recent Hedwig headliner, along with Great White Way alum Orlando Bloom, both picked up the Experience Award at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy over the weekend; past recipients include Criss’ Glee co-stars Lea Michele and Naya Rivera. As previously reported, Criss is currently in Italy shooting romantic comedy Smitten!Alan Cumming Teams Up With Bianca Del RioTony winner Alan Cumming and SNL alum alum Rachel Dratch have been tapped for Matt Kugelman’s Hurricane Bianca. The film, led by RuPaul’s Drag Race season six winner Bianca Del Rio, follows a Texas high school teacher who loses his job once it’s discover he is gay, so he returns to the town in drag to get his revenge. The indie film, which was funded through a crowdsourcing campaign, will hit movie theaters next year.Obama Wants a Tony for HamiltonPresident Obama recently visited New York to say farewell to Jon Stewart, as well as to stop by a preview of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s much-buzzed about Hamilton. Check out the fun video below as Stewart quizzes the President backstage at The Daily Show about how the new tuner was “workshopped” at the White House. The leader of the free world even joked: “I think I should get one of the Tonys!” Hamilton will officially open on August 6 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Star Filescenter_img View Commentslast_img read more

Regeneration: A town on the mend

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Russia quits UN system aimed at protecting hospitals, aid in Syria

first_imgIn a note to aid groups, seen by Reuters, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed Russia’s withdrawal.”The United Nations is concerned about the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the notification mechanism and is examining the implications of this decision for humanitarian personnel and operations in Syria,” the UN note said.The United Nations said in the note that it would discuss the situation further with Russia. It also said all parties – whether they participated in the deconfliction arrangement or not – were still bound by international humanitarian law.”If Russia thinks this will help them escape accountability for war crimes, they’re dead wrong,” said Louis Charbonneau, UN director for Human Rights Watch. “We and other groups will continue to investigate and document the deliberate bombings of hospitals and other grave crimes in Syria.” Topics : “We do not see withdrawal as a threat to the humanitarian workers on the ground if information provided is accurate and trustworthy,” Nebenzia told Reuters.Russia has provided military support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the civil war, which erupted after Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in 2011.Russia and Syria have said their forces are not targeting civilians or civilian infrastructure and have long-questioned the sources used by the United Nations to verify attacks.Under the UN deconfliction arrangement, the locations of UN supported facilities and other humanitarian sites like hospitals and health centers had been shared with the warring parties in a bid to protect them. However, the United Nations has questioned whether it made them a target. Russia said on Thursday it has quit a voluntary United Nations arrangement that aimed to protect hospitals and humanitarian aid deliveries in Syria from being hit by the warring parties.Russia made the decision following an internal UN inquiry in April found it was “highly probable” the Syrian government or its allies carried out attacks on three healthcare facilities, a school and a refuge for children in northwest Syria last year.Russian UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused “various ‘opposition groups’ and terrorists through their proxies” of abusing the humanitarian deconfliction process. Russia believed the United Nations should give any relevant information to Syrian authorities, he said.last_img read more

Women of Troy set to travel up north

first_imgThe No. 12 ranked women’s swimming and diving team will head northbound to duel No. 1 California and No. 3 Stanford on Friday and Saturday, respectively.USC is ranked No. 12 (4-1, 3-1) in the latest College Swimming Coaches Association of America while Cal (5-1, 4-0) is tied with Georgia at No. 1 and Stanford  (5-1, 4-0) is ranked No. 3.U.S. Olympic gold medalist and Cal sophomore Missy Franklin is just one of the Bears’ swimmers boasting a top-10 time.Juniors Elizabeth Pelton and Rachel Bootsma as well as freshman Cierra Runge are also in the top 10.Franklin holds the NCAA’s best time in the 200-yard free and is second in the 200-yard back and 200-yard IM. Pelton is first in the 200-yard back and 200-yard IM and third in the 100-yard back. Bootsma is second in the 100-yard back. Runge is second in the 500-yard free.After facing the NCAA’s best team, the Trojans will face another top-five opponent in the Cardinal.Stanford is led by freshman Simone Manuel, who has the nation’s top times in the 50-yard and 100-yard free and is second in the 200-yard free. Senior Maddy Schaefer is fourth in the 50-yard free and 11th in the    100-yard free, sophomore Lia Neal is third in the 100-yard free and seventh in the 200-yard free, while freshman Janet Hu has top times in a variety of events.The Trojans have top-25 swimmers of their own, including sophomore Chelsea Chenault’s time of 1:45.31 in the 200-yard free (14th) and 4:42.44 in the 500-yard free (21st).Freshman Hannah Weiss posted  52.23 in the 100-yard back (13th). Junior Kendyl Stewart’s time of 51.99 in the 100-yard fly is the NCAA’s sixth best, and her time of 1:54.20 in the 200-yard back ranks her at 21st.Senior Andrea Kropp’s 1:00.01 in the 100-yard breast is 13th, her time of 2:09.32 in the 200-yard breast is No. 10, and her time of 1:56.99 in the 200-yard IM is ninth best.Rounding out USC’s top-25 swimmers is junior Jasmine Tosky’s 10th place time of 1:55.59 in the 200-yard fly, 22nd best time of 2:11.08 in the 200-yard breast, and her 21st ranked time of 4:12.05 in the 400-yard IM.Aside from coaching his       No. 12 ranked Trojans, head coach Dave Salo was named USA Swimming’s national women’s head coach for the 2015 FINA World Championships. Salo, now in his ninth year as the Trojans men’s and women’s coach, will join U.S. men’s coach Dave Durden, who coaches the men’s team at Cal. The 2015 FINA World Championships will be held from Jul. 24 to   Aug. 9 in Kazan, Russia. Salo will be serving as the U.S. women’s head coach at the Worlds for the second time, as he coached the team in 2013 at the games in Barcelona.In other national news, junior Kendyl Stewart was among five swimmers who were nominated for USA Swimming’s Breakout Performer of the Year at the 2014 Golden Goggles in November.  She earned the nomination after winning a bronze in the 100-meter fly and a silver in the 400-meter medley relay at the 2014 Pan Pacs.She also won her first career U.S. titles with victories in the 50-meter and 100-meter fly at the 2014 U.S. Summer Nationals.The swimming and diving meet against the Bears will be televised live on Pac-12 Networks beginning at 2 p.m. The diving portion of the meet will begin with 1-meter at 11:45 a.m. followed by 3-meter at 1 p.m. The meet against the Cardinal begins at noon.last_img read more