UK Government makes changes to employment tribunals legislation

Employment tribunals are often associated with controversy and cost. However, the Government has made a number of important changes to the legislation, to weed out false claims and fast-track legitimate ones. This came into effect on Monday 29th July 2013.

Currently ex-employees can drag-up any false claim in the hope of securing a settlement. Employment tribunals currently have to pursue such claims, even when they are suspect, while preparing the defence of such claims can be expensive, time-consuming and distracting for businesses. This is particularly troublesome for smaller businesses who don’t have the resources or the cash.

UK Government employment tribunals legislation appeal The Underwater Marketing CompanyOne of most the controversial new changes will be the introduction of tribunal fees. The Tribunal system has become inundated and employers have reportedly felt more and more vulnerable to spurious claims. There is no doubting the introduction of Fees is as a result of a well-intentioned desire to remove such claims so that the for the first time a Claimant must 'put their money where their mouth is'.

One of the most important changes is the implementation of a Sift by an employment judge. After a Claim has been presented and the Response has been accepted by the Tribunal, an Employment Judge will consider all of the documents it has and decide, based on that information, whether the Claim or Response, or any part of it, should be dismissed, either because there are no arguable complaints/defences or for lack of jurisdiction. This is a common sense approach and one which employers will welcome, unless their Response gets sifted out!

These changes as well as others aim to weed-out the false claims (perhaps up to 40%) and fast-track the legitimate ones, with the intention of creating a framework for managing cases more flexibly and efficiently.

Here is a link to 'Discipline and grievances at work: The Acas guide'

Article Source: SMEWeb

DAN Investigates Implanted Cardiac Devices: Volunteers Needed

In a recent divers’ health survey that DAN conducted, 25 participants, or one in 200, reported having an implanted pacemaker device. The median age of divers with implanted devices was 64 (39 to 90) years and 95% were male. We did not anticipate this and the survey did not ask about reasons for pacemaker implants, but we have learned something about their health status.

  • Pacemaker The Dive Lab DAN Divers Alert Network DAN Geeks DAN Research Dr Richard Vann Dr Dick Vann Dr Petar Denoble Dr Neal W Pollock diving medicine hyperbaric medicine Rosemary E Lunn Roz Lunn The Underwater Marketing CompanyAbout 64% active divers with pacemakers were either overweight or obese.
  • 22 reported that they regularly participate in vigorous exercise such as running, biking, swimming, weightlifting, etc.
  • Half were diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia, 9 with hypertension and 4 with diabetes.
  •  Few still indulge in some high risk habits such as heavy drinking and tobacco smoking.
  • When asked to describe their general health, one participant answered it was excellent, 12 very good, 10 good, and one diver said that his health was fair or poor.

Five of the respondents with implanted pacemakers had basic certifications, 16 had advanced and four held instructor-level diving certifications. In terms of diving habits, the respondents with implanted pacemakers reported they:

  • Perform about 30 dives per year (median)
  • Have been active divers for an average of 20 years
  • Have logged a median of 460 total lifetime dives per diver.

Divers with pacemakers don’t seem to be less active than other divers, but we did not explore the circumstances and severity of their dives. We did not ask about specific symptoms or manifestations related to underlying conditions for which they received the pacemaker nor about possible unwanted side effects of pacemakers.

Volunteers with Pacemakers Needed

This is why DAN designed a new study to learn about specific issues experienced by divers with pacemakers choosing to dive with or without medical clearance. DAN is looking for volunteers to participate in the “Diving Experience of Divers with Implanted Cardiac Devices” study, which consists of an online survey that takes approximately 10 minutes to complete, in addition to a possible follow-up interview if clarification is needed. If you would like to participate in this investigative study, ongoing through August 2013, please contact DAN Research in North America (919-684-2948 or Participants will not be compensated for participation.

Author: Petar Denoble, MD, D.Sc.
Source: The Dive Lab Blog

Sue Crowe is the new organiser of OZTek

OZTek - the Asia Pacific / Australiasian biennial advanced and technical diving conference and exhibition - has a new organiser.

Sue Crowe David Strike OZTek EUROTEK TEKDiveUSA advanced and technical diving conference Simon MItchell Neal W Pollock Andrew Fock Jill Heinerth Roz Lunn Rosemary E Lunn The Underwater Marketing Company Jim Standing Fourth Element Corey Mearns Light Monkey PADI OWUSS Rolex Scholars rebreathers scuba diving
Photo Credit: Paul Morrall

David Strike, former organiser, announced that Sue Crowe will be the new Convener and Organiser of OZTeK2015. "Since its inception in 1999, OZTek has established itself as an internationally acclaimed diving event. In order to maintain that momentum, and recognising OZTeK’s need to build on its previous successes, I am pleased to announce that Sue Crowe will be the new Convener and organiser of OZTeK2015. I can think of no more fitting person than Sue to take control - she has many fresh ideas and enthusiasm."

Sue is much respected and well known stalwart in the Asia Pacific diving industry and brings a wealth of experience to OZTek. She originally trained as a journalist before learning to dive. After working as an instructor, Sue became Editor and then Managing Editor of Scuba Diver Australasia.

She ran her own marketing and communications consultancy agency for two years before becoming Executive Director of Tabata Australia in 2005 through to 2012.

During that time, Sue has introduced several new brand names to Australia, been President of the Diving Industry Association of Australia. She is currently on the board of the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), is co-ordinator for the Our World Underwater Scholarship Society (OWUSS) in Australasia.

OZTek2015 will be held on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney, Australia.

Simplifying NICs for the self-employed

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is considering plans to simplify the way self-employed people pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

HMRC National Insurance Contributions Rosemary Lunn Roz Lunn The Underwater Marketing Company Self EmployedHMRC is exploring whether it would be simpler to collect these contributions alongside Class 4 NICs and Income Tax through the Self Assessment process. The aim is to reduce the administrative burden on self-employed people. The proposals have been published for consultation, and the self-employed and those who represent them are encouraged to respond to the consultation by 9 October 2013.

Useful Human Resource Statements

Can you write a Human Resources Policy using fewer than 140 characters? Personnel Today posed that question, and it has spawned some interesting and quite useful results. You can search this on Twitter using hash tag #shorterHR.

Personnel_Today_Human_Resource_policy_Roz_Lunn_Rosemary_E_Lunn_The_Underwater_Marketing_CompanyHighlights include;

We hired you because you are an intelligent adult - please act accordingly

E-mail policy: Engage Brain Before Clicking on "Send"

Mobile Phone Policy: Switch it off.

If you're not doing things properly and you don't improve, we may dismiss you.

Dress code: You are not clubbing, gardening or at the beach. [NB: for lawyers replace with "You are going to a funeral."]

Restrictive covenants: Don't nick our clients, staff or suppliers. Or our price list.

Email and Internet Usage Policy: Don't look at porn or waste too much time.

Statement from BSAC – Scuba diving at Trefor Pier

We have just been sent the following email from Jim Watson at the British Sub Aqua Club.

BSAC, British Sub Aqua Club, Trefor Pier, RNLI, Anglesey, scuba diving, Martin Sampson, Anglesey Divers, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company
The Holyhead Lifeboat taking part in the New Year's Day swim from Newry Beach, Holyhead

"Following the the stationing of an All Weather Lifeboat in North Wales, the RNLI have set up a refuelling station at Trefor Pier, Anglesey.

This popular shore diving site attracts divers from all over North Wales and the North West of England. The RNLI and the local authority have asked that we alert divers who may use the site to be aware of the following.

The RNLI Lifeboat will routinely visit the pier to refuel during high water, normally on Wednesday evening and Saturday midday. Additional visits may be necessary at other times following major deployment of the Lifeboat. Refuelling of the site and other works will be conducted by a visiting barge. Works are likely to continue for the remainder of 2013.

Divers are advised to be aware of the above activity and to exercise extra care at all times, especially when diving the Pier. Please be aware of the risk of surface traffic. All divers are requested to ensure they have shore cover, who are able to advise any visiting vessels of the presence of divers. In addition, where possible, divers should display a diving flag to warn of their presence. Updates will be issued as they are received."