Finance 2nd January 2019 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Payment covers gambling solutions giant’s activities in Israel between 2008 and 2017, and follows civil tax audit conducted by Israeli tax authority Playtech will pay an additional €28m (£25.2m/$32m) in taxes in relation to certain activities carried out in Israel between 2008 and 2017.The online and land-based gaming solutions provider will make the payment after reaching an agreement with Israeli tax authorities on December 31.Authorities carried out a civil tax audit focused on the supplier, and made a series of transfer pricing adjustments relating to certain functions performed by the supplier in Israel over the period in question.The agreement also confirms that Playtech will not be subject to any penalties that may have resulted from the audit.The company expects to make the payment within the next 30 days and will report the additional tax charge as an exceptional item in its 2018 accounts. Playtech is facing further impact on its bottom line following changes in Italian gambling tax laws, which came into force from January 1, 2019.The company said the decision to increase taxation on various types of gambling activities, could reduce adjusted EBITDA by between €20m to €25m in the current year.Image: Marco Verch Tags: Online Gambling OTB and Betting Shops Topics: Finance Legal & compliance Playtech strikes €28m tax agreement with Israeli authorities Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Africa North Africa & Middle East Israel Email Address
People AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: People Strategy Tags: Online Gambling Two years on from the launch of KPMG’s #WeAllWantToPlay diversity initiative, Micky Swindale asks what more can be done to encourage a greater female presence in all ranks of the gaming industry. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Email Address Where are all the women? Regions: Africa Asia Europe LATAM US 25th January 2019 | By contenteditor The headline to this piece is a question I have asked myself many times over the past 10 years, working both with KPMG’s clients in the gambling and betting sector, and with the speakers, panellists and attendees at the eGaming Summits we have been running since 2010.So it was great to hear Marc Etches of GambleAware not only asking the same question at their Harm Minimisation Conference in early December 2017 but also pledging to make it the theme of the conference in 2018. Both Marc and Kate Lampard (GambleAware’s Chair) had become increasingly concerned, as Marc accompanied Kate on her inaugural round of visits to the large operators, at the lack of diversity in the industry’s boardrooms.Marc and Kate are not alone: the invitation to speak on diversity at their networking drinks in December 2017 followed a similar presentation at the Remote Gambling Association’s AGM in November. There, RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood wondered out loud what happens to the bright women he has observed over the years at mid-levels of operators, who seem to mysteriously disappear or stay static while their male counterparts rise through the organisation.Then, at ICE last February, Sarah Harrison made her views very clear: “It will come as no surprise for me to tell you that this sector is very white and very male. The lack of women working in the sector, in senior roles or otherwise, is staggering.”She also spelled out why she felt this mattered to her as the regulator: “Two key reasons: diversity and good governance; diversity and fairer and safer gambling.” Her successor, Neil McArthur, has continued that theme, speaking at a number of diversity-focused industry events over the course of 2018.This culminated last December at GambleAware’s annual conference, which considered diversity across four key areas for the industry:– Diversity in public health – Diversity in research – Diversity and the consumer – Diversity and businessI was the introductory speaker in that final session, which aimed to answer the question set by GambleAware: ‘Does a diverse workforce make sense in building sustainable and successful businesses, including safer businesses for the consumer?’I was able to fairly easily answer the first half of the question using the widely available and very powerful statistics about the improved business performance that comes from diversity and inclusion (because the former is only effective when combined with the latter), including:– 53% greater return on equity by companies that have more female board members; – 3% gain in revenue for every 1% increase in gender diversity; – 9% gain in revenue from a 1% increase in racial diversity;and that an inclusive and diverse workforce demonstrates:– 12% more discretionary effort – 57% more collaboration among teams – 19% greater team commitmentThe question about whether greater diversity has an impact on the safety of the consumer (in the way that Sarah Harrison’s comments had indicated) is not one that I feel can be definitively answered, based on the research and experience currently available. Though, as Neil MacArthur has pointed out, without a range of perspectives around the board table, “If we are not careful, we are doomed to repeat the same thinking and get the same results.”Statistics don’t lie Thanks to the work of two of my fellow panelists, Kelly Kehn and Tina Thakor-Rankin from the All-in Diversity Project, I was able to point to some hard data about the gender statistics for the sector from their recently released baseline report. This shows that, for the companies participating, a gender mix of 53% men to 43% women at entry level falls to 78% men to 22% women by the time we get to the executive ranks.This is not just an issue for the gaming sector of course. KPMG has done extensive research in this area over the past four years, with four studies focused on gender diversity:– Cracking the Code (March 2014) – View From the Top (January 2016) – Think Future (April 2016) – Revisiting the Executive Pipeline (July 2016)The research was carried out in conjunction with consultants YSC and the 30% Club, a collaborative initiative set up with the aim of having 30% representation by women on FTSE100 boards by the end of 2015. Disappointingly, it actually took until 2018 to achieve that target and recent reports have expressed concern that progress has plateaued and may even be slipping back.Time for change So clearly an issue for all, but I would argue it is a bigger issue for the gaming sector. We don’t have industry-wide data as yet but there is a clear and probably well-founded perception that, while the gambling and betting sector has a good track record in social diversity (there are plenty of shop floor to CEO stories, particularly in the retail sector), it is particularly poor when it comes to gender diversity. At the workshops and roundtables on gender diversity we have run for women and men working in the gaming industry, it has been clear there is a real desire for change and that many of the individual operators are taking steps to achieve that.However, I would argue this is an area where an industry-wide approach would be preferable. The gaming industry needs friends and plaudits more than most; its reputation for fairness and social responsibility is at an all-time low in the UK, with the media, government and the regulator regularly commenting in unfavourable terms about the way in which gaming operators conduct themselves and their businesses.There are a range of areas where the industry understands it will get much greater benefit by acting together than by addressing individually: responsible gambling, fairness to customers and corporate social responsibility to name but three. Taking a lead on gender diversity would be a chance for the industry to stand out for all the right reasons.Our #WeAllWantToPlay initiative intends to support that aim by looking at the work taking place to gather data, understand the causes of inequality of opportunity, and debate how to address them. If you would like to be involved, please get in touch. Micky is a partner at KPMG, where she has worked since 1997, initially in their Isle of Man practice then as Managing Director of their Gibraltar practice for two years from mid-2013. She now splits her time across the UK and the KPMG Islands Group, and works with clients from a range of sectors but with a focus on eBusiness – as organiser of the KPMG eGaming Summits since their inception in 2010 and a key member of KPMG’s global gaming team, she has developed expertise and relationships in the eGaming sector in particular.
GlobalGiving Enables Businesses And Individuals To Effectively Reach Out To Communities Overseas Global Philanthropic Exchange Allows HP Employees to Select and Support International Development Projects of Their ChoiceWashington D.C. (November 25, 2003) Bethesda-based GlobalGiving, the trusted, global philanthropic exchange, today announced it is enabling HP’s employees to donate to international, grass-roots projects of their choice through a flexible, easy-to-use online solution. GlobalGiving’s global philanthropic marketplace quickly and effectively matches low-threshold, social development needs with funding sources. More importantly, GlobalGiving allows employers to broaden employee-giving programs to better match employee interests.The GlobalGiving Corporate Program features a Web-based exchange where employees can access numerous international social and economic development projects, each one vetted and sponsored by a recognized non-profit organization. Employees can then select and fund projects that complement their own interests and philanthropic goals.HP piloted the corporate giving program last year during its annual employee-giving campaign. Based on overwhelmingly positive feedback from employees, HP has decided to include GlobalGiving projects along with the four other charitable federations that are part of HP’s annual employee giving campaign. Through a customized online interface, HP employees can easily search through, support and track various social and economic development projects and directly the progress of the specific project or projects that match their individual interests.“At HP, we are committed to providing innovative and positive ways for our employees to engage with the communities where we live and do business,” said Debra Dunn, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs at HP. “Through GlobalGiving, our employees are able to support international programs as easily as they would local community causes.”“HP leads the corporate sector in innovation in the area of employee-giving. Last year, HP employees worked with us to support more than 50 projects around the globe,” said Dennis Whittle, CEO and co-founder of GlobalGiving. “HP is showing tremendous leadership by making this new model of giving available to its employees.”The GlobalGiving model offers an innovative option for businesses seeking more strategic employee-giving opportunities.The GlobalGiving model connects philanthropic projects with individuals and businesses interested in donating funds. An individual or an organization may submit a proposal for a community-based project. Once vetted, the project is listed along with a detailed proposal on the GlobalGiving marketplace Web site. Individuals and businesses can easily review proposals from around the world and directly fund those they wish to sponsor. Updated status reports are published on the GlobalGiving Web site to ensure that projects are transparent and accountable to donors.About GlobalGivingFounded by former executives of The World Bank, GlobalGiving is the trusted, global philanthropic exchange. It uses a market-based approach of directly connecting low-threshold, social development projects with individuals and businesses that have a stake in global prosperity. GlobalGiving is supported by philanthropy and industry leaders that include Hewlett-Packard, The Skoll Foundation, The Omidyar Foundation, USAID, The Sall Family Foundation, The Hewlett Foundation, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Calvert Foundation and The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, among others. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.globalgiving.com. ###Editors Contact:Ed [email protected] Marketing703-963-5238Tim [email protected], DevelopmentSpace, The DevelopmentSpace Network and ManyFutures are the property of ManyFutures, Inc. All other names, trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective holders. 31 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis Howard Lake | 24 November 2003 | News Tagged with: corporate Digital
A sample from leading Irish charities shows that legacy income has grown by 118% between 1999 and 2004. The sample was part of a legacy study undertaken by the Public Communications Institute’s David Duggan.In 1999 legacy income for the sample charities was ‚€5.4 million and had grown to ‚€11.7 million by 2004. In the last year the increase has been more modest at 6.7 percent. The St Vincent de Paul Society is the star preformer in legacy income raising ‚€24.7 million over the last five years, including ‚€5.5 million in 2004. Trocaire comes in at second on the list with a total of ‚€8.7 million between 1999 and 2004. Advertisement Howard Lake | 14 December 2006 | News About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Irish legacy income shows big increase Tagged with: Ireland The community/anti-poverty and international/human rights groups of organisations share the bulk of legacy income. One of the main insights of the ‘Legacy Snapshot’ according to PCI is to confirm that legacy funding for Irish charities seems to be substantially less when compared to their UK peers. The full report will be available on the PCC website on 18th December. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis 19 total views, 1 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis
January 28, 2016 – Updated on March 8, 2016 Government uses draconian law to ban newspaper for good Organisation RSF_en Tanzania has fallen 34 places in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index since 2010 and is now ranked 75th out of 180 countries. Neither the print nor online version of Mawio has been available since the ban was announced on 15 January. The police arrested the two journalists, Jabir Idrissa and Simon Mkina on Monday 18, interrogated them at length and then released them on bail.Mawio was shut down because of its coverage of the political crisis in the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago, which has been tense since the cancellation of its presidential election in October. The Tanzanian government does not like the media covering the story, especially as part of the population favours more autonomy for Zanzibar and it was the pro-autonomy Civic United Front that was proclaimed winner of the election later declared invalid by the government.Information minister Nape Nnauye said Mawio was banned under the 1976 media law, which empowers the government to ban any publication.“The government regrets taking this decision but it was compelled to act due to the newspaper’s continuous writing and publication of content that is inciteful and threatening to the peace, stability and security of our country,” Nnauye said.RSF already criticized this law in 2013, when two daily newspapers, Mwananchi and Mtanzania, were temporarily closed.“It is very disappointing that Tanzania’s new government has banned a newspaper just a few months after its election,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “We reiterate our appeal to the Tanzanian legislature to replace the 1976 law, which endangers freedom of information.” News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the government’s decision to permanently ban the privately-owned Swahili-language weekly newspaper Mawio and the brief detention of two of the newspaper’s journalists. Help by sharing this information
Organisation November 27, 2020 Find out more Niger: Two journalists arrested in disturbing setback for press freedom Help by sharing this information RSF_en Follow the news on Niger NigerAfrica NigerAfrica News July 3, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Judge tells radio and TV group it can resume broadcasting News May 11, 2021 Find out more The conviction of Niger newspaper editor Moussa Aksar is an attack on investigative journalism News Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn that a Niamey judge has quashed the order issued by the High Council for Communication (CSC) on 29 June suspending the operations of the Dounia radio and TV group for broadcasting a statement “calling for an insurrection by the defence and security forces.”“We believe that justice has been done,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This is a reassuring decision because it means there are checks and balances limiting arbitrary behaviour by the state’s most senior officials.”The ruling quashing the suspension order was issued in summary proceedings late yesterday afternoon by a judge who said Dounia could resume broadcasting immediately. The group, which has said it will bring a lawsuit against Daouda Diallo, the head of the CSC, was expected to resume operations later today.The supreme court meanwhile issued a ruling on 30 June overturning an August 2008 decision by the CSC that suspended Dounia’s broadcasts for a month.———————————————————————————–30.06.2009 – Radio and TV group suspended for broadcasting opposition call to the peopleReporters Without Borders firmly condemns the order issued unilaterally yesterday by the head of the High Council for Communication (CSC), Daouda Diallo, suspending the operations of the Dounia radio and TV group “until further notice” for broadcasting an opposition coalition’s call to resist a presidential bid to amend the constitution.“People in Niger are outraged by this biased and unfair decision,” Reporters Without Borders said. “The head of the CSC is clearly acting on the orders of the country’s highest authorities, discrediting this regulatory body and exposing the lack of independence of many of its members.”The press freedom organisation added: “It is astonishing that only the Dounia group has been suspended although all the privately-owned media broadcast the same call. It shows yet again how the authorities have hounded this media group. We urge the head of the CSC to reverse this decision and to allow Dounia to resume operations without preconditions.”The CSC directive ordering Dounia to suspend activities “until further notice” was received by the group’s director general, Abibou Garba. The order, a copy of which has been given to Reporters Without Borders, is signed by Diallo. Six of the CSC’s 11 permanent members immediately disowned it, saying they were not consulted and that “the principle of shared decision-making was not respected.”The Dounia group is accused of “calling for an insurrection by the defence and security forces” because – like all the local radio and TV stations – it broadcast a statement by the opposition coalition known as the Front for the Defence of Democracy (FDD) on 27 June urging the population to block President Mamadou Tandja’s attempt to hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would allow him to run for a third term.The FDD statement called on the country’s citizens “to mobilise using all legal means to thwart this attempt to destroy the rule of law and democracy.” It also called on the security forces “to refuse to obey the orders of a man who deliberately chose to violate the constitution and who has now lost all political and moral legitimacy.”Tension is mounting in Niger. Yesterday the president dissolved the constitutional court, which rejected his referendum project three times. Three days before that, he granted himself “exceptional powers” under article 53 of the constitution, allowing him to govern by decree. On 23 May, he dissolved the national assembly. to go further Reports Receive email alerts The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa July 16, 2020 Find out more
Print This Post The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Top 10 States for Inbound Migration in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News January 6, 2021 2,409 Views Sign up for DS News Daily Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago About Author: Christina Hughes Babb 2021-01-06 Christina Hughes Babb Subscribe Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago American homeowners’ documented decisions to move westbound and southbound has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a 44th annual migration study by United Van Lines published in early January.”United Van Lines’ data-driven insights uniquely point to national trends and, this year particularly, the resounding impact of COVID-19 on moving choices and the moving industry,” said Eily Cummings, Director of Corporate Communications at United Van Lines. “For example, as more people experience job and lifestyle changes amid the pandemic like remote working, we’re seeing they have more flexibility in where they can live—many choosing to move from urban to more rural areas.”Idaho was the state with the highest percentage of inbound migration (70%) among states experiencing more than 250 moves with United Van Lines for the second consecutive year, according to the study, which tracks the moving company’s proprietary data for customers’ 2020 state-to-state migration patterns.What states are families fleeing in the greatest numbers? New Jersey, which, with 70% outbound in 2020, has held the top spot for exits for the past three years.According to the Van Lines information, top states for inbound migration included South Carolina (64%), Oregon (63%), South Dakota (62%) and Arizona (62%), while New York (67%), Illinois (67%), Connecticut (63%) and California (59%) were among the states experiencing the “largest exoduses.”In addition to numbers, United Van Lines collects information about customers’ reasons for leaving.”This year’s survey results indicated 40% of Americans who moved did so for a new job or job transfer (down from prior years), and more than one in four (27%) moved to be closer to family (which is significantly up over prior years).”For customers who cited COVID-19 as an influence on their move, March to October 2020, the top reasons were concerns for personal and family health and wellbeing (60%); desires to be closer to family (59%); 57% moved due to changes in employment status or work arrangement (including the ability to work remotely); and 53% desired a lifestyle change or improvement of quality of life.“United Van Lines’ data makes it clear that migration to western and southern states, a prevalent pattern for the past several years, persisted in 2020,” Michael A. Stoll, Economist and Professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles said. “However, we’re seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic has without a doubt accelerated broader moving trends, including retirement driving top inbound regions as the Baby Boomer generation continues to reach that next phase of life.”New to the 2020 top-10 inbound list are Tennessee at No. 7 and Alabama at No. 8, both with inbound percentages of 60, and Arkansas at No. 10 with 59% inbound, Van Lines reported.Here’s the top ten states for inbound moves:IdahoSouth CarolinaOregonSouth DakotaArizonaNorth CarolinaTennesseeAlabamaFloridaArkansas Previous: Automated Valuation Models: Benefits and Unexpected Challenges Next: The Automatic Stay—The Ultimate Creditor Protection Home / Daily Dose / Top 10 States for Inbound Migration Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Related Articles Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago
Working from home: How HR can deal with the daily dilemmasBy Jo Faragher on 24 Mar 2020 in Working from home, Coronavirus, Latest News, Personnel Today, The HR profession, Flexible working, Teamworking, Teleworking, Work-life balance Previous Article Next Article No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Website Related posts: With schools potentially out for summer, the practical challenges of managing a remote workforce and supporting managers to deal with their own teams have just got even more difficult. From dropped video calls to managing expectations around working with children at home, how can HR professionals cope? For HR departments across the UK, Monday (23 March) will have been one of the busiest and most testing days they have experienced in a long time. On top of the existing impact the coronavirus has had on policies, staff sickness and workforce redeployment, school closures mean that hundreds of working parents are now juggling remote work with virtual classrooms and breaking up arguments over the TV remote.Coronavirus: policies and proceduresCoronavirus: Temporary changes to workplace policies and procedures Homeworking policy Most employers will have advised widespread working from home from Monday last week, when prime minister Boris Johnson stepped up the UK’s response to the spread of the virus by advising against all unnecessary travel. Commuter train and tube services have been cut as office workers set themselves up at home.As work shifted online, tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams took the strain; both have reported spikes in the number of new users – Slack’s group messaging tool has gained 40% more users since February than it typically has in a whole quarter, according to its CEO. Microsoft said the number of people using Teams on a single day last week was 44 million, compared with a usual peak of around 20 million.But as workers replaced face-to-face meetings with video calls and email and file-sharing applications became busier than usual, users complained of home broadband systems unable to cope and unreliable connections leading to frustration. Vodafone and TalkTalk reported a 30% and 20% rise, respectively, in internet traffic last week as homeworkers moved online and others binged on TV streaming services while stuck at home.Emergency provisionsFor many HR professionals, simply getting to grips with some of the practical adjustments of managing teams remotely – whether their own or supporting managers, has been a challenge. “We’ve always considered that we have really strong business continuity plans in place – all of our employees have the hardware and software they need to work away from the office, and many work remotely on a regular basis,” says Claire Williams, director of people and services at software company CIPHR.“So it’s been surprising how many things we’ve had to make emergency provisions for. There’s just a really big difference between working from home from time-to-time, and working at home full-time.” One recurring issue has been employees’ office set-up at home, she adds. “Desk equipment is one example – more of our people are realising that their home setup is far from ideal, and they need additional monitors, keyboards, mice etc. Some have even come into the office and taken their desk chairs home with them.”On Friday, Acas issued guidance for employers about managing remote workers. It urged organisations to be “practical, flexible and sensitive” to employees’ situations, and to put any agreed working arrangements into writing so everyone is clear about what is expected. Managers should also consider which tasks can be done from home but not fall into the assumption that certain roles cannot be performed remotely.The CIPD echoed this advice. Peter Cheese, chief executive, called for employers to “make allowances [for the school closure] and take a flexible approach, especially for people with younger children who will inevitably need more care.“There may be limited space and limited equipment to manage both parents and children working from home each day. There will be disruption,” he continued.“Employees should speak to their line managers and HR teams to understand how they can best balance family and work commitments, especially as this stands to be for a prolonged period of time.”Work and childcareWilliams says she has already had a lot of queries from staff about how they should juggle working from home with childcare. “We have policies in place for business as usual, but this is potentially a long-term situation that we’ll need to adjust to,” she adds. “So we’ve had to kind of think about it in a far more flexible way. Our approach has been: we’ll be asking for a lot of goodwill from our staff over the next few months, so wherever we have the opportunity to show that flexibility and goodwill back to them in return, we have to do that. We’re taking a pragmatic approach, offering employees the option to shift their working hours, or break up their hours, for example.”But where do employers stand legally when it comes to balancing someone’s work commitments with looking after children? It is not unusual for employers, for example, to demand that working from home days should not be used as a proxy for childcare for preschool children. Does this still hold true? When Johnson announced stricter lockdown measures yesterday, staff were told they could only travel to their usual place of work “only where work absolutely cannot be done from home”.Beverley Sunderland, managing director of Crossland Employment Solicitors, explains that in more usual business times, an employee’s only real entitlement here would be to take emergency time off unpaid. But these are, of course, not typical circumstances. “Employers in the short-term are being much more relaxed about it,” she says. “They’re happy if joint parents timeshare [one works in the morning, the other in the afternoon, for example], and make things up in the evening. They’re fine as long as you’re available if a client has an urgent question and keep them posted.”We’re taking a pragmatic approach, offering employees the option to shift their working hours, or break up their hours, for example” – Claire Williams, CIPHRThey also need to be mindful of expectations, she adds. Asking someone to take emergency time off for dependants “while they sort out other childcare options” – something they might have done under different circumstances – is not really an option at the moment because doing so would go against government social distancing guidelines.Getting the balance rightManagers are also having to get to grips with new ways of communicating with employees they typically see every day. Hannah Prince, a business psychologist at Insights Learning and Development, says it’s important not to overwhelm employees by barraging them with constant communications via different channels.“One of the best ways to manage this is to generate a few options and vote on it as a team. Giving your team members a voice and empowering them to shape decisions is an important part of creating a healthy team, particularly during difficult times,” she advises. “Have open conversations with each colleague, co-create strategies and flex these strategies as much as needed. You know your industry, work and team best so consider what will be best for your own business, team and location. What tools do you currently use, what could you potentially use and what would be the best fit?”Prince urges managers to consider alternatives to email, as inboxes will overflow and meanings can be lost in translation. “Only communicating via email is not always the most effective way to work, as sentiments can easily be misconstrued and it’s not the quickest way to share ideas in real time,” she says. “Also remember that individuals are entitled to say, ‘not right now.’ Employees should be able to set their status to ‘do not disturb’ or ‘busy’ so they can be contacted when they’re available, rather than be expected to stay switched on all the time.”Dan Tesjnak, head of EMEA at learning platform company Degreed, says employees have been given the option to order additional tech facilities such as screens so they can build an environment that suits them at home. But it’s not just about the technical support, he explains: “As Degreed’s executive team we have been mindful to continually communicate and ensure that employee’s mental and physical health is the number one priority. Plus our team shares regular updates on the pandemic, our company’s evolving situation, how employees should be dealing with it and the ways Degreed is exploring to support local communities and charities through the crisis.”Making the transitionGamiel Yafai, founder of D&I consultancy and coaching company Diversity Marketplace, says the transition to doing absolutely everything online has been an exhausting one. “I’m used to using Skype and Teams perhaps once a month and now it’s constant; one day last week I did video calls back to back for five-and-a-half hours,” he says. “When I work face-to-face with people I space things out or there is time in between to get from A to B. I’m now booking in time between appointments – as a coach it’s important that clients’ conversations don’t start to merge into one another.”An advantage of getting used to widespread remote working has been learning new things about the platforms he uses, adds Yafai. “You can do break-outs, pair people up, take notes – I’m lucky I have a network of people I can ask questions or share my learnings with. This has never been so important.” And while virtual coaching may feel like certain things would get lost in translation, this has not been the case, he says: “Sometimes it’s more empowering to [coach virtually] as people don’t feel as though they have to hide themselves. You can still get to know each other and ask questions.”Day-to-day HR activities such as onboarding have also had to change radically. “Where we can, we are onboarding people remotely, and thinking a bit creatively about how we make them feel part of the team,” says Williams at CIPHR. “But for others – where the roles require a lot of face-to-face training or job shadowing, which we can’t do while social distancing applies – we’re having to postpone start dates.” Anyone who is already in the interview process for a role will continue to go through that process, but remotely.For some roles, interviews have been deferred altogether. “The message to candidates in those situations is, ‘we really would like to continue this conversation but because we’re not able to onboard right now, can we just stay in touch?’,” she adds. “So we’re working on building up a really strong talent pool that means we can kick-start hiring again at the appropriate point.”Setting out a structureEstablishing a loose daily routine among teams can help, both in practical terms of getting things done and giving employees some structure at a time when anxiety levels will be peaking. A daily stand-up meeting, for example, is useful for teams to see where they are up to, so tasks aren’t missed or replicated.“Remote working can lead to employees feeling the need to justify themselves or prove their worth by slipping into an unhealthy pattern of long hours” – Hannah Prince, Insights Learning and Development“Short core team meetings can help identify progress on projects, plus any blockers and solutions. Blockers may now be things related to our current world of uncertainty with coronavirus, so it’s important to raise issues as soon as they come up and not dwell on them,” Prince adds. Don’t forget to book in some ‘water-cooler’ time where colleagues can chat to each other openly without an agenda, she adds, perhaps adding a message board or non-work stream on a tool such as Slack.A sense of feeling together even though the team is not together could be one way to beat a sense of isolation many workers may feel from being stuck at home. STATS. Prince says the “simplest and most effective thing to do is be direct and ask” employees about how they are feeling, as different people will handle the new situation in different ways. “Remote working can lead to employees feeling the need to justify themselves or prove their worth by slipping into an unhealthy pattern of long hours,” she says.Williams says that CIPHR’s employees have welcomed social interaction. “We’ve been doing regular formal communications through email, Yammer, and weekly team briefings, but it’s the informal communications that people are saying they need to help them feel less isolated and build morale,” she says. “We’ve seen people taking the initiative – one of our employees started a group chat in Microsoft Teams (which a third of the company has joined), we’re making more use of a mobile engagement app called Totem, and from next week we’ll be doing a Friday company quiz. There’s still more to do, and it’s something that we’ll be continuing to work on.”Friday quizzes and coffee chats aside, there may well also be a contingent of employees who are resistant to their new working circumstances. Alex Efthymiades, founder of mediation consultancy Consensio, argues that it’s important to practise empathy – the knock-on effect of the coronavirus will have touched every single employee in some way. “Change is really hard for most of us so we need to allow people time to adjust. And this is multiple changes all happening at once – people are suddenly working from home, with a partner and/or kids – there are so many adjustments all at once,” she says. “Coupled with that is the fear of not knowing when this will end, or whether their work is even secure.”Where managers feel as though there are delicate conversations to be had, these should not be done over email or text message, she adds. “If you are going to speak to someone about a difficult issue do it over telephone or something like Zoom. Consider whether it’s the right time now, too – for many people this is the first real week of working from home, many with children. Wait until they have settled into that reality.”With new developments to come to terms with every day, HR teams face unprecedented challenges in the weeks and months ahead. But Efthymiades is hopeful that the way organisations manage the coronavirus crisis will lead to positive changes, too. “Things that might have led to a conflict or concern a few weeks ago now don’t seem like priorities, and people’s perspectives are changing,” she says. “I think we’ll see more empathy as we come out of this.” How working from home is levelling the playing fieldHome working and the absence of ‘office power’ has led to major cultural shifts that will benefit the goals of diversity and inclusion.
Axxis Geo Solutions awarded a letter of intent. (Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay) Axxis Geo Solutions (AGS) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with a major international oil company to commence an Ocean Bottom Node (OBN) survey in the North Sea.Subject to fulfillment of certain conditions, the work is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2020. The scope of work will include acquisition of 67 km2 of receiver area, comprising of approximately 30 days of operation for an OBN crew consisting of two seismic vessels.“This LOI confirms AGS’ ability to continue to be awarded work by utilizing it’s unique asset-light operational model coupled with best in class operational excellence demonstrated in recent campaigns by our dedicated crew personnel”, says Lee Parker, CEO of AGS.This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act. Source: Company Press Release Subject to fulfillment of certain conditions, the work is expected to commence in the second quarter of 2020
“Year 2007 and the start of 2008 have been incredibly difficult. Our performance has been more affected by price rises and the ability to pass them on than ever before. Without the award, it may have been more difficult.”