FDA: Equal rights for fixed-term staff - A decision of the South London Employment Tribunal that has major implications for thousands of fixed-term employees in the private and public sectors, has been welcomed by the FDA.
The tribunal has decided that four education advisers, working at the Department for Education and Skills on fixed term contracts expiring in March 2006, must be treated in the same way as colleagues on permanent contracts when it comes to redundancy payments.
The decision means that when those contracts expire, the department will have to pay significant redundancy payments unless it keeps the advisors on new contracts. The Department has until 20 October 2005 to appeal the tribunal’s decision.
Press release ~ FDA ~ Fixed Term Employee (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 ~ ACAS Q&A briefing ~ Russell, Jones and Walker ~ NASUWT website ~ EIS-FELA website ~ Employer’s Organisation
RA Eng.: Sustainable Engineers – At a time when there is both renewed criticism of teaching standards, the relevance of Degree level education & accelerated melting of polar icecaps, the Royal Academy of Engineering has published Engineering for Sustainable Development: Guiding Principles, which brings together much of UK engineering’s current thinking on applying sustainable development in the real world and proposes 12 principles as a basic framework.
These principles are supported, and in fact grew out of, real-life case studies that the Academy has collected & developed since 1998 when it started appointing Visiting Professors in Engineering Design for Sustainable Development at universities around the UK, with the aim of generating teaching materials for engineering undergraduates that inspire them with an understanding of both the concept of sustainable development and the place of their own engineering field in delivering it.
Press release ~ Engineering for Sustainable Development: Guiding Principles ~ Visiting Professors in Engineering Design for Sustainable Development Scheme ~ Sustainable Product Engineering University Research Centre (SPERC) ~ Higher Education Academy ~ IEE - Engineering for a sustainable future ~ Centre for Sustainable Engineering
Ordnance Survey: A new National Underground Assets Group (NUAG) has been established to ‘champion better coordination between utility companies, highway authorities and other interested parties’.
Its aim is to produce best practice guidelines for the collection, exchange, reuse & recording of information on underground assets, all of which is vital to improve the way work on underground assets is carried out – particularly where it involves street works.
Press release ~ Ordnance Survey ~ National GPS Network ~ Digital National Framework ~ DfT - Information systems for street and highways works ~ Traffic Management Act ~ National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) ~ Highways Authorities and Utilities Committee (HAUC (UK) ~ Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) ~ Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES) ~ UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) ~ Pipeline Industry Guild (PIG) ~ Association for Geographic Information (AGI) ~ County Surveyors Society (CSS)
Met Office: The Met Office is warning its customers and partners to plan for a ’colder than average winter’, coupled with less winter rain than normal.
Press release ~ Winter forecast 2005/6 (Dec/Jan/Feb) ~ Defra Rainfall website ~ Changing intensity of rainfall over Britain ~ Env. Agency – Rainfall in summer & winter
OGC Buying Solutions: OGC BS is working with government departments on a project to provide a suite of Postal Services frameworks in the lead-up to full market deregulation of the UK letters market on 1st January 2006.
Frameworks will be awarded on a pan-governmental basis (Central Civil Government and wider Public Sector) although it is anticipated that their use will be ‘on merit’ based on value for money gains and quality of service provided.
Press release ~ Catalist portfolio ~ Postal Service framework
RA Eng.: The Royal Academy of Engineering is launching an annual lecture series in Mobile Telecommunications & Networks on November 9. The talks will highlight the benefits of the communications revolution and celebrate the achievements of those who made it all happen.
Press release ~ Innovations in the commercialisation of CDMA for wireless communications and future directions
DTI: On Saturday 1st October, the National Minimum Wage rose from £4.85 to £5.05 per hour, while the youth rate, paid to 18-21 year-olds, went up from £4.10 per hour to £4.25, guaranteeing a pay increase for 1.3 million low paid workers.
Press release ~ Low Pay Commission (LPC) ~ LPC’s 2005 report (4Mb - 295 pages) ~ DTI NMW website
DTI: Electricity customers can now see how green their supplier is, electricity suppliers must give their customers a breakdown of the fuels they’ve used to generate the electricity they provide, as well as the CO2 emissions and radioactive waste produced.
Press release ~ Green electric.co.uk ~ DTI Energy website ~ Fuel Mix Disclosure ~ Electricity Liberalisation Directive (2003/54/EC)
Wales Assembly Govt.: Ten community transport projects across Wales are to share a total of £2.2 million, over three years, to provide free transport for severely disabled people. A balance of £0.8m is available for a second round of bids, which is open to organisations that have already submitted proposals to the Community Transport Association (CTA) as part of this scheme (closing date Friday 16 December 2005)
Press release ~ All Wales transport Forum ~ Welsh Transport Forum: Review of Community Transport ~ Action Plan ~ Community Active Travel Services (CATS) ~ DfT Access to travel for Disabled website ~ Community Transport Association
DCMS: The government has announced that an “independent” panel, to advise the Government on the areas in which the new types of casino created by the Gambling Act will be located, has been appointed and will report by the end of 2006.
Press release ~ DCMS Gambling website ~ Gambling Act 2005 ~ Consultation document ’Possible Changes to The Use Classes Order; Casinos’ (closes 21 October 2005)
DCMS: Tessa Jowell has promised practical support to enable the next generation of sporting champions to realise their ambitions and to allow ‘schools, businesses and the Government all to play new roles to boost the chances of Britains medal hopefuls in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’.
Success is ‘guaranteed’ by the fact that every MP is being provided with a multi-media toolkit to ‘ensure that all communities have a chance to be part of 2012’.
Press release ~ DCMS Sport website ~ Ofsted - The Physical Education, School Sport and Club Links Strategy (PESSCL) ~ Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS)
DWP: David Blunkett has announced that a new gateway will be piloted, in the New Year, to advise working parents how they can work out for themselves satisfactory arrangements for child maintenance.
Press release ~ CSA website
DWP: David Blunkett has unveiled measures intended to help people build assets & access affordable credit, as part of ending the scourge of the loan shark. £36 million will be allocated to the Growth Fund to support Credit Unions, Community Development Finance Institutions and other third sector lenders.
Press release ~ Social Fund ~ Disability Alliance - Social Fund budgetary loans and grants ~ Association of British Credit Unions ~ National Association of Credit Union Workers ~ FSA Credit Unions ~ Community Development Finance Association ~ Enterprise Fund ~ Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI) Toolkit
Sport England: The latest sporting initiative to get us all fitter in time for the Olympics involves Sport England, which is currently ‘issuing a rallying call to the nation with the launch of a major new campaign designed to get people active’. The Everyday Sport campaign is intended to encourage people to build physical activity & sport into their everyday lives and the campaign is set to get England moving in the battle against obesity and in the countdown to London 2012.
Press release ~ Every Day website ~ Sport England
DfT: New measures to crack down on the menace of uninsured drivers have been announced, which will make it an offence to own a car which is neither insured, nor registered as off the road. The police will identify & prosecute uninsured motorists, using a database of all registered vehicles in the UK.
Press release ~ Road Safety Bill (click on ‘R’) ~ Road Casualties Great Britain: 2004 - Annual Report ~ Defra - Tackling unlicensed and abandoned vehicles ~ ’Think Road Safety’ ~ Consultation (closed) - "Seizure of vehicles being driven uninsured" ~ Greenaway report: Uninsured Driving in the UK
DTI: Plans to cut back on red tape by revoking three pieces of outdated competition law have been announced in a consultation (closes 28 October 2005) by Competition Minister Gerry Sutcliffe. The three pieces of legislation are the:
· Dental Goods Order 1951
· Restrictions on Agreements (Estate Agents) Order 1970
· Imported Timber Order 1960
Press release ~ Revocation orders (scroll down to ‘Revocations) ~ OFT advice
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published a consultation paper (closes 6 January 2006) which addresses the issue of how to ensure that investors in retail funds benefit from the enhanced disclosure regime being introduced for firms for bundled brokerage and soft commissions from 1 January 2006.
Press release ~ CP05/13 Bundled Brokerage and Soft Commissions Arrangements for Retail Investment Funds
Ofwat: Existing water companies have indicated the prices they could charge water supply licensees for access to their supply systems. The indicative access prices, published at the end of August as part of the preparation for the new water competition regime, will help licensees discuss the options for changing water supplier with large business customers.
Press release ~ Indicative prices
For further information on the events listed below (and subsequent events) please click HERE
Date: 2 November 2005
Organiser: National School of Government - Hitting the right note
Enhancing individual, team and organisational performance is the theme of a one-day National School of Government training and development conference. Designed for public sector senior managers, HR and training professionals and anyone looking to introduce new approaches, ‘Hitting the Right Note’ features a presentation on passionate & memorable oral communication from Russell Wardop, followed by a workshop on developing the high-performance team led by the City of London Sinfonia.
Date: 18 November 2005
Venue: Radisson SAS Portman Hotel, London
Organiser: Economist Conferences - Third Annual Public Sector Conference
Building on results for next-generation public services - Government today is engaged in complex business transformation programmes. A wave of efficiency drives in recent years has seen public sector organisations make real efforts to streamline operations and cut costs. Can leaders fulfil the public’s increased expectation of effective service provision? Is there a handle on developing an effective service delivery culture? Help shape the answers at this strategic one-day conference.
Date: March - July 2006
Venue: Pinewood Studios
Organiser: Defence Science and Technology Laboratory - £10,000 Up for grabs underwater
In the first competition of its kind in the UK, teams of students from Universities will have the chance to win £10,000 in prize money for building the ultimate unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV). The challenge, which is sponsored by the MoD’s Research Acquisition Organisation (RAO) and Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is to design & build an autonomous UUV that is capable of carrying out a specified in-water ‘mission’.
Five Universities have already signed up for the challenge, including Southampton, Heriot Watt & Cranfield and two European entries from Girona (Spain) and Trondheim (Norway). There are five places left and those universities who think they are up to the challenge are encouraged to grab these last few places. Applications with entry fee must be received by end of March 2006. For more competition information & mission details click HERE :
For further information on the above (and subsequent) events please click HERE
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