Please note that the WGPlus newsletter is taking its summer break and the next scheduled publication date will be on Monday 3 September 2012.  We will, of course, continue to publish individual news items on a daily basis during August and to send out 'requested email alerts'

CH:  Proactive aid / help is far more effective - Early warnings that could prevent food shortages from developing into famines are not triggering early action among humanitarian agencies or donor governments, resulting in thousands of avoidable deaths, says a new Chatham House report.  Instead, the humanitarian system tends to mobilize only once a crisis hits, when it is by definition too late to prevent an emergency.

Famine Early Warning and Early Action: The Cost of Delay, says the roots of this delay lie in failures of decision-making, which needs to be divorced from political agendas and based on objective analyses of the risks a potential crisis presents to vulnerable populations.
Press release ~ Famine Early Warning and Early Action: The Cost of Delay ~ Early Warning Early Action project ~ Weak Economic Policies in Horn of Africa Fuel Conflict ~ DFID: Disasters: top technology to save more lives ~ Somalia: Aid for refugees who fled famine and fighting ~ World ‘dangerously unprepared’ for future shocks ~ Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit UNICEF’s life-saving Emergency Supply Centre ~ Research and Innovation: new modelling results link natural resources and armed conflicts ~ Newswire – Oxfam:  If there isn’t enough food & water everything else is irrelevant (3rd item)

RUSI:  Dammed if we do and Dammed if we don’t - The latest Royal United Services Institute report - Syria Crisis Briefing: 'A Collision Course for Intervention' - claims the problem of containing the Syrian conflict; preventing it sparking even greater violence, fragmenting neighbouring countries and even provoking cross-border invasions, is now more urgent than dampening the violence inside Syria itself.

However loathe western governments have been to embrace a creeping intervention in the Syria crisis, the events of recent days have created a step change in the situation that will make a hands-off approach increasingly difficult to maintain

The Briefing examines the question of military intervention offering a detailed, sober & pragmatic assessment of a range of different options available, as well as the risks associated with each.
Press release ~ A Collision Course for Intervention ~ RUSI: Libya - Not a model for future intervention ~ The British Way of Strategy-Making: Vital Lessons For Our Times ~ Accidental Heroes: Britain, France and the Libya Operation ~ CH: Bahrain tensions threaten Gulf stability ~ UK Foreign Policy Goals Cannot Be Achieved by Military Power Alone ~ On Europe's Fringes: Russia, Turkey and the European Union ~ IISS: Syria: inevitable descent into civil war? ~ Early military lessons from Libya ~ Arab upheaval prompts concerns in Israel  ~ PC&PE:  We no longer wield such a big stick

DHHealthy workers in mind & body - The government has published the Mental Health Implementation Framework, which sets out what organisations can do to make the 6 high-level objectives of the mental health strategy (No Health without Mental Health) a reality.  The framework also announces a new mental health dashboard, which will provide a picture of overall progress towards implementing the mental health strategy.

The framework has been co-produced with 5 leading mental health organisations and it highlights useful guidance & sources of information to help local organisations use their existing powers & resources to improve mental health & wellbeing.

In addition employers are being asked to take 5 simple steps to improve the mental health of their staff.  Mental ill health costs British businesses over £1,000 per employee every year, or almost £30bn across the UK economy.  This is mostly in lost production through staff being off work or underperforming at work.
Press release & links ~ No Health Without Mental Health – Implementation Framework ~ Impact Assessment supplementary note ~ Strategy: No Health without Mental Health ~ NHS Confederation comment ~ Related PR: Employers urged to take 3 steps to improve mental health ~ DH:  Being flexible could keep the costs down (4th item)

DfEPaying for a NEET solution - A pioneering scheme to get NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training back on their feet kicked off recently with charities & businesses given the go-ahead to prove they can turn young people’s lives around in exchange for cash.  Funding worth up to £126m is being made available to organisations across England, who will be paid by results to get 16- & 17-year-olds back into education or training.

The programme, part of the Deputy PM’s Youth Contract, is the first to use payment by results to help get NEETs re-engaged.  Organisations involved have had to compete for contracts by showing they are able to get young people back on track. In return for proving they are experts in the field, they will be given freedom to tailor & provide support for disadvantaged young people in the way they know best.
Press release & links ~ Deputy PM’s Youth Contract ~ CIPD:  Forget the political opportunism, some organisations are trying to help NEETs (3rd item) ~ PCR – CS&FC: There is no easy and NEET solution to the problem

TUCThe high job cost of going green - High energy costs and the UK's emissions targets are making life hard for the UK's steel, cement, ceramics and other core industries who are warning that thousands of jobs could be at risk without more government support for companies in the energy intensive sector.

A report - Building Our Low-Carbon Industries - produced by the TUC and the Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) says that there are currently 800,000 people working in the UK's energy intensive industries (EIIs).  It says this sector contributes £95bn a year to the economy - a fifth of the UK's manufacturing total - but warns that heavy energy users are operating under difficult conditions and, without ministerial action, jobs & investment could be lost to overseas competitors.

Last week a report from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills warned that the UK's heavy energy users were paying at least double the amount in renewable energy subsidies and greenhouse gas emission standards that their competitors in Europe are paying.
Press release ~ Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) ~ Building Our Low-Carbon Industries ~ BIS report comparing with other countries ~ TUC:  Converting to a low carbon economy is not going to happen of its own accord (2nd item) ~ High Energy users and renewables

UniteBeing ill is no holiday - A landmark case involving NHS Leeds has ruled that an employee is still entitled to paid annual holidays, even if they have been off sick for the whole of that year

Unite national officer for health, Barrie Brown said: “This case was being watched by a number of NHS trusts for its outcome – and, in this respect, it is a landmark judgement. It  reinforces the principle that if you are off sick for a lengthy period you are still entitled to paid annual holidays and that they can’t be withheld from you by an employer. It is part of your contract of employment.”
Press release & links

EU NewsEC doesn’t trust UK regulation - In the recent LIBOR scandal, serious concerns have been raised about false submissions of banks' estimated interbank lending rates.  The EC has acted to address this kind of market manipulation, making such manipulation a criminal offence – See ‘EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc’ section for more information.
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