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J.S. Tissainayagam interview

first_img This is the first interview that Tamil journalist J.S. Tissainayagam of the local Sunday Times newspaper has given since his release in May 2010. It is about the state of the media in Sri Lanka. Tissainayagam received the Peter Mackler Award for journalistic courage and integrity in October 2009. January 13, 2021 Find out more Sri LankaAsia – Pacific November 17, 2010 – Updated on January 20, 2016 J.S. Tissainayagam interview RSF_en Sri Lanka: tamil reporter held on absurd terrorism charge Receive email alerts July 29, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information News to go furthercenter_img Sri Lanka: Journalist manhandled by notorious police inspector currently on trial News Organisation Sri LankaAsia – Pacific Sri Lanka: RSF signs joint statement on attacks against human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists News News Follow the news on Sri Lanka July 15, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Exiled Turkish journalist threatened with Interpol red notice

first_img TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expression April 28, 2021 Find out more Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit News September 29, 2017 Exiled Turkish journalist threatened with Interpol red notice to go further April 2, 2021 Find out more The red notice request came just one day after Dündar, the former editor of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He decided to stay in Germany in 2016 after being prosecuted on charges of “divulging state secrets for espionage purposes” and “assisting a terrorist organization.” The new PKK propaganda charge is based on a speech he gave in Diyarbakır on 24 April 2016 in which he criticized the harassment of critical journalists and accused pro-government journalists of being accomplices to war crimes by supporting the government’s military operations in Turkey’s Kurdish provinces. The grounds given by the Diyarbakır prosecutor’s office for seeking the Interpol red notice was its inability to question Dündar in connection with this charge. “There is an urgent need for reforms at Interpol, especially as regards the ‘red notices’ that are too often used by governments to hunt down political opponents abroad,” RSF editor in chief Virginie Dangles said. “Interpol must not be coopted into assisting the Turkish government’s attempts to extend its persecution beyond its borders. And the Turkish authorities must stop hounding Can Dündar, a leading figure in the fight for media freedom, and all the other journalists who have been unjustly prosecuted.” The number of Interpol red notices has grown almost five-fold in the past decade, from 2,804 in 2006 to 12,878 in 2016, prompting criticism from civil society groups that has finally received some attention. Interpol began reinforcing its appeal mechanism in 2015 but much remains to be done, both as regards putting the reforms into practice and providing better filtering of requests from repressive states. This was stressed in an April 2017 resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, which called on Interpol “to continue improving its red notice procedure in order to prevent and redress abuses even more effectively.” After spending nearly 100 days in detention in late 2015 and early 2016, Dündar was sentenced to five years and ten months in prison in May 2016 (along with fellow Cumhuriyet journalist Erdem Gül) on the charge of “divulging state secrets.” The court let him remain free pending the outcome of his appeal, but he was the target of a murder attempt as he left the courthouse. Dündar fled the country immediately after the July 2016 coup attempt, which triggered an unprecedented purge against critical media outlets. He and Gül are still also being prosecuted on a charge of collaborating and supporting “the FETÖ terrorist organization” (the Gülen Movement). The next hearing in the case is scheduled for 4 October. Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index. Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law Help by sharing this information TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalists Judicial harassmentImprisonedFreedom of expression Receive email alertscenter_img Credits: OZAN KOSE / AFP News RSF_en Organisation News April 2, 2021 Find out more News Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor A prosecutor in Diyarbakır, in southeastern Turkey, yesterday asked the country’s justice minister to obtain an Interpol “red notice” for the arrest of Can Dündar, a Turkish journalist now in exile in Germany, on a charge of propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). In response to this development, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call for an urgent overhaul of Interpol because of the growing tendency for it to be exploited by repressive governments such as Turkey’s. Follow the news on Turkeylast_img read more

At least three cyber-dissidents arrested since President Hu Jintao took over

first_img April 27, 2021 Find out more Follow the news on China China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures News December 19, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 At least three cyber-dissidents arrested since President Hu Jintao took over Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes ChinaAsia – Pacific RSF_en Receive email alerts China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison to go furthercenter_img Organisation News ChinaAsia – Pacific Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières) strongly protested today at the arrest and secret imprisonment of at least three cyber-dissidents since China’s new president, Hu Jintao, took office last month and said it showed the new leader had no intention of relaxing his predecessor’s crackdown on pro-democracy activity on the Internet.It called for the immediate and unconditional release of the three, along with 31 other cyber-dissidents in prison for posting material on the Internet about the ruling Communist Party.After the detention of Liu Di and Ouyang Yi in recent weeks, the arrest about a month ago in Beijing of a third cyber-dissident, Li Yibin, a 28-year-old computer science graduate, was disclosed today by the organisation Human Right in China. Li had been involved in producing the online magazine Democracy and Freedom, using the pseudonyms “Springtime” and “Spring Snow.”Human Rights in China fears very many more pro-democracy activists have been secretly arrested this month and last. News Help by sharing this information News June 2, 2021 Find out more March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

County Limerick exam student waiting a year for ENT doctor

first_imgPrint Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed live Advertisement WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads TAGShealthHSElimerickstudentUHLwaiting times Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Billy Lee names strong Limerick side to take on Wicklow in crucial Division 3 clash NewsHealthCounty Limerick exam student waiting a year for ENT doctorBy Bernie English – May 12, 2018 4006 Facebookcenter_img Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Email Previous articleThe man who made Shannon, Brendan O’Regan, is brought to bookNext articleWin cinema tickets Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Twitter A COUNTY Limerick mother has hit out at waiting times to see an ear nose and throat specialist as her daughter struggles to keep up with study through repeated illness.And figures from the HSE have revealed that a number of patients on the list have been waiting up to two years for an appointment.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The mother of the 17-year-old exam student from Askeaton – who asked not to be named in print – told the Limerick Post her daughter has been on the waiting list for more than a year and in that time, she has had to take time off school every six weeks.“When she gets an infection, she can’t swallow, she can’t talk, she is so sick. She’s missing out on a huge amount of school and this is an important exam year for her.“Our GP referred us to the consultant but she hasn’t even got an appointment for him to tell us what we know too well, that she needs her tonsils out. That’s a year without even seeing someone and God knows how long after that before she has the operation”.The mother said that she has been told that the consultant at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) “is only in his public clinic two days a week and he can only see six patients a day.“We looked at going private but even if I had €2,500 in my back pocket, it will be eight weeks before we could even get a private appointment. And in the meantime, she’s sick all the time and her exams are coming up”.A HSE spokeswoman said there are currently 3,748 patients on the ENT (Otolaryngology) outpatient waiting list at UHL, 1,218 of these are waiting up to three months. The longest waiting time is 24 months and there are 26 people waiting between 21 and 24 months.“All patients are prioritised according to clinical need with urgent cases being the highest priority. Beyond this, UL Hospitals Group will continue to focus on seeing and treating those who have been waiting the longest.“There has been an increase in the number of outpatients waiting for an appointment at UL Hospitals Group between March 2017 and March 2018. Among the reasons for this is the significant growth in demand; an increase in the number of urgent referrals and a shortage of consultants in some specialities.“Particular focus is being placed on the validation of outpatient waiting lists and we are contacting all patients waiting over six months to see if they wish to remain on the waiting list”.Visit the Limerick Post News section for more local news. WhatsApplast_img read more

No Proper Response To The Queries By Court: Patna High Court Warns Contempt Action Against Union Home Ministry Officials

first_imgNews UpdatesNo Proper Response To The Queries By Court: Patna High Court Warns Contempt Action Against Union Home Ministry Officials Nupur Thapliyal9 May 2021 12:02 AMShare This – xPatna High Court” It is also made clear that the Court may initiate a contempt proceeding against those who would be found in not cooperating the court proceeding.”Observing that it is the duty of the Home Ministry to give a proper response on the query of the Court that how foreign nationals are being treated and handled by it, the Patna High Court recently warned contempt proceedings against the officials who are not responsive to the aforesaid query and are found not cooperating with the court proceeding. A division bench comprising of Justice Shivaji Pandey and Justice Partha Sarthy also asked the Government of India to ensure that the said department must be responsive to the Court’s query and that the Home Ministry must give instructions in a proper manner so that the counsel is able to file a proper affidavit in this regard. Dealing with the issue of human rights concerns of two women Bangladeshi migrants in the State, the High Court had last month directed the Union of India to file an affidavit giving details of the present status of repatriation to their native place and also addressing the issue of illegal migrants wherein the native country is not ready to accept their respective citizen. “It is very unfortunate that the Union of India comprises all the Departments, including Ministry of External affairs and Ministry of Home affairs. It is the duty of the Home Ministry to give a proper response to the query made by this Court with respect to the fact how the similarly situated foreign national are being treated and handled by the Home Ministry. In failure to give response to counsel will be treated to be violation of the order of this Court.” The Court ordered. The development came after the Court was apprised by the Centre that the official of the Home Ministry was “not responsive” to the query of the Court. Expressing its dissatisfaction, the Court ordered thus: “At this stage, this Court is not initiating a contempt proceeding against those official who are not responsive to the query of the Court. It is also made clear that the Court may initiate a contempt proceeding against those who would be found in not cooperating the court proceeding.” Observing that it was a “serious matter that Bangladeshi women were kept inside Nari Niketan (After Care Home) and not in a detention centre”, the Court directed the Union of India to file a detailed affidavit with respect to creation of detention centre for foreign national in Bihar. The High Court was hearing a petition concerning two women Bangladeshi migrants namely Marium Khatoon and Mausmi Khatoon arrested from the Patna Railway Station, kept in an “After Care Home” for the past many years. However, no criminal case was registered against them. During the previous course of hearing, the High Court had constituted a three lawyers team tasked to visit the After Care Home, interact with the Bangladeshi women and submit a report in sealed cover describing the manner in which Bangladeshi Migrants were being kept there. The report submitted in the Court stated that the migrants were kept in a proper manner and have not made any complaint to the members of the Committee. However, on the status of creation of detention centre in the State, the Court expressed its dissatisfaction on the response of the State Government submitting that as the migrants were kept separately in the jail premises, the same should be treated as a detention centre and that an effort of creating a detention centre was being done inside Beur Jail. Directing the State to file a proper affidavit on the creation of detention centre, the Court observed thus: “Detention Centre cannot be created inside the jail premises, rather it should be created in terms of the instruction given by the Central Government giving detail the manner the State has to create Detention Centre, so it is primary duty to create Detention Centre with that terms.” Title: Marium Khatoon v. The State of Bihar, through the Principal Secretary Home (Police), Patna, Bihar Click Here To Read OrderTagspatna high court detention centres home ministry contempt action central government foreign nationals state of bihar justice shivaji pandey justice partha sarthy Next Storylast_img read more

Covid outbreak at LUH Maternity Dept under control

first_img By News Highland – May 5, 2021 Twitter RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Twitter Google+ Pinterest Pinterest AudioHomepage BannerNews A Covid outbreak at Letterkenny University Hospital’s Maternity Department has been brought under control.The General Manager of the hospital has confirmed that a number of staff and patients were affected by the outbreak.Sean Murphy says there has also been a decrease in the number of people with Covid-19 presenting at the hospital over recent days.6 people were being treated at the hospital for the virus as of last night which is up on figures from the previous day. 1 person was in ICU with the virus.However, Mr Murphy speaking on today’s Nine til Noon Show says the number of Covid-related hospital admissions appears to be turning a corner:Audio Playerhttps://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/murphy1pm.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. Previous articleBusiness Matters Ep 42 – Garrett Harte, Daithi Ramsay & Deirdre McColganNext articleEmergency services at scene of crash on Raphoe to Convoy Rd News Highland Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Facebookcenter_img Covid outbreak at LUH Maternity Dept under control Facebook Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Google+ Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme DL Debate – 24/05/21 WhatsApp WhatsApp News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th last_img read more

Drivers rush to grab cash after armored car’s door flies open on highway

first_imgDunwoody Police Department(ATLANTA) — A crowded highway in suburban Atlanta turned into a lottery payday for dozens of drivers.Drivers pulled over and scrambled out of their vehicles when an armored truck’s door accidentally swung open while driving along Interstate 285 Tuesday evening — spilling cold, hard cash everywhere.  Video shows dozens of drivers pulling over to the side of the road in Dunwoody, Georgia, and dashing for the cash. Even a semitrailer hauling timber is pulled over to the side of the road in the video shot by an eyewitness.Dunwoody Sgt. Robert Parsons estimated about $175,000 spilled out onto the highway, according to Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.Drivers will not be able to keep their hauls, however. “Those people who do not return the money, we have video, we have tag numbers. We have footage of people on the interstate,” Parsons told WSB. “What we’re asking the public to do is bring the money back. Don’t make us come looking for you, because if we do that, you probably will be charged.”Indeed the video does show license plates for most of the cars lining the highway.There were no reported accidents Tuesday night, but Dunwoody police warned commuters who were stopping on Wednesday to scour the road for money that “THERE IS NO MORE MONEY! Please stop.”The truck was owned by GardaWorld, one of the largest private security companies in North America.The City of Dunwoody account on Twitter showed one person who turned over cash, with the message, “Honesty is the best policy. Some people have been returning the money that fell from an armored car on I-285 last night. We salute you for doing the right thing.”“It looked like piles of leaves blowing in the wind,” driver Randall Lewis, who returned $2,150 on Wednesday, told WSB. “I could not believe my eyes that this was legit money.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Getting caught in the discrimination trap

first_imgGetting caught in the discrimination trapOn 15 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. It is easy to blame managers for the UK’s poor record on productivity. Butmanagers increasingly find themselves treading on hot coals, not knowing whatthey can ask employees to do without breaching the employment contract or beingcaught up in the discrimination trap. There is a plethora of employment legislation. And now, with the onset ofmore discrimination legislation, we are faced with a structural dilemma. Do weset up three separate commissions for age, religion and sexual persuasion, orone? Here is a unique opportunity for the Government to move away from treatingus all as ‘different’, and protecting us from being male or female, black orwhite, and accept that we all have a contribution to make and want to be valuedas individuals. European countries with inclusive legislation will not be introducing wavesof new discrimination laws – their existing laws already accommodate peoplebeing treated fairly. The problem is that we have three commissions in place to regulate gender,race and disability – so the easy answer is to ‘group’ the new areas of age,religion and sexual persuasion within these. But we have to ask ourselves why legislation has failed to make the progressaround gender and race – disability is too new for comment on its progress –that we all hoped for. Health and safety legislation, for example, has done amuch better job. From an employer perspective, health and safety is much clearer, theframework of control is easy to understand and employers and employees knowwhen they are getting it wrong. The HSE helps and guides and it is only whenemployers continue to get it wrong that restrictive notices are served. OK,they still have areas that need improvement, but their success to date can bemeasurably demonstrated. Discrimination commissions are under-resourced and give conflicting messagesto employers – they bite the hand that feeds them. Employers would be more openand honest about the problems they are facing and ask for support if it wasn’tfor the fact that the very same people will be punishing them when things gowrong. This means the commissions don’t have a measure of the problems, becauseemployers are busy trying to get things sorted before they get ‘found out’ andpunished at tribunal. Where is the mutual trust we fondly refer to when talking about therelationship behind the Employment Contract? The solution is simple: a single Equality Commission. It should embrace aninclusive approach to preventing discrimination as well as enforcing the law. Is it an opportunity or dilemma? You decide. By Denise Keating, Head of people proposition, Marks & Spencer Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more


first_img Comments are closed. This week’s letters Hand employment law back to laymen for simplificationReading an article in Personnel Today on the increasingly adversarial natureand complexity of Employment Tribunals (Features, 15 June), I was struck by aquote from Caroline Noblett of Hammonds law firm. She said: “It’s hard forlaymen to understand the legislation as lawyers and barristers do”. Isn’t this the essence of the problem? As a layman, employment law should besimple to understand and apply. But so much has been hijacked by lawyers andgovernment officials that nothing is simple anymore. For example, can anyoneexplain to me – in less than 1,000 words – the full ramifications of statutorymaternity pay and leave? Reading the Department of Trade and Industry’sguidelines on the subject makes your brain hurt – or at least it does mine. I thought the Acas Arbitration Alternative to Employment Tribunals wasdesigned to get back to the original idea of the tribunals – a cheap, quick,informal means of settling employment disputes. Whatever happened to thatscheme? Has it, as I suspect, been buried by the legal profession’s vestedinterest? My plea is for a return of employment issues and disputes to the realms ofcommon sense and practicality, and away from the grip of lawyers, who oftenseem to live on Mars in respect of having a sense of the practical andmeaningful in today’s workplace. And please don’t interpret this as purely anemployer’s perspective. I believe the increasing ‘legislation’ of employment isas much a detriment to the worker as it is to the employer. All parties wouldbenefit from the workplace being declared a lawyer-free zone. Ken Owen Personnel manager, Reeds Rains Get realistic about work-life balance It always amuses me when the employer is condemned as the bad egg becausethe ‘work-life’ culture does not allow employees time off to organisethemselves, or nurse their latest hangovers (Letters, 8 June). I work for an engineering company (yes, we are still out there) which treatsit’s 1,600 staff very well. But we also strive for equal status. It would beunfair to those involved in production processes, who must be at work at agiven time, if we allowed all of our office-based staff flexible working. The theory that self-certified sickness should be based around a culture oftrust is naive. We tried this approach for years and it worked when the companywas relatively small because the feeling of camaraderie, and a certain amountof peer pressure, helped to keep absence rates low (that said, it still onlyruns at an average 2.5 per cent). However, since we have grown (by 100 per cent over the past eight years), wehave seen an increase in sporadic absence. Feedback suggests this is mainlybecause we are a successful company and “can afford it”. This hasnothing to do with the company’s culture, which is extremely understanding andpaternal in it’s outlook. But it has everything to do with a certain type ofemployee attitude: that work is something that interferes with the rest oftheir life (this was actually said to me once by an individual I wasdisciplining about their absence). I have no doubt that some employers are not offering terms and conditionsthat have any flexibility or understanding of workers’ needs. But both sidesneed to be balanced. Companies have to do whatever they need to survive. Nomatter how difficult it is to organise your doctor’s appointments and childcareif you are working, remember that life becomes immeasurably more difficult ifyou are not earning any money at all. If companies can accommodate flexible working and a certain amount ofabsence without going bust, fine. If not, as the old saying goes, you canalways leave. Details supplied Waste of 12 years on CIPD qualifications I read with interest the many letters about the value of the CharteredInstitute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and would like to add my ownexperiences and opinion. About 11 years ago, I completed an MBA while working full-time with a son offour and a baby who arrived just before my final exams. Some time after, I read in a journal that the IPD was keen to accreditapplicants with other relevant qualifications on to their qualifications route.I was told that I would have to submit all course content details, and ask theuniversity to vouch the coverage of IPD outcomes. This was a long process withno real guidance, and for which I was only accredited with the core managementroute. Dismayed but undeterred, I went on to complete the electives route a fewyears later by distance learning. During this time, I was advised by IPD that Icould probably get the core personnel and development strand by portfoliocompletion. Again, this was unsupported, and a bureaucratic minefield. Imanaged to get a brief meeting with an IPD adviser, who looked at my portfolioin progress and said all was fine. It took a year to put together, and afterthe expense of assessment fees, I was told I’d be better off doing the courseas my knowledge was fine, but my experience was not broad enough. More dismay! But I completed the core personnel and development by distancelearning. Then I had to do a management report, which I thought had beencovered by my MBA. I did all that was asked of me, and my kids are now in their teens. Mycareer? Well, while I learned lots about lifelong learning, the glass ceilingand work-life balance, I am still at the same level as I was 12 years ago. The CIPD must not keep moving the goal posts. Standards can be maintained,but the CIPD needs to clarify routes to achievement and make them accessible. Jan Ferguson, ACIPD Programme manager for business studies and teacher training Shear brilliance of guest editor edition I would just like to say that although Personnel Today is always good, the15 June edition was brilliant. The articles chosen by Beverley Shears were veryrelevant to my current role, and covered the priorities for my customers. Ireally admire Shears’ style and common-sense approach. She is a great rolemodel for HR, showing businesses that we are an integral part of what they do. Paul Butler Employee relations manager, London Underground CIPD has to practice what it is preaching I have been reading endless correspondence on your letters pages about theChartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification andwhether it is worth the effort. I agreed with many points raised. Here is myexperience. After leaving school at 16, I did a Modern Apprenticeship in businessadministration at a well-known automotive company. Due to my interest inpersonnel, I pursued a certificate and three years of studying for the CIPD.Fortunately, my company was supportive, paying for my course fees and lettingme go to college one afternoon a week. I also got time off for revision. Mycompany then gave me a short-term junior post in the recruitment department. I found the course interesting – it covered theories and best practicestandards, and gave further insight into other areas of personnel. But at thetime, I did not find it useful due to my job position and the little experienceI possessed. I believe anyone with other commitments, such as children, or whohad little academic/specialist experience or had joined HR from anotherprofession, would have found the course a bit of a struggle. The CIPD has extremely high standards and expectations. Its course rightlycovered all aspects of personnel, but I felt it was targeted to those ingeneralist roles. I was in a specialist category with little experience and, attimes, I was unable to contribute to classes. I felt I did not learn as much asI could have done had I been in a generalist role, where I could relate my ownexperiences to best practices. I passed the exams and completed the course in 2002 (when I was 21). I thengained a generalist role, at a different company, although still in theautomotive sector. Most of the theories I learned have now been forgotten. Mycompany generally expects that because I am CIPD qualified, I know everythingabout personnel and how to handle various situations. I feel a bit of a fake. The qualification did not equip me with theessential ‘personal skills’ that I could use in the workplace, such as how toreact when someone approaches you with a personal problem. And as I did nottake a module in law, I am unable to answer questions I feel I should know. On reflection, I feel I completed the CIPD course too young, and before Iwas more experienced in a generalist position. The CIPD should practice what it preaches. Training needs to be targeted tothose with specific needs. There is now the option of studying through the NVQroute. The CIPD needs to go a step further to support those in thespecialist/little experience category. It should put emphasis on personalskills development and employment law. Lastly, the yearly membership fees do not justify what I get out ofchartered membership. Twenty-five pounds would be a more acceptable charge. Details supplied Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. LettersOn 29 Jun 2004 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

2021: The key employee benefits challenges employers face

first_img About AON We’ve seen a huge amount of change to our working lives in the past twelve months, and with great change comes a swathe of new challenges for employers to face. We take a look at the key trends highlighted in Aon’s 2021 UK Benefits and Trends survey – and the challenges they bring.Employee wellbeingInevitably, employee wellbeing has been pushed higher in the corporate agenda as a result of COVID-19 – and we have seen a greater emphasis on wellbeing reflected in the 2021 UK Benefits and Trends survey. 83% of businesses have seen an increased emphasis on wellbeing as a result of the COVID-19 impact, with 87% focusing specifically on wellbeing for home working. Furthermore, 42% of businesses now have a Board member who is a wellbeing sponsor in their business. However, the wellbeing challenges are far from over. The long-term impact of COVID-19 remains relatively unknown, and businesses need to be prepared to support employees suffering from ‘long Covid’, by aligning solutions to need, continuing to invest in wellbeing, and encouraging employees to utilise the support available.It’s not just physical wellbeing that employers need to focus on. The detrimental impact of COVID-19 on mental health has been well-publicised; a survey by Mind showed that one in five adults who had no previous mental health problems now describe their mental health as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’. There’s a clear opportunity for employers to provide support – particularly when one of the key drivers could be work-related stress. As with physical health, employers need to focus on investment and communication, but they may also need to address reducing stigma and creating an open and supportive culture. If employees do not feel able to seek the support available, uptake may be reduced.Communicating benefitsOver the past few years we’ve seen a seismic shift in how employee benefits are positioned, with companies focusing on highlighting the total package received rather than purely transactional statements.This has been best demonstrated by a marked increase in the use of Total Reward Statements (TRS). The channel has evolved and changed – paper statements declining with digital methods increasing – but the interest in demonstrating total reward has remained high. Engagement, awareness and employee experience were given as the top three reasons for companies’ investment – it is clear that there is a perceived correlation between employees understanding of their total reward package and their overall experience.We have also seen a steady increase in the number of organisations developing an Employee Value Proposition (EVP), and a huge drop in companies who do not communicate or explain their EVP (around a third in 2019, now just 14%). Whilst the EVP is an inherently employee-focused initiative, they can positively impact businesses; similar to the use of TRS, companies reported that they have noticed a positive impact on employee engagement, retention and recruitment when they have a clearly communicated EVP.These changes enable employees to gain a greater understanding of how their benefits package positively impacts them, and helps to reiterate their value to a business. By showcasing the full value of the EVP, it empowers employees to make decisions based on the actual benefits they receive – rather than their perception of them.Employee engagementAlthough Total Reward Statements can help engage employees in understanding their full compensation, they are often an annual communication and don’t engage employees during the other 364 days. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a noticeable increase in companies utilising technology as part of the employee benefits strategy; in the 2021 UK Benefits and Trends survey, 31% of businesses either have an app to enable access to flexible benefits or are planning to utilise one. The vast majority of businesses believe that technology and apps for wellbeing will positively impact employee engagement, and 48% of businesses are prioritising utilising technology more over the next 12 months.There’s an opportunity for employers to engage employees through apps – not only can they provide a more flexible user experience than other digital alternatives, they also provide additional communication opportunities. Companies can align technology to their benefits strategy – utilising Well One Money to help to improve employee financial wellbeing, for example – and potentially boost both engagement and uptake in one.GlobalisationOver the past few years we have seen an increase in companies adopting a global benefits strategy or guiding principles; with two-thirds of international businesses with either a strategy in place or working towards implementing one according to our Aon UK Benefits & Trends Survey. Depending on the scale of business and countries involved, creating a global benefits strategy can be an incredibly complex process – and balancing employee expectations with varying cultural, socioeconomic or regulatory differences can be a huge barrier to overcome when creating one unified scheme. These challenges are perhaps reflected in the uptake of a global benefits platform; only 9% of companies surveyed have a single global benefits platform, with a third of companies looking to implement one in the future.As with many challenges, it is important to follow a strategic process to uncover the root issue and implement a solution. Aon have created a four Ds framework – discover, develop, deliver and determine – which create a strong starting point, whatever the challenges you face in 2021.For more information, download Aon’s UK Benefits and Trends Survey 2021 Previous Article Next Article View all posts by AON → Related posts: No comments yet. Leave a Reply Click here to cancel reply.Comment Name (required) Email (will not be published) (required) Websitecenter_img How to Spot the Signs of Three Major Mental Health Issues in the WorkplacePROMOTED | COVID-19 has had a major impact on the UK’s mental health, something that will have devastating repercussions for years to come… 2021: The key employee benefits challenges employers faceBy AON on 28 Jan 2021 in PROMOTED CONTENT, Latest News, Employee engagement, Personnel Today, Wellbeing Remote working: top tips for wellbeing and connection (webinar)ON DEMAND | The pandemic has been tough on your employees. Not only have they endured multiple lockdowns that have cut off… Introducing the Executive Development Network (EDN)PROMOTED | A brand-new training division has launched to support business leaders and managers…last_img read more