Management of sickness absence is in a mess

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article A study has shown companies to be woefully ignorant of the ways to tacklecosts of sicknessThe average employee is off sick for almost seven days each year, and fewcompanies have a clear idea of how much it costs them or ways to tackle theissue, a survey has found. The study by Norwich Union Healthcare suggests the cost to employers acrossthe country of sickness absence could be as much as £39bn. Yet, while three-quarters of companies surveyed by the private medicalinsurer said they had clear procedures in place for managing staff absence,only 25 per cent were confident their procedures were reliable. And only one in 10 regularly assessed the direct cost to their organisationof sickness absence. Incentives such as private medical insurance were often more likely to beoffered to senior staff, where absence levels were lowest, it added. Those under 25 years old and operational or production workers had thehighest absence rates, followed by women, the over-55s and then people aged25-34. The study questioned 87 firms about how they managed employee absence andwhat healthcare benefits they offered. Only 10 said they regularly assessed the direct cost of sickness absence. NorwichUnion Healthcare has estimated the bill is £534 per employee per year,equivalent to 3.1 per cent of the annual payroll or £13bn for all UK companies.Indirect costs brought this up to £39bn, it added. Most absences were short, 54 per cent being off for up to two days, 28 percent for three to five days and 19 per cent for more than six days, but theyoften went unrecorded, the survey found. A total of 95 per cent of the firms surveyed said they had formal policiesor strategies in place for managing absence, but only 3.6 per cent believedtheir policies had a major impact on absence levels. Many firms failed to diagnose causes of absence at an early point. And morethan one in five had no-one in clear responsibility for absence management. Theretail, distribution and leisure sectors emerged as the poorest performers whenit came to managing sickness absence. Counselling can help reduce absence Workplace counselling can help reducesickness absence by between 25 per cent and 50 per cent, delegates at aconference on managing work-life balance heard in September.The conference, by the Teacher Support Network, also heard thatusing employee assistance schemes could save schools and local educationauthorities between £6m and £13m a year in reduced teacher absence.Such schemes offer workers counselling, referral to supportservices and access to specialist legal, health, financial and family advisers. Management of sickness absence is in a messOn 1 Nov 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Changes coming to Gen Ed

first_img Digital Giza Project lets scholars virtually visit sites in Egypt and beyond, and even print them in 3D Armchair travels with a purpose Related GAZETTE: How else has the Gen Ed program evolved over the years?CLAYBAUGH: This isn’t the first Gen Ed at Harvard; it’s the second. The first was inaugurated in the aftermath of the Second World War, and it sought to educate students for a “free society.” With our new Gen Ed program, we seek to prepare students for global citizenship. Individual courses grapple explicitly with the global, such as Robert Lawrence and Lawrence Summers’ “The Future of Globalization” or Sunil Amrith’s “Global Gandhi.” We have a course on the Hebrew Bible, and another on the spiritual practices transmitted throughout the African diaspora. We have a course on Shakespeare, and another on anime.GAZETTE: Among the changes to Gen Ed are new requirements for quantitative reasoning with data (QRD). What can you tell us about this change?CLAYBAUGH: QRD courses teach students how to think critically about the data they’ll encounter in their professions and contend with in civic debates. Nothing could be more essential for 21st-century citizenship. Students will learn the computational, mathematical, and statistical techniques they need to work with data. They’ll also learn how to use those techniques in the real world, where data are imperfect and incomplete, sometimes compromised, always contingent. Finally, they’ll reflect on all the questions raised by our current uses of data — questions that are social and ethical and epistemological. We’ve identified a number of courses in an array of departments, at all levels of difficulty, that do all these things — among them, Raj Chetty’s new course in “Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems.” We know students are going to learn a lot.GAZETTE: If you were a student, what course would you take and why?CLAYBAUGH: That’s a great question! From time to time, when we were reviewing courses, someone would exclaim, “I wish I could take this course!” But it was always a different course for each of us, and that’s what I’d want students to understand: There’s no “best” Gen Ed courses. There are just the courses that are right for you. Students might look for courses on things they’ve always been curious about — music? food? the pyramids? Or they might look for courses that show a familiar topic in a new light, like Susanna Rinard’s course on happiness or John Hamilton’s course on security or Maya Jasanoff’s course on ancestry. This fall, Harvard College will launch a new General Education (Gen Ed) program for undergraduates. The program features 160 courses, including some that have been restructured and many new ones. Professors Suzannah Clark and Amy Wagers, co-chairs of the Standing Committee on General Education, worked to revise the program, which begins this fall under Dean of Undergraduate Education Amanda Claybaugh. The Gazette talked to Claybaugh for a preview of what the new Gen Ed will look like, and how she and her team arrived at this milestone.Q&AAmanda ClaybaughGAZETTE: Can you give us the elevator pitch on Gen Ed, and, in particular, why the courses cross divisions?CLAYBAUGH: The General Education program is the cornerstone of the liberal arts at Harvard. Other colleges tend to organize the liberal arts around a set of distribution requirements or a list of great works, but Harvard offers a special set of courses that show the liberal arts in action. They pose enduring questions, they frame urgent problems, and they help students see that no one discipline can answer those questions or grapple with those problems on its own. Gen Ed courses call on students to synthesize what they’re learning in their other courses and apply it to the world.GAZETTE: What are the changes?CLAYBAUGH: The Gen Ed program was introduced in 2008; in 2016 it was reviewed and now a renewed Gen Ed will launch this fall. In the process, the eight original Gen Ed categories were streamlined into four: Starting this fall, students will take one course each in aesthetics and culture; histories, societies, and individuals; ethics and civics; and science and technology in society. These four Gen Ed courses are now complemented by four distributional requirements. Students will also take one departmental course each in the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the natural and applied sciences, as well as a course in quantitative reasoning with data.Once these new requirements were in place, the Gen Ed committee had to find courses to fill them. The committee, most recently under the leadership of Suzannah [a professor of music] and Amy [co-chair of the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology], worked tirelessly to reframe existing courses and recruit new ones. And colleagues from across the FAS — and across the University — stepped up and volunteered to do this unusually demanding kind of teaching.We want Gen Ed to be the kind of courses faculty have always dreamed of teaching — and the kind students never forget. Because of that, we’ve put together an incredible team of consultants who work with faculty to ensure that each course is as good as it can possibly be. There are curators who organize museum visits, librarians who create research guides, and specialists in assignment design and academic technology. “We want Gen Ed to be the kind of courses faculty have always dreamed of teaching — and the kind students never forget.” An interview with the current and future presidents of the alumni board that acts as a ‘Socratic steward of the University’ Overseeing progresslast_img read more

Alibaba revenue up 38 percent in third fiscal quarter

first_imgChina’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group reported year-on-year revenue growth of 38 percent to 161.4 billion yuan (US$23.12 billion) for the fiscal quarter ending Dec. 30, 2019.The company’s net profit attributable to shareholders was 52.31 billion yuan, soaring 58.3 percent compared with the same period last year.The profit surge was mainly due to the strong performances in online retailing and cloud computing, the company said. In the third fiscal quarter, the Alibaba Group Holding was listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, making it the first Chinese Internet enterprise to list both in New York and Hong Kong.Alibaba’s annual active consumers on Chinese retail marketplaces reached 711 million. Mobile monthly active users on Chinese retail marketplaces reached 824 million in December, an increase of 39 million than that at the end of September 2019, with 60 percent of the annual new consumers coming from less developed regions.”We will remain dedicated to investing in digital infrastructure and services, supporting our customers and partners across the Alibaba Digital Economy, especially during the challenging time,” said Maggie Wu, the chief financial officer of Alibaba Group.Daniel Zhang, chairman and chief executive officer of Alibaba Group said Alibaba will also mobilize its strength in commerce and technology to support the fight against novel coronavirus and mitigate the impact of the outbreak on small and medium-sized enterprises by lowering their costs. Topics :last_img read more

Tyson Fury reveals suicide attempt

first_imgRelatedPosts Tyson Fury to Anthony Joshua: Don’t risk fighting Usyk Anthony Joshua wants Tyson Fury, Wilder fight 64% of Nigerian employees risk burnout, severe mental health — Report Former world champion boxer Tyson Fury has revealed how close he came to committing suicide during his long battle with mental health problems. The 31-year-old was crowned world heavyweight champion in 2015 when he beat Wladimir Klitschko in Germany before his life spiralled out of control. Fury fell into depression and battled alcohol and drugs problems which culminated in an aborted suicide attempt before he turned his life around. In an ITV documentary to be shown next week, he reveals: “One day I woke up and thought ‘today’s the day I end it all’. “I was heading towards this bridge, I was going to smash the car into the bridge at very high speed, I just didn’t have the ambition to live anymore. “Before I got to the bridge I heard a voice saying ‘don’t do this, you’re going to destroy your family’s life’ and I immediately pulled the car over and that was the first time I thought, ‘right, now or never. I need to get well immediately.’” In the months that followed, Fury sought help from psychiatric experts and then embarked on a weight loss programme after ballooning to 28 stone. Fury shed an incredible nine stone in less than two years before making his comeback to the boxing ring in 2018 against the little known Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta. After two underwhelming performances Fury shocked the boxing world by taking on undefeated WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder in December 2018. That fight ended in a draw, with Fury surviving two knockdowns, including an incredible 11th minute blow, which saw him beat the count and climb back off the canvas. Ahead of facing “the Bronze Bomber” later this month, Fury insists he isn’t completely over his mental health woes but now knows how to combat them.Tags: mental healthTyson FuryWladimir Klitschkolast_img read more