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  • A recent survey reveals that numerous organizations aren’t necessarily ready to promote their current talent to higher-level positions within their company.
    The survey was conducted by a talent consulting group that polled more than 100 senior-level executives from 49 countries.
    Over half of the surveyed population revealed that their organizations don’t have the right kind of talent to succeed in a changing industry environment. With that said, almost a third of the respondents said that the companies they worked for aren’t ready for any kind of global change due to the company’s leadership.
    While many of the surveyed people said they wouldn’t necessarily promote their current talent, over half of them did say their talent had the right experience to succeed in the business world. Some human resource expertsfeel that it isn’t quite fair for these respondents to make these kinds of statements about their employees because a person needs training and development for what they do and not for who they are. This mindset would mean that with the proper training, any worker could be promoted.
    One HR expert said that companies need to find and develop talent that “possesses the right blend of competence, experience and personal traits” in order to groom employees for promotions.

  • Many people only seek human resource or accounting advice about pension savings right before they retire. While this is the norm, it isn’t necessarily the best-case scenario. Human resource experts explain that people should really seek out pension guidance throughout their entire working career.
    Currently, an independent third-party organisation is offering free guidance that will help people approaching retirement make the right choices, but this isn’t enough. This is the message Zurich tried to convey in its submission to the Government’s consultation on the pension changes announced in the Budget.
    In the submission, the insurer is asking that the Government actually enable employers to offer their workers guidance on saving for their retirement. If the employer were offering this kind of guidance for free, it is believed that more workers would take advantage of pension programmes and/or get involved in saving for their retirement at a much earlier age.
    This type of workplace guidance would allow workers to understand what level of savings they will need in their old age and even what kind of savings account will be best for them.
    Unfortunately, there may also be some negatives associated with offering advice in the workplace. If employers were to offer pension guidance, HR professionals could be overwhelmed with the fear of a potential lawsuit from a dissatisfied employee. If the UK were to set up safe harbours like the ones set up in the US, they may be protected from litigation as long as designated standards are met.

  • The United Kingdom Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) recently made seven new safety recommendations. The announcement is directly related to the 2012 ditchings of two Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma helicopters in the North Sea.
    The aviation report was published on June 11th and outlined in detail what caused the pilots to have to ditch their EC225’s and what circumstances they were under.
    The ditchings made aviation headlines after the entire offshore EC225 fleet was grounded in response to the incidents. In both cases, the helicopters experienced a loss of main rotor gearbox oil pressure due to a failure of the bevel gear vertical shaft in the main rotor gearbox.
    Due to the loss of pressure, the crews of both aircrafts activated their emergency lubrications systems.
    Five of the seven AAIB recommendations are related to the certification and installation of life rafts. The AAIB is formally recommending that EASA address cockpit checklists and system descriptions in regard to rotorcraft flight manuals. The AAIB would also like to see EASA commission research that would help explain the fatigue performance of components manufactured from high strength low alloy steel.
    All seven recommendations are aimed, however, at making the aviation industry safer for everyone involved.

  • June 30th will be a landmark day in the world of employment. On this last day of June, the right to request flexible working will officially become law.
    UK employees will have the legal right to ask for a flexible working schedule, which means the employer has a legal obligation to answer the worker’s request. Additionally, the employers must provide a written, valid reason if they cannot agree to a flexible schedule.
    Flexible scheduling encompasses things like compressed hours, flexi-time, home working, job-sharing, staggered hours and term-time only working.
    Currently, the right to request a flexible work schedule is reserved for parents of children under the age of 16 and
    those registered as careers for children or adults, which may make their home situation better. On June 30th any worker will have the right to make this request, however, it is important to note that this is just a request.
    Employers will still need to follow all the processes they have now when a worker requests a flexible working schedule. This entails a meeting to discuss the application and a written explanation of why such a working pattern would suit the organisation.
    There are also different kinds of conditions to the application process. The application must be made by someone who has been employed for 26 continuous weeks of employment and the law will not be applicable to agency workers or members of the armed forces. Also, the worker must not have made another request to work flexibly under the Right to Request Legislation in the preceding year.
    The employer does have the right to reject the request, they can refuse in the event that the company would have to incur additional costs, have an effect on the ability to meet customer demand, have an effect on quality or performance or have unplanned structural changes. The company can also refuse if it had an inability to recruit new staff and/or an inability to reorganise work.
    Regardless of the company’s decision, all requests must be decided within a three-month period (unless an extension is agreed upon).
    HR experts are proposing that company’s prepare for this new law by updating their existing flexible working policies, creating a clear and concise explanation and providing training for management.

  • The Capitol, Library of Congress and Supreme Court buildings in Washington DC were evacuated for a short time recently.
    A light plane violated restricted airspace around the US capital and the plane’s pilot was unable to be reached on the radio. The flight originated in Massachusetts, according to reports but the final destination of the aircraft is unknown.
    Some reports have stated that the aircraft came within about four minutes of flying time to downtown Washington, which would have put the aircraft into the Flight Restricted Zone.
    In response to the issue, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) went to AIRCON Red at approximately 1:36pm. It “scrambled a pair of F-15s from nearby Andrews Air Force Base while police evacuated the buildings.”
    It is unknown whether there was communication with the pilot before or after the F-15s showed up. The aircraft was taken to Mount Airy, NC where government employees interviewed the pilot.
    There have been no reports of criminal charges as of yet.

  • A recent Labour proposal has been introduced that is looking to lower the eligibility threshold at which workers are auto-enrolled into a workplace pension. The proposal is asking that the threshold be changed from £10,000 to £5,772.
    HR experts explain that this change would have a direct effect on lower level earners and could bring another 1.5 million workers into the national insurance arrangement.
    Initially, the Government objected to the lower threshold stating that contributions of those that earn less would be minimal. While this is an extremely valid concern, some HR experts feel that this is the type of proposal that would get lower earners engaged. Furthermore, the thought process is that if these workers were engaged, they would start to understand the value of their contributions, increasing their level of contributions in due time.


  • A recent study conducted by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that workers today are placing an increased amount of importance on their time outside of the office.
    The survey was conducted using 2,000 employees and found that overall workers are highly interested in flexible schedules and greater autonomy in managing their time away from the office. The survey was mostly private employers with 500 employees or less. Answers came from all different sectors including manufacturing, scientific, insurance and technical.
    Over half of the HR professionals surveyed explained that the organizations they belong to offer their full-time employees some amount of paid time-off, or PTO. These types of plans include time for illness, vacation or personal time.
    Many HR experts said that they have seen an increase in human resource management interest in these types of leave plans because the question concerning whether they exist is coming up more and more in the interview process. Some applicants find PTO to be so important that it is a “make it, or break it” factor in the decision to sign on with a company.
    The survey found that while most companies offer a fixed number of PTO days, some companies set an unlimited number of paid leave days as long as the employee doesn’t abuse the privilege.
    For companies that do have a fixed number of days, employees are able to accrue this time by calendar year or pay period. Sometimes, employees accrue more time depending on their tenure with a company. The longer the employee has been with the company, the more time they have. This is strictly up to the company, though.
    Some HR experts explain that having a PTO plan in place acts as a trade-off for employees that really want to work from home. The plan allows for some flexibility and makes the employee feel as if they have more discretion when it comes to when they are, or are not, in the office.

  • May 21st marked the day that the Supreme Court made its final decision in the case concerning the extent to which a partner in a law firm could benefit from the protection afforded to whistleblowers under the Employment Rights Act.
    Prior to the judgment call, statutory protection as a whistleblower was only available to employees and workers within a law firm. Now, the Supreme Court holds that members of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) are considered “workers” for the purpose of employment law. This would make a “self employed partner” in a law firm eligible for protection now too. They are likely to be “workers” for auto-enrollment purposes as well.
    One of the ramifications of the ruling is that LLP’s are now under an obligation to auto-enroll all of their equity partners into pension schemes. In the event that an LLP doesn’t comply, some people within the partnership might have to face criminal sanctions.
    If an employee is failed to be auto-enrolled, as required by section 3 of the Pensions Act 2008, it will be considered a criminal offence. Liability will not stop with the employer, either. Any officer of a corporate body, with “whose consent an offence is committed” will also be held liable.
    The Pensions Act 2008 clearly defines what equals “qualified earnings” which ultimately determines if a person is eligible for auto-enrollment. Some HR experts believe that due to the recent Supreme Court ruling, human resource departments will be inundated with paperwork from officers rushing to get certain employees enrolled.


  • Airbus Helicopters have officially signed a long-term contract with the German Federal Police to be their designated maintenance and repair company. The overhaul contract was signed with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA), which executed the process on behalf of the German Federal Police, at the ILA Berlin Air Show.
    The contract covers all of the Police’s helicopters, including all forty one EC135 T2i rotorcrafts. The aircrafts will now be Airbus’ responsibility for a minimum of 3 years with the contract having an extension option, which could mean a 5-year contract.
    The German Police are actually Airbus Helicopters’ largest law enforcement customer in Europe. The fleet includes 85 company-built rotorcrafts and the relationship between companies has been around for half of a century.
    Airbus officials are over-the-moon with excitement saying that the company is “uniquely positioned to support the German Federal Police’s helicopter inventory”.
    The contract accounts for all kinds of maintenance in regards to the helicopters. Phase inspections, engine inspections, replacement of parts, the application of service bulletins, the compliance with service letters and helicopter painting are all included under the terms of the agreement.
    One point of having a dedicated maintenance company is to ensure that the German Federal Police can be ready at any moment’s notice.
    Of course, the ultimate goal is to keep the fleet in the sky.


  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported that the number of passengers misbehaving in the cabin is on the rise.
    According to the data, incidents have increased from just over 5200 in 2012 to over 8000 in 2013. These figures may actually be slightly higher when you consider any unreported incidents involving passengers that might be defined as “unruly”.
    The Tokyo Convention of 1963 has established the definition of what unruly behavior is. It was defined, at this point, as “Acts which, whether or not they are offenses, may or do jeopardize the safety of the aircraft or of the persons or property therein or which jeopardize good order and discipline on board.”
    Reported incidents have cited behaviors like smoking inflight, violent acts against a crewmember and even violence directed towards another passenger. Reasons for the unruly behavior often noted in these reports include an excessive consumption of alcohol, personal stress levels and mental disorders. While these are reasons recorded in reports, there has not been a reason singled out as what is causing this recent spike in reported incidents.
    Unfortunately, recurrent training of crewmembers to handle these situations isn’t a requirement of standard regulatory cabin training programs. These types of programs are completed on an as-need-basis. Many airlines, as a matter of fact, say they don’t even have a passenger restraint policy at all.
    Human behavior can be erratic and unpredictable, making it extremely difficult for airline Cabin Safety Managers to predict a situation before there are even signs a situation will occur. These same managers feel that while training is effective and passenger restraint policies are useful, you never know that restraining a passenger is a good idea unless it becomes 100% necessary.
    The IATA is attempting to establish a set of universal practices for the aviation industry on how to deal with unruly passengers. While this is happening, 39% of IATA member airlines have reported that at least one of their flights had to divert because of a passenger misbehaving in the past year.

  • Many industries see a lack of equilibrium when it comes to the amount of men versus women in authoritative positions. To combat this issue a mentoring scheme is being designed to boost the number of women on boards.
    The scheme, scheduled to launch in September, was created after a series of successful pilot programmes run by the 30% Club. A survey of pilot participants revealed that 95% of mentees saw an improvement in their development areas. Eighty-six percent of the participants said they believed it had increased their confidence as a leader.
    Many of Britain’s top companies have been scrutinized for their lack of women in leadership roles. Glencore Xstrata has even had three years to address this very issue and has yet to “resolve it”.
    This new scheme will work to balance the pyramid and help develop a pipeline of women throughout different organisations. The overall intention of the scheme is to enable talented women. Mentors and mentees will be paired up according to key criteria that include professional experience, competencies and sector.
    Right now, the mentoring scheme will include mentors and mentees from businesses like BAT, BDO, EY, Centrica, Freshfields, GE, Marks & Spencer and more. The programme will run from September to June every year.

  • The aviation industry is no stranger to efforts to adopt flight-tracking technology, especially since the Malaysia Airlines flight went missing just a few months ago. A recent drive surrounding flight tracking is making headlines though and it is because of who is driving this effort.
    An industry-led push to adopt flight-tracking technology is now at the forefront of the aviation industry making many experts wonder if this is just what the doctor ordered.
    Aviation experts around the world have verbalized that they feel an effort led by the industry will mean quicker implementation than a regulator-driven effort while all but ensuring that harmonized global standards emerge from a related International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) initiative.
    A task force led by the International Air Transport Association will evaluate flight-tracking technology and be the ones to recommend standards and best practices as early as September. Once this is completed, the ICAO will develop a series of performance standards based partly on the industry’s findings.
    Typically, this type of process happens in a different order. The ICAO would set standards with input from member states, which would then filter down to operators. These processes have been put aside because the aviation industry is fully aware that public perception in the aftermath of Flight 370 is not one willing to wait for deliberation timelines.
    The task force includes members from airlines, manufacturers, air navigation service providers, labor groups and even safety organizations. The task force is set to meet monthly starting this month.
    Aviation experts expect that with the introduction of advanced satellite-based navigation systems more emphasis will be put on integrating these technologies into current standards. The European Commission made one of the most promising suggestions; they want to introduce a new “return link” coming to search rescue satellite services allowing a ground control station to remotely activate (or deactivate) a next-gen emergency locator transmitter on an aircraft.
    The task force’s first order of business will be to evaluate services that are readily available.

  • The disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 a few months ago has prompted aviation experts to partner with air transport industry groups to make the skies safer for crews and passengers. In conjunction with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), air transport industry groups have agreed on a framework for developing a binding mandate for aircraft tracking.
    May 11th marked the commencement of a two-day meeting at ICAO’s Montreal headquarters. Participants agreed to encourage the expansion of flight monitoring by airlines prior to a set of proposed new requirements to be submitted to the UN by the end of September.
    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) agreed to lead a task force. This move is completely supported by aircraft manufacturers and unions that represent commercial airline pilots and air traffic controllers.
    The task force will hold its first meeting on June 10th. ICAO’s director of Air Navigation Bureau said that the group’s main focus would be to develop a performance-based standard for tracking flights to allow for a “harmonized implementation across the whole air transport industry.”