Hit the road, Jack

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Hit the road, JackOn 10 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Gettingrid of senior staff has little to do with fairness. It has more to do withnegotiating a suitable go-away package with the minimum of fuss. And with hugepayoffs on the table, the law is rarely an issue. By Stephen OverellTheboardroom putsch is one of the classic manoeuvres of corporate life, practised,according to employment lawyers, on an almost daily basis by their clients. Butit is also one of the few areas of their trade in which the law seems to bealmost irrelevant. Whereas the law is of prime importance when carrying out anormal dismissal, when sacking a senior director, nine times out of 10, what iswritten in statute books is immaterial; it is what is written in contracts thatis critical.”Thereis an increasing tendency to dismiss directors unlawfully,” says DanielBarnett, an employment barrister at Gray’s Inn Chambers. “They will bedismissed without notice for any reason without regard to whether it is fair ornot and expected to mitigate their losses. It is cynical, but it has becomestandard advice.”Whilesenior executives have the same employment rights as everybody else, with amaximum award of £51,700 potentially available for an unfair dismissal, this isonly rarely at issue. Neither party wants to go to court or tribunal if theycan avoid it; the risk of bad publicity and poor impact on future careers cutstwo ways. Whatis more important is what the contract says about notice periods. For almostall senior executives these are likely to be upwards of a year and couldtheoretically form the basis for a significant breach of contract claim.SueNickson, head of employment at law firm Hammond Suddards Edge, says, “Ifthere is not a situation of gross misconduct, and a company wants someone toleave quickly, the driver for the whole process is what the contract says aboutpayments in lieu of notice.”AndJames Davies, partner in the employment department of law firm Lewis Silkin,says, “There is not really much law in the process. It all comes back tothe terms of the contract. Usually, it is all done diplomatically and amicablyand will normally result in a windfall for the individual. But if the terms ofdeparture have not been properly tied down at the time of recruitment, it canbe very tricky for the employer.”Forany employer hoping to get rid of a senior employee, the ideal scenario is verysimple. They want the person to leave quickly without upsetting colleagues,customers or suppliers and, more important still, without poaching any of them.Rather like a divorce, the best way is to sit down and negotiate a compromise.In return for a go-away payment, the company gets minimum fuss.Negotiationsover the departure of a senior executive are based on assumptions of thepotential damages the individual could receive in a breach of contract claim.When suing for breach of contract, individuals normally have a duty to mitigatetheir losses. In other words, they are under an obligation to find work, withthe amount likely to be earned offset against any damages they receive to covertheir losses. Therefore the ease with which a person is likely to findcomparable work is of great importance to the amount of damages. So too fornegotiations.Typically,says Cliff Weight, principal in the executive compensation practice ofconsultancy William M Mercer, the executive will receive between a third andtwo-thirds the value of the contract.Despitethe Cadbury and Greenbury committees into corporate governance recommendingthat senior executives should not be on contracts lasting more than a year,about a third of directors are on contracts lasting longer. Many have noticeperiods of three or more years. Forindividuals with hefty bargaining power, some are able to negotiate”liquidated damages” for their con- tracts. This gives an employeedismissed with immediate effect – other than for misconduct – not just anentitlement to payment in lieu of notice, but no obligation to mitigate thecost of that to the employer.”Damagesare there to put someone in the position they would have been in if they hadseen out the contract,” says Ben Wood, employment solicitor at law firmLupton Fawcett. “In breach of contract cases, the notice period is likelyto be the basic measure for damages, but there are also benefits such ascompany cars, long-term incentivisation packages, share options and bonuspayments which all have to be taken into consideration.”Contractsof employment for senior staff typically have restrictive covenants writteninto them preventing the individual from entering into direct competition, solicitingbusiness from customers or suppliers, poaching workers and from misusingconfidential information. Butone of the most important things to remember in potential breach of contractcases is that in the event of a breach, such covenants cannot always be reliedon. Most senior executive contracts contain payment in lieu of notice clauses –known as “Pilon” – enabling the employer to terminate the contractimmediately without there being a breach, thus maintaining the enforceabilityof the contract.Incases of doubt about the enforceability of the covenants, however, theexecutive may have to sign a compromise agreement. This is a document in whichthe executive agrees to sign away rights in return for a sum of money. Butcompromise agreements are also a way to repeat restrictive covenants from theservice agreement or put in new restrictions. “Ifan employer is particularly concerned about losing control of an employee aftertermination it is possible to make payments by instalments over time,” saysWood. Any instance of a person losing their job can easily become a highlyemotive one, with senior departures being no different from more lowly ones.Therefore,says James Davies, it is as well for companies not to underestimate theimportance of packaging the departure in a positive light – selling it in a waythat does not harm an individual’s career prospects or self-esteem. After all,terminating an employment relationship that has gone sour can indeed be apositive move for both sides.But,he says, it is also as well for employers not to give grounds for staff tolaunch a discrimination claim which, with uncapped compensation, can beinfinitely more damaging than any breach of contract suit. The famous case inthis area is that of Michael Bourgeois, a former director of Saga Petroleum ofNorway, who won £2m in a race bias claim last year after being sacked on thegrounds that “his management style did not fit in”. Hesuccessfully argued that the company wanted to fill key positions with Norwegiannationals, while forcing him to take a back seat at board meetings held largelyin Norwegian. “Sacking people on such vague, intangible grounds ofmanagement style, has been shown to potentially give rise to discriminationclaims,” says Davies.Inone or two rare cases, it has been known for executives to refuse to go quietlyin a bid to hang on to their jobs. In these situations, when senior employeesrefuse to play the game, employment lawyers say it is standard practice for anemployer to try to trump up charges of gross misconduct and engineer theirdismissal that way. “Fairness does not have much of a role in dismissalsat a senior level,” as one lawyer put it.last_img read more

NUS adopts support for boycott of Israel

first_imgThe UJS (Union of Jewish Students), which represents 8500 Jewish students studying in the UK and Ireland, expressed concern over the decision.In a statement the UJS said, “The motion supports the BDS movement, a movement whose tactics are inherently indiscriminate and whose boundaries are undefined. Whatever your politics on the conflict, when there is a strong campaign with ill-defined boundaries, there is no way to monitor the areas and people you will end up targeting.”The statement continued, “The passing of this motion is a failure of NUS to maintain its duty of care to the variety of student groups it must endeavour to represent, particularly with the International Students Officer voting for BDS.“NUS NEC have passed a policy that will only divide student groups, undermine interfaith relations, and suffocate progressive voices for peace on both sides.”The passing of the motion follows the decision in June, by OUSU Council, to reaffiliate to the NUS for the academic year 2014-15, following a troubled referendum on OUSU’s membership in which there were found to be ‘serious irregularities’. An OUSU Junior Tribunal later voided the referendum’s result, after it was discovered that over 1,000 votes were cast fraudulently using spare voter codes.In February 2013, Oxford JCR and MCR representatives, at OUSU Council, voted overwhelmingly against a motion to support BDS at the NUS’ annual conference that year.  At the time, the motion was defeated, with 69 votes against, 15 abstentions, and 10 votes in favour.A second year student at Balliol told Cherwell, “The purpose of the NUS is ultimately to defend the rights of students and make their lives better. BDS serves only to bully Israeli and Jewish students into believing a fallacy: That celebrating their culture by buying Israeli goods is tantamount to supporting the actions of the Israeli government. BDS drives a wedge between students, encouraging them to choose sides, detracting from the overall peace process. How does this make any student’s life better?”James Elliott, a member of the NUS National Executive Council, said, “During South African apartheid, NUS took the decision to stand in solidarity with oppressed South Africans, making Nelson Mandela our honorary Vice-President. I believe we have acted in the same spirit today by deciding to boycott companies that facilitate the Israeli military’s capacity to massacre Palestinians.” The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the National Union of Students has voted in favour of a motion supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The motion passed by 23 votes to 18, with 1 abstention. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign began in 2005 and calls for sanctions to be placed upon Israel ‘until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights’. This includes the boycott of ‘products and companies that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions.’It is understood that the meeting of the NUS’ NEC had 14 motions on the agenda, with an hour to discuss them.Support for BDS was passed as an amendment to a motion to ‘condemn the collective punishment and killing in Gaza’.  The original motion resolved to ‘condemn Israel’s attacks on Gaza and to support calls for an immediate ceasefire’, as well as to support campaigns calling for the blockade of Gaza to be lifted. However, the successfully passed amendment to the motion added a call for the British government to cease aid and funding to Israel, impose an arms embargo against Israel, and to demand a ceasefire.  The amendment also called upon students to boycott companies and corporations ‘complicit in financing and aiding Israel’s military’, such as G4S and Hewlett Packard.The motion further called for ‘an internal audit of NUS services, products and departments to ensure they do not, as far as is practical, employ or work with companies identified as facilitating Israel’s military capacity, human rights abuses or illegal settlement activity, and actively work to cut ties with those that do’. This means that NUS Services Ltd, which acts as a purchasing consortium for many students’ unions, will no longer purchase services from companies deemed to aid Israel’s military capacity.The NUS is composed of over 600 student unions in the UK and claims to represent over 7 million students. The National Executive Council (NEC) acts as the decision-making body of the NUS in between its annual National Conference and is composed of elected representatives and officers from throughout the organisation, as well as 15 individually elected members and the National President.last_img read more


first_imgWhats on your mind today?Todays “READERS POLL” question is: Do you feel that its time for the Evansville Department of Metropolitan Development to be audited by an outside accounting firm?We urge you to take time and click the section we have reserved for the daily recaps of the activities of our local Law Enforcement professionals. This section is located on the upper right side of our publication.If you would like to advertise or submit and article in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] FOOTNOTE:  Any comments posted in this column doesn’t represents the views or opinions of our advertisers.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

Taste of Spain at Mayfield Farm Bakery

first_imgMayfield Farm Bakery has worked with a Spanish master baker to create a range of Spanish breads.Owners of the Essex bakery met Manuel of Panaderiael Artesano Bakery whilst holidaying in Jerez, Spain, and invited him to share his traditional Spanish rustic bread recipes. The loaves were created using locally milled flour supplied by family run millers W & H Marriage & Sons Ltd.Nick Anderson, joint owner and head baker at Mayfield Farm Bakery & School, said: “Whilst in Spain for a friend’s wedding we were missing our daily bread, so asked for directions to the local bakery. On visiting, I was struck by the similarities with Mayfield: like us they employ a small team passionate about hand crafting artisan breads and pastries, and like here customers can watch the bakers working the doughs whilst they queue for their order. “Despite our limited Spanish, we met Manuel and suggested that if he ever visited the UK, he should come and see a British artisan bakery in action. We were delighted when he recently got in touch to arrange to spend two weeks working alongside our team.”The two bakers are looking to collaborate further in the future, with plans for Nick to visit Spain to teach the team at the Panaderiael Artesano Bakery about British artisan breadmaking techniques.Anderson added: “The Spanish bread has been flying off the shelves – we have even had local Spanish language classes visiting to speak with Manuel and pick up authentic Spanish loaves. It has been brilliant exchanging ideas with Manuel; not only does he love the local Marriage’s flour that we use here and wants to take a supply back to Spain with him but he has been fascinated by the way we make traditional British Christmas treats like mince pies.”last_img read more

Sunsquabi Releases New Single “Dexter” Featuring Nick Gerlach On Sax

first_imgColorado’s Sunsquabi has just released their latest single “Dexter,” which features a guest appearance from jam scene staple Nick Gerlach on saxophone. Gearing up for a massive 2017, Sunsquabi are kicking off the year with their highly anticipated sophomore EP ‘Deluxe’ still to come via GRiZ’s All Good Records. There is a reason the 3-piece is described as an ‘electronic hydro-funk experience,’ because their music literally flows like water.Yet another laid-back funk production, “Dexter” sees Sunsquabi fuse both organic and electronic instrumentation through the use of synth, drum kits, keyboard, guitar strums, saxophone, and more. An ample follow up to the EP’s thriving first singles “Pygmy Up” featuring Russ Liquid, and “Cinnamon” Feat. Late Night Radio, “Dexter” will be an instant favorite among fans of a more classic jam based Sunsquabi sound. Check it out:SunSquabi and Late Night Radio are teaming up for a night in NYC on 4/29 at American Beauty! Tickets available here. For their full tour schedule, head to Sunsquabi’s website or see the dates below.SUNSQUABI TOUR DATESMar 24- Blue Moose Tap Room -Iowa City, IAMar 25- Bottom Lounge- Chicago, ILMar 31- Brooklyn Bowl- Las Vegas, NVApr 13- The Bottleneck- Lawrence, KSApr 14- Club Dada- Dallas, TXApr 15- Empire Control Room- Austin, TXApr 16- Empire Control Room & Garage- Austin, TXApr 21- Druid City Music Hall- Tuscaloosa, ALApr 23- 420 Sweetwater Festival- Atlanta, GAApr 26- The Broadberry- Richmond, VAApr 28- Higher Ground- South Burlington, VTApr 29- American Beauty NYC- New York, NYApr 30- Wonder Bar- Allston, MAMay 03- El Club- Detroit, MIMay 04- The Miramar Theatre- Milwaukee, WIMay 06- Red Rocks Amphitheater- Morrison, COMay 26- Summer Camp Music Festival- Chillicothe, ILAug 03- Werk Out Music Festival- Thornville, OHlast_img read more

Harvard doctors in the field in Haiti

first_imgIn the mountains east of the Haitian capital, a field hospital established by two Harvard Medical School doctors is treating hundreds of victims of the Haitian earthquake.The field hospital in Fond Parisien, near the border with the Dominican Republic, is part of a broader emergency effort in Haiti by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, building on experience responding to disasters including Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami. HHI is helping to coordinate the entire Harvard humanitarian response to the quake, and has deployed more than 70 surgeons, emergency physicians, anesthesiologists and nurses…The field hospital in Fond Parisien, near the border with the Dominican Republic, is part of a broader emergency effort in Haiti by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, building on experience responding to disasters including Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami. HHI is helping to coordinate the entire Harvard humanitarian response to the quake, and has deployed more than 70 surgeons, emergency physicians, anesthesiologists and nurses…Read more here (The Boston Globe)last_img read more

Radcliffe appoints director of communications

first_imgThe Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study has named Alison Franklin director of communications. A 1990 graduate of Harvard College, she brings to the institute 20 years of experience as a communications professional in government, politics, and the nonprofit sector.From 1996 to 2002, Franklin was communications director and press secretary for Massachusetts State Senate President Thomas F. Birmingham ’72, J.D. ’78, and was named top press secretary by Beacon Hill, the Boston Phoenix, and the State House Press Association. She has also worked on statewide campaigns in California and Massachusetts.Prior to joining the Radcliffe Institute staff, she was City Year’s director of communications, leading media and messaging for the Boston-based headquarters and the organization’s 20 locations in the United States.Whether she was working for elected officials, campaigning for candidates, or growing a nonprofit, Franklin’s work involved developing and implementing communications strategies, assessing and revitalizing brands, creating effective messages, and working with media. She is eager to put that expertise to work at the Radcliffe Institute.“The ideas, people, and events that propel the Radcliffe Institute are characterized by excellence and energy, and I’m honored to be part of the institute and help share its work in new and powerful ways,” said Franklin. “We will be communicating the mission and messages to convey the intellect and innovation that are hallmarks of the institute.”last_img read more

Artist fellowships awarded

first_imgThe Office for the Arts at Harvard (OFA) and the Office of the Dean for the Arts and Humanities announced the 2013 recipients of the Artist Development Fellowship. This program supports the artistic development of students demonstrating unusual accomplishment and/or evidence of significant artistic promise. The program is administered by the OFA and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships, and made possible with the support of the Office of the President at Harvard University.The 2013 recipients of the Artist Development Fellowship are Stella Chen ’15, Caroline Cuse ’13, Aisha Down ’14, Rachel Gibian ’15, Hazel Lever ’13, Devi Lockwood ’14, Oliver Luo ’13, Zena Mariam Mengesha ’14, Chase Morrin ’15, Megan Murdock ’14, Maxwell Phillips ’15, Liv Redpath ’14, Jacob Shack ’14, and Enzo Vasquez Toral ’14.Read the full announcement.last_img read more

Lecturer discusses Swedish saints

first_imgSaints were a democratic feature of Christian religion in medieval times, according to Anders Frojmark, senior lecturer in History at Linnaeus University in Sweden. Frojmark discussed the role of saints and miracle tales during his lecture “The Voice of the People: Pilgrims’ Miracle Tales at Medieval Swedish Shrines” Monday in Haggar Parlor at Saint Mary’s. He spoke about the miracle tales of saints from Sweden, of which he said there are approximately 600. He talked about how these tales impacted the pilgrim, or peasant, society of the region during the medieval times. He narrowed his discussion down to the more significant tales of certain saints from Sweden, and talked about the role these saints played during the 15th century. “I will say, a saint was a good person, essentially a dead person, who lived in one way or another and who now lives with God.” Frojmark said. Peasants and other members of society during medieval times could use particular saints for guidance, he said. “You are free to choose. You decide which saint to turn to,” Frojmark said. “If saint No. 1 doesn’t help, then you are free to go further.” Turning to stories of saints also helped Swedish peasants connect with God, he said. “God lives everywhere and so do the saints who live with him,” Frojmark said. He also said saints are accessible to people seeking help through miracles. “Miracles count as an important role in the biography of saints. After their death … they are more accessible,” Frojmark said. “Now I can go visit [a saint]. I can stand some inches from her body and talk to her.” In order to keep the saints and their stories alive, those who had interacted with them would become storytellers and spread their stories throughout the region, he said. Frojmark equated these storytellers from medieval times who had experienced the miracles with modern television stars. “Those who have miraculous experiences became the object of a lot of attention,” he said. The significance of these storytellers was their faith toward the saint they were discussing, Frojmark said. “Miracle stories were a prized offering that concerned the saint’s honor, not one’s own,” he said. According to Frojmark, these stories were important because they provided average citizens with role models. “You never walk alone. [Saints] are there and they are willing to help,” Frojmark said. “So no matter where you are, you can talk to them.”last_img read more

Tickets on Sale for A Second Chance at the Public

first_img A Second Chance tells the New York story of a recent widower and a divorcee who meet in mid-life and mid-crisis. Presented with the overwhelming challenge of freeing themselves from their painful pasts, neither feels deserving of happiness. Yet, the awakening of unanticipated feelings leads them to a possibility they both least expected to find. Everyone deserves to see A Second Chance! Tickets are now on sale for the New York premiere of Ted Shen’s new musical. Directed by Jonathan Butterell, the show will star real-life husband and wife Brian and Diane Sutherland and begin performances off-Broadway on March 18 and will run through April 13. Opening night is set for March 30 at the Public’s Shiva Theater. A Second Chance View Comments Brian Sutherland’s Broadway credits include The Sound of Music, 1776, Steel Pier and Victor/Victoria. Diane Sutherland’s Broadway credits include The Light in the Piazza, 1776 and A Chorus Line. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on April 13, 2014last_img read more