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2021 ◽  
Vol 29 (4) ◽  
pp. 479-498
Paul Smit ◽  
Joaquin Grobler

It is a universally acceptable practice to employ newly hired employees on a probationary period. In general terms the purpose of probation is to give the employer an opportunity to evaluate the employee's performance before confirming the appointment. This in itself seems to be an uncomplicated process; however, the scenario, especially in South Africa, becomes more complicated if an employer wants to terminate an employee's service during the probationary period of employment or terminate the services of an employee at the end of the probationary period. The right to a fair dismissal is well recognised in South African labour law; this right also extends to employees during their probationary period of employment. Convention 158 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) provides guidelines in respect of the termination of employment, also during the probation period. In this article the ILO's standards with regard to the termination of employment during probation are considered. South Africa was a former colony of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, in light of this the respective positions on dismissal during the probation period of employment in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom are also analysed. This provided the researcher with an opportunity to determine if South Africa's dismissal regime during the probationary period of employment is in line with some international perspectives and it appears that dismissal during the probationary period of employment in South Africa is out of step with international standards and developments.

Lukas Noehrer ◽  
Abigail Gilmore ◽  
Caroline Jay ◽  
Yo Yehudi

AbstractThe first quarter of 2020 heralded the beginning of an uncertain future for museums and galleries as the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the only means to stay ‘open’ was to turn towards the digital. In this paper, we investigate how the physical closure of museum buildings due to lockdown restrictions caused shockwaves within their digital strategies and changed their data practices potentially for good. We review the impact of COVID-19 on the museum sector, based on literature and desk research, with a focus on the implications for three museums and art galleries in the United Kingdom and the United States, and their mission, objectives, and digital data practices. We then present an analysis of ten qualitative interviews with expert witnesses working in the sector, representing different roles and types of institutions, undertaken between April and October 2020. Our research finds that digital engagement with museum content and practices around data in institutions have changed and that digital methods for organising and accessing collections for both staff and the general public have become more important. We present evidence that strategic preparedness influenced how well institutions were able to transition during closure and that metrics data became pivotal in understanding this novel situation. Increased engagement online changed traditional audience profiles, challenging museums to find ways of accommodating new forms of engagement in order to survive and thrive in the post-pandemic environment.

Patricia Jolliffe ◽  
Scott Foster

AbstractOver the past 20 years, there has been considerable expansion, particularly spirituality theory in the workplace. Simultaneously, there has been a growth of research, most especially in practitioner publication into generational differences. The study's context is human resource (HR) policy and procedures in the workplace. Through this prism, generational perspectives and religious theory are compared and scrutinised within the United Kingdom. Two major religious groups (Muslim and Christian) and three-generational categories (Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers) were selected to explore different attitudes, with participants identifying as belonging to religious groups outside of these two major religions, categorised as 'Other.' This study adopts a quantitative approach, with questionnaires gathering employees' perceptions of spirituality policy within their place of work. Although the study found differences in expectations between the religious groups and between the three generations, there is greater homogeneity than a difference in that the results provide limited support for workplace spirituality. Indeed, the study raises more questions than answers. The study uncovered areas ripe for informed debate around personal values, generations, and spirituality in the workplace. This is a relatively new research area, and our findings are in line with others that suggest that employee spiritual well-being is both underresearched and underexplored by organisations. Changing the current intransigence around the place of spirituality is overdue.

2021 ◽  
P.E. Hart ◽  
James Bates

2021 ◽  
Luis Enrique Loria-Rebolledo ◽  
Mandy Ryan ◽  
Verity Watson ◽  
Mesfin G Genie ◽  
Ruben Andreas Sakowsky ◽  

Objective To understand how individuals make trade-offs between features of lockdown interventions to control a pandemic across the four nations of the United Kingdom. Design Survey that included a Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE). The survey design was informed using policy documents, social media analysis and with input from remote think aloud interviews with members of the public (n=23). Setting Nation-wide survey across the four nations of the United Kingdom. Representative sample in terms of age and sex for each of the nations recruited using an online panel between 29th October and 12th December 2020. Participants Individuals who are over 18 years old. A total of 4120 adults completed the survey (1112 in England, 848 in Northern Ireland, 1143 in Scotland and 1098 in Wales). Primary outcome measure Adult preferences for, and trade-offs between, type of lockdown restrictions, length of lockdown, postponement of routine healthcare, excess deaths, impact on ability to buy things and unemployment. Results In all four countries, one out of five respondents were willing to reduce excess deaths at all costs. The majority of adults are willing to accept higher excess deaths if this means lockdowns that are less strict, shorter and do not postpone routine healthcare. On average, respondents in England were willing to accept a higher increase in excess deaths to have less strict lockdown restrictions introduced compared to Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, respectively. Conclusions The majority of the UK population is willing to accept the increase in excess deaths associated with introducing less strict lockdown restrictions. The acceptability of different restriction scenarios varies according to the features of the lockdown and across countries. Authorities can use information about trade-off preferences to inform the introduction of different lockdown restriction levels, and design compensation policies that maximise societal welfare.

2021 ◽  
pp. 1-8
Barry O’Callaghan ◽  
Emma Shepherd ◽  
Demetris Taliotis ◽  
James Bentham ◽  
Damien Kenny ◽  

Abstract Background: No established risk prediction tool exists in United Kingdom and Irish Paediatric Cardiology practice for patients undergoing cardiac catheterisation. The Catheterisation RISk score for Paediatrics is used primarily in North American practice to assess risk prior to cardiac catheterisation. Validating the utility and transferability of such a tool in practice provides the opportunity to employ an already established risk assessment tool in everyday practice. Aims: To ascertain whether the Catheterisation RISk score for Paediatrics assessment tool can accurately predict complications within United Kingdom and Irish congenital catheterisation practice. Methods: Clinical and procedural data including National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research derived outcome data from 1500 patients across five large congenital cardiology centres in the United Kingdom and Ireland were retrospectively collected. Catheterisation RISk score for Paediatrics were then calculated for each case and compared with the observed procedural outcomes. Chi-square analysis was used to determine the relationship between observed and predicted events. Results: Ninety-eight (6.6%) patients in this study experienced a significant complication as qualified by National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research classification. 4% experienced a moderate complication, 2.3% experienced a major complication and 0.3% experienced a catastrophic complication resulting in death. Calculated Catheterisation RISk score for Paediatrics scores correlated well with all observed adverse events for paediatric patients across all CRISP categories. The association was also transferable to adult congenital heart disease patients in lower Catheterisation RISk score for Paediatrics categories (CRISP 1–3). Conclusion: The Catheterisation RISk score for Paediatrics score accurately predicts significant complications in congenital catheterisation practice in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Our data validated the Catheterisation RISk score for Paediatrics assessment tool in five congenital centres using National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research-derived outcome data.

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Paula Gutiérrez-Muñoz ◽  
Alice E. M. Walters ◽  
Sarah J. Dolman ◽  
Graham J. Pierce

Shorewatch is a citizen science project, managed by Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), that records the occurrence of cetaceans during regular, standardized watches from a series of locations along the coast of Scotland (United Kingdom). Observer training and a clearly defined protocol help deliver a valuable source of information about cetacean occurrence and activity along the coast. Between 2005–2018, over 52000 watches generated over 11000 sightings of at least 18 cetacean species. Generalized Additive Models based on sightings for the five most commonly sighted species (bottlenose dolphin, harbor porpoise, minke whale, Risso’s dolphin, and common dolphin), at those sites with the longest time series, demonstrated seasonal, geographical and year-to-year differences in their local occurrence and relative abundance. Bottlenose dolphins are mainly present at observation sites located on the east coast of Scotland, being uncommon on the west coast, while harbor porpoise and minke whale are principally present at sites located on the west coast. The seasonality observed in cetacean occurrence is consistent with peak abundance in summer months described by previous studies in the area. Mean depth around the observation sites is the static variable that apparently has the greatest influence on species presence and number of sightings, except for Risso’s dolphin. All the species except bottlenose dolphin showed upward trends in occurrence and number of sightings over the period 2012–2018. Evidence of temporal autocorrelation was found between results from consecutive watches at the same site on the same day as well as between results from consecutive days at the same site. The power to detect declines in local abundance over a 6-year period depends on the underlying sighting rate of each cetacean species, the number of watches performed and the rate of decline. Simulations performed to determine the power to detect a decline suggest that the current intensity of observation effort in some observation sites, of about 2500 watches per year, may offer good prospects of detecting a 30% decline of the most frequently sighted species (95% of the time) over a 6-year period, although a more even distribution of observation effort in space and time is desirable. The data could potentially be used for monitoring and 6-yearly reporting of the status of cetacean populations.

Jessica Cooper ◽  
Neofytos Dimitriou ◽  
Ognjen Arandjelovíc

AbstractIn an era when public faith in politicians is dwindling, yet trust in scientists remains relatively high, governments are increasingly emphasizing the role of science based policy-making in response to challenges such as climate change and global pandemics. In this paper we question the quality of some scientific advice given to governments and the robustness and transparency of the entire framework which envelopes such advice, all of which raise serious ethical concerns. In particular we focus on the so-called Imperial Model which heavily influenced the government of the United Kingdom in devising its response to the COVID-19 crisis. We focus on and highlight several fundamental methodological flaws of the model, raise concerns as to the robustness of the system which permitted these to remain unchallenged, and discuss the relevant ethical consequences.

2021 ◽  
Nikkil Sudharsanan ◽  
Caterina Favaretti ◽  
Violetta Hachaturyan ◽  
Till Baernighausen ◽  
Alain Vandormael

Vaccination rates have stagnated in the United States and the United Kingdom leading to the continuing spread of COVID-19. Fear and concern over vaccine side-effects is one of the main drivers of hesitancy. Drawing from behavioral science and health communication theory, we conducted a randomized controlled trial among 8998 adults to determine whether the way COVID-19 vaccine side-effects are framed and presented to individuals can influence their willingness to take a vaccine. We presented participants information on a hypothetical future COVID-19 vaccine -- including information on its side-effect rate -- and then examined the effect of three side-effect framing strategies on individuals stated willingness to take this vaccine: adding a qualitative risk label next to the numerical risk, adding comparison risks, and for those presented with comparisons, framing the comparison in relative rather than absolute terms. Based on a pre-registered and published analysis plan, we found that adding a simple descriptive risk label (very low risk) next to the numerical side-effect increased participants' willingness to take the COVID-19 vaccine by 3.0 percentage points (p = 0.003). Providing a comparison to motor vehicle mortality increased COVID-19 vaccine willingness by 2.4 percentage points (p = 0.051). These effects were independent and additive: participants that received both a qualitative risk label and comparison to motor-vehicle mortality were 6.1 percentage points (p < 0.001) more likely to report willingness to take a vaccine compared to those who did not receive a label or comparison. Taken together, our results reveal that despite increasingly strong vaccination hesitancy and exposure to large amounts of vaccine misinformation, low-cost side-effect framing strategies can meaningfully affect vaccination intentions at a population level.

S M Nazmuz Sakib

Social enterprises are very common in Birmingham having the largest concentrations of social enterprises in the United Kingdom. With the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the operations and management of social enterprises in Birmingham has been greatly affected. This study seeks to analyse the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the operations and funding of social enterprises in Birmingham UK. In order to achieve this, the study is going to carry out a qualitative methodology in order to analyse the impact Covid-19 has had on social enterprises. The research is going to select relevant stakeholders through a non-purposive sampling criteria identifying individuals who have direct interest in the functioning of social enterprises. The relevant stakeholders will be expected to respond to semi structured interviews that are structured to evoke responses relevant to this area of research. The research realized that Social enterprises in Birmingham are a critical player in the economy of UK with many individuals depending on the social enterprise industry. In addition to that, the study realised that the Covid-19 pandemic exposed social enterprises to various financial and market risks. Moreover, social enterprises were forced to make a change in their organizational structure through cost management changes and offering alternative services. However, the government came in support through provision of grants and funding to boost the social enterprise economy.

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