Company appointed for consultancy on flood relief schemes in Donegal

first_img Pinterest Twitter Google+ Facebook Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Pinterest WhatsApp News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows By News Highland – May 8, 2021 Twitter Google+center_img A company has been appointed to undertake engineering and environmental consultancy services for three flood relief schemes in Donegal.The projects in Ballybofey – Stranorlar, Buncrana – Luddan, and Ramelton are key elements in the flood risk management strategy in place until 2027.Byrne Looby Water Services will begin public consultations in all three areas shortly.Donegal County Council says the project team will assess options based not only on their technical and economic suitability, but also their environmental and social impact.Cathaoirleach Councillor Rena Donaghey is says it is very important that the local communities have their say and become involved in the public consultation process as the flooding solutions are developed. She said this will help shape the design of the schemes that will ultimately protect and safeguard their communities.An initial public consultation will be launched in the coming months to seek the views of the communities of Ballybofey – Stranorlar, Buncrana – Luddan, and Ramelton on flooding and associated environmental issues that they feel need to be addressed as part of the schemes.Chief Executive John McLaughlin says the council has developed a strong working relationship with OPW in the delivery of flood relief schemes in the county, and he looks forward to the successful progression of these three schemes, along with the other flood relief schemes that are already progressing in Castlefin, Burnfoot, Glenties, Downings and Kerrykeel, Lifford and Raphoe. WhatsApp Homepage BannerNews Previous articleTD calls for income threshold for council housing to be raisedNext articleDerry draw with Longford – Ruaidhri Higgins & Jack Malone Reaction News Highland Harps come back to win in Waterford DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Company appointed for consultancy on flood relief schemes in Donegal Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODAlast_img read more

Pressure to perform

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Pressure to performOn 1 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Stress can be a difficult topic to deal with effectively despite the recentguidance from the Court of Appeal. Jonathan Maude outlines the right proceduresfor achieving a fair resolution for all concernedNon-disclosurePeter applies for a position as manager at Logg & Co, a freightlogistics company. Logg & Co anticipates winning a contract that is likelyto increase the work coming into its depot by 50 per cent and has decided torecruit someone to perform the managerial function at a local level. Peter’sapplication form and CV show he has a fair amount of experience. The answers hegives on the medical questionnaire do not disclose any significant medicalcondition. In fact, he has suffered from stress-related illness in the past.Following interview it is decided to offer him the position as it appears hewill need minimal guidance in undertaking the role. Is it wise to offer him thejob without further medical investigation or discussion? Jonathan Maude comments : Logg & Co has considered Peter’sapplication on the basis of his experience and his interview. In addition,Peter has completed a medical questionnaire that does not highlight anypre-existing issues that should concern HR. On 5 February 2002 the Court of Appeal, in the decision of Hatton vSutherland and others, considered four cases on appeal from four separatecounty courts. Each concerned awards of damages against employers after thelitigants concerned had stopped working due to stress-induced psychiatricillness. In essence, for the employer to be liable for negligence, the employeeneeds to show that the employer has breached a duty of care that it owes toemployees by allowing a practice to continue when it was reasonably foreseeableit would cause injury. The employer is obliged to provide a safe system ofwork; this amounts to an obligation to provide reasonable support to theemployee to perform his or her duties in a way that will avoid causingpsychological injury. This recent decision follows a number of cases in which employers have beenheld liable for psychiatric injury since the landmark case of Walker vNorthumberland County Council [1995] 1 All ER 737. The Court of Appeal used theHatton decision to give useful “practical propositions” that areintended to enable courts to consider claims in the future. One such “practicalproposition” is that an employer is entitled to take the informationbefore it at face value and is not required to investigate any medical issuesfurther unless it is put on notice that there is an issue that warrants furtherinvestigation. Logg & Co is therefore entitled to rely on the informationgiven by Peter. If Peter had disclosed he had suffered from stress-related illness, it wouldhave been necessary for HR to consider obtaining further details about thecircumstances that caused it. It would also have needed to ascertain whetherthere were steps it should take to reduce the possibility that Peter wouldsuffer a recurrence. This would also go some way to discharging any duty tomake reasonable adjustments that Logg & Co may owe to Peter under theDisability Discrimination Act 1995. AbsenteeismPeter has been in his job for six months. He has not complained to Logg& Co about any work-related stress, but there has been a noticeableincrease in his intermittent sickness absences during the past two months.Peter has now informed Logg & Co that he will be absent for two weekshaving been certified as suffering from stress-related depression by hisdoctor. What action should HR take? JM comments: HR will need to meet with Peter to discuss the absenceand the reasons for it. It would also be advantageous to obtain independentmedical evidence as to his condition and to consider steps the company mighttake when he returns to his position to alleviate factors that may beattributing to the condition. The important point to bear in mind is that Logg & Co will only beliable for breaching the duty to provide a safe system of work if the companycan be shown to have caused or materially contributed to any harm suffered byPeter. The Court of Appeal in Hatton suggested that if Logg & Co can show ithas taken steps to avoid breaching its duty it is unlikely to be found to havebreached it. If HR obtains independent medical advice about Peter’s problems and offerscounselling or other assistance, the company is unlikely to be found to beacting in breach of its duty. It must ensure that its contractual documentationprovides Logg & Co with the right to request independent medical advice ona specific employee. Clearly, if Peter refused to co-operate with any suchexamination it would not assist him in any subsequent claim brought againstLogg & Co. Other issues HR may need to discuss with Peter include the redistribution ofduties or demotion. Logg & Co will not be in breach of its duty if Peterwants to stay in the job rather than face demotion even if he subsequentlysuffers from illness through the pressures of the job. This is one of the majorissues to have come out of the Hatton decision: both employer and employee bearthe risk, so the employee needs to decide whether to risk any psychologicalbreakdown by staying in the job or consider dismissal or demotion. If Logg & Co took the view that a redistribution of duties or demotionwas not appropriate, it might be in a position to consider dismissal as thecourt would consider the size and scope of Logg & Co’s operation, togetherwith the demands faced by the company, to decide what is reasonable. Again, this is an interesting point to come out of the Hatton decision, asthe court considered practical issues that may benefit smaller employers.Previously, the courts have not been particularly sympathetic to arguments thatcost or lack of resources prohibited making certain adjustments. Reduced roleThe medical examination and discussions with Peter reveal that in hisprevious job he suffered from occupational stress and that he eventually lefthis former employer as a result of it. Logg & Co decides that as the volumeof work from the new contract is not as great as it originally anticipated,some of the managerial responsibilities will be run centrally and Peter willreturn to a non-managerial position. What are the issues HR now needs to consider? JM comments: It is for Logg & Co and Peter to agree his return toa non-managerial position. HR needs to be aware that it cannot simply imposechanges unless it has the contractual right to do so. As a result, it would besensible to ensure all discussions about Peter’s return are noted and anychange in status is agreed, in writing, with Peter. This will amount to a variation to Peter’s contract of employment and Logg& Co will not simply be able to allege, in defending a constructivedismissal claim for example, that it was acting in Peter’s best interests andin a way so as not to breach the duty of care it owed him. Logg & Co is now aware of the previous condition and that Peter did notdisclose it. Despite the fact it may be in a position to take action as aresult of this non-disclosure, it is aware of the condition and, accordingly,will need to ensure regular discussions take place with Peter to monitor hisprogress. If it becomes apparent that Peter is unable to undertake even the reducedrole then Logg & Co will need to consider alternatives with him and thismay include terminating his employment. If it does take the step of terminating the contract of employment, subjectto obligations that it may owe in connection with unfair dismissal rights andpossibly claims under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, it is unlikely tobe found to be in breach of the duty of care. If Peter was successful in any claim against Logg & Co, the Court ofAppeal has indicated that any damages would take account of the pre-existingdisorder or vulnerability and of the possibility that Peter would havesuccumbed to a stress-related order in any event. In addition, Logg & Co would only pay for the proportion of harmsuffered as a direct result of its wrongdoing. In this event, the level ofcompensation should be reduced fairly dramatically. Jonathan Maude is a partner in Manches Employment PracticeKey points– The employer is obliged to providea safe system of work; this amounts to an obligation to provide reasonablesupport to the employee to perform his or her duties in a way that will avoidpsychological injury.– If an employee wishes to stay in a stressful job, bothemployer and employee bear the risk, so the employee needs to decide whether torisk any psychological breakdown by staying in the job or consider dismissal ordemotion.– If a person is unable to undertake even a reduced role andthe company takes the step of terminating the contract of employment, subjectto obligations that it may owe in connection with unfair dismissal rights andpossibly claims under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, it is unlikely tobe found to be in breach of its duty of care.– In the event of a claim for constructive dismissal, damageswould take account of the pre-existing disorder or vulnerability and of thepossibility a person would have succumbed to a stress-related order in anyevent.last_img read more