Brian Palmer, deputy head of Charles Russell’s employment unit, considersthe approach which employers should adopt to stress in the workplaceIt was Winston Churchill, when speaking of Joseph Chamberlain, who said”Mr Chamberlain loves the working man – he loves to see him work”.Until recent times, that could also have been said to be most employers’ ideaof their ideal manager. However, with the Health & Safety Executive(“HSE”) report from May last year estimating that stress-related workaccidents and ill-health cost the country £7bn per year and individual claimsby employees now leading to awards in excess of £100,000 per employee, thewell-advised employer will now have the issue of workplace stress at the top ofhis concerns. In this article, I will consider what stress is; its causes and effects.Then I will review potential claims which an employee can bring together withhow employers may seek to prevent claims. What is stress? The HSE defines stress as, “The reaction people have to excessivepressures or the types of demands placed on them when they worry they cannotcope.” It would appear that the necessary ingredients for work-related stress are: 1) An experience personal to the employee 2) Caused by workplace pressures 3) Which impacts upon the employee’s capacity to cope with those demands orhis perception of that capacity. How frequently does workplace stress occur? Recent surveys have been carried out by the TUC, the Industrial Society andthe HSE. The TUC report “Focus on Health & Safety” was published inNovember 2000 after 9,000 safety representatives had been surveyed. Sixty sixper cent of those polled said that stress was their main health concern. JohnMonks, the TUC general secretary, stated, “Stress at work is a seriousproblem. But a modern, 24-hour economy does not have to mean long hours – we shouldbe working better, not longer. Partnership between employers and unions, andrespect for people at work, are the keys to creating a healthy workplace”.An Industry Society report published in September 2000 found that stress wasthe second highest reported cause of absence from work. Five million employees,one-fifth of the working population, suffered from high levels of stress withserious effects on their physical and mental health. The HSE’s study published in December 2000 found that: – Those groups reporting highest stress were, in order, teaching, nursing,management, professionals, other education and welfare, road transport andsecurity – In those highest stress groups, at least 20 per cent reported themselvesas being “very or extremely stressed” – for teachers the figure roseto 40 per cent – Extreme stress was most frequently reported by those in managerial andtechnical occupations – Full-time workers were more stressed than part-time workers; and – There was little difference in stress levels between men and women. What causes stress? There are, obviously, many causes of stress. The TUC survey indicated thatthe safety representatives considered the main causes of stress to be asfollows:- – Workload – 74% – Cuts in staff – 53% – Change at work – 44% – Long hours – 39% – Shift work – 30% – Bullying – 30%. Others areas which might cause stress will include lack of supervision,inadequate training, generally poor and/or dangerous working conditions andpoor relations with colleagues. What are the effects of stress? It is the reaction of the individual employee to pressures placed on himwhich may give rise to legal problems for the employer. The difficulty for theemployer is that different employees can react very differently to the samepressure. Some employees regard pressure as the necessary “adrenalinefix” to produce their best work while other employees can collapse underthe strain. It is this latter case, where the costs and effects to an employercan be considerable. The most obvious manifestation of stress in an employeewill be decreased job performance and then, usually, absence. Long term absencewill have an effect on other employees, the general efficiency of theorganisation and, depending on the employer’s sick pay scheme, potential lossof earnings for the employee. What potential claims can an employee bring? There is obviously an overlap between personal injury claims, in the purestsense, and employment related claims under normal principles. Traditionally,employees could not recover compensation for ill-health caused by stressarising from the workplace. However, the landmark decision in Walker vNorthumberland County Council  IRLR 35 found that the general duty ofcare owed by an employer to his employee could extend to the risk ofpsychiatric damage caused by the work which the employee was called on toperform. In this case, Mr Walker, who worked for Northumberland County Council from1970 to 1988, had a dramatic increase in his workload in the 1980s. He told hissuperiors on several occasions that his department was understaffed. Then inNovember 1986, he suffered a nervous breakdown and went on sick leave. He wasready to return to work by February 1987, but his doctors told him this wasonly on the condition that he had increased support. His employers agreed toprovide him with an assistant at this time. In actual fact, little, if any, additional assistance was given to him andthe work again became too much and he went on sick leave in September 1987, hewas subsequently dismissed by the Council on grounds of permanent ill-health in1988. The Court found that, although his first breakdown was caused by overloadof work, it was not reasonably foreseeable that the overload would result inhis illness. It was accepted, however, that his employer should have foreseenthe second breakdown and his claim, therefore, succeeded and subsequentlysettled for £175,000. The key points which an employee must prove for a successful claim are: 1) That the stress caused a recognised mental illness 2) That that illness was caused by workplace stresses and not other factors 3) That the risk of illness was reasonably foreseeable by the employer; and 4) That the employer did not meet the standard of the hypothetical reasonableemployer in exposing the employee to workplace stress. The key point in the Walker case is that his employer should haveappreciated after his first breakdown, that he was more vulnerable topsychiatric damage than other employees so that he would be more likely tosuffer health problems if put in the same position again. Subsequent cases have lowered the hurdle which an employee would need tocross. With the increased awareness of stress-related issues in the workplaceand the dangers of such stress, employers may be argued to more conscious ofthe possibility of stress-related illnesses and the foreseeability thatpressurised working regimes may lead to stress induced illnesses. Randy Ingrama site warden for travellers, was verbally and physically abused and was evenshot at by site residents during the course of his employment. Perhaps notsurprisingly, the stresses of his position led to him having to retire at theage of 39 due to ill-health caused by stress at work. He received a record settlementof £203,000. Potential claims Potential claims may be under common law and/or statute. Common law Traditionally the general duty of employers to their employees is to keepthem safe from harm, providing a safe place/systems of work and safe andcompetent fellow employees. More recently, the courts have found impliedcontractual terms, that the employer should take care of its employees’ healthas well as safety. Where an employer breaches this duty, it may be argued to bea significant breach going to the root of the contract of employment entitlingthe employee to resign and claim constructive dismissal. Typically such a claim may arise where the employee is not coping and theemployer, well aware of the problem, does nothing to alleviate it. Provided theemployee does not delay his resignation for too long after the incident, he maybe able to establish constructive dismissal. An employee may be able to bring a personal injury claim where he can shownegligence on the part of the employer, in breaching the common law dutiesreferred to above or breaching one of the statutory duties referred to below.The employee must show a breach meeting the key points from the Walker caseoutlined above. It must be established that the stresses will lead to an actualmental or physical illness. Simple upset or injured feelings or normal anxietyor stress will not be sufficient. Breach of Statutory Duties While, as yet, there is no specific stress-related legislation, variousother provisions may be called upon by employees in stress-related litigation. Working Time Regulations 1998 Limits are imposed on the number of weekly working hours and entitlements tobreaks, rest periods and annual holiday are granted. Although many employeesmay have opted out of the maximum forty-eight hour week, such an opt-out doesnot entail abandoning the general right to health and safety protections. Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 Employers are under a duty to take reasonably practical measures in order toensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees and others in theworkplace. The duty extends to systems of work, working practices andprocedures; machinery, plant and equipment; and the working environment. Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992 The relevance of these regulations to stress is that an employer is under anobligation to carry out a hazard study or risk assessment for the workplace,following which, the employer must put in place the appropriate preventative orprotective measures to safeguard his employees from harm. Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999 The stress of seeking to juggle parental and work obligations is sought tobe alleviated by these regulations. Unfair Dismissal It should not be forgotten that an employee dismissed for absence orunder-performance may be able to allege unfair dismissal under the EmploymentRights Act 1996 (“ERA”), assuming that the employee had beencontinuously employed for one year at the date of termination. Automatically Unfair Dismissal Any employee dismissed for complaining about a stressful work situation, maybe able to argue that the dismissal is connected with raising health and safetyissues. If successful, under Section 100 of ERA, the dismissal will beautomatically unfair. Similarly, any employee suffering detriment by virtue ofraising such a concern will, under Section 44 ERA, have a right tocompensation. The compensation which can be claimed in both cases is unlimitedand there is no qualifying period of employment in order to bring these claims.Furthermore, protection against victimisation may be obtained under the PublicInterest Disclosure Act 1998 in “whistleblowing” cases. Disability Discrimination Act 1995 A stress-related illness could possibly amount to a disability so that,under the Act, the employer would be obliged to make reasonable adjustments tothe workplace to accommodate the disability and the dismissal of such anemployee could amount to disability discrimination. However, for an employee tohave a disability within the meaning of the Act, he must have a physical ormental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on hisability to carry out normal day to day activities. As stress itself is not yeta clinically recognised condition, the initial hurdle of proving disabilitywill be difficult. Indications are that, unless the employee can demonstratethat the stress induced a clearly recognised medical condition, it is unlikelythat the Act will be of much assistance. Criminal offences Employers should not lose sight of the fact that breach of the Health &Safety at Work Act 1974 and Management of Health & Safety at WorkRegulations 1992 could result in criminal convictions in addition to anycompensation claims which an employee may have. Furthermore, it could also bepossible for an employee to argue that the Protection from Harassment Act 1997(primarily introduced to combat “stalking” offences) could providethat harassment in the workplace would amount to a criminal offence. Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 Finally, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 makes intentionalharassment, causing alarm or distress or racial, sexual and other forms ofharassment at work (as well as elsewhere) a criminal offence. How can employers prevent claims? Given the significant areas of potential claims outlined above, the welladvised employer will aim to take preventative action by engaging in stressmanagement. The Health & Safety Commission and the HSE continue to provideguidelines for employers. Employers are encouraged to undertake a three stageapproach to stress management. Assess the risk Risk assessments should be performed in order to ascertain potential causesof stress and the level of such risks to individual employees and to theorganisation as a whole. Additionally, the HSE generally recommend for largeemployers that the risk assessment be carried out by way of a full auditconducted by an external organisation. Employers must recognise that, once aproblem is highlighted, the employer will be fixed with knowledge of it andhave to do something about it. However, the “ostrich” approach ofburying one’s head in the sand, is not to be recommended. Tackle the causes of stress The risk assessment referred to above should highlight situations withrecommendations for improvement. These can include establishing a clear policyon stress; putting in place stress management training; establishinganti-bullying or harassment policies and ensuring that regular appraisals ofemployees’ work take place with an allowance for grievances to be raised. Good managers will already appreciate the benefits of ensuring best possibleuse is made of available resources. Work should be fairly distributed amongemployees and priorities clearly set. Handling of employees who have suffered stress-related illnesses The usual consultation and monitoring which an employer should undertakewith regard to any absent employees should take place. In addition, theemployer should consider offering stress counselling to the employee, perhapsinvolving external third party assistance. The employer should consider whetherany reasonable adjustments should be made to accommodate the employee’s returnto work, such as part-time working. Finally, when the employee has returned,the situation should be regularly monitored to ensure that it does not recur. Conclusion While employees have many potential avenues of attack open to them, themajor obstacle which they face is proving, supported by medical evidence, thata recognised illness exists and that such illness was caused by work pressures.Having said that, increasing awareness of the issues, means that employers willbe expected to tackle workplace stress. By adopting the stress managementstrategy set out above and putting in place appropriate measures, employerswill give themselves the best chance of minimising potential claims. One neverknows, they may even benefit by decreasing absenteeism and achieving anincrease in motivation, productivity and efficiency! Unless employers tackle the issue voluntarily, employers may find stricterlegislation in place. On 7 June 2000, the Government and HSE’s RevitalisingHealth & Safety Strategy Statement set out the Government’s target toreduce the rate of work-related ill-health by 20 per cent by 2010. If employersdo not aim to achieve that target voluntarily, they may find (assuming Labourwin a second term) legislation in place forcing them to do so. This article is of general application and of general guidance. It shouldnot be relied upon without seeking separate legal advice. Neither the authornor his firm can accept any responsibility for actions taken or omitted to betaken as a result of relying on this article alone Related posts:No related photos. Stress in the workplace: Are you sure this does not apply to your company?On 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.
HR professionals will be obliged to make extensive checks before employingsocial workers following the introduction of a new code of practice. The code is one of two introduced by the newly formed General Social CareCouncil to guarantee standards among social workers following the fallout fromthe Victoria Climbie scandal. As part of the new checks, HR departments will have to investigate individuals’police records before employing new social workers. Under a separate code ofconduct for employees, social workers face being struck off for incompetence orbad practice. Social workers will have to agree to the code before being placed on the registerand will face expulsion if they are subsequently found incompetent. It is hoped that, once struck off, individuals will be unable to find workelsewhere in the sector. Alan Mack, head of organisation and staff development at Essex SocialServices, welcomed the move. He said: “The draft codes put a robustframework in place for the recruitment of staff. It also provides a code ofconduct once you have employed a member of staff and puts us on the samefooting as other professions such as doctors. “For several years we’ve had safeguards at Essex, but the code willconfirm the process we have in place. It is reassuring that everyone across thecountry is working to a consistent framework.” The codes will have a three-month consultation period before beingrecommended to ministers and the GSCC will be seeking feedback from employersand staff. Lynne Berry, chief executive of the GSCC, said: “It’s very importantthat the councils set the right standards of conduct and practice for socialcare and services workers and employers.” www.doh.gov.uk/gsccBy Ross Wigham Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. New code means tougher checks for social workersOn 22 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed.
Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. The head of Acas is optimistic that the firefighters dispute can be resolvedthrough arbitration, despite the announcement of more strike action last week. Rita Donaghy, chair of Acas, told Personnel Today that resolving suchentrenched disputes takes time, especially with the added pressure of such acomplex deal. “Sometimes it can take a very long time to resolve these disputes,because you always have a consultative period [while members consider theagreement] after a settlement is reached.” She added: “The future of the fire service is at stake here and bothsides care passionately about it. But there’s a huge set of complex factors onboth sides.” The Acas chief said her team had managed to persuade both sides to resumetalks after they appeared to have broken down earlier this month. “You canonly get people along when both sides see possibilities. We’ve been workinghard behind the scenes gradually persuading both sides,” she added. Donaghy remains upbeat on resolution although the two sides had not evenbeen in the same building at the same time until last Tuesday when talks brokedown again. The Fire Brigades Union, led by general secretary Andy Gilchrist, was due tostart a 24-hour dispute today after it rejected the employers’ offer of an 11per cent increase over three years linked to modernisation proposals in theBain report. Donaghy said industrial relations in the fire service have not been poorhistorically and both sides were anxious to find a settlement. “Ironicallyenough, I wouldn’t say there’s a particularly bad relationship between the twosides. “They’ve had some blow ups recently but as an industry it’s not as badas others we’ve known,” she said. By Ross Wigham Previous Article Next Article Head of Acas hopeful of a fire dispute dealOn 21 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today
Brewing up a good ideaOn 1 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Over the next few months Costa Coffee will share its experiences of settingup a pilot for the first modern apprenticeships in the coffee businessTo enhance the retail skills of its workforce, Costa Coffee, with soletraining provider Acorn Learning Solutions, is introducing a vocationaltraining programme within the workplace, to produce the next generation ofspecialist coffee experts or baristas and the managers needed to ensure thefuture of the brand. How it all began Costa Coffee, where 3.7 million cups of coffee are made by hand every week,wanted to ensure the excellence of its coffee throughout its 300 stores acrossthe UK, Germany and the Middle East – with plans to expand to 500 stores by2005 – while simultaneously developing the skills and knowledge of itsstore-based employees. On 13 February, Grace Coleman, Costa’s head of learning and development andAcorn Learning Solutions’ business development director Donna Rudolfo, met tobrainstorm a way forward to build on Costa’s existing internal learningprogramme, The Journey. The aim was to satisfy the needs of the company as embodied in The Journeywhile at the same time providing staff with access to nationally recognisedqualifications. “Founders, Bruno and Sergio Costa always maintained a passion forperfection at every stage of the coffee-making process which has beeninstrumental in their success,” says Coleman. “This culture of passion and quality underpins the Costa HR strategyand 12 months ago we launched ‘The Journey’, a learning and developmentframework in line with our business strategy. Based on four stages, theprogramme covers everything from recruitment and induction topersonal/professional and career development. “The philosophy of The Journey is to encourage employees to takepersonal ownership for their development. By developing an accredited learningprogramme that will drive the operational excellence within its in stores,Costa will be able to reinforce and embed learning from the recruitment andinduction stage and provide a stepping-stone to the realm of personal andprofessional development.” On 15 July, 31 volunteers from across the South West Region – comprisingnine store managers, eight team leaders and 14 team members – gathered at theMarriott Hotel in Bristol for the launch of the pilot of the firstNVQ/Foundation Modern Apprenticeship programme of its kind. According to Rudolfo, the programme offers 16-24-year-olds a 12-monthFoundation Modern Apprenticeship, with over-25’s eligible to complete afast-track learning programme to NVQ Level 2. “Costa Coffee already had an excellent in-house training programme inplace, and the new custom-made modern apprenticeship programme dovetails withit perfectly,” says Rudolfo. “By combining elements such as stock control, point-of-sale systems andcustomer service with modules in food hygiene and serving hot drinkstraditionally associated with the NVQ in catering, we are able to equip staffwith the necessary know-how as the business expands. “The NVQ/Modern Foundation Apprenticeship programme has been designedto enhance the second phase of ‘The Journey’ and should the pilot besuccessful, will result in a national roll-out across the Costa stores in March2004. Not only will staff be able to apply what they do on a day-to-day basis,but they will receive a qualification accredited by the London Chamber ofCommerce and Industry (LCCIEB),” she adds. Adapted Monitored by Acorn’s regional training and development adviser NatashaGamble, it was important that the programme could be adapted to suit specificlearner needs. Each employee was assessed individually and a learning plan drawn up toidentify issues that might hinder the success of the programme. As none of theemployees had any special learning needs, Gamble was able to go straight into atwo-week induction course with Costa Coffee and parent company, Whitbread. “For me to accurately observe, support, advise and assess the Costaemployees, I needed to know exactly what they did each day and how this slottedin with the service philosophy of the company,” says Gamble. She initially set up a schedule to visit each store on a fortnightly basis,but as a result of the overwhelming success of the first pilot, Costa made adecision to launch a second across the South East on 5 September. Toaccommodate the 22 new learners, Gamble changed her visits. “Costa is a very busy company and I would find that some learners didnot have a chance to do any of their work for my next visit. After speaking tothe employees themselves, I rescheduled my visits to a three-weekly basis togive employees more time to complete the questions and assignments. “Overall the feedback has been very positive and enthusiastic.” However, as with all new training programmes, there were some hitches. Fourweeks into the programme three employees withdrew from the pilot. Whenquestioned about their reasons, it emerged that one had enrolled for universityand the other two did not feel the programme suited them at the time. To prevent this re-occurring, Rudolfo reiterated the seriousness of thecommitment required during the launch in the South East and new learners werecarefully evaluated before starting the programme. It was still felt that learners did not have the required time to completeassignments during working hours and although some were happy to takeassignments home, it was decided to allocate one hour per learner per week toencourage learning within individual stores. “Most learners are finding the programme fits well with their workingpractices,” says Rudolfo. “Therehave been suggestions of introducing higher level NVQs and a few managers havesaid they would like to start on a higher level to be more challenged. However,they feel it is an excellent NVQ/FMA programme for team members and leaders andit will encourage them to learn more and will reinforce what they already know.”On the whole everyone doing the NVQ feels that it is a great extrarole within their existing position,” Rudolfo adds. 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Comments are closed. What is an expert?Shared from missc on 9 Dec 2014 in Personnel Today Read full article During our working lives, almost by default, we look at the long tenured staff members in our organisations with reverence. We see them as professionals to look up to, fountains of knowledge and information, given the years of service. Quite rightly so. In that time, they must have learned a fair amount about the industry in which they operate. But surely having 10, 15, 20 years of experience in an industry doesn’t constitute immediate ‘expert status’?In my opinion, it’s the breadth of experience you have in your chosen skill-set that will differentiate you. Let’s take the recruitment industry for example. Recruitment isn’t the type of industry that has one clear cut way to do things that’s considered “correct” and does not follow a specific formula or set of rules. Success in recruitment will come from tackling a range of recruitment challenges in your career and the way in which you handle them, along with the experience you gain from them. The length of time in an industry can of course ensure a certain depth of knowledge in one or a number of things and in my opinion, I would put a higher value in less depth of knowledge of 10 recruitment challenges learned over 20 years, than 20 years of experience facing one recruitment challenge.It’s the age old “1 year of experience 10 ways, or 10 years of experience 1 way” adage. I believe the most successful recruiters who can legitimately call themselves experts fall into the “1 year of experience 10 ways” group. We operate in an industry where our skill-set is not an exact science. It will be our adaptability and ability to be agile in our approach when grasping the intricacies of any given talent acquisition problem, (whether it’s internal or agency, large enterprise or SME, volume or not etc.) and offering expertise on efficient and effective ways to manage it based on previous experience, that will genuinely ensure the worthiness of the reverence you will receive. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.
Tags Century 21 president Marc Benitez (LinkedIn; iStock)Attention shoppers: Century 21 is coming back.The New York-based discount retail chain that built a loyal following but folded after declaring bankruptcy in September, announced its planned return last week.In a statement on Tuesday, Century 21 Stores said the decision to relaunch came “in response to the outpouring of love from the Big Apple and the admiration” of their “loyal shoppers from around the world.”The announcement was light on details, but the company said it would open its first store in South Korea this year. News about its New York and nationwide relaunch will follow in the coming weeks, the statement said.The Gindi family, which started the brand in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, in 1961, bought back the intellectual property at a bankruptcy auction in the fall.The pandemic slammed into then upended the retail industry, forcing stores like Century 21 to shutter their locations nationwide. Retailers fell far behind on rent payments, with many shedding stores, and some declaring bankruptcy or getting acquired. When Century 21 filed for Chapter 11, it said it was forced to do so after insurers declined its business interruption insurance claims.Last month, the retailer hired Marc Benitez as its president. Benitez spent nearly 14 years with the luxury goods brand Coach, and over three years with Kenneth Cole Productions. He also spent time as a vice president at Authentic Brands Group and CAA-GBG Global Brands Management Group. Benitez was a general manager at Century 21 from 1998 to 2001.The Gindis weathered a tumultuous 2020. Two months after Century 21 declared bankruptcy, developer Ben Ashkenazy sued the family, claiming it diverted money from him and damaged his reputation. The Gindis have invested in some of Ashkenazy’s commercial properties. The family claims that Ashkenazy stole money from them. Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink century 21Retail Real Estate
Daniel Hoeg and Don Peebles (Daniel Hoeg, Gettty, iStock)Don Peebles is accusing one of his rivals of running a covert smear campaign against him.The Peebles Corporation head claims that former business associate Daniel Hoeg used untraceable Russian servers to send anonymous, defamatory emails to public officials who were reviewing Peebles’ real estate projects, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.“[Hoeg’s]’ campaign of anonymous and malicious emails has been and continues to be harassing and damaging to [Peebles’] business interests in ways that are difficult to measure and cannot be quantified at this time,” attorneys for Peebles wrote in their complaint.Hoeg’s company, the Hoeg Corporation, worked with Peebles in 2012 on the developer’s 346 Broadway condo conversion in Tribeca. The business relationship soured, however, as the two sides battled in court over how much Peebles owed Hoeg for the work done.ADVERTISEMENTPeebles claims public officials reviewing his projects across the country have been receiving defamatory emails from anonymous sources, and alleges that he was recently able to identify Hoeg as the sender.Hoeg signed his name in an email sent this past February to officials reviewing Peebles’ Angels Landing project in Downtown Los Angeles, according to the lawsuit.“Like many others before it, this email package also betrays numerous material matters concerning the Hoeg Defendants’ work for [The Peebles Corporation],” the lawsuit claims.Representatives for Hoeg and Peebles could not be immediately reached for comment.Peebles claims Hoeg violated their 2012 agreement by releasing confidential information, and is asking the court to issue an injunction preventing Hoeg from further breaching the agreement. Peebles is also asking the court to order Hoeg to reimburse him for legal fees.Contact Rich Bockmann Commercial Real Estatedon peeblesReal Estate Lawsuits Email Address* Full Name* Tags Message* Share via Shortlink Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink
Geomagnetic variation fields recorded at a particular location can be analysed to provide information on the distribution of induced currents within the Earth. An analysis of the variation fields on South Georgia, in the Scotia Sea, has revealed some unusual features in the geomagnetic response characterizing the distribution of internal currents. Both vertical and horizontal components of the variation fields appear anomalous with respect to the behaviour expected for a deep ocean island such as South Georgia. It is suggested that the anomalous variations can be accounted for by lithospheric conductivity contrasts between the older South American and much younger Scotia plates.
New trigonoid bivalves from the Early Jurasic to earliest Cretaceous of the Antarctic Peninsula region: systematics and austral paleobiogeography
New discoveries of trigonioid bivalves are documented from three areas in the Antartic Peninsula: the Fossil Bluff Group of Alexander Island, the Latady Formation of the Orville Coast, and the Byers Group of Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands. Eleven taxa are described, representing six genera or subgenera. The faunas are characterized by genera including Vaugonia (Vaugonia), the first Early Jurassic trigonioid recognized on the continent; Vaugonia (V.) and V. (Orthotrigonia?) in the Late Jurassic; and Iotrigonia (Iotrigonia), Myophorella (Scaphogonia), and Pterotrigonia (Pterotrigonia), which span the Jurassic–Cretaceous boundary, reaching the Berriasian stage. The following species are new: Pterotrigonia (P.) cramei n. sp., Pterotrigonia (P.) thomsoni n. sp., Vaugonia (V.) orvillensis n. sp., and V. (Orthotrigonia?) quiltyi n. sp. The faunas show affinities with those of New Zealand and southern Africa. Trigonioids characterize the shallower marine biofacies in the Jurassic of the Antarctic and reflect the principal shallowing events in the history of the region.
Antarctic ecosystem monitoring: quantifying the response of ecosystem indicators to variability in Antarctic krill
The utility of upper-trophic-level species as ecosystem indicators is determined by our ability to relate changes in indices of their performance to changes at lower trophic levels. Such relationships were assessed using indices of predator performance (response vectors) for four predator species, together with independent ship-based acoustic estimates of abundance of their main prey, Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba), from South Georgia in the South Atlantic Ocean. Out of 32 response vectors investigated, 13 showed a significant non-linear relationship, based on a Holling Type II response, to krill abundance, and just five showed a significant linear relationship. Predator responses reflecting the processes during summer, when prey surveys were undertaken, showed the closest relationship with prey abundance. Distinct relationships existed between the variability of indices and the biological processes they measured. Body mass variables had the lowest variability (CVs 50%). Multivariate indices, produced by combining response vectors from all four predator species into a single combined index, provided a better fit with krill data than any of the individual vectors. Whereas population size parameters for individual species showed no relationship with annual estimates of krill abundance, a combined, multispecies population size index did show a significant response. Understanding the form of the relationship between concurrent indicators of prey abundance and key ecosystem metrics/reference points, such as population size, is crucial to the application of monitoring data to management action.