S.Africa: New capacity puts power export back on the map

first_img UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development Previous articleRussia’s Rosatom confirms bid submission for SA nuclear buildNext articleLiberia: President Sirleaf supports anti-power theft drive Ashley TheronAshley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa. BRICS On Tuesday, Eskom announced that its improved generation performance and new build programme have delivered excess capacity for the country.The power system remains stable due to Eskom’s rigorous plant maintenance, which has seen an improvement in plant availability, which has moved to 77.3% from 70.3% leading to 3,103MW being added to the national grid.The improvement in generation plant availability has re-enabled Eskom to dispatch the least cost stations ahead of the more expensive stations.According to the utility, projections for the year-end show that there will be a cost saving of ZAR238 million ($17.9 million).New power capacity to drive economic growthNew capacity will fuel the growth of the South African economy, the parastatal believes.“Since the build programme started in 2005, Eskom has added 8,030MW to the national grid and over the next six years a further 9,103MW capacity will be added from the Ingula pumped storage scheme, which will be fully commissioned later this year. Medupi will be fully commissioned in 2020, and Kusile in 2022,” Eskom said in a statement.The power company currently has a surplus of 5,600MW at peak, due to improved plant performance and new additional capacity that can meet any increase in demand until 2021.Eskom Chairman Baldwin Ngubeni said: “Today’s system status update follows on the backdrop of positive interim results for Eskom, but also follows the departure of Brian Molefe – an extraordinary leader whose legacy will be that of turning Eskom around.“Today’s system status update is a reflection of the vision, dedication and hard work of thousands of men and women at Eskom and its Interim Group Chief Executive, Matshela Koko.“Through their remarkable tenacity and capabilities, the company has turned things around to deliver solid and sustainable financial and operational performance, positively impacting the South African economy. Today, I can call on all customers to optimise on this surplus supply.”Koko said: “Surplus capacity on average every day during the peak for this financial year is the size of Matla Power Station (3,600MW), this is excluding 2,000MW operational reserve. Going forward, Eskom will continue to focus its efforts on increasing electricity demand and ensuring sustainable revenue collection.”Electrification on the highAccording to Koko, the utility has connected 162,104 new customers to the grid in the past nine months.  He added that 150,747 of these customers are already using electricity.“We hope to electrify all households in South Africa in the next two years,” he said.Eskom noted that the decreased need for open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) due to improved generation availability, has also played a part in added capacity.The OCGT load factor for the second quarter of the financial year was 0.06% and for the third quarter, 0.11%. “We expect minimal use of Eskom OCGTs to manage the system for the rest of the financial year,” Koko said.The Distribution division continues to exhibit sound technical performance and has exceeded the targeted installation for smart meters for the third quarter, with actuals of 17,561 installations versus a target of 12,000 installations.Challenges and the way forwardSome of the key challenges facing the distribution industry are huge under-investment in electricity infrastructure, high energy losses as a result of inadequate revenue management systems and some utilities consistently defaulting on their negotiated payment arrangements because of systemic failures.“The effects of these shortcomings are detrimental to the economic growth of the country and addressing these challenges is key to ensuring future financial sustainability. We wish to acknowledge cooperation with Premiers and MEC’s in helping Eskom in finding lasting solutions to the Distribution challenges,”Koko said.“Since the start of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA) process in November 2016, Eskom has managed to collect R979 million from the municipalities. This is testament of the ability of South Africans to work together during tough times,” he said.The Transmission division has had zero major incidents in terms of system performance. There were high levels of maintenance execution with 98.8% of planned work executed. There has also been excellent line fault performance achieved year-to-date.Koko concluded: “Eskom’s power system has progressed to a position of surplus capacity, which will positively impact the SA economy. The availability of excess capacity allows Eskom to meet demand more cheaply than through the purchases of renewable energy.“As a priority, both domestic and export sales must be further increased. Eskom will continue to focus efforts on the increasing growth in demand in electricity and ensuring sustainable revenue collection.” AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Generation Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Finance and Policy RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more

PT Methodologist, Dissertation Committee – College of Education (Virtual)

first_imgProvides constructive criticism about the following:Data collection and analysisPresentation of the data and the conclusions drawn from theanalyses The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership (COEL)seeks part-time faculty to serve as methodologist on dissertationcommittees for our Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs. Contributing facultyare primarily responsible for student research mentoring within theschool’s doctoral degree programs. Specifically, they will berequired to serve on and/or chair dissertation committees and mightalso manage dissertation quality through service as a universityresearch reviewer. These faculty members will report to theAcademic Research Coordinator or designee.Primary duties and responsibilities include:Serve as methodologist on doctoral committees in either theposition of chair or second member.Manage dissertation quality through service as a universityresearch reviewer (if additionally selected to serve as URR).Complete required faculty trainingsRoles and Responsibilities for Methodologist and URR CommitteeMembershipThe Role of Methodology ExpertProvides feedback to student on the following:Proposed research design including appropriateness foraddressing the problem statement and research questions or fortesting stated hypothesesSelection of specific methodologySelection of a sample of appropriate characteristics andsizeOversee implementation of the selected methodology, assuringcompliance with the following:Program/professional normsGenerally accepted ethical and moral principles regarding humansubjects The Role of URR MembersThe specific role of this committee member will be to collaboratewith student, chair, and second member immediately prior to defenseof proposal and prior to the final oral defense, and to perform afinal review of the completed study to provide a consistent andreliable mechanism for quality management of student researchincluding the following:Insuring the maintenance of a high level of integrity in theresearch students’ produceFacilitating a level of consistency in the application ofuniversity research standardsProviding timely and substantive feedback that is within thedefined scope of the URR member role:The defined scope includes feedback related to theoretical,methodological, analytical, and organization content. URR membersuse the capstone rubric as their means for providing feedback onsubmissions.The defined scope does not include minor form and style andethical issues; however, URR members are instructed to alertstudents to such issues when they come across them. On occasionthey may make mandatory referrals to the Writing Center or theInstitutional Review Board for advice, on such issues.Determining if the proposal or research study is ready foradvancement to the next milestone in the process. URR memberapproval, expressed through scores and comments entered in theappropriate capstone rubric, will be a prerequisite for conductingoral defenses of the proposal and completed capstone, as well asfor submitting the abstract to the CAO for final approval.Training:All new Faculty Members receive specific training from WaldenUniversity in the techniques of teaching/mentoring, use of anelectronic learning platform, specifics of the policies, proceduresand degree programs of the School or College in which they aregoing to teach/mentor, socialization into the Walden Universityculture, assessment of academic integrity of student work(including use of www.turnitin.com), and research supervision oftheses and dissertations.EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE:Doctoral degree in the field of Education or related field froman accredited universityStrong research methodology background in quantitative,qualitative and/or mixed methods.A significant record of intellectual and professionalcontributions to the field of Education or related field, includingpeer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.Experience serving on doctoral dissertation committees isrequired.Three to five years of independent research project mentoringis preferred.Commitment to advocating for the learning and development needsof students earning their degrees in a distance learningenvironment; supervising student research preferred at the graduatelevel; commitment to the promotion of research that contributes toWalden’s mission of contributing to positive social change;commitment to advocating for the learning and development needs ofstudents earning their degrees in a distance learningenvironment.Excellent leadership, communication, team, and human relationskills.Experience with distance learning preferred.center_img Work Environment: Work is performed primarily in a standard officeenvironment but may involve exposure to moderate noise levels. Workinvolves operation of personal computer equipment for six to eighthours daily and includes physical demands associated with atraditional office setting, e.g., walking, standing, communicating,and other physical functions as necessary.Residencies:Faculty Members may attend Residencies which are held domesticallyor internationally, where they will teach intensives and colloquia,and facilitate school and university-wide discussions.Tools/Technical Skills:To perform this job successfully an individual must be able toperform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listedare representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilityrequired. Incumbents will be evaluated, in part, based onperformance of each essential function. Reasonable accommodationsmay be made to enable individuals with disabilities to performessential functions.Technology Requirements:Faculty members are required to have an adequate computer to handlean electronic learning platform, keyboard, pointing device, andcomputer monitor. All other tools are knowledge-based ortraining-based through Walden University. The Faculty Member mustbe able to use Microsoft Office products (MS Word, MS Excel, and MSPowerPoint), zip software, and Adobe Acrobat and must have reliableInternet access as well as alternate access in cases where primaryaccess becomes unavailable.Travel:Some travel may be required to attend academic residencies,National Faculty meetings and/or commencementactivities.last_img read more

Loan applications for home purchases jump 12%

first_imgKan attributed that to mortgage rates falling to record lows. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to 3.43 percent, down 2 basis points from the prior week’s contract rate and 99 basis points below the year-ago figure.The broader index, which includes refinance applications, still dropped because the vast majority of last week’s mortgage activity, 72 percent, was refinancing. Although home loan applications for purchases climbed, they accounted for only about a quarter of the pie.With the coronavirus pandemic putting a major damper on home-buying, the purchase index is down more than 20 percent year-over-year. The week ending April 3, purchase application activity fell to its lowest level since 2015.The refi index fell 7.3 percent — the second consecutive decline. Kan attributed that to refinance rates remaining higher than purchase loan rates.“Lenders are still working through pipelines at capacity, and observed changes in credit availability for refinance loans have also in turn impacted rates,” he said.Three weeks ago, for the week of April 10, MBA’s overall mortgage index trended up thanks to homeowners looking to refinance. Some have speculated that homeowners converted some home equity to cash to weather the economic slowdown.Write to Erin Hudson at [email protected] This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now (Credit: iStock)Home loan applications dropped last week as refinancing requests waned but requests for purchases showed a healthy gain.The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index measuring home loan application volume slid 3.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the period ending April 24 from the week before. But one element of that index — a metric tracking mortgage applications to buy single-family homes — jumped by 12 percent, nearly four times the previous week’s rise.Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a statement that it could be “a sign of the start of an upturn in the pandemic-delayed spring homebuying season, as coronavirus lockdown restrictions slowly ease in various markets.”He also noted it was the strongest level in about a month and pointed to a “significant gain” in New York after five of the past six weeks saw purchase activity decline.Purchase applications in New York rose 13.7 percent last week — not seasonally adjusted — after dropping 8.3 percent the week before.In California, activity increased by 17.2 percent, unadjusted, after edging up by 2.9 percent the previous week. Washington saw purchase activity rise by 16.1 percent unadjusted on the heels of a 12.3 percent gain.Read moreHomeowners looking to refinance boost mortgage applicationsApplications for home loans at lowest level since 2015These banks are pulling back from mortgage lending. Here’s what that means to the housing marketlast_img read more

Coach Scott Harrington about work with China: Learning experience for all of us

first_imgRelated Items:China handball, Scott Harrington Recommended for you C.O Zagreb wins “Istria Handball Cup” ShareTweetShareShareEmail ShareTweetShareShareEmailCommentsChinese women’s national team gaining experience at Women’s World Championship 2017 with the new coaching staff led by Danish coach Jesper Holmriss. His first assistant, Scott Harrington, speaks for Handball-Planet.com about work with the team who has ambitious plans for the future linked with base in Denmark, where Chinese girls will work six months per year.Former Faroe Island coach speaks also about his experience of working with the team who qualified for EHF EURO 2018 qualification stage.China ended Preliminary Round with four defeats and draw against Cameroon 26:26. Click to comment Leave a Reply Cancel replyYour email address will not be published.Comment Name Email Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more

Consultation ‘flops’: Back to start point

first_imgA consultation by the Traffic Commissioners (TCs) on whether the amount of financial standing required by restricted licence holders should be altered, received just 10 responses. The rate, £3,100 for the first vehicle and £1,700 for the second, has not changed since 2004.The TCs say “further engagement” is now required, before making a final decision.last_img

Turkuaz Leads The Funky Charge In Seattle

first_imgLoad remaining images Halloween weekend began perfectly last Thursday, October 29th, at Tractor Tavern in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, WA, with Turkuaz headlining and The Quick and Easy Boys and Fabulous Party Boys providing some funky support.When the Quick and Easy Boys took the stage, the crowd was thin and standing towards the back of the room. Within only a few short minutes, it was clear that they were not the type of band to let this get to them. Bassist Sean Badders wasted no time, filling the room with his deep, booming vocals while helping to create an infectious groove that got the small crowd moving. One song segued into another after a nice improv section, and Badders stepped back to the mic to deliver a wonderful falsetto. Anchored by guitarist Jimmy Russell’s harmony vocals, they pushed forward into more improvisation. Drummer Casey Anderson stole the show in this improv section with strong, jazzy cymbal work as he accelerated the tempo and pushed the band to new heights. The segment continued with Funkadelic inspired jamming, eventually giving way to a great cover of Frank Zappa’s “Willie the Pimp”.All in all, they did not pause once in the first 36 minutes after taking the stage, an impressive and unexpected feat. The deft segues and improvisational work left little doubt that this alt-rock trio is a jamband as well. At that point in the show, the Portland-based musicians introduced themselves to the crowd, and then broke it down again for another few tunes before leaving the stage with the crowd warmed up and ready to go.Seattle locals the Fabulous Party Boys took the stage next. The crowd had grown a larger by this point, and the band did a great job of keeping them dancing. Their wonderful horn section (including a tuba, trumpet and saxophone) gave them a nice, full sound that acted as the perfect bridge between the power trio jamming of the Quick and Easy Boys and the full wall-of-sound coming up next from the 9-piece Turkuaz. Vocalist Mama T was in the Halloween spirit a couple of days early with a shiny gold outfit and painted face. Her singing was soulful, but the lyrics were very fun and happy. Great tuba work by Jon Hansen allowed them to keep their groove remarkably smooth, and this helped them to totally pack the dancefloor area by the end of their set.At this point, the anticipation in the air was palpable. The crowd had gotten to dance quite a lot already, and people were ready to lose control of their bodies completely. As Turkuaz took the stage, with all 9 members each dressed in their own (different) solid color outfit, the atmosphere was electric. The band quickly launched into the first track off their latest LP, Digitonium, titled “Introduction”. This album saw them venture further into digital effects and wall-of-sound style production than their previous work, and that aspect was reproduced immaculately in the live setting. “Introduction” was stretched out a bit by a wind synthesizer solo from tenor saxophonist Greg Sanderson. Most of the crowd had never seen this instrument before and busting it out on the first song was a great indicator of how weird the rest of the set would become. Another Digitonium track, “Percy Thrills, the Moondog” came next and helped to really get the crowd moving again.The next segment saw some older material dusted off, with a resounding version of the title track of their previous album, Future 86. In the chorus of this song, frontman/guitarist Dave Brandwein states bluntly that “the future is coming now,” which is a statement that Turkuaz’s music certainly lends credence to. Their inimitable brand of funk is indeed far ahead of its time. Vocalists Sammi Garett and Shira Elias really took over as the band launched next into another Future 86 track, “Snap Your Fingers”.At this point nearly every member of the crowd was dancing with reckless abandon, as the power funk party came into full swing. The band masterfully dialed in a cover of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Babies Making Babies”, which featured baritone saxophonist Josh Schwartz soulfully screaming out the end vocal section, which was positively shocking to all in attendance. There were points during this where his voice sounded as if he had never put down his saxophone. The cover segued into “Lookin’ Tough, Feelin’ Good,” off their 2011 album, Zebert. This track is quite possibly their weirdest song, featuring a call and response style chorus of “Get out the womb! Get out the womb! Now cut the cord! Now cut the cord!” Guitarists Brandwein and Craig Brodhead used this weird energy to set the stage for an epic jazz style guitar battle. After a few minutes, drummer Michelangelo Carubba entered the spotlight as he began to interplay with the guitarists. His drumming was on display at its most powerful here as the three musicians worked through a complex series of synchronized pauses as seamlessly as if they were one person. They proved themselves unafraid to lay out the full extent of their Berklee education onstage, and the audience reacted with lots of enthusiasm.After a short pause, the band played a great rendition of Digitonium track “The Generator”. This song has some of the most impressive harmony vocals of any Turkuaz track, and showcased the full glut of vocal talent available onstage. The lyrical content of this song was particularly appropriate for the middle of their set, instructing the audience to start up the generator and keep chuggin’ along, even though it was getting late. Next up was a cover of Hot Chocolate’s 1978 hit “Every1’s a Winner”. This feel good tune continued the excellent vocal work from the dynamic duo of Garett and Elias, eventually giving way to an excellent, grooving jam lead by bassist Taylor Shell.Dave Brandwein took the spotlight back over as the band moved into “Coast to Coast” from their 2011 self-titled album. This was perhaps the most infectiously groovy tune of the evening, with Brandwein’s distorted, spoken-word style vocals telling an autobiographical story of starting a band and “moving down the road” on tour. This track is one of the most characteristic of their unique style in their entire catalog.The next track was an unreleased original, “Gogo Mr. Dodo”. This tune was fairly horn-focused, featured a nice dual saxophone part, and definitely offered trumpet and keyboard player Chris Brouwers a chance to shine as well. The band returned to Digitonium next by playing “Digital Love”, an 80s disco-funk style track that featured heavy synthesizer use from Brouwers and Brodhead. The talk-box vocals were a really neat effect that helped this track act as a time machine to an 80s nightclub. To close the set, they chose to play “Chatte Lunatique”, another track off Zebert. This song was one of the most fun of the night, with Brandwein and Brodhead playing a super danceable dual-guitar funk riff throughout. By the end, the whole room was singing along about the “crazy cat.”The band took the stage once more, and Brandwein and Shell both smiled big and began a beautiful rendition of the Al Green song “Take Me to the River”, as per my request to Brandwein before the show. This classic was, of course, redefined when the Talking Heads covered it in a funk/soul/pop style on their 1978 album, More Songs About Buildings and Food. Turkuaz’s version draws the most heavily from that cover, and what we heard was unquestionably the most authentic Talking Heads cover. Brandwein, Garett and Elias absolutely nailed the vocal parts, and the atmosphere was positively jubilant for those of us who stuck it out until the end. All 9 band members went out of their way to recreate the dizzying, percussive effects seen onstage in the Stop Making Sense Talking Heads live film. It is always wonderful to see artists pay tribute some of their favorite influences, and this evening we were lucky enough to see takes on Turkuaz’s two biggest influences, Sly and the Family Stone and the Talking Heads.Following the conclusion of the encore, I got to stick around and meet the majority of the band. They were all extremely gracious and excited to talk to the fans. It was great to see that this level of interactivity was not just an onstage persona, but that they are all actually that nice of human beings. Seeing them take my song request made my entire day, and I will always remember this as the night that Turkuaz took me from a big fan to devotee status. If you have yet to see them, all I can say is that you should change that. This unstoppable freight train of a band will certainly be in a city near you sometime in the not-too-distant future. This time, you have been warned not to let anything get in the way of seeing one of the highest energy live performances out there.  Words by Coleman Schwartz, check out the full gallery of photos below, courtesy of Scott Shrader:last_img read more

BRIAN JOHNSON ON OUTDOORS: The rut is in full swing

first_img 1. Sit all dayMost deer hunters like to hunt a few hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. When love is in the air, I encourage you to sit as long as possible.  Pack a lunch and plan to stay the entire day.  Bucks will be chasing does all day long, and if you aren’t there, then it stands to reason that you won’t kill them.2. Be readyIt is hard not to doze off or lose focus while hunting, but try your best to concentrate during this part of the season.  Be sure to listen.  Many times you will hear the sound of a deer trampling through the leaves long before you see one.  Once you see the doe running, know that the buck is in pursuit.  He might be right on her tail or he might be 10 or 15 minutes behind. Realize this … he is coming. And you need to be ready to act when he arrives.3. Use doe in estrous scentDuring this phase of the season, bucks are scent-checking everything. They are looking for a doe in heat that is receptive to breeding.  A mock scrape, scent drag, or scent bomb, may be all that you need to peak his curiosity and draw the big one into range. As I type this article my cell phone begins to ding.I have messages from my deer hunting friends telling me that the time is now.  Bucks are chasing does and the rut is in full swing.  One message said, “Four different bucks came by chasing does in the last 15 minutes!”  This is the time of hunting season that every deer hunter eagerly anticipates.No one can say for sure exactly when it begins or when it ends, but when you are in the woods and it is “on,” there is no doubt.  Here are a few tried and proven methods for hunting the rut: 4. Hunt where does can be foundIf you find the does this time of year, a buck won’t be far away.  Remember that just because a doe or group of does aren’t in their estrous cycle today, it doesn’t mean that they won’t be tomorrow.  Also keep in mind that a doe will repeat her cycle every 30 days until she is bred. You might want to hold off on shooting does at this time of year since they are magnets for giant bucks.5. WhistleWhen a big buck is chasing a doe, he has one thing on his mind and it isn’t food. He wants her. His eyes will often be glazed and his tongue will often be hanging out as he pants from the chase.  At this point you will need to whistle, bleet, bah, or make some kind of noise to stop him.  Be prepared to shoot because if he stops at all, it will only be for a few seconds.These tips should all help improve your odds of success.  However the thing that separates the successful hunters from the unsuccessful one has and always will be patience.  Remember that good things come to those who wait.A rut hunt can go from bad to world class in a matter of seconds.  If you have vacation days left … use them for the rut!  What are you waiting for?center_img Get out there and bag a big one. May God bless you this season.•Brian Johnson, originally of Port Neches, is pastor of the Outdoorsman’s Church in Winnie, owner of DuckDogTrainer.com and is outdoors writer for The News.last_img read more

Denis O’Hare to Take On Title Role in Tartuffe at London’s National Theatre

first_img View Comments Denis O’Hare(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser for Broadway.com) Tony winner Denis O’Hare will return to the stage in 2019, playing the title role in John Donnelly’s new adaptation of Molière’s comic masterpiece Tartuffe. Blanche McIntyre will direct the production of London’s National Theatre, set to begin previews on February 9 ahead of a February 21 opening night in the Lyttelton Theatre.”I have always loved Molière and find his plays bracingly relevant,” said O’Hare. “As an American actor, the chance to work at the National is an immense honor. As a recently transplanted American living in Paris, to play Tartuffe is deliciously ironic and to be Tartuffe at the National is a dream come true.”O’Hare is a Tony winner for his turn as Mason Marzac in Take Me Out, which he originated at London’s Donmar Warehouse. His other stage roles include a Tony-nominated turn in Assassins in addition to Broadway performances in Inherit the Wind, Sweet Charity, Major Barbara and Cabaret. O’Hare’s screenwork includes Emmy-nominated performances in American Horror Story and This Is Us.Tartuffe follows Orgon, a man who has everything: money, power, a beautiful home and family. When he invites the irresistible Tartuffe into his seemingly perfect household, he unleashes a whirlwind of deception and seduction that threatens everything.The National’s Tartuffe will feature set and costume design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick and composition/sound by Ben and Max Ringham. Additional casting is to come.last_img read more

Amid federal uncertainty, state employer regulations on the rise

first_imgVermont Business Magazine From healthcare reform to paid leave, major legislation on such issues at the federal level may be far off as Congress likely pivots its focus to tax reform and a government spending bill. With the federal regulatory picture uncertain, many state and local governments are moving ahead with their own legislation to advance such initiatives in their communities. Vermont, the Northeast and West Coast states are among those seeking more employee coverage. Paychex, Inc, one of the nation’s leading providers of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll and HR services, is highlighting the top employer regulations(link is external) advancing with state and local governments across the US.”The Trump administration is actively moving forward with its plans to create a more business-friendly environment. Part of that agenda is the reduction of current regulations impacting employers,” said Martin Mucci(link is external), Paychex president and CEO. “With the intent of advancing worker protections, state and local governments are responding, ushering in a new wave of employer-facing regulations.”Here are the five regulatory issues effecting employers gaining momentum at the state and local level:#1 Equal Pay Laws and Salary History Restrictions On the federal level, covered employers must comply with the Equal Pay Act(link is external), enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which requires men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. In addition, while nearly every state and Washington, D.C., have pay equity laws, gender-based pay discrimination continues to be an area of great concern for states. Several states, including Massachusetts, Maryland, California, New York, and Oregon, looking to more aggressively address the gender pay gap and ensure pay equity in the workplace, recently passed legislation to expand their existing equal pay laws to increase employer obligations and penalties, and change the way claims of pay discrimination are analyzed under the law. There is also a trend at the state and local level to limit salary history inquiries until a certain stage of the recruiting process and prohibit the use of salary information in employment decisions. Delaware, Massachusetts, New York City, Oregon, Philadelphia, and San Francisco have passed legislation in this space with many other jurisdictions, including California, New York, Illinois, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, having proposed similar bills. #2 Paid Leave LawsAlthough some movement is occurring at the federal level including Ivanka Trump’s work with Republican Senators to push forward President Trump’s proposal for federal paid parental leave and child care tax credits` and the introduction of proposals for paid family leave by Democrats, federal legislation around paid sick leave and paid family leave has stalled.  As a result, we are seeing a push at the state and local level to address this gap in employee benefits. Currently, 45 different states and local jurisdictions have passed paid sick leave laws, varying in their provisions for employer coverage, employee eligibility, accrual rates, carryover, employee/employer notices, recordkeeping, and enforcement. Several other jurisdictions are considering similar legislation. Five states (California, New Jersey, New York(link is external), Rhode Island, and Washington), plus Washington, D.C.(link is external), have passed paid family leave laws that either  require or permit employee payroll deductions and in some cases require more complex coordination with the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act(link is external) or other paid time off.#3 Health Care ReformThe complexity of healthcare and the uncertainty of the Affordable Care Act’s future has spurred some legislative and regulatory action at the state level. Some states have already implemented or proposed laws to shore up their markets (Minnesota and Alaska), others are looking for flexibility on specific ACA mandates (Massachusetts), and others still are looking for ways to maintain elements of the ACA in the event of a repeal (Hawaii). Additionally, several states have introduced single-payer proposals in their current legislative session, but many have already hit roadblocks. Many of these initiatives make use of Section 1332(link is external) state innovation waivers, an ACA provision that became effective in 2017 and allows states to apply for waivers from certain ACA requirements to support a state system that ensures health coverage is as comprehensive, as affordable, and covers as many residents as would have been covered under the ACA. If approved, these waivers may give states access to pass-through funds – monies otherwise spent by the federal government – absent the waiver. Currently, Hawaii and Alaska have approved waivers, three states have pending waivers with the federal government, and 14 states have enacted healthcare laws addressing these waivers.#4 State Retirement PlansAmidst growing concern of a retirement savings crisis in the U.S., due, in part, to lack of access to retirement savings plans, several states are implementing or passing legislation to create individual state retirement programs. As well, the recent discontinuation of the federal myRA workplace savings program may prompt additional states to look at creating their own plans. To date, a total of nine states have passed legislation to create individual retirement plans. Oregon, Illinois, and California have all passed Roth IRA programs with specific contribution and enrollment criteria, set to take effect in the next two years. Vermont has passed legislation for the creation of the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan, the first multiple employer plan (MEP) design among state plans, which will allow for employer participation as well as higher contribution limits than IRA programs allow. Some municipalities are following suit, with Philadelphia and New York City working on legislation to establish retirement savings programs.#5 Payroll CardsPayroll cards, also known as paycards(link is external), are an increasingly popular method of pay for workers, especially those without access to a traditional banking system. Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final rule on prepaid accounts which requires, among other changes, new detailed disclosures for paying employees via paycards, effective April 1, 2018, pending potential delays and additional changes. Meanwhile, states continue to introduce their own rules governing the use of payroll cards. Pennsylvania and Kentucky recently put payroll card laws into effect, and there are bills currently pending in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.Whether at the federal, state, or local level, keeping up with regulations is a challenge for today’s business owners. Paychex is constantly tracking the issues that matter most to businesses in order to provide them with the information and resources they need to make the best decisions for their business. For helpful tips to advance the long-term success of small businesses, visit http://www.paychex.com/WORX/(link is external).To view an infographic outlining the key regulatory trends in U.S. states and municipalities visit Paychex WORX(link is external).Note: The information contained within is not legal advice. These issues are complex and applicability depends on individual circumstances. Businesses should consult legal counsel before taking action on any of the items identified above.About PaychexPaychex, Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX) is a leading provider of integrated human capital management solutions for payroll, HR, retirement, and insurance services. By combining its innovative software-as-a-service technology and mobility platform with dedicated, personal service, Paychex empowers small- and medium-sized business owners to focus on the growth and management of their business. Backed by 45 years of industry expertise, Paychex serves approximately 605,000 payroll clients as of May 31, 2017, across more than 100 locations and pays one out of every 12 American private sector employees. Learn more about Paychex by visiting www.paychex.com(link is external), and stay connected on Twitter(link is external)and LinkedIn(link is external).Source: ROCHESTER, N.Y., Aug. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — ​www.paychex.com(link is external)VBM vermontbiz.comlast_img

Orca supports expansion of Swimrun with event sponsorships and new Core…

first_imgThe new swimrun core wetsuit is priced at €199 / US$199 / £149. Also available is a swimrun top priced at €79 / US$79 / £59. These accompany the Orca RS1 Swimrun wetsuit (€399 / US$399 / £299).A release from Orca concluded, ‘We believe the Swimrun ethos of conquering nature aligns perfectly with the Orca brand and we look forward to getting behind the expansion of this unique race format in 2016 for more to enjoy!’The Orca brand is ‘inspired by the open sea and its natural spirit of freedom.’ Founded in New Zealand but with a global outlook, Orca was created in 1992 because former triathlon champion and brand founder Scott Unsworth was passionate about creating better, faster wetsuits than those on the market at the time.That relentless desire to use cutting edge innovation to fuel the best performance remains with Orca today. The Orca name evokes the instinct and prowess of the powerful ruler of the oceans. Like the Orca whale, ‘our designs have always been organic, streamlined and in tune with nature.’www.orca.com As a relatively new sport that began in Sweden in 2006, the swimrun race format has been rapidly growing in popularity with hundreds of races across Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Germany and Sweden.Orca has watched the swimrun format blossom, and in 2016 the wetsuit and apparel specialist is ‘excited to be getting behind the expansion of this race format, helping to showcase swimrun to the rest of the world!’The company notes that it will be supporting the first Swimrun event in Spain, the Swimrun Costa Brava event in April; the first Swimrun event in the USA at the Casco Bay Islands Swimrun; and the major Swimrun event in the capital of the home of swimrun, the Stockholm Swimrun in June.Orca adds that it will also be sponsoring the Breca Swimrun series held throughout the UK, Hells Hop in Scotland and finally the Barcelona Swimrun in November.In line with this event support, and following on from the success of Orca’s RS1 Swimrun wetsuit released in 2015, the company has also announced the upcoming release in July 2016 of its Core Swimrun wetsuit.The soon to be released Core version will ‘offer a price-pointed option that meets the unique Swimrun race requirements with the flexibility to swim unrestricted, the freedom of movement to run off-trail and durablility to sustain lots of slips and knocks.’ Relatedlast_img read more