Friday, 07 August 2020
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

In the past 24 hours there have been 78 new cases of Covid-19 across Croatia and unfortunately three people have passed away due to the virus.

The current number of active cases in Croatia is 749, and among this number there are 130 people in hospital and 6 people on a ventilator.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 5,071 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of whom 144 have died and 4,178 have recovered.

There are currently 2,863 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 117,170 people have been tested, of which 1,448 in the last 24 hours, the National Civil Protection Headquarters said.

 

Everyone loves a three-day weekend, but would you love it as much if you had one all the time? A four-day workweek sounds like a great idea, but it’s certainly not for everyone. These are the pros and cons you need to take into consideration before switching to a four-day workweek.

Four-Day Workweek

The typical full-time workweek for Americans is eight hours a day, five days per week. When you move to a four-day workweek, you will need to work 40 hours, but you only work four days and 10 hours per day. You don’t have to have all employees work a four-day week - you can decide who works this schedule based on the needs of your business and employee wants.

The additional day off doesn’t have to be a Monday or Friday - although your employees might prefer this schedule over others. You can determine which day of the week would be taken off based on employee preference and business operations.

With an employee time clock app, you can quickly determine who would be best suited for the four-day workweek and schedule regular shifts to ensure any days off are fully covered.

Four-Day Workweek Pay

If an employee is exempt and not eligible for overtime pay, then there is no pay issue associated with a shortened workweek. Exempt employees receive the same amount of pay every week, regardless of the number of hours or days worked.

If an employee is non-exempt, the employee is eligible for overtime pay. In the United States, an employee is eligible for overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a week. The pay for an employee who works five days a week and eight hours a day would be the same for an employee who works for ten-hour days.

However, in some states such as California, an employee receives overtime pay after working eight hours in a single day. So an employee who is non-exempt and resides in the state of California working a four-day workweek would receive 32 hours of regular pay and eight hours of overtime pay every week.

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Four-Day Workweek Vacation

Many businesses talk about vacation in terms of hours or days. If every worker in an office works a four-day workweek, the day term is fine, but you should be careful if you have employees working a traditional workweek and some working a different schedule.

Rather than stating employees get 15 days of vacation, refer to it as “120 hours.” This way, it’s clear that a person working four 10 hour days gets three weeks of vacation. By not using this language, employees could easily claim they’re owed 120 hours of vacation.

Typically, laws allow a business to develop its vacation policy. But once that policy is developed, companies are required to adhere to it, so make sure that your vacation policy outlines precisely what time off is to be provided to employees.

Four-Day Workweek Pros

The advantages that come with a four-day workweek are pretty clear; having an additional day with no work or commute can free up personal time. The employee isn’t the only one who can benefit from a reduced workweek.

Several studies have shown various benefits that come with shortened workweek, such as increased productivity, happier employees, and higher engagement. If an employee is thinking about quitting, they have to take into account giving up an extra day off per week and may reconsider the switch. This can significantly help reduce turnover and labor costs.

Four-Day Workweek Cons

The four-day workweek doesn’t work well for every business, and it’s not for every employee. If your customers have frequent communication with your staff and expect them to be available five days a week, having an employee who is unavailable Monday or Friday could cause problems.

A four-day workweek can also make finding proper childcare more challenging. Most daycares and after-school programs work around the idea that parents work from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. They typically don’t open at 6:00 am and stay open until late at night to accommodate a parent’s unique work schedule.

While people may feel refreshed after having an extra day off work, they may experience a drop in productivity after working 10 hours in a single day. To monitor productivity, you can use time clock app to determine how much time an employee is spending on a specific task and compare that data to employees who are working regular hours.

For exempt employees who are working a four-day workweek, they may feel obligated to join meetings or respond to emails on their day off. If this occurs, you will need to asses whether the alternative schedule is negatively impacting the employees’ team.

Should You Implement a Four-Day Workweek?

The answer to this depends on your employee’s wants and business needs. If you have employee’s asking about a four-day workweek, then it makes sense to look and see if it would be beneficial for your business and the employee to implement the new schedule.

Again, you should use your current time clock app to determine if it makes financial and operational sense to move a worker to a four-day workweek. If you move an employee to a four-day workweek, do you have enough employees to cover on their day off?

If you’re still not sold on the idea, perhaps try a temporary run for a few weeks or months to see how it works for your business. Flexibility is a huge benefit that many employees look for from an employer, and having a four-day workweek option makes you desirable to many job seekers.

 

British Health Minister Matt Hancock is worried about the second wave of the epidemic in Europe and said on Thursday that the government would, in the coming days, return quarantines for arrivals from several countries he did not name.

Britain last week reintroduced a fourteen-day quarantine for passengers upon arrival in Spain.

In some other European countries that are currently quarantined, the number of infections is rising, Hancock said.

“I think the second wave is starting all over Europe and we need to do something to prevent it from reaching our shores,” Hancock said in an interview with Sky News.

"We are very worried about the second wave. And it's not just Spain ... there are other countries where the number is growing. And we are absolutely determined to do everything to keep our country safe," he said.

Asked if there would be a change in the list of countries in the coming days, Hancock told the BBC "Yes ... we have to be realistic about those changes, because the pandemic is changing in other countries".

He also announced that the authorities will do everything they can to shorten the quarantine time for people coming from Spain, but it will not be right now.

"Until it is absolutely certain that we can implement change, we cannot go with it. There will be no change for the next few days," he said.

The Politico.eu portal announced on Wednesday that England is preparing to introduce quarantine for passengers from Belgium and Luxembourg due to the growing number of infected people in those countries. Croatia has been placed on the list of countries where the situation is being monitored, the portal announced, without giving details.

 

In the past 24 hours, 41 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in Croatia, meaning that the current number of active cases has reached 749.

There are currently 133 patients in hospital across the country, of which 9 people are on ventilators. Unfortunately, over the past 24 hours another people has passed away due to the virus.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 4,923 people have been infected with the new coronavirus, of which 140 have died and 4,034 have recovered.

There are currently 2915 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 114,090 people have been tested, 1,256 of them in the last 24 hours, the National Civil Protection Headquarters said on Tuesday.

 

In the past 24 hours four new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County.

These new cases include a younger male resident of Dubrovnik and a younger male person from Metković for whom an epidemiological link has been established, and a younger female person from Župa and an older male person who resides in Bosnia and Herzegovina, who became infected in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On a positive note 12 people in the county have made a full recovery, 7 from Dubrovnik, 4 from Župa and 1 from Ploče.

Two people are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 5,844 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis.

There are 183 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure has been established.

 

Re-Wilding

Aug 07, 2020

“What did we learn from all this?”, I find myself asking.

The answer came to me spending time with some of the Konavle locals, whose vision for the future is going back to the past to how we used to live.

Without a doubt, what we have experienced in these times is that we can’t take anything for granted, the future is uncertain, and those structures that we had come to rely on are now so unstable, we are being forced to look at things differently.

I’ve long wondered whether we have over-complicated our lives, and we have moved so far away from a natural way of existing, that we’ve disconnected with our home – the Earth.

From the hours we spend in offices, working on devices, to how we eat, how we travel, and even what we do to our bodies, it seems that the way we live has become so artificial, it’s no wonder that as human beings and as a planet we are struggling.

Chatting with the Primic family up in Sokol Grad, we agreed that we need to go “back to nature”. Djuro was a well-known local butcher, who grew up in Konavle, so he remembers the time when families were all self-sufficient, they worked the land all year round and lived on what they produced.

Djuro talks about the “Circle of Life”, which many of us will recognise from The Lion King, yet it perhaps holds the key not just to environmental sustainability, but to our survival.

Back in the day, people would work the land all year round and they would have everything they needed. First they grew the crops that would feed the animals – a few cows, goats and some chickens. The animals would produce food all year round, but also the best manure for the next lot of crops, and so the circle continued.

This particular day, I am trying out the chillies from their garden. I’m super excited because Devika, Djuro’s wife, makes curries that you can buy to take away. It’s really popular with the tourists looking for a change of cuisine, but what’s really special for me is that I know it’s going to be the very best produce from their garden, a million times better than any supermarket-bought food.

What seems to have been forgotten in the modern world is that nature provides everything we need to sustain ourselves. By planting a garden, even if it’s just a few vegetables and herbs, is good for us and it’s good for the planet.

It’s a back-to-basics approach that has been adopted by another local, Andro, who has taken an unused piece of his family’s land up the hill in Durinici, and he’s creating a space for people to come and stay to learn how to survive in the wild.

He is especially passionate about teaching children how to sustain themselves. As a father of four, he thinks it’s vital that he passes on the knowledge of how to be self-sufficient, especially in these times of uncertainty.

I think he’s spot on.

We are creatures of nature, this planet is our home, and with respect for everything it offers us, perhaps we can re-learn how to live in a way that is more sustainable and in the event we have another situation like this global pandemic, everyone is able to survive off the land (and the sea – let’s not forget fishing!).

At the moment, it’s just a dream for me, as I don’t have the land yet, but I’m inspired and I’m already thinking of what small changes I can make in my life to start to become more self-sufficient. I believe that we should be the change we want to see in the world, and that it all starts with a change of mindset.

Mine is going “back to basics”, and learning from the locals in Molunat a more simple way of living, in tune with the rhythms of nature.

It’s nothing new, it’s just “re-wilding”, going back to our roots, and it’s good for us and it’s good for the planet.

To learn more about life in Molunat go to www.lovemolunat.com

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Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional yoga trainer she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo. Keep in touch with Gillie via her yoga website - www.yogamolunat.life

For more information on healing holidays in Croatia visit www.lovemolunat.com

 

Yesterday there were 65 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in Croatia and the number of active cases across the country has reached a total of 855. Among them, 142 patients are in hospital, of which 9 are on a ventilator, and unfortunately three people have died.

Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 4,857 people have been infected with the new coronavirus to date, of whom 136 have died and 3,866 have recovered.

There are currently 3271 people in self-isolation.

To date, a total of 112,003 people have been tested, of which 1,489 in the last 24 hours, the National Civil Protection Headquarters announced on Sunday.

 

In the past 24 hours, no new cases of covid-19 have been recored in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. And on a positive note 6 people have made a full recovery, 4 from Župa, 1 from Dubrovnik and 1 from Metković.

A total of 2 people are currently hospitalized in the Dubrovnik General Hospital, and nobody is on a ventialor. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 5,737 samples have been sent to Zagreb for analysis.

There are 216 people in self-isolation, and in the last 24 hours no violation of the self-isolation measure has been established.

 

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