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UK economy beats expectations

Good news from the ONS, with UK GDP estimated to have grown 0.5 percent in the final quarter of last year. Economists had expected a slower pace of expansion of 0.4 percent. As ever it’s worth noting that this preliminary estimate is produced using less than half the data which will eventually be available, and will be subject to revision in the coming months.

Contributor: Ben Brettell | Published: 7 February 2018

self employment

Stagnant wages pushing employees into self employment

According to the Office for National Statistics, UK unemployment fell by 3,000 to 1.44 million from September to November 2017, taking employment to its joint highest level since comparable records began in 1971. But average wages in real terms - compared to inflation - fell by 0.5 percent compared with the previous year.

Contributor: Stewart Butler | Published: 6 February 2018

company insolvencies

Company insolvencies soar as costs spiral

There has been a 4.2 percent rise in company insolvencies in 2017 to 17,243, and a rise in quarterly insolvencies for Q4 2017 to 4,382. Recent insolvency figures are a real concern and our research shows a record number of small business owners looking for an exit. One in seven entrepreneurs expects to sell, hand-on or close their business in the first quarter of 2018.

Contributor: Mike Cherry | Published: 6 February 2018

sex life

What if you were asked about your sex life during an interview?

It's not unusual for interviewers to ask candidates questions that try to extract an idea about their personality rather than just their aptitude for the job directly.  Asking what their interests are, what animal you would be etc. is pretty typical but one company saw fit to ask about a candidate's sex life.

Contributor: Emma O'Leary | Published: 5 February 2018

conditions

Government must step in and preserve pay and conditions of Carillion workers

Following Carillion’s collapse, the government announced that workers employed on the company’s 450 public sector contracts would continue to be employed, it was then announced that on 90 percent of the private sector outsourced contracts, short-term arrangements had been arrived at and these workers would continue to be paid while longer term arrangements were made.

Contributor: Gail Cartmail | Published: 5 February 2018

brexit

Could Brexit disrupt medical supplies?

The Alliance brings together the NHS, medical research, industry, patients and public health organisations to safeguard patients and the healthcare and research they rely on. Titled “Brexit and the impact on patient access to medicines and technologies”, it warns that unless a deal is reached medicines and medical technologies could be delayed or become unavailable to patients.

Contributor: Niall Dickson | Published: 4 February 2018

new

Calls for new imperatives for financial security

New research on consumer, business leader and public sector leader views provides insights on how to address the financial savings gap. The UK is one of the least financially secure nations amongst the 12 surveyed. Findings from a survey focused on financial security from Mercer’s Healthy, Wealthy and Work-wise new global research identifies imperatives for financial security.

Contributor: Eve Read | Published: 4 February 2018

motorists

Motorists are not the public’s biggest highway grievance

The latest survey from Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that 44 percent of people would back the introduction of a ‘Civility Code' of conduct for motorists *, but car and van drivers are not seen as the biggest culprits when it comes to lacking common courtesy. Cyclists, joggers and smokers were cited as being the top three most discourteous when using public thoroughfares.

Contributor: Alison Bell | Published: 3 February 2018

carillion

Calls for action as Carillion pension black hole revealed

Following today’s (Monday 29 January) revelation that Carillion’s pension deficit is at least £990 million, Unite, the UK’s largest union, is calling for all possible legal avenues to be explored to recoup money and for the introduction of stronger laws to prevent future scandals.

Contributor: Gail Cartmail | Published: 3 February 2018

'male banter'

No place for ‘male banter’ in job adverts

Following the revelation that a ‘boutique secretarial recruitment company’ posted a job advert on LinkedIn and Guardian Jobs which included the ‘ability to deal with the 'male banter' and to be sociable but not distracting’ as part of the spec. Ann Swain, Chief Executive at APSCo was invited by the BBC to share her thoughts.

Contributor: Ann Swain | Published: 2 February 2018