• Date: 1 March 2017
  • Posted By: admin

Pinch punch first day of the month! On this first day of March, our tops stories from the last 7 days are: Sir Philip Green does the right thing; Dyson to make significant investment; John Lewis cuts jobs; Retirement…at 70; and New phone laws.

Sir Philip Green does the right thing: the BHS debacle has rumbled on for months, and particularly the question of whether Sir Philip Green would fill the pension hole left by the demise of the company. The Pensions Regulator has ensured that Sir Philip will fill that hole, to the tune of £363million. For him it means he keeps his Knighthood. For BHS staff it means they have some certainty about their pension benefits. This article puts this new turn of events into context – that it has taken the threat of losing a knighthood, the combined pressure of the Regulator, MPs and Parliamentary committees, and the  of the general public, to bring this conclusion about. So yes, the right thing has at last been done. But how much better it would have reflected Sir Philip if he’d volunteered it in the first place.

Dyson to make significant investment: Dyson is one of the UK’s great success stories – in both innovation and manufacturing. And the company goes from strength to strength. It’s now planning to build a new £2.5billion research and development centre in Wiltshire – in addition to it’s current head office, which is also in Wiltshire, apparently with the intention of doubling its current workforce over the next couple of years. Interestingly, Sir James Dyson, founder of Dyson and inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, is a Brexiteer, and considers that leaving the EU is a ‘minor event’ in the life of a business.

John Lewis cuts job: That’s not something you hear very often. John Lewis, another brilliant UK brand, is following in its sister company’s, Waitrose’s, footsteps. The latter started consulting on job cuts of up to 700 jobs a few weeks ago, and now JLP has announced plans to axe nearly 400 jobs as it makes changes to how its cafes and restaurants are run, as well as its curtain and carpet fitting services. It would seem that there’s going to be some outsourcing going on in its cafes and restaurants. Given that it’s had problems with the customer services outsourcing, let’s hope it’s learnt some lessons from that and we’ll still be able to enjoy a good standard of service.

Retirement…at 70!: According to some new research, nearly half of us over the age of 55 expect to have to work until 70. It would seem that the usual retirement age of 65 is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Why? Well, over the past few years the Government has been moving the age at which we get the state pension – not so long ago women got it at age 60. Now it’s moved to 67 for some. In addition, pensions that we get through our employers are having serious funding problems – huge pension holes in many schemes mean that the benefits we thought we’d get just won’t come to fruition. So we’re working longer to keep our standard of living going. BUT, we’re also working longer for our health. There’s lots of evidence to show that if we keep busy we stay fitter and healthier than if we just stopped working. And that includes mental health. We’re wondering what sort of retirement age the millennial generation might be facing – or what people in that group (those born after 1980) think they might have to work until. We’ll let you know if we see some research along those lines.

New phone laws: No doubt you’ve heard today that the penalties around mobile phone use in our cars has changed – points on our licence has now doubled from 3 to 6, plus a £200. But did you know that if you’re looking at your phone when you’re at traffic lights or in a traffic jam, it’s just as illegal and can attract these penalties. So beware. You’ll also see from this article that there’s a change to the use of booster seats for children – from today a child has to weight 22kg to be able to use a backless booster seat.

Well, that’s it for another week. Come back next Wednesday – 8th March – to read some more interesting stories. Until then, have a great week.