• Coronavirus: Renters struggle most with pandemic costs, report says Link
    BBC Business Sat 30 May 2020 00:09

    Private renters are more likely to be struggling with payments than those who own their homes, new research by the Resolution Foundation suggests.

    The think tank concludes one in eight private renters have fallen behind with housing costs since the coronavirus crisis began, compared to one in 12 mortgaged home owners.

    Its report is based on a YouGov survey of around 6,000 adults in the UK.

    The government says it took action to support renters during the pandemic.

    The action, which the government calls "unprecedented" includes banning evictions for three months and increasing the Local Housing Allowance.

  • Coronavirus: How safe is it to get on a plane? Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 21:14

    But can passengers fly safely, or will they be at risk of infection?

    The Covid-19 coronavirus is still relatively new, so accurate data on how it can spread between aircraft passengers is in short supply. But previous studies have looked at the spread of other respiratory illnesses.

    Based on the available information, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally tries to track down people sitting in the two rows in front and the two rows behind passengers found to have serious infections.

    A 2018 study by researchers from Emory University in Atlanta attempted to model how passengers and crew moved about an aircraft, and how that might affect the transmission of infectious diseases.

    "A droplet-mediated respiratory infectious disease is unlikely to be directly transmitted beyond one metre from the infectious passenger. Thus, transmission is limited to one row in front of or in back of an infectious passenger," the researchers...

  • Kylie Jenner: Forbes drops celebrity from billionaire list Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 18:09

    Forbes magazine has struck celebrity Kylie Jenner from its list of billionaires and accused her family of inflating the value of her cosmetics business.

    The magazine said the family went to "unusual lengths" to present its youngest member as richer than she was.

    In tweets, Ms Jenner dismissed the article as "inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions lol".

    "i've never asked for any title or tried to lie my way there" she wrote.

    "i can name a list of 100 things more important right now than fixating on how much money i have" she added.

  • Rishi Sunak wants firms to pay more, but also survive Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 17:39

    The Chancellor is attempting a delicate balancing act.

    Slowly withdrawing very expensive government support programmes without crashing the economy.

    The government is currently paying 80% of the wages of nearly 8.5 million employees and 80% of 2.3 million self employed worker's take home pay till the end of July at cost in the many tens of billions of pounds.

    As the economy emerges from lockdown that will change.

    From 1 July, employers will be able to bring in workers part-time and pay them for the time worked. That is a month early, has been widely called for and will be welcomed.

  • 'It's going to take months and months before even a semblance of recovery takes place' - Jitender Bhargava Catch full conversation with Bhargava, Vinod Kannan, Capt Aparna Singh and Devina Gupta on #WorklifeIndia Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 16:54

    Airlines, airports and ground-handling firms across the globe are in survival mode, trying to keep afloat. But the aviation industry, almost entirely grounded for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, is now taking tentative steps to start flying again.

    In India too, domestic flights have resumed amid easing lockdown restrictions. New rules are in place for flyers. Thermal body checks are being conducted and wearing of masks is now mandatory for all flyers.

    Restarting domestic flights has also had its share of confusion and chaos. Long queues have been seen at the airports, dozens of flights cancelled at the last minute and many passengers left high and dry.

    So, as planes take to the skies again, how will the pandemic impact the way people fly? And how will the airlines survive?

    In this edition of WorklifeIndia, we discuss how the aviation industry is gearing up for its future flight plan.

    Presenter: Devina Gupta

    Contributors:...

  • Employers to start paying share of furlough scheme Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 16:14

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has set out how employers will have to start sharing the cost of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

    From August they will have to pay National Insurance and pension contributions, and then 10% of pay from September, rising to 20% in October.

    Also, workers will be allowed to return to work part-time from July, but with companies paying 100% of wages.

    Mr Sunak said the scheme will adjust so "those who are able to work can do so".

    The government is paying 80% of workers' salaries up to £2,500 a month for some 8.4 million workers under the scheme.

  • As airplanes take to the skies again, how will the pandemic impact the way people fly? And how will the airlines survive? #WorklifeIndia https://t.co/8gMJK6Klmc
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 13:33
  • Coronavirus: Chancellor set to outline furlough scheme changes Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 13:03

    It is thought that employers could also be asked to cover National Insurance and pension contributions for furloughed workers from August.

    Mr Sunak is due to lead Friday's daily Downing Street press briefing to outline changes to the scheme.

    The furlough scheme, aimed at mitigating the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, was originally intended to last until the end of July. Officially called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, it has since been extended until the end of October.

    Employers' claims under the scheme have reached £15bn.

  • Coronavirus: What help are self-employed getting from government? Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 11:23

    Employees kept on by struggling businesses during the coronavirus outbreak are having their wages subsidised by the government, but ministers were criticised for not going so far for the self-employed.

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced measures to support them too, but there are concerns that this may be insufficient.

  • RT @kprescott: People who don't pay their mortgage during the pandemic SHOULD have a note of that on their credit rating, according to the…
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 10:28
  • RT @ManuelaBBC: "The UK was able to veto or block important decisions. I don't think the Netherlands will be able to do the same" Former It…
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 10:23
  • RT @PeacheyK: Would this affect your decision to extend a mortgage deferral? #coronavirus Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 10:23

    A borrower's credit rating should be marked if they take a further mortgage holiday, the Nationwide has said.

    Lenders look at somebody's credit rating when deciding whether to agree to a fresh loan or contract and the interest rate they will charge.

    Joe Garner, chief executive of the Nationwide Building Society, said an extension to the mortgage break was a sign that a borrower was "struggling".

    He made the comment as the UK's largest mutual announced a plunge in profits.

    Its statutory pre-tax profit fell to £466m in the year to April, compared with £833m the previous year.

  • Coronavirus: New mortgage holiday should affect credit rating, says Nationwide boss Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 09:38

    A borrower's credit rating should be marked if they take a further mortgage holiday, the Nationwide has said.

    Lenders look a somebody's credit rating when deciding whether to agree to a fresh loan or contract and the interest rate they will charge.

    Joe Garner, chief executive of the Nationwide Building Society, said an extension to the mortgage break was a sign that a borrower was "struggling".

    He made the comment as the UK's largest mutual announced a plunge in profits.

    Its statutory pre-tax profit fell to £466m in the year to April, compared with £833m the previous year.

  • Renault cuts 15,000 jobs in major restructuring Link
    BBC Business Fri 29 May 2020 06:33

    Renault is cutting 15,000 jobs worldwide as part of a €2bn (£1.8bn) cost-cutting plan after seeing sales plunge because of the virus pandemic.

    "This plan is essential," said chief executive Clotilde Delbos, who announced cuts in production to focus on more profitable car models.

    Some 4,600 job cuts will be in France, and the firm said on Friday that it had begun talks with unions.

    On Thursday, Renault's strategic partner Nissan unveiled huge job cuts.

    Renault, 15% owned by the French state, said six sites are under review.

  • The little lights now packing a deadly punch Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 23:18

    "The tech we are working on could transform water sanitisation techniques and offer access to clean drinking water to even remote developing regions via portable systems," says Christian Zollner from the University of California in Santa Barbara.

    Mr Zollner has been working on light emitting diodes (LEDs), the long-lasting technology in modern lightbulbs. They are probably in the lightbulbs in your house, or the headlamps of your car.

    Because they are tough and energy efficient, researchers are always trying to find new ways of using them.

    Mr Zollner and his team have been working on LEDs that emit ultraviolet light, in particular UV-C light, which is deadly to bacteria and viruses, including the coronavirus.

    His goal is to make those LEDs more powerful, robust and cheaper.

  • Over 100 MPs ask Chancellor to extend self-employed help Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 23:08

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing calls from MPs to extend help offered to the self-employed.

    They have written to him, warning many would not be able to work once it ends.

    One worker in this situation is Yshani Perinpanayagam, a musical director for a show at the Royal Shakespeare Company. When lockdown began, it was cancelled and her work dried up.

    She still has some composing and recital work but says she feels “quite unsafe.”

    “If the self-employment scheme does not extend, I will not be safe,” she says.

  • Chancellor in delicate game of economic Kerplunk Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 21:13

    In the family game Kerplunk, a collection of marbles is balanced on top of a lattice of supporting rods.

    Players of the game take turns to attempt to remove these supporting rods one by one without allowing the marbles to come crashing down.

    That is precisely what Chancellor Rishi Sunak will attempt when he starts to remove the government furlough scheme - the most significant pillar of support for millions of businesses and workers.

    Can he delicately and gradually remove it without the economy crashing down as unemployment rockets?

    We expect that as soon as tomorrow, the government will give more detail on its plan that after July employers bear some of the cost of the Job Retention Scheme.

  • Renault prepares for 15,000 job cuts Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 20:38

    Struggling French carmaker Renault is said to be planning 15,000 job cuts around the world as it tries to contain losses amid the pandemic.

    The move comes as the virus deepens the challenges facing the firm, which saw its first annual loss in a decade last year.

    The company, which has pledged to cut costs by €2bn (£1.8bn), is expected to discuss the plan on Friday.

    Almost one third of the reductions are expected to occur in France.

    Speaking on French television, a French labour leader briefed on the plans said many of the cuts in France would come through voluntary layoffs or retirement.

  • What if the US removes Hong Kong's special status? Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 18:58

    Top members of the US administration have warned that Hong Kong no longer merits a special status when it comes trade, and the territory could be treated the same way as mainland China.

    Until now, the US has given Hong Kong favourable trading terms, dating back to the territory's time as a British colony, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that Hong Kong no longer enjoys a high degree of autonomy from China

    Meanwhile, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Beijing "will be held accountable" for a new security law set to be imposed on Hong Kong.

    The National Economic Council Director told CNBC, "If need be, Hong Kong now may have to be treated the same way as China is treated, and that has implications for tariffs".

    So what will it mean if that special status is revoked?

  • Covid-19 accelerated the decline in US coal mining - today @bbcworldservice examines how King Coal was already tumbling from its throne Plus China's parliament backs new legislation many believe will end Hong Kong's unique status #WorldBusinessReport Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 16:53
  • Biggest UK solar plant approved Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 16:38

    The go-ahead has been given to the UK’s biggest solar farm, stretching 900 acres on the north Kent coast.

    The government has approved the controversial scheme, which will supply power to 91,000 homes.

    The project could include one of the world’s largest energy storage systems.

    But it has been fiercely opposed by many local people, and it’s divided green groups. Greenpeace, the RSPB and the countryside charity CPRE are against the plan.

    They say it’s industrialising the countryside - and may harm an adjacent wildlife site.

  • Many are longing to return to the familiarity of an office - but others cherish the remoteness they get from their unique work environments Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 14:47

    For millions of people worldwide, widespread lockdown has cast isolation as a negative – a loss of group engagement and communal hubbub. Yet while many of us are clamouring to get back into the social rhythm of the office, there are people around the world who choose work lives involving long periods isolated in remote settings.

    “Some people thrive on their own company,” says Sandi Mann, senior psychology lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire. “It gives the freedom of not having to worry about other people in terms of their needs or judgements. Others might like the challenge to see if they can cope on their own or to help them adjust to a different pace of life.”

    Mann sees solitary times as beneficial contrasts to the pace of modern living. “We get used to high levels of dopamine from a busy, hectic and stimulation-rich environment, but dopamine is addictive. So, to wean ourselves off we need lower levels of stimulation.”

    Or perhaps, rather than...

  • Will coronavirus change America's jobless stigma? Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 14:32

    More than 21 million people in the US - roughly one in six workers - are now receiving unemployment benefits amid the economic havoc triggered by the pandemic.

    The dramatic numbers, a sign of the steep job losses triggered by the virus lockdowns, are not unique to the US.

    But they are prompting fierce debate in a country that has long attached stigma to state aid.

    Another 2.1 million Americans filed new jobless claims last week.

    That pushed the new applications made since mid-March above 40 million, the weekly Labor Department figures show.

  • RT @PeacheyK: TUC and Citizens Advice concern that multiple isolation owing to test and trace could push people into hardship and undermine…
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 12:57
  • Coronavirus: Hardship risk 'could undermine test and trace system' Link
    BBC Business Thu 28 May 2020 11:52

    Workers self-isolating under the new test and trace systems could be pushed into hardship, union warnings claim.

    The programmes, newly launched in England and Scotland, risked being ineffective unless these people were helped financially, the TUC said.

    Employees could be told to stay at home for 14 days on multiple occasions and face an income drop on sick pay.

    Those receiving £95 a week or even ineligible for statutory sick pay may feel forced to work, the TUC said.

    "That will put them, their workmates and their local community at risk, and undermine the entire test and trace programme," the union body's general secretary, Frances O'Grady, said.

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