Tag Archives: workers

Older workers’ warned of ‘redundancy’ as furlough ends – ‘Full impact yet to be felt’

OLDER WORKERS are potentially facing a crisis, as a new study has found thousands of Britons are either economically inactive or unemployed. This presents a significant problem, particularly as the furlough scheme draws to a conclusion tomorrow, leaving many unsure as to where to turn next.

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Furlough alert: Workers face ‘financial nightmare’ as HMRC ‘clawback’ payments – act now

FURLOUGH payments will soon dry up as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme comes to a close. As the scheme comes to an end from September 30, it has been hailed as a “qualified success” but affected workers could still be hit by unexpected demands from the Government. As 2022 approaches, HMRC may “clawback” money from those who have overclaimed and ahead of this, Britons have been urged to get their budgetary affairs in order.

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Athlete, Olympic workers test positive for COVID as opening nears

A foreign athlete and five Olympic workers in Japan have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Tokyo 2020 organisers.

The cases, announced on Thursday, marked the latest infections to emerge among people involved with the Summer Games, which are due to begin next week, and have raised new concerns about the spread of coronavirus at the global sporting event.

In a statement on its website, Tokyo 2020 said the six people – which included several contractors – had tested positive for the virus on July 13 and 14. It did not disclose any further details about the athlete or the staffers.

Japan’s NHK broadcaster said the athlete was observing a 14-day period of isolation and has not yet relocated to the Athlete’s Village in Tokyo, where 11,000 athletes will stay and mingle during the games that run from July 23 till August 8.

NHK also said the case marked the “first time that a foreign athlete who is staying at or was heading to a facility managed by the organising committee has been found to have the coronavirus”.

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News of the latest cases came after Russia’s RIA news agency reported on Wednesday that a masseur with the Russian women’s rugby sevens team had been hospitalised after testing positive for COVID-19.

An official in the Russian team’s host town of Munakata, in western Japan, told the AFP news agency that the delegation, which included 16 athletes and 10 staff members, had landed at a Tokyo airport on July 10, and has had no close contact with local officials or residents.

The official said the rest of the Russian team was now quarantining in their accommodation, adding that if they tested negative on Thursday, they would be able to resume training as early as Friday.

COVID cluster at Olympic hotel

Also on Wednesday, a COVID-19 cluster was detected at a hotel hosting Brazilian Olympic team members. Eight staff at the hotel in Hamamatsu city, southwest of Tokyo, were found to have the virus during a routine screening. But a city official told AFP that the 31-strong Brazilian Olympic delegation was in a “bubble” at the hotel, separated from the other guests, and that none of the infected staff had come in contact with the athletes.

Separately, a city official in Kagoshima city said 21 members of the South African rugby team were also in isolation after they came in close contact with a positive case on their flight to Japan. The official said the team was due to stay in the city from Wednesday, but that plan has been halted until further advice from health authorities.

The spreading infections highlight the challenges ahead for organisers, although they note that only a handful of cases have been detected so far among more than 8,000 people who have entered Japan since July 1.

The sporting event is taking place even though the host city, Tokyo, remains under a coronavirus-related state of emergency that will run until after the games end. The Japanese capital is battling a surge in COVID-19 infections, spurred by the highly contagious Delta variant. On Wednesday, it reported 1,149 new COVID-19 cases, the highest figure since January.

Banners of teams from Brazil are seen on a building at the Olympic and Paralympic Village in Tokyo on July 14, 2021, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics which begins on July 23 [Behrouz Mehri/AFP]
People walk by the Olympic rings installed by the Nippon Bashi bridge in Tokyo on Thursday, July 15, 2021 [Hiro Komae/AP Photo]

‘Historic games’

The rise in cases, coupled with a sluggish vaccination campaign, has resulted in a loss of public support for the Olympics in Japan, with many fearing the games could trigger a surge of infections and a rise in new variants.

In a bid to allay those fears, Tokyo 2020 organisers have banned all spectators from all Olympic events in the capital and surrounding regions, and have imposed Olympic “bubbles” to restrict contact between visitors and the wider Japanese public. But medical experts are worried that they might not be completely tight as the movement of staff servicing the games can create opportunities for infection.

Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who is in Japan for the July 23 opening ceremony, met Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday and reiterated a pledge to implement measures to avoid bringing “any risks to the Japanese people”.

Bach also told Suga that 85 percent of the participating athletes and 100 percent of IOC members and staff were “vaccinated or immune”. He also praised the organisers and the Japanese people for staging the event amid the pandemic, telling reporters after the meeting that “these will be historic Olympic Games … for the way how the Japanese people overcame so many challenges in the last couple of years”.

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When Japan was awarded the games in 2013, they were expected to be a celebration of recovery from a deadly earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in 2011.

Japanese leaders had also hoped the rescheduled games this year would help mark a global victory over the coronavirus, but many countries are now struggling with new surges in infections.

An Ipsos poll of 28 countries, released on Tuesday, showed muted global interest in the Tokyo Olympics due to the concerns over COVID-19 in Japan as well as withdrawals of high-profile athletes.

The poll found a global average of 46 percent interest in the games, while in Japan, 78 percent of people were against the event going ahead.

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This post originally posted here Al Jazeera – Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera

Rishi Sunak leads UK economy fightback as workers on payrolls surge by 356,000

Rishi Sunak grilled on National Living Wage

The figures, published by the the Office for National Statistics (ONS) this morning, indicate that the number of UK workers on payrolls rose by 356,000 between May and June. However, the total has dropped by 206,000 since the start of the pandemic.

 

We’re on the right track and pushing for recovery

Mims Davies

Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP said: “In the past year we have supported over 14.5 million people across the country through our Plan for Jobs including through the Kickstart Scheme.

“We know that it’s not been possible to save every job, but we have protected as many as we can, whilst helping new jobseekers through our DWP programmes to secure work.

“There is still work to do as today’s figures show, but importantly we’re on the right track and pushing for recovery – with a sustained rise in the number of people on payrolls, including 135,000 more young people in work this month, and another rise in vacancies on offer as we continue on our roadmap.”

The ONS’s latest monthly bulletin shows that after a period of employment growth and low unemployment, since the start of the pandemic, the employment rate has generally decreased, and the unemployment rate increased.

More than 350,000 Britons were added to payrolls last year, the data shows (Image: GETTY)

Mims Davies, the DWP Secretary (Image: PA)

However, both have shown signs of recovery since the end of 2020 .

In the latest period, between March to May 2021, there was an increase in the employment rate of 0.1 percentage points, to 74.8 percent, and a decrease in the unemployment rate of 0.2 percentage points, to 4.8 percent.

The economic inactivity rate is up 0.1 percentage points on the previous quarter, to 21.3 percent.

The relaxation of many coronavirus restrictions, total hours worked increased on the quarter, but is still below pre-pandemic levels.

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The latest ONS data (Image: ONS)

The redundancy rate fell on the quarter and has returned to pre-pandemic levels.

There were 862,000 job vacancies in April to June 2021 – 77,500 above its pre-pandemic level in January to March 2020.

The ONS analysis also reveals the growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 7.3 percent and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 6.6 percent among employees for March to May 2021.

However, annual growth in average employee pay is still being affected by temporary factors whcih have inflated the increase in the headline growth rate.

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Shadow DWP Secretary Jonathan Reynolds (Image: GETTY)

Young people were badly hit by a scarcity of work at the start of the pandemic said Darren Morgan (Image: GETTY)

All but one industry saw quarterly increases in their number of vacancies. In June 2021, the experimental monthly vacancies data, and the experimental Adzuna online vacancies data both continued to surpass pre-pandemic levels.

The increase in payrolled workers was the biggest since those records began in 2014.

Darren Morgan, director of economic statistics at the Office for National Statistics, said: “The labour market is continuing to recover, with the number of employees on payroll up again strongly in June.

“However it is still over 200,000 down on pre-pandemic levels, while a large number of workers remain on furlough.”

Rule changes on July 19 (Image: Express)

He added: “The number of job vacancies continued to rise very strongly.

“The biggest sector driving this was hospitality, followed by wholesaling and retailing.

“As the economy gradually reopened, the unemployment rate fell in March to May.

“This was especially marked for younger people, who had been hardest hit by earlier lockdowns.”

The areas of the UK where COVID-19 cases are rising (Image: Express)

Responding the figures, Jonathan Reynolds MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, struck a more downbeat tone, saying: “The Government’s failure to secure the recovery has seen record long term unemployment.

“Nearly half a million people have been unemployed for a year yet the Restart jobs scheme has been live for just three days.”

He added: “Labour has a plan to buy, make and sell more in Britain so we can create the jobs of the future, nurture the skills we need and get our economy firing on all cylinders.

“Labour’s jobs promise would guarantee a job or training opportunity for any young person away from work or education for six months, and ensure no one is away from work for more than a year.”

(More to follow)

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: UK Feed