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Home office blames Brits for choosing Brexit as Greggs is the latest firm hit with shortages for iconic bake https://londonlovesbusiness.com/home-office-blames-brits-for-choosing-brexit-as-greggs-is-the-latest-firm-hit-with-shortages-for-iconic-bake/
https://londonlovesbusiness.com/?p=114398
<div><img src=”https://londonlovesbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Greggs-with-reduced-range-Justin-Ng-Avalon.png” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”></div><p>Greggs is the latest company to be hit with supply chain issues of chicken for their iconic bake as labour shortages continue to hit supermarkets, pubs and the hospitality sector.</p>
<p>Due to post-Brexit immigration rules, the pandemic and a huge shortage of lorry drivers has severely affected the supply chain across the UK.</p>
<p>Speaking to PoliticsHome, Greggs confirmed that a “small number of products” are affected due to supply chain issues.</p>
<p>Company chiefs are urging the government to grant 10,000 temporary visas to EU driver, but companies are being told to concentrate training British workers instead.</p>
<p>A spokesperson for the Home Office said, “The British people repeatedly voted to end free movement and take back control of our immigration system and employers should invest in our domestic workforce instead of relying on labour from abroad.”</p>
<p>More than 6m EU citizens applied to stay in Britain after the Brexit vote and the UK will only accept European migrants who are skilled workers, family connections or for education.</p>
<p><strong><a href=”https://londonlovesbusiness.com/mcdonalds-hit-with-supply-chain-issues-as-they-run-out-of-milkshake/”>McDonald’s</a></strong>, Nando’s, KFC, Greggs, spermarketshave all been affected – and today the Co-op’s chief executive, Steve Murrells said that food shortages are “<strong><a href=”https://londonlovesbusiness.com/food-shortages-are-at-a-worse-level-ever-seen-amid-brexit-and-covid-says-co-op-chief/”>at a worse level than at any time I have seen.</a></strong>”</p>
<p>Speaking to The Times, Murrells said, “The shortages are at a worse level than at any time I have seen” and blamed “Brexit and issues caused by Covid” which has helped fuel the crisis.</p>
<p>The Co-op has 4,000 stores across the UK and are now training staff to become lorry drivers in an attempt to help the issues surrounding the supply chain.</p>
<p>Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, warned that consumers will ultimately suffer due to the problems.</p>
<p>“So far, disruption has been minimal thanks to the incredible work by retailers and their suppliers,” she said.</p>
<p>“Retailers are increasing pay rates, offering bonuses and introducing new driver training schemes, as well as directly supporting their suppliers in the movement of goods, but government will need to play its part.</p>
<p>“We are calling on the government to rapidly increase the number of HGV driving tests taking place, provide temporary visas for EU drivers, and to make changes on how HGV driver training can be funded.”</p>
<p><a href=”https://londonlovesbusiness.com/government-was-warned-weeks-ago-over-food-shortages-and-emergency-changes-are-needed/”>The PA news agency was told by a poultry industry source that the government was warned last month that the food supply chain would be hit due to EU worker rules and logistic issues.</a></p>
<p>The source said, “We raised this issue with government many weeks ago and nothing significant has happened since, so it is clearly not going away.</p>
<p>“We need new workers to come on board to cope with this demand, and while Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have been helpful, the issue is with the Home Office.</p>
<p>“There are shortages fluctuating between 10% and 20% of staff, so we need some emergency changes get workers overseas who can fill this gap.”</p>

Wed, 25 Aug 2021 13:55:53 +0000 Mark Fitt Political Journalist
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https://londonlovesbusiness.com/home-office-blames-brits-for-choosing-brexit-as-greggs-is-the-latest-firm-hit-with-shortages-for-iconic-bake/
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Get ready for the plastic packaging tax https://londonlovesbusiness.com/get-ready-for-the-plastic-packaging-tax/
https://londonlovesbusiness.com/?p=114395
<p>The UK uses an estimated five million tonnes of plastic every year, nearly half of which is packaging.</p>
<p>As the plastic problem worsens, countries across the globe have been looking at ways to deal with overflowing landfill sites and polluted soils, rivers and oceans.</p>
<p>As part of its commitment to reduce plastic packaging and waste, the UK government announced in 2018 that it would be introducing a plastic packaging tax from April 2022. Here, Craig Harman, tax specialist and partner at Perrys Chartered Accountants, explains what this means for businesses and why they should be planning for the changes now.</p>
<h4><strong>Why is the plastic packaging tax being introduced?</strong></h4>
<p>The UK government is aiming to significantly reduce the amount of virgin plastics (plastic produced entirely from plastic resin that hasn’t been used or processed before) that are being sent to landfill or being burned. It is also hoped that by introducing the plastic packaging tax, companies will be encouraged to look at more sustainable alternatives for packaging their products and consumers will be motivated to recycle packaging instead of throwing it away.</p>
<h4><strong>What is the plastic packaging tax?</strong></h4>
<p>The new tax, which will come into force from April 2022, will require producers of plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into, the UK to pay £200 per tonne of plastic packaging if it contains less than 30% recycled plastic, and is plastic packaging that is predominantly plastic by weight.</p>
<p>Plastic packaging that has been imported will be liable to the tax, whether it is unfilled or filled.</p>
<p>However, the tax will not apply to manufacturers and importers of less than 10 tonnes of plastic packaging per year, packaging exported from the UK, or packaging that is used for licenced human medicines.</p>
<h4><strong>How many businesses will the plastic packaging tax affect?</strong></h4>
<p>It is estimated that 20,000 producers and importers of plastic packaging will be affected with a significant impact on a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, logistics, freight, transport, haulage and construction.</p>
<h4><strong>What are the cost implications of the plastic packaging tax likely to be?</strong></h4>
<p>The new tax is likely to impact a wide range of businesses with additional costs, including understanding how the tax is implemented and keeping relevant records.</p>
<p>For example, food and drink legislation stipulates, that in some circumstances, using recycled plastic packaging for food is forbidden and, therefore, food manufacturers will need to pay the tax for using virgin plastics.</p>
<p>There is also the added issue of how the tax will translate to consumers, who are likely to feel the knock on effects of these extra costs, which could raise prices of some products, like food, by around 10% to 20%.</p>
<h4><strong>How can companies plan for the plastic packaging tax now?</strong></h4>
<p>It is important that businesses do not delay with finding alternatives to plastic packaging and start planning now to ensure they are fully prepared for the April 2022 deadline.</p>
<p>As already mentioned, plastic packaging that contains at least 30% recycled materials will be exempt from the tax, so companies are being encouraged to find suitable alternatives that meet or exceed these requirements.</p>
<p>Businesses that are uncertain about what the plastic packaging tax might mean for their operations should seek the advice of a professional accountant, who will be able to guide them through the legislation and requirements.</p>
<p>It is important to remember that, despite the potential cost implications for businesses and consumers, the plastic packaging tax is likely to have a positive impact on our environment, changing business operations for the better and ensuring our planet is protected for the future.</p>

Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:56:07 +0000 LLB Finance Reporter
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https://londonlovesbusiness.com/get-ready-for-the-plastic-packaging-tax/
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Tax
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Plastic Tax
politics


Over half of UK employers say their staff work additional unpaid hours every day https://londonlovesbusiness.com/over-half-of-uk-employers-say-their-staff-work-additional-unpaid-hours-every-day/
https://londonlovesbusiness.com/?p=114393
<p>In its latest whitepaper, Cendex, part of XpertHR, found that staff at over half (53%) of UK organisations are working additional unpaid hours every day. A quarter (24%) of employers put this down to the pandemic and its resultant uptick in remote working, as they believe working from home blurs the line between work life and home life.</p>
<p>When away from the office, the start and end of the working day is less defined, and almost a third (30%) of employers say this influences what time staff are clocking on and off. In some cases, people are starting the day early and finishing late and as a result, contributing to the belief of over two thirds (67%) of employers who say the traditional 9-5 working day is a thing of the past.</p>
<p>One in three (30%) UK organisations reported that staff are working an additional one to two hours a day, and worryingly over a fifth (21%) said their staff work between three and five hours extra each day. Only a third (33%) said their staff were not working any additional unpaid hours. This could pose a problem for organisations as overworking to such an extent will likely result in burnout and impact negatively on employee wellbeing.</p>
<p>The traditional 9-5 day is being replaced by a culture of fluid and flexible working. To help guide businesses through this change, HR professionals must adapt their HR strategies, including reward packages, and tailor them to the evolving needs of their employees.</p>
<p>Wellbeing should be placed at the centre of benefit and reward initiatives to help alleviate the risk of employee burnout amidst the growing culture of overworking. Employers will be best equipped to do this with benchmarking tool, Cendex.</p>
<p>Through Cendex, employers have access to live data from over one million UK employees across 25 different function groups which will help them gauge market demand and understand the changes their industry is implementing as they transition to a much more flexible work environment.</p>
<p>Scott Walker, Managing Director at Cendex said, “Remote working has grown in popularity over the last year and while it’s a perfect fit for some, this data has shone light on a major pitfall of the initiative. In the past, employees often took their work home with them, but throughout the pandemic and now as we head towards a hybrid-work future, it’s really coming to the fore. The line between work life and home life is now blurred, resulting in a spike in working unscheduled hours. This will no doubt impact not only individuals’ wellbeing, but their performance and productivity at work too.</p>
<p>“For many, a more flexible approach to work is a welcome change. It gives working parents the chance to fit their work schedule around childcare and adjusted starting and finishing times could enable commuters to avoid peak travel times. If the demand is there, HR and reward professionals must address it and be reactive in their building of benefit packages.”</p>

Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:46:27 +0000 LLB Finance Reporter
en-GB
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https://londonlovesbusiness.com/over-half-of-uk-employers-say-their-staff-work-additional-unpaid-hours-every-day/
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NTIA support businesses opposing Covid passports with over 15,000 letters sent to MPs https://londonlovesbusiness.com/ntia-support-businesses-opposing-covid-passports-with-over-15000-letters-sent-to-mps/
https://londonlovesbusiness.com/?p=114391
<p>Over 15,000 Letters have been sent from Business Owners, Creatives, Freelancers and Customers in opposition to the Government’s Mandate on Covid Passports which is being proposed for certain settings including “Nightclubs and Mass Gatherings” from the end of September.</p>
<p>The businesses expected to take on these mitigations have been at the sharp end of the pandemic, and are predicting a drop off in trade of up to 30% from the end of September. Tickets sales for events post September have also stalled across the country with people asking for refunds citing the uncertainty around Covid Passports.</p>
<p>Through leaked letters over the weekend the disarray between ministers and legal representatives on whether the decision has been made evident, but it is clear there will be a battle in the House of Commons once it comes to a vote.</p>
<p>Michael Kill CEO NTIA said, “Over 15,000 letters have been sent to Constituent MP’s highlighting the industry’s deep concern for the Government narrative around Covid Passports, in particular the impact of this measure on the workforce, trade and culture.”</p>
<p>“After a short period of freedom, we are once again overshadowed by uncertainty, the end of September brings with it some huge challenges around staffing, discrimination, safety, &amp; tourism.”</p>
<p>“We are already seeing bookings and advance ticket sales dropping off at the end of September with several event promoters reporting refund requests due to Covid passport requirements from the start of October.”</p>
<p>“We are also seeing the initial signs of illegal events being organised for the end of September, early October, which will certainly be counter productive against the current public health strategy, and will place further pressure on emergency services and policing.”</p>
<p>“Our Industry has been exceptional during this pandemic, supporting communities, managing people, risk and public health and we are now seeing irrefutable evidence of this success in the daily infection and mortality figures.”</p>
<p>“The Government needs to step forward and confirm its intentions and end the uncertainty of a sector worth over £112bn to the economy.”</p>

Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:42:06 +0000 LLB political Reporter
en-GB
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https://londonlovesbusiness.com/ntia-support-businesses-opposing-covid-passports-with-over-15000-letters-sent-to-mps/
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Expert warns that new antibody tests are too late and cowboy labs must be barred from tests https://londonlovesbusiness.com/expert-warns-that-new-antibody-tests-are-too-late-and-cowboy-labs-must-be-barred-from-tests/
https://londonlovesbusiness.com/?p=114389
<div><img src=”https://londonlovesbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Covid-sign-London.png” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”></div><p>A leading Covid-19 expert, Dr Quinton Fivelman PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at <a href=”https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.co.uk/”>London Medical Laboratory</a>, warns that the Government’s new scheme to roll out thousands of Covid antibody tests to members of the public should have happened much earlier. This would have provided a better understanding of people’s immune response to Covid 19, helping to clarify whether the Government should go ahead with booster jabs for over-50s.</p>
<p>Dr Fivelman says the large-scale launch of the new tests by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), planned to start next week, will help determine levels of antibodies in the public and how fast they might be declining over time for people who have been double jabbed. However, this information was most needed to inform the decision about whether to give booster jabs to everyone over 50, starting in September.</p>
<p>Says Dr Fivelman: ‘We revealed earlier this month that our tests were showing antibody levels for people who have been jabbed are now waning and warned: “This is the data that should be driving the UK’s booster jab plans”. &nbsp;It’s far too late now to build up vital information to help decide whether people are protected from infection and if we need to triple jab millions of people, or just concentrate on those in most need. They might not be necessary for most people and could divert much-needed doses away from others, not just nationally but globally.</p>
<p>‘Not enough is known about groups that might really need extra doses, such as older people and those with compromised immune systems. There’s no time to develop an accurate national picture of how long antibodies are lasting and our research has shown that antibody levels generated by most Covid-19 vaccines have been dropping.</p>
<p>‘However, it’s certainly a good time for these test results to start replacing vaccine passports and cards as the best way to measure antibody levels. We need to move away from less accurate methods – such as proof of vaccination – to establish the level of potential Covid immunity in the country and how safe it is for people to return to the workplace.</p>
<p>‘Getting a Covid “pass” because you’ve had two jabs is like receiving a driving licence simply because you’ve turned up for the test. Covid antibody level results need to replace vaccination cards, Covid “pass” Apps and other, inaccurate ways of indicating potential protection against the infection.</p>
<p>‘Although we welcome next week’s mass antibody testing roll-out, the new, free antibody tests will only be supplied to a proportion of those testing positive for Covid following a PCR test. Anyone else who wants to measure their antibody levels will have to go private, so how closely will private providers of antibody tests be monitored in the future?</p>
<p>‘Given the number of “cowboy” labs offering Covid travel tests, anyone wanting to book a private antibody test must be assured the Government will do a better job of enforcing fair pricing and quality control standards.</p>
<p>‘The consumer organisation <em>Which?</em> raised the alarm that too many private laboratories were playing fast and loose with pricing or not providing timely results. As a result, over 50 companies have now been struck off the Government’s own list of testing providers, with 80 more being given a “two strikes and they’re out” warning.</p>
<p>‘There can be no room for “cowboy” providers of Covid antibody tests like there have been for PCR tests. This data is just too important and these test providers should have been shut down months ago. London Medical Laboratory has just been awarded accreditation by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). We are proud to be one of only 5% of testing providers to have received this validation, but we believe that all laboratories undertaking Covid-19 tests should meet these standards in the future.’</p>

Wed, 25 Aug 2021 12:18:00 +0000 David Jinks MILT
en-GB
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https://londonlovesbusiness.com/expert-warns-that-new-antibody-tests-are-too-late-and-cowboy-labs-must-be-barred-from-tests/
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