Sirius Bulletin -11th October 2021
This bulletin provides a summary of topical news, announcements and policy developments affecting business across the UK.
Activity slows due to shortages
In September 2021, construction growth eased to its slowest pace in eight months, due to weaker demand and staff, material and transport shortages. A fall in the availability of sub-contractors contributed to the steepest increase in sub-contractor costs since 1997.
Read more about the data at: www.mortgagefinancegazette.com/market-news/construction-activity-slows-shortages-bite-pmi-06-10-2021
Association highlights toy safety concerns
Nearly half of toys purchased online from third-party sellers are unsafe, according to a study by the British Toy & Hobby Association. The research found that out of 255 randomly selected toys 88% were illegal and 48% were unsafe.
Read more about the study at: www.cha rgedretaiI.co.uk/2021/1 0/05/nea rly-half-of-toys-purchased-onIine-from-third-party-sellers-are-deemed unsafe
First non-food store opens in the UK
Amazon has opened its first ever four-star mini-department store in Dartford’s Bluewater Shopping Centre. The store stocks around 2,000 top-selling items from Amazon.co.uk which have user ratings of four stars or above.
Read more about the store at: www.cha rgedretaiI.co.uk/2021/1 0/06/amazon-opens-first-physicaI-4-star-store-outside-the-us-in-bluewater
Increase in overnight tool theft
Over a quarter (27%) of van drivers had equipment stolen from vans in the 12 months to September 2021. The estimated cost of replacing tools and equipment is£ 15 million a year and the cost to van owners is £550 per day.
Read more about the figures at: www.alphabet.com/en-gb/auto-digest/overnight-tool-theft-soars-quarter-van-drivers-report-break-ins-costing psl 5-million
Top-up training introduced
All door supervision and security guard licence holders will need a first-aid qualification and new top up training before they renew their licence. Top-up training includes updated counter-terror training, advice for emergencies and incidents, and physical intervention training.
Read more about the requirements at: www.gov.uk/government/news/top-up-training-introduced-for-door-supervisors-and-security-guards
Broadcasters struggle to retain talent
More people are leaving the TV and radio industries than joining. Ofcom’s Five-Year Review: Diversity and Equal Opportunities in UK Broadcasting found that broadcasters are struggling to retain talent in the aftermath of the pandemic, with more women leaving than joining.
Read more about the report at: www.ofcom.org.uk/news-centre/2021/broadcasters-facing-diverse-talent-drain
Taxi and private hire
Transport and scrap metal licence renewals to include a tax check
From April 2022, the renewal of certain licences in the transport and scrap metal sectors will require the applicant to complete a tax check with HMRC. The licences that will be subject to the check are taxi driver licences, private hire vehicle (PHV) driver and operator licences, and scrap metal dealer licences.
Read more about the checks at:
www.icaew.com/insights/tax-news/2021/sep-2021/Transport-a nd-scrap-meta1-1icence-renewa ls-to-include-a-tax check-in-2022
Shortage of abattoir workers
The slaughter of healthy pigs has begun, with farmers forced to kill animals to ensure the continued welfare of their livestock. According to the National Pig Association, labour shortages at abattoirs have led to a backlog of as many as 120,000 pigs left stranded on farms.
Read more about the issue at:
www.theguard ian.com/business/2021 Ioct/05/pigs-cuIled-amid-uk-shortage-a battoir-workers?
Fall in fraudulent claims
In 2020, the number of detected fraudulent insurance claims fell by 10% year-on year to the lowest since 2007. Insurers detected proportionately more motor insurance fraud than in 2019, despite a fall in the overall number of claims due to fewer vehicles on the roads during lockdowns.
Read more about the figures at: www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2021/10/detected-fraud-2020
EU jobseeker numbers begin to recover
The number of European workers looking for roles in the UK has risen, but remains lower than pre pandemic levels. Research by Adzuna found that the number of European people looking for work in the UK was 48% lower than before the pandemic.
Read more about the research at: www.personneltoday.com/hr/eu-jobseeker-numbers-begin-to-recover
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