Do I have to work over Easter and can I get paid more if I work the bank holidays?

EASTER is coming up and while this means there are two bank holidays on the cards, some of us will inevitably have to work through these.

 

This year Easter falls on Sunday April 21 with the Good Friday bank holiday falling on April 19 and the Easter Monday bank holiday falling on April 22.

 

Sadly workers aren’t automatically guaranteed bank holidays off work
 

 

But can your boss make you work on bank holidays and if they do can you get extra pay? We round-up your rights.

 

Do I have to work on Good Friday and Easter Monday?

 

Sadly, according to the Government, which sets bank holidays, there is no automatic right for workers to have bank holidays off as paid leave – and that includes Good Friday and Easter Monday.

 

Whether you have to work is entirely up to your employer and the contract you agreed with them.

 

 

Easter eggs on supermarket shelves

How to resolve a problem with your employer

 

 

 

IF you’ve got an issue with your employer, here is Citizens Advice on how to deal with it.

 

Step 1: speak to your employer

 

Try having an informal chat with your employer or HR department. Explain your concerns and try to resolve the issue.

 

Step 2: raise a grievance

 

Check if your employer has a formal grievance procedure you can use. Even if they haven’t, you can still raise a grievance – for example by writing a letter.

 

You could say something like: “My contract states my rights regarding bank holiday working. You have breached these terms.”

 

Check if your employer has a trade union as it may be able to help.

 

Step 3: get advice

 

If your employer doesn’t respond, or they do but it’s not the response you wanted, you should contact your local Citizens Advice. They’ll be able to advise you on what to do next – for example, whether you can take your case to an employment tribunal.

 

 

 

Some employers will choose to include bank holidays as part of their staff’s statutory annual leave or they may say staff get the days off on top of their statutory annual leave.

 

Others will give staff a day off in lieu in return for working a bank holiday.
It all depends on the holiday allowance your employer gives you.

 

According to the Government, almost all employees working five days a week are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday a year – the equivalent of 28 days.

 

 

Can I get extra pay for working on Good Friday and Easter Monday?

 

Because there’s no automatic right not to work on public holidays, it also means it’s entirely up to employers whether you get a boost to your pay when you do have to come in.

 

If you’re unsure what your work’s policy is, check your contract or speak directly to your employer.

 

Some employers will give staff double pay or “time and a half” their usual day rate.

 

 

 

When are the Bank Holiday Dates in 2019?

 

 

 

HERE is the full list of 2019 bank holidays below:

 

1 January – New Year’s Day

 

2 January – 2 January (Scotland only)

 

17 March – St Patrick’s Day (Northern Ireland only)

 

19 April – Good Friday

 

22 April – Easter Monday

 

6 May – May Day

 

27 May – Spring bank holiday

 

12 July – Battle of the Boyne/ Orangemen’s Day (Northern Ireland only)

 

5 August – Summer bank holiday (Scotland only)

 

26 August – Summer bank holiday

 

25 December – Christmas Day

 

26 December Boxing Day

 

 

 

What if I can’t work because of religious reasons?

 

If you’re told you can’t take a day’s annual leave because of religious reasons, you may have a claim for indirect religious discrimination, according to Hannah Parsons, legal advice manager of DAS Law.

 

This would happen if your employer fails to grant you annual leave and you can point to other workers not receiving the same discrimination based on their religion.

 

 

Comparing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Other Cryptos

Comparing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Other Cryptos

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’re probably aware that we’re in the middle of a cryptocurrency explosion. In one year, the value of all currencies increased a staggering 1,466% – and newer coins like Ethereum have even joined Bitcoin in gaining some mainstream acceptance.

And while people like Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan and famed value investor Howard Marks have been extremely critical of cryptocurrencies as of late, many other investors are continuing to ride the wave. As we’ve noted in the past, the possible effects of the blockchain cannot be understated, and it could even change the backbone of how financial markets work.

However, even with the excitement and action that comes with the space, a major problem still exists for the layman: it’s really challenging to decipher the differences between cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ripple, and Dash.

For this reason, we worked with social trading network eToro to come up with an infographic that breaks down the major differences between these coins all in one place.

A Description of Major Coins

Here are descriptions of the major cryptocurrencies, which make up 84% of the coin universe.

Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency, and was released as open-source software in 2009. Using a new distributed ledger known as the blockchain, the Bitcoin protocol allows for users to make peer-to-peer transactions using digital currency while avoiding the “double spending” problem.

No central authority or server verifies transactions, and instead the legitimacy of a payment is determined by the decentralized network itself.

Bottom Line: Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency with the most liquidity and significant network effects. It also has brand name recognition around the world, with an eight-year track record.

Litecoin

Litecoin was launched in 2011 as an early alternative to Bitcoin. Around this time, increasingly specialized and expensive hardware was needed to mine bitcoins, making it hard for regular people to get in on the action. Litecoin’s algorithm was an attempt to even the playing field so that anyone with a regular computer could take part in the network.

Bottom Line: Other altcoins have taken away some of Litecoin’s market share, but it still has an early mover advantage and some strong network effects.

Ripple

Ripple is considerably different from Bitcoin. That’s because Ripple is essentially a global settlement network for other currencies such as USD, Bitcoin, EUR, GBP, or any other units of value (i.e. frequent flier miles, commodities).

To make any such a settlement, however, a tiny fee must be paid in XRP (Ripple’s native tokens) – and these are what trade on cryptocurrency markets.

Bottom Line: Ripple runs on many of the same principles of Bitcoin, but for a different purpose: to serve as the middleman for all global FX transactions. If it can successfully capture that market, the potential is high.

Ethereum:

Ethereum is an open software platform based on blockchain technology that enables developers to build and deploy decentralized applications.

In the Ethereum blockchain, instead of mining for bitcoin, miners work to earn ether, a type of crypto token that fuels the network. Beyond a tradeable cryptocurrency, ether is also used by application developers to pay for transaction fees and services on the Ethereum network.

Bottom Line: Ethereum serves a different purpose than other cryptocurrencies, but it has quickly grown to displace all but Bitcoin in value. Some experts are so bullish on Ethereum that they even see it becoming the world’s top cryptocurrency in just a short span of time – but only time will tell.

Ethereum Classic:

In 2016, the Ethereum community faced a difficult decision: The DAO, a venture capital firm built on top of the Ethereum platform, had $50 million in ether stolen from it through a security vulnerability.

The majority of the Ethereum community decided to help The DAO by “hard forking” the currency, and then changing the blockchain to return the stolen proceeds back to The DAO. The minority thought this idea violated the key foundation of immutability that the blockchain was designed around, and kept the original Ethereum blockchain the way it was. Hence, the “Classic” label.

Bottom Line: As time goes on, Ethereum Classic has been carving out a separate identity from its bigger sibling. With similar capabilities and a different set of principles, Ethereum Classic could still have upside.

Dash:

Dash is an attempt to improve on Bitcoin in two main areas: speed of transactions, and anonymity. To do this, it has a two-tier architecture with miners and also “masternodes” that help the network perform advanced functions such as near-instant transactions and coin-mixing to provide additional privacy.

Bottom Line: The innovations behind Dash are interesting, and could help to make the coin more consumer-friendly than other alternatives.

Bonus: Bitcoin Cash

Although not included in the graphic, we also wanted to add a quick word on Bitcoin Cash. This new currency “hard forked” from Bitcoin about a month ago, as a result of miner disagreements about the future of Bitcoin. Here’s a detailed summary of the announcement.

How Brit dad-of-one converted an old American school bus worth £20k into a restaurant – and it now makes £400K a year

DAD-of-one Mark turned his love of a good barbecue into a business idea – and now his US-inspired food truck turns over £400,000 a year.

The 36-year-old bought a converted yellow 1982 school bus back in 2016 for £21,500, before finding a smoker, oven and fridge.


Mark Failey, from Oldham used a £24,000 loan to convert a 1982 Bluebird International American-style school bus into a kitchen

He used a £24,000 loan from government-backed Start-Up Loans to fund his new business.

But for Mark, it was about turning his passion for BBQ into reality.

The former steelworker from Oldham told The Sun: “Some people like to play football to relax on Sundays.

“For me the best way to make the most of my day is to get a barbecue on the go. I find it very peaceful and it’s always been a passion of mine.


He converted the bus into a mobile kitchen, before opening a restaurant this year


The restaurant has a seating capacity of 100 people


Mark has always been fascinated by American food and culture

“At some point I was very unhappy at work, doing long shifts through the night and it felt like the moment to take the leap.”

From the very start, the menu of the Old School Bus, based in Oldham, included popular street foods with an American twist.

Think dishes like six-hour smoked Texas-style belly ribs and chicken cooked in a traditional slow smoked Southern BBQ style.

After a year his business got so popular, Mark couldn’t cope with demand.

How to get a start-up business loan

IF you need financial support in setting up your business, you can get loans of up to £25,000 to help along the way.

 

  • Vrigin StartUP offers government-backed loans from £500 to £25,000 to help entrepreneurs launching or growing a business that’s under two-years-old in England or Scotland. It has a rate of 6 per cent interest.
  • The Start-Up Loans Company, which lends government subsidised loans up to £25,000 at a rate of 6 per cent.
  • The Princes Trust also offers loans, up to £5,000, at a rate of 6.2 per cent.

Queues of up to 40 people would build-up in front of his van prompting him to look for a permanent space and staff.

What started like mobile kitchen became a proper restaurant with a seating capacity of 100 people in the beginning of the year.

Mark now employs a total of 18 people and some of his recipes were recently featured in the Manchester Cook Book, next to 55 dishes from a host of the city’s top restaurants.


The bar is now stocked with bourbon whiskey and some potent South Carolina Palmetto Moonshire


Based in Southern tradition, Palmetto Distillery crafts premium whiskey and moonshine with age-old recipes and a copper still


Mark’s idea was to bring a bit of Texas into the UK

This year The Old School Bus was also selected as one of the businesses to represent the North West region, as part of the Small Biz 100 campaign, which encourages the nation to “shop local”.

By its first year, the Old School Bus had an annual turnover of £75,000 but the father-of-one believes that it should hit the £400,000 mark at the end 2018.

The iconic American-style bus is still there but the restaurant also has an outdoor pit area, where Mark and his staff can prepare the food.

As well as his grilled meats, the bar is now stocked with bourbon whiskey and some potent South Carolina Palmetto Moonshire.

Some of the dishes are prepared in the American-style school bus


The Old School Bus offers popular street food with an American twist


The Old School Bus was featured in the Manchester Cook Book with a host of the city’s top restaurants

Prices range from £9.93 for a portion of BBQ wings to £10.95 for a burger. There’s also a kids’ menu with prices starting at £4.95.

The most expensive item is a feast for meat-lovers also known as “The Steak of Texas”, which will set you back  £26.95.

The dish is a massive 30oz steak burger served on a corn roll with eight smoked streaky bacon rashers, four Monterey Jack cheese slices and seasoned fries.

 

Of course, having your own business is not always an easy ride.

Mark added: “You need to be prepared to do the hours – it can be very very demanding.

“I have to wake up as early as 4am to start cooking, so my family time is reduced.

“Between my family, my team and my customers it’s hard to keep everyone happy sometimes. I can’t remember the last time I had a proper break.”


Mark is planning to open a drive-in cinema next year

But the long hours haven’t stopped him from taking on more work.

Next year, the dad-of-one, is planning to buy an additional piece of land to open a drive-in cinema.

He is also working on a cook book of his own with 150 new recipes, which will be published in 2019.

He said:”It can be hard. All my Fridays and Saturdays are booked with work but it’s also very rewarding to see the results.

“The best thing is, I’ve created a family and a good working environment for my team.

“It’s nice to feel passionate about my job again and work with fantastic people.Entrepreneur, 20, started online property company while studying for his A-levels and now its worth £18million

Earlier this month, we revealed how a mum-of-two’s quest to spend more time with her kids is now a £55k flower business – and she started it with just £1.300.

The Sun also spoke to a dad-of-two who quit banking job to set up children’s hairdressers and it makes £650,000 a year.

Dreaming of setting up a business of your own?  This entrepreneur founded his online estate agent agency at the age of 17 – and it’s now worth £18million.

Skinnydip London

How three mates started £15million phone case giant Skinnydip with £10k borrowed off friends and family

WANDERING around an Apple store in 2010 Lewis Blitz had an idea that turned into a business with a £15million turnover.

 

The then 22-year-old couldn’t understand why there were ten companies selling black or white phone cases while there was nothing bright or fun.

 

James, Lewis and Richard started Skinnydip when they were in their 20’s
 

 

He called up two of his mates who happened to be brothers – Richard and James Gold, aged 21 and 23 at the time, and sold them the idea to start Skinnydip London.

 

At the time the lads had all recently graduated from university and took a chance on starting the business selling phone covers with quirky and fun designs on them as no-one else was doing it.

 

“We thought we’d give it a go at selling phone cases into fashion retailers and if it didn’t work, we’d get proper jobs,” James, now 32, who lives in North London, told The Sun.

 

“At that time, if you wanted to get a case or headphones, you’d have to go to the traditional kind of tech retailers,” Lewis said.

 

“And we were thinking that the 18-25-year-old fashion-conscious girl, she’s not going to those places.”

 

Skinnydip London
Skinnydip has around 4,500 unique products each year and they can be found in every single Topshop store
 

 

They rented an office in Wembley and bought desks and phones and started cold calling retailers.

 

James added: “We were literally just cold-calling everyone from the office we rented in Wembley.”

 

“There were three of us, three desks and three phones.

 

“I remember making calls from 9am to 11am – and by 11am we’d been rejected by everyone.”

 

But then they had their first break. High street fashion chain River Island, which has around 250 shops across the UK, agreed to a meeting and they put in an order for 20,000.

 

 

 

Tips from the successful trio

 

 

 

KEEN to be your own boss? Here are some tips from the trio on how to make it happen.

 

    • Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you launch: It’s important to go for it early and not waste a lot of time. A lot of people think you need to perfect every single aspect before you launch and for us, it was just about trying to get out to market and learn as we go. So that’s really proven to be a great way for us and model of how to start a business, said Lewis

 

    • Find good business partners: It’s also key to find good business partners. You should partner with people who have different skills compared to you, because different skills sets mean that you can do different things, said Richard

 

    • Don’t be afraid of failure: A lot of people are really nervous about setting up a business in the fear that it doesn’t work out and the repercussions of what other people may think of that. I think that if you can go with the feeling that ‘if it works, brilliant, but if it doesn’t, I’ll dust myself up, pick myself up and do something else’, that’s great, said James

 

    • Do what makes you happy: In the eight years of running Skinnydip, I’ve never felt like I’ve worked a day in my life. I never have the Sunday night feeling, I love what I’m doing and I love who I work with. And I think if you could something that makes you happy, you’re normally good at it and if you’re good at it, then hopefully success comes on that, James added

Skinnydip London house

 

 

 

Although, there was one big problem. They didn’t have the money to produce the order so they had to beg their friends and family for cash.

 

The three North London born lads raided their savings accounts and scraped together the £10,000 they needed and once their first order was completed it was a lot easier to sell into other brands.

 

At the time they all lived at home with their families rent-free and were only able to pay themselves a salary of £18,000 each two and half years after starting the business.

 

They used whatever profit they made to re-invest into the business and after two years they were able to hire their first member of staff.

 

Skinnydip London
Skinnydip sells phone cases in all colours and patterns
 

 

The name of the business takes inspiration from brand titles such as Virgin, which has no relevance to its products, they said.

 

“We wanted to portray Skinnydip as being young, fun, free with no limits!”

 

The three founders now employ over 250 people worldwide, with around 70 staff members at its London headquarters.

 

This is exciting, but also a big pressure, they said.

 

“We have a lot of people that work for Skinnydip, whose monthly salary is reliant on the performance of the business and that’s a really serious responsibility to take on.

 

“Therefore, we have to constantly think about the impact our decisions can have on all the people in the company and looking out for their interests.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

King Kylie with her custom Skinnydip case 👊✨@kyliejenner #skinnydiplondon #kyliejenner #goals

 

A post shared by SKINNYDIP LONDON (@skinnydiplondon) on

 

 

 

 

 

Since starting they have moved on from just phone cases and now have around 4,500 unique products each year, including handbags, clutch bags, sunglasses, jewellery and beauty.

 

Their products are in 200 concessions worldwide, including every single Topshop, as well as in its 15 own Skinnydip stores.

 

It’s not clear how big of a market share the business has grown to, but the trio claims it’s the largest seller of phone cases on social media with over 500,000 followers only on Instagram.

 

It has collaborated with celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and others including Bella Thorne, Miley Cyrus and members from Little Mix have also been spotted toting its wares.

 

Skinnydip London
The trio currently employs around 350 people
 

 

Last year it was also crowned one of the top startups to work for by LinkedIn.

 

Yet they haven’t let the success get to their heads.

 

“We’ve always been really ambitious, but we’ve also looked at things in terms of realistic targets.

 

“We still feel there is so much more Skinnydip can do that we don’t really look at it as such a success, rather a work in progress.”

 

 

Want to start your own business but could do with even more inspiration?

 

Last month, a 23-year old entrepreneur revealed how he started a million-pound video business with just £50 after his parents lost £150k in the Northern Rock crisis.

 

Recently, we also spoke with a dad-of-two launched beer made of leftover bread – and the company now turns over £1million a year.

 

And we’ve also chatted with Blackpool man Lee White, who went from working as an apprentice to running his own business with a turnover of around £1.4million each year.

Pound sinks against dollar and euro after Theresa May loses vote on her Brexit deal

THE pound has dropped by up to 0.4 per cent against the euro and dollar after squabbling MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal for a third time today.

Sterling now sits at 1.6 against the euro, down from 1.69 yesterday.


The pound has taken a hit following Theresa May’s Brexit defeat in the Commons

It’s also weakened against the dollar following the result of the vote in the Commons, falling to 1.29 down from 1.31.

Michael Brown, senior analyst at investing firm Caxton FX said: “Political headwinds facing the pound have now increased, with Parliament now needing to find a consensus on a new way forward, likely through a second round of indicative votes on Monday increasing the prospects of a long extension.”

The drop in sterling wasn’t as dramatic as following the Prime Minister’s previous Brexit defeats but traders say this is down to investors scaling back their trading of the pound because it has become so difficult to predict.


The pound has dropped against the euro this afternoon

They also warn that sterling is set to remain under pressure over fears the United Kingdom will leave the EU on April 12 without a deal.

The currency, which has fallen 1.9 per cent this month, is on track for its worst monthly performance since October 2018.

“The focus now shifts to the alternatives that parliament will decide on next week and everything from revoking Article 50 to having a second referendum vote is on the table which will weigh on the pound,” said Nikolay Markov, a senior economist at investment firm Pictet Asset Management.

The Commons defeated the PM’s bid to leave the EU on May 22 by 58 votes.


The pound has also fallen against the dollar

The Government is now likely to request a long delay to Brexit, lasting up to a year which casts huge doubt on whether we will ever even leave.

Mrs May’s loss also ramps up the chances of a snap election dragging Brits back to the polls for the third time in four years.

She hinted at this, saying; “I fear we are reaching the limits of this process”.

The uncertainty is also making it hard for holidaymakers to know when is the best time to get their holiday cash – now or after Brexit?

Hannah Maudrell, from Money.co.uk previously told The Sun: “Trying to predict what will happen to the exchange rate is near impossible.

“Currency markets don’t like uncertainty therefore exchange rates could rise or fall depending on the outcomes of the next few days.”

Experts reckon a good way to make sure you get the top rates is buying half of your money now and buy the other half after Brexit.

That way, you won’t feel so bitter if the pound weakens because you would have made the most of top rates when they were available.

We’ve put together a guide to where to get the best rates on your holiday cash.

15 Greatest Gold Heists of All Time

 

The 15 Greatest Gold Heists in All Time

The 15 Greatest Gold Heists of All Time

Gold is valuable and extremely rare, and therefore the yellow metal is usually protected at all costs. However, there have been multiple occurrences in history where evildoers have breached security measures and bullion has fallen into the wrong hands.

Today we count down the stories of everyday henchmen, terrorist groups, and nation states that have all stolen large swaths of gold loot. This includes notable worldwide events such as the Spaniards’ metal extraction from the New World, famous and recent ISIS raids on banks in the Middle East, and two significant transfers of wealth in WWII that occurred through the use of force.

It’s times like these when we are reminded how important it is to have proper security measures in place for our own personal wealth. For a good primer, JMBullion goes through the basics here on securing precious metals.

Below is also a video version of the infographic detailing the greatest gold heists!

Wetherspoon is selling 16 of its pubs – is your local one of them?

WETHERSPOON has called time on 16 of its pubs across the country hoping to flog them to a new owner.

The affected pubs include 14 Wetherspoon branded pubs and two of the chain’s Lloyds bars.

Map of Wethspoon pubs up for sale
Wetherspoon has put 16 pubs up for sale, including two Lloyds bars

They range from the Alexander Bain pub in Wick, Scotland to the Queens Hotel in Newport, Wales to the Isaac Merritt in Paignton, Devon.

While the pubs are up for sale they’re still open for orders as normal but they will be pulled from the Wetherspoon brand if they’re sold.

Wetherspoon wouldn’t tell us if it has any potential buyers lined up or why it’s chosen to flog these 16 outlets.

But we can only assume the pubs are among the chain’s least profitable.

Which Wetherspoon pubs are up for sale?

HERE’S a full list of the Wetherspoon pubs and Lloyds bars up for sale:

  • Chapel an Gansblydhen, Bodmin, Cornwall (Lloyds)
  • Brun Lea, Burnley, Lancashire (Lloyds)
  • Vulcan, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire
  • Time Piece, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire
  • Bourtree, Hawick, Scottish Borders
  • Last Plantagenet, Leicester, East Midlands
  • Queens Hotel, Newport, Wales
  • Isaac Merritt, Paignton, Devon
  • The Cross Keys, Peebles, Scottish Borders
  • St George’s Hall, Redfield, Bristol
  • Pennsylvanian, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
  • Rhinoceros, Rotherham, South Yorkshire
  • Butler’s Bell, Stafford, Staffordshire
  • Friar Penketh, Warrington, Cheshire
  • Dee Hotel, West Kirkby, Merseyside
  • Alexander Bain, Wick, Caithness

More than 11,000 pubs have closed in the UK in the last decade, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics – a fall of almost a quarter (23 per cent).

As of December 2018, there were around 39,000 pubs left down from about 50,000 in 2008.

Wetherspoon reported pre-tax profits of £50.3million for the six months to January 27 in its latest trading results.

But that was down 19 per cent compared to the £62million the chain made over the same period last year.

The drop in profits was largely blamed on having to shell out more in staff wages.

Tim Martin, chairman of the pub chain recently said a No Deal Brexit would lead to lower drink and food prices.

But the budget boozer has come under fire after The Sun found it had hiked food and drink prices for the fifth time in two years.

We also reveal the most expensive Wetherspoon to a buy burger and beer deal – and it’s not in London.

Mothercare to shut 60 stores by June next year

MOTHERCARE has announced it will shut 60 stores, leading to the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The struggling mother and baby products retailer had already announced it would shut around 50 shops in May, but it confirmed 10 more are up for the chop in an update today. 

Struggling mother and baby products retailer Mothercare announced it will shut 60 stores by June 2019

The latest store closures mean a total of 60 Mothercare stores will shut by June next year, putting 900 jobs at risk overall.

Mothercare said it was putting its Childrens World division into administration, but that 13 of these 22 stores would be saved.

The changes come after it cleared a so-called Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA), an insolvency procedure that required the approval of the retailer’s landlords.

The struggling retailer said it’s now planning to raise £32.5million of emergency funding from investors.

It has identified savings of £19 million through the process, and hopes to realise £10 million in cash.

Clive Whiley, Mothercare’s interim executive chairman, said: “The last three months of hard work and progress have put in place the foundations to get Mothercare back to where it should be as a fit-for-purpose business with a stronger and more efficient structure both for our UK business and our international franchisees.”

It is the latest High Street favourite forced to close stores in recent months with Poundworld facing administration and House of Fraser axing more than half of its stores, resulting in up to 6,000 job losses.

It follows similar moves taken by New Look and Carpetright, which are expected to close 60 and 92 stores respectively, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

In March, fashion retailer Next also revealed it will axe 60 of its shops putting 980 jobs at risk.

Mothercare staff recently claimed to the Sun Online that they work in a pressurised environment with long hours and a work load so high it feels like they are “selling their soul” to the firm.

The company is one of the country’s biggest maternity and children’s retailers with about 140 stores in the UK and more than 5,000 employees worldwide.

Amazon to create 1,200 new UK jobs by opening a new warehouse in Warrington

AMAZON has announced that it will create 1,200 permanent new jobs in the UK with the opening of a new warehouse in the Cheshire town of Warrington.

The e-commerce giant will be recruiting for a range of new roles, including operations managers, engineers, HR and IT specialists.


Amazon will create 1,200 new jobs with the opening of its fulfilment centre in Warrington


Amazon said that fulfilment centre employees will start on a minimum salary of £7.65 an hour

A number of roles are already being advertised online, but recruiting will properly begin later this year.

The new warehouse, known as a “fulfilment centre” – where goods are received, stored and packaged – is one of four being opened this year by Amazon in order to meet “increasing customer demand” in the UK.

The centres will open in Doncaster, Tilbury and Warrington around autumn time, while the Daventry site opened in February.

In total, more than 2,300 new permanent full-time jobs will be created across the four centres.

Amazon said that employees will start on a minimum salary of £7.65 an hour – just a little over the £7.50 compulsory national living wage for over-25s.

Stefano Perego, Amazon’s director of UK customer fulfilment said: “We are thrilled to begin recruitment for 1,200 new permanent roles in Warrington with competitive wages and comprehensive benefits starting on day one.”

Benefits include private medical insurance, subsidised meals and an employee discount, which Amazon claims is worth more than £700 a year, as well as a company pension plan.


Fulfilment centres are where Amazon goods are received, stored, packaged and prepared for shipment

Amazon also announced that the first dedicated UK receive centre will open in Coventry next year, and will act as a central hub to receive and sort millions of products sold each year. This will create an additional 1,650 jobs.

Martin Lane, managing editor of money.co.uk said that it was “great” Amazon is creating new opportunities for workers, but that it could be potentially hindering competition which could mean higher prices for shoppers in the long run.

He said: “Competition is good for consumers and Amazon is making life difficult for small start-ups and the self-employed who simply can’t compete with its prices.

“After the exposé on its employment practices last year, I imagine Amazon will be ensuring it observes squeaky clean processes and be committed to safe and legal hours.”

 

Mozilla Firefox sticker

Firefox to support Google’s WebP image format for a faster web

 

Firefox has joined Google’s WebP party, another endorsement for the internet giant’s effort to speed up the web with a better image format.

 

Google revealed WebP eight years ago and since then has built it into its Chrome web browser, Android phone software and many of its online properties in an effort to put websites on a diet and cut network data usage. But Google had trouble encouraging rival browser makers to embrace it.

 

Mozilla initially rejected WebP as not offering enough of an improvement over more widely used image formats, JPEG and PNG. It seriously evaluated WebP but chose to try to squeeze more out of JPEG. But now Mozilla — like Microsoft with its Edge browser earlier this week — has had a change of heart.

 

‘Mozilla is moving forward with implementing support for WebP,’ the nonprofit organization said. WebP will work in versions of Firefox based on its Gecko browser engine, Firefox for personal computers and Android but not for iOS.

 

Committing to a new image format on the web is a big deal. In addition to technical challenges and new security risks, embracing a new image format means embracing it for years and years, because removing support at some point in the future will break websites that rely on it.

 

It’s one of the central conundrums of the web. Browser makers and website developers want to advance the technology, but they can’t remove older aspects of the foundation as readily as Google can with Android or Apple with its rival iOS software. Websites have a long shelf life.

 

There are exceptions. Browser makers remove some undesirable interfaces, usually after careful measurement of usage and careful assessment. But it’s harder for widely used technology like Adobe Systems’ Flash Player. We’re several years into a very slow burial of that software foundation. Browser makers and eventually Adobe, too, concluded Flash’s security and stability problems deemed it no longer were worthwhile. Ditching it was made possible by years of work building Flash’s abilities into the web itself.

 

Mozilla is a major backer of another image format under development, AVIF. Where WebP is based on Google’s VP8 video compression technology, AVIF is based on a newer video format called AV1 from a much broader group, the Alliance for Open Media. That alliance includes a lot of heavy hitters, including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Amazon, Netflix and Facebook, but most of its work is focused on the AV1 video format.

Mozilla Firefox sticker

Apple briefly dabbled with WebP support in test versions of its Safari browser but removed that support, an inconvenience for any developers who want to use the format but also have to ensure their websites work on iPhones and iPads. Apple declined to comment.