Stationery chain Ryman has placed a number of shop floor and head office workers on consultation amid ongoing Covid restrictions across England. The high street giant, which was founded in 1883 and is run by Dragons Den businessman Theo Paphitis, told staff their jobs are at risk in January as the company entered consultation talks. In a letter sent to thousands of employees - and seen by Mirror Money - Paphitis said the decision is "tough" but necessary to keep the business trading “for decades to come". He said that a growth in online sales during the first and second Covid lockdowns have not been enough to compensate for losses across the chain's 200 high street stores. Jobs at risk are predominantly shop floor workers and head office employees, he said. Paphitis told workers the business is "committed" to finding roles elsewhere for those affected. A Ryman spokeswoman told Mirror Money the business has launched consultations with workers in mostly city centre … [Read more...] about Ryman axes shop floor and head office jobs as it becomes latest Covid retail casualty
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A new warning system will allow train passengers to avoid busy services - increasing the chance of them being able to follow social distancing measures. From today, National Rail will begin displaying red or yellow warning triangles on its app and website next to services that are expected to be in high demand. The system will use journey planning trends analysis and messages from rail staff at stations and on trains to determine how busy services will be. Users will also be asked to notify National Rail about which particular service they intend to take. It is hoped the system will mean more people staggering their journeys as demand increases with coronavirus lockdown restrictions easing. Advertisement Passengers can be kept updated about disruption and overcrowding on their journey and receive alternative travel options. Alerts will be received via Facebook Messenger at first, with text message and WhatsApp updates available in the … [Read more...] about Coronavirus: Want to avoid busy train services? This tool will be able to help
Matt Hancock has said the rollout of the UK vaccine in age order is the "fastest and simplest way" amid backlash over the lack of priority for teachers and police. The health secretary defended plans for the next phase of the Government's Covid response, due to start in April, in which those aged 40-49 will be offered the jab first. The view of the Government and its advisers was that "the right thing to do, the moral thing to do is to make sure that we save the most lives," Hancock said. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said that vaccination in order of age remains the speediest way to cut deaths. Targeting certain professions would be complicated and may slow down the process, the JCVI has advised. This means that the second stage of the rollout will start with the 40-49 bracket before moving on to younger age groups. Teaching unions have criticised to the move while the national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales said it … [Read more...] about Matt Hancock defends failure to prioritise teachers and police in jab rollout
If there was a year when we all started "googling" and a year we all started "facebooking" and "tweeting," then 2020 was the year we all started "zooming." It's not like the company behind Zoom — a US-based videoconferencing platform — invented visual chatting via the internet. Google didn't invent search engines and Facebook didn't invent social blogging, either (or hate speech for that matter). But there's always one that takes off, and that company's name invariably becomes a generic term by which we all do that thing. It's a moment at which we know that that thing has become ubiquitous, socially relevant, and of interest to science. So, we zoom, no matter whether we're on Skype, WhatsApp, Signal, FaceTime, Whereby, Webex, Teams, Moodle, BigBlueButton, WeChat, Telegram, Viber, Slack, Wickr — to name a few in a plethora of contenders, lest we be accused of bias. All videoconferencing platforms have one thing in common, say researchers at Stanford University's Virtual Human … [Read more...] about COVID: Tired of endless videoconferencing?
When Kelly Sutamto* moved from Germany to China in 2019 for her husband's job, the Indonesian graphic designer had to get special permission from her German employer to do her work remotely. Two years and one pandemic later, Sutamto is back in Germany and still working from home. Now, everyone else from her office is, too. "Since I've been working from home since before the pandemic, my situation hasn't really changed," she tells DW. But it has gotten a lot easier "now that everyone is in the same situation." When the novel coronavirus began spreading around the globe in spring 2020, many thought remote working would be a short-term thing. But with the virus still posing a significant risk one year later, both managers and employees are asking themselves whether the way we work has changed fundamentally . A global survey of 800 HR executives conducted last spring by the market research firm Gartner found that 88% of organizations had encouraged or required employees to work … [Read more...] about COVID: Is working from home really here to stay?