Check back here regularly to find out what's going on at D&G Union.

Important changes from April 2019


This might be the time of year when you are thinking about pay rises or budgeting for the coming year and, for the second year in succession, there are significant statutory increases in the pipeline.


In this regard you need to be aware of two changes, being an increase in the National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW), and an increase in pension contributions.


From 1 April 2019 the following increases apply:


Employees over 25 (NLW) From £7.83 per hour to £8.21 (that’s 4.9%!)


Employees aged 21-24 (NMW) From £7.38 per hour to £7.70


Employees aged 18-20 (NMW) From £5.90 per hour to £6.15


Employees aged 16 and 17 (NMW) From £4.20 per hour to £4.35


Apprentice NMW From £3.70 per hour to £3.90


As you can see, the increase is quite a bit above the rate of inflation. Indeed, last year’s increase in the “adult rate” was also way above inflation at 4.4%.


Under pensions auto-enrolment the minimum total pension contribution is currently 5% of which the employer must pay at least 2%. Most often the employer does pay the minimum of 2%, leaving the employee to pay the 3% balance. From 6 April 2019 the minimum total contribution increases to 8% with the employer paying a minimum of 3%, leaving the employee to pay 5%.



One of Starlights Cheerleading coach/athletes has been diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer on Friday 15th February 2019 and started chemotherapy that same day.


Her name is Yasmin, 17 years old, a talented cheerleader and skater, always friendly to others, a kindness that you don’t see much of now a day and always been happy to help others when they have needed it. Yasmin has trained to be cheerleading coach and now learning dance at collage, to make a better future for herself. Yasmin has a long hard fight a head of her with a 2-year treatment plan in and out of hospital where sometimes it will be hard and a struggle.

Kristianna and Tia will be doing a charity tandem skydive on Sunday 23rd June 2019. to raise over £1000, they would be grateful for any donations you can give, So they ask that for a few minutes today, and do act of kindness for another person, help raise funds for a worthwhile cause to make a young lady happy in her rough times ahead, because Kristianna and Tia wants to give Yasmin things she will need while having treatment.

Click on link below to help.


Brexit deal what's changed?

The Government made a statement on Brexit, ahead of three days of debate and votes on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, which are expected on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. 


On 26 February 2019 the Prime Minister made a statement where she committed to "hold a second meaningful vote by Tuesday 12 March at the latest." As well as holding additional votes on the subsequent two days, if the Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement is defeated in the House, on leaving the European Union without a deal and extending the Article 50 period.

In anticipation of these votes, the Government is making a statement on Brexit.


So has anything changed? Yes, and no.


The statement issued by the UK and the EU (known officially as a joint interpretive instrument ) gives added legal reassurance that both sides intend that the backstop plan for the Irish border, if it ever needs to be used, would be only a temporary measure.

But the EU has said this before - notably in a letter sent to Theresa May in January by the President of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker and the President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

On 14 January, Mrs May said the attorney general had confirmed that the letter meant that EU conclusions about the temporary nature of the backstop "would have legal force in international law".

So this new document is just another layer of reassurance.

In fact, the joint instrument will have the same legal standing as the withdrawal agreement . But it does not replace, over-rule or contradict it.

It is worth emphasising that the text of the backstop itself has not changed, and that means it has no guaranteed end date and there is no unilateral exit mechanism that has been agreed by both sides.

So some of the demands made by Brexiteers, which the prime minister said she would seek to address, have not been met.


The motion that the government has laid before Parliament in advance of the meaningful vote reflects all this. It says the joint instrument reduces the risk that the UK could be held in the backstop in Ireland indefinitely - it doesn't say that it removes that risk altogether.

Alongside the joint instrument, two other documents have been agreed: a joint statement that commits both sides to try to develop technological solutions for the Irish border by the end of 2020; and aunilateral UK statement which sets out the government's interpretation of how it could eventually exit the backstop if the EU acts in bad faith.

This unilateral statement is only the view of one side. But the fact that the EU has chosen not to object to it means that it does carry some weight.

Again, that is not the same as a legal guarantee, but the EU will argue that it has gone as far as it can to meet the political concerns being expressed in Westminster.


Irish backstop


Taken together, the documents issued last night do offer further reassurance for those who fear that the EU wants to trap the UK permanently in the backstop - something the EU has always insisted it has no intention of doing.

But the real problem is finding something that can replace the backstop, which also fulfils the demand to keep the Irish border as open as it is now.

No-one knows exactly what that might be: a basic free trade agreement would not be enough.

And an agreement to search for alternative arrangements is no guarantee that they will actually be found in a relatively short period of time before the end of 2020.

Report by BBC.


European Council President Donald Tusk has spoken of a "special place in hell" for "those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan of how to carry it out safely".

He was speaking after talks with Irish leader Leo Varadkar in Brussels.

Brexit-backing MPs reacted with anger to the comments, accusing Mr Tusk of "arrogance".

Downing Street said it was a question for Mr Tusk "whether he considers the use of that kind of language helpful". to red more go to link:


Does the EU want to do a deal after saying this?


I've been wondering what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted , without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.

Passport rules for travel to Europe after Brexit

Advice for British passport holders if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.


Check a passport for travel to Europe

Before booking travel, check your adult and child passports meet the new rules that apply if the UK leaves the EU without a deal after 29 March 2019.

Rules for passports

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the European Union (EU) with no deal. After 29 March 2019:

  1. You should have at least 6 months left on your passport from your date of arrival. This applies to adult and child passports.

  2. If you renewed a passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your new passport’s expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months that should be remaining for travel to most countries in Europe.

The new rules will apply to passports issued by the UK, Gibraltar, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Jersey.

List of countries affected

The new rules will apply for travel to and between countries in the Schengen area. These are:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France,Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


Travel to other EU countries

The new rules do not apply when travelling to Ireland.

Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania are not in the Schengen area. You should check the entry requirements for these countries. (


All employees have basic rights in the workplace -- including the right to privacy, fair compensation, and freedom from discrimination. ... Those rights include the right to be free from discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin, or religion during the hiring process.


Keo Films, producers of Britain’s Best Home Cook are currently producing the second series of Britain’s Best Home Cook for BBC One. They are looking for passionate and talented home cooks from all over the country who love making delicious food for their friends and family to apply for the show see details on poster below.


Brexit options

With the UK on course to leave the European Union in March next year, the country faces four possible scenarios.

Brexit is the impending withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. In a referendum on 23 June 2016, a majority of British voters supported leaving the EU.

Leave with a deal

The UK and the EU both insist they want as amicable a divorce as possible, with a legal agreement setting out the kind of relationship they will have when the UK is no longer a member of the club.

  • Guto Bebb was elected Mp May 2010 now quits as minister over Brexit vote. 
  • What does the Brexit white paper reveal go to link

Prime Minister Theresa May wants to keep close ties with the EU in certain areas, such as trade in agricultural products and allowing skilled migrants access to jobs in the UK.

She says her plan will allow Britain to take back control of its laws, money and borders, just like people voted for in the 2016 EU referendum, while also allowing as "frictionless" trade as possible and avoiding a physical border for Northern Ireland.

But it has been attacked as an unworkable compromise by people from both the Remain and Leave ends of the debate.

The EU may also decide to reject it, but the two sides are still hoping to strike some kind of deal by the autumn and, despite criticism and ministerial resignations, Mrs May believes this is the best option.

Leave without a deal

A clean break with the EU. The UK would fall back on its membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the global body governing international trade.

UK exports to the EU would be subject to the same customs checks and taxes the EU currently imposes on countries like the United States.

Those arguing for this option - the so-called "hard Brexiteers" - say it would create a truly independent nation able to strike its own beneficial trade deals around the world.

But opponents say it would be catastrophic for British business and have warned about chaos at the borders, higher food prices and shortages in the shops.

Stay in the EU

The UK has formally triggered the mechanism to leave the EU at 23:00 GMT on 29 March 2019.

To reverse that at this late stage would mean a huge loss of political face, and probably require a new prime minister, with the backing of voters in a general election.

Hold another referendum

The UK government has ruled this out but there have been a number of people calling for a fresh vote but how many would you want? Until you get what you like or what the country first voted for and to leave.

With Parliament apparently split over what kind of Brexit it wants, a referendum on the final deal agreed by Theresa May in Brussels might yet end up being the only way to break the deadlock.

Those campaigning for another referendum say voters should get the final say. Labour's leadership say a general election should be held rather than another referendum.

Parliament needs to start working together to get the best for UK, if it’s a deal or no deal we look weak as country still divided, we need to get on one path, believe and trust we will be better.


What does the government White Paper reveal?

The government has published its long-awaited Brexit white paper. The document is 104 pages long and follows last week's Chequers agreement which set out the sort of relationship the UK wants with the EU after Brexit.


Mr Johnson has written in the Daily Telegraph that the approach agreed at Chequers "means disaster" for Britain.

The ex-foreign secretary said the PM's plan would hand the EU "victory".

But Mrs May's official spokesman said: "There's no new ideas in this article to respond to."

Downing Street said the prime minister's blueprint for future relations with the EU, hammered out with cabinet members at her country residence in July, was deliverable and could win the support of the House of Commons.

And former home secretary Amber Rudd told the BBC's Politics Live: "Once again, it's a case of leap before you look - there's absolutely no proposal here."

Ms Rudd said the Chequers plan represented "the best shot we have of Brexit that's going to work for the UK".


UK inflation rose to 2.5% in July, after holding steady at 2.4% in the previous three months, as the cost of transport and computer games increased.

It was the first jump in the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure since November and was in line with forecasts.

Meanwhile the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation fell to 3.2%.

The Department for Transport uses the RPI figure to set the maximum annual increase for regulated rail fares.

Despite the rise for CPI, wage growth is still outstripping inflation. On Tuesday, the Office for National Statistics said that average earnings, excluding bonuses, rose by 2.7% for the three months to June.

Wednesday's inflation figures show that increases in computer games and transport - up 5.6% in the year ending July 2018 - were partially offset by falls in the price of clothing.

For manufacturers, the cost of raw materials was 10.9% higher than in July 2017, the biggest rise in more than a year.

Much of that cost pressure has been caused by oil price increases of more than 50% over the period.

The CPI figure had hit a five-year high of 3.1% in November, when the inflationary effect of the pound's fall following the June 2016 Brexit vote reached its peak.

Earlier this month the Bank of England forecast inflation would rise to 2.6% in July before falling back.

The Bank expects inflation will settle down to just above its 2% target in two years' time as it gradually increases interest rates.

'Little respite'

Tej Parikh, senior economist at the Institute of Directors, said the rise in inflation showed the cost of living squeeze was not yet a thing of the past.

"For households this isn't good news, as the already weak growth in their pay packets is being further eroded by high prices. This is likely to weigh down consumer spending, posing fresh problems for embattled high street businesses," he said.

"As the temporary factors pushing prices up fade away, inflation is expected to slowly fall back close to the target rate, but that will offer little respite for workers without a significant pickup to their salaries in tandem."

Samuel Tombs at Pantheon Macroeconomics added: "Unless inflation in the services sector strengthens dramatically, CPI inflation will fall below the 2% target in the first half of next year."

Westminster crash: Salih Khater named as suspect 14/08/2018

The man arrested on suspicion of terror offences after a car crashed outside the Houses of Parliament has been named as Salih Khater by government sources.

The 29-year-old British citizen, originally from Sudan, has also been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, Met Police said on Wednesday.

He came to the UK as a refugee and was granted asylum, the BBC understands.

His brother described him as a "normal person" with no fanatical ideas, and no links to any religious group.

Abdullah Khater also said his family - who are originally from Darfur in Sudan - was in "a state of shock" over the incident.

Three people were injured after the car hit cyclists and pedestrians during Tuesday morning's rush hour.

The silver Ford Fiesta then crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament just before 07:40 BST.

A man and a woman were taken to hospital after the crash and later discharged, while another man was treated for minor injuries at the scene.

The suspect is not believed to have been known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police, but is understood to have been known to local police.

He did not co-operate with officers after his arrest, Scotland Yard said. The investigation team's priority "continues to be to understand the motivation behind this incident", a spokesman added.

Police have concluded searches of two properties in Birmingham and one in Nottingham, and are currently searching a third address in Birmingham.

What else is known about the suspect?

Mr Khater came to Britain in 2010 and successfully applied for UK citizenship in the past two years.

His brother said he had been planning a trip back home to see his family, having not seen them for some time.

Mr Khater is believed to have lived in a first-floor flat above a parade of shops in the Sparkbrook area of Birmingham until four months ago, when he moved to the city's Highgate area.

Read more news at:

Theresa May and Donald Trump

Theresa May and Donald Trump are holding talks at her country retreat Chequers, following his controversial comments on the PM's Brexit plan.

In an interview with the Sun, Mr Trump said the PM's plan would "probably kill" any trade deal with the US.

But on Friday, he said he and Mrs May had "probably never developed a better relationship" than during this trip - his first to the UK as president.

Meanwhile, a giant blimp of Mr Trump as a baby is floating in central London.

It is part of a demonstration in Parliament Square, one of many due to take place across the UK on Friday.

In his interview with the Sun, Mr Trump also said that former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson - who disagrees with the PM on Brexit and resigned this week - would make a "great prime minister", adding "I think he's got what it takes".

He also renewed his criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan over last year's terror attacks in London, saying he had done "a terrible job".

Downing Street has not yet reacted to Mr Trump's remarks, but Chancellor Philip Hammond said the talks will be "very positive".

Theresa May has been making the case for a US free trade deal, and says Brexit is an "unprecedented opportunity" to create jobs in the UK and US.

The US president and his wife, Melania, were given a red carpet reception at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire on Thursday evening.

Media captionMays greet Trumps for UK black-tie dinner

They were at a black-tie dinner with Mrs May as news broke of his interview with the newspaper, which said it was conducted while he was in Brussels.

After it was published, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the president "likes and respects Prime Minister May very much", adding that he had "never said anything bad about her".

Protesters near Blenheim PalaceImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionProtesters near Blenheim Palace making their feelings known on Thursday

Mr Trump - who has been a long-time supporter of Brexit - told The Sun that the UK's blueprint for its post-Brexit relations with the EU was "a much different deal than the people voted on".

He said the Brexit proposals Mrs May and her cabinet thrashed out at the PM's country house Chequers last week "would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States."

"We have enough difficulty with the European Union," he said, saying the EU has "not treated the United States fairly on trading".

'I told May how to do it'

He also said Mrs May had not listened to his advice on how to do a Brexit deal, saying: "I would have done it much differently.

"I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn't agree, she didn't listen to me. She wanted to go a different route," he said.

Tom Newton Dunn, the Sun journalist who interviewed Mr Trump, said the US president seemed "sensitive" and knew about the "Trump baby" inflatable.

"He's really quite stung by the criticism he's been getting," said Mr Newton Dunn. "He knew all about the baby blimp. I think it hurt him."

Media captionThe Sun journalist who interviewed Donald Trump says the president "really cares" what people in Britain think of him.

The BBC's political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, said Mr Trump's interview had "driven a bulldozer" through Mrs May's claim that the UK would be able to get decent trade deals with the wider world, while sticking to the EU rules.

But Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said things had "moved on" since Mr Trump's interview - which was carried out before he arrived in the UK - and the mood at Thursday night's dinner was "fantastically positive and did focus a lot on trade".

The government does not see Mr Trump's behaviour as "rude", said Sir Alan, adding: "Donald Trump is a controversialist. That's his style."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan defended his decision to allow the giant Trump baby inflatable to fly over London, saying: "The idea that we limit the right to protest because it might cause offence to a foreign leader is a slippery slope".

And, responding to Mr Trump's criticism of his response to terrorism, Mr Khan said it was "interesting" that he "is not criticising the mayors of other cities" which have also experienced terror attacks.

Media captionSadiq Khan, Mayor of London: "It's not for me to be the censor"

Meanwhile, Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry said the PM "should be standing up to [Mr Trump]" after he "slagged her off", instead of holding his hand.

Donald Trump and Theresa MayImage copyrightEPA
Image captionMr Trump briefly held Mrs May's hand as they went up the stairs

Mr Trump's comments came on the same day the UK government published its proposal for its long-term relationship with the EU.

The plan is aimed at ensuring trade co-operation, with no hard border for Northern Ireland, and global trade deals for the UK. Mrs May said the plan "absolutely delivers on the Brexit we voted for".

But after ministers reached an agreement on the plan at Chequers a week ago, leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson and David Davis resigned from the cabinet.

Media captionSome of Mr Trump's supporters and protesters have been explaining their motivation

Mrs May and Mr Trump are watching a joint counter-terrorism exercise by British and US special forces at a military base.

The pair will then travel to Chequers - the PM's country residence in Buckinghamshire - for talks also being attended by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt. 

Extra security is in place to police protests planned for the second day of Mr Trump's visit.

The president and first lady will travel to Windsor on Friday afternoon to meet the Queen, before flying to Scotland to spend the weekend at Mr Trump's Turnberry golf resort. This part of the visit is being considered private.

Reported by





Media captioExtra security is in place to police protests planned for the second day of Mr Trump's visiThe president and first lady will travel to Windsor on Friday afternoon to meet the Queen, before flying to Scotland to spend the weekend at Mr Trump's Turnberry golf resort. This part of the visit is being considered private.

World Cup 2018: England beat Colombia 4-3 on penalties

England won a World Cup penalty shootout for the first time on a night of high drama in Moscow, overcoming Colombia to secure a quarter-final meeting with Sweden..

Dogs die in hot cars
Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.
Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.
A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.
What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day
In an emergency, we may not be able to attend quickly enough, and with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident.
Don’t be afraid to dial 999, the police will inform us if animal welfare assistance is required.
Help a dog in a hot car
Establish the animal's health and condition. If they're displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 immediately.
If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away or unable to attend, many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog. If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court.
Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do and why. Take pictures or videos of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).
Once removed, if the dog is displaying signs of heatstroke, follow our emergency first aid advice. This could mean the difference between life and death for the dog.
If the dog isn't displaying symptoms of heatstroke
Establish how long the dog has been in the car. A ‘pay and display’ ticket could help.
Make a note of the car’s registration. If the owner returns, but you still feel the situation was dangerous for the dog, you may still report the incident to the police.
If you’re at a shop, venue or event ask the staff to make an announcement to alert the owner of the situation.
If possible, get someone to stay with the dog to monitor their condition. If they begin to display signs of distress or heatstroke, be prepared to dial 999.
You can also call the 24-hour cruelty line for advice on 0300 1234 999. However, if the dog's in danger, dialing 999 should always be the first step

The new Data Protection Act 2018 alongside the GDPR. Organisations and data protection professionals could use this as an introduction to the new Act.

Beyond 2018 – data protection laws built to last

ICO the data protection authority for the UK, are eager to embrace the changes it brings and begin regulating the new UK and EU legislation that, from 25 May, will make our country one of the world’s most progressive data protection regimes.

The previous Data Protection Act, passed a generation ago, failed to account for today’s internet and digital technologies, social media and big data. 

More informatiom

The data protection law is changing 25th May 2018, so we've updated our Data Protection Policy.


Safety in the Bus & Coach Industry

Safety in the Bus & Coach Industry

PSV transport and passenger-carrying vehicles such as buses, coaches and minibuses provide an essential service for today’s commuters and leisure travellers. Operators will always strive to improve the safety of their passengers but despite the enormous strides in modern technology for detecting when a driver is either distracted or fatigued, is enough focus given on some of the route causes in the first place?

For some considerable time now drivers have been subjected to monitoring devices such as CCTV, Green Road and RIBUS all of which records various actions and driving behaviours. Additionally now, a new system called FRS, (Facial Recognition System) is being considered.Indeed, some companies have already started to integrate face-detection in the design of driving safety systems. The most popular systems are able to detect driver’s fatigue, distraction, and improper behaviour. These systems consist of modules of head-shoulder detection, face detection, eye detection, eye openness estimation, fusion, drowsiness measure percentage of eyelid closure estimation, and fatigue level classification. They are based on fusion algorithms that estimate the eye state and other regular face status or actions.

The driver monitoring system detects fatigue through heavy eyelids, as well as other potential threats, such as driver smoking, speaking with a phone, or not looking at the road. A camera installed on top of the dashboard is continuously measuring his face and behaviour, by observing the direction of the driver’s face and detecting whether his or her eyes close.
If the system detects any of these behaviours, an alarm is activated in the bus, combining a noise with a visual sign in a dashboard screen (and the vibration of a motor positioned in the seat?). If the alarm does not go off, a dispatcher in the control room will be alerted to the problem through a backend application.
The system also allows the sending of a photo or short digitally recorded CCTV in real time as a proof. Several actions will follow according to each operator procedure, such as calling the driver, recommending him or her a break, taking him off duty, etc.

Arguably, employers still need a better understanding of the whole range of issues surrounding their employees and what causes these type of problems in the first place.
For example, drivers undertaking longer hours at work to cover the jobs within the difficult shift patterns. Driving whilst suffering with fatigue is extremely dangerous, both for yourself and other road users. Driving requires intense concentration and perception but these are greatly reduced when you are drowsy or tired. Your judgement skills are greatly impaired which can then make reaction speeds to potential dangers almost unavoidable.

Working excessive hours is proven to adversely affect ones health not to mention the damaging effect long hours can impact upon precious family time and social relaxation.

Fatigue is also linked with the possible reasons associated with mental and/or physical performance that
results from prolonged exertion, lack of quality sleep or disruption of the internal body clock. The degree to which a worker is prone to fatigue is also related to
workload. For example, work that requires constant attention. 
Complex or monotonous working patterns can increase the risk of fatigue.

Driving especially when tired makes you less likely to be fully in control of your vehicle. The law takes a dim view of driving whilst fatigued. If you are caught driving whilst drowsy or you fall asleep at the wheel, you can be charged with careless or dangerous driving. If you are involved in a fatal accident, you could be charged with manslaughter and dangerous driving which could also result in a prison sentence of up to fourteen years.

D&G welcomes any new technology that helps improve passenger and driver safety, but this has to be balanced with properly supporting the driver in preventing these things happening in the first place. Technology should never be used to absolve the employer of its responsibilities and duty of care towards its workers.

Our new and easy web address so it won't take as long to find us:    

Merry Christmas everyone. 

Sending thoughtful wishes your way in the hope you know the joy and treasures that come with the Christmas season.
Have a Merry Christmas and be safe if out enjoying this time of year.

Autumn Budget 2017: 25 things you need to know 



The Chancellor has presented his Budget to Parliament – here's a summary of what was announced.



22nd November Autumn Budget 2017


1. There are over 32 million people in work – near a record high

The rise in employment over the past year has been driven by full time workers. Unemployment is also at its lowest rate since 1975.

In 2017 growth has remained solid, but slowed slightly at the start of the year. The UK economy is forecast to grow by 1.5% in 2017. It will then grow at a slightly slower rate in the next three years, before picking up in 2021 and 2022.

Inflation is forecast to peak at 3% in the final months of this year, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). It will then fall towards the target of 2% over the next year.

2. Borrowing has fallen by three quarters since 2010, but debt is still high

In 2009-10 the UK borrowed £1 in every £4 that was spent. Last year it was £1 in every £16.

The fall in borrowing means we are adding less to our debt every year. However the UK still has a debt of over £1.7 trillion – around £65,000 for every household in the country.

3. An extra £3 billion to prepare for Brexit over the next two years

The money will make sure the government is ready on day 1 of exit. It will include funding to prepare the border, the future immigration system and new trade relationships.

4. £6.3 billion of new funding for the NHS

£3.5 billion will be invested in upgrading NHS buildings and improving care.

£2.8 billion will go towards improving A&E performance, reducing waiting times for patients, and treating more people this winter.

3 billion of new funding for the NHS5. Abolishing stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on homes under £300,000 for first-time buyers from 22 November

95% of first-time buyers who pay stamp duty will benefit.

First-time buyers of homes worth between £300,000 and £500,000 will not pay stamp duty on the first £300,000. They will pay the normal rates of stamp duty on the price above that. This will save £1,660‎ on the average first-time buyer property.

80% of people buying their first home will pay no stamp duty.

There will be no relief for those buying properties over £500,000.

6. 300,000 new homes a year, an amount not achieved since 1970

£15.3 billion new financial support for house building over the next five years – taking the total to at least £44 billion. This includes £1.2 billion for the government to buy land to build more homes, and £2.7 billion for infrastructure that will support housing.

The government will also create 5 new ‘garden’ towns.

Changes to the planning system will encourage better use of land in cities and towns. This means more homes can be built while protecting the green belt.

7. The National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage will increase from April 2018

The National Living Wage for those aged 25 and over will increase from £7.50 per hour to £7.83 per hour from April 2018. Over 2 million people are expected to benefit. For a full-time worker, it represents a pay rise of over £600 a year.

The National Minimum Wage will also increase:

21 to 24 year olds 18 to 20 year olds 16 and 17 year olds Apprentices
£7.38 per hour £5.90 per hour £4.20 per hour £3.70 per hour

8. The tax-free personal allowance will rise with inflation to £11,850 from April 2018

The personal allowance – the amount you earn before you start paying income tax – will rise from £11,500 to £11,850. This means that in 2018-19, a typical taxpayer will pay £1,075 less income tax than in 2010-11.

9. Fuel duty will remain frozen for an eighth year

In 2018, fuel duty will remain frozen for the eighth year in a row, saving drivers £160 a year on average.

10. A new railcard for those aged 26 to 30

The government will work with the rail industry on a new railcard which will be introduced from spring 2018.

11. Duty on beer, wine, cider and spirits will be frozen

The cost of a pint of beer or cider will be 1p lower than if duty had risen by inflation. The cost of a typical bottle of wine will be 6p cheaper.

Cheap, high-strength cider will be subject to a new band of duty.

12. Duty on tobacco will rise

The duty on cigarettes will increase by 2% above inflation. Hand-rolling tobacco duty will increase by 3% above inflation.

13. 95% of passengers will not see an increase in their Air Passenger Duty

Air Passenger Duty will be frozen for all economy passengers and all short-haul flights. It will rise for premium fares on long-haul flights, and on private jets.

14. Households applying for Universal Credit will get more upfront support

Households in need who qualify for Universal Credit will be able to access a month’s worth of support within five days, via an interest-free advance, from January 2018. This can be repaid over 12 months.

Claimants will be eligible for Universal Credit from the day they apply, rather than after seven days. Housing Benefit will continue to be paid for two weeks after a Universal Credit claim.

Low-income households in areas where private rents have been rising fastest will receive an extra £280 on average in Housing Benefit or Universal Credit.

15. Electric and driverless cars

The UK will set out rules so that self-driving cars can be tested without a safety operator.

An extra £100 million will go towards helping people buy battery electric cars. The government will also make sure all new homes are built with the right cables for electric car charge points.

16. The world’s first national advisory body for artificial intelligence (AI)

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will set standards for the use and ethics of AI and data. This will allow the UK to lead the world in developing practical uses for the technology.

17. More investment in maths and science in schools

Schools will get £600 for every extra pupil who takes A level or Core maths.

£27 million will help improve how maths is taught in 3,000 schools. £49 million will go towards helping students resitting GCSE maths.

£350,000 of extra funding a year will be given to every specialist maths school that is set up across the country. The number of fully-qualified computer science teachers will also rise from 4,000 to 12,000.

18. £64 million for construction and digital training courses

£34 million will go towards teaching construction skills like bricklaying and plastering. £30 million will go towards digital courses using AI.

This funding is provided in advance of launching a National Retraining Scheme that will help people get new skills. It will be overseen by the government, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). They will decide on other areas of the economy where new skills and training courses are needed.

19. A £220 million Clean Air Fund for local areas with the highest air pollution

Local authorities will be able to use this money to help people adapt as steps are taken to reduce air pollution. Possible ways the money could be spent include reducing the cost of public transport for those on low incomes or modernising buses with more energy efficient technology.

The money will come from a temporary rise in Company Car Tax and Vehicle Excise Duty on new diesel cars.

20. Reducing single-use plastics waste

The government will seek views on reducing single-use plastics waste through the tax system and charges. Disposable plastics like coffee cups, toothpaste tubes and polystyrene takeaway boxes damage our environment.

This follows the success of the 5p carrier bag charge, which has reduced the use of plastic bags by 80% in the last two years.

21. Business rates will switch to being increased by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) 2 years earlier than planned

Business Rates will rise by CPI from April 2018. Business rates currently rise by the Retail Price Index (RPI), a different way of measuring inflation which tends to be higher than the CPI.

Business rates revaluations will take place every 3 years, rather than every 5 years, starting after the next revaluation, currently due in 2022.

22. Pubs in England will continue to receive a £1,000 business rates discount next year

The discount applies to pubs with a rateable value of up to £100,000.

23. Stopping digital multinationals who hold intellectual property in low-tax countries from avoiding tax

The government will also look to change international corporate tax rules to ensure digital companies pay a fair amount of tax.

24. More money for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

The devolved administrations will all get increased spending power in devolved areas, including education, health and transport. Each devolved administration can decide where this will be spent:

  • There will be an increase of £2 billion for the Scottish Government
  • There will be an increase of £1.2 billion for the Welsh Government
  • There will be an increase of £660 million for a Northern Ireland Executive

Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will be able to claim VAT refunds which will save them around £40 million per year.

25. Funding for transport across England

£1.7 billion will go towards improving transport in English cities. Half will be given to Combined Authorities with Mayors, and the rest allocated by a competition.

An extra £337 million will go towards a fleet of new trains on the Tyne & Wear Metro.

An extra £6 million will go towards the Midlands Connect motorway and rail projects.

Transport links along the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford corridor will be improved by:

  • completing the rail link between Oxford and Bedford, and Aylesbury and Milton Keynes
  • setting up a new East West Rail Company to speed up work on the rail link between Bedford and Cambridge
  • £5 million to help develop plans for Cambridge South Station
  • building the Expressway road between Oxford and Cambridge


Information from:

Theresa May won the backing of Cabinet Brexiteers to double the UK's "divorce bill"

Driverless car research

When it comes to the future of transportation, the first thing that comes to mind is the possibility of flying carsIt's easy to imagine an urban utopia with vehicles that float through the air, swerving around buildings, reaching toward the heavens.

While Back to the Future: Part II wrongly predicted that we would have this technology in 2015, autonomous vehicles—which are currently being tested—may just be the stepping stone to making this a reality. Who would've thought robot cars would be our present?

No matter what side you stand on in the safety debate, even those who have concerns still agree that this innovative technology is the way of the future.

London cab company Addison Lee is to lead a government-backed effort into driverless car research, launching a UK firm into a field dominated by US tech companies.

Addison Lee will lead a consortium including Ford, which has its own autonomous vehicle programme, to explore the potential for unmanned vehicles and ride-sharing services in London.

The Merge Greenwich project, backed by funding from the government's Innovate UK, estimates up to a third of London car journeys could be replaced by self-driving vehicles by 2025, taking up 25 per cent of the city's transport market, worth £3.5bn.

The project will simulate how driverless cars and ride-sharing can operate in London, focused in Greenwich, and develop a plan over 12-months for a driverless transport pilot in the borough.

The big players | Driverless cars

Addison Lee chief executive Andy Boland told the Telegraph: "Today we will do 30,000 trips in London and all our data and information can be used to simulate demand and supply availability."

Mr Boland said he expected some of Addison Lee's services to be autonomous in London within the time frame. "Someone developing autonomous vehicles in California doesn’t mean it will be five years ahead of London soon,", he said, "where we come into it - and Innovate UK's push - is really about propositions for a real-world environment."

Ford has been pushing its own efforts into driverless car tech, investing $1bn in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company which will produce the software needed for a new generation of self-driving cars.

Ford will provide the Merge project with its knowledge of creating driverless cars, while Addison Lee will provide data from its commercial fleet. Mr Boland said he believed car manufacturers would "ultimately own and manage the global supply chain" of autonomous vehicles, rather than tech companies.

The US car giant has stated it plans to have its own driverless cars on the roads by 2021, as well as licencing its technology to other manufacturers. It recently partnered with ride-sharing company Lyft in a move to accelerate its efforts to deploy driverless cars.

Because this technology is so new, is it too soon for them to share the roads with human drivers? Would you trust a robot or computer system with your life? How safe are they, and should we be putting our lives in the hands of robot technology?

Theresa May appears to have won the backing of Cabinet Brexiteers to double the UK's "divorce bill" offer from £20bn to £40bn.

At a tense two-hour meeting of senior ministers in 10 Downing Street, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are believed to have agreed to the move - with conditions.

As a result, the Prime Minister is now poised to offer £40bn later this week if the rest of the EU is ready to move towards trade talks in December.

And in another significant move aimed at breaking the deadlock in Brexit negotiations, the UK will allow a role for the European Court of Justice after Brexit.

The moves were agreed at a meeting of the Cabinet's Exit and Trade (Strategy and Negotiations) Cabinet committee, already being called a Brexit "war Cabinet".

An early signal that ministers were ready to agree to double the UK's divorce bill offer came from the Brexit Secretary David Davis as he arrived for the meeting.


Will Brits will ‘go bananas?’ at £40bn Brexit divorce bill which is ‘playing Santa’ for the EU, top Tories warn as Theresa May meets ministers to thrash out size of payment.

To read more:




Bank holiday strike to bring bus chaos to London

Centrecom Bank holiday strike to bring bus chaos to London

Controllers are set to strike in a row over pay sparking fears of widespread disruption across the capital. Transport for London confirm their staff will be on strike on Sunday 27th and Monday 28 August.

The strike was voted for by members of the Unite union. The staff responsible for re-routing buses due to major events, roadworks and accidents, bus station controllers, network traffic controllers, revenue protection inspectors, infrastructure controllers and road transport enforcement officers will begin their walk-out at 00:01 on Sunday, with the strike expected to last 48 hours.

The members on strike are also responsible for answering emergency code red alarms directly from bus drivers. Drivers can choose how to proceed if they don't receive a response and, if they are uncomfortable continuing their journey, can decide to immediately cancel their service.

The action, which was announced whilst 'peace talks' between TfL and Acas broke down, was called over complaints of inadequate pay.

Reportedly, the Unite regional officer Hugh Roberts said:

"This is entirely the fault of TfL management which has had every opportunity to resolve this dispute long before now."
During talks TfL were prepared to improve the workers' pay offer to a non-consolidated payment of £350 for each year, which amounts to £6.73 a week. However the bus staff claim the pay offer is the worst of any sector of TfL workers, adding London Underground workers are to receive a 3.2 per cent increase this year.

Reportedly, Claire Mann who is TfL’s Director of Bus Service Delivery and Operations, said:

“We made a revised offer to staff at the conciliation service ACAS on Tuesday in a bid to resolve the dispute. This offer is fair, maintains pay and conditions, brings salaries in line with similar roles and reflects the tough financial environment in which we operate. Discussions have been underway for the past 13 months and we remain open for talks. We are putting plans in place to ensure minimal disruption to bus services over the bank holiday weekend should the strike action go ahead."

Bus companies for the planned industrial action at centercom over the weekend, are stating that there were initial fears that bus drivers, Londoner's and visitor's to London may be put in danger with no code red facility. They have been assured by the managers at cetercom, that this is not the case. The code red facility will be fully operational with the normal cover available.

 More info click on link below.

BBC Radio Essex Friday 11th August 2017

Sadie Nine talking about bus drivers and wheelchair users with Carleton Maflin and Alison.

BBC Radio Essex
news carleton.mp3
MP3 audio file [9.8 MB]


Unison has won a four-year battle against the Government, with the Supreme Court ruling on Thursday 26th July 2017 that employment tribunal fees are unlawful.

Ever since the government introduced tribunal fees three years ago, the number of claims has plummeted as workers have been forced to find fees of between £160 and £1,200 before they can pursue a case.

Court cases we're unsuccessful as a result it was too easy for some employers to escape justice. Many low-wage workers now must put up with unfair or discriminatory treatment simply because they cannot afford to take a case. Unison we’re determined not to give up the fight as thousands of low-paid workers was pinning their hopes on them being successful.

Thursday 26th July 2017 Unison won their case at the Supreme Court, ruling that employment tribunal fees are unlawful. 

Anyone who has been treated illegally or unfairly at work will no longer have to pay to take their employers to court – as a direct result of UNISON’s legal challenge. The Government will stop charging employment tribunal fees and refund more than £27m to the thousands of people charged for taking claims to tribunals since July 2013, when fees were introduced by then Lord Chancellor Chris Grayling.

Well done Unison a great result for all employees.



Adobe Acrobat document [359.2 KB]

New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution, the government has announced.

Ministers have also unveiled a £255m fund to help councils tackle emissions, including the potential for charging zones for the dirtiest vehicles.

New petrol and diesel cars, manufacturers won't be able to sell new cars with internal combustion engines by this deadline 2040 in the UK. Well, not banned outright, but it means a nation of around 45million licence holders will have little choice but to turn to electric vehicles - an option that's been readily available to drivers for the best part of a decade but has so far proved too expensive and impractical to take off.

Yes. The ban is purely for new vehicles being sold. According to Environment Secretary Michael Gove there will be a 10-year phasing out period after 2040 to remove all internal combustion engine cars from the road network.

According to recent National Grid report, peak demand for electricity would have to increase by around 50 per cent, from 61 to over 90 gigawatts to cope with the number of EVs being charged, especially after 5pm when many workers arrive home. To cope with demand, it would have to turn to imported electricity, which will rise from around 10 per cent of total electricity used in Britain to around one third. This could have serious issues for energy security.

Anti-terrorist hotline 0800 789 321


Terrorists have a lot of work to do before they attack. They need to plan and prepare; buy and store materials; and fund their activities.

Terrorists live within our communities and blend in. However, behind closed doors they may be storing bomb making materials or meeting others to plan attacks. Are you suspicious of a property where there is unusual activity or strange comings and goings that don't fit day-to-day life?

Terrorists use surveillance to help plan attacks. Have you seen anyone taking pictures or filming CCTV cameras or making notes about other security arrangements? Has it made you suspicious? If you have seen this or know someone who takes an unusual interest in security measures, we need to know.

Terrorists need communication. They communicate with others to plan meetings or buy materials and chemicals. To avoid possible detection they use multiple anonymous pay-as-you go mobile phones and swap SIM cards and handsets. If you are suspicious about someone who uses phones in this way, we need to know.

Further examples of suspicious activity can include:

  • Van - Terrorists need transport. If you work in commercial vehicle hire or sales, has a sale or rental made you suspicious?
  • Passport - Terrorists use multiple identities. Do you know someone with documents in different names for no obvious reason?
  • Mobile phone - Terrorists need communication. Anonymous, pay-as-you-go and stolen mobiles are typical. Have you seen someone with large quantities of mobile phones? Has it made you suspicious?
  • Camera - Terrorists need information. Observation and surveillance help terrorists plan attacks. Have you seen anyone taking pictures of security arrangements?
  • Chemicals - Do you know someone buying large or unusual quantities of chemicals for no obvious reason?
  • Mask and goggles - Terrorists use protective equipment. Handling chemicals is dangerous. Maybe you've seen goggles or masks dumped somewhere.
  • Credit card - Terrorists need funding. Cheque and credit card fraud are ways terrorists generate cash. Have you seen any suspicious transactions? 
  • Computer - Terrorists use computers. Do you know someone who visits terrorist-related websites?
  • Suitcase - Terrorists need to travel. Meetings training and planning can take place anywhere. Do you know someone who travels but is vague about where they are going?
  • Padlock - Terrorists need storage. Lock-ups, garages and sheds can all be used by terrorists to store equipment. Are you suspicious of anyone renting a commercial property?

We need members of the public to trust their instincts and pass on information which could help stop terrorists in their tracks. Trust your instincts and call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321.

Our specially trained officers will take it from there.

A textphone service is available for people with speech or hearing difficulties on 0800 032 45 39 (text messages from mobiles are not accepted).


Theresa May has signed the letter that will formally begin the UK's departure from the European Union.


Giving official notice under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be delivered to European Council president Donald Tusk on Wednesday.

In a statement in the Commons, the prime minister will then tell MPs this marks "the moment for the country to come together".

It follows June's referendum which resulted in a vote to leave the EU.

Article 50: What happens now?

Article 50



1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.
































2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.


Mrs May's letter will be delivered to Mr Tusk at 12:30 BST on Wednesday by the British ambassador to the EU, Sir Tim Barrow.

The prime minister, who will chair a cabinet meeting in the morning, will then make a statement to MPs confirming the countdown to the UK's departure from the EU is under way.

She will promise to "represent every person in the whole United Kingdom" during the negotiations - including EU nationals, whose status after Brexit has yet to be settled.

"It is my fierce determination to get the right deal for every single person in this country," she will say.

"For, as we face the opportunities ahead of us on this momentous journey, our shared values, interests and ambitions can - and must - bring us together."

Key events and possible timings

  • 29 March, 2017 - UK triggers Article 50
  • 29 April - EU summit of the 27 leaders (without the UK) to agree to give the European Commission a mandate to negotiate with the UK
  • May - European Commission to publish negotiating guidelines based on the mandate the EU leaders give it. The EU might say something about possible parallel negotiation on a future EU-UK trade deal
  • May/June 2017 - Negotiations begin
  • 23 April and 7 May - French presidential elections
  • 24 September - German parliamentary elections
  • Autumn 2017 - The UK government is expected to introduce legislation to leave the EU and put all existing EU laws into British law - the Great Repeal Bill
  • October 2018 - Aim to complete negotiations
  • Between October 2018 and March 2019 - The Houses of Parliament, European Council and European Parliament vote on any deal
  • March 2019 - UK formally withdraws from the European Union (The Article 50 negotiations could be extended, but this is subject to the approval of the other 27 EU member states)

Call 101 or 999

The child protection system across the UK

Each UK nation is responsible for its own policies and laws around education, health and social welfare. This covers most aspects of safeguarding and child protection.

Laws are passed to prevent behaviour that can harm children or require action to protect children. Guidance sets out what organisations should do to play their part to keep children safe.

Although the child protection systems are different in each nation, they are all based on similar principles.


The UK’s 4 nations – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – have their own child protection system and laws to help protect children from abuse and neglect. Each nation has a framework of legislation, guidance and practice to identify children who are at risk of harm, and take action to protect those children and prevent further abuse occurring.

National Minimum Wage rates

Current rates

These rates are for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage from 1 October 2016.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
October 2016 (current rate) £7.20 £6.95 £5.55 £4.00 £3.40

The National Living Wage is to rise to £7.50 an hour from April 2017  

following Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement announcement on 22/11/2016 

The Autumn Statement has announce the National Living Wage over-25s  is rising 4% from £7.20 to £7.50 an hour but it's still not a real 'living wage'


More information can be found at:

Tips to avoid workplace burnout……

Workplace burnout isn’t just feeling a bit tired or coping with the stress of everyday work. It’s a feeling of chronic exhaustion, frustration and powerlessness. Those suffering from burnout tend to withdraw emotionally from their work, lose motivation, and become less productive. Studies also link burnout to numerous emotional and physical health problems.

What causes burnout? Work overload is often a factor. Because of economic pressures, some employers demand that employees work longer hours, at times for less money. Technology now keeps some in constant contact with their job, blurring the lines between work and private life. For some, job insecurity, lack of control over their work, or feelings of being treated unfairly contribute to burnout. So does dealing with unclear priorities or conflicts with co-workers.

Granted, change may seem impossible if you feel trapped in circumstances beyond your control. Nevertheless, consider the following four steps for dealing with burnout. You may have more options than you realize.


What is most important to you? Many people would likely put family relationships and good health near the top of their list. These are things that are likely to suffer if you are burned out.
By clarifying your priorities, you prepare yourself to make difficult decisions and accept trade-offs. For example, you may see that your work is leading to burnout. Yet you may reason, ‘I cannot change jobs or work less; I need the income!’ True, everyone needs income, but how much and at what cost to the things you value most?

Beware of pressure to adopt the priorities of others around you as your own. Your employer’s priorities and yours are likely different. Others may choose to put work first in their life, but this does not mean that you must do the same.


To reduce stress and gain time for what you truly value, you may consider working fewer hours, you may be able to persuade your employer to reduce your current job demands, or you may determine that you need to change jobs. Whatever you decide to do, you will likely need to adjust your financial situation and make changes in your lifestyle. But this is not impossible and may not be as hard as you might think.

We live in a consumer-oriented society which sends the message that happiness is linked to income level and possessions. But in reality it is not. A simpler lifestyle can bring greater freedom and satisfaction. To prepare for such a change, reduce expenses and save money. Try to lower or eliminate debt. Discuss the need for change with your family members, and seek their support.


If you face an unrealistic workload or some other persistent problem in your workplace, discuss your situation with your union and employer. A flexible working time arrangement may become necessary and in certain circumstances you may also be covered by the Equalities Act 2010. Whenever possible, the union will offer solutions that meet both your needs whilst recognising those of your employer. Reassure your employer of your commitment to your work, and explain what you are willing to do; but be clear and firm about what you are not able to do.


Even when your work is free of major problems, you may still have your share of stresses, difficult people, and unpleasant situations. So make time for sufficient rest and balanced recreation. Remember that recreation does not have to be expensive to be refreshing to you and your family. Cultivate interests and friendships apart from your work, and avoid defining yourself by the type and amount of work that you do. Why? The book Your Money or Your Life observes: “Who you are is far greater than what you do for money.” If your identity and self-worth come primarily from your work, then you will find it difficult to minimize the role that work plays in your life.

Tired of Driving?

Concern is growing amongst many bus drivers, especially in London, about the number of hours they are expected to work and the types of shift pattern leading to fatigue and drowsiness at the wheel.

For example you may be contracted to work between 38-43 hours per week but could find yourself actually working in excess of 45 hours per week including break times. Because of ‘spread overs’, some drivers work in excess of 55 hours per week whilst only receiving pay for 40 hours.

Then there are the shift patterns. Imagine working a Saturday night shift that actually finishes at approx 2am on a Sunday morning, only then to be told that your next shift will commence at 5am the very next day! How is that truly putting the safety of both the driver and that of his or her passengers first? Would you feel safe getting on the bus with your family knowing that the driver is working to that type of pattern?

During induction training, a driver will be told on how many hours he or she can drive and that by law you must have 8.5 hours between duties. (This includes driving home and to work, washing, eating and having a sleep.) However, you are not necessarily made aware about the type of roster patterns that may have a detrimental impact on your health.

Transport for London has said that driver hours are strictly governed by the European Community (EC) regulation (561/2006) as well as rules under the UK’s Transport Act 1968 (as amended by the Drivers Hours (Passenger Vehicles) Order (SI 1971 No818). They say that these highly prescriptive regulations set out the time allowed for layovers and rest periods – and that if a driver feels that their shift pattern is not compliant with these, they should raise their concerns with their employing company.

This highlights the need for us as drivers to stand together and not let the bus operators continue with unsafe rota patterns. Driver’s hours also need to be overhauled so that people’s lives are not put at risk.

Head Office

D&G Union

Kennedy House

Murray Road

St Pauls Cray





08448 005 557


Membership rate: £9.95 monthly (A one off admin charge of £4.95 will be added to first month's membership fee).

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Contact Us If you have any queries, please contact us:

08448 005 557

Or use our contact form.

Membership form go to :

Membership rate: £9.95 monthly (A one off admin charge of £4.95 will be added to first month's membership fee).

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