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..
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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.
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.
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.
CAN YOU COOK?
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.
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.
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.
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".
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..
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.
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.
The Chancellor has presented his Budget to Parliament – here's a summary of what was announced.
|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|
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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).
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|
More information can be found at:
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.
1. EVALUATE YOUR PRIORITIES.
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.
2. SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE.
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.
3. LEARN WHEN TO SAY NO TO WORK.
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.
4. RENEW YOURSELF.
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.
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.
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