Economic News in the United Kingdom

4 April 2020 - As of April 4, there have been 41,903 confirmed cases where people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK.  It has led to 4,313 deaths in the UK. The government’s action plan involves three phases i.e. contain, delay, mitigate and research alongside. To prevent Covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends washing hands regularly by soap, usage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and most importantly - social distancing.

The head of NHS Providers, Mr. Chris Hopson said that ventilators are "crucial" in treating coronavirus patients but according to a survey by WHO , the UK had 6.6 critical care beds per 100,000 population before the crisis began. To date, the NHS has access to only 8,000 ventilators. New deliveries are expected to come soon. Many operating theatres and recovery rooms have been transformed into temporary intensive care facilities for Coronavirus patients. Thousands of beds in the general wards have also been freed up by the NHS. Take the Survey on Living and Working during Covid-19 

27 March 2020 As of 27th of March, there have been almost 12,000 cases where people have tested positive for Covid-19 (novel Coronavirus). It has led to 578 deaths in the UK. The government’s action plan involves three phases i.e., contain; delay; mitigate and research alongside. To prevent Covid-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends washing hands regularly by soap, usage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and most importantly - social distancing. The National Health Service (NHS) which is regarded worldwide as a model for free healthcare has been a victim to staff shortages and tight budgets. The government has advised people to stop all non-essential travel and work from home. The police have been given instructions to fine people who are not following these instructions and increase penalties for repeat offenders. A supplementary budget of 5 billion GBP has been granted to the NHS to tackle Covid-19 (novel Coronavirus). Prince Charles and the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, among many others, have been tested positive for the virus. Take the Survey on Living and Working during Covid-19 

1 March 2020 - In the United Kingdom, average weekly earnings have peaked compared to that of wages before the financial crisis of 2008.  Unemployment is down by 5.4%, compared to 2018. However, there are still issues regarding job security and financial stability.

The number of zero-hour contract workers is projected to reach about a million workers. Although these workers enjoy the same benefits as all other workers in terms of holiday pay and national minimum wages, the employer has control of the supply of work. Meaning that the employers can terminate the job whenever they see fit, and work hours and shifts can be cancelled with little to no notice. Learn more about Minimum wages in the UK 

26 February 2020 With a recent outbreak of coronavirus in Europe, the United Kingdom is on high alert. To contain the spread of the virus, potentially vulnerable people and children have been asked to self-isolate. Although this helps control the spread of the virus, it carries severe implications in terms of wages. Will the workers get compensation for the days taken off for the self-isolation?  It is not so clear what the guidelines will be. According to an employment expert, the sick workers who cannot work from home to contribute to the company may not get compensation. To pay for an unproductive member for a small firm is too much of a burden to bear. However, the health secretary of the United Kingdom has sent guidelines to all the employers stating that the workers who have been quarantined should be entitled to paid sick leave. Sick Leave and Compensation

14 February 2020 - Wages in the United Kingdom have topped the wages of the pre-financial crisis level.  The Office for National Statistics has made an official statement stating that the average weekly wages of the present times have, after being adjusted for inflation, topped the wages before the crisis of 2008.  The weekly salaries after a 1.8% increase moved to around £474. However, the economy shows an indication that the rate of wage growth is slowing down. The growth of weekly wages dropped from 3.2% of November to 2.9%, which is part of a larger trend where the growth fell from 4% growth in June of 2019. These are signs that the economy is slowing down concerning wages. With the rise in wages, the country also saw an increase in employment, with the working population growing to just short of 33 million. Minimum Wages

7 February 2020 - The number of people living in poverty in the United Kingdom has been going up consistently for three years now. Although employment has increased in the country, poverty in the country has also increased. Seven out of ten children living in poverty come from a working household, which has a principal earner and a secondary earner. According to recent statistics published in 2018, the working family comprises 56% of the poor class, which is a significant increase from 39%, 20 years ago. This trend of wages not being able to meet the rising cost of living has affected single-parent families the severest. People have also raised questions on what the standard of living is of the poor, and if they get adequate medical treatment. Compensation and the law

22 February 2020 Aldi, a German-based retailer, has announced that it will increase the wages of thousands of workers. These workers can expect a rise in their salaries by 3%. The hourly rates will be increased to £10.90 per hour in London, and £9.40 per hour everywhere else. Aldi is the fifth largest player in the retail sector and has claimed to try to improve wages in a sector many consider as underpaying. The minimum wages set by law are £8.21 per hour for employees aged 25 and over across the country, which is  around £1 less than what Aldi is going to pay its employees. This pay rise may reflect a sectoral trend. Last year, Tesco another retailer, scrapped bonuses and implemented a pay rise for all employees. Minimum wages

20 January 2020 -  Around 25% of the minimum paid workers in the United Kingdom receive lower wages than National Minimum wages, according to the Resolution Foundation Think Tank. The research by the organisation has shown that there are more firms not paying the required minimum wages since the implementation of the National Living Wage in 2016. Before 2016, the statistics showed that there was around 1 in 5 minimum wage workers who were underpaid, which means that there was at least a 5% increase in the number of underpaid workers, as now the latest research estimates that more than 1 in 4 workers are underpaid. The think tank study, called Under the Wage Floor, indicated that most companies are willing to pay the minimum wages, but the deterrent for flouting the law is too lenient. The study suggests a hike in the fines for breaking the minimum wage laws. Minimum wages

13 January 2020 The national minimum wages of the United Kingdom are likely to increase from April 2020. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) approved and acknowledged the suggestions of the Low Pay Commission. The final step is to for  parliament to accept the new recommendation of the Low Pay Commission of the country. The new changes will be that the National Living wages of workers beyond the age of 25 will be increased from  £8,21 to £8,72 per hour. The National Minimum wages for those who fall under the age group of 21-24 will be increased from £7,70 to £8,20 per hour. A similar increase is reflected in the minimum wages of younger workers. Minimum wages

6 January 2020 - The top heads of UK companies are being questioned over the wage disparity between top executives and the average worker. The average chief executive was paid a wage 117 times higher than the pay of the average worker. The statistics reveal that the top executives make more than the entire annual wages of a typical full-time employee in a single day. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the think-tank High Pay Centre, on average, a chief executive of a FTSE 100 company had an annual salary of £3.46 million ($4.6m), equivalent to £901.30 ($1,185) an hour. On the other hand, the average employee takes home an annual salary of £29,559 ($38,850), equivalent to £14.37 ($18.89) an hour. Take our unique Salary Check and compare wages 

17 December 2019 - Wage growth in the United Kingdom has slowed down to 3.2% in the three months leading to October-end, down from 3.6% in July. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the figure is the lowest recorded since 2018. Despite the uncertainty over Brexit, hiring has continued its pace and unemployment levels have remained low. The unemployment rate, 3.8%, is the lowest figure since the 1970s. The total labour force registered an increase of 24,000 and reached a record-breaking 32.8 million workers. The rise came as a surprise to experts who were expecting job losses along a margin of 10,000. Jobs in perspective

14 December 2019 - The park attendants of the seven royal parks in central London, United Kingdom, will now be paid living wages. These attendants had gone on a coordinated week-long strike in October. Recently, after the workers threatened to escalate industrial action, the board of the Royal Parks agreed to increase the workers’ wages rise from 8.21 pounds per hour to 10.75 pounds. The board of Royal Parks decided to increase the salaries of these 50 workers of the parks’ after the union, United Voices of the World (UVW), threatened to increase industrial actions on Thursday (12 December). The workers would be given the London Living Wage (LLW), with backpay from November 1, 2019. Compensation