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HSBC fights back in £450M pension row

HSBC faces a shareholder vote at next month’s annual meeting over an old pension fund for thousands of UK staff which campaigners argue is “unfair”. The long-running dispute relates to “clawback” applied to the pension payout when a member reaches retirement age and also receives a state pension. Britain’s biggest bank said it would cost […]

Facebook boss Zuckerberg signals ‘privacy-focussed’ change in direction

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has said he believes secure, private messaging services will become more popular than open platforms. In a blog, Mr Zuckerberg outlined his vision to transform Facebook into a “privacy-focused platform.” Facebook owns Messenger and WhatsApp, but message encryption limits its ability to make money through targeted adverts. The social media giant […]

Fashion retailers LK Bennett goes into administration

High-end fashion chain LK Bennett has called in administrators. The business, which has 39 shops and about 500 staff in the UK, signalled it was in difficulties last week after lining up EY as administrator if could not find fresh financing. The company was founded by Linda Bennett in 1990, and counts the Duchess of […]

Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley seeks to remove Debenhams board in coup

Sports Direct has said it wants to remove all the current members of the Debenhams board except one, and appoint its boss Mike Ashley to run the business ion what is effectively a coup.. Sports Direct has a nearly 30% share in Debenhams. The department store chain said it was “disappointed that Sports Direct has […]

John Lewis pays lowest staff bonus since 1950’s as profits plunge

John Lewis has paid out its lowest bonus to staff since the 1950s as profits plunged last year amid “challenging” trading. The retail partnership – which includes Waitrose supermarkets – said staff would receive a 3% bonus, the lowest since 1953 when workers got no bonus. Profits at the partnership sank last year by more […]

Economy needs more female entrepreneurs says government commissioned report

The UK economy could be given a £250bn boost if women entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to develop new businesses on the same scale as men, a government-commissioned report says on International Women’s Day. It estimates there are 1.1 million “missing” female-run firms and sets out eight ways of boosting the number of female entrepreneurs. […]

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeship take-up down by a quarter

The number of people starting a training programme has fallen “substantially” under the government’s new apprenticeship scheme, according to the National Audit Office (NAO). The public spending watchdog said the government was “very unlikely” to hit a 2020 target of 3 million new starts. The government had some way to go before it showed the […]

Goldman Sachs relaxes dress code for all employees

Goldman Sachs is relaxing its dress code, as the Wall Street giant moves toward a more casual workplace. The investment bank announced the “firm wide flexible dress code” in an internal memo, urging employees to use “good judgement” in their fashion choices. Goldman Sachs loosened the dress code for its tech division in 2017, in […]

Technology is key to increasing employee engagement according to HR professionals

New research from global employee engagement company, Reward Gateway, has revealed the top three HR priorities for 2019: increasing workplace productivity, increasing employee engagement and increasing employee retention. The research, which surveyed 500 HR professionals across the UK, also found that a further 86% of HR professionals agreed that employee engagement would improve if their […]

Paperchase proposes store closures to cut costs

Stationer Paperchase has proposed a restructuring that involves the closure of five of its 145 stores. Another 23 stores will be at risk as it tries to cut their rents by 50%. The retailer is involved in a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) renegotiating terms with its creditors. Paperchase has been hit by fewer customers, increased […]