Black Friday: Explained!

Imported into the UK from our American cousins, Black Friday is a bargain-filled shopping bonanza which kicks off the annual pre-Christmas retail frenzy. For retailers it can be both a blessing and a curse, offering the chance to boost profits – but at what cost?

What is Black Friday?
Annual retail holiday Black Friday falls the day after Thanksgiving in the US. In recent years it has become the biggest shopping day of the year in the UK too.

How did it start? And when did it come to Britain?
Though nobody really knows for sure how it got its name, retail folklore suggests it comes from the day marking when retailers go from being ‘in the red’ to ‘in the black’. Coined in the 1960s to kick off the Christmas shopping trading period, the day has recently been adopted by UK retailers after Amazon UK started offering deals in 2010 and Asda, which is owned by American giant Walmart, held its first Black Friday sale in 2013. (more…)

Penalties Double For Using Mobiles While Driving

On 1st March, the penalties for using a mobile while driving doubled. Now, if you are caught using your mobile while behind the wheel, you will receive six points and a £200 fine. For new drivers that have been driving for less than two years, this means that their licences will be revoked and that they must retake their practical and theory.

The significant penalty increase is in response to the large number of people that are killed and seriously injured every year as a result of a driver using a mobile—in 2015, such accidents killed 22 people and seriously injured 99.

When Can I Use My Mobile Behind the Wheel?
Review the following guidance to ensure you follow the rules and avoid the consequences.

  • Cannot: You are not allowed to check social media or texts if you are queuing in traffic or stopped at traffic lights.
  • Cannot: You are not allowed to answer your mobile while driving. However, if your mobile is connected by Bluetooth, you can answer the call, but you should keep the conversation brief.
  • Can: You can listen to music or podcasts on your mobile as long as it is in a hands-free holder or connected by Bluetooth.
  • Can: You can use sat nav on your mobile as long as it is mounted in a hands-free holder.
  • Can: You can pull over to check your mobile as long as you are safely parked with the engine switched off in a lay-by.


6 Best Practices to Prevent Age Discrimination Claims

The average life expectancy has steadily been rising over the past several decades, and as a result, people are remaining in the workforce longer—making organisations increasingly multi-generational. In fact, there are an estimated 1.3 million employees over the age of 65 currently employed. However, as the number of older workers has increased, so has the potential for an organisation to be served with an age discrimination claim—which cost an average of £9,000 in 2015-16.

To protect your organisation from such a claim, review the following six best practices for preventing age discrimination claims: (more…)

Tips for Offsetting Rising Inflation During Festive Season

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), inflation rose to 1 per cent in September, up from 0.6 per cent  in August. This is the highest inflation rate in nearly two years, and it is mostly attributed to the rising prices of petrol, hotel rooms and clothing. There is no explicit evidence that the weaker pound was to blame.

If inflation continues to rise, it would most noticeably affect the households who rely heavily on benefits and tax credits, which are frozen until 2020 and won’t account for rising costs. And if inflation rises to 2.8 per cent in the next few years, more than 11 million households will be worse off by an average of £360 per year. Lower income  families, who receive more in benefits, will feel a bigger hit to their wallets, losing approximately £470 per year.

This news comes at a time when many families are getting ready for festive season purchases. To help counter rising prices, the following simple guidance can help cut costs as Christmas draws near. (more…)

Winter Travel Tips to Save You Money

Although it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of planning a winter holiday, don’t forget to sort your travel money and insurance as well. Save money by being proactive and following these tips:

  • Pre-book Don’t wait until the last minute, or you may end up paying more—especially at the airport where exchange rates are inflated. Consider pre-ordering currency online. You can even have it delivered to your home.
  • Plan for credit card Credit cards can be a good alternative to cash, which is hard to replace when lost or stolen. But some credit cards have high foreign transaction fees. Shop around for cards with  low fees, and inform your credit card company of when and where you’ll be travelling.
  • Buy travel Hopefully, you won’t have to use it, but its small price tag offers invaluable peace of mind.

Training To Be The Next Olympian? You’d Better Make Sure You’re Insured

The Rio Olympics are shining a spotlight on the best and most successful athletes in the world as they compete to win Gold medals for themselves and for the country. However it’s not always world records that get shattered, as illustrated by French gymnast Ait Said’s bone-breaking injury. Injuries such as this can spell the end of an athlete or sportsperson’s career, but what happens when your source of income is cut off unexpectedly? This is where insurance comes in.

A lot of training and effort goes into sport and a sporting career is extremely reliant on health and fitness. If you were to fall ill or suffer an injury, it could cause you to fall behind on your training and miss vital games and competitions, hurting your career opportunities. If you are a professional athlete, missing tournaments could result in missed prize-money as well as making you less attractive to sponsors. Finally, if you are unfortunate enough to suffer a career-ending injury, you could suddenly find yourself without a source of income. (more…)

The Retailers Who Shopped Their Employees

Sports Direct Founder Mike Ashley denies all knowledge of Sports Directs working environment while Phillip Green is demanding financial compensation after what he claims to be slanderous comments from Labour MP Frank Field. It’s been a rocky few months for British Retail, and an eye opener for fair treatment of employees.

“It’s a bad example, but it’s not the only example.”

These were the words of Iain Wright, Chairman of the Business Innovation & Skills Select Committee, when talking on a Sky News interview about their report that went behind the scenes to the ruthless working world of Sports Direct, a world that founder Mike Ashley claims to have no knowledge of.

And he’s quite right, because details of staff getting paid below minimum wage and giving birth in the disabled toilet land on our news feeds only a short time after BHS crumbled, with Phillip Green facing questions of why the British retailer went from a pension fund of £43 million surplus to £354 million deficit in the space of 15 years. (more…)

Why Bad Reviews Can Sometimes Be Good For Business

Negative reviews are an unfortunate inevitability—some customers just cannot be pleased. That is fine, as long as you approach negative reviews with the right mindset. While it may seem counter-intuitive, negative reviews can be beneficial to the overall well-being of your company.

Negative reviews are thought of as holes in the hull of a ship—receive one too many and your ship sinks. Yet, negative reviews provide your company with a certain level of credibility, as 68 per cent of customers trust a collection of reviews more when they see both positive and negative comments, according to a study done by review site, Reevoo. In fact, negative reviews are three times more popular than the most complimentary reviews. When customers are already interested in the product or service, they want to know why it may be a poor investment. (more…)