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Dyson to cut 1,000 UK jobs following global workforce review | Business News

Dyson has revealed plans for 1,000 job losses in the UK.

The manufacturer of innovative vacuum cleaners and other products said the cuts, which amount to more than a quarter of its UK workforce of 3,500, followed a review of its global needs.

It is understood that the decision is not linked to the UK general election, as the process had begun beforehand.

The company’s founder Sir James Dyson had previously been critical of the Conservative government‘s approach to economic growth and science.

Chief executive Hanno Kirner said: “We have grown quickly and, like all companies, we review our global structures from time to time to ensure we are prepared for the future. As such, we are proposing changes to our organisation, which may result in redundancies.

“Dyson operates in increasingly fierce and competitive global markets, in which the pace of innovation and change is only accelerating. We know we always need to be entrepreneurial and agile – principles that are not new to Dyson.

“Decisions which impact close and talented colleagues are always incredibly painful. Those whose roles are at risk of redundancy as a result of the proposals will be supported through the process,” he concluded.

Dyson signalled that the UK would remain a vital centre for its research and development operation.

The campus at Malmesbury in Wiltshire will also continue to be home to the Dyson Institute, which provides undergraduate engineering programmes.

It had been the company’s historic UK headquarters until 2019 when Sir James decided on a shift to Singapore.

The billionaire entrepreneur, who spoke out in favour of Brexit, denied the move was a reaction to the UK’s departure from the European Union.

Asia has long been Dyson’s manufacturing base due to lower costs and its core growth market for sales.

British Steel cuts 7% of workforce despite government funding talks | Business News

British Steel has revealed it is to cut 260 jobs, almost 7% of its workforce, despite continuing government funding talks with its Chinese owners.

It was announced that the losses would be felt at its Scunthorpe plant through the closure of its coking ovens – used to turn coal into the high-temperature product needed to service its blast furnaces.

The Unite union responded by saying it would look to defend every job and did not rule out the prospect of industrial action.

The move was revealed after Sky News reported that officials from the Department for Business and Trade were due in China to meet executives from Jingye Group amid protracted talks about a £300m grant.

Sources said the talks were expected to focus on the value of an energy subsidy package, which could take the overall value of government support for British Steel to approximately £1bn.

The prospect of additional taxpayers’ cash had been dependent on job guarantees.

Sky’s City editor Mark Kleinman reported last month that Jingye was drawing up plans to cut around 800 jobs at British Steel.

The company placed no timeframe on its proposals but said it had entered talks with unions.

It placed an emphasis on cutting its environmental impact and energy bills.

The Scunthorpe steel plant
The Scunthorpe British Steel plant

The company said its costs, on both fronts, rose by a combined £190m last year.

It declared in a statement that “decisive action is required because of the unprecedented rise in operating costs, surging inflation and the need to improve environmental performance.”

British Steel chief executive Xifeng Han said: “Steel is vital to modern economies and with demand expected to grow over the coming decades, British Steel has a crucial role to play in ensuring the UK has its own supply of high-quality steel.

“To make sure we can deliver the steel Britain requires, we’re undergoing the biggest transformation in our 130-year history.”

He added: “We have taken action to reduce costs within our control; however, steelmaking in the UK remains uncompetitive when compared to other international steelmakers.

“Our energy costs, carbon costs and labour costs are some of the highest across the world, which are factors that we cannot influence directly.

“For the reasons outlined, we entered into talks with the UK government in summer 2022 and are extremely grateful for its support.

“It’s important we have the correct policies and frameworks in place to back our drive to become a clean, green and successful company and we’re continuing to discuss this with the government.”

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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham responded: “British Steel workers are faced with the toxic combination of a greedy employer that is reneging on investment promises and a shambolic UK government that has no serious plan for the industry.

“Unite’s members in British Steel are clear that they will fight this and they will have the full support of their union.

Unite national officer Linda McCulloch said: “This union has not yet seen any financial justification for the closure of the coking ovens. British Steel needs to come clean and open its book in order to try to justify its decisions.

“Unite will pursue every avenue, including industrial action, to defend members’ jobs at British Steel.”

Mental health epidemic is shrinking UK workforce and fuelling staff shortages | Business News

Britain is in the grip of a mental health crisis that is causing workers to drop out of the labour market and fuelling staff shortages.

The number of people neither working nor seeking work has ballooned since the pandemic to almost nine million.

Figures analysed by Sky News show that this is being driven by long-term sickness and, in particular, mental health conditions.

Levels of economic inactivity among the long-term sick jumped by 537,500 between the year to June 2019 and the year to June 2022.

Some 454,300 can be attributed to mental health conditions, such as depression, stress and anxiety orders. The figures relate to those aged 16 and over.

Plummeting participation rates pose challenges for businesses. Although the number of job vacancies is falling after a post-lockdown jobs boom, they remain near record levels.

This means employers have fewer workers to choose from when filling roles and limits the economy’s potential to grow.

The figures also suggest that employers could better support the workers they do have. The number of employed people with long-term mental health conditions jumped by 816,400 over the same period.

Those off work due to mental health conditions jumped by 454,300

A recent report by the professional services firm Deloitte found that the annual costs to UK employers of poor mental health have increased by 25% since the start of the pandemic. This can be measured in levels of absenteeism, productivity and turnover.

Policymakers are alert to the problem.

Rise in economic inactivity will ‘hold UK growth back’

Jonathan Haskel, a member of the Bank of England’s rate-setting committee, warned last month: “In most countries in the developed world, the economic inactivity rate, that is the proportion of people neither working nor actively searching for jobs… increased during the pandemic, but then fell back.

“But the UK is different….This rise in economic inactivity will hold UK growth back.”

Growth will be key for the government as it seeks to fill a gaping hole in public finances. If more people are out of work it means smaller tax receipts for the Treasury and higher levels of spending on unemployment benefits.

The number of employed people with long-term mental health conditions rose by 816,400

Britain’s disability benefits bill has already reached £14.7 billion. Four-fifths of the rise in the number of disability benefits recipients over the past two decades has been driven by psychiatric conditions, such as mental health problems and learning disabilities.

Uptick in disability benefits ‘driven by mental health conditions’

Tom Waters, an economist at the Institute of Fiscal Studies, said: “If those trends continue, that’s going to continue to put pressure on that expense, particularly at a time when the government is struggling to fill the deficit.

“When we look over the last couple of decades, there’s been a really big uptick in (the number of people) on disability benefits. That’s been almost entirely driven by mental health conditions. So we’re looking at something on the order of about a million people now claiming disability benefits for mental health. That makes up almost half of everyone who gets disability benefits. If we look back to the early 2000s, it was only about a quarter or so.”

At 3.5%, Britain’s unemployment rate is at a record low, but it belies worrying long-term trends that have been made worse by the pandemic.

A mental health epidemic is driving an increase in economic inactivity among the long-term sick. These people are not looking for work so they do not show up in the unemployment figures but the longer they remain out of work, the harder it will be for them to return.

A smaller workforce means there are fewer people to produce the goods and services that help the economy to grow.

It also increases competition for workers, bidding up wages at a time when inflation is running rampant.

The Bank of England has already asked workers to show “restraint” when asking for pay rises but, with competition rife, employers may have no choice but to fork out for workers.

Workforce the size of Newcastle needed to ease ‘gridlocked’ health and care system | UK News

A workforce the size of the population of Newcastle needs to be recruited urgently to ease the “gridlocked” health and care system and to prevent serious harm to patients, the country’s care regulator has warned.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it is getting “tougher and tougher” to access care because of a massive shortage in the workforce.

There are around 132,000 vacancies in the NHS and 165,000 across social care, about the same size as the population of the north east city.

And this shortfall in the care sector is having a huge impact on NHS waiting lists, hospital bed availability and accident and emergency response times.

The CQC described the entire health and care system as “gridlocked” and “unable to operate effectively”.

The CQC echoes the warnings raised by health leaders about the need to address the crisis in social care to ease the pressure on the rest of the health system.

Chief Executive Ian Trenholm said the recruitment challenge faced by health and care leaders “is going to translate into real difficulty” this winter and in the years ahead.

Mr Trenholm said the impact of the gridlock is that people are struggling to see their GP or dentist, wait for longer to get to hospital, and once there can become stuck due to a lack of social care to help them once they are ready to leave.

He said: “And this is not just a care consequence. There’s an economic consequence to all of this as well.

“People who are ill can’t go back to work because they’re in a backlog, in some kind of queue waiting for care.”

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More than 1,000 people waiting longer than 12 hours in A&E every day, figures reveal

Amanda Pritchard, NHS England chief executive, said there are around 10,000 patients in hospitals who are medically fit to be discharged but must stay because there is no care provision for them in the community.

The CQC said only two in five people are able to leave hospital when they are ready, contributing to record-breaking waits in emergency departments following a decision to admit, and dangerous ambulance handover delays.

It found in some cases almost half a hospital is full of people who are medically fit to be discharged but are waiting for social care support, it said.

Beds are available but some care homes are closing their doors to new arrivals because they cannot provide safe staffing levels.

And some nursing homes are having to re-register as care homes because nursing staff are leaving and they are struggling to recruit replacements.

Read more:
Woman angrily confronts health secretary over ‘people dying’ due to lengthy ambulance waits

Figures from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services show that more than half a million people (542,002) were estimated to be waiting for assessments, reviews or care to start as of 30 April this year.

Separate data from the workforce body Skills for Care show that the number of filled posts fell – by about 50,000 – between 2020-21 and 2021-22 for the first time on record.

The CQC’s annual report on the state of health and social care in England also warned that the rising cost of living could result in more care staff leaving for better-paid work.

The regulator also pointed to an unprecedented number of care workers in the South East resigning in May and June because of fuel costs.

The CQC said that, without action, more health and care staff will quit, services will be further stretched, and people will be at greater risk of harm.

This will be especially pronounced in more deprived areas, where access to care outside hospitals is under the most pressure.

Analysis: For too long the focus has been on acute care while the crisis in social care has been allowed to grow.

All health and care leaders are saying the same thing.

Health and social care must be seen as the same integrated system.

For too long the focus has been on acute care while the crisis in social care has been allowed to grow.

Years of chronic underfunding has left social care in the state it is now.

But the impact on hospitals and the rest of the health service is now being felt.

The pandemic has swelled the waiting lists and to make any headway on the numbers, patients need to go into hospital and get out as soon as it is safe for them to be discharged.

But patients are going into hospital and staying there because there is nobody left to care for them in the community.

The pandemic helped to change the way we look at social care.

We saw just how vulnerable many people were, and we saw just how undervalued and underpaid social care staff were feeling.

That is why so many have left the sector. Unless pay and rewards are addressed care staff will keep leaving and new recruits will not take their place.

The NHS recognises the importance of social care in preventing patients from coming to hospital in the first place.

Among other measures it is setting up rapid response units to attend to people who have suffered falls.

The vast majority of these patients will not need hospital admittance.

Every time an ambulance crew attends a fall it cannot attend to another emergency.

I spent a day with the London Ambulance Service last week.

Our third emergency that morning was to attend to a 78 year woman who had fallen from her bed.

Elizabeth was thoroughly examined and no serious injury was found.

Records showed that Elizabeth had more than 200 ambulance visits for falls the year before.

If she had a good care package in place then those ambulance visits would not all have been necessary and the paramedics could have been responding more quickly to another emergency.