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Landowner fined after builder was seriously injured in wall collapse

A collapsed barn in Derbyshire

A landowner has been fined and hit with a community order after a man was seriously injured when a wall collapsed.

Nigel Edwards failed to have a structural assessment carried out on his outbuildings before having a barn conversion carried out on his property in Derbyshire.

He was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and was found guilty of breaching Regulations 19(1) and 20(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015.

READ MORE: Company hit with £531,000 in fines after worker suffocated in corn silo

The HSE investigation found significant alterations were made to the building, but no measures had been put in to stabilise it.

There was also no plan to safely dismantle parts of the building, which put workers and members of the public at risk of injury or death from full or partial collapse.

The victim in the incident was Steven Tyson, who was seriously injured after a wall fell on him on 8 October 2021.

The victim, Steven Tyson, a father of two, sustained a catalogue of serious injuries, including multiple broken bones, a bleed on the brain, and a fractured skull.

His injuries meant he spent 18 days in hospital in significant pain.

The Covid-19 restrictions of the time also meant his family wasn’t allowed to visit him.

He said: “The pain was made worse by the fact I was unable to see my daughters in hospital due to the Covid-19 restrictions on visitors.

“I am still in pain today and struggle to put weight on my right ankle.

“Due to the traumatic head injury, I was unable to drive for six months.”

The incident also caused him to lose the sight in one eye and hearing in one ear.

Steven Tyson was seriously injured in the incident

Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Robert Gidman said: “It is vital that all demolition and dismantling is adequately planned and that a competent structural engineer is engaged by those in control of work where there is the risk of collapse of any structure.

“If this project had been planned effectively, engaging the right people at the right time to ensure a suitable safe system of work was implemented, the life changing injuries sustained by the injured person could have been prevented.”

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4 Ways to Reduce Business Operating Costs

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While the short-term targets of businesses can evolve and vary over time, virtually every company has the same two overarching goals, which include reducing costs and increasing revenue.

To increase revenue, businesses can invest in new marketing and sales strategies, develop products based on customer needs, and commit to excellent service to retain customers.

Reducing costs can be a little more complex, as every company will have certain expenses, they need to manage to keep their venture running smoothly.

Consistently reducing operating costs requires business owners to constantly search for new ways to make their organization more cost-effective and efficient. Here are some of the areas you can focus on if you want to start reducing your expenses.

Use Data to Improve Fleet Operations

Your fleet is likely to be one of the most valuable resources in your organization, but as any business with its own vehicles will know, they can be extremely expensive to deploy and manage.

Fortunately, there are ways to cut the costs associated with fleet operations. One of the simplest solutions is to take advantage of fuel cards, to help you monitor expenses, set spending controls, and even access significant discounts on fuel.

Not only do fuel cards for owner operators help you to reduce the overall costs of powering your vehicles, but they can also make it easier to monitor the crucial data and insights you’ll need to leverage when making your business more efficient.

You can utilize an excellent guide online that can provide behind the scenes insights into how to choose the right cards for your business.

Reduce Utility Costs

If you own or lease a business premises, whether it’s an office, warehouse, or store, utilities costs are something you simply can’t avoid.

Limited regulations in the business environment can make it extremely easy for entrepreneurs to fall victim to expensive contracts and bad deals.

Fortunately, you can take steps to minimize the amount you expend on essential utilities.

The first step is to compare suppliers carefully, to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your needs.

Collect quotes from a range of different companies and ask yourself which one can offer you the best deal, and the most flexibility. You may even be able to negotiate with some suppliers.

The second step is to look for ways to cut down your utility usage.

Turn off electronics when you’re not using them, invest in energy saving windows and doors, and ask your employees to be mindful about how they use essential resources.

Rethink Your Employment Strategy

In today’s business landscape, employers aren’t limited to sourcing just in-house staff for their teams. While you may need to hire some traditional employees to manage things like fleet operations and in-person interactions with customers, you can also reduce expenses by allowing some of your staff members to work remotely, or from home.

Embracing a hybrid business model can be an excellent way to minimize operating costs by reducing the number of overheads you need to pay for.

You can spend less on utilities, real estate, and even furniture for in-house employees.

What’s more, by offering more flexible working opportunities to staff members, you may find you can attract a wider range of talented professionals to your team.

Make the Most of Technology

Finally, while investing in technology can seem costly at first, it can deliver some fantastic cost saving opportunities in the long-term. Various forms of technology can help to make your business more efficient and productive.

Automation tools can reduce the number of repetitive tasks your employees need to complete every day.

Not only does this mean you can hire fewer employees to complete the same amount of work, but it also ensures the employees you do hire will be able to focus on more valuable, profit-generating tasks.

Technology can even help you to monitor important information and metrics, making it easier for you to make valuable decisions about the future of your business.

You can use reporting and analytical tools to detect process inefficiencies, and opportunities for growth.

There are even tools which can help you to better understand your target audience, and deliver higher quality support and services to customers, so you’re more likely to retain long-term clients.

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How to Raise Funding for Your Side Hustle

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Starting a side hustle can be an excellent way to pursue your passion, gain new skills, and make extra income.

Turning your side hustle into a successful business requires resources and support, which may be limited.

Securing funding is often crucial for entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses.

However, can be challenging to know where to start, especially for a side hustle that may need a proven track record. Here are some different options to help you secure the funding you need to take your side hustle to the next level.

1.   Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is an excellent option for those just starting their side hustle.

You can use crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to raise money by setting up a campaign and encouraging people to donate funds in exchange for rewards such as pre-orders of your product, exclusive discounts, or special recognition.

Crowdfunding allows you to validate your idea and test the market without committing to a significant financial investment. Plus, setting up a campaign and raising funds quickly is relatively easy.

2.   Payday Loans

Payday loans are another option for entrepreneurs looking to raise funds quickly.

Payday loans are typically small, short-term loans that allow you to access the money immediately without going through a lengthy application process.

You can typically get a payday loan within 24 hours, and the funds can be used to cover business expenses such as supplies or inventory.

Payday loan lenders typically have lower requirements than other lenders, so it could be an option to consider if you have bad credit or little financial history.

My Canada Payday, for example, offers payday loans with a fast and easy online application process. Be sure to check the terms before applying.

3.   Grants and Awards

Grants and awards are great options for entrepreneurs looking to secure funding without debt. Many different types of grants are available to help small businesses, including government, industry-specific, and private foundation grants.

While these grants are competitive and the application process can be time-consuming, they can provide valuable funds that don’t need to be paid back, so it’s worth researching what options are available for your side hustle.

4.   Angel Investors

Angel investors are wealthy individuals who invest in small businesses in exchange for a percentage of the business’s equity. Angel investors can provide valuable resources and support, but they also have high expectations for a return on their investment.

If you’re looking to pursue angel investment for your side hustle, it’s essential to do your research and create an attractive pitch that demonstrates the potential of your venture.

Consider creating a business plan, financial projections, and a well-crafted presentation that you can use to convince potential investors.

5.   Personal Savings

If you don’t have access to other funding sources, you can always create a savings budget and use your savings to get your side hustle off the ground.

Investing in yourself is a great way to show potential investors and customers that you believe in your business and are committed to its success.

If you decide to use your savings, ensure you have an emergency fund in place to cover unexpected expenses. Be mindful of how much money you are comfortable investing.

Remember that looking for support and guidance from other entrepreneurs and experts in your space is always important, as starting a side hustle can take time, and there may be bumps along the way.

Remember that the key to success is dedication and hard work, no matter what funding option you choose. You can turn your side hustle into a thriving business with the right mindset and financial resources.

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Meta lowers bonus pay for some employees based on performance


Meta wants to reduce bonus payouts and assess staff performance frequently to achieve its “year of efficiency” goals.

The Facebook owner said some employees would receive a “met most expectations” rating in their 2023 year-end reviews, in an internal memo to managers.

Those employees would get a lesser percentage of their bonus and restricted stock award in March 2024.

Read More: Meta boss Mark Zuckerberg says in-person work is more productive

Meta has also lowered the bonus multiplier for that grade from 85 to 65 percent.

These major changes are happening amid massive headcount reductions, with Meta recently announcing additional 10,000 layoffs.

The memo said: “We understand that while this is a significant change that might disappoint some people, it aligns with our continued focus on maintaining a high-performance culture.” 

Meta would also shift performance reviews to twice a year.

Read More: Accenture announces massive 19,000 layoffs as IT spending slows

In February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg called 2023 the “year of efficiency.” 

The memo said: “These updates reflect changes we’re making based on what we learned about the process in 2022 and what we’re optimizing for in the year ahead.”

The assessment process will begin in June and end in July.

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Meta is joining the growing list of tech companies striving to cut employee ranks and slash costs. 

Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, and others have announced restructuring measures, including job losses.

The midyear review has a three-point grading system that categorizes employees as performing significantly above expectations, at or above expectations, or below them.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Barrett Steel’s £13 million deal rescues Aartee Bright Bar but job losses loom

Aartee Bright Bar

Barrett Steel has paid £13 million for distribution sites held by troubled company Aartee Bright Bar, which has saved more than 170 jobs.

However, a hot-rolled steel plant in Dudley was not included in the sale, resulting in the loss of 45 jobs and the closure of the factory.

The administrators’ purchase includes Aartee Bright Bar’s distribution companies in Rugby, Bolton, Newport, and Southampton, as well as its facility in Willenhall, West Midlands.

Read More: Typhoo Tea to close Merseyside factory with up to 90 job losses

Aartee Bright Bar Property’s freehold and leasehold holdings at these sites are also included in the buyout.

Barrett Engineering Steel Rugby, Barrett Engineering Steel Bolton, Barrett Engineering Steel Newport, and Barrett Engineering Steel South are the new names for the purchased sites.

Barrett Steel, based in Bradford, runs a number of steel stockholding companies and divisions across the UK, serving customers all over the globe, and this rescue deal has added 173 new employees to the company.

Read More: Walmart stores closure in Oregon will result in 580 job losses

It expands the sixth-generation family company’s network to 35 locations across the UK, giving Barrett Steel an ideal base to further service and assist customers in the Midlands, South West, North West, and Wales.

Chief executive Andy Warcup said: “This acquisition will add to the strength and capabilities of our existing engineering steel businesses so that we are able to deliver exceptional service to our customers. We are excited to welcome the Aartee team to our group.”

In February, Alvarez & Marsal was named as administrators for Aartee Bright Bar and Aartee Bright Bar Property.

Read More: Paperchase to close all 106 stores with about 900 job losses

Last week, a judge ordered that Aartee Bright Bar’s immediate UK holding company, Aartee Steel Group, should be forced into liquidation.

Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Alliance division, which operates Liberty Steel, was closely associated with Aartee Bright Bar.

GFG Alliance purchased Aartee Bright Bar’s owner, Aartee Group Pte, shortly after the appointment of administrators and submitted an application to challenge the administration, but ultimately failed in its attempt to save the business.

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Joint administrator Michael Magnay said: “This substantial investment from Barrett Steel is a vote of confidence in the business and the wider UK steel industry.

“The companies’ creditors will now receive a substantial dividend and will have the opportunity to trade with the new business going forward.

“We are grateful to the employees and creditors for their support and understanding during this process, and to Barrett Steel for its commitment to the deal.”

SourceBusiness Live

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Luxury car maker Lucid confirms 1,300 layoffs in a bid to cut costs


Luxury car maker Lucid has revealed it will lay off 1,300 employees as part of a broader restructuring to cut costs.

The reductions – 18 percent of its workforce – would impact every department and level, including executives

In a memo, CEO Peter Rawlinson said the firm would provide more details about the cuts over the next three days. 

Read More: Salesforce could cut more jobs to boost profits

Employees affected would receive a severance package that includes access to career resources, healthcare coverage, and equity acceleration.

The memo also said the vehicle manufacturer’s attempts to optimize cost structure alone would not meet its goals.

Rawlinson noted in the memo that letting go of team members was a “painful but necessary decision.”

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The cuts are the latest in a string of layoffs that have rocked IT and mobility startups in recent months.

Businesses are looking for ways to cut expenses and watch their bottom lines as economic concerns mount.

Lucid has had a difficult few months as it tries to finalize manufacturing and production and get cars on the road.

As of the end of 2022, the electric vehicle startup employed around 7,200 people worldwide.

Source: Insider

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Disney CEO confirms three rounds of layoffs cutting 7,000 staff are to begin


Disney is to carry out its 7,000 job cuts in three batches, CEO Bob Iger has told staff.

The layoffs are part of a multibillion-dollar cost-cutting push to streamline its operations during a time of upheaval in the media sector.

The first wave will start this week, and managers will begin notifying impacted staff, Mr. Iger said in an internal memo.  

Read More: Disney managers asked to make lists of staff to be cut as 4,000 layoffs loom

He added a second, bigger round of cuts would occur in April, where thousands are expected to lose jobs.

He said the final spate of reductions would happen “before the beginning of the summer” to meet the 7,000 staff downsizing target.

Iger said: “The difficult reality of many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly.

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“In tough moments, we must always do what is required to ensure Disney can continue delivering exceptional entertainment to audiences and guests around the world – now, and long into the future.”

As of October 1, Disney employed roughly 220,000 people, with around 166,000 based in the US.

A reduction of 7,000 jobs equals around three percent of its global workforce.

The layoffs come following Iger’s return to Disney in November when the company’s board ousted Bob Chapek as CEO.

Source: CNN

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£8.5 million Next Cath Kidston buyout will mean more job cuts

Cath Kidston

Next has paid £8.5 million for struggling home furnishing retailer Cath Kidston in a move which means a number of redundancies, administrators say.

Sky News reported clothing giant was in advanced discussions to add to its recent purchases, which include Made, the online furniture store, and Joules, the fashion company, on Monday, March 27.

Next said it had bought the brand name, domain names and intellectual property.

Read More: Insync Bikes to cut jobs after ‘huge erosion’ in demand

Administrators at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) said the acquisition would enable the business to “flower” under Next’s control.

Joint administrator Zelf Hussain said: “The company has over recent years navigated through incredibly challenging market conditions including the pandemic restrictions, and most recently the decline in consumer spending driven by cost-of-living pressures and rising costs.

“In the short term, its four stores (London, York, Ashford, Cheshire Oaks) will continue to remain open whilst operations are wound down.

“Sadly, there will be redundancies during this period of wind down and we will continue to support the staff throughout this period.”

Read More: Google staff in Switzerland go on strike as job cuts hit Europe

There are 125 workers at the business.

The name will now be licensed back to the administrators for up to 12 weeks so stock could be cleared out in preparation for a relaunch.

It was founded in 1993 by Cath Kidston herself and quickly established itself as a high-street staple with a large number of independent stores.

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However, like a lot of retailers, its fortunes were hit by the pandemic, forcing it into insolvency around three years ago with the loss of 1,000 jobs.

Two years ago, Baring Private Equity Asia purchased it out of bankruptcy; less than a year later, Hilco obtained it.

Source:   Sky News

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Consulting giant McKinsey will carry out 1,400 rare job cuts

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey has confirmed it 1,400 job cuts starting this week in a rare round of layoffs.

The company is to reorganize its support teams, which includes staff downsizing or moving employees to other roles.

Total losses will equal around three percent of the global workforce, jumping to about 47,000 from 28,000 five years ago and 17,000 in 2012.

Read More: Accenture announces massive 19,000 layoffs as IT spending slows

Bob Sternfels, the global managing partner, said: “The painful result of this shift is that we will have to say goodbye to some of our firm functions colleagues, while helping others move into new roles that better align to our firm’s strategy and priorities.

“Starting now, where local regulations allow, we will begin to notify colleagues who will depart our firm or be asked to change roles.”

Read More: McKinsey to cut 2,000 jobs in latest corporate layoffs

McKinsey has grown massively over the last decade and rarely conducts layoffs in its own ranks.

Underperforming staff in client-facing positions are more likely to quit after being “counseled to leave.”

What this means is the company decides to move them from client project and wants them to find jobs elsewhere.

Sternfels said the company is “implementing reductions through attrition or voluntary departures.”

Sources said the firm known for designing staff reduction plans for its clients had been considering terminating about 2,000 employees.

Read More: Indeed announces 2,200 layoffs that will hit most teams

They added that the number of people removed could still change. 

Most of the impacted roles don’t have direct client interaction.

Accenture recently disclosed 19,000 layoff plans to occur over the next 18 months, in one of the biggest cuts in the industry.

Companies in sectors from finance and technology to retailing are shrinking their workforce amid a slow demand and forecasts of an impending recession. 

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Big Tech firms Amazon and Microsoft are slashing workers en masse.

The financial sector is also undertaking similar moves, with top banks, including Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley cutting thousands of jobs.

Facebook parent Meta has conducted two rounds of massive job losses.

A McKinsey spokesperson declined to comment on the cuts.

Source: Bloomberg

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