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London company fined £175,000 after worker suffered brain injury that left him unable to work

A property in London where a man was seriously injured

A London-based company has been fined £175,000 fine after a worker suffered a severe brain injury.

The man was operating heavy machinery when an unexpected malfunction occurred, causing a piece of equipment to strike him in the head.

As a result of the incident, the worker suffered permanent brain damage and can no longer work.

READ MORE: Landowner fined after builder was seriously injured in wall collapse

The incident left him with serious injuries, meaning he was hospitalized for seven months.

He was working on a property in Crouch End in March 2019.

What happened?

The man was injured after a concrete pump operator cleaned the machine’s hose.

As he was doing this, the pump became blocked, which led to a sudden release of pressure and caused the hose to whip around and hit the man in the head.

It was revealed the pump operator was not qualified to operate the machine.

The Health and Safety Executive investigated the incident, which found the company, Singh Will Mix It Ltd, failed to ensure workers had the necessary skills, knowledge, experience, and training to carry out the work.

The company also failed to have appropriate health and safety systems in place to carry out the work safely.

Singh Will Mix It Ltd, of Larkshall Road, Walthamstow, London, was found guilty of breaching Sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

It was fined £175,000 and ordered to pay £75,722 in costs at Southwark Crown Court on 15 March 2023.

HSE inspector Gordon Nixon said: “HSE will not hesitate in prosecuting where contractors and operatives do not have the appropriate skills, knowledge, experience, and training when carrying out dangerous tasks and putting people at risk.

The Legal Responsibilities of Employers

Employers are legally responsible for providing their employees with a safe and healthy work environment. This includes identifying and mitigating potential hazards, providing appropriate training and equipment, and following all relevant health and safety regulations.

Under UK law, employers must conduct a risk assessment to identify potential hazards in the workplace. This assessment should be documented and regularly reviewed to ensure that all hazards are identified and addressed. Employers must also provide appropriate training and equipment to their employees to ensure their safety while on the job.

Identifying and Mitigating Potential Hazards

Identifying and mitigating potential hazards in the workplace is essential to ensuring the safety of employees. Some common hazards in the workplace include:

  • Slippery floors
  • Obstructed walkways
  • Poor lighting
  • Inadequate ventilation
  • Unsafe equipment or machinery
  • Chemical or biological hazards

Employers should conduct regular workplace inspections to identify potential hazards and take steps to mitigate them as soon as possible. This might include installing safety equipment, providing additional employee training, or implementing new procedures to reduce the risk of accidents.

Read more about London companies with Boohoo cutting off over 100 workers

Ongoing Training and Education

Training and education are crucial to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. Employers should provide regular exercise to their employees on topics such as:

  • Health and safety procedures
  • Proper use of equipment and machinery
  • Hazard identification and mitigation
  • Emergency procedures

Employers should also stay up-to-date with changes to health and safety regulations and ensure that their employees are informed of any changes that may impact their work.

Consequences of Failing to Adhere to Health and Safety Regulations

Failing to adhere to health and safety regulations can have severe consequences for both employers and employees. In addition to fines and legal penalties, employers may face reputational damage and decreased employee morale. Employees injured on the job may suffer long-term physical and emotional trauma and may be unable to work or support themselves and their families.

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Modern Language Degrees: Tips for Landing Good Jobs that Pay Well in the UK

A translator

You’ve put years of study and hard work into attaining a degree in the modern languages of your choice. Congratulations! But how do you translate your language major into a career that makes good use of it? That’s precisely what we will show you in this article. Note that while we focus on the good jobs that pay well in the UK, much of this advice will still apply if you seek work overseas.

Working for a translation company in the UK

Can I get paid to translate? You certainly can – even without experience. Working for a translation company is an obvious starting point for many graduates with language skills on their CV, and many translation companies are happy to trial newbie translators.

Working in translation also gives you the option to choose your hours, your working schedule, and usually your working location. If you don’t fancy a daily commute, you can do the work from your home office, your sofa, your bed – whatever works best for you – all by finding a good translation company. Some even offer translation internships while you study to gain more experience and real-world applications from your modern languages degrees.

What makes a good translation company? Look for one that has positive reviews online from both clients and translators, and one that has been in business for a long time. Check out the agency’s payment terms too, to ensure you know precisely what you will be paid and when.

As we delved deeper into this subject, we met Jerica Amores, the head of global human resource and vendor management from Tomedes, a remote-first translation agency that has served UK and EU-based companies since 2007. Over the 15 years, Tomedes’ database contains 40,000 translation and localization vendors.

“On a daily basis, we receive around 500-700 applications. Part of our day-to-day operations is to recruit and qualify professional translators with a good track record, positive reviews, and certifications. They must have successfully completed the recruitment and assessment processes before working as a vendor for Tomedes,” Jerica explained.

Their five-part assessment includes a digital footprint check, paper screening, phone interview, translation test, and reference/background check covering the evaluation for translation competence, linguistic and textual competence, research acquisition and processing competence, cultural competence, technical competence, and domain competence. 

She continued, “We are no longer just living in the digital era, the age of AI has begun, and translators must be competent in research, information acquisition, and processing. e ability to efficiently acquire the additional linguistic and specialized knowledge necessary to understand the source language content and to produce the target language content is not just for ISO certification but a requirement to remain afloat.”

Jerica stated that besides staying up-to-date with technological advancements, upskilling your translation skill is vital in ensuring that you remain relevant in the global mark. Developing your ability to adapt to your situation quickly will be valuable to your employers.

Many companies entrust their materials to expert translators to ensure that their brand essence is intact and that they connect effectively with their target audience.

Translation and language jobs can be both lucrative and fulfilling, regardless of your experience level.

As you build up your skillset and credibility, you will eventually find yourself better suited for higher-paying roles. Having knowledge and insights into various industries (i.e. medical, legal, scientific, etc.) can also land you a more specialized position.

Building up your experience 

Some of the skills you built up while studying for your degree will help you when it comes to finding your desired language career.

Certain skills, such as being able to type fast, being able to undertake detailed research, and producing work that requires a high degree of attention to detail,will stand you in good stead for launching any successful language degree job.

What most graduates lack when fresh out of the best UK universities for languages are experienced and specialized skillsets. So if you want to make the most out of your language skills on your CV, we got some tips and advice from freelance translators and language specialists so you can fulfill a translation company’s translator qualifications and get better-paid jobs.

While writing this article, we were fortunate to meet three UK-based translators and get their insights on this matter.

For Naomi Porter, a proofreader and translator specialized in German, Spanish, and English languages, one of the most crucial things to consider as a language professional is that you have the qualifications and experience in handling your tasks.

“Try and gain some kind of qualification/experience in a specialist subject area e.g. medical translation, creative translation. It could be a qualification in a specialist subject area e.g. an MA in Technical translation or a copywriting course to help you with marketing translation, or it could be experienced from a previous career or hobby. e.g. previous experience working for a bank makes for a great specialism in financial translation or having a niche hobby such as rock climbing could get you to work in that area,” Noami said.

As for Phirun Lap, who is a UK-based translator that specialized in English and Khmer (Cambodian) languages, there are three things that all aspiring translators should know.

“You should research and develop target topic requirements. Being proactive and always reliable to clients and agencies. Also, always look for an abe open to more opportunities,” Phirun explained.

Another UK-based translator agrees with Phirun, Midori Watanabe, a translator specialized in English and Japanese, stating that it’s vital to keep learning about your target and source language.

“Communicate with other linguists, like on LinkedIn, who can give you tips and advice. I can’t translate for medical, legal, or technical industries. But I do translate for many industries as long as the text is not too difficult for me. This has helped me learn more about an industry and allowed me to specialize in certain specific matters,” Midori explained.

It’s enough to have a skill and then wait for opportunities to come to you. From what we gathered from Phirun, Midori, and Jerica, being a “go-getter” is essential to succeed as a freelance translator.

As such, regardless of the type of career that you are ultimately aiming for, it is a good idea to write your resume and start building up some experience to include it as soon as possible. You can actively do this while job hunting by undertaking translation internships and freelance work through a reputable online platform. Upwork, for example, has 4,447 listings of jobs requiring a language degree at the time of writing.

Decide which career will suit you best

While you are building up your experience, it is time to put thought into what job you can do with a degree in modern languages that would suit you best.

There are a lot of variables here. For example, would you prefer to work freelance and/or as a digital nomad, or would you rather be office-based, working for a single company with all the benefits associated with that (sick pay, holiday pay, etc.)?

When looking for jobs for language graduates, pending time working out what you want to work as from the outset, before simply falling into a role through happenstance, means you are a lot more likely to achieve what you actually want – or at least to take the first steps on the path to achieving a language career. That said, let’s look at some jobs you can get with a language degree that will make the most of your skills and qualifications.

  1. Jining an in-house translation team

Some large international businesses employ their own, in-house translation teams. If you want to work as a translator but also want the benefits associated with being employed full-time, this could be a sensible career choice.

  • Working as an interpreter

If your language skills on CV are more suited to speaking than writing, it is worth exploring careers in interpretation. Interpreting another language is a highly skilled undertaking, as it requires not only knowledge of two languages but also the ability to process information entering your brain in one language and convert it into another language in real-time, all without losing any of the meaning of what is being said. The interpreter‘s salary in the UK is £26,000 to £42,000 annually.

If you have never tried interpreting before, start by listening to a radio program, podcast or TV show and trying to deliver a real-time interpretation of what you are hearing. It does take practice, so don’t expect to be a flawless interpreter immediately. However, this kind of practice should at least give you an idea of whether working as an interpreter could be something you enjoy.

  • Becoming a language teacher

Another job you can get with a foreign language degree in the UK is to become a teacher. A range of funding and support options are available for those looking to get into teaching. Also, the fact that you have to study to become a teacher can be a nice bridge between university and the world of work.

The average salary of teachers in the UK was £42,358 in 2021, while new teachers’ salaries range from £25,714 to £32,157. Teachers also enjoy many more weeks off than come with most roles. Obviously, enjoying working with children is a prerequisite!

Also, having a foreign language degree can make you an excellent English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher to those whose native language is the one you have studied. In the UK, particularly with high immigrant populations like London, Birmingham, and Manchester. However, the teaching field can be highly competitive, so if you’re searching for a career, it’s best to stay relevant with your qualifications and improve your chances of finding work.

Working for an international company

Establishing your fledgling language career in the UK means that you have vast cities such as London and Birmingham in which to find employment. They are home to plenty of translation jobs in the UK, with many international companies having headquarters or satellite offices that recruit workers majoring in languages.

The UK as a whole is home to more than 46,000 foreign businesses. These companies span a broad range of sectors, from financial services to the pharmaceutical industry to the tech scene. These sectors would neeed individuals with high levels of language proficiency in their CV. As such, a language career with an international business of this nature can allow you to pursue your non-language-related interests, as well as using your language major.

How to find the perfect language-related role

How quickly and easily you find a job will depend on your approach. The best method is to pursue multiple angles.

That means registering with employment agencies, looking for jobs you can do with a degree in modern languages online, approaching companies directly and/or applying good jobs that pay well in the UK through freelancing platforms. If you’ve built up any contacts in the languages industry while at university, for example by undertaking translation company jobs while studying, be sure to use those to your advantage too.

Ex-Starbucks boss Howard Schultz questioned over “most aggressive and illegal union-busting campaign in the modern history of our country” 

Howard Schultz

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been grilled by Senator Bernie Sanders over the chain’s battle against unionized workers.

In a hearing on Wednesday, March 29, Sanders said that the firm has engaged in the “most aggressive and illegal union-busting campaign in the modern history of our country.” 

The coffee giant was also accused of blocking collective bargaining agreements, hoping workers quit their jobs voluntarily.

Read More: Starbucks boss to testify before Senate over treatment of unions

The hearing took place a week after Schultz handed over the reins of the coffee giant to Laxman Narasimhan.

For over a year, Sanders, a pro-union independent representing Vermont, has been pressurizing Starbucks to recognize the union and negotiate contracts with unionized outlets.

The National Labor Relations Board data suggests almost 300 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize under Starbucks Workers United.

Starbucks was then hit with more than 500 complaints of union busting.

Read More: Starbucks new CEO Laxman Narasimhan officially assumes the position

Judges have ruled that the coffee chain has violated federal labor law 130 times. 

Starbucks has failed to reach an agreement with any of the unionized outlets.

An NLRB lawyer reportedly said the company’s reluctance to bargain over Zoom was unlawful.

Schultz defended Starbucks’ negotiation approach, maintaining that a direct relationship with staff is best for the company. 

Need Career Advice? Get employment skills advice at all levels of your career

He also denied the allegations over federal labor law breaches and claimed his focus as interim CEO was 99 percent on operations, not fighting the union.

His third turn as CEO lasted two weeks short of a year, but he aggressively worked to control the organizing wave that started under his predecessor, Kevin Johnson. 

Schultz offered higher pay, better benefits, card tipping for non-union stores, and a plan to modernize, like automating monotonous tasks for baristas.

Source: CNBC

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Meta could ban political advertising after EU strengthens rules on misinformation


Meta executives fear they will have to introduce a company-wide ban on political advertising in Europe.

Concerns have been raised Facebook and Instagram would be unable to comply with upcoming EU laws targeting online campaigns.

EU legislators agreed to strengthen rules on targeted political advertising in February to prevent misinformation during elections.

Read More: Meta lowers bonus pay for some employees based on performance

The new rules force US tech companies to share more data on their targeted political advertisements, with fines of up to four percent of their global turnover for violations.

Meta executives are now worried the definition of political advertisements under EU plans would be extremely broad, which means refusing any paid-for political campaigns on the company’s websites will be easier for the company.

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Last December, the European Commission told Facebook’s parent Meta it was breaking EU antitrust regulations.

The tech giant was found stifling competition in markets for online classified advertising and exploiting its dominant position.

Meta didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Source: Reuters

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Electronic Arts to cut six percent of workforce to focus on spending priorities

Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts will cut six percent of its workforce and reduce office space to focus more on its best growth prospects.

The gaming giant, which produces the hugely popular FIFA football games, didn’t specify how many people or which departments are the layoffs.

However, the video game maker does plan to transfer some staff internally to other areas.

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

EA said the dismissals started earlier this quarter and would continue through the early part of its next fiscal year.

Last year, the company had around 13,000 staff, six percent of which is around 780, but the number could well be less due to the department transfers.

The Redwood City-based company also considers shrinking its real-estate spending and reorganizing some teams.

CEO Andrew Wilson said: “Now, more than ever, we must be focused on our strategic priorities.

“These priorities align our investments with opportunities to make the biggest impact.”

EA is the first major videogame publisher to announce massive layoffs.

Need Career Advice? Get employment skills advice at all levels of your career

Until now, the sector has been relatively shielded from the job cuts at many tech giants, like Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta.

Technology leaders have blamed the layoffs on a slowdown in demand and advertising to the need to downsize teams after recent overhiring.

The videogame industry has had a difficult start to the new year, as player spending has slowed, reversing some of the outsized growth seen during the pandemic.

Several prominent publishers, such as Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive, have lately undertaken strategic changes.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Royal Mail staff could stage new strikes if talks on pay collapse

Royal Mail

Union bosses are set to call more Royal Mail strikes if the latest talks over pay fall through again.

A Communication Workers Union (CWU) source said negotiations at the Acas conciliation service were slated for today (Thursday, March 30), but if significant progress is not made the following day, more walkouts could be called.

The row has now been going on for 11 months, with stalling talks over salary, jobs, and working conditions for the 112,000-strong workforce.

Read More: Security staff strikes mean 300 British Airways Heathrow Airport flights will be cancelled over Easter

Both parties are extremely frustrated with the lack of progress, and each blames each other.

Last year, 18 strike dates were announced, and in 2023, the union and Royal Mail attempted to reach an agreement at Acas.

The union is expected to respond to Royal Mail’s latest set of proposals on Thursday.

Read More: More Amazon warehouse strikes to come after ‘insulting’ pay offer

The union source expressed optimism that the most recent meeting would build on some “positive” elements but didn’t have much hope.

Royal Mail could even try to put the part of the firm that delivers mail six days a week into administration without a deal.

While the firm is committed to a settlement, it insists it must be affordable and aligned with its plans to make Royal Mail more competitive, including over Sunday working.

Sky News reported should the union call new strike dates, the loss-making company’s board would not seek a drastic response by declaring an insolvency, as has been reported, at least in the immediate future.

The CWU and Royal Mail have both declined to comment publicly on the possibility of administration.

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A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We have been clear throughout the dispute that significant transformation of our network and working practices is essential for the business to survive.

“It is not sustainable for the business to be losing more than £1 million a day. Change cannot continue to be delayed.

“If CWU persists with further strike action, this would only serve to threaten the job security of our postmen and women and make our pay offer unaffordable.”

CWU general secretary Dave Ward said Royal Mail’s finances were down to how the company dealt with the dispute and that a proposed three-year pay deal was “not good enough.”

Source: Sky News

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300 million employees could see their jobs replaced by AI, Goldman Sachs study finds


Nearly 300 million people could lose their jobs to AI, a report by Goldman Sachs says.

Economists at the bank predict 18 percent of tasks could be automated, with more advanced economies experiencing its effects more strongly. 

This is partly because white-collar employees are seen as more vulnerable than manual laborers.

Read More: Will ChatGPT take over your job?

The study also found administrative staff and lawyers will likely be most impacted.

However, there is “little effect” on physically demanding or outdoor works like construction and repair.

Almost two-thirds of current occupations in the US and Europe “are exposed to some degree of AI automation.” 

The bank estimates artificial intelligence could fully do nearly a quarter of all work.

The researchers note if generative AI “delivers on its promised capabilities, the labor market could face significant disruption.”

Read More: Google starts experimenting with ChatGPT competitors to help boost its AI development

It refers to the technology that powers ChatGPT, the chatbot which quickly became an internet sensation following its debut last November.

ChatGPT, which can answer prompts and write essays, has already led several firms to reconsider how employees should work on a daily basis.

This month, its developers unveiled the latest version of the software behind the bot, GPT-4.

Early users were amazed by the platform’s capacity to simplify coding, quickly build a website from a simple sketch, and pass exams with high scores.

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Goldman Sachs economists wrote the further use of generative AI could lead to job cuts. 

But they noted technological innovation that initially displaces employees has historically also resulted in employment growth over the long run.

The wide adoption of AI is also found to boost labor productivity and global GDP by seven percent annually over 10 years.

They added: “Although the impact of AI on the labor market is likely to be significant, most jobs and industries are only partially exposed to automation and are thus more likely to be complemented rather than substituted by AI.”

For instance, of the US workforce expected to be affected, 25 to 50 percent of their workload “can be replaced.”

Source: CNN

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