January 19, 2021

Business insider

There’s no question the rising rate of unemployment is one of the worst consequences of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The number of Australians seeking work is heading towards 10%, almost double the pre-pandemic Australian average of just over 5%.

It’s well established that unemployment is associated with adverse health outcomes, but those who keep their jobs aren’t likely to emerge from the pandemic unscathed in terms of their occupational health either.

In fact, employees working under pandemic conditions are likely to be exposed to increased effort and reduced rewards, caused or exacerbated by their new circumstances amid the pandemic. This is known as “effort-reward imbalance” and it may lead to a range of stress-related diseases. While effort-reward imbalance is not a new concept, it’s particularly relevant during this pandemic.

WHAT IS EFFORT-REWARD IMBALANCE?
An effort-reward imbalance occurs when an employee feels the effort they’re putting into their work Read the rest

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The UK will strengthen its Prompt Payment Code (PPC) to push larger firms to pay small businesses quickly.

Under the changes, large companies that have signed up to the code must pay small businesses within 30 days instead of 60.

The government estimates there are £23.4bn worth of outstanding late invoices.

The issue is more prevalent than ever due to the impact of the pandemic.

The small business minister Paul Scully said the changes would help the UK’s economic recovery.

“Our incredible small businesses will be vital to our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, supporting millions of livelihoods across the UK,” he said, in a media release.

The voluntary code currently has more than 2,800 signatories, who are required to pay 95% of their invoices within 60 days or else be publicly struck off the code until they make substantial changes to their payment practices.

Under the changes, payments to … Read the rest

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Health authorities in Norway say there’s no evidence of a direct link between the recent string of deaths among elderly people inoculated against COVID-19, and the vaccine they received.

The Norwegian Medicines Agency is seeking to address fears that taking the vaccine might be too risky, after 33 people in the country aged 75 and over died following immunization, according to the agency’s latest figures. All were already seriously ill, it said.

“Clearly, Covid-19 is far more dangerous to most patients than vaccination,” Steinar Madsen, medical director at the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said by phone on Monday. “We are not alarmed.”

The initial reports from Norway made international headlines as the world looks for early signs of potential side effects from the vaccines. Until Friday, Norway had only used the vaccine provided by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, and the companies are now working with the Nordic country to look into the … Read the rest

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It’s hard to imagine a more luxurious place to spend two weeks of quarantine than the Anantara Phuket Suites & Villas in Thailand, where visitors are pampered in private residences that can have their own pool and courtyard.

Yet more than three months after the resort and more than a hundred like it reopened to extended-stay travelers in an attempt to revive Thailand’s battered economy, foreign arrivals have failed to meet even rock-bottom expectations. Just 346 overseas visitors have entered the country on average each month on special visas since October, according to the Thailand Longstay Company, which helps facilitate the program. That’s well below the government’s target of about 1,200 and a tiny fraction of the more than 3 million who came before the pandemic.

The tepid response to Thailand’s highly publicized reopening illustrates the difficulties facing tourist-dependent countries as they try to shore up economic growth while also Read the rest

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Government ministers describe the post-Brexit headaches that British exporters have suffered since 1 January as mere “teething problems”.

However Alex Paul, who jointly runs a successful family business that features in the Department for International Trade’s list of national “export champions”, disagrees. And he wants the real story to be told.

Two weeks into the supposed golden era of global Britain, Paul and many other British entrepreneurs, large and small, are running into very serious problems.

UK fish exporters are unable to sell into European markets because of delays at borders and complain that Boris Johnson and others misled them about Brexit. Leading supermarket chains are warning ministers of food shortages in Northern Ireland because of new border rules and bureaucracy. And small UK companies such as Paul’s, which thrived as part of the EU single market, are saying they may have no future at all in exporting into continental … Read the rest

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Automation is hardly a new threat to workers. Long before the arrival of COVID-19 disrupted businesses, many manufacturing executives were already changing how their companies assembled products, and other industries were considering following suit.

But as the global crisis has dragged on, the pandemic could be accelerating that shift.

“Every time there’s a disruption it forces people to make decisions,” says Tom Smith, an associate professor of finance at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. “I would put money on the fact that this has sped up at least the decision-making process. When, all of a sudden, you’re in a crisis, smart and creative people find solutions. Creative people don’t let the crisis take everything down if they can help it.”

Just under 40% of U.S. jobs are at significant risk of being automated, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). More than 10% of the country’s jobs are at high … Read the rest

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Looking to unify the affairs of the sport locally, volleyball stakeholders gathered at the weekend ahead of elections set for later this month.

Organized by the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC), the meeting gathered representatives from the Alliances of Philippine Volleyball Inc. (APVI), Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) and Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on Saturday to discuss, among others, details of the elections set for Jan. 25. 

The POC was sent a letter by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) asking it to supervise an election among volleyball stakeholders here at the soonest possible time to settle once and for all the issue on who gets to officially represent the Philippines in the federation.

LVPI has been recognized by the POC since 2015 as the national federation for the sport, but is being contested by the PVF.

But neither of the groups is recognized by the Read the rest

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Tens of thousands of small businesses are set to receive insurance payouts covering losses in the first national lockdown, following a court ruling.

The Supreme Court found in favour of small firms receiving payments from business interruption insurance policies.

For some, it could provide the lifeline allowing them to trade beyond the coronavirus crisis.

The ruling could cost the insurance sector hundreds of millions of pounds.

In the lockdown of last spring, many small businesses made claims through business interruption insurance policies for loss of earnings when they had to close.

But many insurers refused to pay, arguing only the most specialist policies had cover for such unprecedented restrictions.

It was agreed that a selection of policy wordings should be tested in court, setting the parameters for what would be considered a valid claim.

The ruling provides guidance for a wider pool of 700 policies, potentially affecting 370,000 small businesses.… Read the rest

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Across the nation major central business districts in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle remain eerily empty as employers continue to keep staff working remotely. Heading into the holidays, only 1 in 10 office workers had made their way back into Manhattan.

But is the disruption caused by the pandemic—and the work from home boom—actually convincing Americans to pack their bags and move?

To find out, Fortune and SurveyMonkey polled 2,098 U.S. adults in November.* This poll, which has a modeled error estimate of +/-3%, is an even deeper study than our August look at migration

The finding? Millions of Americans moved as a result of the pandemic—and millions more plan to do so. Among U.S. adults, 16% say they have either moved out of their city/county during the pandemic (6%) or plan to move in the next 12 months (12%). Around 2% of Americans who moved … Read the rest

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The Philippines’ dollar reserves reached a new all-time high as of end-2020, the central bank said on Friday.

GROSS international reserves (GIR) — which shield the country from liquidity shocks — stood at $109.8 billion as of end-December, up 4.8% from $104.8-billion level as of end-November and 25% higher than the $87.839 billion a year earlier.

“This buffer is equivalent to 11.7 months’ worth of imports of goods and payments of services and primary income, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said in a statement on Friday.

“It is also about 9.6 times the country’s short-term external debt based on original maturity and 5.5 times based on residual maturity,” it added.

The BSP said the increase was supported by inflows from the central bank’s foreign exchange operation, revaluation gains from its gold holdings, and proceeds from the national government’s global bonds.

These gains were partially offset by foreign currency debt … Read the rest

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