Work and careers
Before the election, the BBC ran an article about the different types of jobs that people in the UK hold. Looking at the types of work, and the breakdown by gender, as well as the numbers of self-employed and people on zero-hours contracts is interesting, if you are working with young people, or employment schemes.
More recently, there has been another article highlighting the disparity between career aspirations and jobs available. This stems from a report by the charity Education and Employers, which suggests five times as many 17- and 18-year-olds in the UK want to work in art, culture, entertainment and sport as there are jobs available.
Real Living Wage increase
Before Christmas, the Real Living Wage was increased, with employers who have signed up to the voluntary scheme raising their minimum wage to £9.30 per hour (£10.75 in London).
The current statutory National Minimum Wage stands at £8.21 for workers over 25. The Conservatives’ manifesto pledge was to increase the National Living Wage to £10.40 by 2024 and to lower the minimum age to 21. See the article on the BBC website, also from before the election.
Banking charges and changes
Credit card customers of Lloyds, Halifax and Bank of Scotland could see their cards cancelled from the end of next month if they have been in “persistent debt” and have not reduced their balance. This will apply to customers who have been in the red on their credit card balance for more than 36 months, but is likely to be a ‘last resort’ option once all other efforts have been exhausted. Similar warnings have been issued to customers of RBS and NatWest.
You can read more in the Independent online.
Many banks are also making changes to their overdraft arrangements, with simpler charging schemes, and most banks will charge a rate of 40%, applied consistently. (See the BBC for details)
All these changes have come about as a result of demands from the Financial Conduct Authority (as reported by the BBC in June 2019 regarding overdraft fees, and on persistent debt in September 2018).
The head of mental health services in England has written to five major gambling companies, demanding urgent action on tackling gambling addiction and its impact on people’s health. Bets using credit cards are to be banned from 14 April, and the regulator is investigating “bet to view” schemes, as the industry attempts to tidy itself up.
Find out more in a BBC article about it.
There have also been statistics revealed around the numbers of women with gambling addictions, with numbers rising, but those who are addicted often remaining unseen. This is perhaps due to the relatively new ability to gamble online, which is attracting women who would never have walked into a high-street betting shop in the past.
There is a Guardian article which focuses on some of the women who were involved, here.
For free help and advice about problem gambling, go to BeGambleAware.org or call the national gambling helpline on 0808 8020 133.