Good morning. How’s this for an example of workplace flexibility. A major Japanese trading company have announced that employees earning $100,000 now have the option to top-up their pay thanks to the firm’s newly relaxed rules that allow for pursuing a side hustle including being a Youtuber.
Rishi means business
Yesterday prime minister Rishi Sunak unveiled a mini-reshuffle which included breaking up the sprawling department responsible for business, energy and industrial strategy into three new departments: one for energy security and net zero headed by Grant Shapps, another for science, innovation and technology led by Michelle Donelan and finally one for business and trade run by Kemi Badenoch.
The PM said the shakeup would “ensure the right skills and teams” to focus on his promises to halve inflation, expand the economy, reduce debt, cut NHS waiting lists and stop illegal immigration. Critics have warned that the changes could be a distraction costing over £100m and take years to embed.
About 100,000 UK civil servants will strike next month on the day chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveils his plan for tax and public spending, with a further 33,000 employees from the HMRC poised to join them. The action is set for 15 March and could affect a range of public services, including driving tests, passport applications and welfare payments, the Public and Commercial Services union said in a statement. The civil servants were part of the 500,000 workers who coordinated walkouts earlier this month in response to the government’s refusal to revisit pay settlements for the current fiscal year.
Turkey declared a three-month state of emergency in areas struck by two massive earthquakes earlier this week, allowing the government more leeway for rescue and reconstruction efforts. The death toll across Turkey and neighbouring Syria is nearing 8,000, while more than 11,000 buildings have been damaged by the temblors, trapping many. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is overwhelmed by the extent of the logistical problems and aid needed to assist the 23m people living in the areas affected by the disaster. Many countries have pledged to help, including the UK and US.
Big Oil to Big Tech
Over $9bn in tech-focused investment has been committed to Saudi Arabia, helping to fuel Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030” development plan. The aim is to pivot the economy – the world’s largest oil producer – to a big tech player as the world transitions to renewable energy. Foreign investors include US-based Microsoft and Oracle, and China’s Huawei, all of which are gunning to build cloud infrastructure in the desert.
Another oil record: BP has revealed it is to miss a key climate goal while it became the latest energy giant to record annual profits.
Legal issues: McDonald’s has signed a legal agreement with the equality watchdog amid concerns over how it has handled sexual harassment complaints made by UK staff.
Taking share: Lidl reported a £10m growth in sales in January crediting the boost to shoppers moving away from more expensive rivals such as M&S, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.
Logging off: Zoom is cutting about 1,300 jobs as demand for the company’s video-conferencing services slows with the waning of the pandemic.
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Number Of The Day
The number of people using Facebook daily in December - about a quarter of the world's population.