6th September 2022
Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Do you remember how long your last job interview was? It probably wasn’t as short as 10 minutes which is how long Australian alcohol retailer Dan Murphy’s is using to screen candidates. The chain wants to fill 2,200 positions in its 258 stores ahead of the busy Christmas period. Australia is facing one of its tightest labour market in decades with unemployment record low of 3.5%.
- New PM takes on energy bills
- The loud rise of quiet quitting
New PM takes on energy bills
The new PM Liz Truss is said to be finalising an energy bill rescue plan that could be announced as soon as Thursday.
How did we get here?
About 24m British households will be paying nearly three times more for energy this winter than they did a year ago. The regulated price cap for customers will jump from next month to a level 178% higher than last winter, because soaring prices on the wholesale energy markets are forcing suppliers to pass on costs to consumers.
Throughout her leadership campaign Truss was adamant that she believed in tax cuts over government “handouts” as a way to help households during the cost of living crisis. But yesterday she pledged to address the energy crisis with ideas including a freeze on the household energy price cap and government loans on bills for businesses (who are not protected by a price cap).
It came on the day that European natural gas prices jumped over 30% in response to Russia halting supplies to the continent as it retaliated against Western sanctions.
The pros: The policy is simple and would help curb rising inflation, it would buy the government time to introduce more long term market reforms; and it would be popular with voters.
The cons: Analysts estimate that freezing household energy bills alone would cost £40bn a year and even more if gas prices continue to rise. Kwasi Kwarteng – currently the business secretary but widely tipped to be Truss’ chancellor – is said to considering how to finance the support. The options could be to raise general taxes today or impose a levy on future household energy bills.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- Truss issues: The challenges facing the incoming prime minister
- Russia blames sanctions for gas pipeline shutdown
- Camelot withdraws National Lottery’s legal challenge
- BBC brings in Bain & Co to help make a licence fee freeze plan
- Bed Bath & Beyond CFO falls to death
- Credit Suisse weighs up 5,000 job cuts as part of restructuring plan
- Turkey’s inflation hits new 24-year high beyond 80%
- Instagram fined €405m over children's data privacy
The loud rise of quiet quitting
There’s a new trend gaining traction online amongst hoards of disaffected workers: Quiet quitting. And no, it doesn’t mean silently walking out of the office one day, never to return.
Driving the news: Quiet quitting isn’t actually quitting. It’s rejecting the notion of going above and beyond, by doing what’s in your job description and not a darn thing more.
The origin of the term can be traced back to a Chinese social media post from April 2021, but it’s now gone global after blowing up on (where else) TikTok.
Some career experts say quiet quitting will hurt your professional development, but its supporters argue it’s a way to reclaim work-life balance and fight toxic overwork culture.
Why it’s happening: The average UK worker now carries out approximately 22 days worth of overtime a year, according to the Office for National Statistics. Women clock up 6.8 extra hours of overtime each month compared to men. Recent research from Gallup’s found that just 9% of Brits feel enthused by their work and workplace, compared to 16% in Germany and 33% in Romania.
Why it matters: It's a wake-up call for employers to pay attention to burnout in the workplace, something that's not just bad for workers but also reduces productivity for businesses.
Stat of the day
Liz Truss won 81,326 votes to Rishi Sunak's 60,399 votes from the Conservative party members to become prime minister
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