“Work’s Christmas party was last night. Great laugh. Always good to let your hair down at this time of year. Probably had a few too many drinks and now regretting it this morning. I’m on the early shift… I’ll never learn.
“Still, I’ve had a few hours kip, made myself a strong coffee and freshened up with a shower. I feel fine except for this hangover. Stuck in traffic doesn’t help.
“There seems to be a hold-up further down the road. What’s that? Looks like the sign says ‘Police Drink Drive Checkpoint’. Not sure what’s the point of that in the morning. They want to be out in the evening catching those who stupidly drink drive and endanger all of us.
“Now what? They’re pulling me over? Now I’m going to be late for work. Good Morning Officer. What’s up? Breathalyse me? I had a few bevvies last night but I’m fine now.
“I’m sorry, there must be some mistake. Your breathalyser must be faulty. Arrest me
As temperatures in the UK plummet to below freezing, experts are suggesting this current cold snap may be a sign of things to come, with some predicting the worst winter in over 5 years.
Public Health England have issued a warning to prepare for a long spell of cold and advising those at risk to take precautions. In the workplace colder weather can have an adverse effect on employees, not only their productivity but it can also make carrying out some roles more hazardous.
What does the law say?
You may be surprised to hear that legally there is no minimum or maximum temperature in the workplace that employers must stick to, only a number of guidelines.
Regulation 7, under the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states: “During working hours, the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable” and “provide reasonable comfort without the need for special clothing.”
Guidance on working temperature varies depending on the nature of the environment, with a suggested minimum temperature of 16 degrees. For employees doing physical work this is lowered
Abuse experienced by shopworkers has risen by a quarter in the past year according to a survey conducted by retail union Usdaw, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.
In 2016 around two thirds of those working in shops were verbally abused, with 40% claiming that they had been threatened whilst at work, an increase of 38% on the previous 12 months.
Some of the incidents reported by participants range from verbal abuse dished out by disgruntled customers, to physical assaults and threatening behaviour involving the use of weapons. In one example, a frozen gammon was thrown at a store employee by an irate member of the public. Other cases include threats of physical violence being made against staff, with some even being followed home after work.
Shoplifting and refusal to sell age restricted goods are often flashpoints, although workers are also commonly targeted when they are most vulnerable for example when working alone, handling money, taking deliveries or locking up.
Combining this with recent news that crime in England and Wales is rising year on year, against a
Food banks have become a controversial topic ever since their usage increased rapidly after the recession. Some would argue that food banks are a giving service offering help to those in need. Contrasting views however, have caused a stir as some would question the high demand for food banks in the UK and argue that their purpose is being abused.
The Guardian recently revealed that there are at least 2,000 food banks operating in the UK, handing out emergency food parcels on a weekly basis to people in hardship. Furthermore, the number of people using food banks in the UK has risen by seven percent in the last year highlighting the increasing issue of food poverty.
Volunteers working for charities act as the driving force of their organisations. Without them, food banks simply wouldn’t function. According to the Belfast Telegraph “Food bank volunteers put in a staggering 4.1 million hours of unpaid work every year distributing food, fundraising and other duties”.
Like most charity workers, those working in food banks have to accommodate very vulnerable people, which
The number of crimes recorded in England and Wales has risen by 13% according to official figures from the Office of National Statistics – the largest annual increase in a decade.
A reported 5.2 million incidents took place in the 12 months leading up to June 2017 compared to 4.6 million the previous year. The volume of crime recorded over the past few years appears to be following a worrying upward trend, with an increase of 5% in June 2014-15, followed by a 7% rise from June 2015-16.
Violent crime is also climbing with around 1.2 million incidents recorded – 19% higher than the year before. This figure encompasses a range of offences such as violence with injury, knife crime, harassment and stalking.
Some key statistics:
Gun and knife crime has increased by 27% and 26% respectively
‘Violence against the person’ resulting in injury is up by 19%
Stalking and harassment rose by 36%
The number of murders has risen by 8%
Should we worry about the reported rise in crime?
There is some debate about the