Brexit optimism for retail, new direction for outsourcers, workplace protection for vegans

The retail sector will grow this year and other stories you may have missed this week.

by Stephen Jones
Last Updated: 03 Jan 2020

Brexit optimism for retailers

The UK retail sector will grow by one per cent in 2020 according to a report by KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank.

The body predicts that greater political certainty will boost confidence and spending among high-street consumers after more than three years of "pain", despite the many unknowns that bosses will have to navigate regarding tariffs and trade deals.

However the group was more lugubrious regarding food sales, predicting a tough year for supermarkets. It also warned that closures and CVAs could rise as "inefficient and irrelevant" legacy firms continue to suffer.

(Source: Retail Gazette)

A new direction for outsourcers? 

Capita is to start investing in tech start-ups as the outsourcer looks to continue its strategic overhaul under chief exec Jonathan Lewis. Capita Scaling Partner will help up to 10 start-ups procure clients and suppliers, and has already taken stakes in five.

Like traditional rivals Serco, Mitie and G4S, Capita is adapting its strategy after a disastrous couple of years for the sector. The company launched Capita Consulting to move towards professional services late last year.

(Source: The FT)

Workplace protection for ethical vegans

A landmark employment tribunal has ruled that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief falling under the protection of the 2010 Equality Act. The ruling determines that ethical vegans - those who abstain from animal products or exploitation as a moral rather than a health choice - are protected from discriminination by employers.

Jordi Casamitjana brought the action after claiming he was sacked for his vegan beliefs. His former employer, League Against Cruel Sports, did not contest that veganism should be protected, but instead claimed he was dismissed for gross misconduct after giving colleagues financial advice. 

Casamitjana says he highlighted the fact that the animal rights charity’s pension fund invested in firms practising animal testing. The judge is yet to rule whether this constituted unfair dismissal.

(Source BBC)


Image credit: Hollie Adams / Stringer via Getty


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